VIDEO | KTM 890 ADVENTURE R | IS IT THE PERFECT ADVENTURE BIKE?

The KTM 890 Adventure R with Giant Loop Great Basin saddlebag
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As Piaggio Group’s flagship brand for performance, innovation and technology, Aprilia was born into racing with 294 Grand Prix victories in Road Racing World Championship and 54 world titles.

 

Propelled by its best-ever MotoGP season in 2022, including its first victory in MotoGP, nine podiums, and two pole positions that shot it to the top of world championship motorcycle racing, Aprilia’s race-bred model line-up includes the RSV4 and Tuono V4, the mid-size RS 660 and Tuono 660 models, the SR GT scooter and, most recently, the Tuareg 660, which marks the iconic Italian brand’s return to the dirt-oriented adventure segment.

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VIDEO AND WORDS BY DAMIEN ASHENHURST
THANKS TO PAUL SNEDDON FOR THE ASSISTANCE


It can be hard to resist riding the 890 Adventure R like it’s a 450 EXC-F. Moreso than any other big-bore adventure bike offering the full suite of electronics and bodywork (so I’m discounting the 701/690 here), the 890 is capable of attacking technical trails at pace. The sort of trails that you’d be happy to ride all day on an enduro bike.

And we see that sort of riding a lot in videos and photos. An 890 is so very often portrayed as a weapon that’s mostly trailbike and taking on stuff that boggles the mind on a big bike, but that’s not an honest representation of adventure riding.

It can be a small component for sure but take an overview of adventure riding across the country and you’ll see far more long, open dirt roads than you will rock shelves and single trails.

It feels disingenuous when the media use the 890 to show you how mad their skids are. If you’re not Chris Birch, who gives a shit?

My rear wheel skids are pretty renowned mind you. I can’t wheelie to save my life and even my slides are sphincter puckering exercises of dubious control. But I can skid.

KTM 890 ADVENTURE R | VIDEO REVIEW

So in this video, we have our fun at first, but then we bring the pace down a little. We headed off on a two-day ride, half of which was a new route for us and we experience the triumphs and tragedies that come with adventure riding.

We get lost looking for caves and almost die of heatstroke, we introduce a revolutionary new type of footwear, find a two-headed cow on a wall, tear a hamstring and ride some of the sweetest tracks and trails our region can offer.

Along the way, we find a bike that’s so much more versatile than the popular portrayal suggests.