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ADV BikesKTM Twins ‘Ultimate’ KTM 1090 Adventure Build

KTM Twins ‘Ultimate’ KTM 1090 Adventure Build

Transforming the KTM 1090 R into the ultimate liter-class adventure bike!

Published on 05.08.2019

KTM 1090 Adventure Bike Build

KTM’s 1090 Adventure R is a platform that was derived from the brand’s experience with an older sibling, the 1190 Adventure R. Sharing styling and many of the same parts, the most significant difference between the two is the 1090’s comparatively stripped-down nature and off-road focus. Three model years between the first 1190 & 1090 gave KTM ample time to make improvements and necessary changes before ushering the 1190 into retirement. Gone were factory parts like the center stand, oil temperature sensor and 12-volt power outlet. Improved suspension, usable torque, and a palatable price tag arrived in their absence.


Customers asked for a more hard-nosed LC8 machine, and KTM didn’t mind delivering the narrow-purposed 1090 Adventure R in part due to the addition of their 1290 street and touring models to rounding out the range. The result was something special: a little less weight, fewer frills but a lot more to offer at pavements end.

KTM 1090 Adventure Motorcycle Build

KTM 1090 Adventure Build

With all this in mind, the online motorcycle parts retailer – – chose the 1090 Adventure R for their latest project bike to see what more they could do to bolster its already impressive credentials. After a year and a half of upgrades, alterations, and more than 11,000 miles of hardcore testing, the “Twins 1090” was completed.

The result was an absolute mile crusher on two-track and beyond. A great long-distance adventure travel bike capable of tackling nearly any obstacle in its path. With a plush and forgiving chassis that made it easy to forget its girth, and more power and gumption than it knows what to do with.

Read on to see what went into this monster 1090 Adventure build and get insights from KTM Twins on how the upgrades performed on the trail.
KTM 1090 Adventure Custom Build


One of the intended purposes of this bike was to eat up backcountry miles with ease and the first step KTM Twins took to realize that vision was to improve rider comfort.

Seat Concepts Comfort Seat

KTM 1090 Adventure Build - seat

The Seat Concepts saddle is not only more comfortable than the stock offering but it also fixes the “sliding into the tank” feeling (typical on these bikes). Better foam, improved grip and a fuller seating area made this an obvious upgrade. The last thing you want is posterior pain limiting your miles, and this saddle is an effective solution to combat that.

KTM Power Parts Heated Grips

KTM 1090 Adventure Build - heated grips

Some people might argue that heated grips don’t belong on an actual off-road machine, but those people are just wrong! Kidding aside, this set of factory heated grips was chosen to make those late night/early morning endeavors that much more bearable. Multiple times during field-testing of the Twins 1090 Adventure temperatures plunged below freezing, and the ice warning flashed on the dash; On every one of those occasions, these heated grips were celebrated. The advantage of Power Parts heated grips over an aftermarket equivalent is that they can be controlled by the onboard computer. The hard plastic grip material was swapped out for a set of ProGrip Dual Sport Gel Grips resulting in just about the best combo for your mitts imaginable.

Vanasche Motorsports Brake Pedal Pad

KTM 1090 Adventure Bike Build - brake pedal

Small details can make a BIG difference, and that is certainly the case with this Vanasche brake pedal pad. It replaces the flimsy stock pad with a stylish oversized platform with robust cleats. It is much easier to find in bulky adventure boots and during testing has fared very well when the bike has gone down on that side. Did we mention it was orange?

Fasst Company Flexx Bars

KTM 1090 Adventure Motorcycle Build - handlebars

The Flexx Bar’s fiber bushings & elastomers dampen vibration and absorb impacts to cut down on fatigue in the arms, hands, and shoulders. Plus they make those heavy 1090 R comedowns from a wheelie or jump feel buttery smooth. Paired with a set of FasstCo threaded vibration inserts, this setup offers a plushness boost.

Stegz Steg Pegz

KTM 1090 Adventure Bike Build - steg pegz

Steg Pegz are essentially rubber bump stops that mount in the same location as most pillion pegs allowing you to lean back and “lock-in” with your boots. The result is a better connection with the motorcycle and improved control. This makes going up inclines or riding through rough terrain much easier once you are at home with these strange looking rubber pucks. During testing, the amount of pressure alleviated from the arms was noticeable and they also cut down on overall rider fatigue.

Fasst Company Adventure Foot Pegs

KTM 1090 Adventure Motorcycle Build

Inadequate size and subpar traction are typical of OEM footpegs which is why aftermarket pegs are always one of the first upgrades adventure riders make. Fasst Company Adventure pegs were chosen for this 1090 Adventure Build due to their improved superior traction and large platform design – claimed vibration dampening was just a bonus. They proved comfortable for standing, even for extended periods, and the excellent grip and open design made these perfect for their application.


Unfortunately even 1090 Adventure R’s aren’t ready for sustained adventures directly from the showroom. Sure, they are more capable than most with essentials like lower crash bars & handguards but not for the rigors of day in and day out abuse KTM Twins had in mind. These are the upgrades intended to make this 1090 prepared for anything that backcountry travel could throw at it.

Camel Tank

Motorcycle Build - camel auxilliary tank

With a stock fuel capacity of 6.1 gallons, it’s easy to assume that fuel range on the 1090 Adventure would be of no concern, but it can be a limiting factor. Performance modifications and spirited riding contributed to this bike regularly getting 32-35 miles per gallon during testing. Routes farther than 210 miles were questionable at best and downright sketchy in desolate areas like Death Valley. Enter Camel ADV’s Camel Tank, with an additional capacity of 1.5 gallons, extending the 1090’s usable range to around 250 miles. This made it possible for worry-free stretches between fueling and allowed fuel sharing with would-be stranded companions.

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Author: Spencer Hill

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Mark P
Mark P
May 8, 2019 10:35 am

What a beast!! is it for sale??

May 15, 2019 6:27 pm
Reply to  Mark P

Yes, it is officially for sale at this time.
Contact me directly for more details:

Chris Duncan
Chris Duncan
June 5, 2019 4:53 am
Reply to  Spencer

Just sent you an email. Thanks!

Eric A
Eric A
May 14, 2019 3:55 pm

Is the camel tank connected to the main tank?

May 15, 2019 6:29 pm
Reply to  Eric A

Yes, the Camel Tank is connected directly to the main tank via the fuel cap vent line. The vacuum caused by the fuel level lowering in the main tank draws suction from the Camel Tank emptying it first.

July 11, 2019 4:15 am

Beautifull bike, you didn’t upgrade n the suspension ? What was your settings Thanks

Devin Orr
Devin Orr
March 18, 2022 7:52 am

With the upper crash guard and radiator guard, is it still possible to mount the high mount front fender kit? I really like the set up. I am in the process of purchasing a 2018 1090 adventure R and looking for what mods need to be done up front. Any help would be awesome.


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