After a year of waiting, we finally see the production version of the 2019 KTM 790 Adventure and the 2019 KTM 790 Adventure R motorcycles. Two flavors of ADV bike, the 790 Adventure series is KTM’s way of owning the dual-sport space.
In addition to the revised KTM 690 Enduro R for the 2019 model year, KTM has created a path from 250cc to 1301cc for adventure and dual-sport riders, with the KTM 790 Adventure being a critical bike in that lineup.
Much has been said about this machine already, so here are the basics to cutdown on the chatter: 94hp (70 kW), 65 lbs•ft (88 Nm) of torque, 5.3 gallons (20 liters) of fuel, 448 lbs wet with fuel.
Kramer Motorcycles is ready to make its sequel to the potent single-cylinder Kramer HKR EVO2 track bike, and again the German manufacturer has tapped a unique KTM engine to power this next edition race-focused motorcycle.
Debuting today at the Barber Vintage Festival, the Kramer GP2 prototype has broken cover, and it features the 790cc parallel-twin engine from the KTM 790 Duke. The Germans plan to develop the bike over the next 12 months, with an eye on providing a potent twin for those who are racing inclined.
The KTM 790 Duke hasn’t even made it to American soil yet — though, it strangely can race in the production middleweight class at Pikes Peak… — and we are already talking about its off-roading sibling, the KTM 790 Adventure R.
Built around the same 799cc parallel-twin engine found in the Duke model, the Adventure variant takes things to a whole new level for ADV riders.
Promising light weight, plenty of off-road power, and Dakar-inspired chassis components, this should be the adventure-tourer that dual-sport riders have been asking for.
With the production version of the KTM 790 Adventure R set to debut later this year at the annual industry trade shows, most of our appetite has been sustained by the prototype bike, which has been making the marketing rounds.
Adding some details along the way though, we have a slightly better idea of what to expect in a few months’ time.
The MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800 sits in a precarious place on the motorcycle continuum. It is what we would call an adventure-sport motorcycle, a sub-category of bikes that has sprung out of the ADV movement, but with a complete on-road bias.
The ADV segment has been the death of sport-tourers, with the upright seating positions proving to be more comfortable for long-range riding, while the large-displacement engines provide the power that sport riders are looking for.
While ADV bikes are designed to take the road (or trail) less traveled, adventure-sports began showing up for riders who wanted to stay firmly on the tarmac (as was the reality for many adventure-touring machines).
This gave rise to machines like the Ducati Multistrada 1200, BMW S1000XR, several KTM bikes, and Triumph’s fractured Tiger lineup.
The big 1200cc+ bikes have now given way to smaller bikes in the adventure-sport category, the first proper example being the MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800, which first debuted in 2013.
Now Euro4 compliant, and coming in a variety of trim levels, we recently swung a leg over the MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800 Lusso SCS (read our review here).
The only motorcycle in MV Agusta’s lineup with a tall windscreen, bags, and a passenger seat designed for a human, it would be easy to call the Turismo Veloce 800 Lusso a sport-tourer or an adventure-sport, and indeed we do.
But for the Italian brand, the MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800 Lusso is treated like a sport bike…a sport bike that one can ride all day, with bags and a pillion, if you so choose.
It seems like a fine distinction, or perhaps even splitting hairs, but in reality it is a subtle nuance that shows how MV Agusta thinks of its business, what sort of motorcycles it wants to produce, and for which riders it has in mind when it produces them.
Riding the Turismo Veloce 800 Lusso near MV Agusta’s factory in Varese, Italy, Asphalt & Rubber got to see first-hand how this “sport bike with bags” works in the real world.
And while the motorcycle looks no different from the last time we saw it, at the base model’s press launch in the South of France, there have been subtle changes to refine the Turismo Veloce, and to make it compliant with Euro4 regulations.
Getting now to see the premium “Lusso” trim level, as well as MV Agusta’s new “Smart Clutch System”, there was plenty to try on this motorcycle, and while we have a few criticisms, the result with the MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800 Lusso is an ideal machine, if you could only own one motorcycle in your garage. Let me explain.
Out riding bikes, because that’s what we do, for this edition of “Gone Riding” it is the last three letters of the name “MV Agusta Turismo Veloce Lusso 800 SCS” that you want to pay most attention to.
Those three letters stand for “smart clutch system” and they represent the new semi-auto clutch technology that MV Agusta has developed with Rekluse for its street-going motorcycles, and it is the main reason that we are in Varese today, riding the Italian brand’s up-spec sport-tourer.
The Lusso line of the Turismo Veloce 800 features integrated panniers and semi-active suspension over the base model, and of course the SCS in the name adds the new clutch design, with its attractive clear clutch cover. The special clutch also adds €700 to the price tag, over the regular Lusso.
We have already had some seat time on the base model, a few years ago, and found the MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800 to be a capable and fun sport bike that was comfortable for longer trips, though we would have liked a few more ponies coming out of the three-cylinder engine.
Getting to see this motorcycle again, our focus today will be on the changes that have been made with the new clutch and the move to Euro4 emission standards, as well as the more premium elements that come with the Lusso name.
