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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I pulled the trigger. Put $100 down on a 2021 KTM 890 Adventure R yesterday. Got pretty much all the riding gear I need, except the boots are backordered. I have boots I can use until they are available, and the bike should get here the end of Dec to mid-Jan, around when the boots get here. I have a Garmin Zumo XT I bought for it, and a duo pack of Cardo Packtalks so I have one for a street helmet and one for my ADV helmet.

Stoked, can't wait until it gets here! They have 2 "S" models, but I'm getting the more off-roady "R".
 

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Nice! Just curious, why you chose the KTM over all other adventure bikes. I almost convinced myself I was going to go that route after my accident in 2016
 

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Nice bike! What trails or routes you plan to do on it? Was planning to do the same thing, and do the transatlantic route.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Nice! Just curious, why you chose the KTM over all other adventure bikes. I almost convinced myself I was going to go that route after my accident in 2016
For me, it was an easy pick: The KTM seemed by far to be the best offroad, while sacrificing not too much on-road manners. Yes, if you want a cushy street ride for long distance, then get a GS. But if you're actually going to take it in the dirt regularly, who wants to muscle around a 600lb bike like that? The BMW S1000XR would be a better choice if I was looking for a softroader, but even the F900XR or F850 GS were mostly streetbikes. I don't want to own a Triumph, and they're a soft-roader also. So, that really left the Yamaha T700 Tenere, which is a lot cheaper, but, you get the (cheaper) suspension and electronics you (didn't) pay for. Plus, I test rode the 1200 Tenere years ago, and was like...meh. That left the Honda Africa twin, and, though a little torquier, had the same hp, more weight, and lesser suspension than the KTM.

So, in a nutshell, I picked the KTM for it's offroad prowess, and from all the videos I've seen, seems to be the pick for those that actually WILL go offroad with it. Those Aussies in particular do CRAZY things out in the bush with it, far sketchier stuff than I would do, but the bike's capable of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Nice bike! What trails or routes you plan to do on it? Was planning to do the same thing, and do the transatlantic route.
There's a lot of riding in the CO mountains and NM, UT, and AZ deserts I want to do. Places I've ridden or driven by on the sportbike, and said to myself I was gonna go back and do that. I want to do Black Bear pass in CO, and all those around there like Cinnamon, Imogene, and Engineer.

I think having a sportbike, a pure dirtbike, and an ADV bike would be a great thing, a bike for every occasion, with the ADV bike capable of doing it all, if you could only have one bike.

If you get one, and get out West here, let me know. I might know some great dirt roads by then and maybe we could meet up and ride them.
 

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If you get one, and get out West here, let me know. I might know some great dirt roads by then and maybe we could meet up and ride them.
Will do! I'll bring some of that 762x51mm so we can stay safe lol.
 
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Isn't the only difference between the Base and the R the suspension? I was just trying to look at this myself and I think it is. As for me, I would have gone with the base model and upgraded the suspension to something aftermarket. Even "upgraded" suspension models (regardless of brand) use bargain, built to spec parts (even if the name is Ohlins -- the Ohlins on the V4R is bargain). That way you at least get the spring rate right and a better overall suspension package, for roughly the same price.
 

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My buddy has a 1290 Super Adventure .....that bike is a complete animal.
for riding other than asphalt, my choice would also be a KTM.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Isn't the only difference between the Base and the R the suspension? I was just trying to look at this myself and I think it is. As for me, I would have gone with the base model and upgraded the suspension to something aftermarket. Even "upgraded" suspension models (regardless of brand) use bargain, built to spec parts (even if the name is Ohlins -- the Ohlins on the V4R is bargain). That way you at least get the spring rate right and a better overall suspension package, for roughly the same price.
The suspension is a lot better quality, is fully adjustable, and also has 40mm more travel. Also, you get better software, which allows for "Rally" mode where you can set all sorts of parameters individually that you can't set on the "S" version. Plus the "S" version has a low fender (easily clogged with mud). As I understand it, the "R" suspension is high quality stuff, the best KTM has on any of their dirt bikes outside of the $20k Rally model. For only an extra $1k, it's well worth the upgrade to get all that stuff.
 

