A little about myself:
The journey to expedition/adventure motorcycles started with snowmobiles. I grew up very near to some of the best big mountain snowmobiling in the contiguous United States. Snowmobiling was a large part of my life for much of my adolescent growth. I feel that seeing the mountains in the winter is an exploration experience all in itself. Everything, I mean everything, changes when it has 8-10 feet of snow on it. Landscapes appear alien and untouched by man. The beautiful county, exposure to the environment, humbling respect of nature, and the general lack of humans creates an experience all of its own, and I would highly recommend backcountry snowmobiling to anyone on these forums. Also... the power/weight ratio of modern mountain sleds is amazingly grin-inducing.
As I grew up a little bit, I moved away from large mountains (and snowmobiling), my priorities shifted and I transitioned into adventure motorcycling. My love of exploring nature while being fully exposed to it drew me into the sport, and my passion for camping and lightweight backpacking kept me there. The prospect of a versatile machine that could do nearly anything better than my Tacoma off-road, handle like a sports car on-road, and get me to work at +40 mpg was very appealing. As a single 20-something who does a fair amount of exploring, I found that while my Tacoma was very capable and versatile, it felt like overkill anytime I was exploring by myself. So, last summer I picked this up:
I started on a Kawasaki KLR650E. This was a great bike, and really helped me get back into motorcycling after a childhood of casually riding dirt bikes. I loved that I could simply strap my loaded backpack onto the bike and I was ready to go for the whole weekend. The KLR does everything reasonably well, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in getting into adventure motorcycling. Additionally, I still think the KLR’s simplicity makes it the ideal bike for deep trips into Mexico and South America. I still miss the KLR's torque, it's really fun to be able to "tractor" around everywhere. However, riding a fully loaded bike down the highway into a Wyoming headwind at 50mph got old really fast. And while the KLR is an amazing deal, it was lacking the power/weight ratio I loved about performance mountain sleds. This led me to upgrade to this:
2011 KTM 990 Adventure
There was a lot of pause, and many months of thinking/lurking here and on ADV before pulling the trigger on this bike. After a lot of brooding, I came to the realization that if I bought a different bike (I looked a long time at the DR 650/1000, KTM 690E, 650/800GS) I would just want to upgrade to the 990 eventually. The reasons I picked the 990 were:
-Most of my riding will be on dirt, only sticking to highway/freeway when absolutely necessary.
-I want to do a lot of riding in Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska. These are big, stretched out states, and require a big gas tank.
-I missed the fun of an all out "rip and shred" put-a-smile-on-your-face machine, and I wanted at least a little bit of this quality in my new vehicle.
-I wanted a capable machine I could grow into.
Edit: I also wanted to have the capability of doing some long range 2up riding.
Ok, what you came here for: The Bike
I finally found a decent deal on a new, 2011, white 990 ADV. The bike sat on the dealership floor for a little over a year, and I picked it up for well under MSRP.
As the bike sits today:
This will be a slow build. I’m not really going to buy anything for the bike until I find a need for it. Funds for this project will roll in slowly. Lastly, I plan on spending more money riding the bike than slapping parts on it. KTM builds a very capable machine from stock, and I’m not sure how much I’ll have to upgrade the bike to fit my riding style.
KTM crash bars
KTM Hepco & Becker Gobi Panniers / mounting brackets
BDCW Kickstand relocation bracket - http://tinyurl.com/9tnujm5
BDCW Right Mirror Relocation bracket - http://tinyurl.com/9tnujm5
Rox 2" Handlebar risers - http://tinyurl.com/chzs5n2
RAM GPS mounting solution - http://tinyurl.com/8q7jl9f
KTM 45t Rear Sprocket - http://tinyurl.com/be9gxvs
DIY Rear Rack - http://tinyurl.com/aehodsy
Raised Front Fender - http://tinyurl.com/al7srs2
Wolfman Enduro Tank Bag - http://tinyurl.com/acmx3zq
Crashbar Stud Mount Upgrade - http://tinyurl.com/ald2n2x
BRP Sub-Mount kit and Scotts Steering Damper - http://tinyurl.com/cj47vlp
BDCW Skid Plate - http://tinyurl.com/cttf9j6
DIY Rotopax Pannier Mounts - http://tinyurl.com/ckz93be
Current Front Tire - Pirelli Scorpion Rally http://tinyurl.com/8vxm5xj
Current Rear Tire - Pirelli Scorpion Rally http://tinyurl.com/8vxm5xj
A good waterproof gear bag
2-into-1 exhaust / internal fuel storage
That’s pretty much it. I’ll try to keep this thread updated with build progress and pictures of my summer trips.
I’m always open to comments and suggestions, so please drop me a line.