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Old 03-04-2013, 05:13 PM   #16
DOD
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I bought a 950SE after a year or so on an '04 1150 GSA. Here are some observations. I should preface this with the fact that I've owned KTM's since they were red and white.

The SE suspension is far superior to the BMW. Not just a little. The BMW has the best suspension they could do in 1940. I think that goofy front end uses left over VW Beetle shocks. The KTM is a little newer and really works. If you are vertically challenged the guys at Superplush can lower it correctly. I've seen one these in action and it works fine.

The carburated 950 is pure crack once you remove the smog stuff and put new pipes on it. No other way to say it. Runs great from sea level to 12k. At about 12.5 it gets a little balky.

The down side:
The KTM requires more attention. It's very reliable but you have to maintain it. I never worked on the 1150. Think new tires every 2k miles if you act nice. I ruined a $300 908 in DV in 800 miles.

The SE is not as comfortable and is not really happy loaded. I think you could strap a refrigerator to the back of the 1150. The 1150 would be my choice for a really long, like months long, camping trip.

Both are great bikes.

My 950 is not for sale. Probably never will be. I raised it from a pup.

-dod
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:44 PM   #17
Florida Lime
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Quote:
Originally Posted by It'sNotTheBike View Post
I think the KTM you're looking at is a bit taller, but it's not a huge
difference. The seat on the BMW is wider at some points and that can
make the bike feel effectively taller than a tape measure would indicate,
compared to the KTM, because the rider's legs are forced further apart
by the wider seat.


The KTM can feel more ponderous when sitting still in a
showroom than the BMW does, because the weight of the two different
bikes is carried differently but once you start riding all that goes
away and the KTM feels far more nimble.


.
The standard 990 definitely has a lower seat height than the 1200GSA, especially when the GSA is jacked up in ESA 2-up or "big-mountain" off-road mode. The 950 SE (and I believe early 990Rs) has a taller seat height than the BMW or 990 standard.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:11 PM   #18
brents347
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Florida Lime View Post
The standard 990 definitely has a lower seat height than the 1200GSA, especially when the GSA is jacked up in ESA 2-up or "big-mountain" off-road mode. The 950 SE (and I believe early 990Rs) has a taller seat height than the BMW or 990 standard.


Steve, you are 20 years too young to be brand committed to BMW. Test ride the KTM, then buy one and ride the shit out of it. The good news is there are so many used BMWs out there not being ridden much that you will be able to get low-mileage bikes for 10 more years. Buy the KTM, it's a superior bike for performance. Then come back to the BMW when you grow up a little.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:40 PM   #19
Orangecicle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beefeater Steve View Post
I'm not a dirt biker. I'm not a sport biker. Sometimes I tour (last year I went to Baja and later, 8 States in 4 days, but I don't have that kind of time very often).

I mostly use the bike in the summer since my kids are out of school and I don't need to do the morning carpool. My commute to work is 5 miles each way and, if I'm honest, I prefer to "look the [ADV] part" 60% of the time while only backing it up the other 40%.

From what I read, the 950 / 990 is better on dirt than the GS/A, but it's a hooligan on-road.

That doesn't sound like too bad of a mix to me. . .
I commute on my 950 (22 miles a day) just about every day that I can. The bike does not like stop-and-go traffic because of the faring and heat, but there are many ways to manage the heat, including supplemental rally fans. It's the only bike I've ever owned that causes people to come over and ask the obvious question . . .

"What is that?"
"A KTM Adventure."
"Who makes it, BMW?"



There aren't many "adventure" roads here in Iowa, but there is plenty of gravel. Like you, I don't have a "dirt" background. But the funny thing about this bike is that just as soon as you learn how the bike feels, you find yourself doing stupid things like 60+ on gravel. There's a thread somewhere here of guys doing 100+ on gravel or dirt WHILE taking a picture. The bike is just amazing to ride. Period. What you considered insane before . . . seems pretty tame on this thing. I think it has to do with the suspension and the 21" front. But it is amazing.

Yes, it has its quirks. Oil changes were an afterthought of the engineering department and take about a day the first time you do it. The windscreen is affectionately referred to as a "turbulence generator." Adjusting the IMS screws on the carbs of the 950 Adventure leaves you wondering what the Austrian carb guys were smokin'. But, there are solutions to most of that stuff. And at the end of the day, you can pretty much do anything you need to this bike with the tools that come with the bike in the little pouch. Really amazing.

Anyway, get the bike. You'll love it.
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:06 AM   #20
Beefeater Steve OP
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Can any if you fellas tell me how the seat height (and anything else notable) of the 990 Dakar compares?
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:29 AM   #21
It'sNotTheBike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beefeater Steve View Post
Can any if you fellas tell me how the seat height (and anything else notable) of the 990 Dakar compares?

The specs on this page claim the 2012 Dakar seat height is 880 mm (34.65 in) unloaded.


http://ktmdirtquestions.com/archives/3470


The R model 990 has a claimed seat height of 905mm, which is 25 millimeters
higher than the seat on the Dakar. That equates to the R seat height being
.98 inch higher than the seat on the Dakar model.

The KTM USA specs claim a seat height of 860 mm (33.86 in) for the Baja Edition.
Who knows whether all these specs are accurate though. There's no substitute
for sitting on a bike yourself.


