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Discussion Starter #1
A local dealer let me take both for a test ride. Only about 15 minutes each but I will share my impressions. First, the 1190 had about 1.5k miles on it so I could ride with abandon. I did bounce it off the rev limiter a couple of times. The DL had fewer than 100 and I respected the break-in and kept the revs below 6k. I also didn't change any of the TC or suspension settings.

Engine: Of course the 1190 was a beast. I hit 85 mph on an on-ramp with time to coast down to 60 before merging. But even with the handicap, the DL was plenty impressive. Great pulling power at 4k rpm. The thing I didn't like about the DL was the whine coming from the engine. I guess it is the valve train. After riding the 1190, on which I heard only the exhaust and the wind, that noise was really noticeable and, frankly, annoying. Maybe it decreases with break-in and just getting used to it.

Suspension: I rode the same route and purposely hit some shallow potholes and rough patches. The 1190 was clearly superior, especially the rear. The DL sort of shuddered and bucked a little when the rear hit the bad spots. But, again, I had no chance to made suspension adjustments.

Ergonomics: Very close to the same riding position but I give a nod to the DL for the better seat. I would have to put 2+" bar risers on either to comfortably stand without being hunched over. I'm 6'3". Both windshields are too short for my tastes. The dealer didn't have a DL1000 Adventure model and I understand those come with a taller version.

Brakes: Both have great front brakes. The 1190 rear brake is excellent. The DL has, well, a V-Strom rear brake. Not near the feel or stopping power.

Other things: I did not like the turn signal switch on the 1190. It operates the same way as the DL but it lacks tactile feedback. Pushing the switch in to turn off the signal is like pushing on a switch that isn't meant to be pushed. Every time I hit the off switch I had to look down to double check.

I was seriously considering either bike but the test rides sealed the deal for me. Vee2 for sure.
 

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Huh? I'm cornfused...

Reading your review I figured you were pro-KTM. The only place the new DL bested the 1190 was the turn signal switch and the seat, but at the very end you declare the V-Strom the victor.

Is my reading comprehension that far off?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I went into the test rides favoring the KTM (based on reviews) and looking for justification to spend the extra dollars. I just didn't see it. The power is over the top but once the novelty wore off I doubt I'd ride it any harder than I would the DL. The electronic gizmos (TC, ABS) are cool but I would likely set them and forget them. The reliability thing would worry me. Not just getting stranded but dealer visits. But all things considered and IF the prices were comparable, I'd likely go with the KTM. But they aren't and I won't.
 

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I went into the test rides favoring the KTM (based on reviews) and looking for justification to spend the extra dollars. I just didn't see it. The power is over the top but once the novelty wore off I doubt I'd ride it any harder than I would the DL. The electronic gizmos (TC, ABS) are cool but I would likely set them and forget them. The reliability thing would worry me. Not just getting stranded but dealer visits. But all things considered and IF the prices were comparable, I'd likely go with the KTM. But they aren't and I won't.
I completely get that! Once the thrill of the high hp wears off and reality of fines/points kicks in, they are do what they are supposed to do well, I'm road biased so ability to go hard off road has little bearing on my buying decision...
 

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I've never noticed a whine from a Vee engine. Or a TL1000 or SV1000. :confused:

Then again, I've never ridden a brand-new Vee/SV/TL, so perhaps this is something that goes away with a few more miles.

Good writeup -- I think a lot of people get caught up in comparing magazine spec charts and forget about the effects of cost and complexity. The extra money it takes to buy and maintain the KTM would mean less riding for a lot of people.
 

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I'm at the 950-mile mark on my Veek and cannot imagine the cam gear whine subsiding with use. It is a very prominent part of the engine sound and character. The only 3 things I think would help are a) earplugs, 2) an aftermarket muffler, or iii) buy the KTM instead. Just as FYI.

Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

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I went into the test rides favoring the KTM (based on reviews) and looking for justification to spend the extra dollars. I just didn't see it. The power is over the top but once the novelty wore off I doubt I'd ride it any harder than I would the DL. The electronic gizmos (TC, ABS) are cool but I would likely set them and forget them. The reliability thing would worry me. Not just getting stranded but dealer visits. But all things considered and IF the prices were comparable, I'd likely go with the KTM. But they aren't and I won't.
I very much respect your honest feedback on this, and I can totally see and understand how you came to that determination. My C14 was faster than stink, but I always missed my old DL1000 for everything it was and was/is good at.
 

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I went into the test rides favoring the KTM (based on reviews) and looking for justification to spend the extra dollars. I just didn't see it. The power is over the top but once the novelty wore off I doubt I'd ride it any harder than I would the DL. The electronic gizmos (TC, ABS) are cool but I would likely set them and forget them. The reliability thing would worry me. Not just getting stranded but dealer visits. But all things considered and IF the prices were comparable, I'd likely go with the KTM. But they aren't and I won't.
That's sort of what I thought... I am scared of Katos too and the nearest dealer is two hours away...

I think the DL has plenty power for a lighter ADV. Kato supersport-sizes everything.
 

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Which 1190 did you ride, the "R" or the standard?

Local dealer has both models, I was surprised to see (the dealer was actually surprised he still had them as well). We were talking, I told him about my '07 Vee, and he asked if I ever took it off road. The answer was no, only a couple of short jaunts on hard packed dirt roads "by accident". He said if I never intended to do any real offroad riding, the standard 1190 would be the better choice. They both looked pretty awesome to me, but the R model has the bigger front wheel, the crash bars, maybe a different screen, and a fixed height seat (35 something inches). The standard model has a low and high seat option, but the high option is still half an inch less than the fixed seat on the R model.

Here's the R:

 
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