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KTM 1090 vs 1190 vs 1290 Adventure R

We knew about the KTM 1090 Adventure R long before its arrival but did not know how it will arrive. And arrive with spectacular specifications it did.

It’s not, as was expected, a toned-down 1190 or bumped-up 1050. No, the new KTM 1090 Adventure R – albeit it still with 1050 cc in stock – is, in the big adventure bike segment, the one to beat. Especially considering its aggressive price point.

Featuring a PDS (Progressive Damping System) shock rear and upgraded WP 48 mm split-open cartridge forks with stiffer springs and stiffer valving up front, the new 1090 Adventure R also differs from the outgoing 1190 in other ways. It has a newly designed engine casing, new crank shaft and redesigned cylinder heads. The flywheel mass is also heavier than what it was in the older 1050.

The result? 30 more horses than the older 1050, 20 more than the legendary 990, same weight as the 990 and 22 lb (7 kg) lighter than the 1190. For the moment, this is the closest you’ll get to the “new 990” of the adventure riding world.

KTM 1090 vs 1190 vs 1290 Adventure R

Comparisons between the 1090 Adventure R and the new Honda Africa Twin – and, for that matter, also with the old 990 – are inevitable but let’s look at the differences between the new 1090 Adventure R and 1190 Adventure R and 1290 Super Adventure R.

KTM dropped the 1190 from their lineup, replacing it with the 1290 Super Adventure R, and, ultimately, the uber gizmo’d 1290 Super Adventure T. Or is the 1090 actually the true replacement for the mighty 1190?

Well, the pictures will tell it all, won’t they?

KTM 1090 Adventure R

2017 KTM 1090 Adventure R

KTM 1190 Adventure R

KTM 1190 Adventure R

KTM 1290 Super Adventure R

KTM 1290 Super Adventure R

Similar looking, aren’t they? All 75-degree LC8 V-Twin, all kinda orange. That, KTM says, is by design. Not only do customers find the current lineup pleasing but it makes economic sense to have the models share the parts bin in some respect… as many other vehicle manufacturers do for models across their range.

KTM 1090 Adventure R dashboardKTM 1090 Adventure R dashboard

The new 1090 shares the basic design, headlights and (ugly) instrument dash with the old 1190 while the headlights and all-LED dash of the 1290 marks the major cosmetic differences with the other two.

1090 vs 1190 vs 1290 power and weight

Where it matters most, though, is that the 148 hp (100 kw) @ 9500 RPM of the old 1190 is being superseded by the 160 hp (118 kw) @ 9500 now found in the 1301 cc of 1290 models while the new 1090 wacks out a respectable 125 hp (93 kw) @ 8500 RPM, which, as you may have noticed, is more than that of the Africa Twin, Yamaha Super Tenere or big V-Strom, matching the output of the BMW R1200GS.

The 1190 produced 92.2 lb/ft (124.8 Nm) torque @ 7500 RPM, the 1290 produces 103.7 lb/ft (140 Nm) at 6750 RPM, and the new 1090 delivers 80 lb/ft (108 Nm) @ 6500 RPM.

Looking at the 1290, it’s actually remarkable that it weighs only a little more than the 1190 and, to its credit, produces 80 lb/ft (108 Nm) torque at a mere 2500 rpm. No wonder they call it the Super Adventure R.

For the record, the last 990 Adventure R produced 116 hp (84.5 kw) @ 9000 RPM and 73.8 lb/ft (100 Nm) @ 6500 RPM.

With the exception of the top-of-the line 1290 Super Adventure T, they all carry 6 gallons (23 litres) of fuel. The T has a fuel capacity of 8 gallon (30 litre).

KTM 1290 Super Adventure T – big tank, big power

As you may have guessed, all the R models have the same steering head angle (64°), same wheelbase (62 in / 1580 mm), same wheel sizes (18″ rear, 21″ front), same ground clearance (8.6 in / 220 mm) and same seat height (33 in / 850 mm). The Super Adventure S and T run on 17″ rear and 19″ front wheels.

To recap, the 1290 weighs 504 lb (229 kg) dry, the 1190 weighs 467 lb (216 kg) dry and the new 1090 Adventure R tips the scale at 456 pounds (207 kg) dry. Thus, the 1190 has a better power-to-weight ratio but as motorcycle.com points out

In the more important Off-Road setting where both bikes are limited to 100 horsepower, the 1090 has an advantage of moving 4.56 pounds/hp, where the 1190 was pushing 4.78 pounds/hp. Torque is a slightly different story with the 1090 giving up 12 lb.-ft. to the 1190 – 80 lb.-ft. at 6500 rpm vs. 92 lb.-ft. at 8000 rpm.

Where it matters most

For those with deep pockets the choice will most likely be between the 1290 Super Adventure T or the Ducati 1200 Multistrada Enduro but for us mere mortals the ticket tells the tale. Good news is that the 1090 Adventure R is keenly priced.

Ultimately, the 1290 R is the replacement for the 1190 R while the 1090 R fills the 990 vacancy.

The KTM 790 Adventure is anticipated only for late 2018; until then, KTM will probably sell a bucketful of 1090s.

Finally, the proof is in the eating. Upshift Online dug in:

31/03/2017. Category: Wheels. Topic: , .

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