KTM 890 ADVENTURE R (2023 - on) Review


  • New, more aggressive KTM 450 Rally-inspired appearance
  • Reworked, fully adjustable WP XPLOR suspension and more off-road biased rubber
  • Enhanced tech, with a new ‘DEMO’ mode

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £300
Power: 104 bhp
Seat height: Tall (34.6 in / 880 mm)
Weight: Medium (432 lbs / 196 kg)


New £13,299
Used £12,300

Overall rating

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

KTM’s 890 Adventure R has been at the forefront of proper, off-road-capable middleweight adventure bikes since its launch in 2020. It’s inspired by their 450 Rally machinery that has been so successful in competition, developed by the very best of the best in order to create a truly capable machine that can handle just about anything, both on and off-road.

For 2023 there’s even more focus on the latter, at a time when improvement has never been so important. With competition from the likes of the retro-infused Ducati DesertX, the refined and capable Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro and the heritage-laden Honda Africa Twin to name but a few, the premium middleweight adventure sector has never been hotter.

Alongside its more aggressive appearance (that looks edgy and well-finished up close), the latest 890 Adventure R gains light updates to its fully adjustable WP XPLOR suspension, in order to further improve its off-road capabilities.

KTM 890 Adventure R spinning up in the dirt

These subtle changes don’t make a huge amount of difference in terms of feel, but the result is a package that works an absolute treat on tarmac or on dirt, where the 890 Adventure R feels more like a big enduro bike, rather than a middleweight adventure machine.

This is partly down the incredible trickery in weight distribution too, which sees the fuel tank carry a significant proportion of its volume far lower than you’d expect – the twin tanks extend down around the top end of the engine.

The engine remains unchanged from the previous generation, this is good news, as that thumping 889cc parallel twin unit is another huge jewel in the KTM’s crown. It gives you the best of both worlds, by offering a responsive and exciting, yet still predictable, delivery of power and torque, especially when switched to the softer, off-road guise. From B-road blasts to boggy green lanes and everything in between, it really is a peach of a motor.

KTM 890 Adventure R ridden by Carl Stevens

Perhaps the most pertinent updates to the new model come in the form of electronics though, and the addition of not just a 5” TFT dash that’s packed with features, but also the new ‘DEMO’ mode.

Unlike the previous model where you had to buy luxuries such as an up/down quickshifter, cruise control, Motor Slip Regulation and the additional ‘RALLY’ mode, you get of this all as standard… but only for the first 1500km. After that, you’ll have to head down to your local KTM dealer, hand over £859.87 if you want to unlock all of those features for you, which isn’t ideal considering how much these extras add to the riding experience.

You can specify individual features if you want, but the complete package works out cheaper than adding them one at a time. The range of adjustability in ‘RALLY’ mode is a must for avid off-roaders, and the comforts such as cruise control and a quickshifter not only work incredibly well but also go a long way to making it easy to ride fast and/or over distance on an adventure machine.

KTM 890 Adventure R view from onboard

There’s absolutely no denying that the 2023 890 Adventure R is a serious bit of kit. It is truly one of the most capable off-roading adventure machines that you can wheel out of a showroom, with a chassis, engine and electronics package that is not only incredibly exciting, but insanely competent on the road too.

That being said, it isn’t the comfiest machine for racking up the miles nor is it the most well-rounded, and paying to keep the electronic goodies you’ll come to love in the first 1500km is a bitter pill to swallow.

If you’re serious about exploration of the dirtiest, most hardcore kind, you’ll be hard stretched to find a better alternative, but if you’re a predominantly road-based rider and unlikely to tackle anything tougher than gentle green lanes and fire roads, the standard KTM 890 Adventure or Husqvarna Norden 901 (sharing the same platform as the KTM) would be the better machine for you. All in all? Yes, it’s a lot of money, but it’s a bloody awesome bit of kit that will work wonders for the most extreme adventurers among us.

KTM 890 Adventure R on a UK road

Ride quality & brakes

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

It’s fair to say that KTM have improved the ergonomics on the 890 Adventure R compared to the previous model, with the facelift and changes to the fairing, fuel tank and cowling making a noticeable difference.

Even so, the seat causes discomfort after a day in the saddle and even though it’s a roomy machine, the riding position is still fairly aggressive in terms of the seat height to the pegs. Although the screen is slightly bigger, you still don’t get a massive amount in terms of protection from the elements compared to more road-biased adventure models.

Alongside this, KTM have equipped the R with Mitas ENDURO TRAIL+ rubber. Considering their aggressively off-road looking appearance, I was pleasantly surprised at how well they coped with the KTM’s feisty power delivery and impressive braking power on the road in dry conditions, both in terms of grip and stability.

KTM 890 Adventure R updated for 2023

Sure, they’re not as effective as a road-biased tyre and still give a slight vibration through the ‘bars, but they’re ample enough to have a reasonable amount of fun on, and offer an impressive level of confidence and feel, even in muddy conditions when taken off-road. The brakes offer a huge amount of power and feel, with the tyres being the only limiting factor in their usage when anchoring up incredibly hard.


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

In a segment that’s almost overflowing with incredible machinery, it takes a lot to stand out from the crowd. Yet the 890 Adventure R does just that, with an engine that packs a seriously impressive punch, throughout the rev range. Although the delivery is aggressive, it’s always manageable and is incredibly addictive, which offers a true sense of excitement with every rotation of the right wrist.

For road riding it really is a hoot, which places the 890 Adventure R as one of the most aggressive and playful machines in the sector. Yet even so it is more than happy to bimble along quietly at motorway speeds and has an incredibly delicate clutch feeling, making city riding and heavy traffic a doddle to navigate.