Whether you want ABS or not is a question only you can answer. The 990 with
the lower suspension is probably better suited to what you've indicated the majority
of your riding will be.


.

It'sNotTheBike screwed with this post 03-05-2013 at 09:41 AM
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:51 AM   #22
Beefeater Steve OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brents347 View Post
Steve, you are 20 years too young to be brand committed to BMW. Test ride the KTM, then buy one and ride the shit out of it. The good news is there are so many used BMWs out there not being ridden much that you will be able to get low-mileage bikes for 10 more years. Buy the KTM, it's a superior bike for performance. Then come back to the BMW when you grow up a little.
That's funny--love that reasoning. My dad died about 10 years ago and left me a gold Rolex. I just got it serviced this week and it's a fantastic watch--but I can't wear it because it's an "old man's" watch. So, I stick to my Seamaster Pro.

Anyway, I like BMWs because I know a lot about them--from maintenance to history to model quarks (by year).

But KTM doesn't scare me off and neither does learning new things.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Orangecicle View Post
I commute on my 950 (22 miles a day) just about every day that I can. The bike does not like stop-and-go traffic because of the faring and heat, but there are many ways to manage the heat, including supplemental rally fans. It's the only bike I've ever owned that causes people to come over and ask the obvious question . . .

"What is that?"
"A KTM Adventure."
"Who makes it, BMW?"



There aren't many "adventure" roads here in Iowa, but there is plenty of gravel. Like you, I don't have a "dirt" background. But the funny thing about this bike is that just as soon as you learn how the bike feels, you find yourself doing stupid things like 60+ on gravel. There's a thread somewhere here of guys doing 100+ on gravel or dirt WHILE taking a picture. The bike is just amazing to ride. Period. What you considered insane before . . . seems pretty tame on this thing. I think it has to do with the suspension and the 21" front. But it is amazing.

Yes, it has its quirks. Oil changes were an afterthought of the engineering department and take about a day the first time you do it. The windscreen is affectionately referred to as a "turbulence generator." Adjusting the IMS screws on the carbs of the 950 Adventure leaves you wondering what the Austrian carb guys were smokin'. But, there are solutions to most of that stuff. And at the end of the day, you can pretty much do anything you need to this bike with the tools that come with the bike in the little pouch. Really amazing.

Anyway, get the bike. You'll love it.
I love this anecdote. 100+ on gravel, taking pics. Wow.

I went to Baja last year and was having a helluva time keeping the GSA upright (fully loaded) in the sandy road between San Felipe and CoCo's Corner. Out of the corner of my eye I see my friend--a 55 year old ex MotoCross guy--blow past me on his Super Ten with his feet on the highway pegs.

One way or another, I'll get a little more comfortable with the dirt.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:53 AM   #23
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BTW, fellas, Baja Phil's KTM had a bad battery. He's getting one tomorrow, so then I can skin that smoke wagon on Thursday. Sorry to delay my review (and purchasing decision), but c'est la vie.

SKD
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:18 PM   #24
Orangecicle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beefeater Steve View Post
I love this anecdote. 100+ on gravel, taking pics. Wow.
Here's that thread: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=680077


No, that ain't me. Just borrowed from the thread.
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:53 PM   #25
It'sNotTheBike
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A 950 SE will get to 100+ mph so quickly it's difficult not to
see such speeds on every ride. By "difficult" I mean it requires
more self-discipline than might be available.


Whether or not speed is "impressive" sort of depends on
the frame of reference. Years ago, Yvon Duhamel said 40
mph in his basement seemed about as fast as 165 on the
banking at Daytona. Of course he was kind of crazy and he
also had a large basement. But I bet the basement seemed
small at 40mph.


.

It'sNotTheBike screwed with this post 03-05-2013 at 04:01 PM
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:04 PM   #26
Beefeater Steve OP
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Just out of curiosity. . . what kind of fuel economy are you gents getting?





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Old 03-05-2013, 04:18 PM   #27
It'sNotTheBike
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Just out of curiosity. . . what kind of fuel economy are you gents getting?
.

In the words of the great tennis player John McEnroe :


"You cannot be serious !"



But in case you are : I've seen anywhere
from 34 mpg to 44 mpg with my 950 SE.

.
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:58 PM   #28
Orangecicle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beefeater Steve View Post
Just out of curiosity. . . what kind of fuel economy are you gents getting?.
On average, about 35-36 on a 6/2004 build Adventure 950. I hear that you can get 45 on long trips with consistent normal road speeds. I say "hear" because I've not seen that myself. Regardless, don't really care anymore. I've drunk the Kool-aid, and I'm happy.

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Old 03-05-2013, 05:13 PM   #29
It'sNotTheBike
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. Regardless, don't really care anymore. I've drunk the Kool-aid, and I'm happy.


My sentiments exactly.


.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:26 PM   #30
el queso
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beefeater Steve View Post
Can any if you fellas tell me how the seat height (and anything else notable) of the 990 Dakar compares?
I've got a 31sh inseam and I can flat foot my 990 ADV. Previously I rode a KLR 650 and the seat height is very similar. I have a buddy with a 1200GS and on the road performance is very similar (he once tried to outrun me, but I stayed right on his tail up until about 110 when he decided enough was enough) and I can smoke him in the dirt. The KTM doesn't feel or sound as refined as the BWM (after all it's just a big dirt bike) but it's a really great motorcycle. But be warned, you'll have to give up lattes...
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