Austrialian KTM has launched its 2009 Adventure Range
KTM has 'freshened up' its Adventure 990s to make the trailie-styled all rounders even easier and more fun to play around on, it’s always been a huge market of interest in Europe, but never really taken off here in the States.
The launch in Sardinia was a great chance to start the 2009-riding season with ease. Great roads and weather that felt totally tropical compared to Arctic conditions in the US and the UK that we have been plagued with of late, it made for a perfect biking cocktail.
The standard bike, which was first, isn't, in fairness, too different to the current model. But with some changes to the V-twin's top end it makes another 8bhp – now with a 106bhp peak. And with new bodywork colors, and a black chassis it's got sharper looks to match the extra go.
As practical as it is fun, I reckon the 990 is a whole lot better than BMW's R1200GS because of its lighter and more neutral feel. Carving up the Italian island's super twisty thoroughfares is a simple task for the KTM, and even though I haven't ridden a bike for around six weeks it only took me about 200 yards on it to feel good to go…………….bonkers.
The R version of the bike is even more of a riot. Power on that model is now up to 115bhp – 17 more than the 2008 bike. The result is even more keenness to wheelie, with the appreciable extra torque meaning it's even more relaxing to keep up a furious pace. Much taller than the standard bike because of its 50-odd mm longer suspension, and not featuring the stock bike's ABS, the R is the new version of last year's S and It's a lot different to ride than the stocker on the road with the suspension giving it more support for faster riding - though there is a slightly edgier feel to it until you get fully used to it.
I took both Adventures for a little slide around on the dirt and though I was well out of my comfort zone, I still had a laugh – and didn't even bin them once! Few bikes are as versatile as these KTMs.
The punchier R was the bike for me, and it’s not much dearer than the base model. You need to have longer legs than my 32” pins to touch the ground easily mind you, so make sure you try it for size first.
More info - www.ktm.com