New KTM 890 line-up spied with one very road-focused version

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Our spies in Austria have spotted KTM testing a trio of new 890 Adventure prototypes showing how the range is set to expand when the next-generation model is revealed.

Currently there are two parallel twin Adventure options. You either bag the £11,499 base version of the 890 Adventure or shell out an extra £1k for the more off-road-oriented 890 Adventure R. In future, it looks like the range will grow to three bikes, with a road-biased 890 Adventure S added to the mix.

The most obvious change, shared by all the derivatives, is a new fairing. Where the current model has a separate headlight and nose cowl, sitting well away from the forward-jutting side panels and giving a rather unusual, insectoid look, the new machines all have a much more conventional design.

More spyshots on MCN

The new KTM 890 Adventure models are expected to appear in 2023

The side panels now reach up to the carried-over headlight, which is entirely surrounded by a transparent screen moulding – allowing a variety of different widths and heights.

As on today’s models, the R has a lower, narrower screen than the base version. The prototype for the new ‘S’ was missing its screen, but is likely to use a relatively tall, wide design.

Further back, the 890 Adventure’s unusual, saddle-style fuel tank, with two low-slung sections either side of the engine joined by a common filler neck, remains, although there’s a tweak to the upper part of its moulding to suit the revised bodywork.

Below it, a new bash plate section – part plastic, part metal – is fitted to the base and ‘S’ models, while the next-gen ‘R’ has a more aggressive, all-alloy design.

The tail unit and exhaust, along with the chassis and engine, appear to be carried over from the current 890 Adventure. The unaltered exhaust suggests that while KTM are believed to be developing a larger, ‘990’ version of the LC8c parallel twin, it’s not fitted to the Adventure for this update.

The new ‘S’ version is the most radically new model. It loses the 21in front/18in rear, wire wheels of the base model and ‘R’, replacing them with the 17in alloys of the 890 Duke. At the same time, it gets the front hugger from the Duke to suit its road-oriented intentions.

Its existence allows the Adventure to take on a slightly more off-road style, with knobblier tyres and the high-mounted, motocross-style mudguard.

Both the base model and the new ‘S’ version use WP Apex suspension, while the ‘R’ uses higher-spec WP Xplor kit. It’s odds-on that the revamped 890 Adventure range will debut later this year as the 2023 line up.

A new front fairing features on the test bikes

KTM 890 Adventure range in detail:

  • New plastic Tail is unchanged, as is exhaust, but the front side fairings are entirely new.
  • Range topper Range-topping R gets white-painted frame, Metzeler Karoo 3 tyres on wire wheels, and higher-spec suspension.
  • Extra, extra! New fairing features auxiliary lights on prototype ‘base’ model – likely to be an optional extra – while instruments are on a new TFT dash.
  • Road bias New road-biased ‘S’ model gets 180/55 17 rear and 120/70 17 front Continental ContiRoadAttack 3 tyres.
  • Off-road slant Base version of the 890 gets more off-road slant with high front mudguard and Pirelli Scorpion Rally rubber.


2021 KTM 890 Adventure R long-term test video:

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Ben Purvis

By Ben Purvis