KTM's new lightweight 790 Adventure bikes surface at EICMA
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.