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KTM 790 ADVENTURE R (2019-on) Review

Published: 06 November 2018

Updated: 06 November 2018

KTM 790 Adventure R is a breath of fresh air

KTM 790 Adventure R in the sand

KTM 790 Adventure R is a breath of fresh air

  • At a glance
  • 799cc  -  95 bhp
  • 280 miles range
  • High seat height (880mm)
  • New: £11,999

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

With its true adventure bike stature along with its light weight the new 790 R is a breath of fresh air in the adventure bike class. Instead of ever bigger, heavier and more powerful, huge-capacity bikes that dominate the class the KTM is coming at things in a different way.

Its top spec suspension and true off-road wheel sizes 21” front and 18” rear it has a go anywhere feel whether that’s on road or off.

Well equipped as standard there are plenty of creature comforts and tech to play with and all the info is displayed neatly on the TFT dash.

As an overall package it feels classy, substantial and confidence inspiring especially off-road where it excels. Perfectly suited for a rider with off-road experience or someone who wants to undertake their first true adventure ride but is currently not willing to take their big heavy adventure bike onto the dirt.

Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5

With fully adjustable, top spec WP suspension front and rear you can make the bike as soft or stiff as you like. In standard settings it’s taut but compliant on road and its lack of weight (189kg) means it doesn’t sag down deep into its stroke the moment you take it off the side stand.

While the riding position feels focused it’s comfortable with the firm seat giving the support needed for long days. There is plenty of room to move backwards and forwards and the handlebar clamp position can be adjusted to suit within a range of 40mm.

Off-road the suspension does an incredible job of ironing out bumps even in the harsh confounds of the world launch in Morocco. Helped by the low slung fuel tanks which sit either side of the engine it’s well balanced and its low centre of gravity helps technical riding and high speed stability.

The 880mm seat height is reasonably tall, but with the bike being thin and light it’s easy to get your feet down and handle at slow speed.

There’s plenty of braking power on tap thanks to the twin 320mm discs and four pot calipers but with plenty of feel for off road performance. It features specific road and off-road ABS as well as cornering ABS.

Engine 4 out of 5

Power comes courtesy of the same 799cc double over head cam parallel twin motor first introduced in the KTM 790 Duke in 2018 but with revised mapping for more mid range.

With 95bhp at 8,000 rpm and 65ft/lb torque at 6,600rpm it has similar figures to the Honda Africa Twin or BMW F850GS, but due to its weight – 43kg lighter than the Honda it feels livelier and more responsive.

While it’s not fast like it’s big brother KTM 1290 Super Adventure or Ducati Multistrada Enduro what it does have is easy to access and fun to play with. There is a great throttle connection giving precise control everywhere in the rev range.

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

It’s an all-new model so no user data is currently available.  Service intervals are generous, with an oil change every 9320 miles and valve check at 18,000.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

You get a lot of tech and equipment as standard on the KTM, but there are a host of extras available including.

  • Quickshifter up and down
  • Cruise control
  • Luggage
  • Heavy duty wheels
  • Extra protection
  • Heated grips

Equipment 4 out of 5

Utilising class-leading Bosch electronics there are four engine modes including the new Rally mode, which enables you to play with the amount of rear wheel slip easily from levels one to nine whilst riding. It means you can tailor the electronics to the terrain from wet roads and mud through smooth tarmac or deep sand.

Cornering ABS is standard along with specific road and off-road settings. Off road changes the parameters of the front ABS while allowing the rear wheel to lock.

The TFT dash is clear, concise and not overbearing, instead displaying the info you need with the right priorities. The up and down quick shifter is an optional extra, but works well and makes clean positive gear changes.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2019
Year discontinued -
New price £11,999
Used price -
Warranty term Two years
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £91
Annual service cost -
Max power 95 bhp
Max torque 65 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption -
Tank range 280 miles
Engine size 799cc
Engine type 2-cylinder, 4-stroke, DOHC Parallel twin
Frame type Chromium-molybdenum-steel frame using the engine as stressed element, powder coated
Fuel capacity 20 litres
Seat height 880mm
Bike weight 189kg
Front suspension WP-USD Ø 48 mm
Rear suspension WP PDS shock absorber
Front brake 2 × radially mounted 4 piston caliper, brake disc Ø 320 mm
Rear brake 2 piston floating caliper, brake disc Ø 260 mm
Front tyre size 90/90-21"
Rear tyre size 150/70-18"

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Photo Gallery

  • KTM 790 Adventure R in the sand
  • KTM 790 ADVENTURE R  (2019-on)
  • KTM 790 Adventure R on a dune
  • KTM 790 ADVENTURE R  (2019-on)
  • KTM 790 Adventure R rooster tail
  • KTM 790 ADVENTURE R  (2019-on)
  • KTM 790 Adventure R ruin
  • KTM 790 ADVENTURE R  (2019-on)
  • KTM 790 Adventure R
  • KTM 790 ADVENTURE R  (2019-on)
  • KTM 790 Adventure R dust trail
  • KTM 790 ADVENTURE R  (2019-on)
  • KTM 790 Adventure R getting sideways
  • KTM 790 Adventure R in the desert
  • KTM 790 Adventure R off-road
  • KTM 790 Adventure R launch
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