KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 Touring Motorcycle
The KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 is the most offroad capable touring motorcycle in the big bore segment. Thanks to the long factory offroad racing and Dakar rally competence, the KTM has been able to deliver excellent handling features combined with a sporty performance. The 1190R offers one of the most comprehensive instrumentation, the best power to weight ration, most advanced riding aid systems and the finest offroad handling features. The famous KTM handling is combined with a 21inch front and an 18inch rear wheel which is the best choice on loose surfaces. The KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 is so competitive in adventure touring that even the best medium size touring enduros such as the BMW F800GS Adventure 2015, have great difficulties to compete with the 1190R performance.
The KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 is designed for challenging adventure touring and solo riding, especially on the poorest end of dirt roads in the outback. The 1190R character could be also described as sports touring enduro and the LC8, a powerful V2 engine gives every reason to say so. The 1190R follows the requirements of active adventure riding and the ergonomics are designed from that perspective. Therefore riding in standing posture is an important aspect and a KTM signature feature. There are several ergonomic adjustments such as the foot pegs, handlebar, hand levers and the windscreen, but since the single piece seat is not adjustable and the windshield is very short, the standard 1190R is not as comfortable and versatile as the basic KTM 1190 Adventure 2015 model. Although those parts can be swopped and the hybrid could combine all the best features. After all there is only one small thing that is missing. The cruise control is not available even though the 1190R is ride by wire throttled.
The KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 is also an interesting every day bike. The agility, high performance and stability control features serve also urban riding requirements. Even professional motorcyclists such as the MC police, say that the sporty 1190R is so far the best alternative, covering all the police service aspects and performing very well in the urban city, high way patrol and offroad environments. The police has very demanding MC training programs covering handling techniques on every surface even at high speed and therefore such opinions can be taken seriously.
KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 Features
The KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 is the strongest alternative for demanding adventure touring and there are versatile accessories for every preference. The standard 1190R package consists of a state of the art offroad handling, low overall weight and high performance engine combined with sophisticated riding aid systems. A significant part of the offroad handling features, come from the bigger tyres. The 21 inch front and the 18 inch rear wheels provide more calm steering and sliding behavior on loose and highly compromised surfaces. Of course knobby offroad tyres are an essential part of that and the OE tyres CONTINENTAL Trail Attack II are hardly in line with the true 1190R adventure character. Some of the importers (AU) are offering the 1190R with knobby Continental TKC80 tyres which matches the nature much better.
A fully adjustable KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 WP suspension and the WP steering damper are another spot on offroad riding features, making the 1190R most comfortable in demanding conditions. Potholes, stones and jumps would pull the handlebar and disturb riding, but the WP steering damper eliminates these jerks and rubberized accessory handlebar clamps would complete the 1190R steering behavior even further. The KTM clamp offering has 3 hardness levels, soft, medium and hard. Those who are going to spend a lot of time on dirt roads and trails would benefit the most.
The powerful KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 LC8 twin engine gives a sporty touring enduro character and with ease propels the 1190R even with heavy payloads. The V2 has also long service intervals of 15tkm or 9321 miles which is very good for longer tours. The 1190R is ride by wire throttled which translates together with the anti-hopping clutch into sophisticated throttle response to both directions which is a relevant safety and comfort factor in motorcycle riding. The back torque can be very strong with big twin engines and lead to unintentional rear wheel chattering. Unfortunately the cruise control is not available which is perhaps the only clear short coming of the 1190R, but hardly necessary outside the tarmac.
The KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 average size fuel tank makes the bike lighter in the comparison, but also the rider aware of the nearest fuel station and carrying a reserve canister such as the ROTOPAX for long stretches, even with the improved fuel economy. Unfortunately the 1190R offers only regular fuel mapping as standard feature which is hardly in line with the adventure character. Fortunately there is a solution. An optional plugin fuel dongle provides additional low octane fuel settings and on top additional ABS and MTC features for long term offroad riding. The key KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 features are:
- Seat height 890 mm. or 35.04in.
- Cross spoked rims
- Tyres 90/90 ZR21 and rear 150/70 ZR18
- Engine type V2
- Max performance 148HP and 125Nm. or 92.2ft-lb.
- Alternator 450W
- Chain driven
- ABS integrated (off switchable)
- Traction control MTC (off switchable)
- Riding modes MSC
- Onboard computer
- 12V cockpit power outlet
- Electronic immobiliser system
- Weight fueled 235kgs or 518lbs.
