-- KTM 1190 Adventure
-- By Trevor Hedge
It was almost certainly no accident that shortly after Ducati put out preliminary details of their updated for 2013 MTS 1200 line-up, KTM has let some official information on their new Adventure machines to hit the internerd.
Traditionally occupying the hard-core end of the adventure-touring market with the 990 Adventure R, and its legendary 950 Super Enduro predecessor, KTM have slotted a modified version of the larger 1195cc engine from the company's RC8R sportsbike into an Adventure frame and are now taking a two-pronged attack with two new 1190 models for 2013.
The Adventure will be shod with a 19" front for a more on-road focus while the R will retain its more dirt oriented 21" front for the mountain men. The Adventure rear tyre is specified as a 170/60-17 while the R model gets an off-road ready 150/60-18 hoop. Both models stick with spoked rims but have now gone the tubeless route for more versatility.
This engine has been developed throughout its model life and like the 990, which was also more than a little uncultured in its early iterations, has through the adoption of a heavier crank and improved Keihin EFI mapping with each model year now evolved into a much smoother experience.
In Adventure guise the 1195cc v-twin has, as you would expect, been modified from its sportsbike roots to lower the power from 173hp of the RC8R to 150hp for its new Adventure role with a corresponding 125Nm of torque. Service intervals are now pushed out to 15,000km, helping to reduce ongoing cost of ownership.
Wet weight has marginally increased to 230kg for the Adventure and 235kg for the R model (presumably due to engine protection bars etc.) but it also highly likely the fuel tank size has increased from its predecessors 20 litre cell to something closer to 25 litres. The exact fuel capacity has yet to be specified by the Austrian manufacturer but they are claiming better fuel economy from the new engine which will certainly be welcome when heading off the beaten track.
Ride-by-wire has opened the scope to provide the rider with four levels of traction control, plus of course the 'off' button.
The new Adventure also scores the latest in ABS technology, with selectable off-road mapping and an 'off' button; mandatory for true off-road adventuring and something only the European brands can get a handle on. Bosch provides the electronic hardware.
Other details reveal a slipper clutch (always handy on a big twin), adjustable footpegs-seat height-windshield, and new VDO instrumentation.
The more on-road focused machine also scores what KTM are dubbing 'Multiple programmable electronic WP suspension'. Presumably this is similar to the current BMW and Ducati systems whereby preload and damping can be electronically adjusted from the bars. A huge boon for a multi-role machine. The more dirt focused R model is instead equipped with fully adjustable WP conventional (manual adjustment) suspension at both ends.
Just looking at the bikes it seems clear that KTM is going more mainstream with this new Adventure model as it takes on the persona of an all-roads tourer rather than the Dakar like styling and approach of its predecessor. It is also of interest that for the new model KTM has gone away from the fully enclosed bodywork of the original in favour of an exposed engine and ancillaries.
Helping to allow the rear of the bike to adopt a lower rear profile the twin underseat mufflers of the original are replaced by a single huge cannon on the right hand side.
Notably the bottom (underneath) profile of the machine is high and smooth with the pipework well tucked up out of the way. This should allow for easy fitment of a sturdy bash-plate to suit more hard-core off-roaders. Both machines retain their centre-stands.
While most competitors have gone the way single-sided swingarms and shaft drive KTM have opted to stick with a conventional swingarm and chain drive. The benefits are more flexibility as to choice of gearing and easier repairs on the trail, the downsides of course being more maintenance.
Along with its rivals in the new BMW GS and Ducati MTS machines, KTM is expected to unveil the new 1190 Adventure at Intermot early in October. It is also likely that KTM will have a new 1190 Adventure Down Under in time for the Melbourne Motorcycle Expo in November.
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