KTM Returns 890 Adventure, 890 Adventure R With Updates

2023 KTM Adventure 890. Credit: KTM

Fresh on the heels of the news that the KTM 790 Duke is returning to Canada, we see that the 890 Adventure and 890 Adventure R are also returning for 2023—but these bikes are updated.

890 Adventure changes

The engine itself seems to remain unchanged, still the LC8 parallel twin with quickshifter (standard on the R model, optional on the base model). As we told you in our 2021 review of the machine, “The updated 889 cc engine now makes 105 hp, and 73 lb-ft of torque (the previous 790 engine made 94 hp, and 65 lb-ft of torque). And, it’s a whole lot of fun.”

However, KTM made changes elsewhere, starting with new bodywork. An updated fairing with taller windscreen is supposed to offer the rider better wind protection, and it’s stronger, to easier mount GPS or other electronics. The bodywork along the bike’s sides is also updated to protect the seat in a fall, so you’re less likely to rip your machine’s saddle (a new, more comfortable two-piece seat for 2023!). Of course, the fairings have new graphics for next season.

Updates to suspension and new tires ought to mean better dirt performance. Credit: KTM

The most important change may be the suspension updates. Front and rear suspension now offer more adjustability for the 890 Adventure, which should mean better control in the dirt. KTM’s press release says “For handling road and offroad duty with equal adeptness, reworked WP APEX 43 mm front forks now come with adjustment for rebound and compression, accessible from the top caps. The APEX shock, engineered and slotted into the bike to minimize height, has new settings orientated for the demands of adventure riding.

There’s a new ABS unit for 2023; once again, the ABS system’s interference is matched to the bike’s riding modes, allowing the machine to skid around a bit more in the dirt.

KTM also updated the bike’s dash, with new TFT screen: “The overhauled 5” TFT display draws particular attention, not only for the revised hardware (bonded mineral glass for extra scratch and glare resistance) but the redesigned software system of menus and infographics that make alterations to the behavior of the KTM 890 ADVENTURE even simpler. The backlight changes intensity as it reacts to the environment and better synchronicity between the TFT and the KTMconnect App means seeing Turn-by-Turn+ navigation directions, listening to audio and taking calls has never been easier or more intuitive. A 2023 feature now enables riders to list their ‘top-10’ calls by the last ones made or favorites list and is another added convenience of the advanced setup. The Turn-by-Turn+ empowers the rider to add extra customization to their navigation details on the go and from the bike’s TFT menu without having to stop and fish around for their mobile device.

Check out the taller windscreen, supposedly designed with input from the 450 Rally Dakar bike. Credit: KTM

That’s a lot of capability. Will most riders want to use KTM’s navigation app? Maybe. What about the communication capability? In an urban setting, perhaps, but good luck making calls from the rear end of the Trans Taiga Highway.

But in reality, while every rider may want to take their KTM to the far reaches of the gravel road network, most of their miles will be laid down near cellphone towers, so the ability to stay in touch while riding will be welcome for many motorcyclists.

For those who are venturing beyond the pavement, KTM also added new Pirelli Scorpion STR tires to the 890 Adventure, which are supposed to be better off-tarmac.

An updated dash for 2023. Credit: KTM

890 Adventure R updates

The R model gets basically the same changes as the standard 890 Adventure, but with Mitas ENDURO TRAIL+ tires. They’re also supposed to offer improved off-road capability, and KTM says famed dirt riders Chris Birch and Quinn Cody tested them in their new role to make sure they were well-suited. If those guys gave them the stamp of approval, then owners should be very happy with their traction.

KTM says dealers will be receiving the new machines from December onwards, but did not give us a 2023 MSRP yet…

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