KTM 950 - GS Move Over

Pat Creagh

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UKGSer Subscriber
Jan 6, 2002
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Teddington, Middx.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I went out for a pootle on the new Adventure S yesterday at Colin Collins in Harrow and it is mighty fine indeed.
Firstly for all of you bike polishers our there, it is ORANGE. Not Mandarin, but Tangerine with a metal flake finish and looks the bone if you like it big 'n' bright.
Fit and finish seems very good and the spokes are stain-less steel and twice the daimeter of the toothpicks on the GS.
The black rims look very well too.
For any readers less than 183cm (6 feet outside of Euroland) stop now!!!
You won't have a hope.
For all you real men, start saving.
It is the biz. Good power but slightly higher in the rev range to that available on a GS1150. Even with only 250miles on the clock you can rev to 6500RPM and it flys. Can't imagine what it would be like once run in.
Did I say it was tall? Treatment for altitude sickness will probably be required for London dwellers and the Dutch...
The bike feels like a racehorse compared to the Draft mare we are currently used to riding.
I even managed a little dirt today and it seems to like golf courses, a lot.
Get down to a local KTM dealer and see for yourself,

how much does it cost? The adv S or standard - which do you fancy? As versatile as a GS? Any good on long trips? Seat looks painful esp. for pillions, is it?
Couldnt agree more.

The KTM 950 is fantastic.

Did find it a little tall, Im only 5'10". The lower silver model would probably be more my fit.

The performance is excellent the build quality looks good. A real all rounder. Nice and slim for commuting an off road weapon no turbulance from the screen fine for touring and will give most sports bikes a run for there money in the right hands.

I would buy one tomorrow. BMW beware!!!!

Will give you another update after the weekend.
Isn't that an American Chocolate bar???
In rip-off Britain the S is £7750 and the std. £7350. It may be cheaper in Spain. It's got to be the bike for those lovely mountain tracks.
It has optional extras: Panniers, Plastic 32l or metal 41l
Akropovic Ti endcans, tankbag and feels like it could do the distance, seat is firm but after 1 hour not uncomfortable. Drawbacks are chain drive and unproven road reliability but only time will tell. At last some real competition for B&W...
In fact in the last competition the Germans gave up...
Let's wait and see,
I'm not so sure it will be that much competition to the GS. Folks buy a GS because it's a BMW, it's all round capability, it's reliability and it's life expectancy and residuals. People buy KTM's bacause they are fast and good to race about on. They historically are fast but fragile, they do NOT have a great record of reliability or holding their value.
Time will tell, it'll be a tough market to crack. Anyway, The KTM is bloody ugly IMO, even more so than the GS which is handsome in an ugly sort of way.

If the KTM is really good, however, the next generation GS will have to be even better than it is now to compete. That'll do me then.

I have to admit to being very waery of anyhting new from a small dealer with limited resources in the real world and how many times have we seen smaller manufacturers race to take on the big more established manufacturers only to fall flat on their faces. I love KTMs and have owned many of the Off Road variety until you need spares...then you better plug in the old heart monitor and inform the bank of the impending black hole that is about to appear in your bank account. Still got a chain drive, will eat cush drives, sprockets will wear, dust will eat the chain when touring in very dusty conditions etc but it all comes down to looks in the end. WE all seem to be rules by the latest gizmos etc and there will be those that go the route of KTM to be different from the herd and good luck to them. The market will soon have the second hand versions going for £5000 grand or so as no one pays big bucks for a small scale market sector product once its out there as a pre used. The old Adventures were much better in my oppinion with the RandD boys at KTM building a bike for a purpose rather than a market sector. Look at the Aprilia RAID. Another example of a marque hitting a market sector rather than a real functional need. How many of you are actualy going to take it along to Africa, Tour great distance, off road etc. Its the same story as the GS itself. How many of the owners on the group have actualy been abroad on their bikes. The overall percentage is probably very low. Take a look at the second hand GS market and there are many examples out there for good money with under 10k on them for a two year old bike. They often have all the kit on them as well and still have never seen the sand of an African country. Its toys for the boys and I am willing to accept this but not willing to listen to the suits in marketing departments trying to convince me that the new KTM is just what I need for the latest trip to a third world country. How many dealers do you think you will find outside of Europe?. I shall be sticking to the GS , like the look of the KTM and have supported the brand for a long time in the off road arena. Its still a pretty bike but who can honestly manage a bike as tall as that with a CofG up there with the gods and thats without all the toys bolted on. I will keep my excitement contained for the moment and wait to see how many Ks people lose on the secong hand market before I have to eat my hat.
Ktm Adventure

Its still a pretty bike but who can honestly manage a bike as tall as that with a CofG up there with the gods and thats without all the toys bolted on.

Andy couldn't agree more, the s model is very tall, taller than the BM Adventure, so what sort of height would you need to be, to be in full control of this monster.


I reckon your hat is Well Safe !! :p

Same applies to the Multistrade me thinks !!;)

Time will tell, .............but Longevity (overall) will win through:)


I have to admit to being very waery of anyhting new from a small ................................................................................without all the toys bolted on. I will keep my excitement contained for the moment and wait to see how many Ks people lose on the secong hand market before I have to eat my hat.

Andy I think your a cautious bloke. Too cautious.
KTM is a smallER company than BMW, but they are designing products that are actually good at what they are supposed to do and not a compromise as in the GS BMWs. The Adventure is an ADVENTURE bike. A bike that will take you to places other bikes dare not go. And quickly too!
As for reliability. Don't forget they still test them every year by doing they BIG rallies, Dakar etc..
I had a KTM 600LC4 some years ago (it was nicked). I found the spares availability very good and no dearer the BMW or any Japanese marque.
I don't understand this obsession with shaft drive. Mine has cost me as much or more than chain drive (long story). In fact, with a Scott oiler fitted to my (104bhp) Tiger I've done 8500 miles since new last August and have had to adjust the chain (DID "X" ring) 4 (four) times.
Anyway, time will tell. I hope KTM succeed. They are a small forward looking company who don't mind sticking their necks on the line in competition.
Re: Ktm Adventure

legger said:
so what sort of height would you need to be, to be in full control of this monster.

