New KTM 790

Se­cret 790 Ad­ven­ture spied test­ing in Spain

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Richard New­land DEPUTY ED­I­TOR

This is the first de­cent im­age of KTM’S next ad­ven­ture bike – the 790 Ad­ven­ture, which isn’t ex­pected to ar­rive in deal­ers un­til early 2019. KTM CEO, Ste­fan Pierer, re­cently con­firmed to MCN that this model was un­der de­vel­op­ment, but also said that we would see the 790 Duke road­ster first, which is ex­pected to ar­rive as a 2018 model – sug­gest­ing this bike is two years away.

The new 790 will ex­tend KTM’S al­ready strong ad­ven­ture range (see be­low), and is likely to add two mod­els into the mix, fol­low­ing the firm’s well-trod­den path of of­fer­ing a road ver­sion, and a more ag­gres­sively of­froad fo­cused R ver­sion.

This test mule looks likely to be the R model, with a 21in front rim, and 18in rear, as well as a mas­sive pair of fuel tanks that could see it be­ing ca­pa­ble of se­ri­ous dis­tances be­tween fill-ups. It’s de­void of the trade­mark orange frame and en­gine-sav­ing crash bars, but this is a very early – and very black – pro­to­type.

What stands out most is how se­ri­ously fo­cused this pro­to­type looks. There’s lit­tle to sug­gest that this is a soft, small-ca­pac­ity op­tion for those de­terred by the 1090 or 1290, but rather an even more au­then­tic world-crosser, ca­pa­ble of al­most en­duro bike lev­els of off-road­ing, while main­tain­ing enough man­ners and re­fine­ment to tour on tar­mac in com­fort. Think of it more as an over­sized, ver­sa­tile Dakar bike rather than an un­der­sized globetrotter. It’s the true spir­i­tual suc­ces­sor to the 640 Ad­ven­ture that ran from 1997 to 2007 – and which was pos­si­bly a decade ahead of its time.

While the front end ap­pears to be wholly bor­rowed from the 1090R, the swingarm is dif­fer­ent, and fea­tures a di­rectly mounted monoshock, re­mov­ing the com­plex­ity of a link­age, with the shock mounted more hor­i­zon­tally thanks to the space cre­ated by the par­al­lel twin’s lack of a rear-fac­ing cylin­der – also help­ing to cen­tralise mass, and de­liv­er­ing a pack­age that’s far more ac­ces­si­ble for field main­te­nance.

Clearly miss­ing any fin­ished body­work or light­ing so­lu­tions, we can as­sume it’ll mir­ror the 1090’s body­work fairly closely, while the pho­tos re­veal a huge LCD dash nestling up­right in the front cowl. Be­neath and be­hind the rider, the rear sub­frame is size­able and looks beefy enough to take a de­cent com­pli­ment of hard lug­gage.

This is a se­ri­ous ad­ven­ture tool that has the com­pe­ti­tion firmly in sight. As Pierer told MCN: “The Africa Twin needs to look out.”

‘There’s lit­tle to sug­gest this is a soft small ca­pac­ity op­tion – it’s an au­then­tic world-crosser’

KTM’S new par­al­lel twin will take on the Africa Twin

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