KTM is bringing back the popular 790 Adventure—at least in some markets. The USA is not one of them, presumably because it already gets the KTM 890 Adventure R. Nonetheless, KTM has made the 790 fully Euro 5 compliant, which is why it was put on pause in the first place.
During the time away, KTM also upgraded the 790 to keep it aligned with the rest of the Adventure family. But the big news, other than its return, is the fact that KTM is now handing off production of the 790 Adventure to its Chinese partner CFMoto. If you didn’t know, CFMoto already manufactures the LC8c engine and has been using its clone for a few years.
Nonetheless, the 790 is back, it’s Euro 5 compliant, and best of all – power is still the same as before – 95 hp and 65 lb-ft of torque. Improved throttle bodies and an updated knock control sensor are just some of the changes. The latter is important because the 790 can now better handle the poor fuel someone might see in faraway places by changing ignition timing and other engine parameters.
A more significant change is the additional 20% that’s been added to the 790’s rotating mass to add to its slow-speed stability. That’s important when riding through challenging terrain. The Quickshifter+ has also been revised for smoother shifting, another plus when looking for stability. To help maintain the same power as before while still meeting Euro 5, there’s a new airbox and revised exhaust system.
The 790 also benefits from a new 6D IMU to reap the benefits of KTM’s latest electronic rider aids like Cornering Traction Control, ABS, Motor Slip Regulation, plus numerous ride modes.
If you have any experience with the old 790, then you’ll appreciate this update: the new version will remember which ABS setting the bike is in after you shut it off. Then, when you turn the bike on again, it will stay there. If you’ve ever used Offroad ABS before and wanted it to stay active when turning the bike on again, you’ll be happy to see this.
Something you may not be happy about, though, is KTM’s Demo Mode, which the new 790 Adventure also includes. Demo Mode gives you all the electronic rider aids and conveniences KTM has available for the first 1,500 kilometers.
After that, you’ll have to pay a subscription for the features you want to keep. The jury’s still out on whether this is a beneficial tactic or not, but the initial reaction seems to be that people don’t like the idea of having to subscribe to use something on their bikes.
Apart from the engine, the bodywork is updated to look like the rest of the KTM Adventure family. The bolstered sides divert more air and dust around the rider (so they say), and the taller windscreen will flow more air over the rider. There’s also an updated cockpit area to accommodate mounts for things like GPS devices, cameras, or even pace notes.
Other changes include a standard aluminum bash plate, Pirelli Scorpion STR tires, full LED lighting, and a reconfigured 5-inch TFT display that’s more user-friendly while also being reactive to ambient light. The KTMConnect app has more features to make it easier to make calls and/or read navigation from your phone.
The original 790 Adventure wasn’t here very long, but it was a hit because it proved that a middleweight adventure bike could be as fun as the heavyweights with less intimidation factor.
A few short years later, its disappearance for an 890 version definitely left some heads scratching, but we assume CFMoto has a bigger play for the bike in certain places.