Arctic Challenge Part 2: KTM 990 Adventure vs. BMW R1200GS Adventure & F800GS


Roughing It

In Part I of the Arctic Challenge we looked at how the BMW F800GS, R1200GS Adventure and KTM 990 Adventure fared on the road. This week the bikes take to the dirt as we try to find the king of the adventure hill, in our survey of the three most asked about adventure bikes for 2009.

On the road, things were bleak for the F800GS, but soon as we’re off the pavement the cards get reshuffled. Hitting our first section of dirt outside of Williams Lake I’m initially smitten by the F800GS. For those new to Adventure riding or with moderate dirt skills, the F800GS is the most manageable, immediately accessible and easiest to get along with mount in our adventure armada. Primarily that is a function of mass, the F800GS is a light 185kg compared to the R1200GS Adventure’s 223kg or KTM’s 209kg… before we heaped luggage on the bikes anyways. Get into anything slow, tight and technical and the F800GS scoots away while the other bikes are being hefted about.

Then there’s the ergonomics; the F800GS is narrow, with the bars and pegs well positioned for comfortable standing, which means you don’t suffer the seat’s torments.

We conducted a tire change putting all three bikes on Continental TKC80 in Whitehorse, YT before proceeding onwards to the Dempster and Alaska’s dirt roads, but we also tracked our tire usage.

And oh, how the KTM loves to consume rear tires! It chews them up and spits them out. The R1200GS Adventure, massive weight pressing down on the rear end, comes a close second. Running TCK 80s we expected a maximum of 5000kms out of the rear on either bike, and weren’t far off.

KTM ate its rear TKC 80 in 5,300 kilometers and the R1200GS Adventure managed approximately 6000kms before a change was required.

But if you’re considering consumables then F800GS takes the lead, running 7200km (from Whitehorse, to Inuvik, to Fairbanks, to Valdez, and finally home to Vancouver) on a single rear.

The 798cc parallel-twin rasps through the massive bazooka exhaust, with a note that we’ve decided is rough and fruity. The engine is smooth also, with our previous test of the F800GS we found the vibe irritating, but our F800GS’s plant lost its buzz as it finished breaking in. The engine is strong and torquey, with a range from easy going and tractable power through to “break the rear end loose throttle gooning”. The only glitch is that the throttle is abrupt from open to close, but much less so than the KTM 990 Adventure’s.

There are other issues for the F800GS. Unfortunately the same weave afflicting our F800GS on pavement extends to groomed gravel roads as you exceed 110kph, something that we didn’t find with our previous test of the bike. Part of this is due to the rearward bias of the load, but cost cutting suspension factors in as well. Indeed, the front forks are the least sophisticated of the 3 bikes, and despite being 45mm Marzocchi units are un-adjustable and feel cheaply-chattery on choppy surfaces, failing to soak up impacts over potholes. Also as the F800GS consumes the under-seat stored fuel, the rear lightens, transforming from composed at full to pogo-stick nearing empty. That makes the mud spraying over the mini-GS’s too-short beak and windscreen onto your visor seem minor in comparison.

We’re aware that the F800GS occupies a different adventure niche than the KTM or GSA, being more overgrown dirt-bike than the Goliath adventurer the BMW marketing machine works so hard to convince us we need. For all that the F800GS offers, an attractive size and weight and price point, it isn’t in the same class as the other two bikes.. to make it so requires aftermarket upgrades; primarily a seat, a windscreen, hand guards, drop-guards and suspension work. You can’t fault it for the dirt-bike mindset, but there are revealingly flimsy elements that tell a tale of weight savings and cost cutting; the already commented on radiator mounts, similarly broken mounts for the instrument cluster, and a chain which proves itself frail compared to the KTM’s “moor the QE” offering.

The Dempster has a fierce reputation, and to maintain that reputation it has to abuse your bike. For us that provided a test of build quality and durability. Both the KTM 990 Adventure and BMW F800GS were inadvertently subject to a drop testing, and faired well. Luckily, we avoided this with the BMW R1200GS Adventure as there was no crane handy.

