Help me pick a 990...

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by His Pistolship, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. His Pistolship

    His Pistolship Kp calm, shoot alfas

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    Howdy All,

    I was wondering if I could plumb the depths of the KTM Hive Mind to help me pick a 990. Please feel free to respond.

    I currently own a Super Tenere 1200 and have ridden it across country twice and down to Key West once. In total I have put 18 k miles on since last January when I bought it. I've done about 2 k miles of dirt with it, mostly in Idaho, and it does surprisingly well. However, it's greatest weakness is leaving the ground, or rather, coming back down to the ground. On my last dirt ride I snapped a spoke and totally crunched my bash plate (thank goodness I had a bash plate, it did its job, no damage to the bike). I was catching air far too much with a 580 lb bike; it just isn't made for that.

    On this same ride was a fellow on a KTM 990 R, and he didn't have to slow down quite so much when the little jumps (water breaks in the trail) came up, whereas I had to slow down and use lots of body english to deweight the bike as it hit a jump. Needless to say the guy on the KTM pulled away from me and led the pack all day. The Tenere is a highly capable adv bike, and indeed it excells in most categories. But I am looking for something more dirt worthy, more specifically something with more suspension that can better handle being airborne.

    So bottom line is, which 990? Is the R the choice for me since it has the most suspension travel? Or is the R really that different from the other models as far as off road worthiness goes?

    Oh, and I plan on getting a new 2012 990 or perhaps a 2011. I also plan on doing the TAT this summer with whichever one I buy.

    Thanks in advance for the replies.
    #1
  2. Qwik

    Qwik Adrenaline Addict

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    First Mod, Sidestand relocation bracket and Bashplate. Second Mod, Pay a Pro to Rework/tune Your Suspension. Either model will work fine. Suspension Tune for aggressive offroad will be neccesary either way.
    #2
  3. kdzidoc

    kdzidoc Adventurer

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    I got a KLR 650 this summer and have put several thousand miles on it already. I'm already thinking about 2013 or 14. Give the wife the KLR and get a KTM 990 Baja or Adventure R.

    What say you guru's of the KTM world? :evil
    #3
  4. Qwik

    Qwik Adrenaline Addict

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    Well DUH. DO IT!!!!
    #4
  5. Maniac28

    Maniac28 Been here awhile

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    Well I've had a standard 950 with normal suspension height and now I have a 2010 R with the 10.3" suspension. There is no comparison. The longer suspension works wonders offroad. I am 5 foot 11 and comfortable with the height of the bike.

    I've owned all the big ADV bikes, except the Tenere. The 990R blows all of them away for offroading.

    Do the standard mods, plus a set of pipes to make it sound amazing, and you will be rewarded with an incredible riding experience.
    #5
  6. RiotPat

    RiotPat Long timer

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    Either one will be more dirt worthy than the S10. I've ridden both and the difference in suspension was never a limiting factor, at least not for me. I would say buy the one that you get the best deal on.
    #6
  7. SierraJeep

    SierraJeep It's toast

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    In this context, we're only discussing off-road capabilities. Long distances of slab may make you think otherwise - and to that extent I have zero knowledge of the Yamaha's road capabilities.

    So in the context of which of the two KTM 990s for off road use, I'd say if you can find an R go for that one. The non-R comes with ABS. I have one with ABS and in hind-sight I really wish I'd have gone the other route with the taller suspention and more storage capacity under the seat without the ABS. Off road the ABS must be turned off. When I get back on the road, I rarely bother to go through the ritual to turn the ABS back on.

    That's my $0.02
    #7
  8. Bugman98

    Bugman98 Been here awhile

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    My buddy Viola-tor spent a lot of money and time converting his regular 990 into a 990R. And he says its a big difference. I have a 950 that I rode off road on trials for a summer before I had the suspension rebuilt/damped/charged/valves/whatever. That made a huge difference from stock! So I guess I'm saying that either model of 990 will probably serve you well as long as you have the suspension set up by a pro.
    #8
  9. His Pistolship

    His Pistolship Kp calm, shoot alfas

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    Hm, sounds like the 990 R is the way to go then.

    I saw a 990 Baja in person here in DC. Pretty awesome. I wish it had the tall suspension like the R, because that would be the package I would go for.

    Thanks all for the replies.
    #9
  10. outfront

    outfront Adventurer

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    "more storage capacity under the seat without the ABS"
    I just purchase a 990R last week and noticed a large empty box under the seat; is that were the ABS stuff is at on the standard 990?
    #10
  11. sonoran

    sonoran friend of P

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    yep

    and to the OP-- you can raise the standard 990 to 990R spec if you'd prefer to have more suspension and ABS.
    #11
  12. His Pistolship

    His Pistolship Kp calm, shoot alfas

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    By chance do you have a price estimate on raising the 990 to a 990R?

    I'm guessing the front end raising can take place during a professional work up, and I assume raising the rear takes a new link of sorts. I really like the blue Dakar 990, so if it isn't much to raise the suspension I may go that route.

    Thanks.
    #12
  13. sonoran

    sonoran friend of P

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    #13
  14. His Pistolship

    His Pistolship Kp calm, shoot alfas

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    #14
  15. FakeName

    FakeName Wile E Coyote SuperGenius

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  16. Weldit

    Weldit Been here awhile

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    plus longer brake lines !
    ---------------------------------
    the R model in 2011 was lowered from the height of 2010 R model
    265 mm in 2010 R
    250 mm in 2011 R
    210 mm all abs regular 990's :deal
    #16
  17. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

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    Seriously consider a well kept preowned 950 SER... If you can find one.

    If you like jumping... it's better suited.
    #17
  18. grumpyman

    grumpyman Adventurer

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    ride a couple of them
    get a feel for the vibes, some are worse than others especially the 950's
    your gonna have to live with it
    #18
  19. DuctTape

    DuctTape Been here awhile

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    I have a 32" inseam and the R was just way too tall for me so you really need to sit and push one around before buying it.

    I thought I was going to mss the extra two inches but I guess I don't ride hard enough to need it.
    #19
  20. Deviant666

    Deviant666 Present

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    If you are so prone to flying the bike I'd be looking at the 09 or 10 R's which have taller suspension than the equivalent 11s and 12s....
    #20