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KTM 790 Adventure Testing in Anza Borrego Oct 2018

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Wednesday SoCalMule and I were hangin' out over in Palo Verde Wash near Ella Wash.  We were stopped fiddling with our radios ( dead battery ), and were hear bikes coming out of Ella W.  They stop at the intersection, and I say to Mark " Mmm those sound like twins " .  Kind of odd, thinking unusual to see big KTMs out here. As we are stationary they ride by at a casual pace and give us a wave. Dude, those are not big KTMs those were 790s!  Those low slung fuel tanks are pretty distinctive.  We are talking, "What do we do about this?"  Heck let's follow on and see if they stop so we can chat them up. They were down the trail some, so we were reduced to following tracks. Mmm, looks like three for Fault Wash south. Sure enough, after 10 minutes of rockin' the wash they had pulled over with their helmets off taking a breather. 

We pull up and shut down the 450s and start a chat session. " Hey guys, pretty rare bikes you have there."  "Yeah,  with thought you guys picked up on us."  Not wanting to be any more of a dope than any normal day, I say " Don't worry, I'm not going to start shooting pictures."  Or taking selfies for that matter. Cody say, not a big deal the bike has been in public at Park City Rally already. So, turns out to be Cody Quinn, Frantz ( chief project mechanic ) and ..... ( help me Mark ) the project coordinator from Austria. The bikes were an Orange, No it must have been white 690/701 with a Husky motor side cover; Mark am I correct on that?  Second bike is a 790 Adventure mule with welds here and there. Cody's ride is the full finished Adventure with street-ish wind screen and a 6-8 inch tablet style electronic display big block adventure bike knobbies and those extremely low dual fuel tanks pretty much completely covering the Twin cylinder motor. To my eye the front of the bike is sitting rather low in a street bike sorta way. Not extreme. but noticeable. Also had a long look.  The shock is at a rather low angle with ( according to Cody ) the collector box and catalytic converter positioned in a box section of swing arm casting between the wheel and the swing pivot. Clean design, but like I noted wonder what the wheelbase is. This bike was entirely black and fully finished.

Mark, speak up with what you saw and heard from the Austrians. Cody, Frantz and ??? were quite polite and willing to talk about the bikes.  Regarding the 690/701, it looked like a dirt bike in architecture,  Was it white or orange with Husky side cases? So obviously a KTM design, I may have assumed Orange.  I spent most of the time inspecting the Adventure.  Didn't want to take too much of the guys time; as they were " Working."  But, I managed a couple of questions. One, " Hows it handle in the sand?  They had just done Ella Wash and half of Fault wash which both have stretches of slow and deep sand sections. Cody, " It is an Adventure Bike; Don't think of it in the same class as a 500."  Second question, " Are they really planning on manufacturing it is India."  Cody, " At the moment they are all made in Austria.  But it is hard to make something in Austria to market to the world market. Evidently, KTM  is still sorting that issue. I gave him my two cents worth of opinion that I personally buy KTM produce partly because they are made in Austria and I doubted domestic Adventure buyers would buy an Indian 790. My opinion.   I imagine Mark had some tid bits of conversation with the team he might want to add. 

We thanked the crew for there time and conversations, mounted our mighty 450s and motored off in the soft beautiful-ness of Fault Wash.  An entertaining 30 minutes in the desert!

    Dave   :o

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  Hey Mike/Randy,

  I mentioned to Cody that we ride with San Diego Adventure Riders. He responded, " Don't you guys do an event down here?"  Well yes we do, " The Desert Dash, down at Butterfield RV park south of Scissors Crossing."  I add,  If you are looking for a place to promote the 790 Adventure, our event is a perfect match. He responded, yes I have been wanting to check that out. I will look at my calendar. 

 You may want to send him a communication and get him signed up. 

  Dave 

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Ya, Mark was pretty excited but I played it cool.  Ha.

If I really was cool I would have asked for a Test Drive. Imagine Cody explaining to the guys in Murrieta why his rare bike is all scratched up. “There was this guy in the Dez that wanted to ride it.”

