Last Updated on: October 4, 2023
Touratech Rallye Evo is, at first glance, and in theory, an ideal protection solution for KTM 790/890 Adventure. If you can get it mounted!
I’ve tried but failed. Faced a challenge that made it too risky to continue. Over to professionals. Which is why the title “don’t try this at home”. But others might be more successful. Without destroying anything.
Why better protection?
I think most will agree. Stock skid plates might not offer enough protection. Less if you use an adventure motorcycle for stuff it was made for. Thin aluminium may be inadequate if you’re hit by a rock from underneath. Kicked up somehow. The skid plate might deform to such an extent it can damage your engine.
I had one experience that potentially could have gone wrong, but didn’t. But having read about others not being quite so fortunate, like Ian of Big Rock Moto. He had videos out about the incident but they are gone now.
Doesn’t matter. I had begun searching for a replacement and looked at different solutions before I came across his videos about an accident with his (then) 890 Adventure (not R, same as mine). Seeing what had happened to him didn’t slow my search down!
Touratech Rallye Evo, supposedly excellent
Anyone who’s been riding (adventure) motorcycles for a while is familar with Touratech. Known for great solutions and high quality products. They are a key accessory and equipment supplier for BMW, Honda, KTM and many other brands.
Checking out what was available for the 2023 KTM 890 Adventure, i came across the Touratech Rallye Evo protection (black). Claimed to be compatible with all year models and the particular design of this motorcycle, with its low slung fuel tank.
The web page stated the below (click for full size).
Promising, so I didn’t bother to check the PDF document. The first mistake. Note to self: always check documentation prior to purchase! I did send a mail to Touratech. To have them confirm that the product also would fit the 2023 model, which they confirmed.
Reality check: sooner rather than later
The products came relatively quickly. I said products because I also bought their motor protection grille. Price-wise about the same as for the KTM version.
At first the mounting looked pretty straight forward. But in the PDF there were a couple of things of importance.
I suppose I should have stopped there, but instead carried on. How hard could it be? Turned out, much harder than I had anticipated.
More than partially it turned out harder because the documentation was somewhat ambiguous or unclear. Touratech says clearly their product fits motorcycles with a centre stand. But the illustrations are made without a centre stand. So does that mean something when it comes to assembly? Never got far enough to find out.
Original rubber parts has to be removed
When you buy the bike with the OEM (not Powerparts) skidplate, two rubber grommets, or rubber parts are the the rear mounting points. They sit firmly in holes in the engine block. To fit the Touratech Rallye Evo, these have to be removed.
What they should have mentioned, on the web page and in the product description, is that this can be a challenge. I tried and could not get them off. Mailed Touratech and asked for advice. They said running the engine hot and use of force would get them loose. Nope, didn’t work.
I tried to use a little force, but realized trying harder potentially could destroy them. Or cause some other accident, like scratching up the engine block, or getting first degree burn on the exhaust pipe running close to one of the mounting points.
I would not call that “easily accessible mounting points”.
Decided to abort mission. Any mistake here as a result of a DIY job could actually void warranty. So if you consider this product, then at least you know the risk. In my honest opinion Touratech should have described potential challenges, like having professionals do the job. On the web page. But of course, that would have made the product less attractive to potential buyers.
Just need to add that I don’t know if competitive products are as hard to get on. But the rear mounting points, shown above, and the rubber inserts, will probably have to come off regardless.
Touratech Rallye Evo: next chapter
Touratech in Germany have offered me a refund on return of the product. However, their solution could be one of the better available. I think KTM’s own looks like shit. And you can’t get it in black. Maybe other manufacturers have made something that uses original brackets.
But increased metal thickness in the skid plate means increased weight. And the rubber parts might not offer adequate support for increased weight.
Mentioned earlier, my KTM dealer have said their will give it a try, either next week or the week after. If they back out when they see the solution, I’ll return the product and get money back. Probably they’ll just use force to get the rubber mounting points off. And be done with it.
I put the stock / OEM protection back on again. That went fine and fast. Riding without protection is not an option. Hopefully in a week or two it’ll all be sorted. I’ll update this post later.
6 days later: result!
6 days after I posted the above went to my KTM dealer/workshop for an appointment. The primary objective, get the damn protection mounted. And if not, then I’d have all the ammo needed to file for a refund. Which I really hope to avoid.
Fortunately, it worked out. They spent some time discussing, then went at it. 1 hrs worth of labour, and the sucker was on. Besides the obvious build quality they agreed it was way better looking than the KTM Powerparts version.
And indeed it is. Good turnout, even if it did cost me extra. Won’t be nervous about offroad riding and stuff jumping up from underneath.
Touratech Rallye Evo engine grille added
I bought the motor protection grille together with the Touratech Rallye Evo package. But didn’t mount it at first because of a possible return of the product, and engine heat or cooling management.
The first was resolved by getting professional help. So I mounted the protection grille. Then did a series of test rides, while monitoring engine temperature. This far I can’t say it made any notable difference.
The grille is designed to let air through in what seems to be a good way. It might be the shape and form of the grille openings actually helps on air distribution.