Originally Posted by turnitonagain
All in all, From the KTM Riders, Owners, perspective how would you rank your 990 ADV in all honesty, and what are it's strengths and weaknesses that a new buyer should be aware of.
Youre going to get a biased opinion on the OC.
But I'll try.
Its hands down the most all around great performing, and most capable bike I have ever owned. It does everything and does it well. If I could only have one bike, the 990 would be it.
Many folks that ride these bikes are coming from a dirt bike background, so they tend to ride not only dirt roads, but nasty two track and stuff that cant even remotely be called a road.
High strung dirt bikes need lots of maintenance, way more than the 990. We are talking oil changes and valve checks every 15 hours or so, constantly changing tires, etc. So coming from that background, by comparison, the 990 doesnt need much attention. It doesnt really need any more attention than most other big DS bikes.
Its tough as nails. Very crash worthy.
It will hands down run away from the other big DS bikes in off road conditions, yet will still run with sport bikes in twisties all day long, eat up freeway with big touring bikes all day long, and do it well.
To me it feels like a big ass dirt bike, and thats what I like. It is a big ass dirt bike really. The geometry is such that the attack position feels natural, feels like it was designed to be ridden standing on the pegs. It rides like a much lighter bike, when you get it underway, all the weight just seems to disappear since it is carried very low compared to other bikes. But when you get it crossed up in the sand whoops and try to save it, or when you realize you are trying to back into a turn with way more speed than you thought you had, then you realize, shit, this is a big bike.
This bike has way too many strengths to list actually.
But here are the issues, some may affect you, some not:
Wind protection is lacking for some. The best solution IMO is to cut down the stock screen and get your helmet in clean airflow. This is only an issue for some folks.
Tall riders, over 6 ft, find the bike cramped when riding in the sitting position and usually lower the pegs.
Water pump is a pretty regular wear item. But the CJ wp shaft is looking like the solution more and more.
To do just about anything to the bike, the plastic and tanks need to come off, and that takes time to R&R. There are workarounds for some items like the oil change. I dont remove anything except the skid plate to do my oil change, and can get it done in under an hour. I dont know why folks think the 990 needs a lot more attention than other big bikes. The intervals with most other big DS bikes are about the same. Just do some needed mods and keep up with what the manual tells you to do and the bike will behave itself, even if a nutcase is attached to the throttle.
Sidestand is bolted to the engine. A modification called the relocation kit is money well spent if you like to thrash the hell out of this bike in big rocks.
Fuel economy while easy cruising is between 42 and 36 mpg depending on model and gearing. When you get into ankle deep sand and start really flogging it, you can bring that down to the high 20's without even thinking about it.
But, its a 1 liter bike, it likes gas.
On long trips, carrying a 2 gal Rotopax on the tail is very nice, or you can do the adventure tank mod in which you lose one can, and have an extra 2 gallons where one can used to sit, and its plumbed into the main fuel line. Or you can buy the Safari tanks which hold an astounding 12 gallons after the stretch out a little bit.
I'm sure others will chime in but thats about all that stands out for me.
The throttle on this bike is like a hit off the crack pipe, and once you take a few hits, you'll want more.
The bike is just plain a helluva lot of fun to ride in sand, rocks, mountain twisties, etc, and that's why so many of us are in love with it.
My buddy probably gave the best endorsement for the 990, and he rides a 12 GS. We had been on the pavement most of the day, then hit some desert two track. There was a little narrow sand wash that I wanted to take to get to where we were going. I asked him if he wanted to take it. He said, "lemme ride your bike and I'll do it."