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KTM Announces Changes to 890 Adventure R for 2023 (with video)

We are big fans of the current KTM 890 Adventure R, as revealed by our test of the model shortly after its introduction in 2021. It starts with a version of KTM’s fantastic parallel-twin (also found in its Duke series), which is remarkably light, compact and blessed with a gorgeous, meaty power band. One of the best engines in motorcycling.

Quite simply, the current 890 Adventure R is a great motorcycle, but KTM decided to improve it for 2023, nonetheless. Here are the details in a press release from KTM, followed by a video:

MURRIETA, Calif. – For all those who dare to adventure, KTM North America, Inc. introduces the new KTM 890 ADVENTURE R, here to break travel barriers on or off the beaten track. Featuring a host of technical upgrades, this reworked machine enters a new era of rally-inspired aesthetics and performance.

Harnessing attributes of KTM’s pure READY TO RACE legacy, the hyper-focused development goals of the new KTM 890 ADVENTURE R are clear: further offroad excellence, dependability and suitability for whatever lies on the road ahead. Launched in the diverse landscape of western Idaho at the 2022 KTM Adventure Rider Rally, the next-level capability and mettle of the reshaped KTM 890 ADVENTURE R was witnessed in the heart of the Idaho mountains by adventurers from all over the world.

Taking cues from the KTM 450 RALLY setup, the WP suspension package on the KTM 890 ADVENTURE R, with fully-adjustable WP XPLOR forks and a WP XPLOR PDS rear shock, was retuned to provide improved feeling and damping to ensure riders reach the end of each stage with reduce fatigue. Further influence from the Factory Rally bike is evident in the redesigned bodywork with a new fairing, fuel tank and cowling, improving aerodynamics and ergonomics, respectively enhancing protection from the elements and the bike’s already amazing agility. The fact that the 2023 KTM 890 ADVENTURE R is ready for action is also made clear through the new lower windshield, high front fender and engine protector, for those tricky technical moments.

The new 5” TFT display—equipped with USB-C connecters— features a completely new appearance with colored pictograms and intuitive graphics that allow for easy navigation through the menus. In addition, the latest upgrades include a developed turn-by-turn plus navigation system that allows riders to select their preferred destination from the bike’s menu. A new phone call-out function also allows a favorites call option, with a maximum of 10 numbers, or the option to call one of the 10 last numbers called.

To take the software and hardware potential of the electronics suite to new levels, KTM has also included the next generation of ABS control unit that takes readings from the 6D sensor — which continually informs the CMU on the angle, pitch, speed and general behavior of the motorcycle — to apply the correct amount of braking force for any given situation. Riders opting to try the bike’s potential off the beaten track can count on OFFROAD ABS as an integrated element of OFFROAD MODE, or the optional RALLY MODE, without the need to select the OFFROAD ABS separately.

When the trail widens and the KTM 890 ADVENTURE R wants to clock the miles, the 2023 edition provides comfort through the single-piece seat with new colors, which still emphasizes mobility and grip. Adventurers can also be seen with new LED style indicators that complement the revitalized graphic set for 2023

KTM has taken advantage of the growing electronic capacity of the KTM 890 ADVENTURE R to install a new DEMO MODE, seen for the first time on this 2023 model. The new KTM 890 ADVENTURE R will allow riders to take advantage of all the specs and options for the first 1,500 kilometers, before the rider decides which pack or features to acquire. Thanks to the DEMO MODE setting, adventurers can feel and experience the areas of the bike they prefer or rely on while in the thick of throttle-wringing action.

2023 KTM 890 ADVENTURE R – HIGHLIGHTS

// Reworked bodywork and fairing inspired by the KTM 450 RALLY

// New windshield offering improved airflow

// Reworked suspension settings for reduced long-distance fatigue

// Upgraded 5” TFT display with USB connection

// Improved ABS components with new modulator (9.3 MP)

// OFFROAD ABS linked with OFFROAD MODE and (optional) RALLY MODE

// Updated turn-by-turn plus navigation system

// Introducing the DEMO MODE functionality

// Handlebar switch with hazard warning

// New LED indicators

// New engine protector 

The 2023 KTM 890 ADVENTURE R pushes extremes a little further while inviting riders from across the world to #Dare2ADV. 

25 Comments

  1. Ed says:

    Wait till you find out what BMW is doing with their cars. You’ll be really steaming then.

    • Mick says:

      I don’t buy cars. Now that car people have destroyed trucks, I don’t buy new trucks either.

      It’s kind of funny. The street bike and automotive markets are saving me a bundle of money simply by being lame. Why is making a good honest street bike or pickup truck such a cardinal sin? Whatever, load the 500 pound nanny machine into the plastic wrapped Marvel Comics truck, if it will fit into the vestigial box, and drive off in any direction you like.

  2. Mick says:

    Isn’t rally mode basically analog mode? The ability to turn everything off? So you can buy a new motorcycle and for 1500 miles you can ride it nanny free. After that you have to pay for the privilege of the ability to turn things off.

