When the concept of the heavy-duty, long-distance, touring motorcycle was put into regular production as the Gelande/Strasse by BMW Motorrad over three decades ago, no one could have fore-seen what was basically a niche product for European riders wanting to cruise the sand dunes of northern Africa becoming a worldwide phenomenon. These days, all the major manufacturers have a big dual-purpose in their line-up, to cater to every sort of rider.
From BMW Motorrad’s GS-series bikes of today, to Ducati’s Multistrada 1200 range, the big ‘adventure’ styled motorcycle is not going to go away anytime soon. Not wanting to be left out of its share of the large-capacity off-roader market is KTM, with its “Adventure” series of dual-purpose bikes.
Most adventure-type bikes are typified by a tall saddle height, over-sized fuel tank, upright seating position and the provision for mounting hard-case bags. Styling of the bodywork tends to be on the edgy side, and the sub-frame is usually exposed, since it will be covered up with the saddle-bags anyway.
In the case of KTM, the Austrian company drew on its roots in moto-crossing and motorsports history to come up with four different versions of the Adventure bike in its range. Starting with the top-of-the-line 1290 Super Adventure, to the 1190 Adventure and Adventure R, there is a KTM Adventure bike to suit everybody.
Which brings us to the 2016 KTM 1050 Adventure. Positioned as the entry-level dual-purpose bike in KTM’s Adventure range, the 1050 Adventure is a big dual-purpose meant to be affordable, but no less capable, than its bigger-engined siblings.