KTM 790 ADVENTURE (2023 - on) Review


  • The first entirely Chinese-built KTM-branded parallel twin model
  • 93.9bhp parallel-twin engine updated from original 790
  • Able to be restricted to A2-legal if required

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £250
Power: 94 bhp
Seat height: Tall (33.9 in / 860 mm)
Weight: Medium (481 lbs / 218 kg)


New £9,999
Used £7,800 - £8,500

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

In a bold move by KTM, the new 790 Adventure (and 790 Duke) is built in its entirety (including its engine) by CFMoto in China and not KTM in Austria like their other adventure bikes.

This cost-saving decision has seen KTM able to offer the 790 Adventure at under £10,000, putting it head-to-head with the new breed of middleweight adventure bike rivals from Japan.

Not only that, as the 790 engine makes less power than the 890, it can be restricted down for A2 licence holders where the 890 can’t, expanding its potential customer base. Is KTM’s decision to outsource the production a smart one? On the evidence of the 790 Adventure, you have to say so.

2023 KTM 790 Adventure right side

A really impressive middleweight adventure bike, the 790 Adventure comes with angle-responsive electronics as standard, something all its Japanese-built rivals lack, as well as the option of adding cruise control, again a feature noticeable by its absence on the Yamaha Ténéré 700, the new Honda Transalp and the Suzuki V-Strom 800DE.

Great fun to ride with excellent suspension and a strong motor, there is little to dislike about the 790 Adventure and lots to really admire. Does it matter who actually built it? Not really, the world is now a global marketplace and what’s more important is its fundamental design and ensuring the quality of the final product doesn’t slip.

If KTM can keep a tight rein on these aspects, and there is no reason why they can’t, the 790 Adventure is a really good middleweight adventure bike with an impressively high spec list and very competitive price tag that just happens to be built in China and not Austria. The ‘demo mode’ will inevitably lead to disgruntled customers but that’s a small black mark against an otherwise very good machine.

2023 KTM 790 Adventure o the road

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Despite the WP APEX forks and shock being a generation behind the units used on the upgraded 2023 KTM 890 Adventure, on the road they perform excellently.

The forks lack any adjustability and the shock only gets adjustable spring preload with but the quality of the damping is so good you don’t really feel the need to fiddle with settings. Delivering just the right amount of travel to absorb bumps but lacking any pitching sensation unless you are really upping the pace, the 790 is beautifully composed on its suspension and a joy to ride with a really agile chassis.

It’s also nice to see KTM have armed it with twin four-piston radial brakes, braided lines and quality Pirelli Scorpion STR tyres, an area they could have skimped on to save cash but haven’t. With a 20-litre tank, the 790 Adventure should be good for over 200-mile stints between fill-ups and ergonomically it is a comfortable bike.

2023 KTM 790 Adventure cornering


Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The 790 engine is not a lower-capacity 890 motor, it is based around the previous generation of parallel twin’s architecture, however KTM have upgraded it for use in the new 790 models.

Now featuring a 20% increase in rotating mass, reworked throttle bodies and revised ECU settings, these small refinements have had a significant effect on its character. Far more refined than the rattly old 790, the new motor still has a bit of welcome KTM spirit but it is less mechanically noisy and much smoother to ride. And fast.

More powerful than all of its middleweight rivals, the 790 drives strongly from everywhere in its rev range with lots of low-end grunt where the Honda Transalp can feel a bit lacking, more excitement than the flat-feeling Yamaha Ténéré and even better performance than the Suzuki V-Strom 800DE.

2023 KTM 790 Adventure engine

For slow speed work the 790 features an updated clutch, which is lovely and light in its action, and the improved Quickshifter+ system has a positive action in both directions. But you need to pay extra for the downshift function, which is annoying...

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The obvious question is whether the 790 looks or feels a Chinese-built product compared to an Austrian-built one (all 890s are built in Austria, including their engines) and the answer is simple – no. The 790 Adventure looks, feels and rides every bit an Austrian-built model.

There are no visible stickers signifying its origin, the finish appears good and it has neat touches such as span-adjustable brake and clutch levers, a proper tool kit, Pirelli tyres and an adjustable seat height that makes it feel a high quality product with no corners cut. Unless you know your KTM models, you would assume it came out of Mattighofen and not Hangzhou.

It is worth also noting that KTM have been working with CFMoto since 2013 and in 2021 CFMoto opened a dedicated KTM production facility in China, which aims to produce its 350,000th bike this year! And CFMoto are hardly amateurs when it comes to building vehicles as they make over 600,000 of them (motorcycles, ATVs and side-by-sides) a year! But what of reliability?

2023 KTM 790 Adventure onboard

Owners report that KTM’s vehicles aren’t the most reliable and that is a bit of a worry. As KTM have upgraded the 790 engine you have to assume they will have also addressed any known issues with the motor but reliability is a bit of a concern. A two-year warranty is standard.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

At £9999 the 2023 790 Adventure is £2000 cheaper than the KTM 890 Adventure and also very comparable to the Japanese-built middleweight adventure bikes.

