Before buttering up to the KTM Adventure, you have to hand it to Triumph for stepping to the plate. They really did a fantastic job putting together a product that adds a price point alternative to the midsized adventure touring market. For the rider seeking a bike that can commute between pavement and the occassional fireroad, has a smooth motor for longer distances... and an overall acceptible package of chassis. And at a fair price. This is certainly an alternative choice out there... especially if you live and ride near their dealer network.
But make no mistake, this is in a different class then the KTM Adventure. The reason the Adventure is priced higher is it has a more sophisticated builder/ rider envolvement with greater performance and durability expectations.
The KTM Adventure involved sophisticated and skilled rider input during it's development and was tested in the Dakar Rally where it placed first. All of this input was used to help develop the first generation 950 which was very close to the release of the production line models. And since it's first release in 2003, KTM has continued with the same basic design adding constant refinements to make it as reliable and smooth as possible to date.
In fact, the ride of the earlier models is very similar to the newest versions, just requiring more feedback. The newest models show refinement in every area of the bike... from smoother braking, to smoother engine refinement, smoother fuel response, better tuned suspensions, better dash arrangement. All subtle improvements to what was already a fantastic bike build on it's original release.
This design success of the KTM Adventure has to be credited to a company's intent to collaborate with very talented and committed riders, along with talented manufacturing engineers and designers... all coming together to combine the proper blend of form meeting function. And directing their attention of developing a bike to handle a certain type of difficult terrain.
Now, granted not everyone is going to push a KTM Adventure to the peak of it's design characteristics. And I'm sure very few have. But when you have the pleasure of riding one, and an even greater luxury of owning one... you will feel that design pedigree and potential of the bike every single time you get on the seat, period! KTM added the additional value of their design expenses into the price tag of the KTM Adventure which makes it slightly higher then the Triumph.
However most KTM Adventure owners, myself included, would consider the value expense added to the KTM Adventure to be "priceless".
And like all mass production manufacturers, the bean counters at KTM also played their part in the final production, in trying to keep the overall "sticker price" manageable in the world market.
The stock skidplate and handguards are budget items, clearly meant to keep the overhead down. You can certainly get away with these in the short term, as I did for the first few seasons before upgrading. And the bike continues to beckon more upgrades to refine it's niche... An auxillary rear fuel tank to extend it's desertion range into the 200 mile distance. Performance opportunities abound with exhaust choices and smog removals, all simple yet effective options for performance boosting, refining speed, sound and feel of the motor.
And choosing luggage is one of the alluring evolutions of the bike at the point where the rider learns to expand the long range touring and traveling capabilities of the bike. At this point you are experiencing the truly unleashed pleasures of owning this bike... getting it out on long distance rides where you can open the bike up and enjoy it's fine tuning for lengthy rides in out of the way places. Dirt roads, jeep trails, wagon roads, forest service trails, gravel routes. This bike is perfect for the long, off the beaten path journey.
And when you're 200 miles from no-where, the additional price paid for "VALUE" is insignificant compared to the enjoyment and security of ownership.
This is just my humble and obviously biased opinion, of course.