I am a 990 guy with no 1190 experience. But I have been following this thread with interest. For those of you that don't know the 990, it comes stock with an airbox and paper filter that appears to be very similar to the one on the 1190--I could be wrong on this.
Like the 1190, the 990 was/is marketed as a combo/dual sport bike. Marketing is one thing. Actual buyer usage us another. I know some guys ride the 990 and 1190's in some seriously dusty conditions. I am one of those guys. That does't seem unreasonable to me given the nature of these bikes and the marketing, blah, blah. But I am also a long time dirt biker going back many, many years.
I have to ask myself who does KTM really expect to buy these bikes. And will they be serious/extreme dirt bike riders or mostly street bike riders. I am not making any judgement on what is the "right" use of these adventure bikes. If we like the bikes, great!
Here is my point. Most street riders (overly broad generalization) are not going to accept a bike that requires cleaning and oiling of a real dirt bike foam filter after every couple of rides. I am no expert on this. But I suspect that a real foam filter setup might be hard to get past the eco emission rules which are a fact of life these days with OEM cars and bikes.
So....Should we just give KTM a pass? No. They sold the bikes as "real" off road capable. My guess is that the lawyers will have a field day arguing over what is an "extreme" (very dusty) use of the bike, which is outside the "normal" service schedule/requirements.
In the end, I would install a foam filter if I was really going to ride some serious dirt. I would use some grease to the filter sealing areas to prevent leakage. And I would ride the hell out of it--just like a real dirt bike.
KTMs--300, 518, 990