AFRICA TWIN? KTM 1090? BMW f800gs? Which bike should I get ?

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by brendin666, Aug 9, 2017.

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Africa twin? BMW f800gs? KTM 1090?

  1. KTM 1090 adventure

    63 vote(s)
    29.7%
  2. Honda Africa twin

    129 vote(s)
    60.8%
  3. BMW F800gs

    20 vote(s)
    9.4%
  1. Prototype4342

    Prototype4342 Long timer

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    :nod Maybe in a couple years I'll be tired of my Tiger and be ready to drop the coin on the 1090
    #41
  2. XRman

    XRman Long timer

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    A lot of riders are in the watch and wait situation. I wanted a road bike that was dirt road capable. So far the 800 XCx has delivered the goods. The riding modes work in the dirt and cruise control is useful. I might wait for the new Tiger before I decide.
    #42
  3. Gustavo

    Gustavo Motociclista Errante

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    You mentioned you have a Harley, but not much more about your riding. How much off-roading experience do you have? Taking a 550-600 lbs bike off road is not trivial. Someone mentioned that picking it up gets old. Unless you plan to stick to maintained dirt roads, none of those bikes you listed is suitable for a beginner off-road rider.

    If this is your first exposure to dirt riding, I'd recommend you buy a small dirt bike or dual sport and get some experience dirt riding first, before you venture off-road with one of these beasts. It'll be a lot safer and cheaper in the long run.

    Gustavo
    #43
  4. motomuchacho

    motomuchacho Been here awhile

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    Haven't tried the KTM or BMW, but the Africa Twin is not a bad choice for a beginner off-road. I'm not saying it's ideal (a smaller bike would be preferable for most), but it's a reasonable choice for someone with other MC experience. The low center of gravity really makes it manageable.
    #44
  5. Brokebrute

    Brokebrute Been here awhile

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    Of the three you have listed I would recommend the Africa Twin. I have ridden the Honda and Bmw I don't have any experience with the Ktm. I don't care for the Bmw I would buy another Klr before I buy the Bmw too similar to me to pay the extra. I really like the Honda smooth on the road torquey motor, decent suspension, good ergonomics for me and really well balanced off road.

    I have a Triumph Tiger 800XCX and can't decide which I like better it or the Honda. The Tiger handles better on the highway and cruise control is also a plus. The Honda has a lower center of gravity and more torque which makes it better off road.

    I added bar risers, a Madstad windshield, aftermarket seat, and lowered pegs to the Tiger to make it more comfortable for long highway rides. The Honda doesn't need bar risers for me but I would upgrade all the other stuff I did on the Tiger.
    #45
  6. Killacurb

    Killacurb Dad

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    Well, nobody else will say it so I'll just throw it out there. If your looking at beasts with a 70/30 split road to off-road and are looking for low maintenance you should probably look at the Super Tenere as well. All the above mentioned motos are great rides, as is the S10. If cost is truly in the mix the big Yamaha should be a consideration. I envy your having to make this tough decision!
    #46
  7. motoman250f

    motoman250f Been here awhile

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    and the tenere is where the real deals are!
    #47
  8. kaptainkatsu

    kaptainkatsu Adventurer

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    AT. The big plus is you an use regular gas. Might not be an issue in the US since you can get premium most everywhere but you might not be so lucky elsewhere.

    Super happy with mine, put 11,000 miles on it in 3 months
    #48
  9. Pcfly

    Pcfly Dude?! Seriously??

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    F900GS......because it's the BEST! :jack Comes out this fall........everyone wants that.....the others are junk!
    #49
  10. paquo

    paquo Been here awhile

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    If you want to include fattys also consider triumph exlorer.
    #50
  11. Killacurb

    Killacurb Dad

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    Cost seemed to be a main concern to the OP. The Gen1 S10 has shaft drive and low maintence. There are some very god deals out there on the fatty Gen1 Yamaha. Triumphs is see are at least a couple grand more. At least in my area.
    #51
  12. funkymunky

    funkymunky Adventurer

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    I have the 2016 AT. I ride with a mate who has a 1090 and another who has a older 800 Tiger. All three go the same places, the tiger is slightly slower and showing its age, the 1090 and AT are more or less on par. I am looking to upgrade my foot pegs on the AT, because they are a bit on the narrow side...
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    The 1090 seems to like punctures! :rofl
    #52
  13. funkymunky

    funkymunky Adventurer

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    IMG_7843.JPG

    Attached Files:

    #53
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  14. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer

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    Ridden the BMW, Honda AT, an 1190R (close to the 1090) , and a Tiger 800XC. Not a bad bike in the bunch. They all have differing personalities and traits.

    The 1090 will be the fire breather of the bunch and is built to take A LOT of abuse. All KTMs lean towards being a bit more raw which can be great and smile inducing, or irksome, depending on mood. It's tall and feels it - and despite a few claims to the contrary every KTM I have owned (4 of them) seem to thrive on a bit more than the average care a lot of riders bestow upon their bikes. Or perhaps it's because I abuse them more, honestly I'm not sure. Nothing serious, just little stuff to stay on top of.

    The BMW is pretty decent, a very nicely put together german KLR.

    The Honda is a solid design. Low center of gravity, great turning radius, torquey motor. Yet as with all bikes, depending on planned use it has a few short-comings. It has very pretty but street bike like plastics that don't like contacting the ground. The subframe and fairing mounts are not... lets say "over-built". The motor runs out of steam once past mid-range (IMHO) which limits the fun on pavement, and they might as well have put sport bike pegs on it compared to the pegs they used. Actually, most sportbike pegs are a bit longer, LOL.