The F800GS came out of the ride the worst, taking the most damage, but also showing the most signs of general wear, tear, corrosion from road chemicals and abrasion from ride gear against the bike. We discounted the damage done by previous usage.
– Broken chain
– Cracked headlight glass, largely in due to the R1200GS Adventure. Some bikes chuck pebbles, some rocks. The R1200GS Adventure boulders, which probably lead to the R1200GS Adventure’s only damage…

BMW R1200GS:
The R1200GS stood up well to the elements, natural and chemical. Some abrasion occurred on the tank, but that was later polished out.
– a snapped off it’s rear fender… likely it was trying to chuck a bolder. Word to the wise, do not follow this bike closely.
– Sidewall slashed TKC 80.

KTM 990 Adventure:
The star of the show was the KTM 990 Adventure, of the three bikes it withstood the adventure the best, only showing a few scratches on the hand guard after being dropped and showing the least amount of wear.
– Minor crack on signal light.
– Slight scratches on hand guard.

Cleaning on the Road:
If a bike is clean it’s easier to spot issues before they become critical, and we’re fans of scrubbing the bikes down and having a look. So it’s worth noting that the KTM with its broad flat surfaces is easiest to clean while traveling. The BMW’s, however, are pocket universes filled sharply angled metal ready to slice your hands open, making them a pain to clean.

At 10,250kms a link gives out at the junction of Highways 37 and 16 on our return from the Arctic. Riding ever so gingerly, we limped the F800GS the 110kms to Smithers, with only the inner side of the link holding the chain together. Kudos to Smithers Harley Davidson, who jury-rigged a link from another brand onto the chain getting us on our way.

But, if the F800GS feels under-built then the R1200GS Adventure is its antithesis.

There is no sense of delicacy here, only substance, weight and inertia. Your chief weapons are momentum and surprise… constant surprise at just how capable this leviathan is at plowing, bashing and bruising its way through the worst of all possible conditions. BMW has been throwing the word “unstoppable” around and the BMW R1200GS Adventure is… once it’s moving.

Where the other bikes get flighty, the GSA barges through staid, solid and unflinching. Pea-gravel? Yes, bring it on. The others will be scatting around, but the 350kg panzer sinks in, digs in and churns through with disturbing calm. Gravel? No worries. Fine talc? The GSA drops Titanic-like, hits bottom, finds grip and keeps going. Mud? Same deal, it has to be axle deep, Dempster deep, before the R1200GS Adventure loses its bruiser cool.

Traveling from Telegraph Creek to Dease Lake on a road treacherous with mud and vertigo, the R1200GS Adventure chews and gouges its way up 20% inclines steadily, traction control system moderating the power and keeping momentum going rather than letting the rear wheel spin and slip… one technology that helped keep us away from the precipitous drops.

The other is ABS. The F800GS’s is aggressive, and KTM’s more so, letting you slide the rear and even the front a bit before kicking in. The R1200GS Adventure nannies you, activating with moderate provocation, but that lets you to use the 110/80 R 19 front tire’s stopping power indiscriminately – given it’s as large as most dirt bikes rear tires, there’s a lot of power there. Of all the bikes, the GSA I’m most likely to leave the ABS active, call it weight management.

In dry conditions, we’ve been more willing to dial back or turn the traction control system off completely. There is nothing as giddily exciting as breaking the rear of the R1200GS Adventure free and powering thru dirt road corners at 130kph (we’re looking at you Kevin).

It’s amazing what the R1200GS Adventure will let you get away with. At low speeds the bike is well balanced. Without a lot of practice the GSA’s sheer breadth will discourage you from single-track thoughts – the KTM and F800GS have that advantage. Then there is the moment your feet touch the ground and the GSA reveals itself as heavy, tall and cumbersome – which it is. The GSA though shows up the KTM in multiple ways; weather protection, tank range, comfort and parking-lot manoeuvrability, thanks to a “kiss your own taillight” turning circle (provided you’ve any momentum at all).

The price is weight (and the price $28,212.80 give or take), romping the big white elephant through the back-country or the twists is an active effort, as vastly rewarding as the bike is huge, but exhausting too. On an energizing romp between Dawson, YT and Chicken, Alaska, standing comfortably (the pegs are positioned just right compared to the width of the bike and the bars) and chucking the GSA through the corners I’m having a laugh.

Reaching Chicken though, I’m a ball of sweat, ready for a new fitness routine and a nap, meanwhile those on the lighter BMW F800GS and KTM 990 Adventure are still feeling fresh. I also need a sports drink, I’m parched from eating the KTM’s dust.

