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  1. Talk about a cool COVID-19 project. When bike builder Gian Paolo Mucci found himself in coronavirus lockdown in Bologna, Italy, he was just getting started on a project Tenere 700 for Italy’s successful rally raiders, Team Kapriony. Named the T7 Rally, he credits the forced isolation for the bike’s quick turnaround and also for its apocalyptic vibe. The bike the Kapriony Team requested from Mucci would need to be suited very specifically for racing in the African desert, the group’s forte. According to Rocket Garage, after many years of success racing KTM adventure models, the team had decided to explore parallel concepts, and was drawn to the possibility so evident in Yamaha’s T7. Task in hand, one of Mucci’s main goals was to reduce and redistribute weight from the Tenere, so he cut away the steel frame and built an aluminum box frame half the weight of the original. New fuel tanks were created from 2mm-thick aluminum and situated very low within the framework (a whopping 19.6 inches below the original tank position) to provide a combined 9.25 gallons (35 liters), 5 gallons (19 liters) more than stock. ADVERTISEMENT With the stock tank gone, the riding position was “unlocked” says Mucci, to allow the rider to sit 5.9 inches (15 cm) farther forward, all part of a universal effort to situate mass more centrally. Another design choice that centralized weight was having the rear bodywork end a tidy 6 inches (15 cm) forward of the rear axle. Having all the bike’s mass so centralized should keep the chassis from unnecessary yawing, and also help it recover from unwanted skidding Suspension has been upgraded, employing an air-cooled WP fork that provides an impressive 11.8 inches (300 mm) of travel. A Mupo shock in the rear is assisted by a hydro-pneumatic Air Tender system for ultimate dialablility. The bike’s radical-looking, wing-shaped steering plate provides for super quick removal of the fork and we’re also told the formation tweaks geometry for enhanced control in the sand. A burly-looking skid plate constructed of 3mm-thick aluminum goes a long way to intensify this Tenere’s serious stance. While the Yamaha’s 689cc liquid-cooled twin hasn’t seen any modifications to date, a claimed 8 additional horses were summoned by adding an SC Project exhaust system. In one of the coolest design implements, Mucci made the whole fairing removable in less than a minute using two socket wrenches to remove 8 screws, a very useful feature to have for rally competitions, especially since it allows quick access to the air filter. Possibly the most striking feature is the bike’s robot-esque headlamp assembly, which Mucci refers to as an animal snout. He says it does more than look fierce, however, as it positions the instruments and rally roadbook in better view of the rider. He also says the new assembly shaved off a significant amount of weight. When Mucci wrapped up the project bike in mid-April the Tenere weighed in at an impressive 44 pounds (20 kg) lighter than stock. We kinda dig this machine in its raw form, all aluminum and robust welds, though we expect Team Kapriony will have it done up in team colors ahead of its debut on the International Rally Raid circuit. As for the bike’s timing, it sure is nice to know someone out there used their Covid quarantine time to create something extraordinary. Though having it shed pounds instead of gain does seem a bit offside, no? Photos GP Mucci and Rocket Garage Author: Jamie Elvidge Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.
  2. They say big things come in small packages and that’s been the hope for the 390 Adventure ever since KTM CEO Stefan Pierer first mentioned it in an interview some 7 years ago. Well after years of rumors, speculation and spy photos, it’s finally here, in the flesh. A small-displacement adventure bike that is approachable, versatile, economical and fun isn’t anything new in the market. There have been a number of small ADVs filling out this category for several years now, but they tend to be more adventure “style” than “bike.” So when the ‘Ready to Race’ brand jumped into the game, there were certain expectations, regardless of price. But have they hit their mark? Starting off with a 373cc single-cylinder motor borrowed from the 390 Duke, the pint-sized powerplant pumps out a respectable 43 horsepower and 27.3 ft-lbs of torque. Plus it comes packed with premium components you typically don’t get standard in this category like a TFT display with Bluetooth integration, a charging port on the dash, tapered aluminum handlebars, crash bars, skid plate, hand guards, adjustable windscreen, ByBre (Indian Brembo) brakes, and WP suspension with damping adjustments front and rear. Rider aids are also impressive like cornering ABS that is Street/Off-Road switchable, lean angle-aware traction control, a slipper clutch, optional quickshifter, and smooth fueling thanks to