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MD Project Bike: Dirck Modifies a 2019 KTM 790 Adventure, Part 3 (With Review of SW-MOTECH Tank Bag and Luggage Rack)

This is the third installment in our series of articles on the 2019 KTM 790 Adventure that we are modifying. Most of the modifications are aimed at making the bike more street-worthy, such as swapping out the 21/18 wheels for cast aluminum 19/17 wheels (the stock wheels from the KTM 1290 Super Adventure S). You can find Part 2 of this series here, where you will also find a link to Part 1.

In this report, we will address modifications aimed at achieving improved luggage capabilities. On the luggage front, we looked to SW-MOTECH. This company’s products are designed in Germany and, as we found out, the quality is excellent. Let’s begin with the Adventure-Rack.

SW-MOTECH designs an Adventure-Rack specifically for our bike, and it bolts right on in place of the stock rack. By comparison, the stock rack is tiny and lacks sufficient tie-down points. The SW-MOTECH Adventure Rack is priced at $167.95, and is both longer and wider than the stock rack, with many more attachment points. Here is a cut-and-paste from the SW-MOTECH description of the rack’s features:

  • Extremely robust rack for long tours and off-road rides
  • Exclusive manufacturing processes and its optimized shape lend an extra dose of stability to the ADVENTURE-RACK
  • Its extreme durability during vibrations, impacts and high weight was tested in the lab and off-road under harshest conditions
  • Multiple functional bores: for TRAX top cases. SysBag15/30 with adapter plate are available separately with the appropriate adapter kit
  • Adapter kits for attaching top cases by other manufacturers (Givi Monokey and Monolock, Krauser, Shad I und II) also available
  • Easy rigging of luggage on numerous, large lashing eyes, threading of 25 mm fasteners possible
  • Especially large contact surface (Width: 32.9 cm at the front, 22.5 cm at the back, Length: 30.3 cm)
  • Easy installation on original attachment points with bike-specific attachment elements
  • Effective corrosion protection from black powder coating
  • Made of light but sturdy 4mm-thick aluminum alloy

As soon as you pick up the SW-Motech Adventure rack, and bolt it to your bike (it lined up perfectly), you are struck by how well made and robust it is. We couldn’t find anything better on the Internet for this bike, quite frankly. It so happens we had a nice Marsee tail bag to attach (see picture).

The contour of the 790 Adventure fuel tank makes most tank bags look like a bulbous afterthought. For this reason, we were drawn to the SW-MOTECH EVO Engage tank bag, which tries (at least) to follow that contour. All of the EVO bags quickly snap on-and-off utilizing a tank ring, which must be purchased separately for $34.95. Removing the tank bag for gas fill-ups is as simple as pulling a release tab.

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6 Comments

  1. Thomas DeLoriea says:

    I really love my Enduristan tail pack on my 790ADV-R. It fits right onto the stock plate as the U-hooks fit right into the bottom slots in the OEM luggage plate. It’s waterproof and the perfect size for that spot. Fits a Nalgene bottle and a jacket liner and gloves. Perfect!

    https://enduristan.co.uk/products/tail-pack

  2. Jammer says:

    What modifications did you have to make to mount the sw mortech engage tank bag on the KTM790 adventure

  3. Hans says:

    Guys, please post the instructions on how to modify the mounting mechanism.
    Thank you!

  4. Evan says:

    The SWMotech bags are fantastic. I’ve been using a Daypack 2.0 on my S1000R with an electrified tank ring. Charges my phone, keeps wallet, water, or other important things at hand. Very high quality, good looks, and lots of sizes. Literally nothing to not like.

  5. bmbktmracer says:

    Very industrial-looking rig ya got there. Looks like a fun ride. I currently live in Korea for my job. Been here 5 years now. Bought a 2009 Moto Guzzi Stelvio on eBay 2 years ago, that had only 900 miles. I’ve had it for 2 years now, but only get to ride it once per year. It now has about 1500 miles. Point is, bikes like yours and mine are meant for riding and are so rewarding to tinker with. Tinkering makes the bike your own and — for me — is what creates a sense of pride and accomplishment. I also have a 2004 Triumph Sprint RS with GSXR USD forks, Ohlins shock, Staintune pipe, and a lovely blue paintjob I did in the garage. I’m sure I’ll buy a new bike when I get home, but I’ll never sell the two I have now. Hopin’ you’ll have many years of fun on that machine while keeping the wrenches spinning.

  6. fred says:

    SW-Moto apparently got the locking tank bag idea from Les @ LuggageLocker/TankLocker. He’s been out of business for some time, but I still have a couple of his tank bags that have held up well for more that a quarter of a century.

    I’m a big fan of adequate storage on motorcycles, and your setup looks quite functional.

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