KTM has added the perfect entry-level (for now) adventure machine to its lineup of Travel Enduro bikes with the 2019 KTM 790 Adventure R.
The BMW R1250 GS is still the benchmark for today’s adventure motorcycles. KTM, on the other hand, has its own unique way of tackling the segment. With its roots firmly embedded in rally and motocross racing, it prefers the term ‘Travel Enduro’ for its range of overlanding machines. Indeed, all KTM ADVs right up to the crazy 1290 Super Adventure are less tourer and more Enduro in form and capability.
With changing winds in the motorcycling industry, the call is stronger than ever for smaller capacity machines with specialist components. KTM has been out there taking extensive feedback as to what would be the best formula for an adventure motorcycle from its customers. After months of researching into what goes on the new ADV, a picture began to make itself apparent.
Most riders who have adventure in their veins prefer a rugged, go-anywhere motorcycle that can take a hit and still be able to deliver. An 800cc twin-cylinder motor, long travel suspension, low kerb weight, and long-range fuel tank capacity were the primary requirements that returned from the feedback. And guess what? The 2019 KTM 790 Adventure has it all!
At its heart lies a 799cc parallel-twin motor with a 270-degree firing interval. The engine produces 93hp, slightly less than what it is good for on board the 790 Duke. The 790 Adventure R boasts of 240mm suspension travel on both ends, and a ground clearance of 263mm. Dry weight is quoted at 189kg, and the fuel tank can store up to 20 litres of petrol. So expect a fully fuelled weight of a little over 200kg.
The design of the 2019 KTM 790 Adventure R is extraordinary. KTM has cleverly repositioned the fuel tank to give the bike the appearance of an Enduro bike. It looks like no other midsize ADV on the planet, making bikes like the BMW F850 GS and Triumph Tiger look tame in comparison. And considering KTM’s motorsports pedigree, the firm is not going to find it all difficult to sell the 790 Adventure R. Expect a formal launch in mid-2019.