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Endurance test interim balance of the KTM 950 Adventure

Core research

None is more robust, none more radical than the KTM 950 Adventure. How does the kingsize enduro fare in the long-term test?

Hooray, she’s alive ?? yet. And apart from minor defects, it still enjoys relatively solid health despite advancing age.

This is exactly what some would have doubted the off-road specialist KTM suspected problems with the stability of his first two-cylinder in the 950 Adventure. Well, with the odometer reading 32700, the mighty Enduro is in use every day and strives with proper speed towards the endurance test at 50,000 kilometers. However, there were a lot of more or less serious incidents up to halfway through, and MOTORRAD reported about them regularly.
Only one damage had serious consequences for the machine, namely the blown head gasket (see box). The repair took a full day as the engine had to be removed and disassembled. For the respective driver, it was rather the minor problems
annoying, especially the one that failed twice-
lene petrol pump, which meant the temporary end of a business trip due to a lack of fuel.
If the KTM ran smoothly, most riders had a lot of fun with it. "The part is great," wrote chief assistant Olli Ebner in the logbook. »Great motorcycle ?? It’s hard to hold me back, ”said managing editor Harry Humke. And tester Georg Jelicic found the engine "simply unbelievable".
Such enthusiasm speaks all the more for the qualities of the KTM as it is always accompanied by clearly formulated criticism. Deficiencies that are obviously generously forgiven. For example the far too hard bench that test editor Stefan Kaschel “let your butt die off over the long term”. Even hardcore off-roaders, who otherwise let their buttocks be maltreated by tough crossers, have to agree. Criticism also reaped the
harsh vibrations that are transmitted directly to the driver. Because of the low centrifugal masses, the engine is very spontaneous and agile on the accelerator, but runs rough in the lower speed range and also dies suddenly, especially during slow off-road activities. Almost typical of KTM: the screeching brakes. The phenomenon began as early as the first thousand
Kilometers, then disappeared for a short time when the pads were changed and could not be permanently removed even by measures such as removing the pavement surfaces.
Loud rattling noises and a flickering oil pressure control lamp after starting indicate that the vehicle is not 100% secure, at least after starting-
te oil supply and feed any doubts about the stability. The reason: The timing chain tensioners work hydraulically; if the oil pressure is too low, the chains whip audibly. Inadequate oil pressure even destroyed some engines in the first production series, as insufficient oil pressure was built up due to a burr on the pressure relief valve, so that the timing chains skipped. At least that much seems clear: the oil supply is certainly not oversized, more oil pressure would probably be helpful.
But it’s not just the tax-
chains that make noises. The light KTM engine just runs rough and loud mechanically, which not everyone does
like. BMW drivers, who are used to the ticking of their boxers, occasionally commented on the clattering long-term test KTM with biting humor. Even the old husky driver, who is not squeamish about clattering engines, once examined the frighteningly loud ones
Adventure intense during a stop on the highway before continuing. But found nothing ?? the rustic background noise is obvious when the drive is hot-
works completely normal. Surprisingly, a day later the machine was bubbling peacefully again.
Let’s get to the day-to-day use of the orange tanker. Some pilots are annoyed by the cumbersome refueling process because of the two lids. Especially since it easily splashes out of the large openings and the right tank should not be completely filled. Who the motorcycle then namely
on the side stand, you have to expect overflowing gasoline, as the fuel slowly runs from the right to the lower left tank. At least the long-term test machine did not have the problem that only one tank could be used. This often happens when the vent hose is kinked when installing the fuel tank.
Disguise is an ongoing issue. Few drivers praise the wind protection, most criticize the strong turbulence that the steep windshield creates.
Although it takes the wind pressure from the upper body, the loud banging and the vigorous shaking of the helmet are all the more disturbing. Especially since the noise starts at a moderate pace. The high fairing is irritating off-road because it blocks the view of the front wheel and the ground immediately in front of it. Or maybe she has
an educational value, after all, you shouldn’t be looking directly at the front wheel.
But just like the great sport-
enduro won a loyal following in the editorial team, there were also colleagues who had no access to the 950 at all. Technician Waldemar Schwarz, for example, described the KTM as a “shaking ram with miserable wind protection”, a “disaster” on long tours. PS text editor Manuel Fuchs chalked up the adventure that "you can’t roll around in high gear". In some cases, the clouded relationship has simply to do with the selective seat height. What is just right for the 1.90 meter tall author makes the legs of smaller contemporaries dangle in the air. And to maneuver this trump while standing or even in the field, requires full commitment.
Anyone who can cope with the bitter character of the KTM will have a lot of fun with the thick ship even now, after around 33,000 kilometers. Although the performance decreased slightly, it is still roughly on the level of the factory specification. And the Adventure has not lost a bit of liveliness and dynamism. This also applies to the chassis, which remains precise and taut. With the restriction that the guide bushings of the fork sliding tubes and the steering head bearing had to be replaced. With the long suspension travel, the high seating position and the corresponding rocking movements, the KTM has a very special charm that no other machine can offer. And you like that ?? or you just don’t like him.

