Monday, May 25, 2015

Test Ride: KTM 1190 Adventure

What a great looking bike! I have always been partial to orange, since my first bike was the burnt copper penny Suzuki SV1000. 
The bike comes with ABS Brembo brakes and traction control, plus multiple throttle settings, including one for wet pavement, which dampens the "enthusiasm" of the throttle control. Starting the bike brings the 1190 to life, and a healthy growl comes from under the seat, like a bear that's been woken up juuuuust a little too early from hibernation. The KTM's cockpit is well thought out, and everything is VERY readable and also customizable. One niggle - this thing has the tiniest handgrips ever. Fatter grips would be a must.

The KTM is a bigger bike, and you know it immediately. While the Moto Guzzi Stelvio was heavy, it didn't feel like it; the tall stature  of the KTM makes this size and weight immediately apparent. I was able to put the balls of my feet down, but could not flat-foot the bike. It would be interesting and  necessary to ride the bike with a full tank of gas to get a feel for just how important this is. 

Rolling, the larger feel of the KTM  is apparent at low speeds, and parking lot maneuvering at low speed operation would feel like work. But, once you get the revs up, the weight magically disappears. I only rode in standard mode, as opposed to sport (which offers a more spirited ride), and the bike responded very well. 

YCH only has a very short test ride area, and getting out farther would be a good test of how good this bike truly is. I found it above adequate for the ride I was taking, but a quick hustle through some twisties in sport mode would be a must for me. Still, I got the sense this bike can do it all, without complaint, and, indeed, would be a fun ride. 

There are ongoing questions about KTM's reliability (sounds funny coming from a guy who is considering a Ducati) and that might be enough to put me off, and, at the very least, are worthy of further investigation.

Still, this one makes the list for consideration

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