- Payload 223kgs or 491.3lbs.
- Fuel tank 23L, 6.1USgal., 5.1UKgal. (min. 95RON – 89AKI)
The absence of the driveshaft is standard for KTM factory and very much expected feature of the KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015. The chain drive is the most efficient way of transferring the power on the ground, but it also keeps the overall weight as low as possible and therefore maintains the best possible maneuverability. Although X-ring chains are today extremely good, last longer and require less maintenance, the 1190R rider needs to take care of the lubrication regularly. Therefore a chain oiler system, when used the right way, could be a practical way to take care of it.
KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 Ergonomics
The KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 offers versatile ergonomics and several adjustments to fine tune the geometry according to personal preferences. The 1190R single piece seat is designed for active adventure riding which means that longer tarmac stretches are not most comfortable from that perspective. Never the less, there is an option to switch the seats between the basic and the 1190R model without any special modifications. That is good news for those who are looking for something in between the basic and the KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 model. I am one of those and I would like to switch other items too.
The KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 handlebar can be clamped in two positions giving a difference of 10 mm. or 0.4in. The foot pegs can be also mounted in two positions with 10 mm. difference. The regular KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 windshield is very modest, leaves more than enough room to lean forward when riding in standing posture and allows 25 mm. or an inch quick adjustment. A short windshield allows direct and better air flow for efficient riding suit ventilation. On the other hand, the short cover is less comfortable at high speed and creates turbulence around the rider helmet. Fortunately there are 2 alternative OE -windscreens, the basic model 330 mm. (13in) high windshield and the 385 mm. (15.5in) high touring windscreen.
KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 Stability Control Systems
The KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 is ride by wire throttled which translates together with the anti-hopping clutch into a sophisticated throttle response to both directions giving better rider control without the chatter. The distinctive LC8 twin engine is the sportiest in the category and offers performance beyond the reasonable needs. Therefore computer controlled riding aid systems come handy for most of us. The 1190R has one the most advanced stability control systems including riding modes, traction control MTC and combined ABS. The whole riding aid system comes as standard 1190R feature, but there is also one significant detail to take into account.
The KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 BOSCH stability control system MSC provides 4 different throttle management settings in combination with the traction control, but also a complete off setup. The SPORT riding mode gives the most direct throttle response and allows significant rear wheel slipping. The STREET mode is almost the same, but limits the rear wheel slipping into moderate level. The RAIN mode reduces the power delivery down to 100HP and keeps the rear wheel slipping in the moderate level. The OFFROAD riding mode reduces the power delivery, but allows significant rear wheel slipping. The MTC can be also switched OFF providing the maximum performance and riding aid free control for experienced riders. The fact that the MTC and the ABS are automatically put ON after every single engine start without an optional fuel dongle plugin, is quite annoying detail, since the 1190R is especially designed for offroad riding. The plugin keeps the offroad setup ON after every single engine start, but without the dongle, the 1190R rider has to reactivate the offroad setup again and again..
The progressive KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 ABS is a step up from the typical anti locking features designed for tarmac roads. First of all the front and the back end are working combined which means that the hand brake controls the rear wheel braking too. The 1190R ABS control is integrated with the traction control MTC and operated in the same setup menu. The ABS has road and offroad modes, but it can be also turned completely off which is a very important adventure touring requirement. The ROAD mode works as a typical integrated ABS and the hand brake applies for both ends. The special OFFROAD mode allows the rear wheel to be locked without any ABS control while the front wheel is still under the control of the ABS. It works well and would be recommended for most of us, but still the option to set all the riding aid systems off, is a fundamental offroad riding setup for more experienced adventure riders.
The KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 TPMS tyre pressure monitoring system comes as standard feature and helps to maintain proper air pressure levels which is important for the ABS control. Changes in the dynamics may lead to ABS failure. That is one reason why I prefer to keep things as simple as possible and in this case, the plugin fuel dongle would be handy with the permanent offroad setup.
KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 Power Consumption
The KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 alternator offers a moderate 450W capacity which is just enough for a rational power consumption. The daytime running light DRL function, LED indicators and parking lights help to save the energy, but grip heaters, halogen headlights and traveling devices can get the 1190R rider into trouble. The DRL is better than the halogen headlight in the broad daylight, but I would anyhow use a pair of LED auxiliary fog lights to ensure my safety with the traffic. Alone the DRL would be good in the city area at low speed, but not enough in the bright sun light when riding at high speed. The smaller alternator saves some weight, but personally I prefer to have at least 600W available, even though modern travel electronics have today quite low power consumption.
KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 Instrumentation
The standard KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 cockpit instrumentation is very much up to date and clearly comprehensive. From the navigation, fuel monitoring and range point of view, there are 2 trip counters and 2 consumption related values to assist the 1190R rider. Such details are important in the outback and especially with an average size fuel tank. The 1190R has 2 LCD displays with warning symbol lights and a traditional tachometer in the middle. The setup is one the best and very functional. At the left hand side there is also 12V power outlet for travel electronics. The left side matrix LCD display provides detailed onboard computer information which can be also grouped individually and set into a favorite display.
The key KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 onboard computer and matrix LCD display features are:
- Odometer total
- Trip 1 & 2
- Trip time counters
- Average speed
- Average fuel consumption
- Fuel range
- Air temperature
- Battery voltage
- Oil temperature
- Warning messages
- Traction control & ABS settings
- Riding mode settings
- Day time running light DRL settings
- Shifting indicator settings
- Tyre pressure units
- Grip heater settings (optional)
- Service due km/month
Above the KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 segment display there is a shift up reminder light with 2 functions, flashes when the first limit is passed and lights up after the the second limit. The 1190R segment display offers information on:
- Coolant level
- Fuel level
- Riding mode in use
- Gear in use
KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 Equipment Accessory
The KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 is one of the most interesting touring enduro from the tuning point of view. The factory offers versatile accessories and touring equipment, but there is a huge variety of travel, comfort and safety equipment by the equipment producers such as the TOURATECH. I think that the 1190R is quite special adventure motorcycle which should be kept as agile as possible. Therefore a proper saddlebag such as Giantloop would fit very well to the true 1190R nature. Perhaps even together with a pair of panniers, but anyhow without the rear top case which simply eats a big part of the agility. One clever idea made by the TOURATECH, is the navigator stand installed around the instrument panel.
The KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 is easily setup for light adventure and allroad touring with proper tyres, side stand extension, pair of LED fog lights and a pannier set, but depending on rider preferences, a better wind coverage could be made with the basic 1190 model windscreen (330 mm. or 13in) or with the OE -touring windshield (385 mm. or 15.2in). The KTM is not know from the most comfortable seats and the adventurous KTM 1190 Adventure R 2014 single piece seat does not meet every preference. The seat can be customized or changed to the basic model two piece seat with adjustment. Shorter riders and those who spend more time on tarmac and better gravel roads or have passengers onboard every now and then, benefit from that kind of useful details. Fortunately there are also a lot of seat tuning companies meeting various rider preferences.
KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 Adventure Equipment
Since the KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 is highly adventurous touring enduro and good for the outback, I would recommend to buy a set of proper fuel canisters such as the ROTOPAX. Even if they are most of the time empty, there are plenty of long LEGs that require extra fuel on board, at least as a precaution. If those canisters are not there, the rider tends to reroute easily and miss the adventure. The KTM fuel dongle is an important accessory and provides the necessary low octane fuel mapping. On top the plugin allows to switch the ABS and the MTC off for long term basis which is very much an adventure feature. The rougher the route, the more important the damping features are and rubberized handlebar mounts protect the hands and shoulders from sudden impacts and exhausting vibrations. The KTM dealers offer soft, medium and hard rubberized clamps to choose from.
The KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 has the center stand as standard feature which is good for chain maintenance, but a chain oiler system could still support all the efforts nicely. The standard crash bar protects the engine from the side, but not very much the radiators. Taller crash bars and crash bars extensions would be good for more demanding conditions. Even though the 1190R has relative high ground clearance, a proper skid plate would a good idea too since the exhaust pipe runs below the engine and would be damaged easily. Dirt and gravel roads are hard on radiators and headlights and easily removable covers would be practical also from the maintenance point of view.
KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 Comparison
Compared to the BMW R1200GS Adventure 2015, the KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 is 25kgs (55.1lbs) lighter, offers 3kgs (6.6lbs.) more payload capacity, at the front 10mm. more suspension travel and 23HP more engine performance, but the same amount of practical torque, 7L (1.85USgal. – 1.54UKgal.) less fuel capacity and is on top chain driven. The 1190R has only regular fuel settings as standard and the 1190R rider needs an optional plugin fuel dongle in order to use bad fuel. The GSA provides the low octane mapping as basic feature and furthermore the GSA can be equipped with a OE -cruise control unlike the 1190R. On the other hand, every 1190R has a comprehensive stability control system and the GSA -rider just 2 basic settings and 3 optional, but experienced adventure riders tend to set such things off easily.
