KTM 790 ADVENTURE (2019 - 2020) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£340|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The new for 2019 KTM 790 Adventure is the ever so slightly tamer and more road biased version of the flagship 790 Adventure R. It’s KTM’s latest take on the adventure bike class and a step away from 240kg +, 125bhp + bikes that currently define the class.
Although more road focussed, it can’t hide its off-road credentials and while it has less ground clearance, suspension travel and lower-spec forks, it retains its true adventure credentials thanks to its true off-road wheel sizes: 21” front and 18” rear.
Well-equipped as standard, there are plenty of creature comforts and tech to play with, all the info displayed neatly on the TFT dash.
As an overall package it feels classy, substantial and confidence inspiring. Perfectly suited for any rider who wants to get more out of their adventure bike and feel less intimidated by the physical size and power of modern machines.
See our video review of the 790 Adventure and Adventure R here:
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
With WP suspension front and rear the bike feels well supported and firm - all of which is helped by its relative lack of weight. The rear shock is adjustable for pre-load, but the forks are non-adjustable yet still deliver good feedback on or off-road.
While the riding position feels focussed, it’s comfortable with the firm seat giving the support needed for long days. There is plenty of room to move backward and forwards and the handlebar clamp position can be adjusted to suit within a range of 40mm.
The low-slung fuel tanks which sit either side of the engine mean it’s well balanced and has a low centre of gravity, and that helps technical riding and high speed stability.
The 830mm seat height feels right for the size of bike and can be raised to 850mm with a new seat or lowered right down to 800mm with a lower seat and shorter rear shock.
There’s plenty of braking power on tap thanks to the twin 320mm discs and four pot calipers with plenty of feel for off-road performance. It features specific road and off-road ABS as well as cornering ABS.
EngineNext up: Reliability
Power comes courtesy of the same 799cc double overhead cam parallel twin motor first introduced in the 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 850GS, but due to its weight – 43kg lighter than the Honda - it feels lively and more responsive.
While it’s not fast like its 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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Owners' reviews are limited but reliability isn't flagged as an issue. MCN also ran this bike's successor - the KTM 890 Adventure R - on the MCN Fleet in 2021 and had no reliability issues.
The reliability section in owners' reviews for the KTM 790 Duke does contain a few issues with reports of water ingress in switchgear, leaking coolant and oil, sensor failures and jerky quickshifters all mentioned.
Service intervals are generous, with an oil change every 9320 miles.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
You get a lot of tech and equipment as standard on the KTM, but there are a host of extras available including:
- Rally engine mode
- Quickshifter up and down
- Cruise control
- Heavy duty wheels
- Extra protection
- Heated grips
Using class leading Bosch electronics, there are three 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. This is an optional extra.
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.
|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|
|Front suspension||WP-USD Ø 43 mm|
|Rear suspension||WP 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"|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||-|
|Annual road tax||£101|
|Annual service cost||£340|
|Used price||£7,200 - £10,000|
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||95 bhp|
|Max torque||65 ft-lb|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
Model history & versions
KTM 790 Adventure R - a more hardcore off-roader
Owners' reviews for the KTM 790 ADVENTURE (2019 - 2020)
2 owners have reviewed their KTM 790 ADVENTURE (2019 - 2020) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£340|
Annual servicing cost: £400
I come to motorcycling late in life. I played with my brother's motorbike as a youth and rode illegally. When I got to 17 I drove cars for 30 years then traffic drove me to a 3 wheeler because I could drive it on a car license. Once I had made the transition, I went and did a bike license but in Spain you cannot do a direct entry so I did the A2 and bought the 790. I bought it because it is a light bike with good performance and offroad capability. Bike is expensive and some of the extras should be standard at the this price. (i.e. centre stand, cruise control) the KTM my ride app sucks. You have to buy it and then it doesn't work properly. it cannot connect properly to either Iphone or android and only the Nav part works not the phone. you cannot dial no.s only receive a call if someone calls you. and you have to pay for it to get it unlocked!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love the bike and I go out on it to ride for fun. I use my 3 wheeler scooter mostly for commuting as it has better weather protection, is easier to ride and bomb proof. But for touring and fun riding the KTM is the machine of choice.
