16 000 kilometers on a KTM 890 Adventure – review

Last Updated on: December 14, 2023

Soon it’s time for the 16 000 kilometers service. Next week to be precise. Thought to sum up impressions, this far in my ownership.

The short version is, I’m as happy and satisfied as I was at 10 000 kilometers. It works, and it delivers, pleasure, fun, thrills, and makes riding easy, regardless of where I end up.

16 000 kilometers or close, out in the woods

August 2023: out in the woods having fun

KTM and quality issues

There’s a lot written about KTM and quality issues. It’s developed into a thing. To portray KTM as worse than other brands. Which is, in my honest opinion, a “truth” with a boatload of modifications. If you search for “KTM + reliability issues“, well make up your own mind.

I am not denying there has been problems with various models. Or that there still are problems surfacing. Far from. But my point is that, at least today, in 2023, a KTM motorcycle can be as good, as trustworthy and as capable as any other brand. Shit can happen, regardless of what you buy. Regular maintenance is as always key.

Seriously, I had more issues with my latest BMW, a 2016 1200 GS Adventure, when at 16 000 kilometers.

Minus one software niggle I’ve had no issues during the 16 000 kilometers, from late April 2023 till today. The software issue never came back. Just in case you’ve not been here before, the current bike isn’t my first KTM. It’s my second. I’ve done around 71 000 kilometers on the two KTMs. Of which 55 000 was done with my former bike, a 2019 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S.

That whole story begins here.

16 000 kilometers or close

The 890 dash, well almost 16k (the warning = side stand down)

16 000 kilometers and onwards

The KTM 890 Adventure offers an almost perfect blend of power, torque, usability and fuel economy. A 20 liter tank offers excellent range. The bike is a do it all solution, plenty of power, plenty of torque for its size and weight.

The only thing I’ve not done with the bike is a real long ride in Europe. Sadly that isn’t happening this year. It would have been the, for me, last real acid test. To take it on a 5 – 6000 kilometers (plus) long ride down south. I’ve no doubt it’ll handle it well. Even if it is considerably smaller than any of my former bikes.

But that question will have to remain unanswered till the 2024 season.

For Alpine gravel roads it should be pretty perfect. Especially now that I have better engine and tank protection. Big improvement from the stock protection. Makes the bike less bulbous down where the fuel tanks are also. It added a little extra weight of course, but in the right places.

Touratech adventure mirrors

Touratech adventure mirrors, much better than stock

16 000 kilometers & new stuff

Got rid of the stock mirrors. Odd looking, vibey, and vulnerable in the event if a tip-over or crash. The replacement is a set of foldable, adjustable Touratech Adventure mirrors. Big improvement, plus now I can fold them in should it be needed.

Additionally I added a Touratech center panel for the new protection. It’ll prevent shit from hitting vulnerable components, while letting needed air through.

Touratech Evo center panel

Touratech Evo center panel for the EVO protection

Also bought a SW Motech tail bag (small one). Didn’t want to ride around with the large top case all the time. Might ditch the top box altogether and get a bigger top bag for longer trips.

Other than that I don’t think I’ll be adding more stash. But one never knows :).

End of season

As I write these words the 890 has been in winter storage for nearly two months. Which seems like an eternity. But that’s nothing compared to the “eternity” ahead! With luck I might have the bike out again late March. Without luck, maybe later half of April. You never know in this country. climatic changes or no.

Mid-October 2023: a visit to Fritjof Nansen

Mid Oct. 2023: one of the last rides of the year.

The season ended at 19.128 kilometers or 11.885 miles. Far less than the two previous years. For the last 3.000 or so kilometers, nothing else happened. The KTM 890 Adventure has, this far into my ownership, been a joy to own, and ride.

As it now looks, it will be my steed for the 2024 season as well. Come fall 2024 I KTM will present the successor, in the form of a 990 Adventure. Simultaneously, highly likely also a 1390 Adventure.

Think I already know which one it will be for me. I’m not done with KTM!

See also: First impressions | 5 000 kilometers10 000 kilometers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *