If you didn’t catch the first two segments on Craig Hartley’s “Next Level” 1190 Adventure R, be sure to find out what this Australian adventure riding legend has put into making his 1190 Adventure R truly unique. And who knew a motorcycle rider could be this articulate? When it comes to talking about his bike, there is no stopping him!
Part III is the final segment to the series, so be sure to read from start to finish if you haven’t already!
PART III Includes;
Stage 8 – Ergonomic Setup
Stage 9 – Fold Mirrors, Akro, Stand Plate
Stage 10 – High Guard, Extra Pre-Filters, Dongle
Stage 11 – TPSM, Tie Downs
Stage 12 – Rear Shock & Miscellaneous
Words & Pics: Craig Hartley // Main Photo: Jeff Mawston
STAGE 8 – Ergonomic Setup
The ergonomics of a motorcycle are always the 1st thing I work on on any bike I ride. It does not matter whether it’s my dirt bike, road bike or adventure bike, I always set the handlebars, foot pegs, seat and controls in a manner that is the most comfortable to use in the way I like to use it.
In the case of the adventure bikes, this means setting the bike up so that it is super comfortable to stand on hours on end, and all day if necessary, which is definitely the case in any of the extreme riding we do in Australia.
To do this bar rises are the easiest way to get the handlebars up higher, and as can be seen in this photo it was simply some bar riser blocks, but my preference would be the ROX bar risers which were not available at the time of setting this bike up. The beauty of the ROX bar risers is that you can move the bars forward and back very easily as well.
Of course under bar steering mounts can often help to get the bars up to the height you want, and if either of these options don’t get them up high enough I go to a new set of handlebars like the Pastrana FMX High Rise bars.
Dirt bikes and adventure bikes I always go for lower foot pegs if available, and as can be seen on this bike, we have had Chris Boyle from New Zealand build these special pegs which are angled slightly differently to standard pegs, the reason behind this is to give a slightly flatter platform to stand on, which in reality is more natural for your knees and legs. The other thing about these pegs is that they are exceptionally wide and long, which once again makes it very easy to stand on all day as, when standing on foot pegs, all of the weight of your body and gear is centred into the centre or arch of your foot.
I did not have to do it on this bike but on some bikes even a higher seat foam, can make the transition from sitting to standing easier. The downside here is that you cannot get feet on the ground easy enough.
Once you have all of these things sorted out then you adjust your levers and foot controls so they are in the most natural position to use.
STAGE 9 – Fold Mirrors, Akro, Stand Plate
FOLDING MIRRORS. I have always used these genuine KTM items, as when in areas where obviously you do not need them, or when on thin bush tracks with overhanging growth or an unexplained Gumby drop in the sand could break a mirror, I simply fold the mirrors in out of harms way. If running a GPS on the bars a role the GPS forward on the RAM mount, put the mirror below it and put the GPS back over the top. There is nothing worse than getting back on to open roads and not having a mirror.
Akropovic Muffler. As has always been the case with the KTM 950 and 990, and now the 1190, there has never been a better sound than a V twin with Akropovics with the baffles out. I rest my case.
STAND BASE PLATE. Regardless of whether you buy a flash aftermarket one, or you weld your own design onto the bottom of the side stand, stand base plate is an absolute must when dealing with heavy laden adventure bikes and soft ground conditions. It’s easier to do this than to have to pick the heavy thing up if it falls over at a gate or when helping a mate.
STAGE 10 – High Guard, Extra Pre-Filters, Dongle
Knowing how important clean air is for any motorcycle, and also knowing when doing the support role for the ADVX, that we would be doing enough work on other people’s bikes, the last thing I would want to do would be to work on my own bike.
Getting to the pre-filters on the 1190 is not that bad a job, but it’s just another thing I did not want to be bothered with, let alone having to pull the fuel tank off and do the air filter.
For this reason I came up with the idea of putting some little foam prefilters in the front of the snorkels.
This was probably the most simple thing you could do to a motorcycle, which gave the largest result when it comes to maintenance.
It entailed getting some 2 sided tape wall hooks, cutting them back slightly so they fit in front of the snorkels, and then cutting some pieces of foam approximately 10/12 mil thick which neatly covered the snorkel inlets, and lodged neatly behind the wall hooks. The best talks I have found just recently are a Command brand which comes in clear and the part number is 17091CLR.
