1190 vs 1190r (I know I know, still can't decide)

Discussion in 'Hard. Core. (1090/1190/1290)' started by Dominik78, May 16, 2014.

  1. Dominik78

    Dominik78 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 16, 2014
    Oddometer:
    200
    Hey Guys,
    I know this has been touched in some of the posts on this forum, please bear with me. I'm hoping to join the 1190 club in August or September, but I just cannot decide which flavor to commit to. I keep changing my mind and I'm getting frustrated with myself!

    About me: I haven't test ridden either, but I've sat on both. At 5'10ish with my 30inch inseam, the R has me on tippy toes (std does too with ergo seat, but not as much). I'm coming from a '12 650 Vstrom that has seen a fair share of dirt and service roads. I definitely ride a whole lot more tarmac, but when I see a nice fire service road or trail, I love exploring.

    Can anyone direct me to a write up done by someone who's spent a more than a few days on both machines? For those of you who have experienced both, is it possible to quantify the difference for both on and off road? For example, is the R 15% better offroad, but also 15% worse on-road? Or perhaps the standard is only 10% better on-road, but 20% worse off road? Would it be fair to say that even the Std would be a bit better on dirt than my Wee?

    Another thing that worries me some is what I've been reading about buffeting on the 1190s. I had the same issue on my Wee. Madstat bracket and windshield helped tons with wind-noise, but I'm still experiencing annoying buffeting at higher speeds. If the buffeting on the Std is a lot less than on the R, it would be a big factor in my decision.

    Bonus question:
    Any firsthand dealer recommendations for southern California and what I should expect to pay OTD? I live just north of the San Fernando valley.
    #1
  2. jimmex

    jimmex Guero con moto Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Oddometer:
    4,399
    Location:
    West Texas/Rico
    Buffeting pretty bad on both bikes; I put on an MRA spoiler thing and it helps a lot but not perfect. The Std handles very well on pavement and is plenty capable off-road IMO. I've only ridden the R briefly but it feels slower on turn in. I say std unless you're really into serious off-road riding.
    #2
  3. Dominik78

    Dominik78 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 16, 2014
    Oddometer:
    200
    Thanks Jimmex, that does help.
    #3
  4. Bluesilver

    Bluesilver Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,931
    Location:
    South Africa
    No buffeting issues with the touring screen, ok it's no GS Adventure but no problems for us.

    I say if you going to do a lot of dirt then for sure the R model without a doubt. If you mostly tar then hands down NOT the R, I see no point in compromising with a 21inch front and no electronic suspension just to say you have an Adventure R....:D

    If you tend to carry a passenger on the back then the electronic suspension pays for itself in spades, load up, adjust and it levels out beautifully as well as adjustment on the move for the different road conditions.

    I say decide what you gonna use the bike for and go from there, that is what we did when I tested the 1190, took the wife with after we rode the MTS1200 and 1200 Tiger, "stock" 1190 hands down was the best for our needs.

    Oh and the "stock" 1190 can handle the dirt roads just fine but, any hardcore stuff and the R runs rings around it.
    #4
  5. breakfastbuddy

    breakfastbuddy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2014
    Oddometer:
    108
    but as you say : About me: I haven't test ridden either, but I've sat on both. At 5'10ish with my 30inch inseam, the R has me on tippy toes (std does too with ergo seat, but not as much). I'm coming from a '12 650 Vstrom that has seen a fair share of dirt and service roads. I definitely ride a whole lot more tarmac, but when I see a nice fire service road or trail, I love exploring.

    and for me for me i am tippy toeing my self , and my hight is 180 cm , choose the standard , its lower , and the bikes are very similar , i have been test riding both for hours , and i think you also can find trail tires for the standard ,
    #5
  6. RobZorba

    RobZorba Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2014
    Oddometer:
    815
    Location:
    Albania
    Hi Dominik78,

    These are the main differences between the R and the S versions of the 1190, hopefully this will allow you to choose which version suits you best. I chose the R because of my height (6ft 2in) and damaged spine, and the R gave me extra leg room and straighter legs. But in all other respects if I was shorter, the S would suit me better, because my riding is mainly "on road".

