Motorcycles

KTM's new lightweight 790 Adventure bikes surface at EICMA

KTM's new lightweight 790 Adve...
KTM 790 Adventure R: for when it's time to get a bit more hardcore
KTM 790 Adventure R: for when it's time to get a bit more hardcore
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KTM 790 Adventure: the more road focused of the two
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KTM 790 Adventure: the more road focused of the two
KTM 790 Adventure: slightly shorter suspension travel
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KTM 790 Adventure: slightly shorter suspension travel
KTM 790 Adventure: 450km tank range is impressive
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KTM 790 Adventure: 450km tank range is impressive
KTM 790 Adventure and 790 Adventure R: long range touring on any roads or no roads
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KTM 790 Adventure and 790 Adventure R: long range touring on any roads or no roads
KTM 790 Adventure: low road-style front fender and shorter suspension
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KTM 790 Adventure: low road-style front fender and shorter suspension
KTM 790 Adventure: in the corners
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KTM 790 Adventure: in the corners
KTM 790 Adventure: white color scheme
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KTM 790 Adventure: white color scheme
KTM 790 Adventure R: this photo makes it look like he's jumping from somewhere right out of shot. We have no idea where the ground is.
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KTM 790 Adventure R: this photo makes it look like he's jumping from somewhere right out of shot. We have no idea where the ground is.
KTM 790 Adventure R: for when it's time to get a bit more hardcore
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KTM 790 Adventure R: for when it's time to get a bit more hardcore
KTM 790 Adventure R: 40mm more suspension travel makes this the more dirt focused of the two
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KTM 790 Adventure R: 40mm more suspension travel makes this the more dirt focused of the two
KTM 790 Adventure R: knobby tires for better off-road grip
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KTM 790 Adventure R: knobby tires for better off-road grip
KTM 790 Adventure: elbows out for the cameras, lads!
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KTM 790 Adventure: elbows out for the cameras, lads!
KTM 790 Adventure R: even fitted with luggage and more road oriented tires, the regular Adventure should still be a terrific soft-road tourer
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KTM 790 Adventure R: even fitted with luggage and more road oriented tires, the regular Adventure should still be a terrific soft-road tourer
KTM 790 Adventure R: compact, light and powerful
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KTM 790 Adventure R: compact, light and powerful
KTM 790 Adventure R: notable for its long travel WP suspension, knobbies and dirtbike-style beak
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KTM 790 Adventure R: notable for its long travel WP suspension, knobbies and dirtbike-style beak

The middleweight adventure segment is heating up at EICMA – with new entires from Yamaha and BMW joining this pair of new Katos ready to make light(weight) work of the trails. The 790 Adventure and Adventure R will go far and fast over just about any terrain.

When KTM launched the Duke 790, with its laughably compact, 105-horsepower 799cc parallel twin, the clock started ticking. It wasn't a matter of whether that powerplant would end up in an adventure bike, it was a matter of when. It just looked too perfect for the emerging middleweight class, for riders who actually want to do a bunch of off-road adventure riding, and who are prepared to acknowledge that they don't want to be trying to drag a 1300cc monster out of a boggy rut at the end of a day in the saddle.

We saw the prototype at EICMA two years ago. We got a glimpse of it a few months back in pre-production testing with he-man uber-rider Chris Birch on board, and now it's been officially unveiled at EICMA, the world's biggest motorcycle show and the reason why the New Atlas frontpage will be plastered with motorcycles for the next few days.

KTM 790 Adventure: low road-style front fender and shorter suspension
KTM 790 Adventure: low road-style front fender and shorter suspension

Here's what you need to know. There's two versions: the 790 Adventure, and the 790 Adventure R. While both should have decent off-road capability, the R version is by far the dirtier of the two, with knobbier tires, 240mm of suspension travel to the Adventure's 200mm, and a high-mount beak-style front fender under the headlight where the regular model runs a more road oriented low fender.

KTM 790 Adventure R: notable for its long travel WP suspension, knobbies and dirtbike-style beak
KTM 790 Adventure R: notable for its long travel WP suspension, knobbies and dirtbike-style beak

Both bikes are detuned from the Duke spec for 94 horsepower with a focus on off-road control and smoothness. Both offer Cornering ABS, traction control, slip control and large full-color TFT dashes. Both have tall windscreens, height adjustable seats, LED lighting and hand guards, as well as twin 320mm front disc brakes and trail-friendly 21"/18" spoked rims.

KTM 790 Adventure R: even fitted with luggage and more road oriented tires, the regular Adventure should still be a terrific soft-road tourer
KTM 790 Adventure R: even fitted with luggage and more road oriented tires, the regular Adventure should still be a terrific soft-road tourer

As options, both can have quickshifters, heated grips, heated seats and cruise control, as well as a huge range of different touring luggage.

Dry weight for both models is 189 kg (416 lbs) - which sure is heavy for something you're going to drop a lot in the bush, but it's a lot lighter than the big ADV bikes. The fuel tanks hold 20 liters (5.3 gallons), good for a whopping 450-kilometer range (280 miles) that's more than sufficient to earn the Adventure sticker on the plastics and let you explore far from the conveniences and gas stations of civilization.

Check out the R model getting a nice flogging in the promo video below.

Source: KTM

2019 KTM 790 ADVENTURE R – ADVENTURE HARDER! | KTM

3 comments
guzmanchinky
KTM makes the best designs, but I've known SO many KTM riders that have had SO many serious, ride ending failures, compared to riders of Yamahas, Kawis and Hondas which seem to keep going 20 years later. Even the local dealer told me that "these are racing bikes, and as such need a lot more maintenance". That's just not something I'm willing to deal with, I need something that works 100% of the time and needs maintenance once a year, if that.
chidrbmt
A "lightweight" at around 460 lbs. wet. Still too much. Ya,owning two,KTM's are very high performance,hyper engine machines that will out handles just about anything. But there's always a price to be paid for such. Sit down & stay calm,when you get a (huge) maintenance bill for parts & labor (at $115 a hour). Some KTM models break more often than their competitors too.
notfromthisplanet
I did a 6 month off-road tour of sub-Saharan Africa. I saw lots of KTM Adventures and other similar models (Super Enduro etc) but they all had mechanical/electrical issues at one point or another due to bad gas, clogged fuel injectors, dirt, etc... and because they're impossible to fix on the trail (or in the garage) it prematurely ended many once-in-a-lifetime trips. KTM needs to get real about the pathetic reliability of these bikes. BTW, my bike was a Honda XR600. Simple and bomber - that's what an adventure style bike should be. I'll be going back for another go in the next year or two - on the same bike.