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Topic: 990 Adventure v. 1200 GS  (Read 37704 times)

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R Doug
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« on: January 08, 2009, 10:36:55 PM »

Ok, say you're looking for a good touring bike to add to the garage.  Let's say you'll mostly ride country back roads and like the flexibility of a few dirt roads thrown in (300 - 400 miles per day on a long trip).

I like the ergos of both bikes.  I like the aftermarket for both too.  I'm also considering a Uly, but I really don't think I can put up with the motor over a long period of time, it does nothing for me except make me dislike it more.  And no, I'm not considering a V-Strom.  Don't even start.  Other bikes on my list are as follows:  Tiger, Multi, and Versys.  But, it's pretty much down to the Adv. and the GS becuase of the better off road ability.  

I've test ridden a 990 Adv. but not a 1200 GS.  I plan to test ride both this year.  But I'm beginning my homework and information gathering process.

So... I start sorting my pros and cons...

Ride Quality:

BMW - appears to be a bit more comfortable and may be better on road than the KTM

KTM - I've not read bad things about it on the asphalt, but I remember the seat is a little narrow from my test ride

Motor:

BMW - never ridden a BMW twin.  

KTM - can you get any better than the LC8 for a twin?  Great motor.

Maintenance:

BMW - owner manual says value adj every 6k, but it seems like I could learn to do this on my own.  Shaft drive so little maintenance on the road.  Closest dealer is 80 miles away from home and it's pretty inconvenient to get to/from.  This would be the very reason I would shy away from the Tiger and the Multi too.

KTM - If it's like my Super Duke, major service is done around every 10,500 miles.  Chain drive; so what, I'm used to it.  Closest dealer is 4 miles away from home.

Price:

With full luggage, Katoom is about $1K less than the BMW based on MSRP.  I know my local BMW dealer is difficult to move from MSRP.  My local KTM dealer will work with me.  Price advantage = KTM.


Right now, I'm really leaning towards the Adventure.  Any comments or words of wisdom?  Am I missing something?

« Last Edit: January 09, 2009, 05:08:51 PM by R Doug » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2009, 10:50:25 PM »

Since it sounds like you're going more for comfort than dirt, I'd recommend the BMW. It can't be beat for comfort and I find that the twin is incredibly smooth on both dirt and pavement. Sure, the KTM might be better offroad, but I'd gauge the choice by just how much "dirt" you intend to ride.

Oh, and the BMW is dead easy to work on. Super easy. And if I say that, this it must really be easy  Bigsmile
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2009, 10:58:03 PM »

Very good information indeed.  Thanks.

I can't wait to test ride a GS.  And, I like the fact I can order a lowered version from the factory.  
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2009, 11:26:37 PM »


 

KTM - can you get any better than the LC8 for a twin?  Great motor.





Did the 990 you rode have a surging FI?  I really wanted to love the 990 but the Adventure that I demoed at the bike show had maybe the worst surging FI that I have ever experienced on a constant throttle.  When I mentioned it to the ride leader, he said they all do that.
Ruined the bike for me.

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a249/Desmolicious/KTM990.jpg
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2009, 11:37:15 PM »

Ride a GSADV and 990ADV.  You have noted the diffs well... 12GS vs. 990.  Rode a 12GS until the ADV came along.  Love it... the appearance, massive range, protection (including from the tank), confident and comfy ride, etc.... and it is still fine on forest roads.  But that LC8 engine.  If only the GS had that powerplant.

For rides over 200+ miles, and at speed on highways, prefer the GSADV.  

For shorter rides, backroads, off roads, prefer the 990ADV.

Would lean towards the GS as well.  Would be a a diverse and sweet complement to your Duke.  
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2009, 11:45:06 PM »



Did the 990 you rode have a surging FI?  I really wanted to love the 990 but the Adventure that I demoed at the bike show had maybe the worst surging FI that I have ever experienced on a constant throttle.  When I mentioned it to the ride leader, he said they all do that.
Ruined the bike for me.
...


The 990ADV rented in Chile had a sensitive throttle and perhaps some minor surging, but it wasn't serious enough to discourage me from this outstanding bike.  The 990ADV in the barn here has a less sensitive throttle and no surging, so no, they don't all do that.
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« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2009, 12:05:17 AM »

Instead of the 990, test ride the last production year of the 950. I suggest that for two reasons:

-The last year of the 950 had many of the problems sorted out that earlier MYs had.
-The 950 is carbureted so there's none of that throttle snatchiness the fuel-injected 990 has.

I test rode a 950 Super Enduro and a 990 Adv at the Phoenix IMS in October. Three of us that rode the fuel injected KTMs (two Adventures and a Super Duke) all found the throttles to be snatchy when coming off idle.

The best description I've heard of the difference between the 9X0 Adv and the 12GS is
THe 9X0 is a dirt bike pretending ot be a touring bike.
The 12GS is touring bike pretending to be a dirt bike.

The engine on the 950 is intoxicating.
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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2009, 09:32:31 AM »


I test rode a 950 Super Enduro and a 990 Adv at the Phoenix IMS in October. Three of us that rode the fuel injected KTMs (two Adventures and a Super Duke) all found the throttles to be snatchy when coming off idle.


Snatchy off idle was a minor issue compared to the constant hunting at steady throttle.  But the description of it being a huge dirt bike is so true, it was the easiest big bike I've ever ridden to do u-turns/balance on.
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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2009, 10:02:06 AM »

It's easy and relatively cheep to make the 990 more comfortable,  is it easy to make the BMW more off road capable?  Besides you already know how to work on the motor.

Go KTM
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« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2009, 10:18:50 AM »

So just what kind of dirt do you think R. Doug is looking for? He specifically said "ride country back roads and like the flexibility of a few dirt roads thrown in (300 - 400 miles per day on a long trip)" So how "dirt" is "dirt? Something like this?





