Chris Birch on a KTM 890 Adventure R Makes us Feel Very Inadequate

Watch as off-road legend Chris Birch pits a middleweight adventure bike against a KTM 450 XC-F


Mid-weight adventure bikes seem to be getting more and more capable with every new model, and the evidence of this can be seen, with manufacturers regularly taking near-stock machines and pitting them against some of the toughest off-road races.

Probably the most capable of all the mid-weight adventure machines (in my opinion, anyway) is the KTM 890 Adventure R. It’s a bike honed for and dedicated to performing at its absolute best in the off-road environment. We didn’t realise it was quite this good, though!

It’s being ridden by off-road and enduro legend Chris Birch, KTM’s adventure ambassador. Born in Scotland and raised in New Zealand, Birch found fame racing in hard enduro events and has even taken on the Dakar Rally, bringing it home in 26th place and crossing the line as the second-placed rookie in just his first rally event.

This latest video from KTM isn’t based around a competition though, as it shows Chris and his unnamed friend taking on the desert in Utah. While it’s not a competition, it is interesting to see how close the off-road ability of the 200+ kg adventure bike is compared to the lighter and much more focused 450cc KTM enduro machine. 

The bike is powered by an 889 cc parallel-twin engine, while the chassis is highlighted by WP XPLOR suspension front and rear. It is all helped along by off-road specific electronics like ABS, Motor Slip Regulation, and Traction Control. Its base price is £13,999 - just don’t expect to be as good as Mr Birch when you buy one!

KTM 890 Adventure and KTM 890 Adventure R review 2021

KTM 890 Adventure and KTM 890 Adventure R review 2021 | On and Off-Road Review