    The R is "optimized" for off road because of:
    • 21 inch front wheel, 18 inch rear wheel
    • Long travel suspension (220 mm), both front and back
    • Stiffer suspension, manual adjustment
    • Rally seat, height (890 mm) not adjustable
    • Wider handlebars

    The S is "optimized" for on road because of:
    • 19 inch front wheel, 17 inch rear wheel
    • Shorter travel suspension (190 mm) / lower c.o.g.
    • Softer suspension, with electronic adjustment (EDS)
    • Touring seats, height adjustable (860 mm or 875 mm)
    • Lower seat position, about 3 cm lower than the R
    • Narrower handlebars than the R

    The R rides big bumps and potholes better, grips better off-road, you sit quite a bit higher, and it has a c.o.g about 2 inches higher than the S. It would win off-road races against the S (with same rider). On-road and track, the S with its lower c.o.g and smaller wheels turns quicker and easier, has better grip on-road, and would win on-road races compared with the R (with same rider). There's nothing "wrong" with using the R on-road or the S off-road, and they are both great all round bikes compared with the competition.
    #6
  7. llamapacker

    llamapacker Mr. Conservative

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,655
    Location:
    Bossier City, Louisiana
    I have only ridden the Adventure, the R was tall, and I like the looks. But, the electronic suspension is the perfect for me and my riding style (mostly on road).

    My Super Tenere spent most of its life with K60s mounted, and I didn't hesitate to go about anywhere. But, the Adv 1190 is so good on road I hesitate to put K60s on. I can still go offroad just not extreme stuff, no mud or wet.
    #7
  8. manxkipper

    manxkipper Fishpistel

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,247
    Location:
    Cape Town
    If you like speed don't do the R. It has a weave of note at anything higher than 170km/h.
    #8
  9. Jim Colombotos

    Jim Colombotos Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    323
    Location:
    San Leandro, Ca
    5'-10"
    29" inseam
    1190 R
    switched to the touring seat ...as it seems lower.

    I wish my boots had thicker soles lol Overall

    see ya soon J
    #9
  10. ADVill

    ADVill Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Oddometer:
    612
    Location:
    West Tn, USA
    Depends on what you call off road. If it's just dirt roads either should do fine. For me at 6'1" the S model 990 was good while riding off road but trying to maneuver it (push the bike) out of a tough spot is a major pain in the butt. Not to mention getting on and off it all day long.
    #10
  11. wilmar13

    wilmar13 Long timer

    Joined:
    May 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,043
    Location:
    90042
    Just some background for context: I really wanted a standard. I wanted a sportbike that was capable of more utility and all road (paved and unpaved) performance. The base model was almost ideal (almost for me being I would have wanted an 1190SMT with 17" front wheel, but 19" rubber is good enough and better for gravel roads). The Ducati MTS1200 is on paper what I wanted, but it just doesn't fit me well and I just don't gel with the bike. So anyway yes the 1190 standard is for me! Problem is that my local dealer sold out his allotment and would need to beg borrow and steal to get another from the region. It would happen eventually but in the meantime a 1190R became available.

    I rode it and liked it, but really struggled with whether this is the right compromise since it is not really what I wanted. I decided to buy it anyway. I have owned it for a week and 3 days, and I have put 2600 miles on it already, including some rocky jeep trails (not single track but actual trails, not gravel roads), lots of twisty pavement, and even a track day. It is the best bike I have ever ridden and I am so glad I got the R.

    I am blown away by how well the stock tires grip on many surfaces and it is faster than you need to be anywhere on the street. I ride aggressively and was faster than buddies on sportier bikes in the Smoky mtns. It is mind blowing how fast you can ride the R in the twisties, the 21"/18" stock Contis will not hold you back anywhere below triple digit speed sweepers. And even on the track the bike does better than I would have expected the standard bike to do. I was in the intermediate group and passed ~half the group during each session and was only passed a couple times myself (it isn't a race, just giving perspective on how even on a road race track the bike is quick). The stock Contis have a lot of grip for what they are(skinny dualsport tires), and even hold up well when pushed. [​IMG]

