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Old 04-14-2015, 04:44 AM   #1
therivermonster OP
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990 ADV Fly and Ride Questions

I have recently worked a deal with an owner of a stock 990, however it's some 2300 miles from home. I am considering all the ways to get it back home, and the fly and ride option comes to mind. The thing is the bike is for the most part bone stock including the suspension, and I'm a big boy at 400 lbs; call it 450 with gear and luggage. My first priority when I get it home is suspension, but that's not gonna happen till after I get it home. For those of you out there with experience with the stock suspension, and maybe some of you bigger guys especially, do you think the bike would do OK riding it home on the highway with the stock suspension loaded up that way?

Thanks for the insight!
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Old 04-14-2015, 08:37 AM   #2
oldfuddy
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I don't have a 990, but I would not ride a used bike I don't know anything about for 2,300 miles. If you do, awesome! Bike will prob do fine, but that's a long fly n ride on a used bike. My bud has a the '13 Baja and his runs two-up plus luggage with stock legs (think gross is around 950lbs or so), so you're prob fine if just hwy cruising since the bike should be about 470 or so unloaded. But, it's a risk not knowing anything about the bike and you're going to have to pay for tickets to get there, fuel to get back, and I'm assuming hotels and meals and other trinkets along the way. At the end of the day you could probably have the bike shipped for the same amount or less. Then get the bike, go through it, set it up to your requirements, and then enjoy your first adventure ride with it worry free! Just my take (which doesn't mean diddley squat) of what I'd do if in your situation. Good luck and congrats.
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Old 04-14-2015, 08:51 AM   #3
WanderBeaver
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I have a 2012 990 non R with stock suspension and engine/cans and am 235 lb (minimum) so with gear on maybe 245 lb. I weighed my Gobi panniers/topcase when filled with tools/parts/clothes etc. as well as a filled tank bag and hockey bag for my tenting/sleeping equipment which came to 125 lb if I recall correctly and that didn't account for the weight of the racks that hold the panniers. That's 370 lb and I went 11,000 km like that without the engine laboring nor any handling/ride issues......the engine is very strong like a bull and the suspension was perfect too. Remember they're designed to carry not just the driver but a passenger plus luggage for long distance possibly round the world trips over rough terrain. A solo 450 lb rider with no luggage or at least empty panniers/topcase if it comes with that will be no problem I wouldn't think. Well, unless the last 80 lb over 370 lb causes things to go south quickly, but again they're designed for two up fully loaded RTW trips that would be well over 370 lb. I didn't even have a passenger so had my wife came with me we'd be at 500 lb of people and luggage.

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Old 04-14-2015, 09:18 AM   #4
therivermonster OP
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Thanks for the info. This is good stuff to think about.

I have considered the shipping option, which I've never done. Does that option usually work out successfully for most folks?
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Old 04-14-2015, 09:45 AM   #5
BlueLghtning
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A fly and ride is always a risk with an unknown bike, but if you have the time, don't let the risk stop you. Some guys wouldn't take the risk, but I have done several fly and rides and always had a good time. I made sure that I was very open with the seller that I was riding the bike back and I wanted him to be upfront about any issues or things he might suspect if he was about to go embark on a long trip. If you feel like the seller is being straight forward on the shape of the bike and anything it might need that you guys can agree to take care, then go for it.

You are a big guy, but I wouldn't worry about the suspension. It's not like a fully loaded KTM 990 2up with luggage isn't exceeding that. The bike will be fine. Just keep both wheels on the ground.

So would you at least have an interesting route back vs just a slab back? If you are just going to slab it, then you might as well look at shipping, but if you can make a good trip out of it, go enjoy it!

As for shipping, I just shipped my first bike back in March and it was a good experience. I can share somethings I learned about it. I bought the "Katuki" you see in my signature which is actually a KTM 950 Adventure frame with an SV650 motor. I was actually going to ride this one home from AZ to GA even though the seller actually was advising against it since it was a one off build and it really wasn't proven yet as he had only taken a handful of rides on it since finishing it. I had plenty of time though and was excited about riding it. The problem was 2 days after I bought the bike and my plane ticket, I tore my ACL going on a dual sport ride back home. So moral of the story is if you plan a fly and ride, don't screw yourself up first.

