SPIED: 2018 KTM 800 Adventure Bike

Looking light and lithe (and camouflaged), KTM’s 800cc parallel-twin ADV bike is caught testing in Spain on road and off road.

KTM 800 Adventure
SPIED: KTM 800 AdventureS. Baldauf/SB-Medien

The long-rumored KTM 800 Adventure was spied testing in Spain, both on the road and in the dirt. Though the engine is obscured by what look like may be auxiliary (or main?) fuel tanks that dip low on either side of the powerplant, there are a pair of exhausts emanating from the front of the engine that converge into a collector and single pipe that exits on the right rear of the machine.

Oh, glory! It’s about time. We’ve been expecting a “serious” entry into this class for quite a while. The Triumph Tiger 800 XC variants and BMW F800GS have long been class staples, but even the most aggressively dirt-oriented of these models is far from rally ready. In contrast, this KTM 800 Adventure looks almost ready for Dakar duty.

A beefy inverty WP fork runs up front with twin Brembo radial-mount brakes. The single WP shock at the rear looks to be linkageless. Swingarm is 1190 Adventure-inspired and quite long. Something on the order of 9 inches of suspension travel front and rear would be about right, and expect full adjustability. The company who’s built its reputation on “Ready to Race” wouldn’t have it any other way.

KTM 800 Adventure
SPIED: KTM 800 AdventureS. Baldauf/SB-Medien

Bodywork carries all the angles you’d expect and it’s instantly recognizable as a KTM even covered in black (and with those large things mounted on either side). The test mule was caught with a windscreen and without, and with multiple wheel sizes. Our spy photographer said at least four different 800s were spotted around the test facility. The most enticing mule was the one rolling on a 21-inch/18-inch wheel combo fitted with knobbies, triggering our dreams of navigating open country on what would certainly be the most capable 800cc-class adventure machine we have seen to date. But even rolling on the more street-oriented Continental Trail Attack 2s, we are ready for a long ride off the radar.

The rear subframe looks beefy enough to carry bags (and why wouldn’t it?). The headlight and taillight look like placeholders, though. Wheel-speed sensors are fitted so expect full rider aids including IMU driven cornering ABS and traction control.

KTM 800 Adventure
SPIED: KTM 800 AdventureS. Baldauf/SB-Medien

In terms of bore and stroke and engine output, KTM tends to stick with a roughly 1.5:1 bore x stroke ratio. Using with the 95.0mm bore of the KTM 500 EXC yields a pretty short stroke for a 400cc pair of cylinders, but the 89.0 x 60.0 of the 390 is close. In fact, a 92.0 x 60.0 gives 1.5:1 bore and stroke ratio and 399cc per cylinder. All conjecture, of course, as is our guess on output being about 100 horsepower.

It's no secret we love the Honda Africa Twin and its tractable 998cc twin for how easy it is to ride, but this KTM 800 looks to offer a more rally-inspired expert's package in a far lighter package. If Yamaha does go ahead and produce the T7 Ténéré concept it showed at the 2016 EICMA show, we could be in for a really awesome ADV future.

Adventure rider dreams do come true.

Scroll down for even more photos of the 800 Adventure:

KTM 800 Adventure
SPIED: KTM 800 AdventureS. Baldauf/SB-Medien
KTM 800 Adventure
SPIED: KTM 800 AdventureS. Baldauf/SB-Medien
KTM 800 Adventure
SPIED: KTM 800 AdventureS. Baldauf/SB-Medien
KTM 800 Adventure
SPIED: KTM 800 AdventureS. Baldauf/SB-Medien
KTM 800 Adventure
SPIED: KTM 800 AdventureS. Baldauf/SB-Medien
KTM 800 Adventure
SPIED: KTM 800 AdventureS. Baldauf/SB-Medien
KTM 800 Adventure
SPIED: KTM 800 AdventureS. Baldauf/SB-Medien
KTM 800 Adventure
SPIED: KTM 800 AdventureS. Baldauf/SB-Medien
KTM 800 Adventure
SPIED: KTM 800 AdventureS. Baldauf/SB-Medien
KTM 800 Adventure
SPIED: KTM 800 AdventureS. Baldauf/SB-Medien
KTM 800 Adventure
SPIED: KTM 800 AdventureS. Baldauf/SB-Medien
KTM 800 Adventure
SPIED: KTM 800 AdventureS. Baldauf/SB-Medien
KTM 800 Adventure
SPIED: KTM 800 AdventureS. Baldauf/SB-Medien
KTM 800 Adventure
SPIED: KTM 800 AdventureS. Baldauf/SB-Medien
KTM 800 Adventure
SPIED: KTM 800 AdventureS. Baldauf/SB-Medien
KTM 800 Adventure
SPIED: KTM 800 AdventureS. Baldauf/SB-Medien
KTM 800 Adventure
SPIED: KTM 800 AdventureS. Baldauf/SB-Medien
KTM 800 Adventure
SPIED: KTM 800 AdventureS. Baldauf/SB-Medien
KTM 800 Adventure
SPIED: KTM 800 AdventureS. Baldauf/SB-Medien
KTM 800 Adventure
SPIED: KTM 800 AdventureS. Baldauf/SB-Medien
KTM 800 Adventure
SPIED: KTM 800 AdventureS. Baldauf/SB-Medien
KTM 800 Adventure
SPIED: KTM 800 AdventureS. Baldauf/SB-Medien