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Old 05-18-2006, 10:02 PM   #1
Northern Rob OP
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buy a 950 or wait for 990?

I've been in the market for a dual sport to add to my sports tourer. Demo'ed all the usual suspects ...and today, I finally demoed a KTM 950 Adventure. What a freakin' bike! Love it!

In Canada, you can only buy the 95O right now, but rumour has it that the 990 will be available in 07.

So, here's my question. Is it 990 worth the wait?

I won't be buying another bike after this for a bunch of years, so want to get it right. I like the idea of the 990's ABS brakes for the street riding bits, but am a bit leary of the fuel injection based on other posts.

I can hold off on buying the bike to next year cause my current ride is good, but if the 990 is a questionable upgrade from the 950, I might as well get on with it now.

What do you think?
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Old 05-19-2006, 01:36 AM   #2
Joe Bar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Rob
I've been in the market for a dual sport to add to my sports tourer. Demo'ed all the usual suspects ...and today, I finally demoed a KTM 950 Adventure. What a freakin' bike! Love it!

In Canada, you can only buy the 95O right now, but rumour has it that the 990 will be available in 07.

So, here's my question. Is it 990 worth the wait?

I won't be buying another bike after this for a bunch of years, so want to get it right. I like the idea of the 990's ABS brakes for the street riding bits, but am a bit leary of the fuel injection based on other posts.

I can hold off on buying the bike to next year cause my current ride is good, but if the 990 is a questionable upgrade from the 950, I might as well get on with it now.

What do you think?
I bought my new 950 after seeing the 990 at the Milan Show launch. The deal I was able to get on the 950 was much better, and I knew there would be no FI issues. All of the recalls were sorted by the 2005 and updates like wider rear wheel carb heaters etc all done.

Buy a 950 now and enjoy it, I don't think the 990 is that significant a step forward to warrant waiting, unless you absolutely must have ABS.
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Old 05-19-2006, 08:35 AM   #3
katoosh
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I got my 950 last May. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed my touring and camping and riding during the last year. So even if the 990 is "better" than the 950, you'll miss out on a year of this type of riding.

Additionally, this bike performs at a level so much higher than 99% of the humble masses, it won't be an issue. I routinely go from sea level (San Francisco) to 9-11,000 feet. I may lose a little power at the super high altitudes, but I assure you it is not a problem.

Pull the trigger, and get out riding THIS WEEKEND!
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Old 05-19-2006, 08:45 AM   #4
MookieBlaylock
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if in no rush hold off and try out bmw gs 800 for comparison
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Old 05-19-2006, 11:35 AM   #5
Joe Bar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RexHarrison
if in no rush hold off and try out bmw gs 800 for comparison
That bike will be a while yet, and will be a much softer entry level type bike than the KTM in my opinion. Could be a nice bike in the way the Wee Strom is, but not a great bike in the way the KTM is.
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Old 05-19-2006, 10:52 PM   #6
Northern Rob OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RexHarrison
if in no rush hold off and try out bmw gs 800 for comparison
Hey Rex, BMW is now off the table unless they have a big culture shift $$$. GS 1200 was my first choice "next bike" till I tried the KTM 950 - and then I had no choice but to throw all those plans out the window.

I demo'ed the KTM:
* the rain clouds parted
* a beam of sunlight came out of the sky and illuminated me and the KTM
* a freakin choir started to sing Hallilujah in the background
* and I saw motorcycle God giving me the "I built this for you, now ride it" smile

I'm not religious, but you know when not to mess with destiny , you know what I mean?

That bike rocks! It picked me, I didn' pick it.

..and BMW, I've always really liked the bikes (almost bought one twice now), but honestly, I always felt like they thought too highly of themselves and charged too much for what you're getting. It's like a cute girl that thinks she's actually a Supermodel - a real turn off for me (and my wallet). I'd be surprised to see the culture change...but I've been wrong before, and I'd like to be wrong on this one. And I got to tell you, although I had fun riding the GS 1150, 1200 and 1200 Adventure, there was no freakin choir. No out of body experience...

So, I guess its just a matter of "do I have the discipline to waste a year to hold out for ABS?" ABS saved my butt once...but wait a year ! Arghhhhhh

Cheers!
Rob
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Old 05-20-2006, 06:12 AM   #7
slide
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I doubt the 990 will be percieved by you as some sort of quantum leap ahead of the 950. If you wait, you lose at least one year of your life you could have been enjoying the 950 too.

If you are still on the fence, I'd watch the UK oriented boards carefully. That's where plain honesty seems to rule apart from the loyalty to brand bias you see in some other regional boards.

I say that because the fueling on the 990's isn't, at this point, solved. My take is that at this point, the 990 is the inferior bike to the 950 until the 990's FI issues are resolved either by KTM or by privateers. BMW never solved the fueling issues on the 11XX line until it went dual spark leaving many of its customers hanging. The Strom has fueling from ok to quite bad but all addressable by a Yosh box or a PCIII. And so it goes.

