KTM 990 Adventure as first ADV bike

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by ilyaon, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. ilyaon

    ilyaon Adventurer

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    Hello,

    After reading many posts on this forum I see that a lot of people have several years off road riding experience before they switched to 990 Adventure.

    I would like to ask if someone has 990 Adventure as they first bike? Or it's too much weight and power for the beginner.
    #1
  2. avocadofarmer

    avocadofarmer Fruit Coot

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    Was your first car a Porsche 911?
    #2
  3. ilyaon

    ilyaon Adventurer

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    Nice! I like your way of thinking.

    If under specific situation I would get the Porsche for the right price as my first car, than yes.
    Here I have an opportunity to get 990 at the very reasonable price.
    However don't want to get something bigger than I can handle.
    #3
  4. avocadofarmer

    avocadofarmer Fruit Coot

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    Have you ridden any other motorcycle before? It will be kinda hard to tell what you are comfortable handling if you're a blank slate, so to speak.

    I would suggest to start on a smaller bike, but I imagine some people would pick up on it right quick.

    Do it!
    #4
  5. ilyaon

    ilyaon Adventurer

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    Thanks for not sarcastic reply.

    Yes, I had experience of the street sport bike. I also tried F800GS (very short period)
    #5
  6. Gronked

    Gronked Adventurer

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    I'm no expert, but it whether or not this is a suitable first bike may depend on somethings like your physical size and hence ability to move it around and pick it up when you drop it etc.

    Also your age, and maturity level when it comes to riding like a nit and getting in over your head speed and terrain wise.

    If riding off road, will you be riding alone? Do you have mates to teach you riding technique off road, or will you be doing any dual sport riding courses?

    I have heard of people buying an F800GS as their first dual sport bike, so I guess in theory a 990 wouldn't be out of the question... if you ride within your limits. You can get yourself into trouble riding a 990, 250, or 110cc postie bike.
    #6
  7. FalloutMan

    FalloutMan Been here awhile

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    My experience was off of a street bike to the Adv. I didn't have any problems except getting used to being up higher which makes everything feel slower so you end up speeding all the time. I love every second of it and wouldn't trade the 990 for anything, well until I wanna change my oil. :lol3
    #7
  8. Grinderman

    Grinderman Been here awhile

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    First street bike I owned and 2nd dirt bike. The first dirt bike I owned was a drz 100 25 yrs ago. I have learned to ride the big ktm in the dirt just fine. Respect loose downhills and know your limits with the bike. It takes a fall with the best of them and you well have a ball!!! Do it, it well not be regretted.:D
    #8
  9. propilot10

    propilot10 Been here awhile

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    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.
    #9
  10. GoNOW

    GoNOW Long timer

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    I had ridden motorcycles before, but in affect, I started out on a 950. I would not do it again. I beat the crap out of a really nice bike and almost killed myself a few times. I have since taken as many riding courses as I could and they improved my skill an unbelievable amount. You have to take classes designed for the bigger bikes since riding them is very different then street or normal dirt bikes. I should say riding them well.

    If I had to do it over, I would spend a year or two on a DR, KLR, etc that was already well used and learn the ropes on the cheaper bike. Then go upgrade.
    #10
  11. GZERO

    GZERO Fixing stuff around

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    we are all different and have different backgrounds.
    but i think this is the best advice, courses.
    BTW: 950/990 like to get you into trouble, they are bikes that demand good drivers.
    #11
  12. propilot10

    propilot10 Been here awhile

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    I totally agree. I think my background has had a big impact on my ridding abilities. And yes, the bike beckons you to push it. But setting a personal limit is key. Something I would have never done in my 20s. Glad I could not afford a bike back then.
    #12
  13. STROM-CRF450X-990SMT

    STROM-CRF450X-990SMT Been here awhile

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    Agreed, I think the 990 as an adventure bike is definitely more suited to the more experienced. It does certainly command respect of the twist grip etc. That said, a smart head will adapt and learn quick enough, but certainly it is not the easy route to experience. Especially if you are short.
    #13
  14. DragonNester

    DragonNester Been here awhile

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    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.
    #14
  15. henryroten

    henryroten Been here awhile

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    I believe that these big bikes are too much weight and power for most riders, not just beginners. I have been riding/racing off road for years and I find the 990 to be a whole new world, different and more difficult in most ways.

    If you are flat footed on it, you could make it a great street bike. If you go off road, prepare to fall (and practice lifting it up in your driveway before you go out!).
    #15
  16. VTvfr

    VTvfr Been here awhile

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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 :deal
    #16
  17. SF_Rider

    SF_Rider Been here awhile

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    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.
    #17
  18. ilyaon

    ilyaon Adventurer

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    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.
    #18
  19. VertigoCycles

    VertigoCycles Been here awhile

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    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.
    #19
  20. mountain eagle

    mountain eagle terrorist

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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 :wink: 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........
    #20