Since its class-disrupting debut in 2019, which earned Rider’s Motorcycle of the Year award for the 790 Adventure and 790 Adventure R, KTM’s middleweight adventure touring lineup has steadily improved. The tip of the off-road spear is the KTM 890 Adventure R Rally, which has been updated for 2024. Only 700 will be available worldwide.
Based on the 890 Adventure R, the Rally has the same 889cc LC8c parallel-Twin that made 90 hp at 8,200 rpm and 62 lb-ft of torque at 6,200 rpm at the rear wheel when we last tested it in 2021. The Rally is fitted with an Akrapovič slip-on titanium silencer that’s 35% lighter than the stock can. The 6-speed transmission is paired with a slip/assist clutch.
Suspension is the biggest upgrade on the 890 Adventure R Rally. It’s equipped with a WP Xplor Pro 7548 fork with cone valve technology that KTM claims is the “absolute best suspension currently available.” Out back is a WP Xplor Pro 6746 shock with progressive damping. There’s full adjustability and 10.6 inches of travel front and rear, which is 1.2 inches more than on the standard 890 Adventure R.
The Rally stands apart from its stablemates with graphics inspired by KTM’s Factory Racing team as well as a dedicated rally seat and rally footpegs. Extra protection comes courtesy of carbon fiber tank guards, an engine protection grill, and an aluminum master cylinder guard. A Supersprox-Stealth rear sprocket adds to the premium build quality, and a steering damper is standard.
Rolling on special high-strength spoked Excel wheels (tubes required) in 21- x 2.15-inch front and 18- x 4.00-inch rear sizes, the Rally is fitted with Mitas Enduro Trail tires.
The KTM 890 Adventure R Rally has Motorcycle Traction Control, ABS with Road and Offroad modes, and three standard ride modes (Street, Offroad, and Rain). The Tech Pack adds Rally mode, Motor Slip Regulation, Quickshifter+, and cruise control. The KTMconnect app pairs the bike to a smartphone via Bluetooth and features Turn-By-Turn+ navigation on the 5-inch TFT display.
In addition, 34 lucky people who purchase a KTM 890 Adventure R Rally will get an exclusive opportunity to ride with KTM legends (like Johnny Aubert) at the Ultimate KTM Desert Experience. The event will take place in Morocco, with the option to choose from two dates: March 3-7 or March 7-11, 2024. Participants will be offered a full-factory style package including the use of a fully prepped bike provided by KTM with all the necessary technical support required for desert exploration, transport during the trip and luxury accommodation for a four-night stay, plus one special night camping with KTM in the desert for the total price of $5,400. With three days of riding in the area where the KTM Factory Racing Team does its rally testing, a dedicated and fully guided route, and a prepared KTM 890 Adventure R Rally, this event will be the trip of a lifetime.
The 2024 KTM 890 Adventure R Rally has an MSRP of $21,499. KTM will begin taking preorders on September 20, 2023, and bikes will begin arriving early 2024. For more information, visit KTM’s website.
Following in the steps of their 790 Adventure models, KTM have announced for 2021 the new 890 Adventure R model, as well as a strictly limited 890 Adventure R Rally version of which only 700 will be produced worldwide.
The limited edition 2021 890 Adventure R Rally boasts inspiration from the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Rally team, featuring a series of components and settings to match, with top of the range WP Pro Components, ultra-light Akrapovic silencer, straight racing seat, Quickshifter+ as standard, ‘Rally’ mode, narrow carbon-fibre tank protectors, Rally footrests, clear screen winglets and special racing graphics.
Updates seen across both models naturally include the new 889 cc engine, with an additional 10 hp and 12 nm or torque, new slip and assist clutch, plus revised cornering traction control and ABS systems.
Chassis updates include a revised sub-frame, steering stem and triple-clamps, to save weight, with improved brakes, while wheels are new anodised units, replacing powder-coated rims. WP XPlor Pro 7548 forks are fully adjustable and found alongside an Xplor Pro 6746 shock absorber on the Rally edition, with 48mm WP Xplor forks and a WP Xplor shock on the standard Adventure R, with 240 mm travel on the R, and an additional 30 mm front and rear on the Rally.
