KTM 990 Adventure Baja – ADV’s Substitute Teacher

A 2WD Hybrid-Electric Motorcycle for the US Military?

In the coming years, US special forces may be riding a tw0-wheel drive, hybrid-electric, multi-fuel motorcycle co-developed by BRD Motorcycles and Logos Technologies. Helping make this project possible is a Small Business Innovation Research grant from DARPA. The goal is to make a single-track vehicle for US expeditionary and special forces that will be nearly silent in operation, yet also capable of traveling long distances. Details on the proposed machine are light, of course, but it sounds like the 2WD dirt bike will be based off the BRD RedShift MX (shown above), and use an electric drivetrain, as well as a multi-fuel internal combustion engine to achieve its goals.

Colin Edwards Will Retire from Racing after 2014 Season

Announcing his decision during the pre-event press conference for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, Colin Edwards told the assembled press that 2014 would be the Texan’s last season racing a motorcycle. Citing a lack of improvement on his performance in pre-season testing and at the Qatar GP, Edwards decision perhaps answers the lingering question in the paddock of when the American rider would hang-up his spurs after an illustrious career in AMA, WSBK and MotoGP. Talking about his inability to come to terms with the Forward Yamaha, which Aleix Espargaro was able to take to the front of the pack in Qatar, Edwards was at a loss when it came to understanding the Open Class machine and his lack of results.

MSF Updates Its Basic RiderCourse Curriculum

It is no surprise that statistics from the NHTSA show that motorcycle accidents and injuries are on the rise. According to the 2012 Motor Vehicle Crash report published by the NHTSA, motorcycle fatalities for that year rose to 4,957, up seven percent from 2011, while injuries increased 15% to 93,000. While the NHTSA statistics are misleading because the motorcycle category includes mopeds, scooters, three-wheelers, pocket bikes, mini bikes, and off-road vehicles, new riders need every advantage they can afford. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has taken notice of these statistics and has revised the curriculum for its Basic RiderCourse to include a new Basic eCourse, which students will take prior to in-person instruction.

Yamaha Trademarks “R1S” & “R1M” at USPTO – “YZF-R1M” Trademarked Abroad – But Why?

Are new Yamaha YZF-R1 models coming down the pipe? That’s the question being asked after trademark filings in the US and abroad tipped off Yamaha Motor’s intention to use “R1S”, “R1M”, and “YZF-R1M” for motorcycle, scooter, and three-wheeled purposes. The filings are being taken as hints towards a possible multiple trim levels of the Yamaha YZF-R1 superbike, with the “S” and “M” designations being different spec machines than the current base model. The “S” nomenclature is a popular one in the two and four-wheeled world, though “M” would certainly be a novel designation, outside of say…BMW.

Bell & COTA Create Texas-Themed Limited-Edition Helmet

Continuing its theme of making limited-edition helmets for premier-class US rounds, Bell Helmets has teamed up with the Circuit of the Americas and Chris Wood, of Airtrix, to create a Texas-themed Bell Star Carbon helmet, just in time for COTA’s MotoGP race next weekend. Available only until April 13th, the Bell/COTA helmet features a red, white, and blue flag motif on the front, with both the American and State of Texas flags visible, which then wrap around the rear to merge with a hardwood design, reminiscent of the floorboards in a Western saloon. The helmet is also crowned with a Longhorn cattle skull, which adds to the Texan motif. The specially designed helmet also features a horseshoe, the COTA logo, and the 2014 Red Bull MotoGP of The Americas logo.

Aprilia Mounting a Return to MotoGP in 2016

Towards the end of the 800cc era, MotoGP looked to be in dire condition. Grids were dwindling, factories were reducing their participation, and teams were in difficult financial straits indeed. By the end of 2011, there were just 17 full time entries, Suzuki was down to a single rider, and were about to pull out entirely for 2012. How different the situation looks today. In a recent interview with the official MotoGP.com website, Aprilia Corse’s new boss Romano Albesiano gave a brief outline of their plans. The Italian factory will continue to work with the IODA Racing team for 2014 to collect data on the electronics and tires, which they will use as input on an entirely new project being worked on for 2016.

This Is Pretty Much What the Monster 800 Will Look Like

With the advent of the Ducati Monster 1200, it was only a matter of time before Ducati’s middleweight liquid-cooled “Monster 800″ would be spotted, and unsurprisingly the machines have a great deal in common. The one big difference seems to be that the 821cc Monster gets a double-sided swingarm, which has become Ducati’s new way of differentiating between its big and medium displacement models of the same machine, see entry for Ducati 899 Panigale. With the spied Ducati Monster 800 looking ready for primetime, and a pre-fall launch isn’t out of the question. Giving us an excellent glimpse into what the Ducati Monster 800 would look like, Luca Bar has again used his Photoshop skills to render up images of the still unreleased “baby” Monster.

