I rode a demo 950 about two months ago. Definitely the dirt bike guy's street bike. The bike I rode had lean jetting issues(stumble and snatchy even when warm) though. It felt light(for a 400+ lb bike) and flickable. I would like to ride the bike with the jetting sorted before I spent $12,000(I still can't stop thinking you could buy a 450 exc and a LC4 for the same money) for this bike.
I had a very short road ride on one while waiting for my new KTM 450EXC to be readied for delivery and was very impressed. The overall feel is that of a big and powerful street legal dirt bike. Think of a Suzuki DR400S on steroids. Even the standard 950 is long travel tall; the suspension is firm and the seat hard. IMO these attributes are more conducive to jeep type 2-track and rough back road riding then droning down an Interstate. The power is impressive with a very strong midrange and little vibration. I was expecting a ton of bottom end torque from a 950 twin and was surprised by somewhat soft low end power stalling the bike on my first three attempts at getting rolling. I think this would improve with more brake-in miles, lower gearing and maybe some jetting changes. On well maintained gravel side road the Adventure felt nimble and steady. It is nice to see KTM already is listing trick bits in their hard parts catalog for these bikes. The build quality, parts quality and assembly look to be topnotch. This bike seems to define an altogether new class of “adventure” motorcycling. If I were in the market my only reservations would revolve around spending $12,000 on a bike that when ridden as intended and in its element is going to hit the dirt from time to time. That and finding someone on comparable equipment to ride with!
The Adventure 950 is more dirt orientated then the bike you mention, apples to oranges IMHO. Other bikes comparable to the Beamer and Duck would include: Suzuki V-Strom, Triumph Tiger and Aprilla whatever. I own a Tiger which feels like a street bike with some dirt road capability. The KTM feels like a dirt bike with some pavement capabilities KTM. Neat bike however you slice it though.
I rode one a few days ago, standard adventure, it seemed well jetted and ran clean and strong, I agree it didn't have the grunt I was expecting but it has major boost on top. Highway speeds were no problem with little to no vibes coming thru the grips or seat. I did a short ride alone, then a longer ride with my girlfriend on board and was very pleased how it handled two up. I think I will wait untill the "S" model comes out too see how the extra inch of travel effects the ballance or capabilities of the overall package. I live close to the Sieria mountians and the desert and it would be a blast for a weekend adventure. I'm currently thinking selling my vintage Harley to come up with the funds. Anyone in the markey for a sweet, stock 69 FLH?
If you are interested in these sorts of bikes you might like to check out www.highland.se
I understand they will making a push soon with singles as well.
They are in the process of getting their epa/carb requirements out of the way. I have heard these motors are significantly lighter than the LC8.
Looks like a sweet bike. I really like the dirt tracker found in the gallery.