One of the biggest differences between the KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 and the GSA are the wheels. The 1190R has bigger 21 inch front and 18 inch rear wheels and offers tyre pressure monitoring as standard feature. Bigger wheels are clearly much better on loose surfaces and outside the tarmac roads. On the other hand, the GSA offers a small skid plate, much better wind protection with a taller and wider touring screen. Also the GSA adjustable rider seat provides better ergonomic features and comfort compared to the adventurous 1190R single peace seat. Although the 1190R seat can be changed to the basic model 2 piece adjustable seat and the 1190R has on top adjustable foot pegs too. Basically ergonomics are in order.
Today also the KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 has electronically controlled suspension system EDS as an option, but I find that hardly relevant for adventure riders. In offroad riding the weight becomes a priority and the WP suspension is very good, diversely adjustable and slightly better than the unique GSA telelever. Once the 1190R rider finds the preferred setup, there is really no need to play with it much. Quick changes can be done in seconds anyhow. These touring enduros are quite different even though, they are both designed for adventurous touring. The KTM 1190 Adventure R 2014 is clearly more sporty and capable for more demanding offroad riding. The BMW R1200GS Adventure 2015 is more comfortable and capable of extremely long global allroad tours with slightly less challenging routing scenario, a heavy payload and even a passenger.
VS YAMAHA XT1200Z SuperTenere 2015
Compared to the upgraded YAMAHA XT1200Z SuperTenere 2015, the KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 is 22kgs (48.5lbs) lighter, offers 10kgs (22lbs) more payload capacity, 36HP and 8Nm. more engine performance, the same fuel capacity, but 150W less alternator capacity and no shaft drive. From the equipment point of view, the XT1200 has no crash bars like the 1190R. They both have electronic riding aid systems, but the 1190R is more sophisticated and advanced. Neither of these bikes have low octane fuel settings as standard, but the 1190R can be updated with a plugin fuel dongle. They both have seats mainly for solo riding, but also upgrade alternatives.
From the handling point of view, they both have cross spoked rims for versatile road surfaces, but the KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 has bigger wheels, a steering damper and excellent offroad handling features, creating a clear difference. The 1190R is a lot more sportier adventure touring enduro for demanding conditions. The YAMAHA XT1200Z SuperTenere 2015 is more comfort oriented and traditional light allroad touring enduro for slightly less aggressive routing scenarios.
VS TRIUMPH Tiger 1200XC Explorer 2015
Compared to the TRIUMPH Tiger 1200XC Explorer 2015, the KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 is 32kgs (70.5lbs) lighter, offers 13kgs (28.7lbs) more payload capacity, 11HP and 4Nm. more engine performance, but 500W less alternator capacity and no shaft drive. The 1200XC offers more wind coverage and surprisingly versatile rider seat options, but also cruise control as standard feature. On the other hand, the 1190R has a WP -steering damper and bigger 21 inch front and 18 inch rear wheels which translates together with the offroad geometrics into much better handling features on loose surfaces and compromised roads.
These touring enduros are both very sporty, but the TRIUMPH Tiger 1200XC Explorer 2015 is generally stronger and comfortable in light allroad touring. The KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 is even sportier, more sophisticated, slightly aggressive and handles exceptionally well in demanding conditions and surfaces being one the finest adventure touring motorcycles on the planet.
VS KTM 1190 Adventure 2015
Compared to the basic and less aggressive KTM 1190 Adventure 2015, the KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 model has 30 mm. (1.2in) more suspension travel and ground clearance which translates also to 30 mm. difference in the rider seat height. The 1190R has also tyre pressure monitoring system, center stand and crash bars as standard features, leading to 5kgs (11lbs) more weight and basically less payload. The 1190R wheels are bigger which makes a clear difference in offroad handling. The 1190R single piece seat is designed for active riding and maneuvering which means less comfortable ride on two, but the adjustable basic model seat can be used as an option. The basic model has a lot taller windshield, but it can be also used with the 1190R optionally.
The basic KTM 1190 Adventure 2015 is better for light allroad touring and exceptional challenges. The brother model KTM 1190 Adventure R 2015 is tuned for more aggressive offroad riding mainly on loose surfaces and with less comfort features. Nevertheless I would be making a hybrid of these two fine machines by switching few parts.
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