Photos of the Mugen Shinden Ni sans Fairings

Given the competitive nature of the electric racing realm, its rare to see the big high-power bikes without their fairings, as teams are reluctant to reveal their secret sauce. Debuting the Mugen Shinden San this past weekend in Tokyo though, Team Mugen did just that, giving us a glimpse into the inner workings of the team’s 2013 race bike, the Mugen Shinden Ni. You don’t have to be an electron-head to get excited by these photos, as any race bike with a carbon fiber frame and swingarm is pretty drool-worthy, though the Shinden Ni’s carbon fiber battery enclosure does hide a great deal of the electric superbike’s geek factor. While the sheer size of the battery bike is impressive, it was expected when the Shinden was first announced.

Mugen Shinden San (神電 参) Electric Superbike Revealed

Mugen’s third purpose-built electric superbike for the Isle of Man TT, the Mugen Shinden San, has been revealed in Japan. Campaigning two machines for this year’s TT Zero race, Mugen has John McGuiness and Bruce Anstey at the helm of its “Shinden San” bikes, as the duo looks for a one-two finish in this year’s race. With MotoCzysz not racing at the Isle of Man this year, Mugen is a hot favorite to take the top podium spots, as well as crack the 110 mph barrier for electrics on the historic Snaefell Mountain Course (Mugen is targeting a 115 mph lap). An evolution on the company’s previous designs, the Shinden San fits 134hp — 10hp more than last year, thanks to a new smaller three-phase brushless motor provided by Mission Motors — into its 529lbs bulk.

Trackside Tuesday: The Winning Personality of Jack Miller

Chatting with a couple of NASCAR fans recently, I was reminded that any competition is boring if you don’t care who wins. But if you do care, then even cars driving around in circles can be very compelling entertainment. Those NASCAR fans really cared about how their favorite drivers finished, and not only how they finished in the latest race, but what and how those drivers were doing off the track as well. Those fans had been captured by the personalities of those drivers. One of the things NASCAR does well is sell personalities. All major sports-related businesses do this to some extent, but some organizations do it better than others.

KTM 990 Adventure Baja – ADV’s Substitute Teacher

12/07/2012 @ 2:48 pm, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

KTM 990 Adventure Baja   ADVs Substitute Teacher KTM 990 Adventure Baja 635x456

KTM USA is down at the Progressive International Motorcycle Show at Long Beach, debuting the 2013 models that will make the trip across the Atlantic Ocean. Already surprising us with the 2013 KTM 690 Duke for the North American markets, KTM USA has another trick up its sleeve for American riders, namely the KTM 990 Adventure Baja.

What we assume is a venerable adventure-touring machine, considering the pedigree that the KTM 990 Adventure has established, the shock move here with the “Baja” model is that it even exists since KTM has already shown its next generation machine at INTERMOT, the KTM 1190 Adventure & KTM 1190 Adventure R.

As the Baja model would appear to be the only other addition to KTM’s street line-up, we are a bit baffled and confused by pretty much all of KTM USA’s street-going models for next year. As such, we will let the company do the talking, after the jump (our apologies for KTM’s low-quality photos).

Meanwhile, we will try to figure out what is going on with the KTM 1190 Adventure, and the KTM 390 Duke models.

KTM has been committed to growing the Travel Adventure segment over the past decade starting with its 950 Adventure and leaping into the 990 Adventure generations. For 2013, the 990 Adventure Baja will push the limit of where a 1000cc twin-powered motorcycle can bring riders. This limited edition model has been built specifically for the North American market. It is a tribute to Baja, the land of the famous SCORE/Baja 1000 but also of multiple travel adventure rides and rallies.

The new model includes white bodywork with limited edition Baja graphics and an orange powder-coated frame. It also includes Dunlop 908 RR tires, orange crash guards, LED auxiliary lights, suede-style seat, aluminum radiators guard, GPS base mount and SuperSprox aluminum steel sprocket. In addition, the Baja unit comes standard with a tank bag and rear waterproof luggage bag as well as fully adjustable front and rear WP suspension. This is truly the bike that can take you on any adventure.

2013 KTM 990 Adventure Baja:

Source: KTM USA


  1. Tedd Riggs says:

    Awesome bike, hope it and the 1190 make it to America !

  2. Tedd, this bike is coming to the USA…instead of the KTM 1190 Adventure.

  3. Potreroduc says:

    What!?! Man, why do brands like KTM and Aprilia seem so clueless when it comes to the US market? They make awesome products that we get totally stoked about, but they take forever to get here or they don’t bring them over at all. For example, the new Tuono V4R arrived here over a year after it came out. That was (and probably still is) a hot bike, and I’m sure they missed some sales by taking so long to bring it over. But at least Aprilia didn’t slap some new decals on the outgoing Tuono and call it the “Noale Special” or some crap like that.

