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Old 10-21-2014, 10:41 AM   #1
airwater OP
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Got a 950 Adv, love it, how much better is the 1190?

My bike is 10 years old now and I'm considering my next bike options which are realistically going to be either the new BMW water cooled GS or the KTM 1190 Adv. I ride 90% on road, and split my mileage between touring and commuting so I want a do everything bike I can load up. I can ride on the fast side on tarmac.

I'm keen to get the views of anyone going from either the 950/990 to the 1190 and what they think of it, how much of an upgrade is it? I'm conscious that I will have to lay down around £6,000 additional spend so want to feel more than an incremental improvement for what will be the best part of £6000 additional spend. I know I could take a test ride but I probably won't.

I'm also keen to hear if anyone has ridden the 1190 and decided to stick with their 950/990.

How does the handling, fun-factor and braking compare to the 950/990. I already find the 950 good enough acceleration-wise but I'm sure that there could be more smiles with the extra power. I love the suspension on the 950 but and the fork doesn't bother me so if they've hardened up the suspension to eliminate fork dive on the 1190 this would probably be a bad thing for me? One thing I don't like about the 950 is the really light front end under heavy acceleration making it difficult to change direction, I think this is down to the 21" front wheel but possibly would affect all powerful bikes. I haven't ridden many other machines.
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Old 10-21-2014, 11:47 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airwater View Post
I ride 90% on road, and split my mileage between touring and commuting so I want a do everything bike I can load up. I can ride on the fast side on tarmac.
You're riding 90% pavement? No comparison IMO. The 1190 will make you giggle like a little girl.

After a few days on an 1190, I decided to keep my 990. However, that is only because I'm not riding the big bike as much as I used to so dropping big cash on a new 1190 would not have made sense for me.

I have not ridden the R only the Standard. I was shocked at how well it handled in mountain twisties and how fast and well refined it is. The handling, acceleration as well as the braking/ABS is worlds better than the 990. I like the electronic dial a suspension as well as the TC. For mostly street use, way more than an incremental improvement. Off road, I feel it handles very close to my 990, and that was the standard with the 19" front. Great bike.

I don't think you would be even close to being disappointed, but you should still go ride one first.
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Old 10-21-2014, 11:51 AM   #3
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I've got the 990 adv 06', and after testing the 1190, I'd buy it in a blink of an eye. The handling with the 19/17 wheels was just fantastic, only to look at a corner and the bike was already turning, I was impressed with the power as well. If you asked me, I'd say go for it.
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Old 10-21-2014, 12:16 PM   #4
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If you think the front end gets light under acceleration on the 950, the 1190 certainly won't be better.
3rd gear power wheelies all day.

If you spring for the 1190R you don't give any dirt capability up over a 950, and on the road is no contest. All are great bikes. If you don't plan on much real off road the standard model may be a better option, but I prefer the slower steering and bigger wheels for touring on the R model.
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Old 10-21-2014, 02:46 PM   #5
airwater OP
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Pretty unanimous then.

Is there anything quantitative such as a track lap comparison between the 950 and 1190 you know about? I think that will give me a good idea of 'real world' differences in getting from A to B.
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Old 10-21-2014, 03:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airwater View Post
Pretty unanimous then.

Is there anything quantitative such as a track lap comparison between the 950 and 1190 you know about? I think that will give me a good idea of 'real world' differences in getting from A to B.
No lap comparison data needed. The 1190 isn't going to give up anything to the 950 in the corners and the 950 hasn't got anything for the 1190 out of the corners, into the corners, or down the straights. An inmate here saw 154mph down a straight at his track on his 1190R... thats nowhere land for the 950. But the 950 will get you arrested just as quick as the 1190 will.
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Old 10-21-2014, 03:13 PM   #7
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Yer funny. You "love" your 950, but you want a new bike and want to justify the £6000 cash outlay.

If you want a new bike, go get a new bike. I have no doubt the 1190 is a better streetbike in every way than the 950.

