Tag Archives: KTM 950 Adventure

BMW R1150 GS

So having just completed around 800 miles – in three days! – on the new bike I can definitely say we’re bonding well.

The touring set up works well, it’s amazing the effect having the ‘light triangle’, the HID headlight and the Hella spots that is, has on other road users. I’ve only had one ‘pull out because I haven’t seen you’ moment and I would have expected slightly more given the amount of time on A roads I’ve just put in.

The screen is the 1150 adventure model and does its job. The extra width and height gives a significant increase in the overall surface area and this makes 70 (+) mph easier. I haven’t noticed the usual neck stiffness or tinnitus despite wearing a Shoei Hornet with a peak. This kind of distance on the KTM 950 Adv would have been very different – by now I’d have been temporarily deaf and dazed.

Today’s ride went from Betws-y-Coed in North Wales to North Yorkshire – without going on any motorways! It took in the rolling roads around Ruthin in North Wales, crossed to the Peak District and went over the Cat and Fiddle Pass, now speed restricted with average speed cameras sadly, and through Whaley Bridge. Pushing north I left the peaks by the Holmfirth Pass and went into the Yorkshire Dales, racing the setting sun as I followed the valleys north.

Genuinely one of the finest days I’ve had on a bike in the UK.

I’ve had to say goodbye..

I've had to say goodbye..

…. to the best/worst bike ever. If I’ve ever had a love/hate relationship this was it. The big twin was a monster in traffic, awesome on B roads and like a rock off road. However, on big distance days the buffeting was strong and my ears would ring in the evening. KTM has a great concept; 70′ V Twin, tall chassis, low centre of gravity, raw power but this early build had a few gremlins. Electric parts and cabling are lifed to c20K, after that the bike starts to chew ’em. The clutch fails, the over-engineered hydraulic clutch slave cylinder fails to be precise. In the end it wasn’t a contender for a round the world.

But on a good day this bike sang.