2015 KTM 1050 Adventure | EICMA FIRST LOOK

KTM’s Kinder, Gentler Adventure Bike

We already knew about KTM’s new and larger-capacity 1290 Super Adventure, the “Luxury Travel” enduro powered by the super-strong Super Duke V-twin, but we were hardly expecting the Austrian manufacturer to also release a smaller-capacity 1050 Adventure for riders who seek a lighter, more-manageable ADV machine. Think of it as a simplified 1190 Adventure—or, perhaps, a replacement for the now-deceased (and irrationally beloved by our editor in chief) 990 SM-T—for newer or smaller riders who are seeking a less-overwhelming ADV option.

The 1050 Adventure is powered by a variation of the same 75-degree LC8 V-twin engine that powers the 1190 version, with both a shorter stroke and a smaller bore to reduce displacement by 145cc and drop output from a claimed 150 horsepower (for the 1190) to 95 horsepower here. Fans of the old 990 are right to wince—it’s likely the 1050 will put just 80 horses to the rear wheel, nearly 30 down on the last SM-T we tested.

In addition to more manageable power, a half-inch-lower seat height makes it easier to straddle and smaller tires should make it easier to steer too. Where the 1190 Adventure runs on tubeless spoke wheels carrying 120/70-19 and 170/60-17 tires, the 1050 gets cast wheels wrapped with 110/90-19 and 150/70-17 tires.

Otherwise, the 1050 Adventure is nearly identical to the 1190, with high-end WP suspension components (albeit without any fork adjustments and only rear preload and rebound adjustments), Brembo brakes with multi-mode combined ABS, ride mode technology, and traction control. Weight remains the same as the 1190 too, at 467 pounds (claimed) carrying all liquids except for fuel. Capacity remains at 6.1 gallons.

Prices have not been set for the US, but in Europe the 1050 is about 18 percent less expensive than the non-R version of the 1190 Adventure. Assuming that same skew applies stateside, look for the 1050 Adventure to be right at $14,000—the same price as the old 990 SM-T.