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y you at least get the spring rate right and a
The suspension is a lot better quality, is fully adjustable, and also has 40mm more travel. Also, you get better software, which allows for "Rally" mode where you can set all sorts of parameters individually that you can't set on the "S" version. Plus the "S" version has a low fender (easily clogged with mud). As I understand it, the "R" suspension is high quality stuff, the best KTM has on any of their dirt bikes outside of the $20k Rally model. For only an extra $1k, it's well worth the upgrade to get all that stuff.
The base has the rally mode too...and you can buy the Rally quality suspension for $2000-2500 and like I said...sprung for your weight. Yeah, the difference is the fender and stickers beyond what I mentioned before I think.

I'd still just build off a base.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The base has the rally mode too...and you can buy the Rally quality suspension for $2000-2500 and like I said...sprung for your weight. Yeah, the difference is the fender and stickers beyond what I mentioned before I think.

I'd still just build off a base.
The "S" has Rally mode IF you spend the extra $$ to have it installed (maybe $200). Friggin' KTM charges $350 just to unlock the quickshifter software (it's already installed on all bikes), no actual parts are needed. @$$holes. Too bad someone doesn't have a hack for it.

Well, actually, those numbers are way off. The Rally suspension is $3,599 USD just for the forks, the shock is another $2,199 US! Then there's labor. To me, I'm not interested in spending $4,800K just in parts (+ labor at $90/hr) over the regular "R" version. I'm not good enough and will not ride hard enough to make it worthwhile, though the upgrade to the "R" IS worth it, especially for the only $1k-ish additional price. The suspension on the "R" is a lot better than the "S", and WAY cheaper of an upgrade than the Rally suspension, so, that's good enough for me. If I want to ride that hard, I have a KX500 at half the weight and over 2" more suspension travel
WP Launches Next Level Suspension for the KTM 790 Adventure R - ADV Pulse

Build one, and we'll ride!
 

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Did your 890 arrive? If yes, what do you think?

Last year, I went from the 850GS to the 790 Adventure R. IMHO, those two bikes should not be viewed as being in the same category. The 790 is the most competent all around bike I've ridden. Unless you've recently put a leg over a 350-400+ range dirt bike, the 790 R will feel like an actual dirt bike. It is also adept at handling twisties, just respect your tire choice on either terrain, and the bike (especially the amazing R suspension) will do the rest. I felt the stock suspension setup was "ready to race," but I softened them up as I forgot to sign up for the Dakar race this year 🤣.

If the 890 has more torque down low and there's no need to change gearing for technical terrain, I'd say that's a win. I'm used to dealing with it on the 790 at times. BMW has a lot of small refinements that add up to improve the overall riding experience. One example is when going off-road on the KTM, you have to set the Rally (dirt mode) and ABS for off-road separately in the menu. You can opt to assign both functions to quick keys, but they still have to be set separately, and changed back to road separately. BMW got this one right.

No stock heated grips on the 790, and no cruise as mentioned above. But looking at MSRP prices, BMW seems to be charging for it upfront while the KTM is optional and can be added later. One tends to get a better deal as a package, but I installed my own heated grips as the 790 does not integrate them with the electronics and a controller has to be mounted to the bars. To summerize from a performance perspective, the KTM is an absolute beast on any terrain, if you like dirt and can handle the R height (low seat option available) there is no question regarding which model to go with. But the S model still is ahead of the pack (the Tenere 700 being a possible exception) in any environment from my own experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Did your 890 arrive? If yes, what do you think?

Last year, I went from the 850GS to the 790 Adventure R. IMHO, those two bikes should not be viewed as being in the same category. The 790 is the most competent all around bike I've ridden. Unless you've recently put a leg over a 350-400+ range dirt bike, the 790 R will feel like an actual dirt bike. It is also adept at handling twisties, just respect your tire choice on either terrain, and the bike (especially the amazing R suspension) will do the rest. I felt the stock suspension setup was "ready to race," but I softened them up as I forgot to sign up for the Dakar race this year 🤣.