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Endurance test interim balance of the KTM 950 Adventure
Core research

Cylinder head gasket

Major engine damage did not occur on the endurance test machine, but there was a whole series of more or less serious damage or signs of wear and tear during the previous 32,700 kilometers. Twice there were forced interruptions during business trips due to a failure of the fuel pump, a Japanese component that is also used in the Honda Varadero 1000 ver-
is built.

A problem that many too
Customer machines are plagued by a blown cylinder head gasket, which especially happens after long full throttle drives. KTM initially attributed this to sealing surfaces that were too roughly machined. However, according to recent assumptions, head screws that are not optimally tightened are also involved.
In any case, it is useful to carefully tighten the head screws when changing the seal and to check the tightening torque after a certain time. It is noticeable that some machines were hit several times, but never others. After the repair of the endurance test machine at mileage 7813, at which the sealing surfaces
were planned, there were no more difficulties despite summer full-throttle tours. Incidentally, the first sign of a sealing problem is water squeezed out of the expansion tank. A further journey is in the beginning-
stage quite possible, you just have to keep an eye on the water level.

Crack in the brake disc

During an inspection at 27305
A fine hairline crack fell in kilometers
the rear brake disc. Out
For safety reasons, the disc was
therefore exchanged immediately. The higher
loaded front brake discs
were without any cracks.

Clutch push rod

After the oil pressure continued to decrease during idling during the endurance test
and the oil pressure light flickered, the clutch’s push rod became worn
suspected to be the cause of the increased leakage losses. The exchange improved them
Oil pressure problems.

Defective fuel pump

The first damage to the fuel pump
is clearly due to corrosion, apparently due to an inconveniently routed ventilation hose in the electronics compartment.
The second damage to the replaced pump was inexplicable, apparently
the relay simply hung.

Hand stand

Editor Michael Orth suddenly fell off the stand because the retaining clip
the spring broke. Thank God in the state
Such damage while driving is conceivable with rather unpleasant consequences. The clamp is screwed on,
repair was therefore easy.

Steering head bearing

“Something’s wrong there, probably Lenk-
head bearing, ”typed the editor Henniges
quite right. During dismantling, the lower of the two steering head bearings showed significant pressure points. After the exchange, the precise steering and the stable came up
Straight ahead on again.

Fork guide bushes

According to WP technicians, Tinder sat down
from the hardening process of the sliding tubes in the
Guides, which worsened friction and responsiveness. Hence became
the fork disassembled as part of the inspection and oil, sealing rings and guide bushes
renewed. After that she ran better again.

Chattering clutch

After 30,930 kilometers, everyone had to-
all clutch plates replaced
will. On the one hand, the tarnished steel discs are evidence of hard work. On the other hand, the component appears to be measured
the performance, not particularly lush
dimensioned.

Scorched side panels

A colleague, who does not want to be named here, buckled his baggage roll so tight that the side panels
pressed on the silencers
and charred. Also when loading
Please note: The indicators are light
covered by luggage.

