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Old 07-24-2013, 03:00 PM   #1
onewoodsrider OP
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Joined: Jul 2013
Location: Gig Harbor, WA
Oddometer: 136
Looking for a new bike

First time dual sport guy here. Have been looking for an adventure and have a gotten quite a few responses so far from the forum. My question is should I get a 950 or 990? Is one that much better than the other. And by the way everyone I have spoke to so far has been very cool. This is great site kudos to the ones who started it all.

Todd
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Old 07-24-2013, 03:28 PM   #2
alongat
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Location: Toronto, Canada
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Both 950 and 990 have their quirks and other points of "charm". If you rely on and believe everything negative your read on forums, you will likely never buy a bike :)

These bikes are amazing in every way - buy the cleanest and lowest mileage that your money can buy and you won't go wrong. Sme years are better than others - the last of the 950 is 2006, a supremely incredible and well sorted machine. 2007 brought the 990 with fuel injection and it has its quirks - mostly associated with rough and sporadic fueling, etc but by now the collective knowledge and experience of the dealer channel and this forum can sort anything out with little to no effort. It also depends on the type of riding you plan to do, your size and weight and whether or not you will service the bike yourself. If you're tall and plan to climb mountains and cross rocky deserts, the "S or R models (R models are later on) offer taller suspension and a few other goodies (lack of ABS on so,e for example). Go find something clean and unmolested unless its an example that has all the right updates am farkles from one of us on this board - you will not regret spending a penny on these bikes. Yes, they are that amazing.

Hope this helps - I'm sure many others will chime in with their input as well and feel free to post here if you find something and need some specific opinions/advice. Good luck
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:52 PM   #3
jecklc80
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I was in the same boat as you about a month ago. Looking for an adv and my price range put me between a newer 950 or an older 990. I chose a 2005 950 with 2500 miles because of the efi issues on the early 990s and the fact that I would have to buy a higher mileage 990. I am extremely happy with my choice. That being said I don't think you could go wrong buying a higher mileage 990 from somebody on the forum either. From what I've read, many 990 owners have tamed the fueling issues with tune ecu.

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Old 07-24-2013, 09:19 PM   #4
Orangecicle
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Joined: Apr 2007
Location: West Des Moines, IA
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I bought in 2009. At that time, the 990s were fairly new, so there were still some growing pains. And the prices were fairly high on the used 990s available. Buying new was not an option for me if I wanted to continued to be married.

Because we have no dealer support for the V-2 KTMs here, I knew that I would be doing most of the wrenching on the bike, so I restricted my search to a carbed bike because I know I can work on carbs. EFI is a "whole nuther world" for me. Don't get me wrong -- it generally works. For instance, my 2001 Xterra's throttle body has never been touched with 101,000 miles on the clock. It's just that I would have no clue where to start if it wasn't right.

So, I found a 2004 build ("2005" US model) bike that was owned by a KTM rep in Tallahasee. Long story, but he brought it here for me. The bike was cheap at the time at $6,400, and it came with some good bits, but it also had 24,000 miles on it.

I have to say, this bike truly has been an "Adventure." The bike now has 37,000 miles on it. I've been into the carbs probably a hundred times. I tell people I could do it blindfolded now. I haven't tried it yet, but I think it's true. But, I know exactly what I'm doing when I go in there to make an adjustment. When it's not right, I usually know why.

I recently rebuilt the top end of the motor. The engine had just about zero wear internally on most parts, but we tore into the engine in search of the reason for it pumping oil into the radiator. The cause of that was really probably my fault and not a serious problem with the engine, but the cam chains and guides needed to be refreshed anyway, so $1,500 later . . . . But what an engine; 36,000 miles at the time, and it really had no internal wear other than cam chains and guides.

And the bike takes me wherever I want to go without any complaint. I've been to the top of Mt. Evans in Colorado with my sister. We've done the Peak-to-Peak in a hail storm:


I've done 280 miles in a day on the Great River Gravel Ride, with only one minor little problem:


I guess what I would say in the end is that either a 990 or a 950 should do you fine. The last of the 950s -- the 2006 model, are rock solid. I would buy another in a heartbeat. The later 990s seem to be pretty problem free other than fuel pump filter clogging (I'm sure that's due to the tanks, which are made of polyamide 6 and slowly dissolve, thereby stopping up the fine filters used in EFIs). But any of these bikes are amazing. There is nothing else out there that comes close in terms of the bike's ability to take you wherever you point it next.

The only other bike that looks interesting to me is the KTM Basel 690 Defy Quest, but the price would send my wife over the edge.

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Old 07-24-2013, 09:35 PM   #5
HeatXfer
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I have very limited experience with the 990 and none with the 950. I bought my high mileage (40k) '07 990 in Nov last year. No real dirt bike experience, so getting this beast could have been a huge mistake, but it wasn't. I've owned liter bikes for years, but not for the dirt.

I performed the WP shaft & seal repair (CJ Designs), cleaned up some funky wiring, banged the soft wheels back into shape, 2" bar risers, re-mapped the EFI and put close to 3k miles on her (I know, not even a drop in the bucket). I bought her with long, off-road camping trips in mind, but it eats up black-top like it's nothing.

I have never ridden a bike that's easier or more fun to ride than this one: 85 - 90mph 2 & 3hr one-way jaunts to the dirt, 6hrs of jeep roads, fire trails and rutted rock gardens and then another 2hrs back home - wow. I am so happy with this machine right now that I'm not even a little bummed I didn't get one sooner.
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:40 AM   #6
onewoodsrider OP
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Thank you for all the input guys, I am hopefully going to take a look at a 05 950S this weekend. It is owned by one of the members here and from the pictures and description it looks like its in nice shape. Another member has a 08 that I might look at as well.

Todd
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:51 AM   #7
alongat
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Giddy-up - go get 'em :)
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2005 Ducati 999R - bucket list must-have

And how can this be? For he is the Kwisatz Haderach!
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