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KTM 1050 Adventure first ride

KTM 1050 Adventure
KTM 1050 Adventure

KTM has expanded its adventure line-up with a flagship 1290 Super Adventure and an entry-level 1050 joining the 1190 Adventure and R.

Suddenly supporters of the orange Austrian now have more choice and a wider price point in the Adventure models, ranging from the 1050 at $17,995 up to the 1290 Super Adventure at $26,995 (plus on-road costs).

KTM 1050 AdventureKTM global PR manager Thomas Kuttruf says the 1050 Adventure is a welcome addition to the all-road line-up. “The music isn’t always playing on the top of Mt Everest,” he says. “This bike is available, reachable and practical.”

The 1050 Adventure was launched along with the Super Adventure in the Canary Islands in the Atlantic where it was possible to compare all the models in the range.

And despite the entry-level model being down on power and capacity against its big brothers, it’s also lighter and still has most of electronic gadgets, exotic components and heritage of the others.

Standard features include ABS, ride-by-wire throttle, traction control, KTM Ride Mode technology, WP suspension and Brembo brakes.

The 1055cc engine is based on the 1190, but with a lower bore and stroke (103/63mm, compared with 105/69mm) and 70kW of power with 107Nm of torque compared with 110kW/125Nm.

However, it should be noted that the power and torque are the same as the 1190 until 6000rpm, so it feels pretty similar until you really open it up.

KTM 1050 AdventureThe 1050 features a new piston which is 50g lighter for quicker throttle response, while the new crank with more rotating mass on the flywheel and rotor gives it a gentler purr.

One of the reasons KTM has introduced this model is to take advantage of novice licensing laws in Europe.

They produce a Euro-only model with a restricted engine to 35kW to meet the licensing laws which also demand that the unrestricted version does not exceed 70kW.

KTM product marketing manager Diego Arioli says the idea is to lure younger riders to the brand and introduce them to big-bore adventure riding.

He says they have also made the bike a little lighter and lower for more manageability for novices.KTM 1050 Adventure

The seat is down 10mm to 850 and the weight is down 5kg to 212kg. However, Diego says 1kg of that weight is dropped by switching from spokes to cast wheels which makes the feel bike “20kg lighter”.

It also features smaller, lighter and cheaper Metzler Tourance tyres than the Continentals that come with the other models.

The handlebars have also been made wider and are now adjustable as are the footpegs.

The 1050 Adventure features three riding modes – Sport, Street, Rain – with Offroad available as an option.

It also comes with the same self-cancelling indicators as the other models. They cancel after leaning into a corner or travelling 10 seconds or 150m.

Despite the long list of goodies, KTM has controlled the price by using a one-piece seat, cheaper brake pads and plastic body panels with the colours moulded in rather than painted. They look a little cheaper, but on an adventure bike you have to wonder about expensive body panel replacements, anyway.

It features the integrated luggage racks like the other models and 90% of the Powerparts available for the other models are also suitable for the 1050.

There is a familiar feeling when you hop on and take in the controls and ergonomics. IT also has the same vibe when you fire up the LC8 engine.KTM 1050 Adventure

Let the clutch out and it leaps away with a familiar startling turn of acceleration.

There is also a familiar light and almost nervous feeling to the steering that needs no promoting to fall deftly into a corner. It flicks left and right with ease and stomps as hard as the 1190 through the early gears.

There is only a slight need to work the cogs a little harder when climbing and it runs a little breathless and flat at the top, but most people will be more than happy with its grunt.

The switchable traction control provides confidence in the wet and on gravel, but you can hoist the wheel easily and often if you turn it off.

It also features Bosch ABS which can be switched off for off-road riding.

The brakes feel strong, sensitive and lack fade, even after prolonged downhill sections as we descend from the mountains of the Spanish island.

At the end of a half-day’s hard riding, the 3D foam-filled seat feels a little uncomfortable and hot, but the smile on your face is just as big as if you’d ridden one of the bigger KTMs.

In fact, even though it costs $2000-$3000 more, you will probably want to shop this one against the Suzuki  V-Strom 1000, Triumph Tigers and BMW F800s.

The KTM also comes with a comprehensive KTM range of accessories including luggage, heated seats and grips and alarm system.KTM 1050 Adventure

KTM 1050 Adventure tech specs

  • Price: $17,995 plus on-road costs
  • Warranty: 2 years, unlimited km
  • Service: 15,000km
  • Engine: liquid-cooled 2-cylinder, 4-stroke, V 75° 1050cc
  • Power: 70 kW @ 6200rpm
  • Torque: 107Nm @ 5750rpm
  • Fuel system: Keihin EFI (throttle body 52mm)
  • Bore/stroke: 103/63mm
  • Compression: 13.0:1
  • Transmission: 6 gears, chain drive, PASCTM slipper clutch, hydraulically operated
  • Chassis: Chromium-molybdenum-steel trellis frame, powder-coated aluminium subframe
  • Handlebar: Aluminium, tapered, 28/22mm
  • Suspension: WP-USD 43mm forks, 185mm travel; WP-Monoshock  rear shock, 190mm travel
  • Brakes: 2 x Brembo four-piston, radially bolted caliper, 320mm disc (front); Brembo two-piston, fixed caliper, 267mm disc; ABS Bosch 9M+ 2-channel (disenengageable, offroad mode opt.)
  • Wheels 3 x 19″; 4,5 x 17” cast aluminium90
  • Tyres: 110/80 R 19; 150/70 R 17
  • Steering angle: 64°
  • Trail: 120mm
  • Wheebase: 1560mm
  • Clearance: 220mm
  • Seat: 850mm
  • Tank: 23 litres (3.5L res)
  • Dry weight: 212kg