Were it me, I'd read about the 990 *from owners in the UK who are honest about its shortcomings* and then ask myself if there is really anything there I'd want to hold off a year's riding for. Then you have to hope the fueling is solved. I thin it will be, but I'm an optimist too.
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Old 05-20-2006, 12:02 PM   #8
idahoskiguy
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Have wondered the same thing, wait or buy the 950 now. What I finally decided was to BUY IT NOW. FI really is not a big deal and the ABS adds a level of complexity I simply do not want or need in the rugged dual purpose bike. Also I feel the carbs are more fault tolerant than the FI, the carbs will get you home when the FI will leave you stranded with no warning and nothing but a blinking idiot light....EFI....EFI...EFI....EFI...EFI

Enjoy your new 950.
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Old 05-20-2006, 12:39 PM   #9
markjenn
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If I needed a bike today, I'd get the 950, but if you've got something to ride in the interim, I'd wait for the FI'ed bike. The FI should be well-sorted by the time it arrives in NA. I'm a believer that FI is simply a better way to mix fuel and air - I'll substitue electronics and software for diaphrams and tiny bits of brass any day of the week. And a lot of folks have had carb ice issues with the 950, carb heaters or not.

Then there is the 950's spotty reliability history and the fact KTM takes a long time to sort their bikes and work out the issues. The 990 will have another generation of fixes and improvements.

- Mark
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Old 05-20-2006, 12:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slide
BMW never solved the fueling issues on the 11XX line until it went dual spark leaving many of its customers hanging. The Strom has fueling from ok to quite bad but all addressable by a Yosh box or a PCIII. And so it goes.
These are blanket statements that are overly dramatic. Yes the twin-spark is less susceptible to the surging issue than the single-, but legions of us are driving the earlier R-bikes all over the place with no major problems. My 99 R1100S injects perfectly. Likewise, most 1000 Strom owners have not had any major issues with the FI, and by all accounts, the new 1000 Stroms injection is nearly perfect.

- Mark
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Old 05-20-2006, 02:01 PM   #11
slide
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markjenn
These are blanket statements that are overly dramatic. Yes the twin-spark is less susceptible to the surging issue than the single-, but legions of us are driving the earlier R-bikes all over the place with no major problems. My 99 R1100S injects perfectly. Likewise, most 1000 Strom owners have not had any major issues with the FI, and by all accounts, the new 1000 Stroms injection is nearly perfect.

- Mark
I was of the belief that the surging was overstated as it was controlled in my 1100 and 1150 by changing spark plug brands. Others addressed it their way.

Then I took a trip and rented an 1150RT which surged so severely that it was dangerous. To say it was unpleasent is an understatement of the first water. This entire bike was a misery caused by surging that BMW claimed never existed. When I mean dangerous, you try to hold a corner while the engine changes its metering with complete unpredictablity. It was a scary two weeks.

From there on, I ceased poo poo'ing the surging issue on BMW's. Just because you, as I, didn't / don't personally own one of those crappy BMW bikes, doesn't mean that BMW addressed the issue at all.

As far as Stroms, I again got a good one needing only a 1 change from a Yosh box. Others need more. I agree with you that FI is a better way to meter fuel, but it doesn't work well on many bikes due to the mfgs folding under idiotic government regs. If you read some feedback from the UK folks who have 990's, it seems to me that we have an issue as bad as BMW surging, but of a different marque and nature. -paul
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Old 05-20-2006, 02:19 PM   #12
karkus30
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Fi

Theres one guy up near me who has the 990 and is struggling to live with it, he was after returning it to the dealer and picking up a 950 ADV, but has since found there are none left in the UK. He originally had the 950SM, so has an easy way to compare, he did feel that the 990 ADV was a long way behind the 950 SM as a road machine.
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Old 05-20-2006, 05:24 PM   #13
Pete156
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I do not see why anyone would wait for things like FI or ABS on the KTM, but this is just my opinion.
I agree that in theory FI is a more efficient and effective way to meter fuel into an engine, under ideal conditions. It also takes more expensive and more specialized equipment to work on and is more likely to leave you stranded on one of your adventure rides. The carbs on my 950 work just fine without significant work or adjustments, and I can do all the work myself.
ABS is unnecessary and unrealistic for me, especially on this bike. I demand the right to lock either wheel anytime I feel the need and no electronic gadget is going to stop me from that. I purchased this bike (as many have) for the purpose of ADVENTURE riding. This means going to out of the way places with little or no services or dealerships around. The last thing I want is a motorcycle that is reliant on several more computers to run right. Computers can break down when subject to less than desirable conditions. A 950/990's computers may be subject to excessive heat, excessive shocks, and will get wet at some point if this bike is ridden like it is supposed to be ridden.
If I hadn't heard all the negative publicity about the 990's poor fuel delivery, I'd be all for it. But it sounds like KTM released this without it being fully 'polished'. Fix the FI and take the ABS off, maybe I'll get one.
ABS is for cagers who drive on ice.
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Old 05-20-2006, 06:53 PM   #14
Misery Goat
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i doesn't sound like you're ready for either bike.
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Old 05-20-2006, 09:21 PM   #15
Pete156
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misery Goat
i doesn't sound like you're ready for either bike.
I've had a 05.5 S model for over a year and love it and its carbs and locking brakes!
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