BMW 800 GS vs the KTM 990 S

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by KevinColorado, Jul 26, 2008.

  1. AdvSkier

    AdvSkier Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Oddometer:
    927
    My mistake.
    I meant the straight 690, not the A. Claimed weight is 305lbs.
    #21
  2. Crashing

    Crashing Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    39
    Location:
    Livermore, CA
    I just rented one of these brand new from Moto Mader in Switzerland. Impressive bike. I rode it about 1500KM in 4 days through Swiss and Italian Alps near Andermatt and Pontresea (sp?). Mostly street but some dirt fire road type things. I am about 6"1" and about 205# and ride a Buell Ulysses at home along with a DRZ400 and a RMX250 Suzuki

    +
    1)Seat and riding position=super comfortable
    2)Great Luggage
    3)ABS makes the brakes feel soft so I had it off most of the time except in really sketchy conditions (0 degrees and rain/snow)-nice to have a choice I guess
    4)good power through the range for a light great handling bike like this fully loaded--not camping just hoteling it but had a lot of stuff because I had work samples with me and my laptop and stuff (about 60lbs of gear extra)
    5) super stable off road with big dirt bike style foot pegs (removed rubber pads) and high and wide handlebars (good quality bars too)
    6) heated grips rock! 2 positions-low and hot. With only leather gloves and some very cold temps these were great
    7) minimal damage when dumped over--I layed it down once at 0 mph on a gravely righthand uphill switchback on day 2 looking for a lower gear fully loaded. It was a bitch to pick up because it was so new I didn't want to throw it over so the wheels would be downhill like I would have my DRZ. This was rider error but a lower gear would have definitely helped. Basically a gouge on the saddlebag and a scratch on the handguard was all I saw from that.
    8) decent wind protection from stock shield. I was packing light and didn't have the full compliment of gear I have in the states but was pretty comfortable with the heated grips and protection on the bike

    -
    1) Leaked oil from day one--I think someone overfilled it maybe? It was leaking high in the top end somewhere. Never enough for me to refill but significant enough to spray my left pant leg pretty good-probably 4 oz or so in that amount of miles. I found a guy with some tools and retorqued the side case a bit thinking that was it but it wasn't.
    2) headllight fell off attachments but was still wired in--not tightened enough at factory?--duct taped initially stopped at a hardware store and replace bolts no more trouble
    3) zipper pulls on the tank bag broke the first day due to harder to use waterproof-type zippers I think.
    4) could have used a lower 1st gear (see #7 above)

    In the just one bike category, if the engine turns out to be decent and the oil thing was a fluke, I would say this is a great choice and you could go most places on this bike save the real gnarly off road single track type stuff and maybe with some full knobbies you could even do that although not really what the bike would be good at. One of the best 4 day m/c rides you can take if you have the time and are in the area IMO.

    no nothing about the 990--sorry
    #22
  3. Krummemusic

    Krummemusic Adventure Dreamer

    Joined:
    May 31, 2013
    Oddometer:
    138
    Location:
    Singapore
    I had the privilege to own 2 x a 990 Adv and now an 800 GS.
    In short..
    I clocked 55,000 km on the 990s...never managed to make more then 8,000 km without having to bring it on a truck to the next dealer. Clutch slave cylinder, sudden battery deaths, thermostats, cooling system..overheating in stop-and-go....the rest..I forgot..numerous !
    So got a F800 to do a 20,000km tour to remote areas....problem...a light bump died.
    When I think of KTM..I think of daring guys who bring their bikes on trailers to a 1-2 days off road tour into the Rockies. Or this Austrian fellow who probably has a direct line to KTM service to interrupt production if he calls in with a problem. If I think of F800s....I think of guys going to the end of the world.
    On off road capability I think the limit is the driver...not the bike.
    What you can't do with 85 bhp BMW, you can't do with 110 bhp KTM either.
    Yeah..the KTM was fun to ride...and an adventure bike where the bike WAS the adventure. Long time that you posted this thread....but as a humble sharing of experience for those who might have the same question (now 1190)...
    Cheers
    ULI
    #23
  4. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5,426
    Location:
    Grand Valley, Colorado
    6 years...... I think that is a record.....:D
    #24
  5. Christof

    Christof Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2014
    Oddometer:
    53
    Location:
    Antalya, Turkey
    Or, he coulda started a new thread and have an oldtimer inform him that the topic has been covered...:D

    This week I upgraded the forks and shock to adjustable components and put on a pair of K60's. It certainly has made the machine more dirt worthy (and roadworthy for that matter). Much less frightening physically, but I'm still scared of what it will cost to repair if I drop it badly. Is it now on a par with the Orange Legends? I dunno, I think all of the mid and big adv bikes are pigs in the dirt for most of us mortals. Which is why I've ordered a WR250. :D

    So the answer to the OP's question is, "buy more motorcycles!"

    Note- imo the K60s are as tough as nails. The guy in Antalya who mounted them asked me if I was going to Gurjistan! (Georgia) He was serious. He informed me that for Turkish conditions I should put on Metzeler Next or Dunlops. After a week I think he is right and I'll save the Heidis for the trip to Magadan!
    #25
  6. Reaver

    Reaver Outta Here

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    8,453
    Location:
    Zona Sur Costa Rica
    DAMMIT!

    Got sucked into an old thread before realizing.

    In my observations, KTM's are for those guys that have something to prove. :hide


    Upgrade the BMW suspension and get the best of both worlds.

    I'd rather get there, perhaps a bit later, but still get there.
    #26
  7. bbenn75820

    bbenn75820 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,368


    Could you elaborate on what " something to prove" is?
    #27
  8. Reaver

    Reaver Outta Here

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    8,453
    Location:
    Zona Sur Costa Rica
    Nope.

    This aint JM.
    #28
  9. bbenn75820

    bbenn75820 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,368
    #29
  10. Reaver

    Reaver Outta Here

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    8,453
    Location:
    Zona Sur Costa Rica
    Have a nice day.
    #30
  11. bbenn75820

    bbenn75820 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,368
    Thanks you too!

    I test rode the 990s and the 690 in Bend, Or at the KTM rally and I ended up with the f800gs. I have 16k miles on it and like it a lot.
    #31