For their 1090 Adventure R launch, KTM invited the media to their headquarters in Murrieta, California for two days of on and off-road testing.
An off-road focused model, the 1090 Adventure R is rated at 125 horsepower and costs an affordable $14,699 each, making it more accessible compared to riders their 1290 Super Adventure R. But a lower MSRP doesn’t mean a reduction in quality as KTM does have a reputation for performance that needs to be maintained.
We can go on and on about the 1090-R’s 75-degree LC8 V-twin engine, how it has a smaller bore and a shorter stroke compared to the 1190 Adventure, but off-road performance as where it shines. Greg Drevenstedt from Rider Magazine sat on a test bike equipped with plenty of factory accessories including a skid plate, cleated rally footpegs, plug-n-play dongle, dust protection kit and a special air filter.
One hurdle riders will need to overcome is the 1090-R’s 35-inch seat height, with large-diameter wheels and 9.8 inches of ground clearance contributing to that. Even Greg and his 6 feet tall with a 34-inch inseam had to stand on his tiptoes at a stop.
But if you can overcome the seat height, you’ll find an adventure bike that is easy to steer and very manageable. Especially in Off-road mode, where power and throttle responses are dialed back a bit and there’s just enough traction control to keep you safe while still allowing the rear wheel to slip for some power slides. Then there’s the heavy crankshaft that will keeping the 1090-R even at low rpm’s to get you through challenging sections and climbs.
While the 1090-R may not be that much lighter than the 1190-R, Greg find it to be “more user-friendly, especially in terms of power, throttle response and suspension compliance.”