Beefeater Steve is seeing red, and maybe a little orange.

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by Beefeater Steve, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. Beefeater Steve

    Beefeater Steve Banned

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    Friends,

    I've spent the last 7 years riding BMWs and I love them, no joke. I want to take them behind the middle school and get them pregnant.

    I've been bikeless the last 9 months (long story) and My Lady just gave me permission to get another bike. I made offers on 2 GSAs last week, both offers were accepted and then the seller pulled the plug hours before delivery. Unrelated deals, but both kicked me square in the balls.

    So I did a few searches for KTM, since clearly BMW planned all of this bad luck :evil, and compared to the $15K++ I was going to spend on a used BMW, I could a new 2012 KTM 990 Adventure for $12K.

    I'm 38, 5' 9", 185lbs, have a 30" inseam which is mitigated further by the mass of my reproductive organs, but I always made the GSAs work for me.

    I've always bought used bikes for their value, but I've only found a small handful of KTM Adv's in the West and they were all going for $$. And compared to the dough I was GOING to spend on a bike last week, the $12k for a new KTM seems pretty easy.

    Thoughts?
    #1
  2. It'sNotTheBike

    It'sNotTheBike Banned

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    Those guys with the BMWs who did not keep their word did you
    a huge favor, you just don't realize it yet.


    I'd go for a carbureted KTM ( a 950 ) rather than a fuel injected KTM ( a 990 ) , and
    I'd also go for a bike without fairings because fairings make maintenance
    much more hassle and they are also expensive and vulnerable to crash damage. A good windshield
    will do 99% of what you want a fairing to do anyway, which is keep the wind off
    your upper body. Also, motorcycle clothing has become so much better in the
    past 30 years that the protection a fairing gives is not nearly as vital as it once was.


    I'm suggesting you consider a used KTM 950 Super Enduro. They are rare but good
    ones are out there, in the $8000 - $12,000 range. Often the bikes have very low miles
    on them, probably because the owners realize the bike is too much bike for them so
    they don't ride it much. All the faults and "issues" of 950s are well known and well
    documented in the KTM 9XX Hall of Wisdom, here :

    http://www.ktm950.info/


    I've ridden a 1200 GS/ GSA enough to know what those bikes are like, and in
    reality they are touring bikes which pretend to have superb off road capabilities. They
    are very nice for going great distances on good roads but when the roads get ugly a
    KTM is so superior to a BMW it's not even close.


    You'll need to lower a 950 SE or a 990 to make it work well for you, unless you
    are in the Gaston Rahier skill category so you don't need to touch the ground except
    at fuel stops.


    Test ride a 950 SE if you can. There is no other bike like a 950 SE, and it is one
    of the most awesome bikes ever made by ANY company. You won't shed any tears
    over the loss of those BMWs once you get a good test ride on a 950 SE :deal


    A BMW brings a satisfied feeling when you ride one. A KTM 950 SE
    makes you laugh out loud in your helmet and you will feel like you did the first time
    you rode a bike that was exciting to ride, every single time you ride it for as long as
    you own it. I'm talking 3rd gear wheelies with the throttle alone at 80mph -- that kind of
    fun doesn't ever get boring. Of course you don't have to ride it like a hooligan,
    but the bike will encourage such riding because it is so much fun.


    Many 950 SE owners will never sell their bikes. That alone should tell you something.


    .
    #2
  3. SCflyer

    SCflyer Long timer

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    Did you try the KTM for fit. Though longer inseam I found it to be obviously lower than the GSA - easy reach to the ground on the standard.
    #3
  4. Beefeater Steve

    Beefeater Steve Banned

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    I think I'm beginning to see that there's no reason to be locked into brand loyalty at this point. There are a few things I truly love about the BMW such as the single-sided swing-arm, history, etc. But right now I don't give a rip either way as long as it works.

    Thanks for the advice on the 950SE.



    Nope, but my friend has an 06 he said I could try on for size.

    How does the 2012 Adventure stand compared to the 1200GSA (seat height)?

    This is the bike I'm looking at:
    #4
  5. It'sNotTheBike

    It'sNotTheBike Banned

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    Roger that !


    Brand loyalty is great for the company selling the brand to which
    you are loyal, and I suppose the sense of "belonging" to a group
    ( BMW owners ) is fun for some folks, but if you make the switch to
    KTM you will at some point wonder why you didn't do it sooner.