It is a great tourer and can ride for hours I did Madrid to Malaga and back in a weekend (that's 5 hours each way). Brakes are excellent and the handling is really good and predictable particularly at high speed
this is a great engine but I am waiting to get the A2 restriction removed as it obviously reduces power and torque, but even restricted you have most of what you need for daily life. The bottom end is great I will have to see about top end when they take the restrictor off in July
When I bought it it kept stalling don't know whether this was just the engine was tight or what? I have done 22,000 KM now in 17 months and I have had no failures or problems
I understand that the 30k service is expensive
Everything works but the quickshifter can under certain circumstances lead to a jolt on upshift in low gears and I have had quite a number of false neutrals. I don't know if this is inexperience and carelessness or if this is to do with the bike. Love the cruise control it is a great addition for longer trips and legal compliance on speed managed roads. Pannier and KTM topbox are rather small inside considering their outside dimensions. My scooter topbox will hold 2 fullsized helmets while the KTM struggles to hold one. I had heated seat and grips added when I moved to Poland they work fine but the heated seat does not appear to turn off once on and you aev to turn teh bike off to get it to turn off.
Buying experience: I bought new from a dealer. The problem is that as an A2 license holder most shops are not prepared for an A2 license holder and do not have a restricted bike to do a test ride so you are more or less forced to buy the bike without a test ride....!!!!!!!!!!!!! The will of course restrict the bike for you once you have paid the money! And only then! In Spain they are obsessed with the certification of A2 I had to get it inspected (MOT) then the bike shop did the restriction (electronically) and certified it and they took it round to the test centre again to get the vehicle registration logged as a restricted A2 model. Just to make it easier they refused to register it until I had insurance and most insurers with internet insurance will not give you a policy without a plate an obvious catch 22.!
Annual servicing cost: £270
This is the best balanced bike i have ever ridden. Felt natural from the start. I mostly use if for commuting in town (workdays), weekend road rides, going into forest track rides. It has a shorter seat than the 790R, which is why i chose the 790. Nothing has gone wrong with it. As with any bike, test ride it before you buy it.
Brakes are great. At start seat was uncomfortable - after 1 hour needed a break. But it has bedded in, and not uncomfortable now - did a 4 hour ride between breaks. Taken it on forest track which hadn't been graded in a long time with exposed rocks. Really good going - though i should have taken the rubber inserts out of the pegs, and will likely add handlebar risers. Weight is low down.
Swapped BMW F800GS for KTM 1290 Superduke R then swapped that for this bike, so the engine is a totally different, but compares well to previous BMW F800GS. Engine is still warming up. The bike is really quiet. The akrapovic exhaust would be great, but at a cost.
Only done 1500 km - no issues. Low fuel does come on a bit early (with about 4-5 L remaining). It probably does take 1500-2000 km to bed in, you can really notice how it improves as time goes by.
15000 km servicing periods. I did a highway ride, got 434 km before the fuel light came on, then filled up with 15.5 L - so over 500km definitely possible. During town commute, I get about 400km on a tank.
It has most of what i want pivot pegs, hand guards, bash plate, doesn't feel like it needs crash bars, seat started out uncomfortable but after a few weeks it is fine so i wont be going for comfort seat. It is missing heated grips as standard (ordered), missing centre stand (but that would just add weight), cruise control not standard (probably will buy that later). I'm still deciding on screen for motorway riding. The bike came out before all the equipment was available. TFT screen works well, but i have to get a handle on the connectivity - currently leaving the sat nav to my phone attached to the handlebars.
Buying experience: Purchased in Australia KTM Brisbane from a dealer - went in for Superduke servicing, they gave me a 790 Adventure for the day. Brilliant. Went back on Saturday, got a good trade in deal, purchased the bike.