Poll: KTM 1090 Adventure R or Honda Africa Twin

Troy Siahaan
by Troy Siahaan

KTM 1090 Adventure R or Honda Africa Twin, which adventure bike would YOU pick?

When it comes to the Adventure scene, there’s a strong case to be made that nobody does it better than KTM. Take the 1090 Adventure R for example. Tom Roderick just came back from its launch, and in his First Ride Review, he gushes about how easy the bike is to ride both on- and off-road, thanks to its reduced weight compared to the previous 1190 Adventure, and despite carrying a powerful 1050cc V-Twin between its trellis frame, the KTM is able to dole out manageable off-road power thanks to its dirt riding mode.

Then again, Tom also came back from the Honda Africa Twin launch pretty impressed with its on- and off-road abilities, too. Granted, it was the DCT version that really enamored him, but the standard transmission version is a more than capable machine to tackle nearly any terrain.

Tom posed this question in his KTM review, so of course we asked ourselves: Which of these two is the better bike? The KTM or Honda (standard transmission in this case)? On paper, the 1090 Adventure R would appear to have the advantage: Bigger engine (1050cc vs. 998cc), more power, Brembo brakes, larger fuel tank (6.5 gallons vs. 4.96 gallons) and that unmistakable KTM off-road prowess.

But the Africa Twin costs significantly less ($13,299 for the standard transmission vs. $14,699), has more suspension travel (9.1-inch front/8.7-inch rear vs. 8.6 inches front and rear), lower seat height, and of course the optional DCT. Both have riding modes, ABS, and traction control.

Debating on specs will only get you so far. While there’s no doubt the KTM is a good motorcycle, the Africa Twin can likely traverse equally gnarly terrain. We can’t wait to ride them both back-to-back to decide a winner once and for all, but until then we leave you with this question:

Troy Siahaan
Troy Siahaan

Troy's been riding motorcycles and writing about them since 2006, getting his start at Rider Magazine. From there, he moved to Sport Rider Magazine before finally landing at Motorcycle.com in 2011. A lifelong gearhead who didn't fully immerse himself in motorcycles until his teenage years, Troy's interests have always been in technology, performance, and going fast. Naturally, racing was the perfect avenue to combine all three. Troy has been racing nearly as long as he's been riding and has competed at the AMA national level. He's also won multiple club races throughout the country, culminating in a Utah Sport Bike Association championship in 2011. He has been invited as a guest instructor for the Yamaha Champions Riding School, and when he's not out riding, he's either wrenching on bikes or watching MotoGP.

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  • MaynStream MaynStream on Jun 14, 2017

    I own a KTM and I love it however, KTM does not have the widespread parts and service network that Honda has and for this reason I would vote for the AT for my next adventure bike.

  • Al803 Al803 on Jan 12, 2019

    Which jacket-pants combo is the one the AT rider wears?