KTM 790 Adventure And 790 Adventure R First Look | Cycle World
KTM

KTM 790 Adventure And 790 Adventure R First Look

The most hard-core KTM adventure is unleashed

KTM, to no surprise, has released production information on the 790 Adventure and 790 Adventure R. Following the showing of the protype last year at EICMA, the adventure motorcycle world clamored for details and speculated on the finished product. One thing was for sure, it was expected to be a beast in the dirt. According to KTM, its new addition to the Adventure line will live up to the hype.

790 Adventure R

Billed as the most hard-core of KTM’s Adventure line, the 790 Adventure R is fitted standard with tires and suspension capable of serious off-road duty.

KTM

As the second model powered by the LC8c parallel twin, the 790 Adventure and Adventure R are expected to make similar numbers as the 790 Duke. On the Cycle World dyno the Duke produced 95.1 hp at 9,200 rpm and 58.2 pound-feet of torque at 7,900 rpm. This outperforms the Honda Africa Twin’s measured horsepower by 13 but comes in with 7 pound-feet less of torque, signaling the more high-strung nature that would be expected from a KTM adventure motorcycle.

KTM 790 Adventure

The 2019 KTM 790 Adventure is more street focused than the R model.

KTM

A lightweight chromium-molybdenum frame sits above the LC8c powerplant, using it as a stressed member to reduce the chassis size. The slim platform features a uniquely shaped fuel tank that features low-slung sides that lower the center of gravity while giving more room for rider movement.

KTM suspension

A low-slung tank gives the rider room to move around while keeping the weight low.

KTM

Where the two models differ is in the suspension department. The standard model uses a nonadjustable 43mm Apex open-cartridge fork with split functions placing the rebound in the right fork leg and the compression in the left. The Apex rear shock is adjustable for preload only. Both ends stroke through 200mm for on- and off-road duty.

lightweight frame

A lightweight frame uses the engine as a stressed member.

KTM

The 790 Adventure R steps up the off-road game with fully adjustable suspension meant to tackle tough situations and high speeds. Just like on KTM’s off-road dirt bikes, the fork is a WP Xplor 48mm spring fork with separated compression and rebound adjustments, providing 240mm of travel. Spring preload is also adjustable. Attached to the open-lattice aluminum swingarm is a WP Xplor PDS (progressive damping system) shock, also providing 240mm of progressive travel without the linkage.

Spoke 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels are fitted to both, with the R model rocking more aggressive Metzeler Karoo 3 tires than the standard model’s more street-focused Avon Trailrider meat. Dual 320mm discs matched to KTM-branded radial-mounted four-piston calipers are fitted at the front while a single 240mm disc clamped by a floating two-piston caliper controls the rear wheel’s braking. Cornering ABS is standard with an off-road braking mode that allows for rear wheel lockup while still having dirt-focused ABS active at the front wheel.

Although it is KTM’s middleweight Adventure, the 790 comes packed with full-size electronics. Lean-sensitive traction control is linked to four riding modes: Street, Off-road, Rain, and Rally. Rally mode allows for nine levels of wheelspin adjustment, with Level 1 being the least amount of intervention. KTM’s Motorcycle Slip Regulation (MSR) is also standard adding rear wheel stability during hard braking on slick or slippery surfaces. The optional Quickshift+ provides clutchless up- and downshifts. Finally, KTM My Ride (also optional) allows for the control of your smartphone and turn-by-turn navigation using the KTM app.

790 Adventure R

KTM promises serious off-road capability from the 790 Adventure R.

KTM

Timing and price were not divulged, but the usual KTM timeline sees the US models arriving toward the beginning of the first half of the year. The model that so many of the ADV faithful see as the true KTM adventure will be impatiently awaited until then.