Africa Twin ADV Sports vs KTM 1090

Discussion in 'Japanese polycylindered adventure bikes' started by MTingle, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. MTingle

    MTingle Adventurer

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    I've put 24,000 miles on my Kawasaki Versys in three years. Most of these miles are on trips around the U.S. from my home base in STL(a lot of road riding). Out of these miles I'm sure only around 200-300 are on non-paved roads. I'm looking to upgrade to a 1000cc+ bike and I've test ridden the KTM 1090 2018 and the Africa Twin ADV sports 2019. I'm sure that one of these will be the bike I upgrade to, but I want opinions from those on ADV rider.

    I will be using this bike to commute a bit as well, so keep that in mind. I'm 6'1", and I can basically flat foot the AT, not so much on the KTM.

    The KTM seems to get pretty hot while sitting still, but has a ton of power. I've also heard that the AT's stock crash bars are not truly crash bars where the KTM's are pretty serious. AT comes with skid plate, KTM does not. AT also comes with high windscreen which is needed( many miles at 80 mph).

    The one thing making me think about the KTM are those crash bars, the power, and off road capability(we camp every night on our 3 week trips , mostly not near paved roads).

    Those of you that own AT's, did any of you choose between these two bikes? Why did you choose the AT?
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  2. Amphib

    Amphib A mind is like a parachute....

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    I did look at the 1090 and AT when I was shopping. 2 main reasons I went with the AT was I got a leftover '17 with a deep discount and several stories from friends and acquaintances about constant problems with the 1090...mostly ride ending electrical issues.

    Where I'm at in life, I felt better about going Japanese.

    You asked about the adventure sport specifically, I considered it, but the savings on the 17 put me far ahead to put different crash protection on and get my luggage sorted for less than the price of the adventure sport or the ktm.
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  3. MTingle

    MTingle Adventurer

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    Ive heard of a lot of warning lights and things like that occurring on the KTM as well.

    Currently the 2018 KTM is around 11.5k at my local dealer, the AT is 12.3k for the 2019(not sure why it's so much lower than msrp). I like the ADV Sports for the tank size, as there are large stretches of road that we ride on our trips without gas stations(easily 200+ miles).

    Thanks for the respose!
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  4. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    The 2020 AT is about to be announced and judging by some low res pics the adventure sport version appears to have tubeless rims and a TFT dash in addition to the 1100cc motor. I'm guessing it'll also have cruise given these additions. You might want to wait a week before deciding.

    Given all the road riding you do, why not add the Super Tenere to your shopping list. It's a 1200 and once flashed the motor is a beast. Shaft drive, tubeless and cruise are all standard. It can also do dirt roads no problem, and is a great mile muncher.

    The 1090 seems to be the most offroad oriented of the three. I think there's a heat shield that reduces some of the discomfort.
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  5. Amphib

    Amphib A mind is like a parachute....

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    No problem! I carry a 1 gal rotopax inside my pannier rack....i do love the ATAS colors tho!

    For me reliability is the biggest factor. Sure fast is fun, but I don't need the bragging rights or the aspirational components... I just want to get out and enjoy myself and get where I am headed with the least amount of hassle. I don't need overkill hp, I don't race....
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  6. MTingle

    MTingle Adventurer

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    I will need racks and hard luggage on either bike as well.

    Have you ridden the Tenere? I've watched a lot of those big bike shootouts on youtube and they always seem to bash it.
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  7. MTingle

    MTingle Adventurer

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    I think the 2020 may be a bit out of my price range, the 2019 AT ADV Sports is sitting around 12.3k at my local dealer and the KTM 1090 around 11.5K, makes me want to go for the 1090 because of the price.
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  8. Amphib

    Amphib A mind is like a parachute....

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    The ktm threads here are chocked full of good info and helpful folks. I think if you went that route, you'd be in good hands with that community here.
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  9. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    Yes, I sold a Gen I Super Tenere to get an Africa Twin DCT in 2016. That bike turned out to be a lemon and last year I sold it and bought a Gen II Super Tenere. Before getting the second Tenere I test-rode an Adventure Sport as well as a GS but preferred the S10. If I was doing a ton of dirt, I'd give the nod to the 1090, but my usage is touring and commuting and I absolutely love it.

