KTM 1090 vs Africa Twin ADV Sports

Discussion in 'Hard. Core. (1090/1190/1290)' 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 things 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). That being said the AT is a very comfortable ride, no heat, comes with mostly all of the accessories needed, and may be cheaper to maintenance.

    Those of you that own KTM 1090's, did any of you choose between these two bikes? Why did you choose the KTM?
    #1
  2. ScooterNoMore

    ScooterNoMore Been here awhile

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    I’m of the opinion that the 1090 and the AT are in different classes.

    It’s my feeling that the 1090 is a dirt bike that’ll do the road......where the AT is a road bike that’ll do the dirt (like the GS’s).

    I’d say if your 95% road 5% dirt/gravel go for the AT.

    Having said that I DIDN’T take my own advice and bought the bike I loved, the 1090R!

    Go with your gut. All the best.
    #2
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  3. Rob180

    Rob180 Been here awhile

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    You can't overlook the significant power advantage of the 1090 either...
    #3
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  4. devildogg

    devildogg Long timer

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    I had a 2017 AT for one season and sold it, can't say there was anything wrong with it but it wasn't what turned my crank, suspension, lots of problems to read about in the AT threads, and power is lacking. I never thought the power issue would matter to me ( I'm no spring chicken) but it just makes it a little less fun on the dirt, on the highway ride the 1090 in dirt mode all the time and that's what the AT felt like. Maybe the new 2020 AT with the suspected bigger engine will change that. If your a big guy and carry camping gear of road you will definitely find the AT suspension lacking. Just my $.02 In fairness i came of a 950S a 990 and 1190 to the AT so my opinion may be a bit biased. I bought the 1090 for the relative simplicity compared to other adventure bikes and am loving it so far.
    #4
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  5. Newbusa

    Newbusa Long timer

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    I tried all the bikes in this segment before buying the 1090. I like the huge power of the 1090, also hated the wind management of the AT, so much so that I couldn’t wait to bring it back. Also didn’t help the AT case that it was the DCT version which I did not like. Also did not like the busy dash which found hard to read.I’m at about 14 k on my 1090 and happy with my decision.
    #5
  6. Lewilewi

    Lewilewi Ride it like you stole it......

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    I was in your position, a.t or ktm

    Your a big lad, do your self a favour test ride the 1290r..

    It's a I run two set of wheels one proper off rd tyres and 1 dedicated rd tyre

    I brought the 1290r and use it off rd with pals who ride 450s

    And I've toured europe fully loaded two up, it has superbike power too..


    Your choice tho
    #6
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  7. MTingle

    MTingle Adventurer

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    Have you done anything such as adding hard panniers, skid plate, larger windscreen? Have you done any 2 up trips?
    #7
  8. MTingle

    MTingle Adventurer

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    After not taking your own advice, are you happy with your decision or would you go back and take the AT? Do you commute at all? How's the heat off the side on your legs?
    #8
  9. MTingle

    MTingle Adventurer

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    Has anyone had electrical issues on the KTM?

    From another poster on the Honda forum where I posed the same question:

    "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."
    #9
  10. greypey

    greypey Adventurer

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    I just wish my 1090 had the AT grunt at low rpms, that's about it but hey, it's a short blanket ya know?
    #10
  11. redneckK20

    redneckK20 Been here awhile

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    AT's can be had for super cheap if you're not dead set on the adventure sports.
    #11
  12. Jason4

    Jason4 Been here awhile

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    I considered the AT when I bought my KTM 2 years ago and couldn't get excited about it. I believe that bikes should be something that the rider gets excited about otherwise just take a car.

    I ended up choosing the 1290 SAR and have since put 16k miles on it mostly commuting daily in the PNW. In the winter months I put a CalSci short windscreen (which really isn't short) and it keeps all of the cold air off my chest but is low enough to see over the top of; in the summer I go back to the stock screen. I also put on the skid plate, pannier racks, heated grips and seat, etc which all make it a very comfortable commuter and also very capable on the rough jeep roads that I've ridden. I'm only 5'8" so you might need a taller screen to get the air higher up but that's an easy change. I also bought a second set of wheels for aggressive knobbies but haven't dressed them out yet.
    #12
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  13. obrianmcc

    obrianmcc Long timer

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    Nothing electrical... yet. I was seriously looking at the AT and the 1090 was recommended. I swung a leg over the 1090 and to me it felt much better. My gut told me that the Honda would have better reliability over the KTM, but I threw caution into the wind and bought the 1090 anyway. Within a couple of days I noticed an engine oil leak that took three trips to the dealer and about 18 days to get resolved ... next, throw in a stalling issue caused by some bad fuel filters ... and lastly and most recent leaking fork seals. All in under 3 months. Given my experience to date with the KTM I probably would have taken another look at the AT. I'm in "what next mode" right now and obviously have had a rocky beginning with the Orange brand. The bike is going to have to regain my confidence.

    However, with that said, IMO from a performance perspective the KTM is a better bike ....
    #13
  14. Newbusa

    Newbusa Long timer

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    Yes , I have hard bags and a decent skid plate, run a stock 1290 shield.never two up .
    #14
  15. Newbusa

    Newbusa Long timer

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    Mine has been very reliable although I did change the fuel filters at 5 k, which was very easy to do.
    #15
  16. MTingle

    MTingle Adventurer

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    What pannier racks, skid plate, etc did you go with? I know I will need to add a skid plate, as well as pannier racks and aluminum panniers. I've also read a lot on the placement of the kickstand needing changed or you can damage the engine case.
    #16
  17. MTingle

    MTingle Adventurer

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    I've seen a lot of similar posts on the KTM Forums with people having plenty of issues under 600 miles, I wonder if it's mostly with the 2017 model or 2018.. It makes me very skeptical of purchasing this bike.
    #17
  18. ScooterNoMore

    ScooterNoMore Been here awhile

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    I’m very happy with my decision. I love my 1090. I commute daily, approximately 40min one way. I ware adv gear all the time, every ride. With the proper pants I don’t notice the heat unless I’m bumper to bumper at a walking pace.

    Brand loyalty aside, there both fantastic machines and they both have their unique quirks and weaknesses. I’m thinking as manufacturers build and design more and more sophisticated bikes with higher and higher performance levels, longevity and reliability start to slide a bit. Now, having said that, they are many many KTM’s and AT’s that have 10’s of thousands of trouble free kilometres on them.
    #18
  19. ScooterNoMore

    ScooterNoMore Been here awhile

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    I had niggles with the 1090 when new, a bit unlucky I suppose. All sorted eventually. I’m sure the Honda’s AT isn’t exempt from issues.
    #19
  20. MTingle

    MTingle Adventurer

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    If you don't mind me asking what issues did you have?
    #20