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ADV BikesKTM 790 Adventure: New Details Revealed in Latest Spy Photos

KTM 790 Adventure: New Details Revealed in Latest Spy Photos

KTM's long-awaited Middleweight ADV inches ever closer to production.

Published on 10.23.2017

While this isn’t the first time we’ve seen spy shots of the KTM 790 Adventure, more gets revealed with each new photo captured. In past spy shots, the bodywork has been missing, obscured or parts from older bikes have been utilized to help conceal details. But with this latest round of photos released by the German publication Motorrad, we are starting to see a clearer picture of what to expect.

What we have known for some time is that the new middle-weight Adventure model will share the same motor with the KTM 790 Duke — a 799cc parallel-twin engine with a 270° crank that is rumored to produce roughly 100 horsepower. It is also expected to be an off-road-focused model riding on 21″/18″ wheels with a long-travel suspension.

Previous spy photos have further revealed a steel-tube frame with a beefy subframe and a cast aluminum swingarm attached directly without a linkage. And we’ve seen prototypes equipped with Brembo Brakes and WP Suspension — standard affair for KTM Adventure models.


What’s new in these latest photos is a split headlight design, attached to a rally-style navigation tower, that resembles the 1290 Super Adventure R’s. There’s no windscreen attached yet, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see rally bike styling cues in the final version.

KTM 790 Adventure R spy photos

KTM 790 Adventure R spy photos

More interesting though, is the bulbous bodywork seen around the lower front portion of the bike. A wide Rally-style skid plate completely envelops the exhaust and attaches to bodywork that flares out around the sides. The bulges are reminiscent of the cylinder heads sticking out on a BMW GS Boxer motor, but in this instance it’s not part of the engine. A closer look reveals a tall fuel tank that extends down low and expands outward toward the bottom.

Time will tell if the fuel tank bulges get in the way on a rocky trail but we can be sure with fuel carried down low, the KTM 790 Adventure will have a lower center of gravity. Its parallel-twin engine will also help centralize mass (compared to a V-Twin) giving the bike a more compact and lighter feel. Both features should provide good slow-speed stability.

Looking at the size of the fuel tank, we can expect capacity of 6 gallons or more, giving the middle-weight excellent fuel range. The tank is also relatively short front to back (for KTM Adventure models), which allows for a more forward, motocross-style seating position.

KTM 790 Adventure R spy photos

So far we like how the KTM 790 Adventure is taking shape. The bike has the potential to be a modern-day KTM 950 Super Enduro, but with fuel injection, improved highway performance and better long-distance travel capability. If all goes well, we expect the new KTM 790 Adventure to make its debut at the upcoming EICMA show this November.

Competition Awaits the KTM 790 Adventure

KTM’s long-awaited middle weight may be facing stiff competition when it finally arrives with new bike releases on their way from BMW and Yamaha. Like the KTM 790 Adventure, both the BMW F900GS and Yamaha XT700Z will feature an inline twin motor and are expected to weigh in the mid 400-pound range. All three are also performance-focused models, targeting off-road enthusiasts with long-travel suspension, high ground clearance and 21″/18″ wheels.

More choice and competition is great news for consumers, especially in a middle-weight category that has long been stagnant. We can only hope that all three bikes will become available as 2018 models. Time will tell which one of these new models lands on the top of the heap, but it looks like we’ve got plenty to look forward to in the new year!

For more information on the spy photos, visit:

NEWS UPDATE: KTM has just unveiled a 790 Adventure R Prototype at EICMA!

Author: Rob Dabney

Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Mexico, North Africa, Europe, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.

Author: Rob Dabney

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12 thoughts on “KTM 790 Adventure: New Details Revealed in Latest Spy Photos

  1. Optics is one aspect and they are a matter of personal taste. However a tank that wide on the bottom will make it impossible to navigate the bike between tight rocks. I recently needed to navigate around a road barrier, were the land owner had used boulders on the sids to make the track impassable for cars. No problem for my slim single, but on the way home we needed to change the route because a friend on a boxer GS had joined!

      • Hi Bob.

        Yes, this is a new motor for KTM. The 790 Duke has not been released yet, but it was put on display as a prototype at EICMA last year. At least one publication has already tested a near production ready Duke 790 and said the new motor is silky smooth with no vibes and plenty of usable power. It also has the 270-degree crank, so it will still make a nice sound like the V-Twins.

  2. Yeah, but the seat height will be 38″ and why for 20 years I rode KTM and now can’t ride any of their bikes…if you are 6′-3″ tall fine, but I am not.

  3. Pingback: EICMA 2017 - Are we there? | Outback Motortek

  4. not sure about “navigating rocky trails” but in deeper narrow ditches you’ll be a suspended train and when you crash you will crash on plastic fuel tanks… :facepalm:


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