I then cut approximately 15 mil at a slight angle of each of the 2 hooks I put on each inlet, then thoroughly clean both sides with contact cleaner or similar and using the 2 sided tape supplied victim to the bike.
I lightly oiled the filters with either some WD-40 or spray on foam foam filter oil and that’s it, close to air cleaner maintenance free running.
Across Oz, I carried 2 plastic snap-on bags, one which had 16 filters in it, and one for the dirty ones, and then everyone one or 2 days depending on how much dust I had been in, I simply slipped the dirty ones out and slipped plan ones in. A 1 minute job. The beauty of this, is you can see the dust gathering on the filters.
The Testament of how this worked was shown recently when I just gave the bike a full-service before I sold it. The main filter had not been touched since when I left Perth, the 2 snorkel filters had been cleaned once, and the Hartley prefilters had been changed near daily if necessary for the whole 12,000 km of riding since then. The main air filter still looked near spotless.
Definitely do not try this sort of air filter life, unless you do something similar to what I have done, and monitor it regularly.
HIGH GAURD. I always like to run a high mudguard on my adventure bikes, purely because I’ve heard some horror stories of people either ripping mudguards off in the mud, or even worse still having front wheels locked up and crashing in spectacular form.
I used a KTM 950 SE front mudguard, which absolutely fits the contours of the bikes perfectly, and in this I mean looking at it from the front all the lines of the fairing run down into the mudguard, and looking at it from the side it literally looks like it was built for the bike.
I built a aluminium plate to bolt up underneath the triple clamp, which includes a couple of spacers, and I then bolt the mudguard to this plate. I chamfer the leading edge of the rear of the guard so that it does not wear on the brake lines.
For the fork protectors I simply trim down the original low guard, and use the original protectors as not only do they look good but they also have all the correct mounting hardware. Years ago we started doing this with the KTM 990 front mudguards and fork protectors as well.
DONGLE. This little $144 item from KTM is without doubt one of the best accessories you can put on your 1190. How it works is it plugs into the wiring harness very simply, but then whatever setting you choose in your braking, power or traction control modes, it will hold every time you turn the ignition off and back on, rather than having to continually reset to your favourites.
STAGE 11 – TPSM, Tie Downs
TYRE PRESSURE MONITORING SYSTEM. Due to the fact that we go from tubeless tyres to ultra-heavy duty tube combinations, on the 1190 we then loose the TPMS. I have always liked this idea as there is nothing worse than belting along at a dollar 30, only to slow down and find you’ve got a flat front tyre. That last 80 to 100 km an hour of trying to stop always gets a bit hairy.
With a TPMS fitted if the tyre pressures drop, things will start flashing and lights will come on which will give you good warning to stop before things get nasty.
The unit I used here was a Tyredog brand but there are also other ones available on the market.
I fitted it to the genuine KTM GPS Mount, which in my books is absolutely useless for a GPS as the GPS wobbles around too much, but the light weight of a Tyredog TPMS does not worry it so it is in the perfect position to know what you’re tyre pressures are doing.
TIEDOWNS. You’ll see I hold my swag on with tiedowns. Not only are these awesome straps for the job, as well as colour coordinated, but if you or one of your mates breaks down and the vehicle has to hitch a ride on a passing ute, you have the ultimate straps to transport your $30000 weapon.
What I now do with the remaining strap I don’t use, I simply run it straight down into my saddlebag, then pull the adjustable strap of the saddlebag over the tiedown for even added security of it not coming out. Far neater than having to try and loop the remaining strap backwards and forwards and finish it off with knots.
The other good thing about using tiedowns in this situation is you can pull them down really tight and they are so easy to use.
STAGE 12 – Rear Shock & Miscellaneous
SHOCK ABSORBER. I have found the rear suspension of the KTM 1190 to work really well, but if I had a complaint at all it was that the last half of the stroke when getting close to bottoming out, is a little bit too soft. For this reason we have experimented with a couple of different settings in the shock absorber which has slowed up the oil flow through the valving in the last half of the stroke. We have also gone to a heavier oil.
The end result of this is that I still have a good plush feel when accelerating out of corrugated corners and the like, but when jumping off erosion mounds or hitting the odd unexpected hole, the rear shock stands up to the job in a much better way.
I don’t believe a heavier rear spring is needed, as the standard spring is designed to be able to carry a pillion rider. Well at least that’s for my weight anyway.