Once I realized I needed surgery, I knew my fly & ride was done and I was forced to look into shipping. I ended up using uShip although I was very hesitant to use this service due some horror stories I had read and even a personal experience with a scooter I had shipped out just a few weeks earlier. As it turns out though, uShip is more or less just the platform that connects you with possible shippers (think if it like ebay). It comes down to you to approve the bid from a shipper you trust so if you do your homework, you should be okay. In my case it worked out better than I could have expected as the shipper's bid I chose was already in the AZ town with a trailer and had room and was headed to GA, so he put in a bid that I accepted and my bike was shipped to me in 3 days. Now this was certainly not the normal time frame with most bids that had a time frame of 2+ weeks mostly. The cheapest bid I got was from a guy that wanted to store the bike in his warehouse for 1 month before shipping it east and I was not happy with that and declined his bid. Other quotes were a bit higher, but probably because they would have to go out of their way to get the bike and needed to make it worth their while. So the more flexible you are with your schedule and also just the luck of the draw if a shipper is headed the direction your bike needs to go really determines what kind of price point you will get. And of course do your homework and find someone that specializes in bikes with a nice big enclosed trailer and all the necessary tie downs. You don't want some Joe Blow throwing your bike in the back of his truck and having no idea how big of a bike a KTM990 is or how to tie down a bike, etc.

So I did get to actually ride my new bike before I went under the knife and as expected there were a couple issues that hadn't been sorted out yet, but they were pretty easy fixes. I think I would have been fine on the trip though and it would have just been a challenge. I hate that I didn't get to ride my bike cross country, but I'll be able to do it once I'm healed up.
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Old 04-14-2015, 09:53 AM   #6
pdxthmper
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just do it , its an adventure....

I did this with an 2007. Phoenix to Portland. your 450 is just 2 up with some gear I wouldnt worry about it for stab. You will want to replace the ft rim ASAP IF your going to ride off road.

Do the fly and ride if you can get comfortable with the seller and bike, make sure they know your doing a fly and ride. I have done two, a transalp from saltlake, and the adv for Phx, Both sellers were willing to work with me to get the details worked out, one even picked me up from the airport.

Go, have fun, enjoy the bike!
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:10 AM   #7
bajarudy
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just ride the bike and have a nice adventure...live a little. they are called adventure bikes for a reason. you are not going off road so if the bike is in good mechanical condition go for it. now if the bike needs work or has worn out sprockets and chain that is another matter. all within reason but try to live the adventure and enjoy the bike from day one.

...that is what I would do. your results may vary.
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:50 AM   #8
therivermonster OP
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Wow!!! I am truly amazed at all the great responses. Thank you all so much.

The bike is a 2010 990 ADV with less than 600 miles on it, and it's in great condition; like new in fact. I wouldn't be worried about mechanical issues on the trip at all. The seller has been great too. So much in fact that I really would like to meet him to thank him in person for making the cross country buying experience so great. The trip from AR to WA would be a fun adventure...

Hmmm. Let me see if I can get some PTO.
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:54 AM   #9
JoeMongo
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Question Well, it depends.

I did a fly-n-ride for my 2008 990. It had low miles but no maintenance records, extensive previous owner mods, and was being sold by a dealer that had taken the bike in trade, for a Ducati. No, the Ducati dealer had absolutely no knowledge or experience with KTM, kinda like me. The dealership name kinda-sorta rhymes with "Bell-a-view Ducati".

I sent them a deposit, bought a one-way plane ticket, had a money order or bank check or whatever it is called made out to them and flew up to Seattle from the San Francisco Bay area. That is only about an 800 or so mile ride home, small compared to your 2300 miles.

I had asked them if the bike was serviced and safe to ride home to California. They said it was in primo shape. They had even had the fuel injection remapped to cure the notorious throttle control issues. Lets just say that they did not exactly make accurate statements.

Their story started to come apart in their parking lot, where I found that the OEM tool kit was missing and the left Gobi saddlebag latch was broken and the bag could fly off the bike at any time. They said:

"Used bike sales are 'As-Is, no warranty'. There is an O'Reilly's auto parts store a few blocks over thata way. Maybe you can buy a tie-down strap from them that will keep the bag on the bike."

Sheesh, what buttheads. If that bag had flown off on a multi-lane freeway and caused an accident that had killed someone, you can imagine how quickly it would be that I and they would have been in court, probably as codefendants. Irresponsible boobs. I hope they are no longer in business, instead doing something they can handle like asking people if they "want fries with that?". I went to O'Reilly's and bought a nylon web tie-down strap and secured the bag. A few weeks later, I completed the bag repair, paying a whopping $15 for a new matching lock core to replace the broken one in a 30 second repair job.

When I got home, I found un-fused +12V wiring direct from the battery draped over sharp metal edges. It wasn't quite as bad as it could have been. Only one of the three unfused circuits that the idiot P.O. had installed was actually draped over sharp metal edges. The bike did not burn to the ground on the ride home. I tore it all the way down over the next few weeks and removed all but three of the previous owner's modifications. The three that I kept were clearly installed professionally, because they were correct. All the other garbage was installed incorrectly, dangerously so, and probably done by the P.O. himself.