ride-by-wire throttle. ADVERTISEMENT That’s a lot of primo componentry for a budget-oriented adventure bike, but the one important area where KTM may have skimped a little is in wheel choice. Whereas its big brothers come with 21” front and 18” rear wire-spoke wheels, the 390 Adventure sports 19”/17” cast aluminum hoops. Also, the suspension travel is much lower than usual for KTM adventure bikes, measuring 6.7 inches up front and 6.9 inches in the back, along with a ground clearance measurement of 7.8 inches. Decisions were likely made to hit a specific price point, but it is important to keep in mind the smaller wheels and lower suspension do help get the seat h down to a more reasonable 33.6 inches and also improves maneuverability — important factors for any entry-level machine. However, KTM’s statement that the new 390 Adventure was made for touring and ‘light’ off-roading had me wondering if I should check my ‘Ready to Race’ expectations at the door. So is it an adventure bike worthy of the orange brand? Or just another budget lookalike ADV without any true off-road intentions? As a big fan of small bikes, I was thrilled to get some seat time on this long-awaited newest addition to KTM’s family to find out what it’s all about, and how it matches up with other bikes in the category. Read on for the straight scoop! First Look While the 390 Adventure is based on the 390 Duke, it shares a strong family resemblance with the 790 Adventure, with the exception of the low-slung fuel tank. Everything from lighting to the side panels, windscreen, display, seating, and GPS mount are a close match, just shrunk down to a smaller package… But it’s no minibike either. The ergos feel full sized in the seated position, with a comfortable reach to the bars and enough room to move around in the saddle. The distance from the seat to the footpegs is also comfortable for taller riders like myself at 6 foot 2 inches. Although in the standing position, it is slightly cramped with the bars feeling a bit low and too far back for my size, even with the handlebar supports set in the high/forward position. The dash is well-appointed with 5” color-TFT display, central mounting point for a GPS (optional accessory), charging port, tapered-aluminum bars and a two-way adjustable windscreen (requires tools).Turning on the display, the 5” Color TFT looks similar to the 790 and 1290 Adventures’, with a low glare design that switches colors for night and day. Its interface and control switches are just like the big bikes when configuring ABS and MTC (Motorcycle Traction Control) settings, although there are no rider modes. Instead, there is one standard fuel map and you can either turn traction control On or Off. ABS is also simplified with either Street (front and rear) or Offroad (front only) settings only. You can also set shift warning lights for two different RPMs and custom configure your home screen. About the only thing I didn’t find on the display was outside temperature, which is a nice tool to have for understanding current road conditions. It’s nice not being stuck with the stock suspension settings. Two clickers offer adjustable compression (white) and rebound (red) damping for the fork, while out back there is a rebound adjustment for the shock.The display is also compatible with the KTM My Ride app that allows you to connect your phone and headset via Bluetooth. Once connected, you can take calls, adjust your music and receive turn-by-turn navigation on the bike’s display, all managed with the left thumb controls. The larger display makes things easier to see what’s going on in your peripheral vision and the thumb controls keep the rider’s hands on the handlebars where they should be. KTM 390 Adventures in the US come with crashbars standard.Firing up the 390 for the first time, it sounds subdued compared to KTM’s heart-pumping twin-powered machines but it’s not without character. An initial test run revealed a flat powerband that doesn’t ‘wow’ the rider with low-end pop or high RPM surge. It’s just smooth and steady throughout. But you can get the front wheel up in first gear and ride a wheelie, if you clutch it. The suspension feels firm, which is unique for a bike in this class. And when setting up sag for around 230 pounds of rider and gear, I was surprised to find the preload on the shock was not even close to maxed out — a good sign for things to come on the trail. But first, the pavement… Highway Test Letting it loose on a freeway onramp, there is no rush of acceleration but the bike is deceptively quick. It easily gets up to speed to merge with traffic, and It’s fast enough to out accelerate most cars on the road. You don’t have to plan your passes like you might on a 250cc and in most situations you don’t need to downshift to make a pass. Keeping the throttle pinned and staying upright in the saddle, I was surprised to see triple digits on the speedo, without waiting an eternity. It seems faster than