ADV Pulse

Get ADV Pulse delivered by email
Sign up for ADV Pulse Weekly


Get ADV Pulse delivered by email
Sign up for ADV Pulse Weekly

Connect With Us

Follow On Facebook:

ADV BikesKTM 1190 Adventure – Best All-Around Motorcycle in the World?

KTM 1190 Adventure – Best All-Around Motorcycle in the World?

Cycle World thinks so after a full road test on the 2014 KTM 1190 Adventure

Published on 01.16.2014

Cycle World Magazine has tested the KTM 1190 Adventure before at press events and gathered first impressions. But now they’ve been given a 2014 KTM 1190 Adventure for a full test on American soil, using their advanced testing facilities. Tests have left them impressed and considering whether this bike is the best all-around motorcycle in the world.

To become the best all-around motorcycle in the world requires high ranking in three key performance areas: sport bike performance, touring comfort, and off-road capability. In terms of pure speed, the KTM clocked a 10.68 second 1/4 mile time and a top speed of 151 mph. Those performance numbers make the KTM a near match for the street focused Ducati Multistrada and put it way ahead of top competitors like the BMW R1200GS and Yamaha Super Ténéré.

2014 KTM 1190 Adventure action

The KTM 1190 Adventure impresses with sport bike performance numbers.

The main area of improvement for the KTM 1190 Adventure has been in refinement and comfort. The original 2003 KTM 950 Adventure was designed to be a Dakar Rally competitor back when there were no displacement limits on motorcycles. The bike even competed in the 2003 Baja 1000 as a KTM factory entry. The KTM 950 may have looked out of place competing against smaller dirt bikes, but the big KTM mesmerized the crowd as it still managed to run up front.


Making a race bike into a civilized street bike is a huge challenge for any manufacturer. Over the years, KTM was able to massage the platform into a decent touring bike. But the KTM 990 Adventure was never going to match the refinement and comfort of the BMW R1200GS.

After testing the new KTM, Cycle World claims, “As an on-road machine, the Adventure has been improved dramatically.” Much of this refinement has to do with advanced electronics like the lean-angle-sensing traction control, multiple power modes, and Electronic Damping System suspension. Fueling is spot on and there are a wide-range of settings to match any road condition. Range is also improved (226 miles average) with a larger tank than the KTM 990 Adventure. The only complaint Cycle World had was for the seat which they claim is “too soft and doesn’t provide enough support for longer days.” KTM seems to have a long-standing problem with uncomfortable seats (to the joy of the aftermarket seat makers).

The KTM brand is synonymous with off-road performance, so you know the new KTM 1190 Adventure is going to perform well in the dirt. But has it lost a step after adding sport bike speed and touring comfort? Thankfully not. Cycle World claims the KTM “…is capable of things off-road that no bike its size or power output should ever be capable of.” As they see it, the KTM 1190 Adventure may not be quite as good off-road as the 990 Adventure, but it doesn’t give up much in performance.

KTM has maintained its off-road prowess by keeping weight down. The new model is roughly the same weight as the previous 990 adventure, even after increasing engine size 200cc and improving on-road creature comforts.

So is the 2014 KTM 1190 Adventure the best all-around motorcycle in the world? If you could just pick one bike and you needed it to perform well in the twisties, on the highway and trail riding, it’s hard to disagree. Cycle World sums it up perfectly, “This motorcycle does more things well in more conditions than any other bike we’ve ever tested.”

Check out the story “2014 KTM 1190 ADVENTURE – ROAD TEST – The best all-around bike in the world?” from Cycle World Magazine.

Author: Rob Dabney

Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.

Author: Rob Dabney

Related Stories

Related Stories

Notify me of new posts via email

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
How Good Is the New KTM 1190 Adventure R Off-Road? » ADV Pulse
March 13, 2014 4:15 pm

[…] shouldn’t try this at home, but the video does demonstrate the amazing versatility of the new KTM 1190 Adventure R. Just don’t expect to see Chris riding this bike in his next X-treme Enduro […]

New BMW Adventure Bike Spied - BMW S1000 ADV » ADV Pulse
March 27, 2014 6:22 pm

[…] clearance to make off-road riding not completely out of the question (if you dare). Although, the KTM 1190 Adventure seems to have both on-road and off-road bases […]


Watch: The Revamped Suzuki V-Strom 1050DE Gets A Proper Dirt Test

For 2023, Suzuki did an overhaul of their flagship adventurer, giving it a si...

Ricky Carmichael's Epic Adventure Out West On Triumph Tiger 1200s

Ricky Carmichael might be the winningest motocross racer of all time, but h...

Mosko’s Popular Reckless 40L & 80L Soft Bags Get Big Updates

Does anyone even remember how terrible soft motorcycle saddlebags used to be? T...