Does any of this ring a bell?:
Buying the KTM, I had unquestionably fallen hook, line and sinker for the Austrian marketing hype. I'd been looking at a GS and was ready to pull the trigger, until the sales flunky - with all his talk of 'electronic this and canbus that' - managed to convince me that this needlessly complicated contraption would be an absolute liability were any unforeseen backwoods mishap to occur. No; I needed something simple, something basic, a more powerful KLR actually. This KTM - carburated, normally aspirated brakes, no unnecessary electronic excessiveness and proven in the great deserts of North Africa would be just the thing I'd need. It surely must be eminently reliable - given the abuse hurled at it in race guise; and simple to maintain too, since many a piste-side repair must have undoubtedly been hastily performed. Well, in retrospect, the only thought that comes to mind is: 'YOU DUMB STUPID BASTARD'
I felt pretty much the same as you initially. However, having spent many years trolling this forum in search of information, most of the issues with it have (hopefully) been addressed, and the bike is somewhat reliable (probably
). Even the ridiculous oil change procedure has been distilled into something more realistic.
The 990 was a bad choice for the style of ownership you describe. Like me, you just didn't do enough research beforehand. The reality of expensive valve adjustments on a V-twin buried between a couple of tanks should have been self evident, especially when compared to a KLR.
Fwiw my KLR put the con-rod through the engine cases at 30k and the water pump lasted about as long as the 950. Dohickey was changed (I was part of a 3 bike buy and all three had broken dohickey spring within 5k), sub-frame bolts changed, downright dangerous brakes upgraded, woeful suspension replaced etc.
Good luck in your future endeavors.