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2013 KTM 990 ADVENTURE | The Redmond Files

Before I can complete this bike review, I need to explain something… I am worried about the KTM 990 Adventure. Why? Because I share a lot of traits with this motorcycle.

Allow me to do a comparison:
1. 990 is large and orange (just like me).
2. 990 has body work that looks like it was designed by a blind German brick-layer (just like me)
3. 990 is unstable at speed on dirt (just like me).
4. 990 has a huge padded seat (just like me).
5. 990. Any attempt to kick start gunna get you hurt ( just like me).
6. 990 affected by wind (just like me).
7. 990 can hold fair amount of liquid, (just like me).
8. 990 is expensive to run (just like me).
9. 990 gunna take more than a few drinks to get a lady to ride it. (just like me).
10. 990 gunna wobble and fall over if its full (just like me )

I rode the 2013 KTM 990 ADVENTURE for couple days and this is my review, not a boring review about wheel size, luggage racks, 48mm cartridge blar blar blar and specs that most boring, lazy bike reviewers generally cut and paste from google. Most bike reviews are about as interesting as my right foot so let me tell you what this bike can do and how it does it.

1. This bike can easily and happily be a commuter:
Its got a great sitting position with good steering angle and its height makes for terrific vision in traffic. The white power front and rear suspension is serious dirtbike hard wear, so the odd short cut over traffic island, park, garden, roundabout or traffic jam is no sweat . It has a good glovebox on the tank for phone/wallet.

Be great to jump on and strap to work. Big twin front Brembos (huge master cylinder) give you a whopper stopper when a hippy cuts you off (don’t ask) . At roughly 23 grand it is the same price as a three-year-old  six-cylinder Commodore. Which would you prefer to commute in? With a touch under 1000cc it’s not a toy. The Jetpilot sticker clad SS ute lads get an orange lesson at lights.

2. Roadbike. It’s a very good roadbike:
The factory screen and fairings work properly. I’m 6ft and the wind deflects nicely. The large LC8 engine makes it very easy to roll off large road kilometres. Engine feels very strong from bottom-end and mid-range and genuinely is surprising fast. I sat on 160km/h (ish) from Tsv-Palauma , the bike was right in its comfort zone (Highway patrol Blar blar , I don’t ride bikes to lift my standing in the community ).

The seat and tank junction gives a very confident position for a rider wanting to move around on bike through good corners. The ABS is very good when combined with the high-end brake package. I would of liked to of had the company of couple of my roadbike buddys just to really compare this bike. Unfortunaly the lads were re-arranging sock draws/waxin their dolphin/mowing grass etc and could not make ride day.

3. Adventure dirtbike:
The bike looks big, I rode it on Granitvale Rd, which is a graded granite/sandstone road. I rode it up Forrest Rd, which starts as a car road but turns into a single lane enduro loop and I road it up through the arterial roads atop Herverys Range, which are rural broken tar and dirt roads big enough for a car. Its pedigree soon became obvious.

KTM has been building dirtbikes since before I wore a Oakley hypercolour T-shirts, so they know their stuff. Fat bars, good enduro handguards (not ugly alimumun ones that look like a dozer throttle pedal! ) WP suspension, Regina chain, Brembo brakes, Magura hydraulic clutch, good footpegs and a comfortable standing position. This bike is a dirtbike. Even on the singletrail stuff I could tell it was not going to suffer too bad. The wheelbase is not huge and steering headset angle soon convinces you that you’re on a dirtbike. If setup with offroad tires I feel you could ride it reasonably hard.

Summery – This bike is a lot of things:
It has got enough good Euro trick bits for the propeller heads to discuss over a latte and wrist bending session.
It’s an outstanding option for roadbike lads that prefer a comfortable seating position and require a machine that is durable on the unmaintained blacktop roads that tend to destroy expensive roadbike rim/tires and bikini fairings. Any trigger happy roady guys will be grinning when they rip and grip it. It’s no R1 but would be comfortable amongst R1s on ride The noise from twin Akrapovic (option) pipes will have Hog boys hiding their tattoos.

Adventure bike: This is a purpose built Av bike, the component list is dirtbike porn. Tick in every box. Big fuel tank (plus factory option of huge tank) plenty of room for a swag and water sack, a good easy to read dash. It does not have GPS, which I think should be banned on Adventure bikes anyway. What’s the point of following a map or logging your trip ? Not very adventure like! Check out KTM powerparts catalogue too. No need to use any other aftermarket company parts as KTM do the lot.

The one thing that pi*#ed me off was I had to give bike back. It’s really that good.

Many thanks to Jarrod from Future Sport MC for the bike.


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