Top test KTM 950 Adventure

Top test KTM 950 Adventure

Adrenaline for everyone

Adrenaline speeds up the pulse, increases blood pressure, provides energy and triggers restlessness. Like the long-awaited two-cylinder KTM 950 Adventure, which should finally get every woman and everyone going.

If you’re stuck in a dead end looking for hormonal kicks, we have a way out: the KTM 950 Adventure.

It breaks the constraints of common sports enduro bikes without appearing bloated and effeminate. So, let’s get up on the tight bench. Like a freshly rolled futon, its firm foam conveys healthy hardness and absolute authenticity. This continues with the handle of the suitably cranked aluminum handlebar with the thin rubber grips. All you have to do is put your boots on the wide pegs, find the right knee joint for every leg on the smooth-surfaced tank halves – and finally start shooting.
Stop stop. Let’s briefly remind ourselves: Down there it lurks, the first KTM two-cylinder. 942 cm3 in size and 58 kg light. The V2, drawn by ex-Rotax man Claus Holweg, looks so filigree, as if all the necessary parts were simply covered with a wafer-thin layer of metal. Under the all sorts of cleverness lies: The short stroke of 60 millimeters with a 100 millimeter bore and the five kilogram crankshaft promote responsiveness and spontaneity. Another trick is the shaft positioned between the cylinders, which at the same time carries the mass balance, serves as a centrifuge for housing ventilation and for driving the water pump and timing chains. For compact dimensions and a focus-friendly installation position, the 75-degree V2 has dry sump lubrication and the camshaft drive is via a space-saving mix of timing chains and spur gears.
Which brings us directly to the warm-up phase. In which the two 43-series Keihin constant pressure carburettors demand virtuoso choke operation, the unit, due to its low centrifugal mass, should not stop working for you or me.
But then: Gaaas. Heidewitzka, Captain! As if the pistons, weighing just 385 grams, acted directly on the rear wheel without any inertia, it pulls the KTM, which weighs 224 kilograms with a full tank, and the front wheel off the ground. Willing, moody, as if the pilot knew each of the 101 horses measured by name and could have them run individually. Anyone who mobilizes all the horses in one fell swoop with the smooth throttle grip and can handle the precisely metered clutch can get from a standing start to 100 km / h in 3.2 seconds and a good ten to one hundred and eighty.
There should be many other road users with the pulse rate when the monstrous-looking enduro hammer shoots past, because when it comes to top speed, the Adventure does not show any nakedness. Over 200 km / h are always possible, with a little tailwind there are 230 on the digital display. A speed that is more detrimental to the smoothness of running, which is still acceptable up to 7000 rpm, than to straight-line stability. Despite the low front wheel load due to the buoyancy, the 950 passes even high-heeled motorway passages largely unmolested. However, after releasing the accelerator at high speed, the engine responds with a delay to a new full throttle command. Follow the control valves around the carburetor and secondary air system. The latter, together with U-Kats, contributes to Euro 2 compliance. The wind protection on the lawn is acceptable and low in turbulence, if not completely silent. No wonder, with a seat height of 890 millimeters, you stay on the second floor.
The grandiose view from up there makes the Adventure the queen of every city rally. The low version, which is only available in silver, has to make do with 230 millimeters of spring travel, in contrast to the orange »S« version in favor of a lower seat height. In addition, the sporty V2 also masters dressage and strolls through the city or across the country with little gas and a few fifty turns. He only complies with full throttle commands below the 3000 mark cautiously, but from around 5000 rpm a hard ride begins that only ends beyond 9000 tours.
The journey does not have to end at the threshold between asphalt and gravel. Okay, the Egypt, Dakar or Tunisia rallies, from which the 950 rally came back laurel-wreathed, is not going anywhere. But when the civilian nineties march through the smooth and precisely locking corridors and pepper with a wonderfully crackling V2 roar over loose gravel, the Meoni wakes up even in the largest puffi. That nice gentleman who won the Dakar rally with the adventure prototype. To stand relaxed in the notches of a four and a half hundredweight hammer and swing lightly to command over 100 spontaneously and controlled PS or to scramble over mighty obstacles in tricky passages in short first gear and walking pace is an experience that has been so far limited to thoroughbred rally cars.
It is no wonder that KTM puts the proportion of factory racers in the Adventure at 95 percent: steel tubular space frame, precious aluminum swingarm with fully adjustable PDS shock absorber with progressive damping, massive upside-down fork with a wide adjustment range, including a barely exhaustive one Reserves, to name just a few goodies. However, the PDS reacts hesitantly to small bumps, in contrast to the front section, which can handle all bumps from the fly shit to the boulder. Likewise, the ground clearance of 240 millimeters, unless someone wanted to awaken the good Meoni in themselves and not just wake up, but also overtake them.
W.he could succeed on the road, because compared to other long-legged rally bolts, the adventure package, which is closer to the ground, offers advantages in particular. In the supermoto style with aggressively flared elbows, hold cheerfully into the corner, choose any line and shoot out again with a lot of taste, that’s what the Adventure loves. Radical braking in an inclined position until the cleats rub? Why not? The tire dimensions ?? 21 inches at the front and 18 inches at the back – as well as the wide limit area of ​​the Pirelli Scorpion can handle any nonsense and let the pilot with the 950 either describe razor-sharp lines or slide completely across the bend with the 950. Preferably on winding streets of the last order, which do not disturb the spring elements a bit. Not even a passenger slows down the fun: simply fold out the spring base adjustment wheel, adjust, close the damping a tick, and go on. With pleasure also for distant destinations, the sporty, active seating position front and rear as well as the two-part 22-liter tank create the best conditions. The only flaw: the reserve light, which regularly sounds the alarm too early. All adrenaline-addicted travel enduro fans who are considering how to scrape together the 12,490 euros should now also be in alarm.

