KTM 1050 Adventure test


The backpacker’s guide

In just a few years, KTM has particularly developed its family of maxi-trails with a promising name. The committed Austrian offroad specialist has logically been able to evolve effectively in a dynamic and difficult segment. A market dominated by the German Kaïserin R 1200 GS followed by the commercial challenger, the Italian Ducati Multistrada. However, where BMW only offers two machines, the Matighoffen firm now lines up four..

KTM 1050 Adventure test

All from the 990, launched in 2003, these new Adventures appeared ten years later. The 1190 and 1190 R then set new benchmarks both in terms of dynamics and off-road capability for the segment. And to drive the point home, KTM dared at the beginning of the year the 1290 Super Adventure, spearhead of the range. Super equipped, technological, luxurious and efficient, the maxi trail combines superlatives. However, its gentrification keeps it away from both the offroad and certain stock markets. To respond to this problem, the ultimate version now has its counterpart, more accessible, but also more versatile: the 1050 Adventure. A journey of more than 1,000 kilometers in Switzerland will allow us to judge the Austrian wader.


You can travel palace or more adventurous, with the same pleasure. Our mount of the day validates this second choice. Although devoid of certain artifices, this wader concentrates most of the virtues of the Austrian brand: simplicity, performance and efficiency. Without neglecting safety assistance: ABS, traction control, limited slip clutch and engine modes are part of the equipment. Only the settings are simplified. You will find these details in the Technical section.

A more rational tool than its big sisters, the 1050 nevertheless takes its elegant and sporty aesthetic. Racy, fine, but muscular, the Katoche is not exuberant. In its orange and black livery, the machine plays a studied sobriety, almost too wise. The optics are the most obvious signature of the family. Its dipped bulb, which automatically activates depending on the ambient lighting, is framed by a 12-LED daytime running light, making up a highly identifiable whole. The whole is capped with a bubble easily adjustable on two levels, the high position raising the screen by 25 mm.

KTM 1050 Adventure test

The machine’s assertive personality continues with the lively, complex and taut lines of its fork crown and stretches over the ridges of the sidewalls and a 23-liter tank. It is supported by a one-piece saddle attesting to the more committed positioning of the 1050. Two comfortable grab handles surround it, complete with a luggage rack. The stern ends with a light and LED indicators. On each side of the rear buckle, nicely aluminum and partially sheathed, the luggage racks remain discreet. We still regret the too sad black shade of the aluminum frame, less seductive and stylish than the house orange. More relevant, effective plastic protections come to protect the base of the half-fairings. A composite, wrap-around shoe also effectively preserves the engine base.

KTM 1050 Adventure test

My steed is equipped for the occasion with large canteens of 48 liters (on the left) and 37 liters (on the right, exhaust requires), at a price of € 1,463. Impressive, they are made of 1.5mm thick aluminum and reinforced with polycarbonate. Of course, they are waterproof and support 10 kg each. Pleasing to the eye, they are also pleasant in use. Lock blocks fitted with indicators ensure proper closure while interior bags allow you to take your belongings to the hotel or elsewhere without dismantling the imposing luggage storage.

KTM 1050 Adventure test

Rather neat, construction and finish of the Austrian trail are qualitative. Engine level, quite visible, if the outermost casings have a flawless finish, those of the cylinders are left raw. We still regret the fairly clear presence of many hoses and other conduits.

In the saddle

With regard to its offroad machine lineage, the 1050 remains a fairly high frame with its 850 mm at the withers. It is however the most accessible of all Adventure, despite a non-adjustable saddle with firm comfort. Narrow and profiled, the seat optimizes the support of the feet on the ground and controls the machine when maneuvering. An advantage to control its 230 kg in running order. In the same idea, the ergonomics are adjustable. Wider than that of the 1190, the contoured Neken handlebars offer 20mm adjustment and the footrests adjust 10mm diagonally. Streamlined, the tank spreads the legs only moderately.

KTM 1050 Adventure test

The large hanger places its handles ideally under the hands. Streamlined, the fork shaft reveals a projection screen on the lower yoke. On the right side, a narrow storage compartment without a lock is integrated into the cockpit and can accommodate small items.

Fixed on a solid granite central upright, the meter unit divides its reading into three groups. In the center, a large analog tachometer is surrounded by two LCD screens. On the right, the classics: tachometer, gear indicator light, engine mode chosen, fuel and temperature gauge like barograph and clock. On the left, a window with multiple functions is controlled by a multidirectional keypad on the left stalk. The following are displayed successively: General information, Trip 1 and 2, the selected engine map, the ABS / MTC setting and a very clever Favorites mode. It is thus possible to fully configure a screen according to your needs. A very practical selection for filtering the sum of the available data (outside temperature, range, average consumption, instantaneous, average speed, MTC and ABS setting, engine maps, etc.).

KTM 1050 Adventure test

The ergonomics of this data is very good, allowing all the functions to be integrated very quickly. The whole is piloted at the left stalk via an obvious and well-proportioned multidirectional console. Adjustable in spacing, the levers are housed behind standard hand guards. A convincing and good quality cockpit for the Adventure 1050.

