Oh, this is exciting. It’s been a long, long time coming. The internet hasn’t shut up about it, we haven’t shut up about it and after several years of spy shots and media drip feeding, KTM announced all the information for the new KTM 790 Adventure and 790 Adventure R.
At this point we’ve only got spec sheets to work with, so this is a breakdown of what looks good. We’ll start with the Adventure R. Without doubt the KTM 790 Adventure and the Yamaha T7 are the most hyped adventure motorcycles produced since the Africa Twin.
Unlike the Africa Twin however, KTM appear to have developed something a lot more focussed. The 790 shares the same engine platform as the highly lauded 790 Duke. It’s a 799cc parallel twin design putting out 70KW (93hp). For the market place that’s right on the money.
In KTM’s attempt to create the ultimate all-round adventure weapon they’ve taken the R model down the, “we’re making a twin cyclinder dirt bike with lots of fuel” path. As a result it’s got a whopping 240mm of suspension travel front and rear. That pumps the seat height to around 880mm. That’s tall, no doubt, but it could be a whole lot worse. They’ve combined the long travel with 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels. Those are dirtbike size wheels and they work far better off-road than a 19/17-inch combo.
“Those low slung fuel tanks are designed to keep the weight low and central”
The most notable visual parts of the 790 are the low slung side fuel tanks and the rally style, sticky out headlight. The marmite looks are one thing but clearly KTM have taken a leaf out of the motorsport departments 450 RR Rally. Those low slung fuel tanks are designed to keep the weight low and central, whilst still allowing a high fuel capacity and decent range. As a result KTM have squeezed 20 litres onto the KTM 790 Adventure which they claim gives it around a 450km range.
The last specification worth paying attention to is the weight. Over the last 20 years, manufactures have mastered the art of making bikes ‘feel’ lighter. A lot of them are cleverly engineered to skirt being light by centralising mass but, lighter on paper still helps. KTM list their bikes in dry weights and the rest of the world list them in wet. The 790 is down as 189kg’s dry, which leaves us with some estimation and math to do. If we take that base weight and add 20 litres of gasoline, four litres of oil, three litres of coolant, some fork oil, some shock oil and some brake fluid the math might look a little like this. (Please note these are estimates designed to give a ballpark figure. The brackets are the quantity of liquid multiplied by the liquids rough weight. They are ordered – Fuel, engine oil, coolant, suspension oil, brake fluid.)
189+(20×0.77)+(4×0.8)+(3×1)+(1.5×0.8)+(1×0.8)= 212.6kg’s wet (467lb).
While we may be a little off, on paper the KTM is light. It’s lighter that anything we’ve seen in years and may only be rivalled by the Yamaha T7. That’s cool as hell and fantastic trend buck from the Austrian brand.
The standard Adventure version of the 790 is being pitched as the street bike alternative and yet, on paper, it’s still pretty impressive. The only notable changes are the length of the suspension which subsequently reduces the seat height. By reducing the suspension travel to a still respectable and very effective 200mm, the KTM drops to a more normal 850mm seat height. The suspension used is more basic too. The WP Xplor fork from the R being replaced with a WP Apex fork. The standard Adventure model still keeps the 21/18″ wheel combination meaning that KTM still see it as a bike designed for the dirt.
Lastly, the 790 Adventure models include KTM’s electronics packages with ABS, MSC and riders modes. They’ve also packed in a TFT screen. There isn’t and official price yet, but with the 790 DUKE coming at around £8500 we expect the 790 Adventure to be around the £9000.00 mark and the R model up to £1000 more.
So what do you think? Have KTM hit all the right markers or are they crazy? Let us know in the comments below.