Motorcycles

KTM beefs up its mid-range off-road tourers with 890 Adventure series

KTM beefs up its mid-range off...
The middleweight category is creeping upward again... KTM has announced new 890 Adventure bikes not much pricier than its 790 Adventure series
The middleweight category is creeping upward again... KTM has announced new 890 Adventure bikes not much pricier than its 790 Adventure series
View 12 Images
The middleweight category is creeping upward again... KTM has announced new 890 Adventure bikes not much pricier than its 790 Adventure series
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The middleweight category is creeping upward again... KTM has announced new 890 Adventure bikes not much pricier than its 790 Adventure series
The 890s are built for the same mix of on-road touring and off-road dirty shenanigans as the 790s
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The 890s are built for the same mix of on-road touring and off-road dirty shenanigans as the 790s
The cruise control switch is standard, but it doesn't work unless you pay extra
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The cruise control switch is standard, but it doesn't work unless you pay extra
There are no weight figures available as yet; we hope it's about the same weight as the 189-kg 790 Adventure
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There are no weight figures available as yet; we hope it's about the same weight as the 189-kg 790 Adventure
The look is virtually the same as the 790
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The look is virtually the same as the 790
Large spoked wheels
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Large spoked wheels
Left side view
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Left side view
A range of touring luggage is available
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A range of touring luggage is available
Barkbusters and screen are standard
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Barkbusters and screen are standard
Available in orange and black
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Available in orange and black
Dash offers smartphone connectivity
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Dash offers smartphone connectivity
Designed for a mix of on- and off-road touring. R and R Rally versions are available and tilt the balance further toward serious dirt squirting with longer travel suspension
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Designed for a mix of on- and off-road touring. R and R Rally versions are available and tilt the balance further toward serious dirt squirting with longer travel suspension
View gallery - 12 images

Hang on, wasn't this whole thing about making adventure bikes smaller? KTM and other manufacturers heard everyone grumbling about how huge and heavy the 1200-class adventure tourers were, making them excellent long-distance road tourers but a bit much to be picking up out of slushy mud all afternoon.

So they started making lighter, more agile middleweight ADV machines for people who really like tearing up the dirt. The resulting 790 Adventure bikes looked beaut; enough motor to be ridden hard on the street, good relaxed touring potential, and light enough to point at gnarlier trails than the 1290.

But now, KTM has seen fit to squeeze an 890 Adventure series into the catalog offering a bit of extra poke. The new 889cc parallel twin motor makes 105 horses, 10 more than the 790. Amusingly enough, the same 790 motor itself makes 105 horses in Duke 790 streetbike trim, although it doesn't have quite as much torque as the 890 motor's 100 Nm (74 lb-ft). The crank is substantially heavier, and KTM says the extra rotating mass helps it plod along better at low revs.

The 890 bike gets a new rear shock with hand-adjustable spring preload, which is nice. There's 200 mm of travel at each end, and a 20-liter fuel tank, both matching the 790 Adventure. Annoyingly, there's no weight on the spec sheet as yet, so it's unclear how much of a penalty needs to be paid for the extra grunt.

Dash offers smartphone connectivity
Dash offers smartphone connectivity

The ABS and traction control systems are "improved," and a lovely little cruise control switch now comes as standard, although you'll need to pay extra for the software upgrade to make it actually work. Ugh. At least they're not making you pay a subscription for it.

Other options include a range of luggage, a bidirectional quickshifter, heated seats and grips, all the usual. Asphalt & Rubber has published "tentative MSRP pricing for the USA" indicating the 890 Adventure will cost US$13,099, just $500 more than the 790. So it's not gonna make a ton of sense buying the smaller capacity bike, and indeed perhaps there's going to be a move to phase it out.

Designed for a mix of on- and off-road touring. R and R Rally versions are available and tilt the balance further toward serious dirt squirting with longer travel suspension
Designed for a mix of on- and off-road touring. R and R Rally versions are available and tilt the balance further toward serious dirt squirting with longer travel suspension

As with the 790, there are also R and R Rally versions coming, the R costing just a couple hundred more and offering an extra 40 mm of suspension travel if you're happy to deal with a higher seat. The limited edition R Rally costs substantially more at a "tentative" US$19,999. It runs even fancier WP Xplor Pro suspension, and adds another 30 mm of travel again, taking its total up to 270 mm. It also gets a lighter Akrapovic exhaust, a standard quickshifter, an extra "rally" mode and a couple of bits of carbon.

I guess as long as it doesn't make the bike too much heavier, it looks like good news. Most bikers aren't the type to turn down some extra power, even if 105 horses is a whole heck of a lot on the dirt.

Source: KTM

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1 comment
guzmanchinky
Just bought a 790. I'll take the lighter bike which has been around for a couple of years to work out the bugs. And KTM's have lots of bugs...