KTM’s 790 Adventure, 790 Adventure R draw a crowd at EICMA 2018

The Austrian manufacturer bets big on the middleweight adventure segment
by Aris Ilagan | Nov 9, 2018

What could be a clearer sign that KTM is focusing more of its efforts on the Asian market than the recent introduction of two new middleweight adventure two-wheelers that perfectly suit the tastes of riders in this region?

At the 2018 EICMA Motorcycle Show, the Austrian bike manufacturer pulled the covers off the rugged-looking 790 Adventure and 790 Adventure R. The new models drew much attention from enduro fans who had traveled to Italy for the exhibit.

Middleweight bikes like the 790 Adventure series are fast becoming popular in many Asian countries. Not only are they lighter and more maneuverable in traffic, they’re also known to be more fuel-efficient compared with their full-size counterparts.

Both powered by a 799cc LC8 parallel-twin engine that generates 93.7hp and 83Nm of torque, the new models will likely entice Pinoy riders who are not only seeking off-road trails on weekends, but also itching to ride their stallions to work on a daily basis. The 790 Adventure is a tamer version of the 790 Duke street fighter now available on the Philippine market, although the latter has higher output figures of 103hp and 86.2Nm despite using an identical parallel-twin engine layout.

The bike’s fascia—particularly the split LED headlamps—is reminiscent of the 790 Duke’s front end. Being an adventure bike, though, it has a higher ground clearance than the Duke. Claimed mileage on a full tank is around 450km, making it perfect for long-distance rides on varied road conditions. The 790 Adventure has a split-seat, while the 790 Adventure R pampers the rider with a long and slim single seat.

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We can’t wait to see these two middleweights slug it out with the Yamaha Tracer 900, the Suzuki V-Strom 650, the Kawasaki Versys 650, and the Honda 500X in the exciting arena of travel enduro motorbikes. And let’s not forget the Royal Enfield Himalayan, which is fast catching up in this tight segment.

According to reports, the newly unveiled KTMs at EICMA are still prototype models, and production will likely begin next year. Our sources also claim that KTM Philippines is set to start manufacturing big bikes at its Laguna plant in early 2019. The question now is, will the new 790 Adventure and 790 Adventure R be included in the lineup?

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