Stating that KTM is a specialist in all things adventure and off-road is like saying the sun rises every morning—it’s stating the obvious. The Orange brand has built a solid reputation in the filed, thanks among other things to its Dakar domination for the past decade or so. While the company has a well-garnished lineup of small displacements, its mid-range selection lacked a bit of variety. Until now.
Having relied long-enough on its 690 Enduro R to offer customers a travel-friendly-ish mid-range option, KTM finally bridged the gap with the introduction of the all-new 790 Adventure and Adventure R. The new 790 is a cross between enduro and proper adventure bike with a lighter weight than most ADVs, but a riding geometry and saddle perfect for longer trips.
At 416lb dry, the bike is fairly light—compared to other ADVs at least—which means riders can venture off-road with more confidence, a criticism people have had about bigger, bulkier adventure models too big and heavy to be proper off-roaders. Support is provided by a WP, 43-mm inverted fork at the front and a WP monoshock at the back, both offering 200mm (7,87 inches) of travel. The seat towers at 33 inches, which positions it towards the middle of the ADV seat height range, alongside the Honda Africa Twin and the Yamaha Super Ténéré.
Gallery: 2019 KTM 790 Adventure and Adventure R
The bike is built on a chromium-molybdenum-steel frame that uses the engine as a stressed component to provide flexible rigidity. At the core of the 790 is the Duke 790’s 799cc parallel twin rated at an exciting 94 horsepower and 65 lb-ft of torque. The liquid-cooled block is teamed with a six-speed transmission with a PASC anti-hopping clutch. Sitting on top of the frame is a 20-liter (5,28-gallon) gas tank which should provide the bike with road trip friendly range of roughly 250-260 miles. Stopping power is provided by a 320-mm disc pinched by two four-piston calipers at the front and a 260-mm disc teamed with a two-piston floating caliper at the back.
While the 790 Adventure is a bit more of a road/off-road hybrid, the 790 Adventure R takes us further down the trail, away from civilization. The R adds a number of off-road oriented components, including a shorter shield, longer mirror stems, a set of all-terrain tires, as well as a WP 48-mm USD fork and WP-PDS monoshock allowing for 240mm (9.44 inches) of travel.
Both trims are offered with the ABS with cornering technology and an off-road mode that frees the rear wheel and reduces the system’s intervention at the front when selected.
The 2019 KTM 790 Adventure is offered at a starting price of $12,499 while the 790 Adventure R additional features are offered starting at $13,499.