the Kawasaki Versys-X 300, Honda CB500X or Kawasaki KLR650, although not on par with say a Suzuki V-Strom 650. Steep grades and wind don’t seem to slow it down either. The bike has the torque to maintain 80+ on hills while still having some room to accelerate. The 390 Adventure feels steady on the highway and the windscreen is decent in the high position. For my h, the windscreen blocked the wind up to about nose level. That may not be great for a full day of highway riding, but it keeps the majority of wind off of you and it’s way better than not having anything. As mentioned previously, the seating position, along with the distance to the handlebars and pegs, is comfortable for taller riders and I didn’t feel cramped even after hours in the saddle. One thing I wasn’t that pleased about after a full day of riding was the seat. It’s fairly boardlike and I became sore after about an hour in the saddle. Another not so great highway feature was the buzz in the handlebars at higher speeds and even more so in the footpegs. Our test bike had the rubber peg covers removed prior to receiving it, so it may be much better with those installed. The serrated footpegs offer good grip in the dirt but without the removable rubber covers, they do transmit a fair amount of vibration on the highway.The vibes start to kick in at about 70 mph and you quickly remember this is a single-cylinder motor. What’s interesting though, is the oscillations get better once you get up to about 80 mph. In the 80s, it feels smoother, almost as if the counterbalancer was tuned for a higher speed. But it’s still not as smooth as its twin-cylinder competition like the CB500X or Versys-X 300 at that speed. The sweet spot for this bike seems to be about 68 mph, where the windscreen works great and the vibes are almost non-existent. In The Twisties Pointing the 390 Adventure toward twistier asphalt was a much more enjoyable ride. Here you can really feel some of the street DNA it inherited from the 390 Duke. Turning is effortless on the light maneuverable bike. Plus with the more street-friendly 19”/17” wheel combo, it’s easy to switch lines mid turn, and it doesn’t feel twitchy or sensitive to inputs. Riding with the optional Quickshifter is a blast too. Revving the little motor out for all it’s worth and banging through the gears is quite fun. Downshifting is also extremely smooth thanks to the Quickshifter and slipper clutch, both of which aid in making the bike feel effortless to ride fast. Even so, it’s not a bike that wants to be ridden at a furious pace. Its smooth, practical powerband urges you to take in the sights and enjoy the undulations of the road without anything to prove — that dude in the lowered Honda tuner car can go right by. But if you are in a hurry, the lightweight 390, with its stock Continental TKC 70 tires, gives you plenty of cornering speed, and the high pegs mean you have an abundance of lean angle before toes begin to scrape. The suspension’s firmness also keeps the chassis stable without much dive or squat during aggressive sport riding. ByBre brakes have excellent feel and allow for 1.5-finger emergency stops.The ByBre brakes are awesome too for a budget bike. The initial grab is soft and you can bring it to a fast halt with 1.5 fingers. There’s a ton of feel for brake modulation and the lean-sensitive ABS is also confidence inspiring to help correct any mistakes or panic stops. Accelerating out of a turn full throttle, the power hit is soft enough to not need traction control. But it’s there if you do hit a patch of sand in the road or for rainy days. Off-Road Test As you might expect, that smooth, flat power curve works great in the dirt. Even with Traction Control off, the torquey thumper motor keeps the rear tire glued to the ground in the lower RPMs. You really have to get the revs up, or be riding in sand or mud, to get any wheel spin. Moreover, the TC system seems to be turned for street and doesn’t have the sensitivity of KTM’s off-road traction control systems found on bikes like the 790 Adventure or 690 Enduro. Keep it on only if you are new to off-road riding and you are sticking to packed dirt roads. For more experienced off-road riders, the limited wheelspin it generates can make it harder to ride aggressively and power steer through turns. Getting that rear wheel to kick out takes work! But it does hold a clean line and goes where you point it. If you want to go up a hill, the long first gear will climb pretty much anything with a surprising amount of grip from the smooth tires. It won’t skip a beat if you are a big rider like me either. Getting it turned around and heading back down is also a much-less-sketchy maneuver than on any full-sized adventure bike, which gives a new off-road rider or those of smaller stature more confidence to push their limits. As far as off-road standing ergos, I found myself bending my knees more than usual to compensate for the cramped bar position. A