The KTM 990 Adventure is the wild child of this bunch. Madder, harder and brasher than the BMWs, the 990 is as subtle as an explosion in a pumpkin patch and 1000 times as entertaining. The bike is phenomenal…

Its lineage can’t be challenged, the 990 Adventure’s ancestor is the 2002-4 950 Factory Dakar racer, and you can feel the rally racer heritage compared to the softer BMWs. It’s shot through with KTM’s “bleed orange” mindset, and this is after the softening of its 950 Adventure precursor, and without the hardening of the meaner R model whose suspension travel height puts it out of reach of most sub 6-foot tall mortals.

Where the BMW R1200GS Adventure is augmented by Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA) gee-wizardry, KTM just runs with the best in the class, making the BMWs also-rans. On the R1200GS Adventure you need to pull over and set the ESA at a when transitioning from the pavement to off-road modes. On the F800GS you’ll never quite feel at ease with the over-reactive front end on pavement or dirt. On the KTM fly on, fly on… Adjust? Tweak? Slow down? These are not your concern, gun it and go.

Not that you really have a choice. The KTM’s throttle control is still a jerky affair when you roll-off then roll-on, the fuelling is marginally better than the last generation’s, but nowhere near as linear as the GSA or usable as the F800GS. The throttle is also light, fine when you want a reactive bike, but demanding wearying attention when you just want to settle down and maintain speed.

This is not a settle down bike, the KTM’s hardcore ethos is its long adventure downfall, as the bike lacks BMW’s consumer comfort refinements. How much gas do you have left? Don’t know, there’s no gauge. What’s your remaining fuel range now that you’re in the middle of nowhere and have been burning fuel with abandon? Couldn’t tell you. Ambient temperature? Well, it’s not sleeting out, you can’t see ice, so it’s above freezing. Still, best turn on the heated grips? Oh, there are none – until Kevin snaps and installs a set at night during a downpour in Dease Lake. Plug in the heated vest or any other motorcycle-centric accessory? Oh, they’ve switched to a regular automotive cigarette lighter outlet for 2009… These are little things that wear away at the adventure riding experience, and after a month grate – though not near as much as the buffet from the windscreen.

The great equalizer is the grin. The 990 Adventure is an over-exuberant, intoxicating, orange addiction. While you can relax and “tour” on the other bikes, the KTM induces a different throttle response, leaving blown mind tatters strewn across the dirt. The KTM doesn’t want to be coddled, ridden slowly, or relaxed, it wants 180kph on a dirt road, slewing the rear end through corners and trying burn outs.

If your want is a safe, sane tour of a continent, look elsewhere my friends.

Yet, despite its hooliganism, the KTM is utterly planted, and when it isn’t it is utterly predictable. So is Hannibal Lecter, a shotgun or a barroom brawl. The KTM encourages you to more and more ludicrous speeds, feeling like nothing could go wrong, letting you write and cash bigger and bigger checks… but what happens when the account comes up empty?


31 Comments Add yours

  1. Mark Jones says:

    Great article. After owning a BMW R1150GS and a KTM 640 Adventure, I can agree to much of what is being written about these bikes. The BMW is the best, easiest to ride, while the KTM is more of a hardcore, balls-to-the-wall, jump on and hang on for dear life kinda bike. Good review of the 800GS and its weak points. It may not be what I was hoping for after all. Thanks


  2. Mark,
    Also remember the context of the review. I think that the F800GS would have faired better on a shorter more technical ride than either of the big bikes. Depends truly on what sort of riding you have planned.


  3. Steve Lavigne says:

    I always love it when these articles get to the description of riding the KTM 990. BTW, if you let the bike run for 15 minutes from cold without touching the throttle, it will recalibrate the computer and the jerkiness will be gone.


  4. Sjarsk says:

    Great article, entertaining writing, thanks for sharing!


    1. You’re welcome. Glad you enjoyed it and I hope it proves useful.
      – Neil


  5. ScottyG says:

    Thanks for the great review guys – I’m in the market for my first Adventure Bike & was asking myself all the questions you answered for me. I am after a more off-road orientated adventure bike so KTM here I come!


