Pointy to perfect: Roland Sands creates a classic look for KTM 790 Adventure

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Californian master custom bike builder Roland Sands has been up to his bonkers bike-building ways once again with this ‘Urban Assault’ adventure weapon.

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Based on a customer’s KTM 790 Adventure, the bike has been given a whole new look via a customised 1970s Suzuki GT750 ‘kettle’ fuel tank, classic KTM front and rear mudguards, custom race plates, Husqvarna Vitpilen seat and Triumph headlight complete with custom grille. Plus, it gains an Akrapovic exhaust, Rotopax auxiliary fuel tank and Burly tailbag, along with one-off details.

“A friend asked us to tear apart his brand new 2019 KTM 790 and build it into more of a classic form while keeping all the function,” explained Sands.

“So with what started as a bike with a very pointy, aggressive aesthetic, with bright orange and sharp lines, we tried our best to then meet in the middle.

KTM 790 Adventure custom rear

“The bike has now become pretty unrecognisable from the tank-line up. Below the tank-line, however, the base has been kept relatively the same minus the fact that we changed the radiator placement and reconfigured the stock skid plate to work with the radiator.”

And that tank caused all sorts of problems. Sands added: “It was mind-numbingly difficult to make that old tank work, but it was the pivot around which the rest of the design came together. We wouldn’t use that tank again!”

The fuel tank, which took fuel capacity down from 14 litres to just over 10, came from stunt star Travis Pastrana’s 750 two-stroke flattrack bike. The radiators were also re-shaped and positioned vertically, instead of horizontally, so that they could be tucked away neatly.

Sands and his team worked hard to keep the functionality and modern performance offered by the KTM, while creating a much more classic look.

Phil West

By Phil West

MCN Contributor and bike tester.