KTM make brilliant big-capacity adventure bikes and now they look set to unleash an 800cc contender to take on rivals from Honda, Triumph and BMW. This all-new KTM 800 Adventure model is expected to be officially revealed next year.
Our long-lens shots were grabbed near KTM’s factory in Mattighofen, Austria, and show for the first time the bike which will share the 800cc parallel-twin that will debut first in the KTM 800 Duke later this year (as reported in last week’s MCN). Our photographer only managed to grab a handful of spy shots before the prototype disappeared from view, but we can see enough detail to judge how critical this machine is to KTM as the firm plugs gaps in its range.
The entire 800 family is an important development for KTM and bosses have pumped a huge amount of time and money into the new engine and chassis platforms which will serve as the underpinnings for a range of both KTM and Husqvarna motorcycles.
Husqvarna were bought from BMW to be a part of the KTM empire several years ago with the intention that the brand will become Europe’s third best-selling manufacturer with a range of bikes that will share every engine used by KTM from 125cc through to 1301cc.
This new Adventure offering is expected to appeal to those wanting something less intimidating – and maybe easier on the wallet – than the current 1050 or 1190 options.
KTM clearly want this machine to be capable in all conditions, especially off road, and will have taken on board just how well the Honda Africa Twin has sold this year. The less powerful, softer Honda, at £10,499 is the UK’s best-selling bike over 125cc so far in 2016.
The Triumph Tiger 800 range and the BMW F800GS models will also be in KTM’s line of fire.
The new Adventure 800 boasts an all-new swingarm, chassis, exhaust system, subframe, fuel tank and front end, meaning that won’t be much, beyond the motor, that it shares with the planned new Duke model.
The rough state of this bike suggests it’s still a fairly long way from a showroom. KTM boss Stefan Pierer recently told MCN that the 800 Duke would be the first of the new 800s to appear with an adventure model to follow.
While Pierer wouldn’t be drawn on the exact timing of either model, MCN understands the 800 Duke will be launched later this year as a 2017 model and the 800 Adventure will follow in late 2017 as a 2018 model and it’s expected to cost around £9000.
Read more in this week's issue of MCN, on sale now.
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