    1. It’s a great fun beast ScottyG! We’ve a friend who just bought a 2010 and is finding that the revised fueling and subtle change in weight distribution has left the 990 better off road than the 2008 generation.


  6. Tom Anderson says:

    Thank you Gentlemen!!!

    I am a former road racer- Super Bike, Super Sport and of course the little 600s as well, also Moto X for the younger years. I have had in the neighborhood of 20 bikes over the years and I can say that I loved and hated each and every one or one reason or another.

    Your objectivity in the article is great and appreciated I have ridden the three bikes reviewed over short rides (-150 Miles) and can say for me the KTM has it. I still like to have fun when I ride and find the KTM the best for that. If one day I feel the need for a U boat to take in the scenery instead of enjoy the visceral feeling of riding a bike I may opt for the Big BMW… Or a Cadillac DTS I feel isolated in/on either.

    My newest bike is the KTM 990 Adventure R and all I can say is WOW!

    Thanks again for the wonderful Article,


  7. jobark says:

    Great write up! Amazing you guys never dropped the fully loaded 1200GS, not even in the mud. I would have liked to hear how hard it was for one person to pick it up after a couple of boggy fall’s. The lighter bikes,no problems. But the 1200GS ?? Now that would be an interesting addition to the story.


    1. I will endeavour to drop the next one we have out so we can find out… No, no, I won’t. My shoulder’s already crunchy from bench-pressing a fully loaded KTM 640 Adventure last ride. There’s a tag line, “Meet the BMW R1200GS Adventure, for when you can hire a mongolian horde to lift it.”


  8. ScottyG says:

    Hi guys, just a footnote to my last post – I am now the very proud owner of a new 2010 KTM 990 Adventure & I couldn’t be happier. My first trip was 2300km from Sydney to Melbourne return via the NSW Snowy Mountains & the Victorian High Country & I still can’t wipe the smile off my face. Thanks again for the great article.
    PS. the 990 comes ALIVE at 7000rpm…


  9. Dieter says:

    Thanks Neil,
    Your analysis of the three bikes are superb. I can actually feel the way each bike handles in your reviews. As if i’m sitting on them as you decribe them. It is also very helpful that you give the bikes personalities. I can relate to that type of characterization very well. Thanks for the best review of these bikes I have yet to read.


    1. Dieter,
      That is the best complement a writer/reviewer could hope for! You’ve hit an important point, bikes and even brands do have character and personality. It comes out in quirks, features and handling, but the sum of those elements amounts to character.
      Be well,


  10. Rob says:

    Thanks for the great information from the real world. I have been reading a ton over the last week on the catagory as I am debating pulling the trigger on a 2009 R1200 GS in good shape, but it is snowy here in Alberta and a test drive is out of the question. Being 6’2” and about 215lbs I think I have found my answer after reading your review.


    OH, and the ride you based the reviews on is now on my list!


    1. Rob,
      Glad we could help. I highly recommend the ride, check out the videos if you haven’t already:
      R1200GS is downright comfy at 6’2″, KTM is a bit cramped at the hip for me and I share the same stats.


  11. Rob says:


    Thanks again for all the great info, and I will be sure to check out the videos!

    Not sure if you get involved in this kind of advice, but figured I would ask anyway. How do you or (or anyone else in the know) feel about this for my first GS, though by no means my first bike:

    2009 R1200GS
    Equip Package 1, Safety Package, New rubber, and set of three paniers (forget brand, not BMW)
    Warranty until April 2011
    19 000kms (bought by tour company, ridden to Alaska and Yukon two summers ago by client, bought back by dealer)
    Some dings and scuffs, but service records are good and no record of serious parts replacement or accident
    With some dickering I think I can get them down around $13000.00
    New in Canada these days the well equiped 2010’s/11’s seem to be well past $20 000. I don’t mind spending money when appropriate, but don’t mind saving some either!

    Again, not sure if you care to comment, and no offence taken if you don’t.



    1. Rob,
      I can’t really comment on price, because I’ve not been paying attention to the market, but that seems a hell of a deal.
      Most touring companies are pretty good about maintaining mechanicals, and that little bit of warrantee helps. These are go forever bikes, and generally they get traded out of fleets due to milage. We Canadians seem to think 19,000 is high, but a BMW R-engine is just getting warmed in by that point.
      If you can find the name of the tour company, you might be able to see what their maintenance track record is.


