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KTM 1190 Adventure in the 50,000 km endurance test

Speedster, also for chasing curves

With the KTM 1190 Adventure, a brand new travel enduro came for the 2013 season. It drives and sells brilliantly – and broke many a frosty reservation about the brand.

Even after 80 percent of the endurance test distance, the multitool still looks as crisp as on the first day. A good omen for the last 10,000 kilometers? With this question, MOTORRAD ended the interim results of the 50,000 kilometer endurance test KTM 1190 Adventure in October last year (MOTORRAD 23/2014). The answer: a decided yes and no. Because, so much in advance, the KTM travel enduro also did well in the last fifth of the endurance test, but not entirely without errors.

KTM 1190 Adventure in the 50,000 km endurance test

Speedster, also for chasing curves

1190 Adventure including electronics package (electronically adjustable chassis, tire pressure monitoring, main stand). Compared to the BMW, which was driven in the endurance test at the same time, which caused discussions with all kinds of anomalies, the unpretentious KTM 1190 Adventure came off very well. Hymns of praise for the lively engine, the smooth clutch, the smoothly shifting gearbox and the neutral handling ran like a red thread through the logbook.

Of course, the KTM 1190 Adventure was not spared from teething problems in the first model year. A broken exhaust manifold at the flange, a defective clutch switch and a wobbly side stand had to be replaced. At least: in all cases, the machine, which had been completely redesigned, made it back to the editorial office without outside help. With one exception: despite their alpine origins, they couldn’t stand the cold. At temperatures below freezing point, the starter turned only slowly and let the V2 start rather unwillingly. Once, of all things, the private Harley owned by fleet manager Rainer Froberg had to help the high-tech runabout. Before a new battery and a replaced outside temperature sensor could be identified as possible reasons for the morning drive weakness, mild temperatures solved the problem meteorologically. At least until next winter. More about that later.

Between sports and tourism


Cornering ABS is available via software update.

On the other hand, the cornering ABS installed via a simple software update (399 euros) generated enthusiasm. The system convinced all along the line in the MOTORRAD test and proves that the KTM 1190 Adventure is not only powerful (150 hp) and fast (250 km / h), but also safe. Full braking at a 40 degree lean angle is safe. From the 2014 model year, the KTM has this ABS version as standard – incidentally, it is the first and to this day only travel enduro.

In general, the concept of the KTM 1190 Adventure, which perfectly matches the intersection of sporting and tourist orientations, was very well received. In the first season, the new adventure bike turned into the second best-selling travel enduro in this country after the GS. Considering the demanding and mostly very experienced target audience (see reader experiences), this is a considerable vote of confidence. Which obviously also encouraged the manufacturer. In the middle of the year, all adventure owners were informed about a voluntarily extended warranty period from two to three years.


Top test: KTM 1190 Adventure

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KTM 1190 Adventure with a comfortable Kahedo seat

The KTM was repeatedly plagued by minor defects.

For the endurance test machine, this extension of the deadline was irrelevant anyway. Because the KTM 1190 Adventure scrubbed the kilometers in a hurry. Only the uncomfortable standard bench seat was replaced in the long run by the fantastically comfortable Kahedo seat cushion (329 euros / driver, 299 euros / pillion passenger). Another topic came to the fore, especially on long tours: the tendency of the Adventure to pendulum with a load at high speeds. However, the Adventure felt in its element on the country road, especially in the mountains – and often at the KTM dealer. Because contact with the orange base was seldom broken even after the interim assessment. A defective indicator switch (replaced at 39,500 kilometers), water ingress in the display, an oil level sensor that warned of a lack of oil for no reason, and two defective indicators (everything replaced at 44,500 kilometers), the KTM 1190 Adventure kept attracting Warning.

What a pity. Because with generous 15,000 inspection intervals (costs: 1000 km: 196 euros; 15,000 km: 311 euros; 30,000 km: 600 euros, 45,000 km: 371 euros), the workshop appointments for the KTM 1190 Adventure could have been pleasantly sparse. Just like the visit to the tire dealer. The only approved tires, the good-natured Continental TrailAttack 2, bravely defied the powerful acceleration and had to be changed at least every 10,000 kilometers (rear) or only after almost 20,000 kilometers (front). However, caution is advised. A fitter punctured the rubber sealing tape required for tubeless use when changing tires. KTM has now revised the original recommendation to replace the seal (55 euros) every time a tire is changed.


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Sales soared in 2014 by 40 percent


The KTM made its kilometers in no time at all.

While the speedster was never at a loss for a hot tire corner, Father Frost was still bothering him. In the second winter, Froberg’s Harley had to provide another shooter. The capacity of the standard battery of 11 Ah (for comparison: BMW R 1200 GS, new model: 12 Ah, old model: 14 Ah) may not have enough reserves. After all, the KTM 1190 Adventure was in comforting company when the stuck ignition lock was exchanged shortly before the finish (mileage 49,545). Water, dirt and vibrations have already affected the complex modern locks of many endurance runners from MOTORRAD.

