KTM 990 Adventure journey

Discussion in 'Dakar champion (950/990)' started by Mr Jimmy, Oct 20, 2020.

  1. Mr Jimmy

    Mr Jimmy n00b

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2020
    Oddometer:
    4
    Location:
    England
    Hello to all 2 wheeled brothers and sisters in arms,

    This thread will document my journey with the KTM 990 adventure for my own personal documentation as well as for any who are interested.

    Throughout my motorcycling career, I have come to the conclusion that there isn’t a type or brand of motorcycle that is best, and that anything with a motor and two wheels will put an enormous grin on my face and for different reasons! But unfortunately, so many bikes, so little funds and time.

    The ability to justify multiple bikes to myself and... my wife has waned and even the... motorcycles are like pairs of shoes justification no longer works.

    After having Harley’s (Dyna series), Triumphs (2006,1977) Sports bikes (GSXR, H2) and a Honda Africa Twin most recently, I discovered that an ADV bike ticked a lot of boxes. The Honda was a beautiful bike that was reliable and as good in the dirt as it was on the road but for some reason the Honda just felt... dull.

    And so, the search for the ultimate all-rounder led me to…

    The KTM 990 ADV.

    The 990 looks imposing. Just to look at it, the machine has a serious attitude. It looks as if it does not suffer fools and wannabes gladly and will spit them straight off. It is not a beautiful looking bike, far from it. Ugly, utilitarian, fit for purpose and mean looking. It looks fit for an apocalypse… It looks epic.

    Riding the bike, it is as mean as it looks. I have never ridden a bike that is as unfriendly to the user as the 990. It feels as though it is daring you to make one, just one mistake and it will make you pay for it big time. The machine isn’t happy messing around town on down side streets, its as if its angry at you for subjecting it to this mundane nonsense, all the while waiting to tear through the sands of the Sahara. But as soon as you let the beast free, it is your best and oldest friend, it handles beautifully with as much power as you could ask for, and you can do no wrong as the beast gives everything it has to you and allows you to cross any terrain with you on its back with a massive smile on your face.

    This machine is clearly something special.
    A bonding period has begun with the Orange beast, we are still feeling each other out but I get the feeling that this is the beginning of a long and beautiful friendship.
    image1[275].jpeg

    Attached Files:

    #1
    mutt550, Mr Head, Crazygreek and 6 others like this.
  2. roookie1

    roookie1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    594
    Location:
    Denmark
    Wow that bike looks mint I dont know all about the 990 since i have a 950 but their might be a map that will work better in the low revs... Try 16/45 gearing that also helps in low revs, makes more 6th usable, and the frontwheel even lighter also good for off-road..
    #2
  3. Zuber

    Zuber Zoob Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    7,399
    Location:
    West of the West, Oregon
    With the stock map and maybe poor tuning, these 990's are a beast to ride. If you are mechanically inclined, these really respond to some simple tuning. Like: valves at the loose end of the range, TPS spot on and one of my maps that changes the throttle to be much smoother on the low end.

    I've looked at a 790, bought a 1090r, and have many other KTM"s and BMW's. I just bought back my 2010 990 Adv, it just works so good for everything.
    #3
  4. speedy 1

    speedy 1 Wizard

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2013
    Oddometer:
    640
    Location:
    Dark Coast Southern Oregon
    Mine looks just like yours.
    People often ask if it's new.
    Racked up a little over 110,000 miles.
    First time my wife saw it she says "now there's a man's bike"
    Have done very few mods to it.
    When riding solo I have a flatter seat with no "hump" on it.
    The weakest link in the bike is the TPS (throttle position sensor)
    Anytime it starts to run oddly ... change it.
    Keep a spare in stock.
    Water pump seal has been changed twice.
    Balance shaft seal once.
    Piston in the stock clutch slave is narrow and has a single "O" ring. It tends to wobble in the bore and wears out.
    Dual "O" ring Oberon slave works and lasts a little better.
    Swing arm fills with water ... check the axle adjuster bolts for corrosion.
    Lots of great maintenance tips in "Halls of Wisdom" on this site.
    Wonderful bike.
    Enjoy.
    #4
    White Owl likes this.
  5. road hammer

    road hammer have map will travel

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Oddometer:
    758
    Location:
    kamloops
    with 2 out in the garage I say, congrats on getting your new favorite bike.
    #5
  6. Mr Jimmy

    Mr Jimmy n00b

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2020
    Oddometer:
    4
    Location:
    England
    Thanks for the tips guys, Ill definitely have a look at the TPS and look into getting a remap. Is this something I will be able to do through KTM or will I need to go to a performance specialist?
    I haven't really touched the bike yet as I've been having too much fun riding it :lol3
    Also does anyone have any recommendations in terms of seats?

    Cheers guys,
    Ride safe! DSCN0018.JPG
    #6
    Manakau.KTM likes this.
  7. Zuber

    Zuber Zoob Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    7,399
    Location:
    West of the West, Oregon
  8. Marsmarx

    Marsmarx n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2019
    Oddometer:
    2
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Definitely go to a tuning specialist and remap it on a Dyno. I had mine done and it smoothed out the throttle respons, made it run less fuel consuming and as a bonus added 6 Bhp! TuneECU is a nice tool but every engine needs a different tune to smooth them out. As for seats, I have the high Touratech saddle (I'm 189cm) and I like it. My girlfriend uses the low version of touratech on the same bike and she likes it too although a bit firmer due to less padding.
    #8
    Mr Head likes this.