  12. Rob says:


    That is good advise, and good to hear. Thanks again for the information, and congratulations on the best website on this topic I have seen, period.

    Hope to be part of the GS family soon!



  13. Rob says:


    Just thought I would let you know that I am now the proud owner of the 09 R1200 GS menioned before. There was a “slight” mixup in the price I was quoted originally, but I still think I got a pretty good deal. Thanks again for the info here, it was a big help.



  14. Curtis Kinoo says:

    Let me first begin to say a warm and special “Thank you Neil.” I have been following your channel now for the better part of a year and marvel at your wonderful life force…

    Your attention to detail is brilliant! With that said, I truly understand how hectic a pace your mind works in defining and redefining these (moto) tests. I have seen all your workings on YouTube and this channel, just to name a few. 🙂 You have many fans on the inter-web just craving your holy grail reviews on just about any subject under the sun.

    -As many readers have warmly stated before on several posts that your reviews on these bikes are probably the best so far on the web. Good on you!

    So the point of this post is to alert you to my new 2011, 990 R coming within the next few months and a planned month long journey into the Canadian Outback. First things first though; A ride south, via Portland to north-eastern Nevada for some dry lake bed camping. Really… I need a bit of warmth before heading north… 🙂

    Neil… I notice that within all your video’s with the 990 that you never equipped it with tank guards. Why? I understand that these bikes were loners, but why did you not equipped it with a bit of protection? Are the tank guards really needed on this bike for better protection? I’m just curious….

    I’ll keep this short and sweet; but again a very, very grand Thank you for all you do. Your Mum must be proud of you. 🙂




  15. Jaba says:

    Great article! Im convinced, I just ordered my 2011 ktm 990 adventure Dakar. Should be here by April 15. If your buying one in the next month or two, ktm is giving away a free $1000. GPS Garmin 665


  16. Thinking Green says:

    Great article. I really enjoyed it and it seemed accurate and fair well done!
    Although there’s nothing wrong with the good ole KLR650!


  17. Jaba says:

    Ive had the klr 650. It was a great bike until I test rode the KTM 990. It was like getting off a bicycle and getting on an explosion of fun. If you enjoy the KLR, I would advise you to not test ride the KTM or the BMW. All in fun, Keep riding til your cheeks fall off!


  18. Thinking Green says:

    Ive had the klr 650.It was a great bike until I test rode the KTM 990.It was like getting off a bicycle and getting on an explosion of fun.If you enjoy the KLR, I would advise you to not test ride the KTM or the BMW.All in fun, Keep riding til your cheeks fall off!

    Now why would I be so foolish as to do something like that? It’ll just cost me more money as well as a load of work selling my wife on the safety merits of the 990 and why I “need” a sfer bike. No, for now ill stick with the bicycle. Well, I have been eyeing the KTM at the motorcycle shop, but hey that’s juts looking. 🙂


  19. Thinking Green says:

    Now why would I be so foolish as to do something like that? It’ll just cost me more money as wellas a load of work selling my wife on the safety merits of the 990 and why I “need” a sfer bike. No, for now ill stick with the bicycle. Well, I have been eyeing the KTM at the motorcycle shop, but hey that’s juts looking.

    I’m not sure what happened to my spell check on that one.


  20. Darryl says:

    Hey Neil.

    Just wanted you to know that “Kilter” (The F800GS)is doing just fine here in Ontario having recovered from the performance anxiety you boys put it through. The rad is still cable tied in place (without a need to replace it) and it has been fitted with lots of guards and bling making it much better suited to that type of Adventure Riding. The chain breakage issue you experienced was a result of a bad batch of chains that BMW has since recalled. (Scratch one off the “we broke it” list!) Affected owners were treated with a new chain and both sprockets installed under warranty.

    I’ve put a lot of miles on it since I bought it and still haven’t got used to that seat. I’m able to combine gas stops with butt breaks so it’s bearable. After three 8 hr days in the saddle it seems to be less of an issue. Still wouldn’t trade it for any other bike!

    Keep up the good work.

    ps….how do I buy the DVD?


    1. I’m just about finished cutting a digital download version, will that do rather than the DVD?


  21. Darryl says:

    Sounds good!



