New Bikes

KTM 790 Adventure prototype revealed

Next year’s hot adventure bike ticket?

OK, so there’s no surprises left in KTM’s 790 Adventure. We’ve seen the spy shots, we’ve seen last year’s concept version. And now 150 harcore KTM fans have seen the real thing – at least in prototype form – on the firm’s European Rally Adventure in Sardinia.

The bike was unveiled at the exclusive event, albeit in much the same form as has been seen in recent spy pictures. In other words, it’s all-black and somewhat battered. But it’s just a lick of orange paint away from being the production model you’ll be able to buy next year.

In terms of specs, KTM says the RC8c parallel twin, shared with the impressive 790 Duke, is retuned for a wider torque spread. No word on what that does to its peak power, though.

It’s also got WP suspension, natch, and more electronics than Apollo 11. Exact details are still secret, but KTM confirms it includes lean-sensors, which suggests cornering ABS and traction control will be fitted.

The 790 Adventure’s design is rather unusual, with low-mounted fuel tanks that keep the centre of gravity near the ground. KTM says they’re big enough for a 400km range, and the design also allows the use of a lower seat than you’d expect on an adventure bike. That low seat is accompanied by ‘adjustable ergonomics’ – presumably meaning the bars and pegs can be repositioned to suit individual preferences.

Chris Birch, eight times New Zealand enduro champion, rode the bike and said: “I’m honestly blown away by the new KTM 790 Adventure R. Naturally, I’ve got a lot of experience on enduro bikes and the awesome ability of the big KTM Adventure models, and this just feels like the perfect combination of them both. Obviously, what I rode is still a prototype, but it´s looking in terrific shape. Can’t wait to ride the final product!”

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