We have always been intrigued by the KTM bikes and their rugged ADV looks but as far as a bike for us and our riding they are a bit over kill.  Sure is a great ADV bike and from everything we read while comfort may be lacking on the pavement, this is a great choice for rugged off road terrain. 

2012 KTM Adventure ABS (R) | Preview

Tom Wera


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2012 KTM Motorcycle

Regardless of your destination, the 2012 KTM Adventure 990 was designed to take you there.

And with 115 horsepower on tap from the 999cc 75-degree V-Twin, the Adventure 990 can take you there rather quickly.

The Adventure 990 returns for 2012 as a carry-over with few upgrades – new orange powder-coated engine guards, newly-designed wrap-around hand guards, a modified center stand for easier use and new colors/graphics.

KTM also continues to offer the “R” model for the more adventurous rider. The KTM Adventure R, offered in a black color scheme, features a longer, 248mm/ 9.8-inches of suspension travel for aggressive riding, a seat height of 35.2 inches and higher ground clearance of 296mm/11.7 inches.

Both the standard Adventure and Adventure R arrive standard with ABS.

Beginning with the motor, the water-cooled V-Twin features four-valve cylinder heads with flow-optimized ducts and two overhead camshafts. The motor has lightweight pistons and connection roads for “decidedly spontaneous responsiveness, underlining its extremely sporty engine characteristics.”

Feeding the KTM Adventure 990 (R) is modern Keihin fuel injection that is also optimized for spontaneous response, allowing the machine to “harmonize raw power with optimum rideability.”

The trellis frame and aluminum subframe were designed to save weight while maintaining torsional stiffness needed for both on- and off-road performance. The KTM Adventure uses WP suspension components with adjustment so the rider can personally tailor the bike to his or her needs.

Braking is all Brembo, with dual 300mm discs up front squeezed by a two-piston caliper, with a 240mm single disc out back also squeezed by a two-piston caliper. The 2012 KTM Adventure 990 and Adventure R also feature standard ABS.

Speaking of the ABS, KTM says “The dis-connectible dual-circuit ABS system developed in cooperation with Bosch offers total protection against over-braking in all sports and touring situations, while maintaining the full effect and perfect feedback of a genuine sports brake thanks to very fine sensors.”

For long-distance comfort, the KTM Adventure 990 features a fairing/windscreen that offers optimal protection from the elements, a comfortable seat for both rider and passenger, and a large 15.2-gallon gas tank for non-stop miles. The oversized gas tank was also designed to support the legs while standing.

KTM says: “There is no shortage of details on the Adventure that distinguish it as a genuine travel enduro: from the practical, easily operated centre stand, the lockable stowage compartment between the tanks and the on-board electrical socket, to the robust engine guard, stable crash bars and hand guards.

“In addition to the standard engine guard, should the worst come to the worst, the Adventure is also equipped with orange powder-coated, extra-stable tubular crash bars, so that the bodywork is not so quickly damaged.”

As for colors, the Adventure 990 is offered in a white or blue color scheme, and the Adventure R in black.

Following are the specs for the 2012 KTM Adventure 990 ABS and Adventure R; as of this writing, the MSRP was not released, but expect to pay around $15,000 for the models.

2012 KTM Adventure 990 ABS / Adventure R Specs:

  • Engine type: 2-cylinder, 4-stroke, V 75°
  • Displacement: 999 cc
  • Bore/stroke: 101/62.4 mm
  • Power: 115hp @ 8750 rpm
  • Torque: 73.8 lb-ft @ 6750 rpm
  • Compression ratio: 11.5:1
  • Starter/battery: Electric starter/12V 11.2Ah
  • Transmission: 6 gears
  • Fuel system: Keihin Electronic fuel injection
  • Control: 4 V/DOHC
  • Lubrication: Pressure lubrication
  • Engine oil: Motorex, SAE 10W-50
  • Primary drive: 35:67
  • Final drive: 16:42
  • Cooling: Liquid cooling
  • Clutch: Wet multi-disc clutch, hydraulically operated
  • Engine management/ignition: Keihin EMS


