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Old 12-13-2013, 11:50 AM   #1
TakSD OP
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Question 1190 Standard or R? Anybody driven both???

Now that the 2014 model is out it’s time to get myself a new bike… Problem is, don’t know which one. The standard with EDS or the R? The more I think about it the more confused I get.

I have seen them both up close and sat on them both. Height is not an issue. I haven’t driven either but am confident I would love both. Best way to go about it of course would be to get the road orientated version if you will ride more road, and the offroad if you ride more off road. The reality though is that from watching all the videos on youtube and reading everybodys reviews on ADVrider, the 1190R is definitely more capable than I need on the ROAD and the 1190 and the standard is definitely more capable than I need OFFROAD,and I haven’t mixed them up, I’m just saying that they are both so good in all the spectrum of use…

So can I please get feedback from the people that have ridden both? Is the R’s riding position better than the standard’s on the road? Is the R’s suspension better and more supple than the standard’s? Is the standard simply that much better on the road (more flickability and grip) that you cannot compare it and it simply exceeds the R on road?

Any feedback is appreciated. Can’t wait!!! :)

On a different note, if you put the ergo seat on the R, does it get even taller? Is it still height adjustable?

Thanks!!!
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Old 12-13-2013, 12:18 PM   #2
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Obviously had not read BallisticXchris' excellent post...

Anybody else have more feedback?

Thanks
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Old 12-13-2013, 01:52 PM   #3
a7an
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Ride both! (as with all motorcycles, One will speak to you. Take that one home!

1190 and 1190 R a brief review: (Bonus GS comparo)

Both KTM 1190 Models were ridden in Oregon during a KTM demo event earlier this fall. The test loop was on a variety of roads (all paved) and each ride lasted approximately 25 minutes.

Disclaimer, I have tried to be as objective as possible with my assessment. These are simply my opinions. My goal is not to incite (especially with my GS opinions), rather to share. If you disagree with my observations, please by all means write a review of your own outlining your experiences, that way we can all benefit from different views.

That said, we all have preferences. I personally value handling, connectedness, responsiveness and most importantly fun when riding a motorcycle. Both 1190’s are amazing bikes on the road.

Overall:

Positives:
Feels far lighter (physically) than it has any right to.
Light steering, full of feel.
Excellent gearbox. Smooth, light shifting, and feels robust.
Throttle mapping is smooth and pretty seamless at low speeds and fantastic at medium to high speeds.
Fantastic power and power delivery to the wheel.
Feels every bit as quick as a Multistrada 1200.
Great handling and road feel from the front and rear of the bike.
Excellent gauges.

Negatives:
Some medium to high frequency vibes over 6K. Not too obtrusive.
The seat does get warm in traffic and at lower speeds.
Doesn’t seem much (if any) worse than my old 690 SM.
Paint and cosmetic finish are not nearly as nice as a GS. Not a priority for me but the clear coat over decals(?) looks pretty weak on a $17K bike. The bicycle industry is miles ahead. KTM, are you listening?
To my eye, the design is nowhere near as progressive and exciting as a 990. Too conservative. Not ugly, not handsome either. The graphics are poorly executed and sophomoric on a bike in this price / use class.
The turn indicator cancel button gives no physical indication it has been pressed, feels very flimsy. This was the only feature / characteristic of the bike that I found annoying.

1190 R
Better front end feel than the 19” wheeled Standard.
Wider bars offer a more comfortable (for me) riding position and improved feel. The additional leverage seems to make the steering telepathic.
Seat is lower (seat to pegs) than Standard in it’s high position. Seat to ground is higher (+30mm suspension travel, I believe). It feels a touch cramped for long legs as a result. Swapping the Standard (adjustable) seat to the R would negate this. You will need long legs to consider this option.
Seat is (to my butt) not quite as comfortable as the Standard.
That said, the more rounded (side to side) profile of the seat may offer superior on bike maneuverability in the rough stuff.
Less wind protection from the fairing. This is a good thing as far as I'm concerned. I prefer this as my head and upper chest are in clean air.
@ 6’2” and a 34” inseam, I can flat foot the R with room to spare.

1190 Standard
The Standard feels an entire size smaller than the R. Much easier to push around from the saddle parking etc. Excellent for those with a shorter inseam. Amazing what a difference 30mm makes.
Low speed turn in is better than the R. This advantage seems to disappear at once your moving along at even low speeds.
Better wind protection from the fairing.

A friend and I attended the KTM Demo event together and rode both bikes.
We both emphatically preferred the R. Steering feel and precision, on bike position (that 30mm difference in height felt better to both of us) and handling balance were all unequivocally preferred. I was certain my friend would prefer the Standard bike. Wrong!

For contrast I re-rode a 2012 1200 GS (as it’s been a while) and tried out a 2013 1200 GS.

Well... the 1190 has ruined me.

I rode the 2012 1200 GS over a wide variety of rural roads for several days following my 1190 test rides. I guess don't understand what all of the GS fuss is about. It is a nice bike, don't get me wrong. It's simply not what I'm personally looking for. Supremely comfortable, offers outstanding stablity, torquey, beautifully finished, well built and engineered. Manovering around a gas station or parking etc. it is a heavy beast of a thing. Once rolling it gains some agility but never loses it’s overriding sense of mass.

Positive:
It is very comfortable. Great ergonomics excellent seat.
Abundant of low end torque.
The brakes are exemplary if slightly grabby (they can feel over servoed) initially.
The build quality / fit & finish are excellent. Feels solid.
Stable.
Sounds great.

Negative:
For me, it is not terribly fun to ride.
It does not handle with enthusiasm. Not poorly mind, just no spark…You are aware of the mass and it feels considerably heavier than a 990 or 1190.
There is precious little front end feel. This erodes confidence when pushing on and on questionable surfaces. Deal breaker for me. I found myself riding more slowly due to a lack of feeling what’s actually happening at the contact patch.
The gearbox is agricultural at best, and that's being polite.
The engine doesn't rev willingly at higher RPMs and becomes a bit rough over 6K. The faring offers very good protection from the wind but seems to create a lot of dirty air in the process. Lots of little eddies of turbulent air gently patting you around the head and shoulders. Not awful…not clean.
It feels very very heavy when pushing it about.

The 2013 R 1200 GS is revelation in contrast to the earlier model.

Significantly more fun to ride.
Feels lighter (improved mass centralization) physically. Parking to high speed.
Handles with an enthusiasm the earlier bike can only dream of.
Punchy, torquey engine that's full of character.
Vastly improved gearbox and clutch.
The slipper clutch is amazing compared to the drive train lash inducing (unless you de clutch smoothly every time) 12 model.
Excellent seat.
Ergos are fantastic.
Amazing bike overall.

But...

It simply doesn't have the top end pull of the 1190.
The clutch is not as effortlessly judged as the KTM.
Nor does it offer the feel some handling of the KTM. Close. But not there.
Front end feel is mildly improved yet it doesn't seem to detract from confidence as with with the previous model.
Objectively is an outstanding bike. A touch too grown up for my taste...

For my preferences it's missing the spark I'm looking for from a motorcycle.
Again... the 1190 has ruined me.

Hope this helps!
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Old 12-13-2013, 03:19 PM   #4
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Thank you for your review and thoughts, its great to hear the good and bad points objectively... All the best Sir..
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Old 12-13-2013, 10:07 PM   #5
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I chose the pirate because I want to do a lot more gravel roads. Not off road, I've got a KDX for that.

I test rode both initially and have ridden both since (dealer loaners while mine was being serviced / fixed).

To be honest there isn't a big difference between them. The R is obviously taller.

The R is smoother and just "easier" to ride. The 19", even on its softest EDS setting, has a harsher damping.
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Old 12-14-2013, 06:01 AM   #6
a7an
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A number of folks seem to prefer the handling of the R over the Standard bike.
Off road aspirations, Inseam and aesthetics will likely drive the final decision.
On Two Wheels review of 2013 Adventure bikes share the R handling sentiment.


► 14:10► 14:10
www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oIbu6q84D8
Jul 24, 2013 - Uploaded by Motor Trend Channel
We have BMW's new 2013 R120. ... We have BMW's new 2013 R1200GS, Ducati's ...
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Old 12-14-2013, 01:03 PM   #7
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Its interesting that virtually none of the forum comments comparing the R to standard mention the increased safety factor of the bosch system on the standard. It makes me kind of wonder if KTM has missed the boat trying to target the typical KTM rider with this system since none of you seem to care. Is it factoring in on anyone's decision?

