Last Updated on: September 30, 2023
The first 10 000 kilometers went fast on the 2023 KTM 890 Adventure. April 18th I picked it up, June 30th the odo hit 10k kilometers.
There’s not much to add to the 5000 kilometers review or reflections. But I’ve long since gotten used to the things I did not like in that review. One adjusts, we always do. That or we sell the bike and find something else.
As always there are things that can be a little annoying. None of which are major though. I’ll return to that later. I’ve had no issues of any kind, other than those mentioned here. But the new Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR front tire caused the bike to start bouncing. Specifically around 60-65 kilometers/hour. Or thereabout. Had none of this on the OEM, which was exactly the same tire.
I’ve heard & read other people have had the same issue, with the same tire (and almost with same plattform). Will change it before I go on a longer journey (reclaim).
10.000 kilometers – the likes
Below are some reflections this far in the KTM 890 Adventure ownership.
The engine of the 890 is awesome. Plenty of power, plenty of torque, latter in all the right places. Like it’s big brother, the 1290 Super Adventure, it has a dual personality. How that duality manifests itself depends on your riding style. Mine is pretty relaxed, but it happens I push it a bit more. Mostly offroad, or on gravel and dirt really. One never ceases to be amazed how the engine pulls and how effortless it operates.
I’ve done some (semi) longer rides around in the eastern and western parts of Norway. Which usually means small roads, combined with lots of uphill and downhill. The fuel consumption have mostly been between 3,6 – 3,8 liters per 100 kilometers. Or 65 – 62MPG.
I guess that does say something about my riding style. But even if you push the engine up on the RPM scale fuel consumption remains very moderate. I use the torque of the engine a lot. And admittedly seldom push it up in the highest rev range. There’s simply no need for it.
KTM 890 Adventure might not be the most comfy motorcycle in this particular segment. I think the Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro offers more comfort. But the 890 Adventure feels a lot lighter and easier to maneuverer. With a KTM Powerparts Ergo or comfort seat, plus seat in the highest position, the sitting position is as good as it gets for me. The OEM seat is way too hard. Would not be surprised of KTM loses sales by throwing “planks” on the bikes.
Wind buffeting in high position is minimal. That does not mean to say things cannot be improved. Nothing is ever 100%. But I dont’ think I’ve ever had a factory wind screen this good. For me things improved by putting the seat in the highest position. Which also improved on the knee angle.
One thing I’ve come to like, but never thought I would, is the sitting position. On the 890 Adventure you sit on the bike, as opposed to in, like on others. Had to get used to that. Now it’s fine. Think the longest leg I’ve done with it is around 600 kilometers in a day. Not a problem, but how good it is for the really long adventures, and 10-12 hours in the saddle, remains to be seen.
June 2023: riding gravel and dirt on the west coast
10 000 kilometers – offroad, gravel & dirt
I bought the standard version because I did not see myself jumping around in the woods. But there has been quite a bit of “jumping around”. That’s because it’s so easy to do on the 890. And then we have the “getting there” part. Now after 10 000 kilometers the choice still feels like the right one for me. In fact, and even if the standard 890 Adventure, quite naturally, is less capable offroad, it still has the genes. And it is hysterical to ride, also hard, if you want to.
With regards to the other bikes I’ve had it’s definitely in a league of its own offroad. Regardless of road surface. I don’t need, or am able to use, anything better. I also think the Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tires are a great match for this bike. Interestingly, and even if these tires have a reputation for not being very good on soft surfaces, I’ve found them more than adequate. But admittedly I don’t ride in mud, if I can help it.
Pavement – Touring
The KTM 890 Adventure is a capable tourer, as tourers go while still adventure bikes. But I’ve not yet had it on very long rides. It’s something I hope to be able to do before summer vacation is over. I’ve also not ridden it very long fully loaded with luggage. But the test ride with an all new luggage system did not indicate it would be a problem.
Putting the seat in the highest position I get a, for me, ideal knee angle. While having to sacrifice some on weather protection. Smaller folks will feel it’s more than adequate, but speaking for myself it’s not an issue. I’m not going to put on a taller wind screen to get better protection. Simply because of the issues that might or will occur, with regards to buffeting.
10 000 kilometers – some dislikes
Those aren’t many after 10 000 kilometers I’ll admit. In fact they are so few I’ll keep it short.
Engine sound: the rattling sound of a LC8 is something to get used to. If you ride normal, with ear plugs, it sounds like a sewing machine, that is until you push it harder. I can understand why some invest in slip-ons. I won’t. The 1290 SAS was the same.
Cheap plastic: It’s been an argument against KTM, and I concur. Some plastic parts could have been better. Of late the chain guard started to rattle and make noises. Duck tape fixed that.
Cruise control: too much variation in speed for my liking. I cannot understand why. It should be a simple software management adjustment, to define a better range when the engine compensates for uphill/downhill riding. A minor detail maybe, but other manufacturers have done way better.
Flimsy turn switches: This combined with the lack of separate turn signal lights (left/right) remains annoying. But one gets used to it. However all in sum remains details I think KTM should have spent a little bit more money on.
Fuel gauge: inaccurate at best. Never show you an exact estimate. More than or > is not satisfactory to me. Does not update as fast as I think it should. Reserve kicks in at 110 kilometers, which is a bit early. But with the mileage this bike can do, I’ve never been even close to running it empty.
Wind screen: it is actually one the best I’ve had, but it’s far from perfect. KTM should have added windscreen adjustment possibilities on this motorcycle. It would have made a world of difference, as wind conditions changes. So a spoiler is next for me.
Wrapping it up
I am still satisfied with my choice. Still think this motorcycle is one of the best money can buy in the segment. Being a tall/big guy the 890 Adventure felt a bit small in the beginning. Not so anymore. Like with everything in life, it’s about compromises. Value for money, fulfilment of needs, performance, and so forth.
I’ve ridden enough of the (obvious) competitors to say that, all things considered, the 890 Adventure (standard) is/was the best option.