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Old 09-27-2012, 06:57 AM   #16
VTvfr
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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I rode strictly street for 10yrs before picking up my first "dirtbike" the mighty 990.
I love every day on her, except on gnarly singletrack.

It's a great bike, but make sure you realize what it is.
It can rip down trails, but is a HEAVY biotch especially to pick up... just ask my riding companions that have had to help on more than one occasion when I'm either too exhausted or it's practically upside-down.

Needless to say after beating her up on many a trail, I picked up a 250XC-W for the tighter stuff.
She now spends more time on the street than dirt, but still manages to hit "no winter maintenance" roads as often as she can.
I have to admit, there's nothing better then heading down a road, coming to a trail and then being able to take off on it to figure out where it goes.

So at the end of the day, I say go for it.
Just remember what it is, a BIG, HEAVY, but POWERFUL bike that will kick you in the arse if you ever forget it!
I have 2 separated shoulders to attest to that fact
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Old 09-27-2012, 07:58 AM   #17
SF_Rider
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My first ADV bike

Well, my first bike, about 20 years ago was a KLR 650. I didn't know what I was doing on street, much less dirt. I didn't grow up dirt biking or even riding. Bought a bike around 20 years old and now MANY street bikes later at 40 (bought at 38) I am loving my 2008 990.

I've only ridden a few smaller dirt bikes and it makes you realize how big the 990 is off road.

I don't ride tight single track. More fire road exploration and I grew tired of wanting to 'see where that road goes' with regular street bikes. I have been riding more and more on jeep trails but leave the lose sandy and single tracks alone. I have no false notions that I'm going to be roosting, jumping, etc..

I'm short as well-at least for these bikes and had mine lowered 1.5". Blasphemy for many I realize, but finding myself on a few off-camber dirt turns and a LONG reach down when I needed to put a foot down, I lowered it. Except for bottoming out a few times (more than a few) I'm glad I lowered the bike. It made it much more manageable for me. I am learning as I get better on dirt that, especially on this big bike, you don't want to put a foot down. Still, it's a boost in confidence.

Not sure if this helps, but there you go. If you can rent one for a day in your area I'd suggest that. I did that.
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:08 AM   #18
ilyaon OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by propilot10 View Post
My 990 was my first bike. I'm 38 and reflective and cautious. It's been pretty easy for me to get use to. Just be mindful when you head out of all the potential dangers and ride within your comfort and experience level. I think the best place to start is a rider safety course if you haven't done so already and if it's been a long time might consider doing it again. This should give you a good idea where your at. In most areas they provide you with a small bike to get your feet wet. Then if you get the ktm you can take it down and go through the intermediate and even advance classes. Most are taught using your bike. That way you can gain experience on it with expert supervision. Plus it will drop your insurance rates.

Just a thought. You will be safer and feel confident. Hope this helps.
Thank you for all your replies. propilot10 and GoNOW put exactly what I was looking for. Their experiences. I understand that it all depends on a lot of parameters of specific rider. What I was looking for is your personal experiences which I could relate.

If anyone else have more to share, please do so.
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:34 AM   #19
VertigoCycles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by propilot10 View Post
My 990 was my first bike. I'm 38 and reflective and cautious. It's been pretty easy for me to get use to. Just be mindful when you head out of all the potential dangers and ride within your comfort and experience level. I think the best place to start is a rider safety course if you haven't done so already and if it's been a long time might consider doing it again. This should give you a good idea where your at. In most areas they provide you with a small bike to get your feet wet. Then if you get the ktm you can take it down and go through the intermediate and even advance classes. Most are taught using your bike. That way you can gain experience on it with expert supervision. Plus it will drop your insurance rates.

Just a thought. You will be safer and feel confident. Hope this helps.
This is exactly my situation as well. I'm the same age, have two young children who depend on me as I'm a part-time stay at home dad and run a business from home as well. I think about that every time I get on the bike. I'm well past my "push it until you find the limits" years and am content to have a good time while not risking my livelihood. I've had the 990 for two years now and love every second I spend on it (which is never often enough).

That said, I'm sure there's much to learn from thrashing smaller bikes. I do wish I had a motorbike in my younger years.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:13 AM   #20
mountain eagle
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I don't care if your riding the 9x0, a CB360, or a GSXR600 it's your personality and choices that will dictate most of what happens. When I don't have a good hold of the reigns of my mind and or my right wrist I will get myself in trouble. I know that if I hadn't waited until my late 20's to get back on a bike I likely would have died...... even then people look at me funny sometimes And it ain't 'cause I'm on the wife's sherpa.


990 as a first bike? Sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if in 10 years you tell others it wasn't the best approach, and that they should get some time on a lighter bike to start with.

BTW, my first bike was a full dress 80's leadwing........
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:24 AM   #21
ilyaon OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VertigoCycles View Post
This is exactly my situation as well. I'm the same age, have two young children who depend on me as I'm a part-time stay at home dad and run a business from home as well. I think about that every time I get on the bike. I'm well past my "push it until you find the limits" years and am content to have a good time while not risking my livelihood. I've had the 990 for two years now and love every second I spend on it (which is never often enough).