I'm also not sure they will pull in many new-to-ktm buyers by offering it since newbies might also be leery of the increased complexity from a brand with a reputation for high maintenance (but a high fun factor, of course). When ducati (similar rep) started offering TC and ABS back in early 2000's, I noticed the same sort of apathy about the higher tech from the people in their forums. I'm new to the BMW thing, but their owners seem to eat the tech up by contrast.
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Old 12-14-2013, 03:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atwoodtja View Post
Its interesting that virtually none of the forum comments comparing the R to standard mention the increased safety factor of the bosch system on the standard.
Not sure what you are referring to with the "safety system". If it is the MSC then from the web sites it is avail for both models. The traction and abs systems are identical as far as I know for the '13 models.

The 19" has the electrically controlled pre-load and damping, where the R has manual.
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Old 12-14-2013, 05:01 PM   #9
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I have:

1190:

http://advrider.com/forums/showpost....postcount=3530

1190R:

http://advrider.com/forums/showpost....postcount=4641

The problem with the "R" version for me was that the seat-handlebar-pegs triangle is not okay for me (6"1). the seat-peg distance is way too short for my legs when sitting, and the standing position totally sucked - but a bar riser might cure that. The character of the engine (laggy, spongy, BORING) is the same as with the standard. Wouldn't buy either of them for that amount of money (~$23k here)..

See the problem is that neither of them is as capable off road as the 950S/990R was. Even though they outperform the 9x0 onroad, that's for sure. But.. IMO They both (1190&1190r) are more like the GS - a fake enduro/dual sport bike, so there are plenty of better onroad machines out on the market. As for offroad.. Well, the "R" is surely better than a GS, but still not as good as the 9x0 (which also isn't the best bike for offroad usage - think about a 450EXC for example)..

So in my opinion, the standard 1190 is a waste of money, almost any roadbike will outperform it onroad - I mean if you want a mile muncher, go for a VFR or a K1600 or similar - they are sure more comfortable. Offroad it's more like a GS/V-strom than a KTM, so it's a no-go for me - for god sake it has a 19/17 wheel setup - it's not an offroad bike. Smooth, hard, even gravel or table flat hard surface but unpaved road doesn't count as offroad, altough this bike would be capable for this kind of terrain, but so would be a Busa.

The 1190R is a tad better, but for onroad usage I'd still buy the true road bike. The only scenario I could imagine myself on a 1190R is that if I'd travel around the world on shitty roads, but not offroad - like the ones in eastern europe and probably in Russia. Anything more serious than that (think about offroad in the long way round series), I'd take the 9x0.
For real rough offroad (single tracks) - I'd go with an EXC. (I use the 950 on roads like this, but it's quite challenging and can get quite frustrating when you drop the bike the 10th time in an hour, while the guys (or me) on EXC's manage to handle the same trail effortlessly - And that's for the 9x0, which is far more capable offroad than the 1190(r))

I'm sorry that KTM turned this way, they used to produce somewhat exclusive bikes, which were a lot of fun and were different from others (radical design, state of the art engine, etc..) outperforming other brands in some special views (offroad for example). Now they're producing "Made in India GS's" for the masses, which is quite sad. So they kindof stepped into the line and are following the other motorcycle companies, driven by sales...

I'm not a maniac of the 9x0*, don't get me wrong - but IMO that was the last true, capable dual-sport adventure bike in the past 10 years - still the GS had better sales.. It's because the majority needs more road oriented bikes even if they're camouflaged as enduros. Out of the produced 1190/1190R's only a little percent will see true offroad in their full lifetime - that's the reason why they're more onroad oriented.

*Think about the 950SE, surely the most offroad oriented (big displacement) dualsport bike.. They've sold a few thousands and discontinued it - not because they wanted to limit it or because they wanted to make it so exclusive - it's because no more were needed on the market, they couldn't sell it. Yes, we guys on this forum tend to take adventure riding for it's true meaning, but the other 90% of the costumers are different. They're adventure riders because of the sticker on the bike, and not because they are ever going to take an adventure with it.

Sorry for the long post, and sorry for not following the horde overrating the 1190(r).

I mean just compare these two bikes, and spot the similarities... none, instead of the motorbike lookalike? No wonder, it's because one of them is a tardy show-off poser bike and the other one is a true, graceful dualsport:



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Old 12-14-2013, 07:46 PM   #10
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''The character of the engine (laggy, spongy, BORING) is the same as with the standard. Wouldn't buy either of them for that amount of money (~$23k here)..''