    I am not saying this bike is as fast as a sportbike, I am saying it is fast enough that even if you are a demon speedfreak on pavement, it is more than up to task, at least far more than anything on 21"/18" wheels could be expected to do. I read the report in Bike magazine where they claimed the R was actually the better road bike and I didn't understand how that could be. Now I get it. Yes it is a giant dirtbike, and if you ride it like one it is brutally fast on pavement. The larger wheels may be slower to turn in than if they were smaller, but it is so easy with the big wide bars it is never an issue. And they roll over every pothole, bump, etc. without even taking notice. The suspension is plush and the extra travel helps load the tires and steepen the geometry under hard braking. As long as you are comfortable with the bike being loose beneath you, the tires are always glued to the road. The base is (most likely) better on pavement, but I can't see a way that it matters. If your buddy on a base rides away from you on an R on the pavement, it is far more likely due to the pilot, rather than the bike. You do have more pavement options on the base model size wheels however, no getting around that.

    However, the R is freaking awesome off the asphalt and will leave the base for dead. This is to me is where the R becomes the no-brainer. The offroad ABS is simply amazing. I have ridden this bike in the dirt way faster than I ever would have considered thanks to the trust I gradually developed in the front wheel ABS. No getting around the fact that this is a top heave 500lb beast and not an EXC, but it is nice to grab a handful of front brake down a steep gravel incline and know that the wheel will not lock (much) and you will actually stop. I have ridden other ABS systems and they are downright dangerous in that they seem to avoid locking by not working at all. I don't want to get too much into how great the R is offroad, but it is simply awesome and a lot of fun, and something I would not be doing had I gotten what I originally wanted in the base model. Or conversely maybe I would have, and the standard would blow me away with its off road prowess too. I really don't know so it is presumptuous to say the R is awesome at both roads and off road and the base only on road. I guess the point of my post here is that when trying to decide between base and R, the R is no slouch on the asphalt so if that is your concern don't let it be.

    Other random points from someone who wanted a base and now has an R:
    -The electronic suspension seems like a great idea, but once you understand what it is doing for you you will realize it has very limited benefit and a lot of downside. The R has a knob for hydraulic adjust rear preload instead of spanner ring so it is really easy to change settings just like the servos are doing for you. And I am certain it is tough to break a screwdriver and unheard of for it to fail in use, not sure about the servos and associated control system of the EDS. Plus having more travel is nice no matter what you do with the bike (if you can manage the extra height). Want to revalve and/or respring your suspension? the R is easy... not so sure about the base model's EDS.
    - I plan to get a set of 17" wheels to have the best of both worlds. Yes the speedo and ODO will be off, but speedo is already BS and I use a ZUMO for speed and ODO, so other than resale being affected who cares, (I can't see myself ever selling this bike). Had I gotten the base I would be set with the compromise wheelset. Not really a positive or negative, just what it is.
    - buffeting is so much better with R screen, though this is highly dependent on rider. I am 6'3.5" tall so the stock base screen was ridiculously awful in both positions and it was so tall that it was in your line of sight yet not blocking the wind. The R screen is nice in that in lower position you get clean naked bike-ish airflow and in upper position you can just lean forward a bit at higher speeds while cruising on the slab and have sportbike like wind protection while still looking over the windscreen rather than through it. This is personal opinion, but if I have to look through a screen other than my face-shield at all times I may as well be in a cage, and I refuse to look through a screen that does nothing but blow my head around and make awful noise. Base model would have to have R screen installed or cut down for me.
    - I love the ability of being able to go anywhere, anytime, very very fast. This bike is the 2 wheel equivalent to a Score Trophy Truck. Sure maybe its in its element blazing across the desert, but its still a blast spanking sports cars on pavement, or even just driving around town. The base would have an element of this, but it would be more like a WRC rally car, not a perfect analogy, but you get my point.
    - I like the looks of the R better.

