WIth EICMA come and gone, we’re hyped about all the new 2018 models we get to test, but that doesn’t mean it’s too soon to start looking ahead to 2019 models. Case in point: while we eagerly await the press launch of the new 790 Duke, we are also excited about the upcoming KTM 790 Adventure.

Previously Spied: KTM 790 Adventure Prototype

We’ve already seen spy photos of a pre-production model and at EICMA, KTM showed off a prototype of the 790 Adventure R. We now have new spy photos of the 790 Adventure undergoing testing both on paved roads and in the dirt.

This is the 790 Adventure R prototype that KTM presented at EICMA. The three test bikes look fairly similar, but with some variations plus a rough-looking exhaust and components required for street homologation such as mirrors, lighting and license plate holders.

This is the 790 Adventure R prototype that KTM presented at EICMA. The three test bikes look fairly similar, but with some variations plus a rough-looking exhaust and components required for street homologation such as mirrors, lighting and license plate holders.

The spy photos actually show three potential versions, one with a motocross-style fender mounted to the lower triple clamp like the prototype, a second with a tire-hugging front fender and a third with no front fender but saddlebags and a top case and marked with the letter “S.”

All three versions share the same LC8c 799cc Parallel-Twin engine that powers the new 790 Duke. For the Duke, KTM claims an output of 103 hp at 9000 rpm and 63 lb-ft at 6500 rpm, though we expect a different tuning for the Adventure models. Like the prototype, the test models have a lot of bodywork for an adventure bike, particularly around the engine. The lower part in particular looks rather bulbous. In presenting its prototype, KTM said it has low-slung fuel tanks, so perhaps those are hidden behind these bulging panels.

The test bike with the high fender, pictured here and in the lead image, looks most similar to the prototype.

The version pictured above and in the lead image looks the most like the prototype, so we’ll likewise call this the “R” model. Despite the high front fender, the tires appear to be more street-focused than the knobbies on the prototype suggesting a more street-going variant of the Adventure. That being said, this is still just a test bike and tires can be swapped much more readily than more significant changes such as the addition of turn signals and a two-piece seat.

Like the other two test bikes, this version uses a two-piston rear brake caliper (the prototype only has a single rear piston) and a TFT display instead of the rally race-style instrument cluster shown on the prototype. Interestingly, the TFT screens have a different shape from the one equipped on the 790 Duke. Like the other two test models, KTM replaced the exhaust with an unfinished system that routes behind the passenger peg mounts and ends with a different tip that’s probably much quieter than the prototype’s Akrapovic rally race silencer.

The second version has a fork-mounted fender that hugs the front tire and a stepped, one-piece seat.

A second version swaps out the high fender for one that hugs the front tire. This version was the one spotted riding off-road, so it’s equipped with more-aggressive knobbies. Like the first variant, this one has a smoked windscreen mounted above the headlight.


With the attached luggage, one would think this would be a 790 Adventure T model, but if you look closely, you can see tape on the left bodywork and windscreen with the letter “S” scrawled on them.

Besides the addition of luggage, the model marked “S” sports carbon fiber lower side panels and a taller, clear windscreen. This is also the only one of the three with passenger grab handles.

So, what we have then are three different versions that we’ll call, for now, the KTM 790 Adventure, 790 Adventure R and 790 Adventure S. Judging from the prototype’s presence in Milan earlier this month, we expect to see the new KTM 790 Adventure models at next year’s EICMA show as 2019 models. We’ll have more information on these new mid-sized adventure bikes as it becomes available.

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  • Sayyed Bashir

    The high fender one is the R model, the low fender one is the S model, and the one with bags is the T model.

    • David K

      Good that they offer different versions. I will take the low version myself!

  • R_Melaun

    I’ve read elsewhere that the tank(s) is/are indeed down low at the front of the bike. Looks great.

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      • Jon Jones

        Show us your tats!!

        • Sentinel


  • Matt Howerton

    I like the looks of the prototype…

  • Glenn Lutic

    In the one picture, where you can see the “S”, I can also see what looks like “Motorcycle.com” on the fairing. Dam, you guys must really be high up in the KTM food chain?!

  • Jeff S. Wiebe

    Keen to see these in production.

  • Craig Hoffman

    This is potential to be my next perfect motorcycle. Lotsa dirt roads and stuff to explore here in CO…

  • Sentinel

    As long as they don’t put a self-destructing engine in it, and riddle it with endless electrical issues, it may actually be a good bike. But I sure as hell will not be buying the first gen, and I’ll wait a few years to see if it’s actually junk or not.

    • Jon Jones

      Good call!

  • Tanner

    same power and stance as the Africa Twin, but 100lbs lighter.

    • Gee S


      The question really comes down to number of engineering faults and failures per 100,000 miles.

      I’d love to love this motorcycle, and I expect to occasionally have to work on any bike, but in that context, I’d be buying the Honda.