2021 KTM 890 Adventure R features
New 889cc engine with an added 90cc of displacement
Engine featuring 20% more rotating masses (Euro5)
More power with 105 hp @ 8,000rpm
Added torque with 100 Nm @ 6,500 rpm
Improved ABS and Traction Control
Reworked shifting for faster gear changes
New handlebar switch for Cruise Control function
Chassis upgrades with aluminum steering head tube & lighter subframe
Reworked front & rear brakes
New suspension settings
2021 KTM 890 Adventure R Rally features
Limited edition, 700 units (500 INT & 200 US)
WP XPLOR Pro Suspension
Akrapovic exhaust (35% lighter than standard)
Straight racing seat (with 910 mm height)
RALLY mode and Quickshifter+
Clear screen winglets and racing graphics and colors
Carbon fiber tank protectors and Rally footrests
The exclusive KTM 890 Adventure R Rally is available in limited quantities and can be pre-ordered on ktm.com. The KTM 890 Adventure R will be arriving at KTM authorised dealers from April 2021 onward, in Australia and New Zealand. For more info visit www.ktm.com (link).
890 Adventure R Engine
Both KTM 890 Adventure R models offer a significant step up from the 790 Adventure, featuring a new 889cc engine with an added 90cc of displacement which generates 105 hp and 100 Nm of torque, 10 hp and 12 Nm more than the bike’s smaller sibling. The crankshaft also features 20 per cent more rotating mass, meaning a more stable and consistent output, noticeable particularly with low RPM torque.
Additional changes include new forged box pistons with three rings and a shorter piston pin, and despite the larger bore, a 10 g weight reduction has been possible, with two oil jets compared to one per piston. Two new balancer shafts accompany the larger scale of engine performance; one is located towards the front of the crankshaft and the other in the cylinder head.
A new v-shape conrod also contributes to less oscillating mass and the top end bearing contains a bronze conrod instead of one that is DLC coated, while new horizontally split crankcases are made from a high pressure aluminum cast. The weight has been optimised through wall thickness, and the surfaces of the material in order to fabricate the most efficient design. Open deck cylinders have been fully integrated.
Two Dell’Orto 46mm throttle bodies fitted with new sensors offer effective reading of the manifold pressures. Additionally, any interference between the cylinders at low or partial throttle opening has been eliminated by removal of the connection between the two intake tracts, and a knock sensor on the cylinder head improves the robust nature of the engine for the KTM 890 Adventure range. The sensor helps momentarily delay the ignition to combat knocking combustion and preserves engine life.
A Power Assist Slipper Clutch (PASC) is another upgrade over the 790 Adventure, using new friction plates; constructed for better durability and heat resistance. The architecture also guarantees sufficient oil separation, therefore making it easier to select neutral.
The new engine has also been given a larger oil cooler as part of the semi-dry sump system. A reduction of friction losses is generated by actively pumping oil out of the crankcase, clutch housing and gearbox. The updated gearbox has also been toughened with glass beading on the fourth, fifth and sixth gear cogs.
890 Adventure R Electronics
Both new models utilise a new generation of Cornering Motorcycle Traction Control. The main difference is the combination of the independent controllers – one for wheel slip and another for pitch angle – that informs a wider range of traction control settings. Pitch control can be felt in straight line acceleration with a more constant flow as the power reduction is less abrupt and severe. Advanced riders can also deactivate traction control.
The KTM 890 Adventure R Rally also comes with Rally mode. This adjusts the degree of MTC intervention with up to nine selectable slip levels, tweaked to enable rider actions like front wheel lift on acceleration and rear wheel drifts. Rally mode is an optional extra for the standard 890 Adventure R.
KTM have also further refined the Cornering ABS software, tweaks have enhanced braking power while minimising the intrusion of the ABS. Offroad ABS means braking activation on the front wheel is reduced and the lean angle sensor is deactivated. Riders can then use the full locking potential of the rear wheel to steer the back end of the bike.
Standard fitment on the Rally version is the Quickshifter+ system, which will be available as an option on the standard edition, while Cruise Control via a new handlebar switch is found across both models.