The Yamaha Ténéré 700 is £111 more than the 790 and lacks most of the KTM’s electronics while the Suzuki V-Strom 800DE is £666 more but comes with up/down shifter as standard.

The Honda Transalp is the cheapest middleweight at £9499 but a quickshifter (up and down) is an extra £240, although connectivity is standard. None of the Japanese bikes have angle-responsive safety systems or the option of cruise control.

2023 KTM 790 Adventure WP Apex fork

When it comes to running costs, the 790 Adventure has long 9300-mile service intervals with a valve-clearance check at the 18,600-mile service.


4 out of 5 (4/5)

The 790 Adventure comes with KTM’s ‘demo mode’, which will cause issues between customers and dealers. As standard you get cornering ABS (with off-road mode) and angle-responsive traction control as well as three rider modes (Road, Rain and Off-road) and an upshifter.

But ‘demo mode’ gives you access to all the optional extras, which include cruise control, a downshifter, Rally power mode and MSR– but only for 930 miles until it automatically turns off.

After this point, you need to pay extra for either each function separately (cruise control is £252.79, Quickshifter+ is £361.51, etc) or buy the £859.87 Tech Pack. These hidden costs do tend to stick in the throat somewhat.

2023 KTM 790 Adventure TFT dash

Also, adding connectivity to the TFT dash is £144.96 extra. A centre stand is a £180.36 extra. On a positive note, the KTM arrives on quality Pirelli Scorpion STR tyres, has braided brake lines with radial four-piston calipers, adjustable span brake and clutch levers, a comprehensive toolkit and adjustable seat height.


Engine size 799cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 8v, parallel-twin
Frame type Tubular steel trellis
Fuel capacity 20 litres
Seat height 860mm
Bike weight 218kg
Front suspension 43mm, WP APEX forks, non-adjustable
Rear suspension Single WP APEX rear shock, ad-justable preload
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs with four-piston radial calipers. Cornering ABS
Rear brake 260mm single disc with two-piston caliper. Cornering ABS
Front tyre size 90/90 x 21
Rear tyre size 150/70 x 18

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 51 mpg
Annual road tax £111
Annual service cost £250
New price £9,999
Used price £7,800 - £8,500
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 94 bhp
Max torque 64.2 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 220 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2023: KTM 790 Adventure – Brand new model from KTM. Built entirely in China by CFMoto, the 790 Adventure is an upgraded version of the old 790 Adventure model.

Owners' reviews for the KTM 790 ADVENTURE (2023 - on)

2 owners have reviewed their KTM 790 ADVENTURE (2023 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your KTM 790 ADVENTURE (2023 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Engine: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Value vs rivals: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Equipment: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £250
5 out of 5 A real Gem of a Bike.
16 October 2023 by RedlandRog

Year: 2023

Annual servicing cost: £250

A good all round bike on and off road. A hefty £2000 cheaper than the 890 but with little compromise. Finish and build quality as good as any Austrian made bike.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

A really good all round bike - rally mode gives the trademark KTM 'hooligan' feel to the ride. 2 up no problem at all.

Engine 5 out of 5

Broad spread of torque from low revs with more than adequate power unless you are in the MotoGP! Engine can sound a little rattly but not really an issue.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Too early to comment on reliabilty but my previous KTM had no issues.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Average costs compared to other manufacturers.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Tyres fitted from new are road biased. Recommend tech pack which includes several riding modes, variable traction control and cruise control. Additional price of these is a good bargaining point for any deals.

Buying experience: Boiught from the local dealer at a very competitive price when compared to similar bikes from other dealers/manufacturers.

4 out of 5 KTM 790 Adv S 2023 white and orange
25 September 2023 by Pedro Almeida

Version: S

Year: 2023

I'm from Lisbon Portugal, 3 weeks of honership, just a small issue of eletronic calibration when in reserv the engine started to malfunction, dealership quickly solved it. Apart from that a great bike for the money, comes with all the bells and whistles, beside what MCN reported ad up things like iluminated buttons and steering dumper.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Strong breaks, Cornering ABS and TC, etc. Good seating position just slightly fowardly, could do with a slightly bigger windsheeld. Tubeless tyres are an ease of mind.

Engine 4 out of 5

Yes it will do over 200kms/h and is fast reeving. Economy expect 4.2 ltr/100. Not 5* because there is a small lag in the lower revs, but again, as more go than any japonese or Tuareg of is class. And, like all euro5 motors yes sends heat to your legs at any signal stop.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

So far so good. Had a KTM 990 before (a very different beast) and an upgrade in preceved quality is very noticiable.

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5

To soon to tell but valve clearance wiil cost arround 500€ as informed by dealership.

Equipment 5 out of 5

As it all you name it, just have to part with adjustble suspension (890 or R) and demo mode that after some miles makes U pay again form what U allready are using (in all fairness KTM is giving us a choice to see and taste before buying I get it... but...)

Buying experience: Dealership in Benfica Lisbon is a 5* and I strongly recomend a visit to all...

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