Alongside its road manners, the 890 Adventure R’s powerplant handles itself with incredible poise off-road too, with the optional ‘RALLY’ mode offering a huge amount of adjustability that allows for a precise, smooth and effective delivery of power, no matter what the surface throws up.

KTM 890 Adventure R engine

Reliability & build quality

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

KTM have come a heck of a long way in terms of improving the reliability and build quality of their models, with the latest generation of the 890 Adventure models proving to be a truly solid bit of kit.

Since KTM built their Adventure range around the 890cc platform, there have been a few minor niggles, yet it has proved to be a largely reliable machine, no matter what owners have thrown at it.

Care and maintenance between dealer services, especially if you’re hammering it off road and jetwashing it regularly, will go a long way to ensure it’ll stand up to the kind of riding it was built for.

KTM 890 Adventure R ridden off road

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
3 out of 5 (3/5)

Although it’s not the most expensive model in the segment (especially when looking at the likes of the £14,795 Ducati DesertX), it isn’t on the cheaper end either. The base base model requires extra cash to be thrown at it to match the spec of a Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro at £14,195.

The KTM will cost almost the same as the Hinckley machine once you’ve achieved spec-parity. On the opposite end of the scale, a Yamaha Ténéré World Raid will set you back £11,910, while a basic BMW F850GS Adventure starts at just £11,750.

Yet no matter how much thought goes into the base value of the new 890 Adventure R, having to pay extra to enable the use of electronic hardware and features it already has after 1500km is a bitter pill to swallow, especially as it is as simple as plugging in a laptop.

KTM 890 Adventure R TFT dash

Software-based upgrades are already a staple in the four-wheeled world: we hope it doesn’t set precedent for manufacturers adding/withdrawing features at will, or introducing subscription models.


3 out of 5 (3/5)

The new dash is intuitive and easy to use and now gives extra functionality, including a turn-by-turn navigation system and a phone call out feature that will allow you to save ten of your favourite contacts.

But, considering the 890 Adventure R comes equipped with all the software and hardware to run the likes of cruise control, a quickshifter and even the additional ‘RALLY’ mode, you must remember that they are not standard fitment, and will disappear after 1500km. This does not include the additional cost of heated grips or a centre stand.

KTM 890 Adventure R front suspension


Engine size 889cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled parallel twin
Frame type Tubular steel frame
Fuel capacity 20 litres
Seat height 880mm
Bike weight 196kg
Front suspension 48mm fully adjustable WP XPLOR-USD forks
Rear suspension WP XPLOR PDS Shock absorber
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs with four piston radial calipers and cornering
Rear brake 260mm disc with single-piston caliper and cornering ABS
Front tyre size 90/90 x 21
Rear tyre size 150/70 x 18

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 62 mpg
Annual road tax £111
Annual service cost £300
New price £13,299
Used price £12,300
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 104 bhp
Max torque 73.8 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 275 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2019: KTM 790 Adventure launched as middleweight adventure bike option. Along with the standard bike, the KTM 790 Adventure R is created with higher-spec WP XPLOR suspension, increased ground clearance and more rugged styling.
  • 2021: KTM 890 Adventure R replaces the 790 version.
  • 2023: Updated KTM 890 Adventure R hits the market and Chinese-built 790 range is announced.

Other versions

  • KTM 890 Adventure – More road-biased machine with lower specification suspension.

Owners' reviews for the KTM 890 ADVENTURE R (2023 - on)

2 owners have reviewed their KTM 890 ADVENTURE R (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 890 ADVENTURE R (2023 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 5 out of 5 (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: 3.5 out of 5 (3.5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £300
5 out of 5 Great, capable bike, You just need to get used to nasty mechanical noise of the engine.
15 August 2023 by Bart

Year: 2023

Annual servicing cost: £300

Excellent build quality of suspension and chassis. Best available suspension for this type of bikes. Great on the road traction and off road capabilities. Great power and torque.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Ride quality is excellent. Very good brakes, excellent riding aids. Its brilliant.

Engine 4 out of 5

Lowered score, as biggest downside of this motorcycle is the fact it sounds like it will desintegrate any minute while idling... I mean i'm riding for 30 years and never ride such rattling motorcycle - even my DR650 with seized top end and welded camshaft pushers rattled less (!!!) Power and its delivery is great, but how it sounds on idle is simply embarrassing :-D I need to get used to it and then i will love the engine, but it might take time!

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

From new front tire is leaking air, and when spoken to dealer during firrst service i have been told its not covered by warranty as tires are consumable item... i have been forced to pay 50GBP for applying sealant (this didnt cure it either). So i''m paying from new for poor quality of OEM tires. Not happy. No other issues with bike, so 4 stars.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

First service cost was 300 GBP - pricey if you ask me. As for value of the bike its OK - you get what you paying for. Its fair.

Equipment 3 out of 5

"Demo" mode with tech pack is a bit dodgy move. I also dont like the fact you do not get printed version of owners manual or service book - you can buy owners manual in a book form if you want... Shame. Service book is replaced by dealership record in their system, so if you want to do it yourself you wont have a book to document it yourself. All of this make me think i'm dealing with some second hand car dealer rather than esteemed manufacturer.

5 out of 5 Ktm 890 adventure r ,great bike
12 June 2023 by Tony

Year: 2023

Fantastic bike, does everything it says it will and more

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Can not find fault stops very well

Engine 5 out of 5

Power is great in different modes The technology makes the bike very responsive

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

No issues

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Tech pack is a sour point in my opinion

Equipment 4 out of 5

Tyres are great on road and suitable off not great in offroad wet conditions

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