[KTM]

KTM 890 Adv R vs KTM 790 Adv R

3 months ago | Words: Andy Wigan | Photos: Flightcraft / KTM Images

Since its arrival back in 2019, KTM’s 790 Adventure R has unequivocally established itself as the most off-road capable adventure bike on the market. And despite not being the cheapest machine in the segment, it’s sold well by appealing to a broad cross-section of riders.

On the one hand, with its lighter weight and a low seat height, the 790 offered a less intimidating pathway into adventure riding for inexperienced riders. On the other, its firm suspension appealed to all those experienced riders who like to take their adventure bikes off-road a lot and could never find a machine with a suspension package to match its weight and power.

But for adventure aficionados who were accustomed to the long-haul, high-speed comfort of a 1000-1250cc powerplant, the 790 didn’t quite offer enough torque or versatility. And that’s exactly why the 790’s successor, the 2021 KTM 890 Adventure R, gets more cubes and a lot of development to both its mapping and electronics package.

But just how different are the 790 and 890 Adventure R? And where does the 890 deliver the biggest improvements? To answer those questions, who better to speak to than Steve Robertson – a bloke who’s owned a 790 Adv R for a couple of years, and who got to sample the all-new 890 Adv R for first time at the model’s Aussie media launch over a three-day, 600km route that took in everything from cruise-control freeway miles to snotty singletrack…


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