KTM's....

Todd n Natalie

OverCamper
Looking at a Norden 901. (basically a KTM 890 Adventure with a different body)
Wonder if some of the kinks have been worked out. Such as loose coolant clamps, rear shock etc....
Really like the bike but wondering if I'll regret not having the Suzuki reliability?
Any experience here? Think I'll poke around and do some googling. Bearing in mind most go to forums to complain.
 

nickw

Adventurer
Looking at a Norden 901. (basically a KTM 890 Adventure with a different body)
Wonder if some of the kinks have been worked out. Such as loose coolant clamps, rear shock etc....
Really like the bike but wondering if I'll regret not having the Suzuki reliability?
Any experience here? Think I'll poke around and do some googling. Bearing in mind most go to forums to complain.
I've been around KTM's since 1996 and have had several since then (a lot) and my dad has had a 1190 and currently a 690 and I have a couple buddies that have owned 790's. There are ALWAYS complaints about KTMs, generally speaking, as you point out it's all forum chatter, my/people close to me experience has been darn good.

KTM's and by extension Husky and GasGas, are by far the best bikes to work on....every 'issue' has a workaround and the workflow around repairs is generally easy and intuitive. I just picked up a clean 2000 Honda XR400 for a buddy bike and I forgot how rudimentary they are, KTM is a much better thought out platform in general.

They are not Japanese set and forget....but the tradeoff for performance and resale is well worth it IMO....you may lose 5% reliability but gain 25% performance. If you were going across the Sahara maybe a KLR is the right call, if you want the thing to perform to a high level and be reliable, KTM is the obvious choice IMO. I can see buying a car for purely reliability reasons, but with something like a bike, it's gotta perform, in part because it's fun and in part because it's more functional.

Many people have taken all sorts of KTMs around the globe with big mileage.
 

Cabrito

I come in Peace
My experience owning a KTM1090 that I bought new is that I've had 20k miles of absolute reliability. I say go for it! It's not likely that you'll miss much about your Strom.. That was also my experience going from a DL650 to a KTM 990 and then the 1090. Don't get me wrong, I loved my Suzuki, but the KTM is so much more fun.
 

renottse

Member
Yep what @nickw said plus…

901 Specific thread here… takes you too the end


The 901 Expedition is more like the 890 R but slightly less focused , the regular Norden is more in between regular 890 S …

Get me to the Dirt via black top 890 R.

Some Dirt but manly two lane, Norden Expedition.

I’ll poke my nose down some two lane for a bit but I’m really only doing black top, Norden.

Blacktop all day everyday, 890 S

Remember, there’s guys and girls taking Goldwings to insane places all of the above are good bikes.

Expedition does represent good value with the extras it comes with, guy on that forum covers it.
 
Last edited:

nickw

Adventurer
Yep what @nickw said plus…

901 Specific thread here… takes you too the end


The 901 Expedition is more like the 890 R but slightly less focused , the regular Norden is more in between regular 890 S …

Get me to the Dirt via black top 890 R.

Some Dirt but manly two lane, Norden Expedition.

I’ll poke my nose down some two lane for a bit but I’m really only doing black top, Norden.

Blacktop all day everyday, 890 S

Remember, there’s guys and girls taking Goldwings to insane places all of the above are good bikes.

Expedition does represent good value with the extras it comes with, guy on that forum covers it.
Agree - advrider is an excellent source!

Goldwings and R1's:


1707866784632.png
 

renottse

Member

Todd n Natalie

OverCamper
Agree - advrider is an excellent source!

Goldwings and R1's:

Yep what @nickw said plus…

901 Specific thread here… takes you too the end


The 901 Expedition is more like the 890 R but slightly less focused , the regular Norden is more in between regular 890 S …

Get me to the Dirt via black top 890 R.

Some Dirt but manly two lane, Norden Expedition.

I’ll poke my nose down some two lane for a bit but I’m really only doing black top, Norden.

Blacktop all day everyday, 890 S

Remember, there’s guys and girls taking Goldwings to insane places all of the above are good bikes.

Expedition does represent good value with the extras it comes with, guy on that forum covers it.
Yep, I've been on ADVRider for a year or so. I think I may have even posted in the thread @renottse linked.
EDIT: Yep. I did post on that thread. I'm Todd780 on ADVRider.

It is a great source. Yes, mostly highway / freeway as I'm hoping to use it for a work commuter as well. But want to be able to explore some gravel / hard packed dirt / jeep trails. No single track. The base Norden really would be more capable offroad than I'd need. But the extras like the heated grips, seat bash plate & luggage rack that the Expedition comes with looks pretty appealing. This area is 3.5 hours south of me to give an idea of the more 'extreme' riding I'd be doing. Tamer than most I'm sure:

 

renottse

Member
@Todd n Natalie,

Based on that intended use I’d be looking at just the Norden. The second hand market bikes will more than likely come with heated grips, bash plate and luggage solutions.

I test road a 890 R back to back with a 701 LR, went 701 for intended purpose. If I was commuting regularly the 890 with 90 road / 10 dirt tires would be easier to live with, nice amounts of torque to make everything a bit more relaxed in traffic.

And, you can’t get it wrong, we all learn something from our bikes, that’s their joy for me. Though the joy is sometimes in hindsight as the swearing in the moment drowns out all :)

Interested in how you find the Norden compared to the current bike, as we all focus on different things.
 

Todd n Natalie

OverCamper
@Todd n Natalie,

Based on that intended use I’d be looking at just the Norden. The second hand market bikes will more than likely come with heated grips, bash plate and luggage solutions.