That said, I'm sure there's much to learn from thrashing smaller bikes. I do wish I had a motorbike in my younger years.
Thank you for your reply. Could you tell what was your challenges at the beginning?
Was it hard to get use to engine power and the bike weight?
What about driving on the road and challenges handling the bike?
What had you made to choose 990 instead of the another model or brand?
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:48 AM   #22
PS-RagE
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Although I grew up with bikes, my 950 was the first in over twenty years. I got it primarily as a dirt bike and 80% of my odometer clicks are on dirt. I dropped it a lot that first summer and am at the point now where even though it outweighs me by almost 3 to 1, I can pick it up fairly easily. We have an understanding now, I try not to ride it too slow and it, in turn, will not get bored and go for a nap unexpectantly.
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:57 AM   #23
ykrweb
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I think if you have to ask this question then its not the bike for you. Could you ride it? Absolutely. Would you be able to use it for what its intended for? Probably not. It's a giant dirt bike with an angry engine. It's designed to go 100MPH in the desert not 10MPH in the city. Don't get me wrong. I think its a beautiful thing and I ride it 5 days a week but if your not an aggressive rider its a waste of money. I've always loved big powerful dirt bikes (Cr500, yz400f, MXC525) and the 990 was a natural progression. I had to have it. My 18 year old can ride it well but he grew up shredding single track in Ca and Or. If your the kind of rider that can't easily do a wheelie, power slide or get some air in the dirt then pick something more mellow.
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:01 AM   #24
Hipster
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+1, if your new to off road riding it's best to learn (crash) on a cheap smaller DS bike before moving up to a more expensive 950/990.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonNester View Post
Don't put yourself behind the learning curve by making this your first bike. If you have to have it, buy a cheap 250 DS bike along with it to learn off-road technique. You can't watch videos to become proficient at it, but they can point you in the right direction if they are instructional videos like "Dual Sport Riding Techniques"...there is no substitute for experience.
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:09 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ykrweb View Post
If your the kind of rider that can't easily do a wheelie, power slide or get some air in the dirt then pick something more mellow.
I totally disagree with this statement. I couldn't wheelie (well) before I got my KTM, power slides occurred accidentally and catching air usually consisted of speeding over a frost heave. Nowadays, I can do all of these things with ease, I seek out good spots in Providence where I can air it out over cross streets on clear uphills and I basically ride it lke a giant urban dirt bike. If I had stayed with something more mellow, I would never have realized how AWESOME KTM's are and would have missed out on 4 years of motorcycling nirvana. KTM's make awesome bikes for people who like to ride. They prefer to be ridden aggressively, but make great all around bikes if that is your thing. They will spoil you for other bikes though so beware!!!! ( I made the mistake of test riding an ADV while on vacation and now I want one of those too!!!)
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:11 AM   #26
DiasDePlaya
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If you are big, you are in good shape and has ability to drive, or mountain biking experience I do not think the 990 will be a problem. But if you do not exercise, are overweight or not a good driver, you probably will have problems and will lose money on the 990.
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:32 AM   #27
ilyaon OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PS-RagE View Post
I try not to drive it too slow and it, in turn, will not get bored and go for a nap unexpectantly.
So from your point of view 990 has been designed to be driven fast compare to get you there and get the job done?
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:40 AM   #28
mountain eagle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilyaon View Post
So from your point of view 990 has been designed to be driven fast?
In rougher terrain, larger or heavier bikes need more momentum to maintain the elusivly light feel they can have. The slower you are moving the more apparent the heavyness of steering can be. And once they get to the tipping point it's damn hard to recover.

And while they don't like stop and go traffic and run hot as a rule, they can be mellow if you want. Now when you get use to wheelies, power steering, and going where ever you like, you'll do that if you care to. I don't think you have to ride these as many are describing, but if you are inclined towards hooligan behaviour the ktm big twins will help you get there faster.
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:46 AM   #29
el queso
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilyaon View Post
So from your point of view 990 has been designed to be driven fast compare to get you there and get the job done?
The 990 is much happier being ridden aggressively.

If you don't have any dirt experience I would suggest a cheap used KLR or DR650 to start, just because they are less expensive to repair and you'll probably drop it a lot in your first year in the dirt.
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:25 PM   #30
crofrog
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The people that start on adventure bikes as there first dirt bike. Seem to suck ass at dirt riding. You see this in many of the ride reports where people are having lot's of trepidation and fear in anything more off-road than smooth gravel.

Learn to ride dirt on a dirt bike. The 950/990 is amazingly confident off-road, but I wouldn't call it forgiving. It can be ridden very fast or in very tricky situations but it requires you to do everything with proper control inputs and try not to let it get away from you.

It's not a bike you want to stick your leg out and push back on it's wheels to prevent a lowside, but if you keep it in check your can out pace 450's on the open stuff and not drop to far behind on the tight stuff (although you'll be using allot more energy to hang)
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