After exactly 18 months, workshop manager Gerry Wagner put the KTM 1190 Adventure to the test one last time. It is not surprising that the V2 with 150 hp confirmed its rated output even after the test distance. It is more likely that this value is no less than 9 hp above the input measurement carried out at the kilometer reading of 2,300. The fact that, according to KTM, the two-cylinder requires up to 8,000 kilometers of entry distance is even more astonishing after dismantling. In short, the result was very positive. The gearbox, clutch and oil pump are as good as new, two shift forks only minimally tarnished. Pistons and cylinder heads are extremely clean, almost free of deposits. Only three valve springs have set themselves to the limit of wear, one of them fell short of the installation dimension. All bearings are in top condition or have only uncritical tracks. The processing quality is also impressive in the chassis. Because the powder coating of the frame is undamaged, the plastic parts shine like new. And even the excitement about a broken engine mount on the frame ultimately turned out to be unfounded. According to KTM, the bracket was originally used to fix the V2 during assembly. These parts are completely dispensed with in the current models.

But this is not the only indication: after the first model year, the KTM 1190 Adventure – apart from the weak battery – actually seems to have overcome its teething problems. The sales figures prove that MOTORRAD is not the only one to assume this. In 2014, the second year of sales for Adventure, they jumped 40 percent and lifted the KTM to seventh place in last year’s registration statistics. The ice seems broken.

High-speed commuting on the KTM 1190 Adventure


Repeatedly criticized – tendency to pendulum at high speed.

On-site visit on the A 81 motorway, Stuttgart – Wurzburg, Jagsttal service area. KTM test driver Norbert Thaler, development engineer Frederik Harnischmacher and top tester Karsten Schwers push a KTM 1190 Adventure next to the MOTORRAD endurance test machine. The reason for the comparison: MOTORRAD had repeatedly criticized the straight-line stability of the KTM. Because while the test machine arrows straight across the motorway in solo and passenger operation even at top speed, the situation changes drastically with a load. Lightly loaded suitcases or a roll of luggage are sufficient to get the machine to commute at the latest from the 200 km / h mark. Attempts to reach speeds over 230 km / h in this configuration would inevitably have led to a fall and had to be aborted several times without success. Series of tests with modified chassis tuning or straight-line stability – even if not approved for the KTM – tires (Michelin Anakee 3) did not improve the driving behavior.

An individual case? No. Because even the Adventure supplied by KTM did not differ in any way from the tendency to swing
the MOTORRAD endurance test machine. Owners also report this phenomenon. In individual cases there were even changes (see reader experiences). KTM is unable to pinpoint the cause of the suspension unrest, which incidentally also occurs on the KTM 1290 Super Adventure. Also not fix.

This is particularly surprising given the fact that the load speed limit of 150 km / h specified in the KTM 1190 Adventure operating instructions is only a recommendation. Without structural measures to limit the top speed, the choice of speed remains a matter for the user, even with luggage. And he should be aware of the peculiarity of the KTM on German motorways. Other travel enduros can do better.

Balance after 50,000 kilometers


Endurance test final balance of the KTM 1190 Adventure.

Compression and pressure loss

Compression diagrams are standard for MOTORRAD endurance test final reports. The measurement for this is carried out with the throttle valves fully open. That has changed since the advent of ride-by-wire technology. In the configuration of the test bench measurement (unscrewed spark plugs, stationary wheels), electronically operated throttle valves generally do not open. The compression measurement is therefore carried out with the throttle valves closed. In the case of the KTM 1190 Adventure, a measurement error in the input measurement prevents the comparison between the values ​​before and after the endurance test. However: The slight difference in the values ​​of the pressure loss (inlet: 3%, closure: 4%) underpins the good condition of the valves and valve seats that was already determined during the visual inspection.

Technical condition of KTM 1190 Adventure after 50,000 kilometers:

Cylinder head: One inlet valve is slightly leaking, all valve seats and valves are in good condition. The valve guides are hardly worn, as are the camshafts. There are stronger tracks on a camshaft bearing. One valve spring has set too much, three others are at the wear limit.

Cylinder / piston: The cylinders show only minimal tracks and are within the shape and dimension tolerance. A piece of the coating has come off one of the pistons, otherwise the pistons are OK. The oil carbon deposit is very low.

Crank drive: Tea running pattern of the crankshaft main bearings is inconspicuous, as is that of the connecting rod bearings and the piston pin.
Power transmission: the clutch basket and clutch hub as well as the friction and steel disks show hardly any signs of wear, as do the gear wheels. Two shift forks show slight wear marks.

Frame / chassis: The color coating of the frame and the swing arm is intact, the swing arm and steering head bearings are free of play. The swing arm was corroded when it was removed, and an engine retaining bracket on the frame broke off.

KTM takes a stand


Gleanings: The KTM delegation Gorbach, Zaha and Matschl (1st, 2nd and 5th from the left) examine the mechanics of the Adventure.

 … to the broken exhaust manifold
This is an unfortunate individual case that occurred due to insufficient binding of the weld seam at the manifold connection. The part was exchanged for a guarantee at around 10,000 km and showed no defects after the remaining 40,000 km.