Finally, if the space under the saddle is anecdotal, the tool kit is one of the most complete on the market, allowing the machine to be boned..

In the city

The rumble of the twin LC8 takes up the dynamics of its predecessors. Serious and alert, the chanting underlines the liveliness of the unit, moderately inclined to flexibility on intermediate gears. Street mode improves his mood. Maintained above 2,500 turns, the large twin is more affable and easily takes the trail in traffic. The ease of the Adventure 1050 is amazing there, placing it perfectly between the obstacles. Its reduced turning radius also allows the most daring maneuvers.

Only problem, the splendid, but large suitcases accommodating my many things. So you need a little space and have an eye. Without the trunks, the katoche is a submissive and gentle ballerina. The gearbox locks perfectly and the electronic throttle handle precisely manages accelerations. A little cramped, the circular mirrors are however free from vibrations. Finally, the damping of the fork effectively limits the tipping effects.

At ease between the walls, the Austrian plays civilized with good grace. His athletic build is nevertheless satisfied with larger spaces..

KTM 1050 Adventure test

Motorway and expressways

Willful and lively, the twin quickly propels the Adventure to the legal motorway, purring at only 4,500 rpm. Some vibrations appear, without being intrusive on long journeys. More annoying, the saddle too narrow and thin at the level of the seat ends up becoming uncomfortable after 150 to 200 km. The protection, on the other hand, is correct. Fairing and bubble in the high position deflect the main air flows, both on the legs, the torso and the head, forcing only to bend the spine for the largest above 150 km / h. The shoulders are more subject to turbulence. A more developed touring screen will satisfy high-speed bollard swallowers. These are reached without downtime, the Matighoffen boiler does not hesitate to go up in the towers.

Whatever the pace, the course is flawless despite the large suitcases, even at the approach of the double hecto kilometer-hour. A point to be credited with the suspensions and controlled aerodynamics. Only regret in this respect, so the machine lends itself to it, the absence of regulator. To get there, head for the exit.

KTM 1050 Adventure test


The agility seen in the city is evident here. Narrow tires, overall height, handlebar lever arm…. The Adventure 1050 is a fan of the tourniquet. As soon as the roads tighten, the KTM begins a frenzied waltz to the sound of its tonic twin. Tonic, but certainly less ample than its sisters. If the thrust is intense from 4,000 to 7,000 revolutions, it is then advisable to change gear. Otherwise, the twin pushes a little further to the red zone, but with less conviction. "Only" 95 canassons fill the Austrian team, little stingy in sensation and couple moreover. Nothing limiting, except to want to follow the leaders of the segment, as I tried to do. I had raised a German hare of 135 horses which did not let go of me, but in pursuit of which I had to exploit all the mechanical potential of the katoche. If the power is "limited", the obvious cycle part compensates a little for this lack. Extremely keen on changes of angle, the 1050 does not let it count, greatly helped by a precise Ride-by-Wire, just like its gearbox. Its low inertia on the handlebars allows instinctive and sporty driving.

The grip of the Trail Attack is not to be outdone and the damping is effective, even on strong decelerations. Remarkably braked at the end of the race, the fork contains the mass transfers brilliantly. What to redo on the decelerations, that the Brembo calipers deliver with force and progressiveness. The control felt is very appreciable. The same goes for the rear element, perfectly present and modular. The implementation of ABS intervenes only when advisedly, securing the attack or during slippery conditions.

KTM 1050 Adventure test

At a more touristic pace, the Adventure plays backpackers with a big heart. Coupler at mid-speed, she knows how to furl vigorously, carrying the crew, whatever the load. And even excluding bitumen. At night, the optical beam provides excellent lighting in a straight line, but hardly more on the angle in the winding. The lighting of the instruments is excellent and gentle on tired eyes ….

All Terrain

We will talk here about tackling the big mountain paths and tracks that are not too rough. Not that the 1050 would be left there, but it would be a shame to risk a rim on a bad impact. In offroad liaison therefore, our Adventure finds an innate playground. Its DNA guarantees it an unusual facility to be taken off-road. Balanced, ergonomic, the machine allows easy handling when standing on the footrests.

ABS and traction control disengaged, we can then have more fun drifting, while staying the course: stay on its wheels. Here again, the Continental envelopes provide traction and resistance..

KTM 1050 Adventure test


Lively, agile and rigid, the KTM 1050 Adventure knows how to bend to the adopted piloting. Healthy, it is evident in all phases of driving. Although devoid of adjustment, the damping is convincing.


Sufficiently progressive and very powerful, the front calipers know how to modulate their attack, both on and off the road. The rear element ideally seconds them.

KTM 1050 Adventure test

Comfort / Duo

The "3D foam" padding of the saddle did not convince me. Too thin under the pilot, it makes its angles felt in the long run. Too bad, because the suspensions work well and contribute effectively to comfort. The observation is more or less the same as a duo. We will therefore use the equipment catalog.