Ask Gaston Rahier. He used to have to run alongside his rally bikes before he jumped on. Didn't stop him winnig the Dakar several times.

'course, once he'd started he couldn't ever stop. That's why he always got there first. ;)
Slim v 's Fat

No not meant to be deroggatory Pat - if there is one complaint about the GS - is just that - its far to wide , and specially with the panniers on - its bleeding huge - and if one was to have the Adv Ali jobs - you'd have to have a wide load sticker and advise the police , as to when you want to use the motorway-
Have to have a go on one of these machines , at least the fello car drivers will stop being woken up as they get the occasional nudge , because I cant tell the difference between 6 and 19 inches - but then again thats a whole different story- and we wont go there.

harto :beer:
Take a look at the KTM works bikes and you will see that they are VERY different from the plasticised versions we are told are factory reps. Spent some time on OPTIC RALLY duty with some mates and the things the KTM's had on them and the suport they put into getting the bikes to the end was unreal and all linked to getting the bikes onto the podium and hence convince us how god they were.......thats with full factory support, wheel changes, mouses, frame strips, engine strips or even replacement etc. The boys were also running full MOD sat nav photos of stages etc so they ne what was coming up before it actualy did on the roadbooks. Look at a team briefing from th likes of KTM and then lok at some bleary eyed poor privateer with the same old XR600 etc at the end of the day. Bloody knackered and still going to have to spanner the bike himself.

Saw the new bike justt after leaving the Miller run and it looked just the same as any other plastic fantastic and sounded no worse or better that any other bike. The guy was in a Wulsport jacket (puke) and jeans ans trainers. If thebike dont make it, he certainly wont. It is this sort of person that will buy the bike, think he is Peterhansel and then get bored after chasing 600's round the block and sell it for a loss.

If the KTM holds its value so well why are Bracken selling 4 of the old single cylinder models for £4500 otr. They were £7k when they came out. Now thats a hell of a bargain for what you get as its simple, easy to work on and will go to the ends of the worls at a steady pace.

What percentage do people spend on the road and off it??? I guess that 99% of the riders on the group have never been OFF ROAD in the true sense of the word. I dodnt mean gravel trackes that you could get an old Enfield up, I mean real offroad and not even a sedate run around a set of coaltips.

All to their own but time will tell if these things start to hit the market secondhand at the end of the season when their road race owners get bored of them.
I appreciate everything you've said about the Orange Co.
but in a direct comparison on the road the KTM out performs the 1150/Avd in all areas. The big questions can only be answered by time...will it hold together?
BMW spent mega bucks convincing us on the big ralleys that the GS and F650 we buy are Dakar kit when nothing could be further from the truth, but that's marketing and BM are masters of the art. KTM are only playing catch-up and finding their feet in the big-bike market-place. It will be intresting to see what happens.
A friend of mine in Ireland, with a lot of experience in off-roading has long referred to Kakooms as grenades but now happily sports an 450 thumper, with which he is very satisfied.
We'll wait and see,
As for Lardy Harty comments, the GS is very wide as a commuter but the cylinder heads and panniers sure do make a path in traffic especially if linked with extra lights a loud pipe and engine bars;-))))
Those lot in Eire/Ireland would not be the Phil Gunn fellowship? Liam etc still into bikes.
Lardy Hartee

Well Pat ,

its a long time since you had the joy of communting in Ireland ,
( hey a Freudian Slip !) and you might like to know that its particularly difficult for people to get out of your way-when they are in the constant traffic jam . that Dublin in particular has become - even if you sported blue light s of the Police variety ( which in fact might get you run over anyway !) and a pipe as loud as that from small Government Jet - I am merely saying , bikes too wide , and with the luggage on its got "an Arse as big as a small country"
I see you also subscribe to the theory that people will scramble out of the way of a large noisy , Panzer type motorcyle , - I seem to remember a bloke on an 1100 , who had same theory , as the car clobbered him, bike the lot - in the london area.-bad philosophy.
The marketing boys , have done a great job - and no matter what you say , some ofthe technolgy and engineering does make its way down to us from the paris dakar and the like - but yes I would agree that comparing a PD works bike to a road one - is like saying that the BTCC Mondeo or Alfa 156 is the same the stock issue on the road - now in a few years time - we will have the goodies on the bike that were developed in competition.
As it is they would be to extreme for mere mortals like myself
( I do not include you in that) but in time they d get there eg Paddle gear changes , fuel injection , GPS , electronic ignition , all of which began life from competition.

Those lot in Eire/Ireland would not be the Phil Gunn fellowship? Liam etc still into bikes.

Yep , that ll be us - Phil has taken a break from organising what was in a lot of opinions - the best , most enjoyable rallies (ROD) , in Ireland and in Greece as well - they were the best weeks bike wise that I have ever had the pleasure to take part in - and all done with military precision and a streak of madness as well - Good stuff boys - Brilliant.

GS move over... my arse!!
The KTM doesn't have shaft drive, telelever suspension or a beak!! Not to mention googly headlights!
I'm sure they're good bikes mind you, but I think I'll wait a while before I make up my mind.:D
There was a good double page comaprison of the KTM and the Bimmer in last week's MCN.......worth a read.

My scanner's broke else i'd copy it up....anyone else see it?

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