If the 890 has more torque down low and there's no need to change gearing for technical terrain, I'd say that's a win. I'm used to dealing with it on the 790 at times. BMW has a lot of small refinements that add up to improve the overall riding experience. One example is when going off-road on the KTM, you have to set the Rally (dirt mode) and ABS for off-road separately in the menu. You can opt to assign both functions to quick keys, but they still have to be set separately, and changed back to road separately. BMW got this one right.

No stock heated grips on the 790, and no cruise as mentioned above. But looking at MSRP prices, BMW seems to be charging for it upfront while the KTM is optional and can be added later. One tends to get a better deal as a package, but I installed my own heated grips as the 790 does not integrate them with the electronics and a controller has to be mounted to the bars. To summerize from a performance perspective, the KTM is an absolute beast on any terrain, if you like dirt and can handle the R height (low seat option available) there is no question regarding which model to go with. But the S model still is ahead of the pack (the Tenere 700 being a possible exception) in any environment from my own experience.
Still waiting. There are a couple "S" models, and a 790 R at the dealer, and I can easily flat-foot the R with both feet, in street shoes, with a little to spare. I'm 6'1/225 in street clothes, so, I might have to actually add preload when I and the bike are all geared up. I have an old '91 KX500 (at only 234lbs) that I think is taller since it has like 12"/13" of travel F/R. From reading about it, the 890 has more low-end and midrange grunt, and has 20% more rotating inertia in the engine, so, that should help with the stalling I see sometimes in the videos. Plus, I plan on getting a cat-delete midpipe and muffler, and the Rottweiler airbox which claims another 14hp all thru the midrange with a tune and another 5hp on top! I figure maybe another 1 or 2 with the pipe.

I have the KX for the really gnarly stuff, and though I like more high-speed open desert stuff (I bought it new when I lived in the SoCal hi desert), it would be better for the single-track in trees and rocks than the 890, and I have a 4.5gal desert racing tank on it so I have some pretty good range, but it's not street legal so I have to trailer it anywhere. I'm getting the 890 so I can ride places on the street, and if I see a dirt road, take it. I also want to do long-distance street/dirt riding. I'm planning on riding it to Moab, riding all around there, and riding it home. One day I plan a trip to Banff on it, by as many dirt roads as possible. To me it's a great all-arounder that can be ridden on the freeway at 85mph all day if needed to GET to the dirt, and ride some pretty gnarly stuff in the dirt if needed, though I plan on doing much milder stuff than I've seen it be capable of. Those Aussies do CRAZY stuff on these things! I want a challenge, but I don't want it to be so tough I need to ride with 4 buddies because we're all dropping our bikes in 2' of mud all day either. From all accounts it's a perfect blend of street and dirt capabilities. I have no doubt it'll be a LOT better for my more dirt-oriented use plan than the 1290 I WAS gonna get (until the smaller/lighter/better suspended 790 came out), and my short friend DID get. I have no doubt I'll leave him for dead in the dirt. Hope I don't have to turn around and help him pick up his bike TOO often.

Right now, it seems all the boots I was gonna buy for it, the last piece of gear I need, are all sold out, and won't be available for a while because of all the shutdowns. Gah!

How has it been reliability-wise? As I understand it, there are some issues, and 1 or 2 might have carried over. Fogging of the display being one, claims of "warped" front rotors, some electrical problems. Also, the stubs welded to the frame to mount the headlight assembly breaking off, probably due to crashes. Complaints of the paper-thin skidplate (which I'm replacing anyway), and that people have cracked their gas tanks on the bottom by bashing it into things, but no leaks that I saw. The skidplate I'm buying covers the tanks on the bottom. I've heard that if you stall the bike, the ABS reverts back to the default setting, which can lead to problems/crashes if you forget and you're on a steep downhill. Glad you love yours, I plan on enjoying mine!

Pro Edition Full Intake System - 790/890 Adventure (ALL) - ORANGE (rottweilerperformance.com)
 

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For a second, your link looked like an adult toy for those lonely trails:love:. From what you describe, her intended use will accommodate your expectations and then some. I've never done a cat delete except for track bikes, and from some of the reports, it seems to make some portion of the power band worse on the 790, ymmv, but I am somewhat of a naturehugger and probably best to ignore my comments re cat delete lol.

