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2023 KTM 890 Adventure R First Look

The KTM 890 Adventure R receives some major revisions for 2023, so riders can do more of this.

The KTM 890 Adventure R receives some major revisions for 2023, so riders can do more of this. (KTM/)

The KTM 890 Adventure R arrived on the scene in 2021, offering a major upgrade to the aging 790 Adventure R. In it, a 889cc parallel-twin engine that produced 105 hp and 74 lb.-ft. of torque due to its extra 90cc, 2mm-larger bore, and 3mm-larger stroke over the 790 model. The bike became a favorite of many famed world-class riders, including New Zealand’s Chris Birch, the Say No to Slow dual sport riding school instructor. Those who trained with Birch or know his riding abilities know he’s the perfect customer for a mid-weight adventure bike. Birch worked closely with KTM to develop the all-new 2023 890 Adventure R.

The KTM 890 Adventure R’s WP suspension gets updated for 2023 for improved handling off-road.

The KTM 890 Adventure R’s WP suspension gets updated for 2023 for improved handling off-road. (KTM/)

For 2023, the 890 Adventure R gets many technical, ergonomic, and aesthetic updates, including many that take cues directly from the Dakar-winning KTM 450 Rally. KTM’s press release says, “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.

The new graphics surely stick out among the noise for 890 Adventure R fans.

The new graphics surely stick out among the noise for 890 Adventure R fans. (KTM/)

“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.”

The 890’s lower windscreen and cowl revisions. KTM says that aerodynamics and protection from the elements have improved.

The 890’s lower windscreen and cowl revisions. KTM says that aerodynamics and protection from the elements have improved. (KTM/)

The first major upgrade was directly influenced by the KTM 450 Rally. The 890 Adventure R now arrives with a fully adjustable 43mm WP Xplor fork and WP Xplor PDS (Progressive Damping System) rear shock; no linkage is needed. With much input from Birch, the race-ready suspension was retuned for improved riding feeling and damping to help alleviate fatigue during long stretches of riding off-road terrain.

The 2023 KTM 890 Adventure R arrives with 10.4 inches of ground clearance, which is needed for riding like this.

The 2023 KTM 890 Adventure R arrives with 10.4 inches of ground clearance, which is needed for riding like this. (KTM/)

The factory 450 Rally bike also influenced the redesigned bodywork, which features a new fairing, fuel tank, and cowling. All were redesigned for improved aerodynamics and ergonomics. And although the windshield may be lower, KTM says it provides better protection from the elements while increasing vision while standing off-road. Other improvements include a higher front fender and engine protection.

The updated rider aides help smooth impact after power wheelies.

The updated rider aides help smooth impact after power wheelies. (KTM/)

Another change arrives in improved 9.3 MP ABS, which uses a control unit that takes readings from the 6D (six-axis) sensor that communicates with all rider modes. KTM’s press release says the new ABS system “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.” This provides cornering ABS, and the Off-road ABS is automatically selected when choosing Off-road or the optional Rally mode. This setting reduces front-wheel ABS, and completely deactivates the rear wheel’s ABS for sliding through corners.

A closer look at the front of the 2023 KTM 890 Adventure R. Notice the higher front fender and shorter windscreen.

A closer look at the front of the 2023 KTM 890 Adventure R. Notice the higher front fender and shorter windscreen. (KTM/)

The 2023 890 Adventure R also gets the latest lean-sensitive MTC (Motorcycle Traction Control) that regulates not only rear-wheel slip, but also uncontrolled front-wheel lift. Once data is collected from the lean angle sensor, MTC controls power wheelies for smoother front wheel landings.

The 2023 receives some stronger protection for the underslung 5.3-gallon fuel tank.

The 2023 receives some stronger protection for the underslung 5.3-gallon fuel tank. (KTM/)

The 5-inch TFT display with USB connector was also updated for 2023 with a new look and simpler menu navigation, as well as a surface that resists scratching and glare. An optional Connectivity Unit is available to hook the TFT to the KTMconnect app for turn-by-turn navigation, music, incoming calls, and KTM roadside assistance. 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.

With off-road riding the main focus, the 2023 KTM 890 Adventure R arrives with 21/18-inch wheels spooned in Continental TKC 80s.

With off-road riding the main focus, the 2023 KTM 890 Adventure R arrives with 21/18-inch wheels spooned in Continental TKC 80s. (KTM/)

To incentivize riders to order-option packages, including Rally mode, KTM provides a free demo mode of all upgrades for the first 930 miles of ownership.

The ergonomics were slightly revised for less rider fatigue on the 2023 890 Adventure R.

The ergonomics were slightly revised for less rider fatigue on the 2023 890 Adventure R. (KTM/)

Other highlights of the 2023 KTM 890 Adventure R include:

  • LED headlight, brake light, and turn signals
  • Revised graphics
  • Larger aluminum guards mounted to the low-slung 5.3-gallon fuel tank
  • Spoked 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels with anodized hubs and Continental TKC 80 tires
  • Optional equipment that includes Quickshifter+ for clutchless up- and downshifts, heated grips, heated seat, cruise control

LED lights are now found on everything, including the turn signals and brake lights.

LED lights are now found on everything, including the turn signals and brake lights. (KTM/)

The 2023 KTM 890 Adventure R is expected to hit stateside dealerships in December 2022. KTM has yet to release an MSRP, but buyers can expect to pay slightly more than 2022′s MSRP of $14,599. For additional information, visit KTM’s 890 Adventure R page.

KTM has yet to release the MSRP on the 2023 890 Adventure R, but it’s expected to hit dealerships in December.

KTM has yet to release the MSRP on the 2023 890 Adventure R, but it’s expected to hit dealerships in December. (KTM/)

2023 KTM 890 Adventure R Specifications

MSRP: N/A
Engine: DOHC, liquid-cooled 4-stroke parallel twin; 4 valves/cyl.
Displacement: 889cc
Bore x Stroke: 90.7 x 68.8mm
Transmission/Drive: 6-speed/chain
Fuel System: DKK Dell’Orto w/ 46mm throttle bodies
Clutch: PASC (Power Assisted Slipper Clutch); cable operated
Engine Management/Ignition: Bosch EMS; ride-by-wire
Frame: Chromoly tubular steel, engine as stressed member
Front Suspension: 48mm WP Xplor inverted fork, fully adjustable; 9.4 in. travel
Rear Suspension: WP Xplor fully adjustable monoshock w/ PDS; 9.4 in. travel
Front Brake: Radially mounted 4-piston calipers, dual 320mm discs w/ ABS
Rear Brake: 2-piston floating caliper, 260mm disc
Wheels, Front/Rear: 21 x 2.50 in. / 18 x 4.50 in.
Tires, Front/Rear: Continental TKC 80; 90/90-21 / 150/70-18
Wheelbase: 60.2 ± 0.6 in.
Ground Clearance: 10.4 in.
Seat Height: 34.6 in.
Tank Capacity: 5.3 gal.
Claimed Dry Weight: 432 lb.
Contact: ktm.com

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