  • Frame: Chromium-Molybdenum trellis frame, powder-coated
  • Subframe: Aluminum
  • Handlebar: Aluminum, tapered, 28/22 mm
  • Front suspension: WP-USD 48 mm
  • Rear suspension: WP-PDS shock absorber with hydraulic spring pre-load
  • Suspension travel front/rear: 210/210 mm
  • Suspension travel front/rear R Model, 248/248 mm
  • Front brake: 2 x Brembo two piston, floating caliper, floating brake disc 300mm
  • Rear brake: Brembo two piston, floating caliper, floating brake disc 240 mm
  • ABS: Bosch two channel ABS
  • Wheels front/rear: 2.15 x 21”; 4.25 x 18”
  • Tires front/rear: 90/90-21”; 150/70 R 18″
  • Chain: X-Ring 5/8 x 5/16″
  • Silencer: Twin stainless steel silencer with regulated catalytic converter
  • Steering head angle: 26.6°
  • Wheel base: 1,570 ± 10 mm
  • Ground clearance: 261 mm/10.3″
  • Ground clearance R Model: 296 mm/11.7″
  • Seat height: 860 mm/33.9
  • Seat height R Model: 895 mm/35.2″
  • Tank capacity: approx. 19.5 litres/15.2gal – 4 litres/1gal reserve
  • Weight (ready to race): approx. 209,5 kg / 461.9lbs (without fuel)
  • Weight: R Model: approx. 207 kg / 456.4lbs (without fuel)

Info Compliments of Ultimate Motorcycling

Author: advgrrl

Avid ADV rider! This Blog is all about the adventure in adventure riding. Researching new bikes, routes, accessories, learning about other riders and hopefully a great place for others to comment and explore with me. PLUS, up and down's, wildlife, my dogs, my life!

8 thoughts on “NEW 2012 KTM ADVENTURE ABS (R) | PREVIEW”

  1. One of my favourite YouTube subscribers who also happens to ride a KTM 990 Adventure. It’s 44 minutes in length but well worth sitting down with a nice cup, or glass of something or other and watching. The route comprises a combination of good solid roads plus a few mountain passes that only goats and crazy Germans would contemplate – certainly not me LOL.

  2. Well, grrls, besides great pictures and films, on this site: a guy also offers tours of the Alps, either with your own bike or a rental. Even if he normally stays on tarmac, his routes looks very picturesque and enjoyable. So, you may end up riding roads like those for days on end.

    1. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh the Alps…nice BLOG…thanks for the link. One thing though…especially when it comes to Cheryl, we have to do things on our own. Cheryl has a saying….”I can do it my ownself”. She is very stubborn and although will listen and take advise, she has to always find her own way. I love that about her and as you say Hans we may end up riding roads like those for days…one day…sure would be nice to be able to take every other year and just explore riding all over the world.

      I am not against renting which is something we might have to do if we ever get over to Ireland and head down to Africa. 😉

  3. May you be able to enjoy not only your beautiful Country but also other places. I hope you do not mind an advice that popped into my mind remembering some entries on blogs posted by riders that went by Guatemala, my own Country. They were so intent on fulfilling an overly ambitious travel plan, that they missed some very nice sights, some very nice foods and the warm hospitality and admiration bestowed upon travelers that are riding from far away places. They just mentioned the hours spent crossing from border to border, the hardships at the border and that was it.

    So, if you plan to ride to an exotic place, take the time to ride, to walk, to talk to strangers, to eat, take pictures and get a real taste of the place, so that your memories are not only about strange names, long hours on the saddle and many kilometers on your odometer but also of having really been there, not only of having passed through there.

    1. We were just talking about picking places to really explore versus just ride…great advise…sometimes easier said then done but if we ever went over the great Atlantic Pond…we would surely try to slow it down a bit and take a lot more in…plus, stopping to meet many of the readers of this blog who have offered to take us on tours or give us ideas…will be graciously taken advantage of if we ever get the chance to ride out of this Continent.

  4. Some very good advice posted by Hans which can be applied to most places not just those that are considered exotic. In short – ride less, see more.

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