    Ducati announces a new bike in Milan, then has product at dealers in time for the upcoming riding season. How is it that they can do this but KTM and Piaggio (who make WAY more bikes) can’t?

    Hopefully this is just an HMO (Hold Me Over) and the US will be getting the 1190.

  4. MikeD says:

    OH, u have to be *&^%ing kidding me !!!!
    How the FECK KTM keeps blatantly showing their new junk around every major bike show and here (U.S.A) we only get some “refurbished/refreshed” old clunker ?
    They should have kept the under-tail xhaust of the old tank, much cleaner looking and i bet easier and less intrussive when it comes to slap side-cases and it’s related bracketry.

    P.S: I don’t want any wise-ass telling me how this “old clunker” is a much better bike than i deserve or could possibly handle, I DON’T CARE, YOU go and put your money where your mouth is, support KTM with YOUR OWN $$$…

    SCREW THAT, i want to see the new one. (^_^)

  5. wreckah says:

    this is an almost stock 990 adventure with some (mediocre) graphics. you guys are so lucky!

  6. Keith says:

    I’m still boggling at hot FAT it is as in “you obese pig” fat. Frankly it really doesn’t need to be larger than 600-750. Unless they are building just for the people compensating for short comings and have no willingness to actually get their butt jewelry dirty. No thanks.

  7. Damo says:

    KTM makes all types of cool bikes, but their marketing decisions fuggin baffle me.

    I wonder how much they regret not letting Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor take their bikes now?

    How could the not bring their new big shiny adventure bike here? Didn’t they see how many big GS’s and Multistradas sold?

  8. David says:

    Instead of bashing KTM, the problem just might lie with how long it takes to get a new bike through our very own EPA and other regulatory agencies.

  9. Dano says:


    Almost every other manufacturer brings over their big bikes year one? It isn’t like KTM is a small quantity boutique (they export about 80,000 motorcycles of varying size per year)

    The bottom line KTM has always had dodgy support in North America.

  10. steve says:

    i think the 1190 comes as a 2014 model in late 2013. Time to clear 990 inventory and wait for 1190 fed certification

  11. Sean in OZ says:

    Based on the prices you guys pay for bikes (almost half what we pay in Australia) Im guessing there is little margin in it for manufacturers, so why not clear out the old stock in the US?

  12. Marc F says:

    To be the contrarian, KTM is justifiably skittish about their street bikes in the US. While their off-road bikes are killing it, they’ve been burned across the board with unsold inventory on every street bike they’ve brought to America – 690s, 990s, 1190s. Amazing bikes, but customers here just don’t seem to click with them as a road bike brand.

    Given that history, I can understand why they might take a conservative approach and introduce the bikes in Europe, gauge reaction over here, and then let their US dealers pull the bikes instead of trying to push them.

  13. Marc,

    One could argue, for instance, that the main reason the RC8 was such a flop in the US was due in part to the fact that KTM debuted the bike in 2005, rolled out the production version at EICMA in 2008, but held off on bringing it to market in the US (in a meaningful volume) until the 2010 model year.

    Such a delay, from debut to market, is massive mismanagement of all the PR and buzz that has been built up ahead of these models. Yeah, KTM has some serious issues in its dealer network when it comes to on-road models, but the company isn’t helping itself with moves like this.

    Which market again is the largest for adventure-tourers?

  14. Marc F says:

    Jensen, good luck goading a startup CEO into critiquing anyone for their ability to hit a timeline… at best I’d be a hypocrite and at worst I’d be tempting angry gods for a good smiting.

    It may be a PR nightmare, but that’s not necessarily the fault of the PR department. Introducing a brand new product and a new (to them) category ain’t easy. The constraints are engineering, development, and manufacturing – and at a growing company like KTM, you need to add the battle for resources between projects to that uncertainty. None of this changes the delays the public experienced, but at the end of the day, even when it hit the US market in 2009-ish the RC8 was a spectacular bike within the class, with performance parity, truly distinctive but appropriate aesthetics, and some really nice unique features.

    I’m not trying to blame the customer. I’d argue the biggest challenge for KTM in the US is that on-road and off-road shops are usually two different animals. For Honda, it’s a often different dealer moving CBRs and Goldwings, than CRFs. KTM mostly has the latter right now. Shops in Norcal like Scuderia and Tri-Valley are the exceptions not the rule. The market over here may be bigger, but if you don’t have access to it that doesn’t do you much good. In Europe, they have a network they know can move these bikes – it’s just smart business to send the initial production to place you know can sell it. We’ll probably do the same (or converse, depending on how you look at it): Europe is a better market for our product, but the US will get it first because it’s easier for us operationally, and we know we’ll have the dealer network to move it.