New Motorcycle In the Garage: KTM 1190 Adventure RLast year was an unusual year, mixed with super negatives and super positives. The wife had multiple surgeries to prevent that dreaded “C” word, and the motorcycle riding went from about 30k yearly to less than 5k.But as time passed things worked out, and the wife is healthy. Contrasting that was success in business and growing Ultimate Motorcycling amid many shakeups within the industry.
Regardless of negative or positive, these situations carried with them the consequence I simply couldn’t mask—stress. Basically, I dealt with the stress of my wife’s surgeries by losing myself in writing and business, and reading/studying books about writing, business, and SEO.Last year I read 68 books, and about 20 of those were read while in hospital waiting rooms. I plan to continue this self education in 2018, but I better spend these winter months reading extra books before the weather breaks from snowy sadness to sunny smiles. Why? Because 2018 is the Year of the Orange.For most performance-hungry motorcyclists, the Year of the Orange can mean only one thing—KTM.I’ve fallen more and more for big ADV riding due to the diversity of getting away at speed and comfort both on and off the road. Throughout 2017 the very little riding I did was on my go-to ADV bike the El Mule, a Suzuki DL1000 that was capable of leading expert rides at rallies and single track, but at the expense of limping for a few days. I promised myself I’d have the ultimate high-performance ADV bike in my garage for 2018, and KTM was the obvious solution.The initial target was a new KTM 1090 Adventure R. But a lightly used 1190 Adventure R surfaced at Scott Powersports about an hour away from the homestead, and there was no questioning what would happen next.The call was made. The videos/pictures were sent. The bike was put on hold.During a surprisingly warm (45-degrees warm for you West Coasters) Saturday in January, my wife and our son Enzo—about to be three years old already—headed to the dealership to bring the Orange LC8 into my life.A good friend of mine who also never gets to ride much due to work, Jay, met me at the dealership. Anything as an excuse to get out and ride when it’s this, um, warm in January. Jay made a poor decision in gear (leather!), but even frosty fingers and a frozen upper half couldn’t bring him down as he got some January miles in on his trusty Yamaha R1.I originally planned some off-road treks on the way home to complete some initial beating on KTM, but ice prevented that. Regardless, the ride home allowed me to familiarize myself with the dash and electronics, which are very intuitive to use.The bike doesn’t have the grunt of my Ducati Multistrada, but this isn’t for comfortable speed on road—the 1190 R is for serious off-road riding, and its 21-/18-inch wheel/tubeless-tire setup was one of the main selling points. Oh, and so was the two-year unlimited mileage extended warranty.Northeastern Pennsylvania just got another few inches of snow as I write this, which will allow some additional prepping time to get the 1190 R ready for an extended season of ADV riding. I feel bad for Orange already, considering I’m sure I’ll take loads of stress out on it (again, this is why the two-year unlimited mileage extended warranty was a selling point!).I may not read 68 books this year, but the wife is healthy and the riding spirits are beyond high. The only doctor I want to deal with in 2018 is my inner doctor – and he demands at least 30k of hardcore riding throughout 2018, the Year of the Orange.From the latest digital issue of Ultimate Motorcycling, hosted on an industry-leading interactive app. Subscribe to the Ultimate Motorcycling app today.