Ze Austrians don’t mince their words, describing this new KTM 1190 Adventure as a “tarmac-oriented travel enduro” and emphasizing components like the “sticky sport touring tires” that enable it bridge the gap between, “a tourist’s unhurried roaming to powering headlong through the twisties.” Respect, KTM, for not pretending that your new tall touring bike is anything but.

Making 148bhp and weighing 518lbs when fueled, this is no longer some impossible combination of both dirt and road capability. KTM has freed the 1190 to be the bike a wider swath of riders will appreciate, something big and comfy and powerful and plush for putting in big miles and hauling plenty of luggage.

Its sophisticated new electronics package is oriented for road use too, the 1190 is equipped with linked ABS brakes, ride-by-wire throttle, switchable power delivery modes and traction control. The seat, bars and screen are all adjustable so riders can dial in individual ergonomics in addition to tailoring the performance level. In short, KTM has out GS’d the GS at the game most riders want it to play: rugged on-road touring.

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The motor is an adaptation of the RC8’s 1190cc v-twin, here detuned just enough to facilitate 9,000 mile service intervals while still making near superbike power. No dyno charts yet, but KTM says it’s emphasized low-down punch to make it easy to ride in addition to providing that impressive peak figure.

So, compared to the outgoing 990 Adventure, we’re taking bigger and more powerful, but also softer and much more touring oriented. Luckily, that leaves room for an R model...

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