    Nothing could be more ridiculous. One would think they would at least charge extra for something they had to develop. But no. They want you to pay extra for the one feature that simply stuts down a bunch of expensive garbage that you are forced to buy with the bike.

    It’s like buying a car that has a built in back seat driver that never stuts up. Sure! You can shut it off for the first 1500 miles. After that you have to pay a fee for the back seat driver off button to work. I suppose once you have paid the fee something on the dash lights up SUCKER! Then you have to pay another fee to shut that off.

    As a boomer, I sometimes fee that we have failed those coming along behind us. Hey sorry you need an additional education to get a decent job and sorry that that education is going to saddle you with a debt for a house. Now good luck buying a house because boomers with money are buying them up so they can rent them to you. Oh! You made it over those hurdles and want a motorcycle? Wait until you get a load of the BS the motorcycle dealer has in store for you.

    I don’t know if I will buy anything that isn’t a bicycle or a two stroke dirt bike new ever again. If they are this willing to hose me on an off button, what other evil lurks?

    • Curtis says:

      A lot of people have complaints about the newer KTMs and their extra electronic features available at extra fee. I understand the concern (my main beef is that the quickshifter requires a fee to enable, I don’t have as much concern that the “tech packs” and other elements are available at an extra fee), though I’m not as bothered by it as so many posters appear to be.

      Mick brought up the idea that Rally mode is just the ability to turn things off, and I’ve seen that a lot, so I thought I’d address that. I don’t want to assume anything about Mick’s knowledge base, and naturally he’s entitled to his opinion. Maybe he knows what I’m about to write, but it appears not everyone does (understandably – these new bikes are complicated and require some time to fully explore), so I’ll explain a bit further.

      My experience: I’ve ridden and owned a number of recent KTM models, though of course not all of them. I believe I have enough experience to generalize, but specifics may vary (again, these bikes are somewhat complex and have individual variation based on model and year, etc).

      The models with electronic aids tend to come with specific ride modes, each having kind of “baked in” throttle response, traction control, and wheelie control parameters (the details of each setting vary), often lumped into settings called things like “off road,” “rain”, “street”, “sport”, and so on. All of the bikes I’ve seen, ALSO have the ability to turn everything off, without any additional-fee items. Turning off traction control turns off wheelie control, ABS can be turned off (sometimes off, sometimes into something like “off road” or “Supermoto” mode where front ABS remains active and rear ABS is turned off), etc. It depends a little bit whether the settings are “sticky” or you have to re-set them when turning the bike back on, and sometimes a “dongle” has been involved, at least in the past. Changes that don’t stick surely ARE annoying, but KTM doesn’t have a monopoly on annoying electronics (yesterday I rode a Yamaha T7 which reverted to road ABS every time I turned off the key).

      The extra-fee modes, such as “rally”, “performance”, “track”, etc, tend to have the following features: adjustable throttle map separate from adjustable traction control (tending to have 9 steps rather than a baked-in setting), separating wheelie control from traction control, maybe “launch mode” for the street models, etc. These modes are definitely NOT required to enable the bike to “do wheelies” (as I’ve seen persons online suggest), spin the rear tire, etc. Basic models have an “off” setting. (Again, maybe it’s annoying to use, I’m not sure about the specifics on that – all the bikes I’ve owned or ridden do have the extra-fee options because, apparently my friends and I dig rally, performance, and track modes. 😉

      I hope this helps. Ride safe everybody.

      • motorhead says:

        Curtis, now that IS a very thoughtful and well-informed posting. Thank you for clarifying so many concerns. I suppose there is no such thing as a free lunch, so choosing from the full range of menu items perhaps shouldn’t be free. Also, by paying for it, the customer can go in and expect help when the complexity becomes baffling. I also had no idea the extra-fee for adjusting electronics was a common practice. Thanks again.

      • Mick says:

        I see all this as the horrifying result of the numbers game in the street bike market. All numbers have to be big. Power numbers start at 100 and the new minimum wet weight starts with 5, regardless of the lie weight.

        The problem with big numbers is that they don’t necessarily make desirable every day motorcycles. So you get modes, traction, and wheelie control. You can get your “pride of ownership” of a bike that is doing well in the numbers game and ride it like you stole it in rain mode and live. Oh goody.

        KTM sells singles for people who don’t want to play the numbers game. Unfortunately all the rest of their bikes are simply heavy and powerful number queens. Street bikes with more than one cylinder and less than 100 horsepower, that don’t need modes and controls, seem to have been sentanced to the budget bike segment. KTM doesn’t seem to want to play in that segment.

        This all saddens me. What I want is a twin that has between 80 and 90 horsepower and is light weight. Really light weight, not street bike light. But 80 to 90 horsepower twins are budget bikes. You can’t buy a fifteen or twenty thousand dollar 90 horsepower bike unless you are buying some ridiculous cruiser. And light weight street bikes seem to be under a total ban. Don’t try to tell me that a street bike that weighs more than a dirt bike and a half is light. It just isn’t and never will be.