Accessories put to the test

Especially sporty drivers want in many
Cases more sound. And KTM has something suitable
on offer: The Akrapovic silencers with EG-
Operating permit (895 euros / peer). The beautifully processed titanium parts replace the much heavier series aluminum dampers. The catalysts it contains
therefore not applicable, the legality of such modifications is not completely clarified. The installation is easy, seals and screws are included. The pure absorption dampers sound muffled, in the lower area subjectively much louder and more robust than the series parts that work with resonance chambers. The accessory dampers also push the performance slightly across the entire range; the two curves at a mileage of 32,000 must be used for comparison. Above all, the engine is noticeably livelier and more direct on the gas, which is a lot of fun. The only question that remains is whether the insulation wool will be retained in the long term, MOTORRAD will observe that. Especially since the KTM sometimes slaps out of the exhaust. Incidentally, also occasionally with
the standard dampers, which the original catalytic converters should certainly not do very well.
The test bench diagrams also show that the
Adventure from the 101 HP in new condition over a long distance
Ranges up to five HP, at the top around three HP ver-
has loren. After all, it still manages the factory specification of 98 hp after 32,700 kilometers in series production.

Handlebar increase

The seating position on the KTM is inherently quite sporty. The handlebars are ideal for tall drivers or tourists who prefer a more relaxed posture
increase (29 euros). However, the screws are a bit short, with longer ones the attachment would be less fiddly.

Tan backpack

Not every tank fits on the short tank-
backpack, that’s why KTM has a special-
target product (134 euros) with practical
Features. The volume is variable that
Easy to attach to the base plate with a zip. However, when fully packed, the KTM tank bag slips easily.

Bar protection

Who the sensitive glitter paint of-
If you want to protect loading tanks, you can either attach protective bars (192 euros) or, alternatively, put on expensive carbon fiber caps
glue the tank corners. However, it is questionable whether they can be removed again without damaging the paint.

Low bench

The gel bench (125 euros) brings something
less seat height and more comfort thanks to the rounded shape and softer foam. The only disadvantage: The passenger slips easily over the step when braking.

Suitcase set Adventure

In addition to the angular aluminum cases, KTM offers smaller, robust plastic cases (482 euros /
Set, carrier 241 euros) in an off-road look. They are practical and solidly made, but were not proven to be completely waterproof.

Tire types

The alternatives are when it comes to soling
to the standard Pirelli Scorpion MT 90 minimal: The only option available is the Metzeler Kangoo, which can be driven up to 160 km / h with an M + S sticker. But the Metzeler is really only recommended for the rough. On the road, it melts down after a few hundred kilometers when driving briskly, at best it lasts a few thousand. The Pirelli convinces with good grip on dry roads, but the wet grip is disappointing. On the endurance test machine, the rear tire lasted around 8,600 kilometers on average.

Driver opinions: Gert Thöle – Exactly the right one, because it has rough edges

The Adventure is tailor-made for me: huge, wild, rattles, has rough edges. When you drive it, there’s life in the booth, hardly any machine turns me on anymore. When it is standing, I like it less: These huge orange areas ?? I don’t really like the Adventure. But you quickly forget that when the tanker is rolling.

Driver opinions: Daniel Lengwenus – Wrong partner for me, because much too big

The KTM is something like an Austrian farmer’s girl. With
rustic nature, fun for everyone, and the more hearty, the greater the fun. Far from the
In the local Alps, it can get very bitchy with a grueling bench and annoying constant jerking. For me would be
she’s the wrong moped anyway: I’m not into a partner,
bigger than me.

Driver opinions: Waldemar Schwarz

The Adventure is suitable for a short trip through the Black Forest. After 100 kilometers at the latest, the two-cylinder becomes a torture because of the hard seat and the annoying vibrations, but the most annoying problem is the fairing. It causes nasty turbulence, the noise level is more unpleasant than on any other motorcycle, the windshield is a bad design.

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