Per our new review format, I will be giving you a live assessment of the MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800 SCS right here in this article (down in the comments section), and there he will try to answer any questions you might have.
So, here is your chance to learn what it’s like to ride the Turismo Veloce 800 Lusso SCS, before even my own proper review is posted. As always, if I don’t know an answer, I will try to get a response from the MV Agusta personnel on-hand. So, pepper away.
Hello and good morning to a cold but dry Varese, Italy – the home of MV Agusta and just a stone’s throw away from Milan and the Dolomite mountain range.
Today we are riding the Euro4-spec MV Agusta Brutale 800 RR, and our course will be a street ride, around the region’s Lago Maggiore – a large lake not too far from the MV Agusta factory.
The current MV Agusta Brutale 800 RR isn’t exactly a new model, but it is one that has gotten lost in the shuffle with the Italian brand’s lengthy history of financial troubles.
Historically one of the best-selling machines in the MV Agusta lineup, the Brutale 800 RR is a bike that I have been looking forward to riding for quite a while now, after I was first impressed with the changes made to the Euro4-spec Brutale 800 a few years ago.
The big difference between the Brutale 800 RR and the Brutale 800 is the engine, with the RR making 140hp from its three-cylinder power plant, an increase of roughly 30hp over the base model.
As you can imagine, the torque curve is considerably further up the rev range on the RR as well, which should make for a sportier ride. It’s not all roses though, and hopefully MV Agusta has been tackling my list of complaints to an otherwise awesome machine.
Will the Brutale 800 RR be just as fun to ride as the Brutale 800? That’s what we are hear to find out…well, that and whether its worth the $3,800 price difference ($18,498 MSRP here in the USA) over the base model.
So, here is your chance to learn what it’s like to ride the Brutale 800 RR, before even my own proper review is posted (Italian cell service permitting). As always, if we don’t know an answer, we will try to get a response from the MV Agusta personnel. So, pepper away.
You can follow our thoughts on the bike live via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and you can see what our colleagues are posting on social media by looking for the hashtags #MVAgusta & #Brutale800RR
I am always kind of amazed that when KTM shows its hot new bikes at a trade show like EICMA, the Austrian brand does such a bad job sharing the media it creates. Such is the case with the KTM 790 Adventure R prototype.
As such, only a handful of studio shots were released to the public upon the bike’s debut in Milan, Italy. But yet, KTM has clearly gone through the trouble of doing photo shoots with the middleweight ADV machine, and still the “Ready to Race” brand isn’t spreading the love.
Fortunately, we do have a couple photos of the KTM 790 Adventure R prototype, lifted from KTM’s Facebook page, and they do entice.
The KTM 790 Duke launches a new platform for the Austrian brand, based around an 800cc parallel-twin engine.
As such, we already know that we can expect the twin-cylinder platform to spawn an adventure version of the bike, with the KTM 790 Adventure R prototype debuting at EICMA as well.
We can also expect other “790” models in the coming years, both from KTM and likely from Husqvarna as well. That is a good thing, because the KTM 790 Duke is a potent bike, rich with features.
A class-leader in electronics, the KTM 790 Duke comes with IMU-powered traction control, cornering ABS, launch control, ride-by-wire throttle modes, and an up-and-down quickshifter – all as standard equipment.
Throw in niceties like a color TFT dash, slipper clutch, and an LED headlight, and the KTM 790 Duke is easily the new standard in the category when it comes to features, but that is only part of the equation.
The real kicker though – if early indications about the pricing can be believed – is the KTM 790 Duke’s price tag, as KTM has been quoted as pricing the 790 Duke at below €10,000. This would put US pricing around the $11,000 mark, if not cheaper.
The middleweight ADV segment is hot in Milan right now, with a bevy of models in this category debuting at this year’s EICMA show. For BMW Motorrad, its a two-pronged effort, showing the updated BMW F750GS and BMW 850GS models.
This space has always been a big crowded in the BMW motorcycle lineup, with the F700GS and F800GS having considerable overlaps. For 2018, the Germans explain how they see the F750GS and F850GS as differing.
Accordingly, the BMW F750GS is designed for riders who prefer a travel enduro that has a low seat height, good power, and plenty of bang for the buck.
Conversely, the new BMW F850GS boasts more power and torque, is more feature-heavy, and is designed with extensive off-roading in mind.
We are rapidly coming to the conclusion that the new KTM 790 Duke is the bike of this year’s EICMA show.
Making a potent 105hp from its 799cc parallel-twin engine, packed into a 418 lbs (wet)steel trellis body, the 2018 KTM 790 Duke brings a host of features to the middleweight sport bike category.
In typical KTM fashion, the 790 Duke left no angle behind in its high school honors geometry course, and the LED headlight builds upon the common design features that KTM has been putting together on its street-going machines.
Not quite the vision that was the KTM 790 Duke prototype, the production model still evokes the same emotions, and is handsome in its own right – allaying our fears when seeing spy shots of the machine.
Adding a TFT dash, IMU-powered traction control, cornering ABS, launch control, and an up-and-down quickshifter are all strong moves from the “Ready to Race” brand, making the KTM 790 Duke have not only the best power-to-weight ratio in its class, but it is also one of the most feature-packed.