KTM finds it hard to keep a secret, especially when it comes to new models. And how can you blame the orange marque when it has such interesting motorcycles hidden away in the continually expanding R&D building in Mattighofen, Austria. It has a way of teasing models for a length of time that makes other manufacturers wonder how (and why) it does it and those with money burning holes in their pockets squirm in anticipation.

KTM 790 Adventure R
A KTM 790 Adventure R in the flesh, albeit a preproduction model without the fit and finish for a full production model.Courtesy of KTM

So is the case with KTM's latest midsize adventure mount—the 790 Adventure R. KTM surprised the attendees of its European Rider Rally with KTM Adventure Ambassador Chris Birch showcasing the new parallel-twin-powered machine on the trail during the weekend event. During the three-day rally, 150 riders got the chance to see the preproduction unit up close and personal on a variety of terrain surrounding the city of Olbia on the Italian island of Sardinia.

KTM 790 Adventure R
Here you can clearly see the low-slung fuel tanks, PDS rear suspension, and bodywork that resemble KTM’s dirt bikes.Courtesy of KTM

During last November's EICMA unveiling of the 790 Adventure R Prototype, KTM highlighted the performance and agility of the new model, showcasing it next to a 450RR Rally bike in an action-packed video. KTM no doubt will expand further on this theme as the release of the production model nears—most likely at Intermot in October or EICMA in November. Then, another wait until the bikes hit the dealer floor.

In the release highlighting the preproduction model at the European Rider Rally, KTM confirmed details about the 790 Adventure R including a new 799cc LC8c parallel twin tuned for a wider spread of power compared to the 790 Duke's street-focused delivery. KTM also claims a 250-mile range from the low-slung fuel tanks. If the fuel consumption is similar to the 40 mpg average Cycle World experienced on the 790 Duke that would indicate a 6-gallon-plus fuel capacity. Fully adjustable WP suspension is also confirmed—as would be expected from an R model KTM.

ultimate race on KTM 790 Adventure R in the desert
KTM will send a dozen qualified riders to Morocco to race the 790 Adventure R. Riders can qualify at any of the remaining five KTM Rider Rallies.Courtesy of KTM

KTM is also giving a special opportunity to the top two qualifiers at each KTM Adventure Rally to compete in an exclusive class at the Merzouga Rally on a 790 Adventure R. KTM will cover the cost of travel, accommodations, and entry fees along with the use of a 790 Adventure R with full race support at the Moroccan rally. Anyone on a twin-cylinder machine can enter the special qualifying sessions at any of the five remaining rallies held in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, and the USA.

ultimate race on KTM 790 Adventure R in the desert
KTM is pushing an off-road-capable narrative as it releases more details and images of the 790 Adventure R.Courtesy of KTM

For now the long tease continues while KTM and midsize adventure riders hold their breath and wallets.