    Since the Tiger was brought up I'll put in my 2 cents on it - It's not as thrilling as some, not as pretty as others, pretty bullet proof design over all. It's extremely competent and can rock along very nicely on and off-pavement. I'd put the motor 2nd to the KTM, perhaps even first if considering smoothness over power. The transmission gearing spread is too damn narrow. The front end geometry is a wee touch more street oriented than many in this segment of bike which can make it a bit of a handful in the soft stuff (mud and sand). The suspension on the Gen1 models was lacking for more serious off-road use.

    Overall, I consider the Tiger my "practical" all-arounder (as opposed to the 1190R that I owned which was just a freaking smile inducing "look at me" beast of a bike.) The Tiger is understated and just works. If/when I sell it I will be take a hard 2nd look at the Honda AT again. Along with whatever else that's been introduced.
    #54
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  15. GreyMittens

    GreyMittens Adventurer

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    Get what your heart is set on, you will regret any other choice regardless of magazine articles or reviews. All 3 bikes could be good but if you are in love with the ktm 1090, pull the trigger.

    I recently traded in my 2014 ktm 690 for the 2017 1090 adv r and LOVE IT. I don't think you need to be a mechanic to maintain them. Basic upkeep as you would have to with any bike should keep you running. Follow the service manual guidelines and service intervals and you should be ok. The 1090 wants a service at 1000km for it's first check up, after that at 15,000km. Not bad! I will likely do an oil change or two myself in between. Otherwise just put on your helmet, ride and grin :)
    #55
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  16. DetoX68

    DetoX68 Been here awhile

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    Last april I traded my '14 F800GS for the AT. Main reason was the vibration of the engine and the lack of power/grunt. I was waiting for the new 800GS, but had to wait too long.
    The GS build after 2013 is a perfect bike without any technical flaws. The suspension is soft, but you get used to it. The only musthave on this bike is a comfortseat, the original wil kill you.
    The AT is better on all occasions. The suspension is better, so brakes better and handels better. The engine is stronger, faster and doesn't vibrate. The fuel consumption (if you care) is better on the F800.
    The best thing to do is go and ride the three bikes and find out what you prefer. If the nearest KTM, Honda or BMW dealer is a dayride away, skip that brand.

    Have fun deciding.

    [​IMG]

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    #56
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  17. ADVQuest228

    ADVQuest228 Adventurer

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    i am reading thru this thread for a final decision? i am shopping around also, more looking at the 800gs and ktm 990.
    what did you decide? if you decided yet??
    #57
  18. Glifaus

    Glifaus Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2017
    Oddometer:
    17
    After almost two years of problems, i decided to sell my AT 2016 with 2017 engine. Too many fails, trips to workshop, mails with Honda, too soft suspensions, lack of power... maybe it's my unit, maybe my fault... but im not happy when ride it and this is the most important thing when i rode a bike. So, try it all, and the one thar puts the bigger smile in your face would be the chosen.
    Good luck!
    #58
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  19. michaeln

    michaeln What're YOU lookin' at?

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    I owned a 2017 Africa Twin that I poured a ton of money into. I am currently riding my 7th KTM, a 2016 Super Duke 1290 R.

    Given my experience with the Honda and an assortment of KTMs and Husqvarnas, I would go for the KTM 1090 of the three you listed.

    The Honda after extensive mods still committed the cardinal sin for motorcycles (for me). It was boring. Not a single one of my KTMs has ever been boring.
    #59
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  20. TanukiPDX

    TanukiPDX Been here awhile

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    I went through the same debate and went with the 1090R. It is the first 1090r, but at the same time, its just an 1190 that has been simplified. I wouldn't really consider it to be the first year.

    The KTM costs more, but does it really? The AT doesn't come with crash bars or knobby tires. You will end up adding both and really depending on the price you negotiate, end up at a similar cost when the bikes are like for like.

    The KTM has a better off road feel and does just fine on the road. I did 6500 miles on my KTM in 12 days. My butt was fine and I thought with shinko tires the bike felt fine in the corners at speed. Brakes don't bite quite as hard as I need sometimes, but I also like to ride the bike kinda fast.

    Mechanically the KTM isn't bad either, but I am no mechanic so maybe I don't have a good opinion. I did my SAS delete, dongle, intake, oil changes, tire change, etc on my own. I have not cracked open the engine though. Other than that, its still just nuts and bolts. Maybe the engine rebuilds are harder than the Honda, but wiring, and everything else didn't seem too crazy to me. General maintenance is easy and the computer can be reset without visiting a dealership.

    Another big difference is that the KTM offers tubeless wheels, while the AT does not.

    I read that article and the weights were off. When I was looking at the KTM vs AT, the AT with DCT weighed in around the same as my R1200GS did when equipped equally (crash bars, skid plate, etc). The KTM was 15-20lbs lighter if I remember right, and has a lot more power than the Honda.

    The KTM felt slightly too tall for me when I first got it, but I adjusted. When it was fully loaded, it wasn't bad either. It is harder to pick up the ktm. honda compared to the GS though. The crashbars/ boxer motor make it nice and easy to get a big r1200gs off the ground.

    I just totaled my 1090 a few months ago. I am back in the market and will either find a close out 1090/ 1190, or buy a 500 dirt bike and just ride it till the new 790 comes out. KTM's are cool bikes, don't let people tell you they are too expensive to own.

    These are my .02

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    #60
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