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