The bikes we saw including the 701,  had the typical KTM Austrian quality. The guys said the dealers have all the intell. When I get old and need a street bike,,,,,

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Wow, that is cool! What are the odds? Two guys out riding in the desert meet up with two important personalities in the motorcycling world. Imagine meeting the famous Bagstr and Mule in the middle of no where like that! Those guys are probably still awestruck.

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2 hours ago, amgems said:

Wow, that is cool! What are the odds? Two guys out riding in the desert meet up with two important personalities in the motorcycling world. Imagine meeting the famous Bagstr and Mule in the middle of no where like that! Those guys are probably still awestruck.

:P

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On my way too work wed morning 8 freeway, think i was jealous a little?.. Pretty sure you had a different truck couple years ago but looks like your bike bags 

IMG_20181003_060741.jpg

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No, That appears to be some sort of Dakar version. The bones are the same, not the exhaust or display.

https://advrider.com/f/threads/ktm-790-adventure.1260491/page-95

Also, I believe the swing arm was smooth surface vs web design like the Indian bikes.  Those pre-production units don't have the cat and collector stuffed behind the shock.

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Sorry guys I haven't been near the computer much. No Bags I can't recall the name of the the project manager. They were all very nice and seemed to be happy to share a bit of their pride and joy. I noted as we were following their back trail that there were quite a few of the "big bike" sway outs in sandy turns. These guys new what they were doing on these bikes and still had to muscle them a bit to stay vertical. One of the 790's was fitted with a steering stabilizer and it looked so right (fitment) it may come standard.The 790's had a 3-4 minute lead on Bags and I before we decided to follow and we still arrived while there was a bit of their dust in the air. The blacked out KTM 690 was going to be the 2020 version. The 790's were going to be unveiled in November in Italy. I smiled at at Frantz the mechanic about installing the "Husky" side cover (camo).  It was pretty nice to hear though that Frantz a KTM 790 project mechanic had the same bike as I have (2007 RFS 450 EXC) back in his garage at home. The RFS was getting their attention while we were giving their bikes ours!

The 790 utilizes two very large front discs, and for this reason I feel it gives the bike a low slung front appearance. This is probably a Duke carryover. I feel it is a bit exposed for any possible rock work. I noted that they had some crazy big knobbies that may or may not have been DOT. The overall ergos on the 790 looked good. When the guys were riding them the bikes (even the 690) looked very rider friendly and pretty much predictable. And as Dave can attest, these guys were not small! The Austrians were built like 6 foot plus tanks, and Cody was 6'3" ? 

Living here in Borrego we see a lot of car commercials being filmed and prototypes being developed (ie the Ford Raptor, Swedish electric car called a Karma); Montezuma grade gets closed to traffic at times so they can shoot commercials; but this experience was one of the best! Seeing a pro level rider like Cody, and project developers/directors for KTM was a great story in the making. It was a great day of riding with my friend Dave!

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97xr

  That is a Negative.   Reading SCMs comments today started me thinking.  I was so focused on the 790 Adventure, it was 10 minutes before I walked over to the third bike.  Having owned a 690R from circa '07, I am familiar with the platform from the previous generation. Three thousand mile service intervals and decent handling, It was only the weight that caused me to jump to a 350 exc.  When I did focus on what the team called a 690, I liked what I saw.  It looked like a real Dirt Bike, straight up, not an Adventure bike.  Ignorant of the current web chatter, I had no idea a new platform was in development. That said, the bike has a trellis frame for certain and a smooth cast swing arm unlike the Indian bikes. The motor was different from the 690 I new. The Team Manager offered that it has more horsepower.  It was different than what I knew to be a 690.  Now I am curious about that machine because it definitely did not look like a street bike!

Mark, we need to schedule another interview with a list of questions.

       Bag str

P.S.  I did notice it still had a rear fuel tank cap. Did not pay attention to any front fuel tank.

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