The adoption of an optional touring screen should also improve the protection and wind and a topcase can further increase the easy carrying of luggage..

KTM 1050 Adventure test


At a discovery pace, you will refuel only every 430 km…. or a consumption of 5.3 liters only per 100! The advantage of a (a little) wiser engine. But the Austrian also knows how to drink if pushed, then swallowing a maximum of 7.3 liters per 100 to give herself a big heart. On average, we are less than 6 units, or 10 to 30% more sober than the 1190.


Homogeneous, efficient and well equipped, the KTM 1050 Adventure is a rather road compromise which always appreciates going green. Logically less demonstrative over the entire available engine range than its more motorized siblings, it retains the house character, especially at mid-speed. A little lighter than the 1190 but less sophisticated in suspension, it nevertheless carries a complete and appreciable electronic offer..

Pleasantly finished, the youngest of the family could have been equipped with a spring compression adjustment via a remote wheel; similarly, tangential spoke rims would be welcome for this versatile model. However, the Austrian manufacturer preferred to treat everyday adventurers. These will then benefit from a certain approval in urban and peri-urban areas. And will always be ready to go on a whim.

Priced at € 12,900, the KTM 1050 Adventure returns € 2,750 to the 1190. Enough to equip your mount with luggage or opt for the electronic Enduro options…. With the Comfort and Touring Kit, the machine goes to € 15,255, remaining even more affordable than its sister.

It will be opposed to the Suzuki DL 1000 V-Strom, outsider of the segment offered at 12,490 € and deserved commercial success. Faced with it, the KTM retains greater ease of leaving the ranks and better ground clearance. On the other hand, it will prove to be less comfortable over long distances..

Rational, the 1050 Adventure is an excellent travel tool, able to appeal to backpackers fleeing the superfluous. These will surely make it their best guide.

Finally, know that KTM currently offers 3 years warranty for the Adventure range..

KTM 1050 Adventure test

Strong points

  • Evidence of handling
  • Engine character at half speed
  • Agility and precision of the chassis
  • Ergonomics
  • Electronic assistance
  • Quality suspension
  • Sound

Weak points

  • Lack of rapid compression adjustment of the shock absorber
  • Fairly tight airflow protection
  • High engine speeds less brilliant

The technical sheet of the KTM 1050 Adventure
KTM 1050 Adventure technical file

Options and equipment

Main equipment :

  • Touring screen: 125.36 €
  • Pilot ergonomic upholstery: 170 €
  • Ergonomic heated passenger seat: € 139
  • Pilot heated ergonomic upholstery: € 249.88
  • Heated ergonomic passenger seat upholstery: € 249.88
  • Heated grips: 208.06 €
  • 42 L left Touring suitcase: € 469.43
  • 31 L Right Touring suitcase: € 469.43
  • 42 L Touring top case: € 469.43

Comfort Kit :

  • Touring screen
  • Upholstery two heated ergonomic elements
  • Heated grips
  • € 772.62

Touring kit :

  • Tank bag
  • 42 L Left Touring suitcase
  • 31 L Right Touring Suitcase
  • Top case Touring 42 L
  • € 1,462.65

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10 thoughts on “KTM 1050 Adventure test

  1. I don’t know what it is about the Multistrada in terms of resale after a year (or more), but when I see that I am offered barely more than half of its value for a Scrambler 1100 Sport of a year and not even 10,000 kms, it’s scary (and to go elsewhere).

  2. 20% VAT, 20% difference between the official cycle and "normal" resale, a little margin for the dealer and presto.

    It will be the same with any manufacturer …

  3. QuotePhilippe21

    Ordinary fascism, that I tell you!

    And what do you propose to fight against the egotists who think only of themselves on the handlebars of their ultra-noisy motorcycle ?

    Something other than purely and simply prohibiting their circulation, already…

    I got checked years ago, several times in a few weeks, in the same place by the same person.

    Clearly, I was used to feed statistics for his boss, since he knew that my motorcycle was not noisy.

    A little more roadside control (and by human beings), a little com ‘(say a fragment of the speed one), one or two moldy M6 / tf1 style reports on noisy motorcycles (with two- three useful idiots proud to appear in a report) broadcast in a loop once a month and we should have results for cheap.

  4. QuotePhilippe21

    Ordinary fascism, that I tell you!

    And what do you propose to fight against the egotists who think only of themselves on the handlebars of their ultra-noisy motorcycle ?

    It is often vehicles with "flashy" colors that are noisy. Rather than ban motorcycles from circulation, I therefore propose to ban vehicles which are neither black, nor white, nor gray..

    It’s about as smart …

  5. Otherwise, a stupid sound check at the places / times when it is inconvenient (on Sundays in Chevreuse, at random), that would be enough …

  6. It lacks a 21-inch screen, an on-board satellite, a high-speed connection to detect radars, an anti-dribble to manage according to the position of the moon in case it freezes … but also wiper blades or rather d bubble wipe…

    and what else ?

    "Funny" turn that the motorcycle takes…

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