  22. Gstreff says:

    Hey Neil
    Have to add my good experience with my F800GS to the list here.
    I have probably put 25% dirt/trail and 75% tarmac on the bike. Rode it to Mexico City and back first trip out. Really wondering about the high speed weave reported in the test story. Have pushed mine past 100mph with full loaded Holan panniers and full camping gear on the back without a hint of weave or wobble. ??? Mine is equiped with nice Wild Heart crash bars from South Africa that contour to the lines of the bike, no more than minor scratches from dropping it several times off road, on places like Imogene Pass by Teluride. No radiator damage either. The seat is very much hard as experienced in the test but I have found that the addition of an AirHawk seat cushion, adjusted properly, puts butt-ache out to about 500-600 miles before its noticable. No chain problems… mine went to 7000 miles before it even needed much more than a tightening (mine replaced after 7K as noted in a previous comment about the chain recalls). I installed a taller BMW touring windscreen with an adjustable MRA Vario deflector mounted at the top. Using BMW hand guards with this combo the wind goes right over top of my helment with NO buffeting at any speed. Its not to tall or in the way for offroad and up on the pegs. Other than the problematic jarring washboard handling of the front forks….. by using some normal, affordable aftermarket parts, the test really could have turned out differently. I push the bike quite hard and find it quite stable on the road and sure footed off road.


  23. Craig says:

    I own a F800 GS and it has been at Lynchburg, Battley’s, Bob’s, and Morton’s.
    This is really a review and telling of my experience with my bought brand new motorcycle, and BMW and it’s dealers not just Battley although they seemingly did their best to screw up my motorcycle and me.

    I just picked up my F800GS from Mortons BMW after they had it for a month for repairs this time. They finally decided to replace the fuel pump even though the time before last they should have replaced it instead of making me take it to them again and have to torture my friend for a ride to pick it up again.
    On top of it the guy at Mortons gave me a hard time about picking it up “finally”!! I then said well if you had replaced the fuel pump the last time you would not have had to keep it for another month and then replace it. He said there was nothing wrong with the fuel pump last time. I then said the trouble codes were not a clue that it needed replacing and he said no.
    I could see it was pointless trying to comunicate with him so I stopped.
    I wanted to ask him well why did you replace it this time.

    The last time Battley had my motorcycle they said it was ready for pick up and when I tried to drive it off their lot the handlebar had to be turned way to the left for the motorcycle to go straight. Battley refused to fix the problem they caused. My motorcycle was not like this when I took it to them. Another dealing with Batlley was when I paid them for my first service. I had waited all day for the motorcycle and at night when it was ready before I rode it away I noticed some oil on the left side of the engine and I just figured it was some oil they had spilled and forgot to wipe off. When I looked at my motorcycle in the daylight the next day oil was all over the engine and there was obviously some thing cracked or a leaking gasket.

    Non of them have made my motorcycle right, in fact some of them have made the motorcycle worse/broken it when they got their hands on it.
    When a BMW dealer says my motorcycle is fixed and ready to pick up, I have learned to always ask are you sure? Nothing is falling off, cracked, leaking, etc. The BMW dealers always say yes but then when I pick it up oil is coming out of the engine, the front end alignment has been destroyed, etc. etc.
    BMW and the dealers do not seem to care if I am killed, maimed and harmed in some fashion by riding their death trap. I say this because they knew the motorcycle had problems and sent me out to ride it and break down on major highways in traffic traveling at 70 plus MPH. I was fortunate that I was not run down by a truck or some other catastrophic event did not happen…yet. They seem to be trying though.
    The dealers always say there is nothing wrong with my motorcycle and try to blame the break downs, bolts falling off, not shifting,leaks, non starting, etc. on me.
    They say ridiculous things like: I do not know how to ride, the oil that is recommended in the owners manual is the problem, etc.
    They seem to think I love asking friends, family and my work constantly help me with my breakdowns. All the dealers are too far away and I waste most of a day or whole days dropping of and picking up my motorcycle from them.
    They all seem incompetent and hateful.
    I do not know if it is BMW Motorrad that makes them such horrible dealers or what. But BMW HQ defiantly needs to blow up their structure/management and start from scratch.
    All my dealings with Motorrad have been abominable also logic and decency do not seem to be in their customer service plan. I have tried being, calm and logical with them but they have proven by their actions and none action to not understand logic, there products and services.
    The time before last I had it at the BMW dealer it needed a fuel pump because it threw codes saying the pump had problems/faults and the motorcycle did not always start. For some reason the dealer did not replace it then. They sent me out on the roads only to have me come back again and again. I now have to ask a friend to give me a ride and waste another day picking it up.