 … to the heat radiation of the engine
The waste heat may be clearly noticeable in high summer temperatures and stop-and-go traffic. An improvement (heat protection under the seat) has already flowed into the series. Furthermore, with model year 2015, changes will follow that reduce heat radiation. These can also be retrofitted to all previous KTM 1190 Adventure models.

 … the wobbly ignition lock
We are not aware of this deficiency from our endurance tests; there are a few isolated cases on the market. The ignition lock is examined in order to find out the cause of it together with the supplier and to work out possible improvements.

 … to the bad cold start behavior
A fully charged battery is a prerequisite for good cold start behavior. Investigations on some customer vehicles have shown that the pick-up distance and cold start enrichment can also be responsible for this. The KTM authorized dealers have information on measures to be taken should customers complain about insufficient cold start behavior.

 … to the broken retaining tab on the frame
The broken tab was only used in motorcycle production to make it easier to mount the frame on the engine. This tab does not have a supporting function and is no longer available in current models (after changes in the manufacturing process). In the present case, we recommend simply removing the remaining piece of the tab.

 … to the leaky display
We do not know of any water penetration into the instruments from the market. We will examine the speedometer element, but assume an individual case.

 … about the rim sealing tape to be replaced when changing tires
The rim sealing tape can be damaged by tire levers or the tire changer when removing the tire. In general, a visual inspection should therefore always be carried out when changing tires and the sealing tape should be replaced if damaged or after five years at the latest. If the sealing tape is not damaged, it does not necessarily have to be replaced.

 … to the differing performance measurements during the endurance test
From our experience we can say that full power is usually achieved after around 8000 km. An increase in performance from 141 to 150 hp cannot be explained for us and in our opinion can only be due to the measurement tolerance.

Reading experiences

After around 110,000 trouble-free kilometers on a Yamaha TDM 850 I was unsure whether I should go on the KTM adventure. After 9,500 kilometers with the KTM 1190 Adventure, I can only say: Awesome! The original tires go well with the motorcycle. After 9,500 kilometers, there are probably still 1,500 kilometers left. It’s amazing with this motorcycle that you don’t really want to ride relaxed. I am absolutely satisfied so far. For me, the Kati is a great touring motorcycle with athletic qualities. In addition, it is not a mass product.
Heiko Werner, 54293 Trier

Regarding the statement about the tendency to pendulum during the endurance test I want to share my experiences. I rode the KTM 1190 Adventure over 5,000 kilometers. During this time, she was in the workshop for around four weeks because of various defects, but above all because of the tendency to commute. Even with an unloaded topcase, there was a strong oscillation at 155 km / h. Without an additional topcase or tank bag at 190 to 230 km / h. Because of this tendency to commute, I, like a friend of mine, changed the vehicle. It’s a shame, because the Adventure has been the best of ten motorcycles I’ve ridden in the past 13 years on the country road.
Uwe Naumann, 42781 Haan

Last year I bought the KTM 1190 Adventure and have driven 7,000 kilometers since then, 2,800 kilometers of which in the Dolomites. That’s what it’s made for. I’ve never driven passes so quickly and relaxed at the same time. It also has a decent range. Not entirely unimportant when you are out and about in the Alps. So far I have installed a Giannelli silencer as an accessory. This makes the KTM sound like a V2 should sound. What bothers a bit: Unfortunately, so far only one tire model, the Conti TrailAttack 2, is available. The brakes could also be a bit snappier. In addition, I will probably go one tooth less on the pinion, since I don’t need top speed anyway and I prefer the punch. Conclusion: a great bike.
Jan Hendrich, 55288 Partenheim

My I bought the KTM 1190 Adventure in April 2013 and have now driven 61,000 kilometers (!) with her. It’s still great fun. Handy chassis, fascinating engine, and it never left me standing. No breakdown. Defects: the steering head bearing had to be adjusted more often, the seat is not suitable for touring. In addition, there is the heat from the engine in summer (the sleeping mat is attached). Case and top case are defective. In order to be able to compete with the BMW GS, many small things should be improved visually and in processing. For me, however, no reason to change brands.
Peter Podesser, Switzerland

I bought my Kati in March 2013 and sold it again after 11,000 kilometers. I can recommend it for bends in the Alps or the Eifel. Great engine, sporty appearance, a GS is getting quieter behind it. Just an alpine master. But as a travel enduro, the KTM 1190 Adventure disappointed me. On the autobahn, the landing gear with suitcases starts to swing like a sailor staggering out of the harbor bar. More than 180 km / h is not possible. Anyone who now says cleverly, “The manufacturer only recommends 150 km / h with luggage” should look again at the company slogan: “Ready to race.” Nevertheless, I am flirting with a KTM again, the 1290 Super Duke. Then with a new range of uses.
Arndt Hellmann, 14055 Berlin

KTM 1190 Adventure offers in Germany

1000PS marketplace app

The prices of used KTM 1190 Adventure are stable.

The KTM 1190 Adventure is a popular motorcycle with customers and on the used market. The selection is diverse and the prices for used 1190 Adventure are very stable. Many examples are already equipped with case systems or KTM PowerParts. Here is the current market situation: used KTM 1190 Adventure in Germany.

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