Off-roading fun is a must when you can ride an ultra-fun 2010 KTM 990 Adventure! A great bike that is meant to go adventuring on the backroads, fire trails, and the open desert. Off-road fun means inevitable drops and crash bars is the primary protection needed for any adventure motorcycle.
There are limited crash bar options available for the KTM 990 Adventure, partly due to many newer KTM models that have replaced it. There are the lower crash bars sold by TOURATECH USA or the ones from SW-Motech that Twisted Throttle also sells. However, I wanted a set of crash bars that protected both the lower and the upper sections of the 990 Adv. At the time, the only company that I found offering full crash bars was HEED based out of Częstochowa, Poland.
Overall I was happy with the HEED Crash Bars and the quality of the finished product. There was one fitment issue having to do with the cross bolt that goes across the KTM 990 Adventure, which I will cover in detail below. Barring that issue, I had the 990 Adventure ready for off-road fun sporting the HEED Crash Bars, including the HEED soft bags that fit nicely in the upper section of the bars. The crash bars performed well during a multitude of off-road rides even from hard hits on rocks while riding (and dropping the bike) on dry river beds and mountain roads.
The crash bars arrived from Częstochowa, Poland in great condition. For the KTM 990 Adventure, Heed offers the bars in orange or black and I opted for the black version to match the bike’s frame color. The crash bars and the needed hardware were wrapped in protective insulation and all of the needed components were included. The instructions were provided as a set of pics for a 11 step installation guide. I started with the installation after verifying all needed components were included and in good condition.
HEED Crash Bars Installation
To begin the installation process of the HEED crash bars on the 2010 KTM 990 Adventure, the left and right top fairings were removed:
This allowed access to the bolts that affix the cockpit support to the frame. These bolts need to be removed so that the HEED upper brackets can be installed with the new longer bolts that are provided in the package.
Once the stock bolts are out, the upper crash bars brackets can be installed. Care must be taken to make sure all the existing wiring is free from any kinks or stresses due to the bracket install. Get ready to cut a bunch of zip ties and reroute cables as needed.
The new upper bracket does interfere with the front brake cables. HEED provides a new bracket that can be bolted to the bottom of the suspension shelf to help reroute the cables. On this particular bike, the horn also needed to be relocated as it was previously bolted on to the lower fork brace, which did not clear the new upper brackets. I ended up relocating the horn to below the headlight housing. Here are both the upper bracket and the brake cable bracket installed:
At this point, the side fairings can be put back on the bike if desired. I decided to leave them off until the entire install process was completed to make sure everything fit as needed. It’s always best not to tighten down bolts for leaving some wiggle room to make sure all the puzzle pieces come together as desired. Note that this meant taking the crash bars back off in order to be able to reinstall the side fairings.
After the upper bracket and the brake cable bracket were in place, I placed the 340mm cross bolt that goes through the lower engine mount. This required the removal of the lower frame covers and pushing the long bolt through the opening.
With the 340mm bolt in place, remove the lower front-most fuel tank bolts and the two front bolts of the skit plate in order to install the lower crash bar brackets.
With all the brackets in place, the crash bars can be installed on each side of the bike.
Once satisfied that everything comes together, remove the bars, reinstall the side fairings, the HEED Crash Bars and tighten all bolts.
Here is the mighty KTM 990 Adventure with the Heed Crash Bars installed, including the HEED bags and the Wolfman Luggage Hoop Micro Saddle Bags on the crash bars for added storage.
KTM 990 Adventure HEED Crash Bars Fitment Issue
I did run into one fitment issue during our KTM 990 Adventure HEED Crash Bars installation as the 340mm cross bolt that goes through the lower engine case did not fit properly. The length and diameter of the bolt were fine, however the bolt was tapered into 3 sections of 10mm, 9mm and 8mm. Spacers were provided to fit at the 10mm side (left/gear lever side of the bike) and the 8mm side (right/brake lever side of the bike) of the bolt. The issue has to do with the length of the 9mm and 8mm tapered section as it resulted in forcing the 10mm side of the bolt to stick out way too much on the left side of the bike and barely enough on the right side. This caused having way too much of the bolt sticking out the left side that it interfered with my boot when trying to shift gears. On the other side, there was barely any thread sticking out of the bike to get the nut onto it.
I emailed HEED about this issue and their customer service was fantastic! They ended up shipping out a new cross bolt that did not have 9mm tapering in the middle, which resolved the problem. Much thanks to HEED for the quick response and resolution.
HEED Crash Bars Verdict
I recommend the HEED Crash Bars for the KTM 990 Adventure. They are of high quality and will protect the motorcycle well. I had the 990 Adv for a short time but I felt confident that the bike is protected well on every off-road adventure. Even with the fitment issue that I encountered, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy HEED products again with much thanks to their customer service.
Let us know if you have used these crash bars on your KTM 990 Adv and how you use them.
Contributed by Peyman Shahmirzadi
Peyman Shahmirzadi is a computer engineer and project manager in the high-tech industry. Peyman has a deep passion for motorcycling and all things around motorcycles since a young age. He has toured throughout the United States and in Canada on various motorcycles. He aims for the continued growth and enjoyment of motorcycling, as well as expanding the circle of motorcyclists.
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