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The 2015 KTM 1190 Adventure-R : King Of The Dirt

This is the latest adventure offering from KTM, a veritable behemoth of a machine weighing in at a lofty 217kg, with 148hp kicking out of its 1195cc twin-cylinder engine. If you’ve got your eyes set on a bit of adventure travel, covering anything from sand dunes to twisty mountain roads or gravel tracks to warzones then this might be the bike for you.

With a seat height standing at 890mm, you’ve got to know what you’re doing control this beast. Luckily, it’s sat upon some long travel WP suspension with 220mm travel on the front and rear and some serious 21” tubeless rims to keep you upright, depending on your tire choice, environment and ability, of course.

Could this be the bike to unseat the BMW R1200GS Adventure? Weighing 40kg less and kicking out around 23hp more, we’re starting to think it might. All in, it probably wouldn’t match the BMW but in the dirt, surely the KTM can wear the crown?

Not only is the LC8 V twin engine an absolute classic but the host of on board features really make this KTM what it is. Bosch pulled out all the stops for the 2014 model and this year is no different; combining intelligent Motorcycle Stability Control (MSC) traction control and lean-sensitive ABS, the 2015 KTM 1190 Adventure has been labelled the world’s safest motorcycle – perfect for all those undertaking a transcontinental adventure…or a rip around the local woods. Add in a set of front and rear Brembo calipers and it’s clear that the 1190 Adventure R is going to get you from A to B in one piece, even if B is located on the other side of the mountains. KTM added that the ‘safety’ title doesn’t mean that you won’t get a kick out of riding it. It’s still a joy to plow the fields on! In case you were wondering…

Of course, you’d need your knobblies on to tackle the dirt but you’re also torn between leaving the road tires on for the maximum on-road ride experience – but wouldn’t that defeat the object of a true adventure bike?

The only downside to this ride is: that although it wears the ‘king of the dirt crown,’ it might just be too big for the average rider to have fun on. Personally, I like a dirt bike that I can thrash, drop, lift, thrash and drop again as much as I like without breaking a sweat. This KTM is probably a little too big for me. But I’m pretty useless off-road though.


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Joe Appleton
About Joe Appleton

I’ve done a bit of work here and there in the industry – I’ve even ridden a few bikes for actual money but what it comes down to is this: I ride bikes, build bikes and occasionally crash ‘em too. I like what I like but that certainly doesn’t make my opinion any more valid than yours…

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