    It seems the dealers have and ride my motorcycle more than I do.
    I should be able to charge them rent for keeping and riding MY motorcycle.
    I bought a BMW because they used to make a good product. I thought they would have good customer service. I wanted to love my purchase/BMW, but BMW and it’s dealers seem to have conspired to make sure I hate even the thought of BMW!
    Do not buy a BMW the dealers are too far and the way the dealers and BMW have treated me and others is heinous and shameful!
    I wish I had something good to say about my BMW and BMW in general but I do not.
    I also own a KTM(love it), and a Suzuki now, and a friend owns a Kawasaki and a Yamaha they seem to be good motorcycles and at least some of the dealers have proven to be much closer and more customer service oriented and helpful.


  24. Curtis says:


    The KTM 990R, (2011) is now 250mi. (U.S.) and is beyond words at this point! So simple to work on if something goes awry. The power band is extreme for this class of bike and what it is intended for. Did some dirt last two weeks in eastern Oregon and bout nearly killed myself on the torque band! It was so pleasurable not to use full throttle to get the wings spinning aloft. Just synergy in art of pure weight to horsepower! Damn this bike rocks on the highway. I was cruising on a twisty’s when these jerks of crouch rockets punched it and flew passed me doing about 48mph (U.S.). I mean these twisty’s were tight and I knew they were capable riders, but for God sakes!

    I looked in my rear view mirrors and saw six more riders coming up behind me fast and, so I decided then to let them go passed. Granted I was behind two cars and I guess they needed to go somewhere fast! Later on into the ride of pleasure I saw three riders down, with one car involved. As I grew closer the scene ever grew into nine cars involves. Road jam! There were cars pulled off on all sides of the street and bogs on both sides. I parked the KTM 990R off to the side and assessed the situation, as I am a medic in orthopedics’. A few broken bones and some contusions to a few of the riders, other than that all was well. Paramedic’s were called and there was nothing more that I could do.

    No one dared to venture off the four lane road into farm land that engulfed both sides of the road way. Too soft and you “WILL” absolutely not make it around the jam! It was for certainty! After that thought a gentle grin besieged my minds eye and laid hold forever a GRIN upon my childish face….

    I could just see the emergency vehicles asking “Does anyone own a helicopter, Bull Dozer or a KTM to help out? I was all about me on the Black Stallion; and I was not about to sit still for who knows what. Walked up the “Orange Crush” and said to the Alien, (That is its name), are you capable? Just then I remembered my past on my Honda XR 650L in the dirt and this new bile was more than capable. Enough said.

    I spent the last four minutes scanning the terrain and decided to go East where the pack was thickest. Booyakasha! I mounted the Austrian horse and people looked @ me with awkward grins, as if to suggest where the ‘Hell’ does he think he is going in this mess.

    I nodded once and pointed my nose into the cross wind. The Akrapovic’s were given four smooth throttles as to my intention and with a quick throttle in first I over took an eight, (8 ft. US) slope down into farm country and smoothly plowed my way about the man made Enduro farm land. Crikey Mick!! To be nice I stopped in a clearing when it was safe to do so and looked back into the mess. Mouths dropped and heads turned in my direction I took it all in…. Who knows what they were thinking. From my stand point I was free…

    It was great to be Free!

    This is what the bike does for one soul. It let’s you invent….. and I mean quite literally. That is.. if you are capable! The crowed looked on, as I mounted the stallion. Slowly I did so that they could see the human potential of its creation.

    With the bike in First Gear I made quick process of the dirt beneath my rear wheel and was gone! I exited one the field some miles up and when I hit the pavement; I so wanted the dirt again. Pure pleasure!

    Oh! I was doing 90MPH (U.S.) in the corn field for those that was wondering. 75 MPH (U.S.) on average. Upon my destination I hopped off my 990R and walked into my residence.

    My wife said.. “How are honey?” I said “Brilliant.”


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