Handing-over of our KTM 990 Adventure Limited Edition on October 8th 2010  – may luck be with us.

Many thanks to KTM München Nord and Hannes Schelbert!

and shortly after:

We had a good think about which bike might be best suitable for our trip. We knew we would be travelling for quite a while and therefore have to carry a lot of luggage both onroads and offroads. We therefore only really ever took two bikes into consideration: KTM 990 Adventure or BMW R 1200 GS.

We test-rode both bikes to find out what was  going on:

The BMW was surprisingly fun to ride. I liked the sound and its surprising agility straight away. What I did not like was the front suspension. I gathered my motorbike experience mainly off roads, racing motocross and enduro bikes. Despite the fun I had on the BMW during the test ride, it is far away from pure off road machines which I am used to.

As a pillion rider, Isabel liked the comfortable BMW. However the size of the bike scared her a little and chances she would ever ride such beast are small.

The KTM too was fun to ride. The bike’s geometry felt closer to my previous machines (09 Kawasaki KXF 450 and 09 KTM 300 EXC Six Days) and despite the size, the KTM felt very agile. The WP Supsension seemed well balanced and due to the fact that I was happy with the stock WP suspension on my 300 EXC during the Red Bull Romaniacs Rallye I had a good feeling with this bike.

Isabel liked the KTM as well and chances she could have a go on it herself are somewhat higher.

In the end, both bikes seemed appropriate, the final decision was made by price. Thanks to the support of KTM München Nord, who already supported me to compete at the Red Bull Romaniacs Rallye 2010, we are now proud owners of a KTM 990 Adventure limited Edition! Many Thanks to Hannes Schelbert and his Team!!

Which parts turn the KTM into a real long-range travel bike?

We both have had no long-range travel experience on a bike so far, so therefore we once again had to undertake an in-depth research of manufacturers and parts for such an adventure and a KTM LC8 Adventure. This turned out to be quite easy and we soon realised that only one manufacturer comes into equation when it comes to serious parts: TOURATECH! Besides, I was surprised of the quality of my mates Florian Dietrich’s and Robert Wagner’s (winner of the 2011 GS Challenge Boxer category) G450X built up by Touratech.

Below you can find a list of all the improvements:

- Fuel tank: The 990 ADV has a considerably high fuel consumption and the standard 27l tank is simply too small for our trip. We need at least 500km autonomy. We chose the large 45l Touratech travel tank in transparent colour to be able to see the fuel level at any time. This will allow us to manage long distances without fuel stations.

- Crash bars: We also fitted larger crash bars

- Seat: The bike was already equipped with a special KTM gel seat, however we decided to fit the higher Touratech / Kahedo Sport Seat. It seems well crafted, is more comfortable for Isabel and also for me being 4cm higher than stock (I am 193cm tall).

- Handle bars: To achieve ideal geometry in combinatio with the higher seat we also fitted Touratech bar risers. Due to my size I have always used bar risers on previous bikes despite the disadvantages in handling.

- Pannier system: Originally the KTM came with Hepco & Becker Gobi panniers. However we decided to change to the sturdy Touratech Zega Pro 45l Aluminum system.

- Luggage: We fitted the Touratech luggage rack extension to carry a 90l Touratech bag with the lighter stuff in it.

- Cockpit: The cockpit remains stock apart from the KTM PowerParts High Touring Windshield.

- GPS mount: My Touratech GPS carrier (for Garmin Oregon 400t) is “Romaniacs Rallye approved” and withstood even the worst of roll-overs and crashes. We improved it with a ball-joint adapter to always stay “on track”.

- Headlights: Headlights remain stock apart from the Touratech metal protection against stone-chipping.

- Exhaust: The exhaust remains stock as well, however only for reasons of budgeting…

- Engine guard: The original KTM engine guard is made of plastic. As the battery and electrics are fitted right under the engine guard, we decided to fit the Touratech metal engine guard. Additionally we fitted the Touratech toolbox which allows storing heavy tools low in the bike which again improves handling.

- Tyres: For the many kilometers we are planning to do on and off roads, we need a tyre which guarantees good grip and traction on any surface and lasts for a long time. We found exactly these characteristics in the new Heidenau K60 Scout.

- Surfboard mount: The way we will transport the surfboards is widely common in surfers paradise Indonesia. The development work for our carriers was done by my mate Kalle Knipping who crafted two VA-carriers that will securely carry our surfboards. We can secure our load with straps on both carriers. The front carrier is fitted to the crash bar, the rear carrier to the Zega Pro pannier. To avoid deformation of the pannier, Kalle fitted an extra inner metal plate.

- Gearing: We have changed the front sprocket (original 17 teeth) to a 16 teeth sprocket. This will improve handling on slow and difficult trails.

- Radiator protection: We exchanged the original radiator protection against the KTM PowerParts Aluminum protection. It is stronger and allows more air to reach the radiator.