        So the only reason you will ever see me in a showroom is because I am on my way to pick up a two stroke, and carbureted for now, dirt bike that I have called ahead to have prepared. I really wish that wasn’t the case. But I don’t make the rules. I curse them.

        • Dave says:

          You claim to want a premium 80-90hp twin but you don’t own an Aprilia Tuono 660 or KTM Duke 790, both of which are what you describe, minus the unattainable ~300lb weight target.

          • todd says:

            Never mind the 690 singles that can perform up against 800-900 twins and some fours quite readily.

          • Mick says:

            Does a lightly modded and lightened 2012 Hypermotard 1100 EVO SP Corsa Edition count?

            How about an Ohlins equipped XR650R supermoto with numerous mods and sub 300 pound weight?

            You can keep the ride by wire stuff in your garage. They are not welcome in mine.

  3. Curt says:

    I just rode a 790R off road for the first time today. I wasn’t prepared for how awesome it was, and I’ve got a number of recent KTMs. This model is sweet! I understand that people have had trouble with some, but my buddy has a lot of happy and trouble-free miles on his. I was simply amazed at how it rode and I can hardly imagine how the new 890R probably goes.

    • Tommy D says:

      The 890 is easier to ride in slow speed off road conditions as the 20% heavier flywheel makes the bike less prone to stalling. It also makes it much easier to slide the rear in the woods for the same reason flat trackers have heavy flywheels. I traded a 790 for an 890 and was super impressed with the difference in the feel of the motor. Oh ya… Wheelies in 3rd gear on the 890 are like a 701SM.

      • Curt says:

        I’ve heard that about the increased flywheel effect on the 890, and I’m sure a little fatter torque curve doesn’t hurt. I didn’t try the 790 at low speed/low rpm but better is better! Easier/smoother slides and third gear wheelies sound like a win to me! Thanks for your input.

  4. todd says:

    You do realize that the next step is the subscription model: you must register a credit card with them and, if you turn on a feature (or turn off ABS), you pay a monthly fee and then a per-use/per-minute fee.

  5. ducremus says:

    Since my ’66 Norton Atlas died on me in 1982, I’ve only been stranded miles from home by 2 bikes: a KTM 1190 and a KTM 1290. Never again.

  6. Stuki Moi says:

    If only KTMs weren’t so singularly dependent on constant electronic intervention in order to be even baseline rideable, I wouldn’t be too concerned: Someone would come out with an aftermarket ECU.

    But my (increasingly dated, admittedly…) experience with their street twin engines, have me concerned that the software holding together otherwise surprisingly unrefined mechanicals; largely by artificially overmsoothing everything the way digital cameras with cheap lenses and noisy sensors do; is pretty much all there is to the bikes (aside from great suspensions and clutches…).

  7. Bob says:

    F*** KTM, and any other OEM, that does this digital unlock bullshit.

    You will not see a dollar from me, ever.

  8. Fredrick says:

    KTM, I hope you are copying these comments. Soon you may have no customers

  9. motorhead says:

    I found a typo in the KTM article above, corrected in ALL CAPS:
    “KTM has taken advantage of the growing electronic capacity of the KTM 890 ADVENTURE R to install a new DEMO MODE, seen for the first AND LAST time on this 2023 model.”
    KTM charges additional fees for the free software, simply because they can. Likewise, customers abandon KTM, simply because they can.

  10. Doc Sarvis says:

    Whoa- they are giving you the first hit for ‘free’. The subsequent hits are going to cost you. Good street corner dealer marketing says I. Seems pretty brilliant to me.

  11. Tommy D says:

    I have the 890 ADV-R Rally and think there is only one improvement that the bike needs. Less buffeting from the windscreen at highway speeds. Let’s hope the improved aerodynamics is more than marketing. I think no wind protection and smooth air is better than what the last gen bikes had. The big question is – Did it gain any weight or lose weight?

  12. Dave says:

    I have been a hard core fan of KTM since my 2007 990 Adventure. I will not buy any vehicle, KTM included that has additional software costs for features already on the bike. Hostage ware is what they are selling. I might have to go back to Japanese bikes….perish the thought.

  13. Mick says:

    With this one move, demo, KTM has negated themselves any opportunity to sell me a street bike. And this on my way home from two weeks of dirt biking on a 300XC.

    Better get that FI straightened out or I won’t buy a new one of those either. I’ve been buying KTMs once in a while since the eighties. I’d hate to see them disappear from my universe. The universe has shrunken enough.

    Maybe now that Suzuki isn’t wasting money at GP they can bring in a new RM250 with eStart, a carb and a balance shaft. That would be sweet. They could make a buck. The old RMs are well respected.

  14. motorhead says:

    I buy this bike, and after 1500 miles of Demo Mode, I lose a bunch of electronic upgrades and then need to start paying for them to get them back? Really? A software unlock that adds no cost, but adds a bunch of expense. People gonna soon dislike KTM like they dislike Elon.

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