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2021 KTM 890 Adventure R | Long-term trip review

2021 KTM 890 Adventure CHEAP
The 890 Adventure R has proven to be highly off-road capable. Kevin Wing’s photo.

RELATED: KTM 890 Adventure R 2021 | (Off) Road Test Assessment

Mileage: 3.314
Basic price: $14,199 (in 2021); $14,599 (in 2022)
Price as checked: $14,749 (Tech Pack)
Accessory: $114.95

After years of building extreme off-road bikes, KTM Balancing the on-/off-road scale when it introduced the 1190 Adventure for 2014. It has a more refined – and more powerful – V-Twin, and although its 19-inch/17-inch rear wheel is engineered back, but they still ride with 90/10 tubeless, travel-friendly adventure tires.


2021 KTM 890 Adventure CHEAP
KTM’s unique fuel tank design reduces fuel weight at a low level. Kevin Wing’s photo.

The 1190 Adventure also fully embraced the then-emerging trend of electronic rider assistance, becoming the first production motorcycle to offer tilt-sensitive ABS. The car is also equipped with a throttle-by-wire system, driving mode, multi-stage traction control, ABS mode when off-road, electronically controlled suspension and tire pressure monitoring system.

In the years that followed, KTM completed its Adventure range with 1290 Super Adventure (followed by R, S and T variants), 1090 Adventure R, 790 Adventure (standard and R variants, won. win Rider‘S 2019 motorcycle of the year awards), and 390 Adventure. In 2020, 790 evolves into 890 and we tested 890 Adventure CHEAP you see here in 2021.

Windshield KTM 890 Adventure R 2021
Short windscreen elements allow for smooth but non-adjustable air circulation. Bodyguard is standard. Kevin Wing’s photo.

Generally speaking, Rider the staff and contributors have done tens of thousands of miles on all the different KTM Adventure models, and the 890 is in a good spot – not as big, heavy, powerful or expensive as the 1290 Super Adventure, nor not as small and touring-limited as the 390 Adventure. (1090 and 1190 have been dropped as KTM dials in its small/medium/large model offerings.) It also features the latest in electronics that allow the driver to alter the vehicle’s performance and character just with a few buttons.

Our 2021 890 Adventure R test bike arrived with just 15 miles on the odometer, and over the course of nine months we’ve scored 3,300 miles. We burned 71 gallons of premium fuel, averaging 46.4 mpg and about 246 miles in range from the 5.3-gallon barrel.

Wheels KTM 890 Adventure R 2021
The spokes wheel is fitted with a tubeless Continental TKC80 knot. Kevin Wing’s photo.

The 890 has a horseshoe-shaped fuel tank, with a fuel tank on top and two sections running down the sides of the engine and ending in a tubercle, as first seen on 790 Adventure. The design, while not particularly attractive, does offer a number of advantages: Narrow top barrel area between the knees when riding upright; fuel weight is mostly reduced, which contributes to better handling; and the bottom covers provide some lower impact and foot protection. However, due to the unusual shape of the tank, it is difficult to get an accurate reading of the remaining fuel and only 50% of the final tank capacity is displayed on the fuel gauge. There’s fuel range readings on the 890’s TFT display, but it wasn’t even remotely accurate during our testing.

2021 KTM 890 Adventure CHEAP
The owner of this Range Rover should have bought a KTM.

With a short windshield, tall front fender, race-style seats and Continental TKC80 tires (rated for 40% off-road / 60% off-road), the 890 Adventure R is clearly designed for off-road use. Heavy shape. On rough dirt roads and technical trails, the 890-R is well-balanced, pleasant and enjoyable, especially in the optional Rally mode included in the Technology Pack. However, of our test mileage, only about 10% were off-road vehicles. We spent most of our time driving the 890-R on paved back roads, deserted freeways, freeways and city roads. While the standard 890 Adventure will offer more comfort and wind resistance, the 890-R never feels like a fish out of water. That versatility is what makes the ADV bike such a compelling proposition.

2021 KTM 890 Adventure CHEAP
The Nelson-Rigg Sahara Dry Duffle bag fits perfectly on the rear rack. Author’s photo.

We wear a Nelson-Rigg Sahara Dry Duffle ($114.95; for longer trips, but we didn’t add any other accessories. In addition to the break-in service, maintenance included tire air checks and cleaning/chaining, although the rear TKC80 was pretty bad by the time we handed over the keys.

KTM announced that the 890 Adventure ($13,399) and 890 Adventure R ($14,599) will remain unchanged in 2022.

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