    .
    #5
  6. It'sNotTheBike

    It'sNotTheBike Banned

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    I think the KTM you're looking at is a bit taller, but it's not a huge
    difference. The seat on the BMW is wider at some points and that can
    make the bike feel effectively taller than a tape measure would indicate,
    compared to the KTM, because the rider's legs are forced further apart
    by the wider seat.


    The KTM can feel more ponderous when sitting still in a
    showroom than the BMW does, because the weight of the two different
    bikes is carried differently but once you start riding all that goes
    away and the KTM feels far more nimble.


    .
    #6
  7. Beefeater Steve

    Beefeater Steve Banned

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    I agree. My editor at MOTUM rides a KTM and loves it. So does my ADV friend who lives in my town--he said I could come get his 06 tomorrow and try it out. . . supposed to be in the 50s.

    Good to know. I'm not opposed to tall bikes. Oddly enough, I thought my F800GS was as tall as the GSA (w/o the balls).

    A couple more noteworthy tidbits:

    I'm not a dirt biker. I'm not a sport biker. Sometimes I tour (last year I went to Baja and later, 8 States in 4 days, but I don't have that kind of time very often).

    I mostly use the bike in the summer since my kids are out of school and I don't need to do the morning carpool. My commute to work is 5 miles each way and, if I'm honest, I prefer to "look the [ADV] part" 60% of the time while only backing it up the other 40%.

    From what I read, the 950 / 990 is better on dirt than the GS/A, but it's a hooligan on-road.


    That doesn't sound like too bad of a mix to me. . .



    :dllama
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  8. It'sNotTheBike

    It'sNotTheBike Banned

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    I tend to imagine that after your test ride you won't be wondering whether to get one or not :evil


    Please report back and let us know what you think.



    .
    #8
  9. Beefeater Steve

    Beefeater Steve Banned

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    I'm hoping that's the case. I'm still pretty butt-hurt about those two deals crapping the bed, and if the KTM blows my skirt up, it'll help me forgive and forget.

    Anyway, thanks for weighing in, fellas. Nice peeps, given I've been behind enemy lines for 7 years.

    My friend (whom I call Baja Phil because he lone-wolfed the Baja 18 months ago--and is 100% pure badass without making you feel like you're second rate), is meeting me tomorrow morning.

    I'll report back in the afternoon.



    :wink:
    #9
  10. SCflyer

    SCflyer Long timer

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    Nope, but my friend has an 06 he said I could try on for size.

    How does the 2012 Adventure stand compared to the 1200GSA (seat height)?

    This is the bike I'm looking at:[/QUOTE]

    - I had a Sargent seat and Ohlins on my GSA so it did sit a bit higher than stock GSA but if I recall I could flatfoot the standard 990. (I got an R version - taller suspension). - Good luck. The GSA has a bit more comfort and fuel but no regrets about switching and working on "me modifications"
    #10
  11. It'sNotTheBike

    It'sNotTheBike Banned

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    I've had a seller back out even after I agreed to pay
    the full asking price in cash for a car. I was angry, called
    my attorney and considered legal action, etc. but life goes
    on and the things that really matter have nothing to do with
    money and what it can buy. And unless it's an old Bugatti or
    green-frame Desmo or something of that sort there is ALWAYS
    another one you can buy, just around the corner.


    And in your case, life with motorcycles is about to get a whole
    lot more fun, which should take the pain away very nicely.


    You might even want to buy those BMW "sellers" a beer ( just kidding,
    but maybe a six-pack or a bottle of good wine for the nice guy who did
    let you try his KTM might be a nice gesture ).


    .
    #11
  12. Beefeater Steve

    Beefeater Steve Banned

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    That's funny. Thanks for sharing.

    To give you a little more detail, the second deal that went south was a bike I found on eBay. It was a yellow 2011 GSA w 7k miles, all 3 panniers, BMW Nav IV, etc. He was asking $15,900 (BIN) and he also had a "Make Offer" option. His auction was posted about 1 hour when I called him to make an offer--even though his price was excellent, he clearly was okay taking a little less. So, we agreed at $15,500 and he'd meet me halfway for delivery (about 300 miles away for me).

    He said he'd end the auction and load the bike. He got a little sidetracked, loaded the bike over the next half-hour, and then called me to say, "someone just used Buy it Now, sorry."

    And that was that.

    I sincerely think it was just a mistake on his part--not that he was after the extra $400. But, he sells antique cars on-line and his eBay rep is paramount to him--he'd rather screw me than take a red-dot.

