Niall's Spin: KTM 990 Adventure

The KTM 990 provies a firm, positive ride but fails to impress when comes to being comfortable

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I ASSUMED, WITH its off-road heritage, the KTM 990 Adventure wouldn't be the most comfortable bike on a long road trip. Well, I was wrong, as I discovered during an epic lap of France last winter. Sure, the seat is a bit firmer than the Triumph Tiger's or BMW GS's but my bum still remained far from numb during the services-to-services 150-mile stints. The riding position is also roomy, plus the screen provides a good shield should the elements turn against you.

The quality continues down to the White Power suspension, which provides a firm, positive ride. Comparing it again to the Triumph or BMW the skinnier KTM is more nimble and much easier to flick around on twisty B roads.

Should you decide to go off-road there's no comparison. The lighter Adventure will win every time whether you're on mud or dusty trails. The 990cc V-twin feels more like a big single with its instant pick up and wheelie-inducing torque. It does want to rev however so you will have to be prepared for more gear shuffling than the competition.