Next-Gen KTM 990

Next-Gen KTM 990 Adventure Gets a Power Boost | Best Bike In 2024 ?

Next-Gen KTM 990

Back in 2003, KTM’s carbed 990 Adventure proved the ideal bike to accompany Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman on their attempt at circumnavigating the globe. While some minor issues like having to reseal its clutch slave cylinder often required attention, this off-road machine proved its worth time after time.

It took all that the terrain could throw at it with remarkable grace.

Next-Gen KTM 990 | LC8c Engine

KTM says their current 990 Duke engine, the LC8c LC8, will get a significant capacity boost in this next-gen iteration to make it one of the most powerful four-stroke liquid-cooled parallel twin engines available on the market. It will debut first on an entirely redesigned 990 Duke that has already been seen testing with fully faired RC990 sports bike guise before appearing later on a completely redesigned Adventure model also seen testing.

The major change will be the height of the cylinders, which have been raised to allow for longer stroke. This change is evident in the new engine mount bolt hole location which is noticeably higher up on the new design (left photo) than it was with its predecessor (right). Engineers likely used this opportunity to shuffle other components to keep overall package small and light.Next-Gen KTM 990

Redesigned camshafts also appear taller, which could aid in reaching an increased stroke. Furthermore, an upper balancer shaft that once resided between cams and in the cylinder head has been eliminated in an apparent effort to further lower overall engine height; freeing up room for radiator and larger oil tank while improving cooling efficiency – an integral factor of power gain.Next-Gen KTM 990

Next-Gen KTM 990

Next-Gen KTM 990 | Riding Modes

At first glance, the KTM 990 Adventure seemed an unwelcome presence among over-engineered adventure bikes; but its handling proved otherwise and its off road capability proved excellent; not to mention its street manners were surprising good.

Three years on and the new 990 Adventure takes this philosophy even further. Its powerful LC8c V-twin motor remains as responsive as ever while chassis, electronics, and suspension have been refined further to optimize rider experience on and off-road – no longer feeling out of place on highway driving, handling better both on- and off-road and offering impressive road cred when fitted with knobby tires.

The traction control modes have been fine-tuned and ride-by-wire throttle response optimized to be more responsive, offering three riding modes to suit a range of environments.Next-Gen KTM 990

Sport mode is designed for aggressive riding and features full power with direct throttle control that enables slight wheelspin and limited wheelieing. Rain mode adjusts the throttle map for greater mid-range torque increase as well as decreased sensitivity of traction control system sensitivity. Off-road mode removes ABS completely in order to allow the rear wheel lockup under heavy braking which aids riders maintain steering control without overregulating front wheels during hard braking conditions.Next-Gen KTM 990

Next-Gen KTM 990 | TFT Display

Dash duty is handled by an upgraded, scratch-resistant and glare-resistant TFT display featuring improved graphics and an easier interface for information and adjustments to the semi-active suspension. Designed for seamless integration with the optional KTMConnect system (connected via Bluetooth for turn-by-turn navigation, music playback, and hands-free calling), this upgraded display provides information faster.

Mirjam Pol, KTM’s chief designer of the 990 Adventure, notes that its new design aims to be more intuitive. To use electronic components, simply press one button; this makes accessing them very straightforward and fast.

The new 990 Adventure features a full-color TFT that displays ride mode settings as well as Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) status and cruise control functionality. Riders can personalize Rain mode to their preference while adjusting anti-wheelie and throttle control intervention settings; two optional ride modes include Performance mode with full power and throttle control interventions for smoothest response, and Track mode which is tailored for racing-inspired settings.Next-Gen KTM 990

Motorrad published spy photos that reveal some details about the 2023 990 Adventure’s cosmetic changes, with its new front cowling and fairing seemingly taking on more of a traditional form. Gone is the praying mantis-esque separation between headlamp shroud and side panels found on current models; instead, we see an updated bike boasting an attractive more conventional appearance with prayer-inspired tail section.Next-Gen KTM 990

Next-Gen KTM 990

Next-Gen KTM 990 | Electronics

KTM first unveiled their Adventure range of bikes back in 2003 with a carb-powered 950cc motor, tall 920mm seat height and no ABS. By 2006 they had added fuel-injected 990cc engines as well as more off-road-oriented S models which featured longer travel suspension and the 105bhp version of their LC8 engine, as well as electronic rider aids such as traction control, wheelie control and cruise control for increased off-road capability.Next-Gen KTM 990

The R model added another level of electronic sophistication with its TFT display and Quickshifter+ technology. 2017 brought even greater expansion to the range with the 1290 Super Adventure S and R models, featuring an even more powerful 1301cc engine, larger 30-litre fuel tank, cornering lights, automatic indicator turn reset functionality and hill hold control among other new technologies.

Mirjam Pol believes KTM’s latest 790 Adventure R is an impressive step forward and provides more evidence of their off-road focus, though some riders might take some getting used to with all of its electronics on board. She emphasizes how this system makes an impactful statement about KTM when attacking mountain passes; keeping riders upright even if one front wheel slips.

She believes it can also make riding less confidant on asphalt surfaces, where riders need to feel in charge of their machine without feeling disoriented by technology. Furthermore, more electronics increases the possibility that something will go wrong.

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