TESTED: ROTTWEILER PERFORMANCE KTM ADVENTURE 950/990 TAIL TIDY

TailTidyJune17-Cudby-0001-2.jpg

The back end of a KTM Adventure 950/990 looks like a complete afterthought. Huge bulbous plastic hangs off what would be a clean tail section, turn signals ready to be torn off in the slightest get off, and the low hanging fender ready to be sucked into the rear knobby during aggressive maneuvers. It almost seems like a generic tail section was hastily bolted on to the bike just to meet minimum legal standards. Definitely an eyesore on one of the most dirt-worthy adventure bikes ever produced and that has garnered cult status. 

Luckily, Rottweiler Performance recognizes this fault and has created a solution that includes equal parts of engineering and modern design. Constructed by hand in the USA, the Rottweiler Performance Tail Tidy diminishes the overall dimensions of the rear fender to a fraction of the original and cleans up the look by an immeasurable margin. Using existing mounting points, the Tail Tidy integrates the rear fender, license plate frame, plate light, running light, brake light and turn signals into a compact, rugged and stylish package. The license plate frame houses all of the LED lights, everything potted in resin for durability. All wiring has the correct connectors for true plug and play installation. The license plate frame assembly is attached to a robust aluminum mounting plate, the dimensions matching the lines of the rear section of the bike for a clean and cohesive look, nothing superfluous or protruding. The entire assembly is powder coated with a black textured finish.

Installation takes about 30 minutes. Removing the OEM rear assembly is eye opening, the enormity of the tail section astounding when isolated by itself. All hardware used with the Tail Tidy is of high quality and the dimensions are spot on; nothing has to be forced to fit. The most time consuming and challenging part of the installation is grinding notches into the edges of the license plate to allow safe passage of wiring, but very detailed instructions are included for this procedure. Once installed, the amount of lost mass, both actual and visual, is impressive. 

The Rottweiler Performance Tail Tidy on my 990 has experienced extreme conditions that I consider near the limit of what an adventure bike can do. It has bombed down rocky trails fully loaded, suspension bottoming often, but remained tight and unscathed. Nothing rubs, squeaks or rattles regardless of the terrain encountered. Endless dusty roads and multiple excursions in rain and mud were unable to affect LED functions. The LEDs are extremely bright; due to their lower current draw than incandescent bulbs, the blink rate becomes quicker, but I found that desirable, as it makes them more noticeable in my opinion. The Tail Tidy does have mounting points to mount stock type or OEM turn signals should your area require a minimum distance between them. The rear fender no longer extends lower than the license plate frame, a consideration for those riding directly behind you. There is nothing to get sucked into the rear tire, which was a frequent occurrence with the OEM rear fender.

Most aftermarket products that find their way on to my personal adventure bike are chosen strictly based on improving function and performance. The Rottweiler Performance Tail Tidy is the rare addition that addresses those attributes while improving the look of the bike by a vast amount. Engineering can meet modern design at the back of your KTM Adventure 950/990. MSRP: $239.00 www.rottweilerperformance.com

Chris Glaspell

Upshift, 23986 Aliso Creek Road Suite 450, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

The success of any online publication depends on the quality of execution, and
in this respect UpShift Online’s success is virtually assured.  It was founded by veteran motorcycle industry professionals: English-born photographer Simon Cudby, the premier photographer in the world of motocross, and Chris Glaspell, creative director with firms serving clients that include Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Cycle World and Yoshimura. This, plus Upshift’s veteran editorial staff and unrivaled journalism, will gives readers unparalleled views of adventure motorcycling.