You mean to tell me that the LC8 KTM engine in the 1190 Adventure is laggy, spongy, boring.... You are kidding yourself my friend..
If this bike does not excite you in any significant way then you just cant be excited.........Just my opinion
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Old 12-14-2013, 07:46 PM   #11
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Sumi, Horses for courses mate!

Someone in the market for an 1190 probably isn't a likely candidate for a 500 EXC…Or a 950 SE. Different animals for different tastes and environments.

Yes the 950 SE is Bad @$$… But a 690 Enduro will be better than the 950 on the majority of dirt that isn't a fire road, lake bed or wide open prairie. Any of the smaller EXCs will crush the 690 (or anything bigger) in the tough or tight stuff. The service intervals for the EXCs are ball crushing if your doing big mileage unless you really enjoy touching your bikes oily bits…a lot.

Can't criticize someone for preferring riding on different terrain than you. That said, if someone is going to spend some of their time on dirt / gravel roads the big bike's going to do fine. The 1190 is definitely going to do better than a 1200 GS in these situations.

If your going to mix more dirt into the mix combined with a fair amount of road work, a 690 is a good tool. If you merely suffer through road sections to relish in the joy of soil surfing…EXC.

All told, you make a damn good case for KTM to pull their head out and build a dirt roosting tweener. 400ish lb, 750-800cc twin, with 100 odd ponies. The existing 800s are heavy and not well suite to dirt. How many do you think they'd really sell? If it were a big number we'd have seen if by now.
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Old 12-14-2013, 09:01 PM   #12
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Thanks for the review! To bad the KTM Dealer near me is completely F'd and the bmw dealer is great! I cant even buy a bike if I try at my ktm dealer.
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Old 12-14-2013, 09:16 PM   #13
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I predict a 700-800cc parallel twin in the near future. 100hp, 160-ish kg. It will be a third platform to incorporate a whole new range of road going bikes.

They have the singles, the big twins and they need a tweener configuration. Inline fours are boring, a triple is possible but they are heavy so I reckon a parallel twin. I am gonna go with 2016 release date. Whaddya reckon?

Oh and I rode both model adv's and went with the R, but I doubt you would be disappointed with either. The swinger for me was the manual suspension...I like to tinker...and the more off road orientation. Reality is I will use this bike on road much more than off (I have an XC for proper off road work) but I like having the option.
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Old 12-15-2013, 10:37 AM   #14
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Sumi's review has its share of truth and its share of exaggerations :

Exaggerations : laggy, spongy, boring, not off-road capable (for the R)
Truth : not a replacement of the 9x0's

Crying after the 9x0 is like the Harley riders crying after the Evolution engine. Its just out of time. You can just as well cry after your good old typewriter and mail your forum comments to a postal address.

The big truth in Sumi's long review : the 9x0 is not a great hard-core off-road bike. Its already too heavy and probably overpowered. KTM has more appropriate bikes for that kind of terrain if you look for this sort of "Adventure" with a 90/10 ratio of off-road or no-road.

But for most travelers the 9x0 is not the best, which is why KTM lost countless buyers to the competition and their sales remained marginal. Just look at the success of the 1190 in its first year and explain to KTM where they went wrong. You can't blame KTM for not continuing to build a bike for a relatively small group of fans. They want to earn money.

According to Sumi's review, you should actually go on a RTW trip with 3 different bikes, having two following you on a trailer. A supersport racer, a GT traveller and a hard-core enduro. Now most of us can't travel with a support team behind us like OB1 and Charley.

So they have to deal with a single bike and need to compromise. They need to do long highway stretches, have fun on secondary winding road and gravel roads and may be some off-road on single tracks or no tracks. So far the GS seemed (!) to be the best compromise to deal with all those situations, hence the sales. The 1190 steps in here, with the standard vs the GS standard and the "R" vs the GSA.

I agree that the "Travel" section will probably receive a small engine bike around 800cc, but it will be close to the 1190 for the other features like comfort and capacity to carry luggage.

To what I have seen, its more the rider that sets limits to off-road than the bike. I have seen a recent report from two experienced guys doing off-road in the Pyrenees on 9x0, still having a hard time following a guy on his 1190R. Just saying....
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Old 12-15-2013, 11:23 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by paturoa View Post
Not sure what you are referring to with the "safety system". If it is the MSC then from the web sites it is avail for both models. The traction and abs systems are identical as far as I know for the '13 models.
Yeah, my bad, I thought the bosch system required (and helps control) the electronic suspension, so the R model would have regular ABS instead.
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