890 Adventure R chassis
The KTM 890 Adventure R and KTM 890 Adventure R Rally adopt this same chassis found on the 790 Adventure, but with some notable differences, as weight has been saved while not compromising strength or rigidity. This has been reached through lighter steel profiles of the trellis frame structure, and the steering stem has also been re-forged from high-strength aluminum to save more weight, while the triple clamps boast this new material.
The 890 Adventures also carry improved brakes. A stronger piston spring in the front brake’s master cylinder means a better and more sensitive feeling and feedback on the lever and ‘slim seal’ technology for the piston seal provides more accuracy with the pressure point. For the rear brake system new isolated pistons in the caliper work with isolation plates between the pads and piston for more heat stability. A stainless-steel rear brake hose fitting is another measure to keep heat in check.
Both now have anodised wheel hubs instead of powder-coated, and this change means a better, more resistant and high-quality appearance.
On the 890 Adventure R Rally, the WP XPLOR PRO 7548 fork uses cone valve technology; a valving system that permits almost limitless damping performance and combines comfort with bottoming resistance. Setting levels that normally can only be achieved by changing the shim stack can now be adjusted from the outside. The cone valve allows unlimited opening, so harshness of the suspension is reduced.
The fully adjustable WP XPLOR PRO 6746 shock absorber for the Rally has been developed based on KTM’s experience from top-level rally competition. Due to modern, low-friction components, the shock absorber shows a significant increase in its damping performance and reduces the physical strain for riders. The shock absorber employs a progressive damping system (PDS) and has completely adjustable damping behavior featuring separate high and low-speed compression damping adjusters.
The 890 Adventure R on the other hand sports the reworked 48 mm WP XPLOR fork, combining top quality materials with a full 240 mm of travel. Originally developed for full-on Enduro racing, it has springs on both sides, but also separates the damping functions of the two fork legs. Both are easily adjusted using twist dials on the top of the forks, and a sealed hydrostop guarantees excellent resistance against bottoming out.
The 890 Adventure R is also fitted with a WP XPLOR shock absorber with 240 mm of travel, which is fully adjustable for preload, separate high and low speed compression and rebound damping. The rear suspension features KTM’s proprietary progressive damping system (PDS) as used in the brand’s racing Enduro models, which delivers progressive damping, without the need of a linkage system. Bottoming resistance is provided by a second piston, which works together with a closed cup (instead of a needle) towards the end of the stroke and is supported by a progressive shock spring.
890 Adventure R & 890 Adventure R Rally Ergos
The KTM 890 Adventure R Rally offers a fresh look for 2021, with racing inspired graphics and colours. The 890 Adventure R also shows off a new graphic design and two-tone color scheme. The graphics are made from in-mold technology, which is more resistant and harder wearing than decals.
Ergonomics are cleverly formulated to match the bikes and the roles they are designed for. The fuel tank is a narrow shape (that contains 20 liters and can reach a 400 km range) and places the bulk of the fuel as low as possible to help with the position of the center of gravity; that centralisation assists handling which is keenly felt offroad.
Riders can bring their knees closer to the center of the bike when standing up and the dirtbike profile of the seat facilitates movement. Positioning of the tank in the chassis helps towards the lower seat height while the section towards the bottom even protects riders’ feet from spray water and cold air.
Further up the bike and the isolated and minimal front mask was a hit on the KTM 790 Adventure and is adopted for the KTM 890 Adventure models. Again, the final shape came through a blend of theory and testing as well as feedback gained from the KTM 450 RALLY bike used in DAKAR competition. The advantages come through a lighter and more agile feel for the rider as well as better visibility. Other details involve a fuel line protector to deflect any potential damage from stones and rocks.
The exclusive KTM 890 Adventure R Rally is available in limited quantities and can be pre-ordered on ktm.com or drop into your local KTM dealer. The KTM 890 Adventure R will be arriving at KTM authorised dealers from April 2021 onward, in Australia and New Zealand. For more info visit www.ktm.com (link).
2021 KTM 890 Adventure R & Adventure R Rally Specifications