Seldom do we feel removing electronics or features or power from a bike is a good thing. However, the KTM Adventure 1090 R makes that case, taking what was already a formidable off-road focused adventure bike a step further in the direction less traveled.

KTM reorganized its adventure-touring line for 2017, dropping the 1190 while offering two 1290s and adding a new-to-our-market 1090. This makes a clearer distinction between KTM’s Adventure models. We now have the 1090 joining the Super Adventure 1290 T and Super Adventure 1290 R.

 1290 Super Adventure R First Ride Review

Think of the $14,699 1090 R as the most off-road focused Adventure in the trio. It’s 22 pounds lighter than the old 1190 ($16,799), to a purported dry weight of 456 pounds dry, and it also comes with a stiffer suspension that limits the chances of bottoming over harsh bumps or jumps. Horsepower is down from a claimed 150 hp on the 1190 (in Sport mode) to 125 hp on the 1090 R; both models are limited to 100 hp in Off-Road mode. If you’re buying this bike for the off-road pedigree that KTM carries, you won’t be displeased with the new Adventure 1090 R.

Former editor Tom Roderick rode the new KTM for two days around on the trails of southern California during the 1090’s launch event awhile ago, and we’ve now been able to put together a video from the event that you can see below. (We miss you, T-Rod!).

  • Junker

    You know it made a lot of sense to move this (1190R replacement) a little farther away from the 1290 in displacement and price and refine it further for off-road, but I can’t shake the feeling it is really just a reaction to the Africa Twin.

    Of course, I’m a little biased because I chose a leftover 1190 (non-R) for less $ than this. Love the bike and a better choice for me since I am not planning on doing any real off-road. I think if you ride either you will fall in love…

    • Sayyed Bashir

      It was made for the European market for the A2 license and that’s why it didn’t come to the U.S. last year. It has nothing to do with the Africa Twin. I have the 2015 1190 R.

      • spiff

        The 1090 size maybe for Euro licences, but KTM spent a lot of time and effort making the R capable of dealing with the US off road terrain.

      • Junker

        Isn’t the A2 about 47 hp max?

        • Sayyed Bashir

          See KTM.com website under 1090 Adventure: “Also available as a KTM Adventure L with 70 kW A3 and 35 kW A2.”

      • Walter

        The 1090R is a different bike than the 1050. Not only motor (which was redesigned), but PDS shock and some other significant things. And in the opinion of many, it had an awful lot to do with the AT. Even the KTM website description hints as much.