What else caught my eye

PlusGood fall prevention (stable hand protectors, light, rigid Renthal handlebar, hand lever with predetermined breaking point, foldable gear lever, narrow foot brake lever with screwed front part, crash pads on the tank flanks) Motor protection (in the middle made of aluminum, sides made of plastic) Storage compartments between tank halves and under the seat Steering angleGood view in mirrorsBrake hoses neatly guidedFuses in the upper storage compartment are easily accessible in the test fork: rebound stage 18 (10), compression stage 15 (8) clicks on shock absorber: rebound stage 14 (7), compression stage 14 (7) clicks on (values ​​in brackets for pillion ride or sporty driving style on a flat stretch)

This is how MOTORRAD tests – smooth running engine / drive

MOTORRAD explains the individual criteria of the 1000-point evaluation (part 12).

Some may well shake it, others shouldn’t move at all: Vibrations are an eternal issue among motorcyclists. From a completely emotion-free point of view, it is of course best if the engine has its expressions of life under control so that the driver no longer feels any of them. Vibrations usually increase with the displacement and inversely proportional to the number of cylinders. In plain language: large two-cylinder cylinders tend to shake quite violently, small multi-cylinder cylinders hardly ever. Depending on the cylinder configuration, the designer can use balancer shafts or damping rubber elements to ensure more peace and quiet. It is also important to fine-tune the chassis parts and the engine so that no disruptive resonance vibrations arise. Often the coarse vibrations of a thick V2 disturb less than the fine, annoying tingling of some four-cylinder engines. Vibrations can also come from uneven road surfaces and resonances from vehicle parts. The KTM Adventure could be a powerful shaker because of the rigidly bolted two-cylinder with low centrifugal masses. But the central balancer shaft, in conjunction with rubber bearings on the handlebars, obviously manages to keep the vibrations at a tolerable level. Only at high revs for a long time does it get rather uncomfortable on the Adventure.


Forget about facts and figures now. They reproduce the incomparable fun that the interaction of the adventure components conveys only very imperfectly. Everyone can experience this fun, especially since the suitability for everyday use is not neglected, as the points evaluation shows. In short: the brand new Ösi hammer is worth every penny.

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