    My local dealer has one just like this and is asking $18K w/o the Nav IV. That's the kind of deal it was.

    Oh well. I just emailed him to say thanks and so long--I don't want o hold a grudge, it just upsets me.
    #12
  13. It'sNotTheBike

    It'sNotTheBike Banned

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    I've bought a few vehicles, but I don't buy vehicles on eBay and
    stories like yours are one reason why. It's just too easy for things
    to get weird on eBay.


    By the way, a KTM 950 Adventure just won the overall at the Sandblast
    Rally in South Carolina. Not too shabby for a bike you can ride to
    and from the rally, instead of trailering it :D


    http://www.nasarallysport.com//results/2013-Sandblast-Rally-overall.htm



    .
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  14. It'sNotTheBike

    It'sNotTheBike Banned

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  15. Beefeater Steve

    Beefeater Steve Banned

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    Thanks, I'll read it tonight. My wife is 39 weeks pregnant and falls asleep about 8:30pm every night, so this gives me something to do.
    #15
  16. DOD

    DOD idiot dirt rider

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    I bought a 950SE after a year or so on an '04 1150 GSA. Here are some observations. I should preface this with the fact that I've owned KTM's since they were red and white.

    The SE suspension is far superior to the BMW. Not just a little. The BMW has the best suspension they could do in 1940. I think that goofy front end uses left over VW Beetle shocks. The KTM is a little newer and really works. If you are vertically challenged the guys at Superplush can lower it correctly. I've seen one these in action and it works fine.

    The carburated 950 is pure crack once you remove the smog stuff and put new pipes on it. No other way to say it. Runs great from sea level to 12k. At about 12.5 it gets a little balky.

    The down side:
    The KTM requires more attention. It's very reliable but you have to maintain it. I never worked on the 1150. Think new tires every 2k miles if you act nice. I ruined a $300 908 in DV in 800 miles.

    The SE is not as comfortable and is not really happy loaded. I think you could strap a refrigerator to the back of the 1150. The 1150 would be my choice for a really long, like months long, camping trip.

    Both are great bikes.

    My 950 is not for sale. Probably never will be. I raised it from a pup.

    -dod
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  17. Florida Lime

    Florida Lime Long timer

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    The standard 990 definitely has a lower seat height than the 1200GSA, especially when the GSA is jacked up in ESA 2-up or "big-mountain" off-road mode. The 950 SE (and I believe early 990Rs) has a taller seat height than the BMW or 990 standard.
    #17
  18. brents347

    brents347 Trusting my Cape...

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    Steve, you are 20 years too young to be brand committed to BMW. Test ride the KTM, then buy one and ride the shit out of it. The good news is there are so many used BMWs out there not being ridden much that you will be able to get low-mileage bikes for 10 more years. Buy the KTM, it's a superior bike for performance. Then come back to the BMW when you grow up a little. :D
    #18
  19. Orangecicle

    Orangecicle On a "Quest"

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    I commute on my 950 (22 miles a day) just about every day that I can. The bike does not like stop-and-go traffic because of the faring and heat, but there are many ways to manage the heat, including supplemental rally fans. It's the only bike I've ever owned that causes people to come over and ask the obvious question . . .

    "What is that?"
    "A KTM Adventure."
    "Who makes it, BMW?"

    :lol3

    There aren't many "adventure" roads here in Iowa, but there is plenty of gravel. Like you, I don't have a "dirt" background. But the funny thing about this bike is that just as soon as you learn how the bike feels, you find yourself doing stupid things like 60+ on gravel. There's a thread somewhere here of guys doing 100+ on gravel or dirt WHILE taking a picture. :eek1 :huh The bike is just amazing to ride. Period. What you considered insane before . . . seems pretty tame on this thing. I think it has to do with the suspension and the 21" front. But it is amazing.

    Yes, it has its quirks. Oil changes were an afterthought of the engineering department and take about a day the first time you do it. The windscreen is affectionately referred to as a "turbulence generator." Adjusting the IMS screws on the carbs of the 950 Adventure leaves you wondering what the Austrian carb guys were smokin'. But, there are solutions to most of that stuff. And at the end of the day, you can pretty much do anything you need to this bike with the tools that come with the bike in the little pouch. Really amazing.

    Anyway, get the bike. You'll love it.
    #19
  20. Beefeater Steve

    Beefeater Steve Banned

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    Can any if you fellas tell me how the seat height (and anything else notable) of the 990 Dakar compares?
    #20