I took the Friday off because I had a family reunion to attend in Quebec's Eastern Townships. The weather looked nice and that was all I needed to set up a ride with the Big Machine.
|I felt comfortable on the seat, although the small fairing offered little wind protection.
On the road, the KTM 990 Adventure
handles like a do-it-all bike. Sitting upright and high above the ground (if your crotch is less than 30 inches high, forget it), I felt comfortable on the seat, although the small fairing offered little wind protection. With excellent clearance, the 990 is able to lean heavily into corners and use the entire tread of the stock Pirelli Scorpios. Due to the 21-inch front wheel, however, entering corners requires a little more persistence and, halfway there, the bike is fighting to get back up. Fortunately, the wide handlebar makes cornering easier by offering the rider greater leverage on the machine.
With regard to suspensions, the WP gear is top-notch. Having gained precious knowledge during a brief tour of Elka Suspension's shock plant in Boucherville, I decided to make a few experiments. In addition to spring preload, the rear shock of the 990 Adventure offers compression and rebound adjustments. The same goes for the front fork, which is pretty easy to adjust thanks to the knobs atop the stanchions -- one for compression and one for rebound.
Unlike the 950, which I loved, the 2009 KTM 990 uses electronic fuel injection instead of carburetors, as well as ABS brakes. In my opinion, the injection mapping needs to be revised because the transition from idle to open throttle is, well, quite snappy. That's rather unpleasant when riding in the city or at low speeds. Also, contrary to the popular trend, the switch to fuel injection did not result in improved efficiency and mileage -- expect a range of 320 kilometres on pavement before the reserve kicks in or 240 kilometres of spirited dirt riding. As for the ABS, I found the system overly sensitive and too anxious to curb the enthusiasm of the rear wheel.
|A good looking bike, that seems to say "Ride me to the end of the world."