My experience is that all 9x0's are just about perfect and extremely entertaining for dirt road riding. I don't know if the 1290 (or whatever) will be useless for off roading-- the package seems to have enough of a dirt advantage over the other bikes in the category to still rank number one off pavement while gaining those pavement attributes that might push it to the top of comparos (for what that's worth). Frankly, I believe that a 990 with an R tune, 19/17 wheel setup, more comfortable seat, and little better wind management puts it at/much closer to the top right now. The MS12 will always be a better pure pavement bike because of the 17" wheels and big power motor. I'd love a smaller/lighter twin as the adventure bike as well, but don't think KTM can take off a whole lot of weight from the current 990. Even putting a smaller motor into an SE kind of arrangement with a bigger tank wouldn't drop all that much weight; and by the time you "adventureize" (think Tiger & BMW 800s) it to the point where it can profitably sell you're at a similar weight point. As far as having a bike for "proper adventure riding"- I'd submit that with all the things/trips you see people doing with the current crop of bikes (and not just KTMs) "proper" is more a function of the rider than the ride.