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Any KTM 890 owners?

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My son and I have been talking about getting true adventure bikes for the last few years.  Currently both on 450s. Was settled on the Triumph 800 but the newest edition is an 850 that seems to be more heavily oriented to the street side of adventure riding.  Now looking at the KTM 890 R.  Any owners out there that care to comment on the bike?  I'm not expecting to ride it the way I do the 450 but do want to be able to handle more than just the occasional truck trail on it.  Also any recommendations on  dealers?  Willing to go anywhere from Phoenix to San Diego\Riveside or Vegas.

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Congratulations on your father son quest into ADVland. it was six or seven years ago that my son and I both traded in our sport touring bikes for BMW GS’s. It has been a richly rewarding path for both of us and just a few short years later I could write a book about the tremendous adventures and times we’ve had together.

The fun you both will have over the dozens and dozens of conversations you will share just over which bike to buy is indeed priceless. The dozens of conversations you’ll share over planning your next great adventure together will again be priceless. 

For my son and me the BMW is perfect as we live 1300 miles apart  so we can each jump on the bikes and ride 800 to a thousand miles in a day, and then ride all the dirt we want.  

My recommendation is first decide how far you want to be able to ride your bikes to the next adventure.  At what distance do you think you’ll just trailer the bikes there anyway. If you picture a 250 mile day as your max, you can probably do that on your 450 but a T7 or 890 would be more comfortable. If you want to ride to the AZ or UT or NV BDR then you’ll probably be a bit less happy commuting there on that T7.

I believe the 890 is perceived to be the crème de La crème of mid weight ADV bikes, and I would advise you look into them. 

If the KTM fits the budget and makes you smile you should by ALL means buy them and ride the hell out of it. All bikes have foibles. So just deal with them until your over it and then buy the next bike for your next couple years objectives. 
We get about 2 years out of our bikes before our goals change. For example we both just sold our 1200 GS Adventures, for 1250GS HP’s, for a 50# weight loss and much improved trail agility…. To better suit our ever evolving ride goals. 

Hopefully you’ll bring us all a few stories and pictures as your next adventures unfold. 

Good luck and good riding. 

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We did a Giant Loop ride in Oregon a couple of years ago.  Had to truck the 450s up there. Next time we  want to be able to ride the whole way.  Socal bcdr has been on our plans for a couple of years. Hopefully get that done this coming year. Lots of long distance riding to come. Pretty sure we will go with the ktm. Now just need to find the best deals. Not a lot of them available at the moment. 

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I bought a used 890R a couple of months ago. With all the bells and whistles.

After years of riding Japanese bikes, I can say that it’s different.

If you read the review that Bagstr referenced, it is a good summation.

My points of reference are a 2005 KLR 650 and a 2012 Super Tenere (sold), so I haven’t ridden anything less than 400 lbs. in a long time. Not to mention anything with HP! I’ve ridden all over Death Valley on the KLR and some places in Death Valley on the Tenere. If I went there now I would ride most places on the 890.

I have been riding the 890 around here, so far (dirt wise) I’ve ridden Nate Harrison, High Point/Palomar, Lost Valley/ Puerta La Cruz, Jasper/Grapevine. You know you have a heavy machine in the tighter corners, but because the fuel weight is carried down low it’s surprisingly agile.

My impressions, in no particular order.

It is not a single cylinder thumper. The torque is higher in the rev range. That’s not to say you can’t use lower RPM’s, it’s just that with the current Trailmax Mission tires it really spins up in the dirt, but you can dial the amount of slip in, so there’s that. I see some Motoz tires in the future.

Cruise control is great! So are the different ride modes.

Quick shifter doesn’t do anything for me. Up shifts in lower gears seem harsh, but it may be misadjusted. Downshifts are good though.

You can get 225 -250 miles out of 1 fuel load if you keep your right wrist in check. Which is hard to do!

A great bike for paved mountain roads. Really, really fun!

I’m still dialing in the suspension. I’m so used to flexi frames and noodle like forks that having a bike that is rigid and precise as this makes little tweaks have more impact. I think I’m getting the rear shock close, but the front high-speed circuit seems a bit harsh. But then, I’m just an amateur when it comes to suspension and could be way off base. In fact, I just asked DSM8 if I could ride his 1290 as I know he had as his stuff reworked by George.

Stock ergonomics were not too bad. But I’ve made some changes to better fit me.

Windscreen sucks. If you take it off it’s OK (less helmet buffeting) but for any long distance riding you will be having to figure out what screen works best for you.

I think this bike is a good choice for an all rounder.

A friend is waiting for his Norden to show up and asked if I’d be interested in doing the AZBDR. I’m thinking yes!

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Thanks tubebender, just what I was looking for.  Never ridden anything bigger than the 450. Looking forward to a new style of riding. 

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