Or even this?



Any of those roads are easy on a GS. But if he's thinking of something more like this then I might suggest the KTM (although it's do-able on an Adventure for sure):




So tell us, R. Doug - just what is "dirt" to you??
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« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2009, 11:13:30 AM »

The former, not the latter.  I have the DR for the latter.   Bigsmile  But, when touring, who knows what I may come across.  I certainly would not intentionally plan on the more gnarly stuff, but crap happens sometimes (case in point)...

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c132/doog71/Motorcycle%20Rides/2008/Ride%207-26-2008%20mud/DSCN0749.jpg

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c132/doog71/Motorcycle%20Rides/2008/Ride%207-26-2008%20mud/DSCN0757.jpg

I really look forward to test riding a GS this year.  I've never heard a bad thing about them.  On paper, it seems the perfect touring bike for me.  But, local dealer support is very important to me.  The KTM seems to be pretty close in comfort to the GS.  Besides, I currently tour in a Super Duke for God's sake, anything with more room is a plus.  And, I don't find the Super Duke to be all that uncomfortable at all.  I would like something with a softer suspension, improved wind protection for those sprints on long straight roads (or slab, if needed), and hard luggage.  

I would like something to tour more roads up north where there are frost heaves, straighter roads, and improved dirt roads (similar to DD's first two images).  So, New England, Canada, UP of Michigan, etc... That's where this bike would live in addition to various rides around home on the off-weather days or exploring new roads which I have no idea what to expect.  
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« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2009, 11:24:20 AM »


So just what kind of dirt do you think R. Doug is looking for? He specifically said "ride country back roads and like the flexibility of a few dirt roads thrown in (300 - 400 miles per day on a long trip)" So how "dirt" is "dirt? Something like this?
.
.
.
Any of those roads are easy on a GS. But if he's thinking of something more like this then I might suggest the KTM (although it's do-able on an Adventure for sure):






I think he may have answered his own question without realizing it. To cover 300-400 miles a day, you're going to spend a lot of time on pavement and a lot of time in the saddle. Rdoug: You should also read the ADVrider thread about windscreen-induced turbulence on the 9X0 Adventure and rider's attempts to cure it. Eight hours of turbulence will tire you out.

I've ridden my 12GS through dry desert washes filled with baby head-size rocks. It was do-able but the bike was a handful.


For something like this though the bike was fine on knobbies.Yours Truly:

http://i147.photobucket.com/albums/r291/billzbucket/misc/P3200020.jpg

« Last Edit: January 09, 2009, 11:26:09 AM by DangerMoney » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2009, 12:17:31 PM »

I'm not sure I can add much to this discussion.  IMO, this really comes down to how much dirt you intend to do on it...and what kind of dirt.  As you've already noted, you have a DRZ for the gnarly stuff.

My quick thought:  

80% road, 20% dirt?  GS.    
50% road, 50% dirt:  KTM 9xx.  
20% road, 80% dirt:  DRZ, etc.

For me and my money, the KTM just doesn't do it.  I just don't do enough dirt to remotely do justice to it's dirt capacity.  And, to be frank, I just plain LOVE the BMW Telelever suspension.  The worse the road, the better it works.

BTW, I've read a lot on ADV about KTM maintenance.  In short, the KTM really does sound like a maintenance hog.  The GS may need a check/adjustment every 6k, but it's a 45 minute check and there's no plastic to come off the bike (which is seriously cool).

Personally, if I had a DRZ, I wouldn't bother with the KTM.  
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« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2009, 01:46:00 PM »

Have you considered a KLR?  (ducks and runs, chortling.)

I had an '04 1150GS and really liked it for pavment and easy dirt roads (USFS roads) and did do a little two track on it, but not much.  I wasn't a good enough rider to deal with the bike's weight.

They are amazing bikes and the boxer engine just churns along with not much vibes.  The GS has tubeless tires, don't know about the KTM.  The KTM sounds much, much better and the newer Katooms have better seats.  Riding buddy rode his 950 from Orygun to Florida and back and never complained about buffeting.  Did get blown over in a Santa Ana crosswind doing 55 mph, but that's another story (He and the bike came out fine and he motored onward.)

The other thing is the width of the Katoom with bags is much wider than GS, basically on the GS if the bars can squeeze through, so can the rest of the bike.

I'd still like a 990 Adv before I hang up my riding boots.  Also might want to PM XLR8, resident Idaho bike whore, who has a 990.
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« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2009, 02:42:37 PM »

If you're keeping the Duke, I'd go for the KTM. All you filters and other odds and end will be the same.


I was working on my 300EXC over the weekend and needed a bunch of stuff...it was nice when I already had it for the 640. Having two bikes that share maintenance items in nice.
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« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2009, 03:11:15 PM »


Have you considered a KLR?  (ducks and runs, chortling.)




 rofl
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« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2009, 04:50:35 PM »

The Sept. '08 "Motorcycle Consumer News" has a comparo between the GS, the KTM, and the Uly; the order listed is the order the finished although to give a better sense of the article's conclusion it was  GS.....KTM............................. ....................................... ....................................... ....................................... ....................................... ....................................... ....................................... ....................................... ....................................... ....................................... ....................................... ....................................... ....................................... ....................................... .................................Uly

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« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2009, 05:05:28 PM »

KTM rules.



Like wow,  I know women who ride a GS,   get a man's bike. Rolleyes
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« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2009, 05:07:36 PM »

I need to read that review.  I would be interested in their views.

I'm assuming they looked at the 12X Uly and not the 12XT.  
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« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2009, 05:37:55 PM »


Like wow,  I know women who ride a GS,   get a man's bike. Rolleyes



 Angry3 Angry3 Angry3

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