    I've seen all the shootouts. They don't do the bike justice, to put it mildly. Check out this vid review for a fair shake. And he's right about the ECU flash....

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  10. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    The KTM is a good deal for that price, provided it's what you want. For me, it seems like the choice for someone who wants to ride as much dirt as possible. About the Honda, the value of the current model will take a huge hit when the 1100 is released, so taking resale into account the gap will close considerably.
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  11. AZMtnRider

    AZMtnRider Adventurer

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    I just picked up a leftover 2018 ATAS for 11,200. Here in AZ that’s a great price considering adv bikes are always at a premium.
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  12. DSM8

    DSM8 Where fun goes to die....

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    I was in the same boat and currently own a 990 adventure.
    The honda atas has a 300 mile range when touring at reasonable speeds
    It is a great commuter and does well in slow traffic
    Ktm not so much they are hot blooded but so much more fun to ride.
    It was a tradeoff
    Crashbars can be bought dont base you decision on that , look at your needs vs features that bolt on, what you cant change is the motor and the ktm has way more of that than the honda it’s way more fun to ride in sporty mode.
    If I were to redo would have gotten the ktm now that ive put 5k on the atas its a fine bike but the ktm has so much more spirit
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  13. gve.mcmlxxiv

    gve.mcmlxxiv Been here awhile

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    I have a 2016 AT and I would pick it over a 1090 because I like my long distance comfortable road riding. Edited to say would.

    It is primitive and has price point features though. Tubes in the wheels, No cruise control, silly suspension has been redone, little foot pegs, bark busters, etc.

    Save 3,000 in your budget to make it the way you want if you go the AT route.

    Motor, DCT and ergonomics are phenomenal and flawless.
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  14. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    I also had a 2016 DCT. The DCT broke down nearly 2 years into ownership, leaving me stranded. DCT breakdowns aren't that rare, Honda recently recalled the X-Adv for a DCT problem and I've heard of Wings also having issues. Even when the DCT was working correclty, a lot of times it'd choose to shift when I'd prefer it didn't so I left it in manual mode most of the time. One time I got stuck on a hill and as the DCT doesn't allow the rear wheel to lock in gear, there was no keeping the bike from sliding backward. The bike also suffered from an intermittent stalling problem that Honda couldn't fix. If the OP gets an AT I highly recommend a manual.
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  15. gve.mcmlxxiv

    gve.mcmlxxiv Been here awhile

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    What are you riding now?

    The one time my DCT was slipping up was when I changed the oil and didn’t put in a motorcycle rated oil. It was a regular automobile mobile one. I switched back to the Honda OEM oil after a few hundred miles and problems stopped. I think the oil needs to be changed every 4,000 miles because it thins up from gasoline getting in there. So I just use the standard OEM oil from the local Honda shop and DCT works fine.
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  16. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    I'm on a Gen II Super Tenere now.

    I always used 10w-30 synthetic after break-in per Honda's recommendation and the DCT worked normally till suddenly it didn't. Personally I think a quick shifter is the way to go if looking for a labor saver, much less complex and the clutch lever is still functional, which can come in handy in some dirt situations.
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  17. loganlexow

    loganlexow Adventurer

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    This is a great conversation. I'm sort of in the same boat, looking to possibly trade my 640 on in something. I've been looking at both of these, among others. My biggest hold is that I don't know if I want to muscle around a 500# bike THEN gear.
    #17
  18. loganlexow

    loganlexow Adventurer

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    I apologize for not adding anything relevant. I like thinking out loud in group format lol.
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  19. motosickle2000

    motosickle2000 Been here awhile

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    I would get the Africa Twin because it is available in DCT. The KTM isn't. The DCT transmission is a game changer. It makes riding off-road simple. It makes in town riding a cinch because you are not spending all of your time clutching and shifting. I have ridden off-road extensively including racing and the AT with DCT is the easiest bike to ride off-road. I rode from Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico this year. On the return trip to LA from Cabo, I rode Hwy 5 through Cocos corner to Mexicali. This involved riding 30 miles of dirt detours around bombed out bridges and overpasses. This is what adventure bikes were made for and it did this brilliantly.
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  20. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    The DCT works fine on open offroad terrain but get stuck on a steep hill climb and you might change your mind after you try to turn the bike around and roll back down.
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