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Author Topic: KTM 990 Adventure R vs KTM 790 Adventure R – the battle for dirt supremacy  (Read 10773 times)

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Offline WildWood

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I have no doubt and every test/review out there confirms the 790 is leagues above the 990 as well as anything else. (except looks and sound of course)

But for me performance although important is not the be all and end all. I've ridden all the newer KTM's other than the 790 and still find the 990 an enticing option.

The 1290 out performs the 990 in every department but put new bikes side by side and I'll buy the 990 again.

The handling on the 1090 was best of the lot but still I preferred the 990.

Perhaps I need to test the 790 but I'm sure it will only confirm my hunch that I still like the old beast. Perhaps it's a prejudice because I can't justify spending cash on another toy.



 

Offline WildWood

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"You lost me at Harry not being able to pick up the 990 ....................."

Only marginally lighter than the 990 isn't it?
 

Offline WildWood

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The 990 is a bit of a pig to ride slowly though and the high tanks and jerky throttle force one to be aggressive at all times. Riding gently in sand or rough stuff always ends badly.

I imagine the smooth 790 with all it's electric aids makes dirt travel more accessible to broader spectrum of riders. I just used to falling off  :)
 

Offline Noneking

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"You lost me at Harry not being able to pick up the 990 ....................."

Only marginally lighter than the 990 isn't it?
Dry is is nearly 20kg lighter

Offline Roadhawg

I’m not a big guy and can pick up my 1290 full of gas fairly easily on my own.


So either it’s plenty of “artistic license” or someone REALLY needs to get to the gym more often.
 

Offline Noneking

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"Dylan returned to the pits and did some explaining – yes, the 990 was quicker on that lap because its softer power delivery on the tight, hard-packed circuit meant better drive and a better lap. What he did also say, though, was that he was not prepared to do that lap on the 990 again: “The front on that 990 is so heavy that it keeps pushing through the corners. It was hard work. I don’t think I could keep it up. And the damping on the landings was not great.”"

I doubt that Dylan made full use of the 790 electronics as power delivery can be affected by a bunch of settings. Just in Rally mode alone the bike can be set up to react to throttle input and rear traction control can be finely tuned. The 790 feels more like a dirt bike than an adventure bike. That's not just KTM marketing talk, go ride one offroad and experience it for yourself


Having owned a 990adv, 1090R and now a 790R, I can honestly say that the 990 is a dog compared to the 790. I know I will take a lot of flack for my opinion, but that's just the way it is. Advanced suspension, engine, braking, weight distribution and unbelievable electronic settings make the 790 an absolute beast offroad. The issue about perceived reliability and possible issues with the electronics is a different discussion and I will admit that there are certain risks compared to say a 950 with hardly any electronics if you head out into the boendoes.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2019, 11:57:09 am by Noneking »
 

Offline Cracker

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Now we know why Harry reckons the GS310 is the best adventure bike ever.  :biggrin: 
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Offline Roadhawg

"Dylan returned to the pits and did some explaining – yes, the 990 was quicker on that lap because its softer power delivery on the tight, hard-packed circuit meant better drive and a better lap. What he did also say, though, was that he was not prepared to do that lap on the 990 again: “The front on that 990 is so heavy that it keeps pushing through the corners. It was hard work. I don’t think I could keep it up. And the damping on the landings was not great.”"

I doubt that Dylan made full use of the 790 electronics as power delivery can be affected by a bunch of settings. Just in Rally mode alone the bike can be set up to react to throttle input and rear traction control can be finely tuned. The 790 feels more like a dirt bike than an adventure bike. That's not just KTM marketing talk, go ride one offroad and experience it for yourself


Having owned a 990adv, 1090R and now a 790R, I can honestly say that the 990 is a dog compared to the 790. I know I will take a lot of flack for my opinion, but that's just the way it is. Advanced suspension, engine, braking, weight distribution and unbelievable electronic settings make the 790 an absolute beast offroad. The issue about perceived reliability and possible issues with these electrics is a different discussion and I will admit that there are certain risks compared to say a 950 with hardly any electronics if you head out into the boendoes.

I haven't ridden either but common sense says I agree with you.  TLDR for every 990 vs 790 article out there: "New bike is newer. Old bike is older but some people will still like it"

I had a 990 SMT and yes, the motor is great and flipping exciting, but sometimes you do just want to get to work, or back from the gym in peace and there, being able to "tame" the newer bikes is awesome.  You still have the madness when you want it.

Also, I mean having a fuel gauge is handy :laughing4:
 

Offline Noneking

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"Dylan returned to the pits and did some explaining – yes, the 990 was quicker on that lap because its softer power delivery on the tight, hard-packed circuit meant better drive and a better lap. What he did also say, though, was that he was not prepared to do that lap on the 990 again: “The front on that 990 is so heavy that it keeps pushing through the corners. It was hard work. I don’t think I could keep it up. And the damping on the landings was not great.”"