So, it's been said before but I'll say it again: "buyer beware".

If you are going to ride it that far and it hasn't been screwed up too bad, you should do fine. I like the term "bone-stock". If you are lucky, your used bike has not been molested or adulterated, or screwed up. Check it out as well as you can before you hand him his check and ride away though. If it fails as you start it up and prepare to leave, you still own it. If it fails as you lean into a sweet turn in the mountains, you could be injured or worse.

Oh, BTW, that "custom FI map" job was just the OEM Akra tune, with the only modifications being that the O2 control was turned off and all of the F-L switches were set to zero. I don't care if they were not proficient with KTM fuel injection control systems, they had to know that they were lying to me on that one. The bike was so hard to ride that I refused to lanesplit until I had spent a few months working on the fueling maps myself. Now, it is a blast to ride, a better sport-tourer than my Honda VFR800 and a way better offroad adventure bike than my BMW R1150GS, both of which I sold as soon as I got this bike repaired and running the way it should.

Would I do it again? I don't know. I am a hands-on bike owner. My bikes never get touched by anyone other than myself. I am comfortable with roadside troubleshooting and repairs. Would I buy another used bike from a dealership and ride it home? Nope.

Would I fly-n-buy another used bike from an original owner, who invited me to his home and spent the time to show me the bike and it's idiosyncrasies? Yes, I would.

Oh yeah, crank up the pre-load and the low speed compression damping, ride it gently, and the suspension should do fine for your trip. Ride it gently and get to know it. Try not to bottom out the forks or the shock. If you do, watch them closely for seal leaks. Once you get the bike home and suspension dialed in, you'll love the bike. The 990 kicks ass.
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Old 04-14-2015, 03:43 PM   #10
Piston
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With that little amount of use (which is awesome of course) I might think about having the current owner drop it off at a dealer and do a basic service with fresh fluids.

Other than that, I wouldn't hesitate if I were you. I did a fly n ride of about 1500 miles when I bought my bike, It would have cost me 600 to have it shipped, and I think I spent close to a grand riding it home. I spent 3 nights in hotels and rode almost all backroads, including the entire length of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

It was WELL worth it.

One other suggestion, since the bike probably isn't setup for electronics to your liking (mine wasn't) what I did, was buy one of those portable battery charger things made my ANKER, it is the size of an external hard drive, then I used it to power my GPS and cell phone the entire way, and also charged my camera off it while I was riding. I think I recharged it one time the whole trip.
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Old 04-14-2015, 03:51 PM   #11
Qwik
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the Suspension will be soft. Crank the preload up and enjoy the trip home. Loved my Fly-n-ride on my 05
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Old 04-14-2015, 04:36 PM   #12
catalina38
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Fresh fluids, new tubes in the tires along with new fuel filters. Some of the 2010 bikes had trouble with original filters falling apart and debris getting into the fuel system. I had two different 2010 bike's original filters crumble apart when removing them from the pump. I've changed them several times since and never had the same problem.
Then ride it home!
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Old 04-14-2015, 05:19 PM   #13
oldfuddy
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600 miles!!! Heck, in that case give it a once over and pack your bags. Take pics and post up along the way! Enjoy.
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Old 04-14-2015, 05:44 PM   #14
mikeegee
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Bought my 2007 off the listing here and flew out. Two days later I drove from Va to Ne. This was my second purchase off advrider, my first fly-and-ride.

Is the seller on here? In addition to the bike, pay attention to how active they are and what they have to say.

All things considered, I wouldn't hesitate to do another from another inmate. And don't hesitate to map a route past any of the other geezers on here just in case...
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Old 04-14-2015, 08:15 PM   #15
DesertSurfer
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No harm in asking...

Send Spencer66 a pm asking what routes he recommends from Az to Wa... He rode his back and forth a couple years ago.

For sure do the fly and ride. It's the best way to pull off a bucket lister and get inaugurated into the KTM Adventure experience.

With only 600 miles you shouldn't have anything to worry about. Like previously mentioned, I'd drain the fluids and have the fuel filters replaced. And I'd have a new battery added.

Also look up Dave6253. He lives in Az and might be able to recommend some great mild dirt roads to get you to Nevada. And check out Paige and the Grand Canyon along the way. Or you could take the paved route up along Moab into Utah and jump up into Idaho and cut across the Snake and Columbia.

The world's your oyster when you're on a KTM Adventure my friend.

Here's to the good life!
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