New KTM 790
Secret 790 Adventure spied testing in Spain
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