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ADV BikesLong-Term Test Highlights Ownership Cost of BMW and KTM

Long-Term Test Highlights Ownership Cost of BMW and KTM

R1200GS and 1190 Adventure buyers have more to consider than just MSRP.

Published on 03.26.2015

The BMW R1200GS and KTM 1190 Adventure R pretty much rule the roost among the adventure heavyweights, but at what cost to the wearer of the helmet? This question was answered to an extent in a long-term test by Cycle World magazine that not only pitted these liter-class adventure bikes against each, but also revealed some potentially costly surprises.

For starters, KTM 1190 Adventure owners should have KTM’s Dust Protection Kit installed that, at $189.79, is a fraction of the cost of a complete top end rebuild due to a flawed airbox and filter design. While the warranty took care of the repair bill, it’s a cautionary tale well worth heeding by all 1190 Adventure owners.

The BMW R1200GS has its own engineering issues. The standard crash bars could not prevent a cracked cylinder head cover during an off-road incident, but at least the warranty covered the replacement of the rear and front shocks. A new clutch was also needed with parts priced at $1,458.46.


Teutonic design does come at a price as the installation of the Beemer’s horn button illustrates. To replace the red button, a new handlebar pod needed to be fitted that with labor came to a whopping $448.10.

R1200GS KTM 1190 Adventure ownership cost

Your costs may vary. These bikes were ridden hard by expert riders with the intent to push the limits of the machines. (Photo courtesy Cycle World)

In all fairness, these bikes were ridden exceedingly hard by accomplished riders who didn’t spare the horses over some seriously challenging terrain. Put differently, the kind of punishment meted out to the BMW and KTM would have tested most adventure bikes, not to mention their riders.

With large parts of the mileage done off-road, it’s not surprising that the bikes burnt rubber at an alarming rate – five sets at just over 11 000 miles. Similarly, both bikes also required a new set of rear brake pads at $120.69 for the GS and $85.95 for the KTM.

The cost of maintenance – $1,858.98 for the BMW and $1,641.95 for the KTM – highlights the immutable fact that ownership cost of these machines does not come cheap. But, as the aficionados of the R1200GS and KTM 1190 Adventure R point out, most price concerns are dwarfed by the versatility, comfort and capability of these technological marvels.

Adventure Bike Model Long-Term Comparison

2014 BMW R1200GS 2014 KTM 1190 Adventure R
Price as Tested  $21,671 $18,134
Total Miles Ridden  11,064 11,837
Maintenance Costs  $1,858.98 $1,641.95
Repair Costs  $3,173.87 $230.00
Next Service Mileage  18,000 18,600

Author: Derek Alberts

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Isaac VanHaverbeke
Isaac VanHaverbeke
March 26, 2015 5:49 pm

Holy smokes….my entire bike cost me less than the BMW’s maintenance and repair costs.

Monkeywurst (@monkeywurst)
Monkeywurst (@monkeywurst)
March 26, 2015 6:40 pm

Love it that KTM charges $189 for a kit to fix their flawed design and save the engine from self-destructing!

Tiber Thorncroft III
Tiber Thorncroft III
March 27, 2015 1:02 pm

Then thats the reason for a KLR.

May 3, 2015 7:25 pm

There is no good reason to own a KLR. None.
May 4, 2015 1:40 am
Reply to  Rohan

No good reason to own a KLR … you are an idiot. I have owned KTM, BMW and Kawasaki, all the their merits and weaknesses.

March 31, 2015 4:25 pm

“….most price concerns are dwarfed by the versatility, comfort and capability of these technological marvels……….” spoken like a true Trendy…..willing to defy all logic in order to buy an image

Michael Harris
Michael Harris
April 29, 2015 4:47 pm

You’ve apparently never owned a Piaggio MP3 for high maintenance costs.

Randy Dawes
Randy Dawes
May 24, 2016 12:43 pm
Reply to  Michael Harris

I own 2 MP3s and do my own maintenance. What’s your gripe about?

Long-Term Test Highlights Ownership Cost of BMW and KTM – | Woema
May 21, 2015 6:51 am

[…] Lees die artikel verder […]

January 11, 2021 8:23 am

What are you thinking, that the people are idiots? Putting repair crash costs as maintenance?
Cost of ownership is what comes at normal way of use, accidents are not part of it. You should withdraw your false statement. BMW warranty is better than KTM, point.


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