Author: Scott Chisholm, Vernon Dirt Chimp & Contributing Author

ADV Bike Sightings

On any given day there is a good chance you’ll see an ADV (Adventure) bike in the Riders Edge shop.  There’s no end to the modifications and additions that can be made as each rider tweaks their little pony and makes it just right!


Personally, I never took these Adventure Bikes very seriously. I may have even talked a little trash about them. Something like “Why not just get a street legal 500 cc thumper if you want to go off road? There’s no way that bike can go any of the places that we ride.”

Oh, What’s This?

Then, this Spring, I stumbled across some YouTube videos about the new KTM Adventure bikes. The 950, 990, then up to 1190, now a 1090 and a 1290. Now I see where you guys are going on these things – not too shabby!

Then I Bought One

I ended up nabbing a KTM 1090 Adventure R, little brother to the 1290 Adventure. Now after a few months of some modest road-ish kilometers this summer, and an intensive off road riding season this fall, I am truly hooked!

Forget about what I “May” have said about ADV bikes being lame and all. ADV Bikes are just that – built for Adventure. Now I ask a new type of question “Could I ride my ADV bike on this trail?” That would be awesome! I’m now challenging myself from a whole new perspective, and that is what is making Adventure Biking so much fun!

A Bunch of Scattered Notes…

This is just the beginning of a proper series of article. Here are some of my development notes.

  • Scary at first. The bike weighs 550+ lbs. Should I tell people about the time I was pinned under the bike in my driveway? Nah, too embarrassing. 😛
  • Lots of power. Big surprise there. Of course. 100 HP in offroad mode, with the potential to unleash the beast in sport mode with 125 HP (TC and ABS Turned Off).
  • Stand up, and start playing. Getting on the pegs is a complete game changer when it comes to the perception of how big this bike is. It feels tiny all of a sudden.
  • Gravel roads, dirt roads, doubletrack, singletrack. All are a lot of fun. More than I expected, to say the least.
  • Gearing down by 20% really improved off road usability. Ian can explain why “Road” bikes have such tall gearing from the factory. It’s odd. The bottom line, they need to be changed for most people who are thinking about off road.
  • Now that I am getting faster, it’s time to get Ian to customize the suspension – particularly the front. I am getting faster in the bumpy stuff and bottoming out every now and then.
  • Chris Birch ADV Clinic Silver Star September 2017. What a great event! Major game changer. Now I know how to actually ride this thing. Share my top learnings in here, or in a future article? I suspect the later, perhaps with a bit of filming. Chris has taught us some serious Kung Fu, and it needs to be shared.

There is a lot of enthusiasm to share about this relatively new sport. I look forward to being a regular contributor to the ADV portion of the blog here at Riders Edge and sharing some rides with locals, and out of town visitors.

More to come.

~ Scott Chisholm, Vernon Dirt Chimp & Contributing Author

My cameraman took the day off, but this is how I picture things looking.

Here is a sweet video from KTM with all of the expected great shots and amazing riders. With that said, I can tell you from the “Every Man” perspective that this is all doable. You can swap the scenery for Veron, and put yourself in the driver’s seat.