There ya go!
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Old 10-21-2014, 03:20 PM   #8
scudrunner82
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Originally Posted by Chuckracer View Post
Yer funny. You "love" your 950, but you want a new bike and want to justify the £6000 cash outlay.

If you want a new bike, go get a new bike. I have no doubt the 1190 is a better streetbike in every way than the 950.

There ya go!

Hey trouble maker, you get a track bike yet? Just got some new leather for next seasons NYST fun
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Old 10-21-2014, 03:22 PM   #9
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+1 to what oldf said. The 1190 feels 50 to 100% better as a performance bike than my 950. Haven't had one on the track, but my 950 has more than held its own on long and short course asphalt tracks. I am certain I could hammer a 950 on any track with the 1190 and be riding with more margin. The 1190 feels more balanced in spite of the increase in power. And all the "buttons" really work well. Amazing bike.

But I will happily keep the 950 for now, I don't want to start a $20K farkle project just now; maybe later!
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Old 10-21-2014, 04:02 PM   #10
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Airwater, I think you should go for the 1190R, it sounds perfect for what you would like to do. When I get old, I'll trade my LC8 in for one too...lol

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Old 10-22-2014, 10:51 AM   #11
Doug Matson
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Got one of the first three 950's in SoCal back in 03'. Sold the 950 this Jan to get the 1190S. The 1190 is better in every way. Smoother, way better mpg, much better brakes, the traction control and abs off road no contest also the 1190 will turn in half the distance of what the 950 needed . I loved my 950 and i would have kept it just because of that but no room in the garage. Go test a 1190 see for yourself.
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Old 10-22-2014, 12:10 PM   #12
airwater OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Matson View Post
...the 1190 will turn in half the distance of what the 950 needed...
This is pretty big to me because top end on street riding is not lacking with the 950 but if I can turn and stop it quicker, those are big sellers for me. Do other people concur that it turns much faster?
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Old 10-23-2014, 12:03 AM   #13
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10 years is light years ahead...

Even though the 950 has the best damn carb'd hi pro twin put into a dirtbike paired with an amazing frame and suspension when dialed in...It's the bare essentials in an adventure touring package. If you're pounding ruts and rocks in Baja it's a simple and effective tool. In the outback often times less is more. And feedback is all part of the offroad experience.

The 1190 is a sophisticated amalgamation of the best things learned and improved over the 10 years of the 9xx experience... right down to the enth degree of adjustability. These upgrades may not be as greatly appreciated pounding bumps along Baja's sand washes heading into San Felipe. But challenging a 700 mile day from point A to Mt. B along every road condition will highlight all the electronic brilliance built into this bike and allow you the energy to hop off the bike at the end of the day... And step into a line dancing contest to win the cowgirls hand.

My experience riding the 1190 revealed that it's silky smooth... From every aspect. Granted you really need ample time to learn it's adjustments and settings. But it's truly light years ahead of the 950. Where the 950 is a pair of Carhartt jeans... The 1190 is a James Bond Tux., always impressive yet ready to kick some serious ass!
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:19 AM   #14
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I've ridden both versions of the 1190 and they are both solid machines. I personally don't want or need the amount of electronics on the standard so I'd choose the R but if I was 90% road warrior, the standard does handle a bit better with the 19/17 wheel combo.

Go ride them and I'm sure you'll want either over the Church of BMW offerings.

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Old 10-23-2014, 11:54 AM   #15
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One small comment. People (and tire manufacturers) like to throw out the on/off road percentages, because it is simple, but it doesn't really matter that only 10% of your riding is off-road, but what kind of offroad that 10% is. My old 950 (and my current one) really only got 10% off road usage, but that offroad was difficult singletrack that I would never take my GS on. I probably wouldn't take an 1190 on either due to the 19" front wheel (though I've not yet had a chance to test one, so I remain willing to be convinced otherwise.)

The difficulty of the off road means accepting limitations on road. Knobbies don't grip like pilot powers, 21" front wheels don't handle as well. And of course the reverse is also true. MT90s are decent compromises, but there are lots of places I wouldn't take them.
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