I doubt that Dylan made full use of the 790 electronics as power delivery can be affected by a bunch of settings. Just in Rally mode alone the bike can be set up to react to throttle input and rear traction control can be finely tuned. The 790 feels more like a dirt bike than an adventure bike. That's not just KTM marketing talk, go ride one offroad and experience it for yourself


Having owned a 990adv, 1090R and now a 790R, I can honestly say that the 990 is a dog compared to the 790. I know I will take a lot of flack for my opinion, but that's just the way it is. Advanced suspension, engine, braking, weight distribution and unbelievable electronic settings make the 790 an absolute beast offroad. The issue about perceived reliability and possible issues with these electrics is a different discussion and I will admit that there are certain risks compared to say a 950 with hardly any electronics if you head out into the boendoes.



Also, I mean having a fuel gauge is handy :laughing4:

The Fuel gauge is a contentious issue. It only starts to show a drop in fuel level once the tank goes lower than half.  :dousing:
So you still need to set your trip meter to accurately know where you are on fuel for first 200km odd

Offline Kaboef

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The 990 is a blunt object.
It's harsh, unrefined, snappy, loud and wants to kill you if you dont pay attention.

But that is what the romance is about. It's the last of a dying (shall I say dead?) breed.

I am absolutely 100% certain the 790 is better in every aspect. KTM had years to get it right.
But man, there is just something about at 950/990 that is irresistible.




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Offline Flowers

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The 790r is ridiculous. Why? For single adventure riding there never has been probably never will be a better bike. Still love my 701 for tough stuff..
.but adventure touring 790 has no equal

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Offline Roadhawg

I want to know how painful a 4hr Highway stretch is on the 790.
That is key for me.
 

Offline BuRP

I want to know how painful a 4hr Highway stretch is on the 790.

It probably won't be painful at all, worse, it may be quite comfortable then still!
Haven't done it yet (better ask Dwerg) but this is a bike I haven't even contemplated yet getting a better seat for - but mind, its seat is a fauteuille compared to the 701's narrow plank.... which now has a Seat Concepts buttrest, beyond comparison better to the original one.
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Offline BuRP

For single adventure riding there never has been probably never will be a better bike. Still love my 701 for tough stuff.

That sums it up quite well, I completely agree.
Mind, may even be with a pillion  ;)
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Online dirtWarp

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I have no illusions about the fact that 16 years later, the 790 should be better.
However, the linked comparison review could have been done better:
  • Same tires for both bikes. 990 has old, more street orientated tires fitted  ???
  • Removing crash bars + pannier racks will drop the weight by 12-15kg
  • Aftermarket bash plate on 990 adds 1.5kg
  • Except if 790 has one, the 3kg center stand of 990 must also go

 

Offline Cracker

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I reckon that 790 would look a whole lot better if it had side fairings, like the 990, or something similar. That sticky-out-cockpit thing looks kak to me. when I remove the fairings from my 950 the bikes look fairly similar. That 790 just looks like it's missing something when viewed from the side.

Some after-market fairings might look good but not those el-cheapo looking things they fit to rally bikes. Something classy  :thumleft:
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Online dirtWarp

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I like what they did with the 790 but there are a couple things that prevented me from buying one:

790
990
  • 263mm clearance
  • ugly dakar-inspired tanks
  • 240mm suspension travel
  • Feels like green peace was involved when tuning this motor
  • 316mm
  • Dakar race pedigree
  • 265mm travel
  • Not so much

And then there was the discussion with myself about weight:
790 definitely feels lighter and this is in part due to the substantially lower ground clearance. (which I see as good and bad)

Being 16 years older, the 990 has a lot of weight savings it can undergo:

790 @189kg dry no oil/water
990 @197kg with oil/water
  • Lion battery
  • Stock exhaust (a Ti acro saves you only 1kg)
  • No crashbars/pannier racks
  • No center stand
  • Lion battery
  • 2-into-1 exhaust
  • Crashbars/pannier racks removed
  • Center stand removed

Without oil and water, my dakar racer comes very close to the 790's weight.

I found the 790 too small for me and given my reasoning, I settled for a better priced alternative


« Last Edit: June 16, 2019, 12:08:45 pm by dirtWarp »
 

Offline Noneking

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I have no illusions about the fact that 16 years later, the 790 should be better.
However, the linked comparison review could have been done better:
  • Same tires for both bikes. 990 has old, more street orientated tires fitted  ???
  • Removing crash bars + pannier racks will drop the weight by 12-15kg
  • Aftermarket bash plate on 990 adds 1.5kg
  • Except if 790 has one, the 3kg center stand of 990 must also go


I believe both are 50/50 tyres?

These “Top Gear” type reviews hardly ever give an accurate picture but focus on entertainment rather than proper reviews or comparisons.

Both have their place, I guess the program reckons this is what works in the SA matket


Online dirtWarp

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I believe both are 50/50 tyres?

Yes, apples and oranges are both fruits
 

Offline Omninorm

The next test for the 790 R would be to pit it against the reigning champion.
The 310GS

« Last Edit: June 23, 2019, 08:51:24 am by Omninorm »
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