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Old 10-05-2012, 07:52 AM   #48
DesertSurfer
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Joined: Feb 2009
Location: City of the Angels
Oddometer: 1,337
It just takes time...

I have the original concept photos of the 950 Adventure as they were released in Cycle World.... in 2000. Now, that's nearly 5 years before I was able to buy my '04 950 S from the dealer. The original Kiska design was more street oriented then what Meoni helped champion as a "Desert Rally" bike. The big LC8 twin motor was created to introduce KTM into the large street bike category. Without the Dakar participation, who really knows what the original Adventure would have looked like. Thank god someone supported the dirt oriented iterations of the Adventure back then... to give us all the Adventure and SE's.

I was fortunate to speak with Tyler ( KTM tech) at the Bend Rally while standing around my '04 S. I was mentioning how cool it would be to own an original 950 RR ( my bike being the production replica of such). Tyler said he had the luxury of riding an actual 950 RR one summer, which was raced by Paul Krause in the Dakar. Tyler said the 950 RR was easily 70 lbs. heavier then the stock 950 S with all of it's additional bracketry for the front navigation gear, the bracketry supporting the rear tanks, the rear tanks themselves... and the fuel in the rear tanks. And all the added weight made the bike much more top heavy then the stock 950 S / 990 R. I now appreciate the stock Adventure and SE so much more.

KTM probably "had" to make the 1190 because it was just getting burned by the press when comparing the 990 to the GS12 and S10. KTM is not "making" the new 1190 for any of us who really like the Adventure. It's trying to gain International acceptance as manufacturing the best "Big" Adventure bike of that category.

Like I've said many times before ( to deaf ears)... The current KTM Adventure was a mid sized adventure bike at the time. In 2004, KTM could have put a 750cc motor in the Adventure frame and it would have been a success. It would have been a hightech version of the Africa Twin, and considered revolutionary. And it would have won Dakar with Meoni and Sainct as factory riders. KTM went with 950cc's probably because they didn't have the money to make multiple large twin motors between dirt and street. I'm sure if Meoni could have had a 750 twin that was slightly lighter, he would have gone with it.

But for all intents and purposes... KTM is a small dirt bike company, with a small dirt bike company mentality. Things tend to move very slow for them. It took a very long time for the LC8 to get where it is today.

Yes... I think KTM will eventually come out with a smaller, lightweight twin Adventure. But if they were to show concept photos today... it would probably be another 5 years before it makes production ( just like the original Adventure). That's just KTM, late to the game... but first to the finish.

I'm sticking with my '04 950 S as my adventure bike until a lighter KTM V Twin comes out... or Honda re-releases a bad ass version of the Africa Twin. Either way, I'm good for now... very, very good.

( Great to meet you at the Bend Rally... love your build thread too)
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DesertSurfer screwed with this post 10-05-2012 at 07:59 AM
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