    I don't think you can go wrong with either bike so don't agonize too much. I got the version I didn't want and I absolutely love it.
    #11
    Ducky 149, alskee750 and FLHTK like this.
  12. CaliBerger

    CaliBerger Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Oddometer:
    480
    good write up
    thanks
    #12
  13. Dominik78

    Dominik78 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 16, 2014
    Oddometer:
    200
    That's some great feedback and good points made by everyone, thanks so much and especially to Wilmar13 for that detailed write up!
    #13
  14. Suddenstop

    Suddenstop Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2013
    Oddometer:
    334
    Location:
    New England USA
    just to confuse you even more - I think I could have written wilmar13's write up, except I have the base. The std totally blew me away with how good it is off road.

    I also find the bike damn quick on the pavement. The suspension soaks up real world bumps well and maintains composure at speed. And the stock tires seem very very good.

    Basically a testament on just how good these bikes are - R or std.
    #14
  15. wilmar13

    wilmar13 Long timer

    Joined:
    May 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,043
    Location:
    90042
    Well there you have it... Flip a coin if you are sitting on the fence and you will be happy with either side. :D
    #15
  16. wilmar13

    wilmar13 Long timer

    Joined:
    May 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,043
    Location:
    90042
    Missed this post... Me thinks there is something wrong with your bike. Make sure your steering bearing is snug and your wheels are aligned. I was hitting indicated speeds above 130mph (120mph actual, 200km/h) and only when the tank was almost empty did I notice any tendency to head shake, and this is under full throttle acceleration on a bumpy race track on a very short straight where I was shifting weight to rear to get drive out of corner...

    Its rock steady in straight line under less demanding conditions at higher speeds (tested on closed course :wink:)
    #16
  17. motomuppet

    motomuppet Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    520
    Location:
    Singapore

    I have seen an indicated 230kmph on track with no weave (until you hit the brakes, then things can get loose...not the tires, but the the bike weaves as it slows). Bike was fairly steady exiting corners on track with just minimal shaking, but at an indicated 170kmph on the highway (closed for a special event of course...cough cough) in a straight line at steady throttle with panniers the bike gets a serious weave on. Methinks the panniers are the culprit here. This is on an R...not sure if the Std would have the same issues with panniers?
    #17
  18. manxkipper

    manxkipper Fishpistel

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,247
    Location:
    Cape Town
    I will check the steering head bearings as you suggest. I only use a top box.
    Having been a sportsbike nut for years I feel cheated by the damn weaving. I even tried lowering the forks without success. Bike is great otherwise - the grip on those conti tyres is amazing.
    #18
  19. madatter

    madatter Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    148
    Location:
    South East Alberta
    Well I waffled between the standard and R for a few days.
    Ultimately the bike shop owner talked me out of the R.
    I don't plan on doing Singletrack,backroads and an occasional quad trail are about it for off road....I'll leave everything else to the 350EXC.
    Basically it's my street bike now that can actually do some casual offroad....I really don't want to scar it up but I do want to get off the pavement.
    The R definitely was on the tallish side too....being 5'9"
    I cannot believe how well the standard handles gravel roads,completely impressed.
    Heck I'm impressed with the standard on the street too....more comfy,more power,I think it even turns better than my FZ8 Fazer....which I just put up for sale:D
    Buffeting for me on the standard is good,but that might be because I'm used to the bad buffeting on the Fazer8.
    As others have said both great bikes.... But unless you really plan on going offroad,and are taller I think the standard is a better choice.
    #19
  20. Bluesilver

    Bluesilver Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,931
    Location:
    South Africa
    R has that HUGE 21inch front and that is the problem, the damper cannot be adjusted so unlike the race dampers you cannot dial in for the riding you doing, it's just a compromise.

    All you need is an unbalance 21" at speed or hit a bump especially when you exit the corners on power the front will tank slap for sure, this happens even on the race bikes.

    R is not designed to be a track tool and the "std" model will for sure out perform it on the track and road but hell, the R is meant to be good in both areas but focused on dirt, it's why you have a 21" front, high suspension and better clearances.

    As for breaking on the track, again the 21" does not help and you carrying ALOT of weight high up throwing the bikes rake/trail out when it dives down deep....

    Still an amazing design from KTM, when it's not broken.
    My humble experience on race bikes and the std 1190...
    #20