Maybe it’s a grrl thing but when we buy bikes we have to really love them visually as well as mechanically. On Saturday, Jan. 4th, 2014 I was heading out for a haircut and decided to stop at our local shop to take a look at the new KTM 1190 in person. When KTM revealed this bike I thought to myself “OMG, what a sexy looking ADV bike”. Immediately I was drawn to the new look, the lines and even the KTM colours.
Having said that, seeing the bike in person,,,well???? Just did not do much for me for some reason and I was very surprised that I felt this way. On the other hand if KTM wanted to loan us two of these for a grrls ADV ride I would of course never say no. I did not test ride it. Was not even planning on stopping at this local dealer and the only reason I did this day was because my haircut was delayed.
So, what did I not LOVE? Not sure. It’s a subjective thing and at times hard to described. I sat on them, the two versions..street and DS and I have to admit the seat height even with the seat on low was very high. Higher than my ’13 BMW F800GS. I have to fill you in a bit with the sales guy at this local dealership. He is an older man, been selling Kawasaki and KTM’s, ATV’s etc for years there. He does not know my name but he knows me and every time I walk in their door he tries so hard to be helpful but I find him to be an arrogant prick to be honest.
I love the guys in the back but this old man is the one you meet and seems to be the only sales guys you could buy from. Hence, I would never buy here and I think the old man knows that. I like to look at new models no matter where the dealer is located, but for this one local shop they would never get my business because this guy seems to like to tell me every time how much he knows about his bikes.
I have a question to throw out there….and please someone comment. This guy says to me after I sit on the 1190 and I comment “WOW, that seat height is high isn’t it?” He responds, “Oh, after you ride this bike for a while and all the seals get broken in the bike will settle down at least 1 1/2 inches.” Really? I said. I have not noticed an inch and half drop on my BMW F800GS and I have 11,000 KM’s on it. He said, “Oh yeah, go measure your seat you are probably at least an inch closer to the ground than when you bought the bike.” Now, I did not measure my seat height after I got home but I can tell you my bike has not sagged over an inch and I do not believe I have ever heard this philosophy from anywhere or anyone on the NET. So, my question is this…has anyone ever had an ADV bike drop in height due to wear and tear?
Anyway, back to the bike and my visual inspection. I would need handle bar risers as I always do on these bikes. I felt like I was leaning forward quit a bit and the stock set up made me reach too far. On the ADV version the shield is smaller than the non ADV version. The KTM crash bars are attached by brackets, not a solid one piece soldered. I was a little surprised by the set up. Seems you have a lower bar simply attached to the frame of the bike by clamps & screws. I am sure there is integrity here but never noticed that the stock OEM crash bars were just an add on.
One more thing about the sales guy here. While he was telling me all accessories on this bike I was looking at were made by KTM I said not the panniers. They are Touratech with a KTM decal on them and he again had to correct me by saying no they are KTM stock. No worries, I clearly can tell a TT bag especially when the panniers have the TT name embedded on the sides on this bike. I guess I have a personality clash with this guy that he feels the need to correct everything I say.
The seat height. 890 mm unloaded = 35 inches. Not sure what the low setting height is exactly but maybe an inch lower? Still very high for me having only a 30.5 inch in seam. I thought my F8 was high but this bike beats it. The demo bike seen here
Had the seat on high and I could not even get a foot down. I sat on it with the kick stand down. The bike felt top-heavy but I am so used to the Beemer with the tank below the seat. Seat pushes your legs out making me feel even shorter. That could be resolved with having the stock seat sides shaved a bit. Simple cock pit but just enough info at your finger tips.
Why do all bikes seem to come with a huge can as stock?
The bike comes equipped for the first time with Bosch’s new MSC: Motorcycle Stability Control. MSC enhances the existing package consisting of lean-sensitive traction control and ABS featuring a combined braking function with a world first: the first ever lean-sensitive cornering ABS. Sounds good to me even though I am not sure what this means. ;-) Not the most technically knowledgeable rider I have to admit.
Above is the Roadie version. I know this is going to sound superficial but I really do not like the BIG Ass KTM decals on the tank. Look cheesy. I feel that way about Kawasaki motorcycles. I hate their decals. Again, subjective and would be silly if I choose not to buy a bike because of the decals but again eye appeal sometime makes a deal. ;-)
KTM uses the same brakes as BMW. On the KTM roadie the front tire looks so small, like the larger front tire on the ADV version. Overall though, visually the BMW 1200 appeals more to me and I look forward to taking both out for a test ride. Not to buy but for fun and research. We love our F800’s and they are just over a year new. If we were in the market though I am not sure what our next bike would be. That would be decided at the time of course. Here is a side by side of the two BIG bikes that I can’t wait to see who “wins” the battle. Who knows perhaps the Suzuki V-Strom 1000 might be the BIG contender and surprise for the year.
In the end, it does not matter what I think about any bike but I am a consumer and even though I did not ride the new KTM, a visual inspection is always where my first impressions are formed to get me to want to ride a bike. In this case, the visual was not a bad impression and I am curious about the handling and ride. I know with today’s technology both the BMW and KTM will be awesome bikes to ride and will make many many riders very happy.
|Design||2-cylinder, 4-stroke, spark-ignition engine, 75° V arrangement, liquid-cooled|
|Performance||110 kW (148 hp)|
|Starting aid||Electric starter|
|Transmission||6-speed, claw shifted|
|Engine lubrication||Forced oil lubrication with 3 rotor pumps|
|Primary gear ratio||40:76|
|Secondary gear ratio||17:42|
|Cooling system||Liquid cooling system, continuous circulation of cooling liquid with water pump|
|Clutch||PASC™ anti-hopping clutch/ hydraulically operated|
|Ignition system||Contactless, controlled, fully electronic ignition system with digital ignition timing adjustment|
|Frame||Tubular space frame made from chrome molybdenum steel, powder-coated|
|Forks||WP Suspension Up Side Down|
|Shock absorber||WP Suspension monoshock|
|Suspension travel Front||220 mm|
|Suspension travel Rear||220 mm|
|Brake system Front||2 x Brembo radially mounted four-piston brake calipers|
|Brake system Rear||Brembo fixed mounted two-piston brake calipers|
|Brake system||Bosch 9ME Combined-ABS|
|Brake discs – diameter Front||320 mm|
|Brake discs – diameter Rear||267 mm|
|Chain||5/8 x 5/16” X‑Ring|
|Steering head angle||64°|
|Wheel base||1,580 mm|
|Ground clearance (unloaded)||250 mm|
|Seat height (unloaded)||890 mm|
|Total fuel tank capacity approx.||23 l
Unleaded premium fuel (95 RON)
|Weight without fuel approx.||217 kg|