Dirtmobile - A KTM 990 Build
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 Idaho. 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
Wolfman Medium Tailbag
Wolfman Teton Saddlebags (lined with Exped dry bags)
Superplush 0.68 Fork Springs
ABS Cutoff Toggle Switch
Current Front Tire - Pirelli Scorpion Rally http://tinyurl.com/8vxm5xj
Current Rear Tire - Pirelli Scorpion Rally http://tinyurl.com/8vxm5xj
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.
Last edited by Mechanical; 03-01-2014 at 01:00 AM.
KTM 990= FUN!!!!
WY=dirt and fun everywere..
KTM 990 + WY= **** loads of FUN!!!
Good state for that rig.
Pretty much out any door and your in some bad *** places to BRAP BRAP around.
Congrats post pics when it arrives.
Haha, yeah, my goal is to hit every mountain range in Wyoming at least once this summer.
Originally Posted by zolo
How do you like your KTM panniers? I would like to get a set, but I'm worried about weight or the possibility of tearing them off. I'm trying to decide if I want the KTM panniers or Wolfman soft bags.
Last edited by Mechanical; 04-18-2012 at 06:51 PM.
the KTM paniers are the same as the Trax if im not mistaken, great boxes that take some serious abuse. double check the KTM price to the trax box price at twistedthorttle.com, Suzuki has rights to that style of box as well but they are marked up WAY above the trax price and are made of lower quality.
Maybe there is a TRAX option now but the original grey cases (like on my 990 in the pic) are Hepco and Becker panniers.
Originally Posted by Cody1771
They are hella stout and use a full loop mount design. You would have to have a serious crash to rip them off. I like them a lot. Good space not to heavy and very strong. Id say the KTM H&B cases would be a good call. They are reasonably priced compared to many other options.
I mean many hard cases can be pricey. Just depends on what you want. But id bet you could work a deal for a set pretty easy.
I like Wolfman, but the hard panniers are nice. Also the H&B cases for KTM are double duty to hold water within the walls of the case. There is a water spigot kit.
Last edited by zolo; 04-18-2012 at 03:43 PM.
Congrats on the bike!
Is KTM still using touratech for hard panniers? A family friend bought a KTM this time last year, had "KTM" bags on it and they were clearly stamped touratech on the back and were delivered from TT. Very nice bags.
20110622-DSC_0556 by Frank Vest, on Flickr
Last edited by Frank; 04-18-2012 at 06:04 PM.
He may have bought a KTM with TT bags, but KTM uses Hepco & Becker for there OEM bags.
The H&B are plastic and Stamped KTM. they say H&B on the back though.
Similar steal mount to TT with a full loop mount design.
Those came straight from the KTM parts counter and those bright orange KTM letters are not just some decal he put on the panniers.
My father in law's TT panniers also came straight from the KTM parts counter.
Edit, I knew I wasnt crazy. They are in the 990 ADV catalog in several pictures. The plastic ones are shown as the 'cases' but im 99.9% sure the hard TT cases are available.
Last edited by Frank; 04-19-2012 at 06:50 PM.
Huh I stand corrected!!
Originally Posted by Frank
I looked at the KTM parts book several times for different stuff and never saw the TT as an option. That's cool those are nice hard cases.
In that link the TT ones are on the "R" model I wonder if that makes a difference?
Either way... The Wolfman stuff is cool,
The TT or Hepco&Becker GOBI bags are cool
also check out Giant Loop stuff. Seem to be a good product also.
You have many options for your new ride out there in WY land.