As for problems, not much to report yet, mine's a 2020 (December 2019 production), the rear brake line recall was fixed at the dealer before I took possession. She has arond 3,500 miles, 2000+/- on dirt. Since it's been extremely dry this year, and unless it's condensation, I've ridden from 50-28 and back to 50 degrees on certain days starting from a warmish garage, no fog issues on dash so far. No leaks. Rotors are good. Yes, stock bashplate is made out of a couple of coke cans, but if one knows that ahead of time as a rider, I don't understand some of the complaints.

Some issues have arisen from aftermarket crash-bars that attach to the engine and/or front support tubes. The bike isn't designed for it and some cause more damage than claim to save, this was my own conclusion after doing some research and inspecting the suggested mounting points. There is no real frame to mount them to that low and forward. The tank protectors are designed to be replaced and priced accordingly ($40). My mods so far are heated grips, akra exhaust, slots cut into the rear passenger grabs to mount a tailbag, shocksox, auxiliary lights (required for Arizona dirt roads for visibility;), heat protection plate for the shock that I made from scrap aluminum and a piece to cover the hole under the radiator. The stock Karoo 3s lasted about 3,500 miles. I'm trying a Dunlop mission rear with a front Bridgestone AX41. The AX41's are my favorite tire for 50/50, but the rear lasted me about 2,500 miles on the 850gs. If you do your own tire changes, the Missions are a pita to mount due to their stiffness.

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To answer your question regarding mode settings, if you select Rally and ABS off road modes, cycling the ignition will not alter your selections. I have not tried this, but if you turn ABS completely off, after cycling the ignition, it’ll revert to road, but I’ll have to confirm this in the owner’s manual.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
LOL That trail would have to be REALLY lonely! :ROFLMAO:

Yeah, I've got the same concerns. The skidplate on my KX mounts to the frame, and while I've scratched it up some, there's not a dent in it. Unfortunately, KTM decided to not have any front downtubes at all, and so if you want any protection, you have to bolt it to the motor. There is nothing else to do. I don't plan on hauling a$$ thru big rock gardens, so, I think for my use, it'll protect the engine cases and not damage them.

Haven't seen any before/after dyno runs regarding a cat delete, but, I hate the damn things, and I don't want them roasting the rear shock and engine oil. Plus, losing maybe 7-8 pounds just in that lump has to help, even if there are no hp gains. I think with the cat-delete linkpipe and new muffler I'll gain about 2-3 hp. That and the 14 I'll gain in the midrange with that new airbox and tune should be really nice, just where I want it. It fits your bike too, so, you might want to look at it.

From what I've seen, I think the new 890's come with Conti's instead of the (hated) Karoo's. I hope to get at least 3,500 miles out of the OEM set, then I plan on using the Mitas E-07+ tires I've heard really good things about. I've read that the AX41's are great tires....if you're riding the ADV bike like a dirtbike...on the dirt. The Mitas's seem to be almost as good on the dirt but maybe not mud, but vastly better than the AX41's on the street. I'm also contemplating going to a 110 wide front vs the standard 90, to give a little more grip to the front, and protect the rim from rocks a little better. It might also help on the street with front grip. It might be a little heavier steering, but I'd be ok with that trade-off for more grip and protection. I'm thinking about getting a big No-Mar changer. I'll have 3 different bikes to change tires on, so, why not? I see a nice "pro" one for maybe $1,400. The long bar vs. tire irons should make even the Mitas "Dakar" (thicker sidewalls) tires easy to mount.

I've heard "offroad ABS" is the ticket for dirt. ALMOST as good as a pro braking on a consistent dirt surface, yet the ABS is off on the rear so you can back it in, but still is on for the front tire. Then just run the street setting on the street.

I'll let you know when I get the bike, AZ ain't that far away and I'm sure there are plenty of good dirt areas to ride!
 

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Yeah, the wider front will float better on sand and take bumps well and allow lower psi on dirt, downside may come from cornering feel and tracking, but if you get your own tire changer, why not try it out. I would recommend verifying it will not throw off the wheel sensor/ABS. As for the ABS setting, yes, off-road setting with the rear off automatically is amazing, never felt a need to turn it off completely. At the bottom, I'll attach a link to a very cool video showing how quickly the 790R will stop with many different combinations, very useful!