I test road a 890 R back to back with a 701 LR, went 701 for intended purpose. If I was commuting regularly the 890 with 90 road / 10 dirt tires would be easier to live with, nice amounts of torque to make everything a bit more relaxed in traffic.

And, you can’t get it wrong, we all learn something from our bikes, that’s their joy for me. Though the joy is sometimes in hindsight as the swearing in the moment drowns out all :)

Interested in how you find the Norden compared to the current bike, as we all focus on different things.
No used ones around here. I was going to look at a leftover '23 base Norden but it sold. I sat on a base '24 last weekend and can def feel the lower COG compared to my Strom. I was also able to flat foot it with a little bend in my knee - I'm 6'1" w/ a 34" inseam for reference. (seat was in the low position) and the ergos felt decent. It has adjustable bars so I can play with it a little too.
 

(none)

Adventurer
I think the 790/890 variants are all built in China now, is that right? Includes the Norden too?

Rode with a guy who has the Norden 901, whatever the high level "Adventure" or R model is these days. Very nice looking bike. Beefy skid plate. I really like the blue color.

I have a 690 R. Love it, very fun bike. I have dirt and sumo wheels for it. I've put 11k miles on it in 2 years, i also ride a BMW R1150GS.

As far as reliability... I'd always heard KTMs are on the bottom end of the spectrum. I bought my 690 (2016) used with 4k miles. My first ride on it, it broke down. Traced it back to to the fuel pump which is a known issues. Upgraded the pump, rode it for a while and it broke down again with the same symptoms. Replaced pump again. Rode it again and it broke down once more. I was determined to sell it and swear off KTM. Found out it was actually the spade connectors for the fuel pump in the tank were loose. Fixed those and shes been great (knock on wood). It gets ridden fairly hard and i'm not the best at keeping it clean ,so it's gone through some fork seals and a rear shock reseal, but good otherwise.

Friend (Who pointed me towards KTMs...) has had a fleet of them over the years. Mostly dirt bikes back in the day. Most recently: 790 Adventure S, had the front brake rotor/wheel issue. Eventually got that fixed but had to visit 2 different dealers. He tried a 390 (i didn't like that bike), he had an issue where it wouldn't start sometimes. Ended up being a software issue i believe. Lastly had a 890 Adventure S, had issues where the cruise control would drop out while riding randomly. Dealer failed to diagnose. Another local guy bought it. Took it to the dealer (still under warranty) for that cruise control issue and an engine noise. Last i heard they were going to tear down the motor assuming it was a timing chain noise, then decided the noise was normal. Oh, and they couldn't do anything with the cruise control.

So, at least around here, they might have some issues but the dealership seems to be the real problem in getting stuff fixed. My 690 issues can be blamed on me, i work on my own stuff.

Edit: and to add, friend who had all the KTMs now rides a BMW F700?750?GS without issues and a Honda CRF300L nicely modded with cams, suspension, etc. No issues with that thing either, except it can't come close to keeping up with the 690 ;)
 

Todd n Natalie

OverCamper
I think the 790/890 variants are all built in China now, is that right? Includes the Norden too?

Rode with a guy who has the Norden 901, whatever the high level "Adventure" or R model is these days. Very nice looking bike. Beefy skid plate. I really like the blue color.

I have a 690 R. Love it, very fun bike. I have dirt and sumo wheels for it. I've put 11k miles on it in 2 years, i also ride a BMW R1150GS.

As far as reliability... I'd always heard KTMs are on the bottom end of the spectrum. I bought my 690 (2016) used with 4k miles. My first ride on it, it broke down. Traced it back to to the fuel pump which is a known issues. Upgraded the pump, rode it for a while and it broke down again with the same symptoms. Replaced pump again. Rode it again and it broke down once more. I was determined to sell it and swear off KTM. Found out it was actually the spade connectors for the fuel pump in the tank were loose. Fixed those and shes been great (knock on wood). It gets ridden fairly hard and i'm not the best at keeping it clean ,so it's gone through some fork seals and a rear shock reseal, but good otherwise.

Friend (Who pointed me towards KTMs...) has had a fleet of them over the years. Mostly dirt bikes back in the day. Most recently: 790 Adventure S, had the front brake rotor/wheel issue. Eventually got that fixed but had to visit 2 different dealers. He tried a 390 (i didn't like that bike), he had an issue where it wouldn't start sometimes. Ended up being a software issue i believe. Lastly had a 890 Adventure S, had issues where the cruise control would drop out while riding randomly. Dealer failed to diagnose. Another local guy bought it. Took it to the dealer (still under warranty) for that cruise control issue and an engine noise. Last i heard they were going to tear down the motor assuming it was a timing chain noise, then decided the noise was normal. Oh, and they couldn't do anything with the cruise control.

So, at least around here, they might have some issues but the dealership seems to be the real problem in getting stuff fixed. My 690 issues can be blamed on me, i work on my own stuff.

Edit: and to add, friend who had all the KTMs now rides a BMW F700?750?GS without issues and a Honda CRF300L nicely modded with cams, suspension, etc. No issues with that thing either, except it can't come close to keeping up with the 690 ;)
Well I went and did it. Picked up the same version your buddy has….IMG_1158.jpegIMG_1160.jpegIMG_1163.jpeg
 

Forum statistics

Threads
186,516
Messages
2,886,888
Members
226,515
Latest member
clearwater
Top