Born-Again Adventure

Adventure riding does not have to mean dropping five figures for the latest, greatest machine. Quality adventure motorcycles have been offered by multiple manufacturers since the early 2000s, so plenty of examples can be had.

Plus, for most models parts are plentiful, meaning that with a little wrenching you can have a reliable, great-performing motorcycle without breaking the bank. Over the next few months we will share our struggles and triumphs when it comes to breathing some new life into our 2007 KTM Adventure.

KTM Bike
Ridden hard and often put away wet, our 2007 Adventure needs some love.

About The Bike
The KTM 990 Adventure is the second generation of the KTM Adventure platform. The earlier 950 was available from 2003-2006, the 990 from 2007-2013. The primary difference between the two generations is the 950s have carburetors, with traditional brakes while the 990s are fuel-injected and have an early ABS braking system. The LC8 V-twin engine delivers great power and is well documented online, so any issue you might have can be answered by tons of online “experts”; just ask. You can find them priced from around $3,500 for a fairly toasted example to $9,000 for something fully farkled and in great condition. Our 2007 was purchased four years ago with just 7,000 miles on it. After a decent service and some preventive hose and other rubber replacements it has given us an additional 7,000 miles of hassle-free service. At 14,000 miles it needs a bit more, and it is time to deal with issues that have bugged us for quite a while.

Project 1: Surface Deep
We live in SoCal so what better starting project then dealing with something as superficial as paint! An overly aggressive sticker took a good chunk of the pretty metal flake orange off of a front fairing. Time for a little nip-tuck action.

ktm shield
An aggressive sticker left big orange with an ugly scar.

ColorRite offers the base orange, mid-metal flake, and top gloss coats all in aerosol cans that just need some shaking to be ready to go. It also supplies a spray-out card, so you have something to practice on.

We removed the fairing and found a logical seam to tape off, protecting the rest of the panel. After that we started with a 200-grit sandpaper to prep the area and feather the damaged paint. We progressively moved to a higher-grit (less abrasive) paper, ending with a wet 600-grit.

KTM spray painting
Taped and sanded, the fairing is ready for some color. The handy spray-out card gave us a little practice before making things permanent.

Once smooth, we cleaned it with some paint prep and set it in the sun. Follow the simple directions, applying multiple coats and giving it plenty of time to cure between applications. The result and the match is awesome. ColorRite recommends letting it cure a week or two before buffing and/or waxing, after that enjoy.

KTM spray painting
Color applied, the finish will look fairly flat.
ktm spray painting
The metal flake coat has a nice gloss finish and looks much like the final product.
ktm spray painting
The final clear coat protects and seals.
ktm spray painting
Cleaned up and ready to go.

This was an easy afternoon project that doubles as a good excuse to have a beer (or two) while waiting for paint to dry.