If I do any mods for additional power, it'll just cost me more in tires lol. For my use, it's extremely balanced, except for a little torque missing in the very low range, which can be fixed with either -1 on the front or +3 in the rear sprocket. My no-mar setup isn't a fancy one, but their spoons have come in very handy for the stiffer tires. Follow their videos and with some practice, you'll be able to change a tire within 30 minutes +/-. Heat is your friend, and some tire mount lube is indispensable, especially for seating the beads.

If you plan on visiting AZ, we live near Phoenix and if you'd like to hit some trails, send me a pm with your info and planned trip date.

This is basically my setup:




Useful video for braking distance/ABS/front/rear:
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Yeah, I'm gonna put the idea of the wider tire out on the ADV forum I'm on....so all those @$$holes can comment negatively on it. LOL But, there's the occasional cool person on there without the ego and attitude, and maybe they have something beneficial to say. There's all kinds of threads about spending big $$ and getting narrower rims made to wrap the tire around it more to protect the rim....and I'm all like: "Why not put a wider tire on the stock rim, it's WAY cheaper, does the same thing, AND gives more traction?" Seriously, most of those guys are complete arrogant @$$holes.

Yeah, moar powah! does eat tires faster, but if you gear it lower, for more torque, that eats tires faster too, and decreases gas mileage in the bargain. So, I think I'll take the extra power in the midrange where it's most needed, and...er...TRY and restrain my wrist! I've never re-geared a bike, I always figured the maker spent a lot of time working out the best final ratio for all the conditions, so unless I was riding almost exclusively in a particular situation that warranted it, I just keep it stock. I mean, if I lived deep in the mountains where I had nothing but tight slow-speed single-track, then I would re-gear the KX for it, but I'd still leave the KTM stock since I plan on doing highway miles too, and in fact I probably wouldn't even ride the KTM on the single-track anyway, the KX at half the weight and far narrower would be far more suited to that anyway. I see vids of people attempting/doing crazy stuff on these bikes, when a real dirtbike would be a far better choice, but, maybe that's just me. I mean, if that's part of a really long ride across the country, well, I get it, but still. I'll never attempt that craziness, especially if I have a long way to go.

For a tire changer, I was thinking of something like this, since I have 3 bikes I can use it on and can thus kinda justify the expense...sort of...LOL:
Manual Tire Changing Machine - Professional Tire Changer for Motorcycle (nomartirechanger.com)

Funny, that was the EXACT video I saw and was thinking about when I mentioned the offroad ABS. Glad someone actually did a real test to take the guesswork out for us new owners. I think ABS was one of the greatest advances for motorcycles (second only to FI), but the greatest safety advance, and that KTM has one that keeps the front ABS on while allowing you to lock the back wheel, that's genius!

Will do! When I get it, I plan on wearing out the tires fairly quickly, so, I'll definitely let you know and see if we can't meet up for some riding!
 

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Yeah, but I'm sure at some point I've been thought as a-hole so I will keep it zipped lol. Mostly I find a ton of great info online, with a good clean hot air filter 🤣.

I found the front end on the 850GS was its greatest weakness, and had a hard time believing BMW didn't at least offer an upgraded version with a quality adjustable front end. It was easy to take that bike up to the limit, but with the 790advR, I tend to run out of talent way before I can blame the bike for any shortcomings or lack of performance. So it'll probably be a while before I look for any upgrades.

I like the tire changer setup in the link, very nice and one stop shop! Do it right and once. Looking back now I'd have paid extra attentions to brake rotors, and probably removed them completely to avoid the expensive bent rotor issues. Having the setup is indispensable especially when time becomes a factor. They almost pay for themselves in short order if you factor in dealing with shops and such. Some made me feel like they were doing me a favour. Dude, get over your bad self, we are all hos' working for money.

I use the Napa Auto parts tire bead lube, you can make your own or use other brands, but in cooler season they really make a difference, and you'll probably run into that one bead that refuses to take a seat. I've actually gone up to 65psi a couple of times with those bastages - valve removed to get a good rush of air in. Good luck with the new toy, you'll be impressed me thinks, and maybe I'll see you at the trails.
 
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