2019 KTM 790 Adventure And 790 Adventure R First Look

Bring a gun to a knife fight

2019 KTM 790 Adventure R
2019 KTM 790 Adventure RKTM

When KTM teased the 790 Adventure last year, we knew things were about to get serious in the Middleweight ADV category. Now, KTM is officially announcing the 790 Adventure and 790 Adventure R.

As with other models in the Austrian manufacturer’s lineup, the two guises are intended to cater to both street and off-road riders. The R version is the more off-road oriented version of the pair, though the non-R looks well-equipped to hit the dirt in its own right.

2019 KTM 790 Adventure
2019 KTM 790 Adventure (the non-R).KTM

Both models share a retuned version of the 799cc parallel-twin LC8c engine that debuted on the 2018 790 Duke. They also feature 21-inch front, 18-inch rear spoked wheels, and 5.2-gallon tanks. KTM has included a full suite of electronics that includes cornering ABS and traction control with four ride modes. A quickshifter, cruise control, and heated grips and seat are optional.

The 790 Adventure R in the sand
The 790 Adventure R ripping it up.KTM

As the more roadworthy model, the 790 Adventure features 43mm APEX WP suspension with 7.9 inches of travel front and rear for a reasonable 32.7-inch seat-height.

The 790 Adventure R has an off-road-ready front fender and saddle, and a shorter windscreen, but that’s just the beginning of the fun. Its 48mm XPLOR WP suspension has 9.4 inches of travel front and rear which brings the seat height up to 34.6 inches. A less steep-steering head angle further indicates the Adventure R’s off-road pretensions.

And what pretensions they are. Leave it to KTM to build an ADV bike that's arguably more suited to serious off-road adventures than any other machine on the market. With a 416 pounds dry weight and 95 horsepower (claimed), this thing is really gonna rip.

With Yamaha entering the fray in 2020 with the Ténéré 700, things are about to get really fun—if you’ve got the skills in the dirt to take advantage of machines this capable. Time to sign up for that off-road riding course you’ve always wanted to take.

KTM says both bikes will hit US dealerships this spring, but there’s no word yet on pricing.

KTM 790 Adventure R KTM 790 Adventure
Engine Type: Parallel Twin, 4-Stroke, DOHC Parallel Twin, 4-Stroke, DOHC
Displacement: 799cc 799cc
Bore/Stroke: 88 / 65.7mm 88 / 65.7mm
Transmission: 6 Gears
Clutch: PASC (Power Assisted Slipper Clutch), Mechanically Operated PASC (Power Assisted Slipper Clutch), Mechanically Operated
Ignition: Bosch EMS with Ride-By-Wire Bosch EMS with Ride-By-Wire
Frame: CroMoly Tubular Steel, Engine as Stressed Member CroMoly Tubular Steel, Engine as Stressed Member
Front Suspension: WP USD Ø 48mm WP USD Ø 43mm
Rear Suspension: WP Monoshock with PDS WP Monoshock
Suspension Travel Front/Rear: 240mm / 9.4 in.; 240mm / 9.4 in. 200mm / 7.9 in.; 200mm / 7.9 in.
Front/Rear Brakes: Disc Brake 320mm / 260mm Disc Brake 320mm / 260mm
Front/Rear Wheels: 2.50 x 21, 4.50 x 18 2.50 x 21, 4.50 x 18
Front/Rear Tires: 90/90-21; 150/70-18 90/90-21; 150/70-18
Steering Head Angle: 26.3º 25.9º
Wheelbase: 1,528mm ± 15mm / 60.2 ± 0.6 in. 1,509mm ± 15mm / 59.4 ± 0.6 in.
Ground Clearance: 10.4 in. 9.2 in.
Seat Height: 34.6 in. 33.5 / 32.7 in.
Tank Capacity: 5.3 gal. 5.3 gal.
Dry Weight, Approx: 416.7 lbs. 416.7 lbs.