set of risers would help open up the riding position for taller riders, but it may be about right for average-h riders. The seated position did leave me wishing I could slide forward more up on the tank like the 790 R, but there is a decent amount of room in the saddle to not feel locked in place. With its reasonable ground clearance and a firm suspension, you can take the 390 Adventure through semi-rocky terrain without a lot of bottoming on the skidplate. It feels plush through the choppy stuff and the well-damped suspension helps ensure you don’t get bounced off the horse. Its small bike agility allows you to snake your way around obstacles rather than power through them. Which is the best approach for this bike, because if you do hit sharp-edged ruts or boulders in the road, the front fork will let you know it doesn’t like it by giving you a loud thunk! Cranking up the compression damping on the fork helped make this occur less often, but 6.7 inches of travel does have its limits if you want to ride it like a dirt bike. The rear shock bottomed out only occasionally when pushing hard in big whoops or landing on flat after catching some air. Theshock is rebound damping only (no compression) so adjustments won’t help with that. But clearly the bike is up for some abuse, even with a bigger rider on it. Overall, the suspension is very responsive and keeps the tires on the ground with a balanced and composed feel. And with it being a relatively light adventure bike at 379 pounds wet, recovery from any loss of traction is easier. One type of terrain the bike struggled with was in the sand. Perhaps it’s the smaller 19”/17” wheel combo, the smooth TKC 70 tires, a shorter wheelbase, a steering head angle that is a little steeper than most adventure bikes, or all of the above. But the result is that the front wheel wants to tuck right away in deep sand. Throwing some knobbies on the bike would be helpful if you intend to do anything more than the short patches of sand during your adventures on the 390. Otherwise, pin it to win it! The tractable motor offers good grip on hill climbs, even with the fairly smooth TKC 70 rear tire.Another small annoyance was having to repeatedly turn the Traction Control off in the dirt. If the kill switch is turned off with the ignition on, it loses the Off setting. Or even if you just stall the bike and restart it within a few seconds, it sometimes loses the setting. I haven’t noticed traction control being this finicky on other KTM models before. The Bottom Line KTM has done a great job of creating a capable, entry-level ADV Bike at a price point that makes it easier for new adventure riders to get started on an orange bike. You don’t get all the premium components and hard-edged performance of their larger machines, but it’s a step ahead of the competition for this category. Thanks to ex-Baja Champ Quinn Cody, who helped develop suspension settings for the Americas and Europe, the 390 Adventure has good spring rates, adequate suspension travel and a range of damping settings so you aren’t stuck with whatever comes from the factory. It works well in the dirt for all but the most aggressive riding, and raises the bar in its class with its ability to travel further off the beaten path than the Honda CB500X, Kawasaki Versys-X or the BMW G310GS. After hundreds of miles of testing, the bike averaged 65 mpg on the highway and about 60 mpg in mixed terrain to give it a safe distance between fill ups of about 225 miles. Not only is it economical filling the 3.8 gallon tank, but it’s enough range to hang with larger adventure bikes. The 390 Adventure has enough power to keep up with bigger bikes too, although I do wish it were smoother on the highway. Comparing it to other single-cylinder models, KTM 690 Enduro R is smoother at 75mph with its dual balancer shafts. Yet without a windscreen, highway stints on the 690 are rough. The 410cc Royal Enfield Himalayan is also a smoother operator, but that’s in part because its limited-performance motor keeps the revs down. The 390 Adventure does feel smoother than either the BMW G310GS or CRF250L Rally though. But perhaps the 390’s vibration woes can be resolved with heavy bar-end weights and vibration damping footpegs. We’d love to see a set of wire-spoke wheels come standard on the 390 Adventure but cracking a wheel is less of a concern on a bike in this weight class. If you are looking to do more than just light off-roading, then a set of spokes might be your first mod, along with a cushier seat, and it could use a rear rack for carrying a top bag as well… There are a lot of custom mods you might ‘like’ to do, but from a practical sense there aren’t a lot of things it really ‘needs’ because the 390 Adventure is a versatile, well-equipped machine right off the showroom floor. Those looking to get started in the world of adventure riding, will find this fairly-light, compact, practical machine perfect for the daily grind, with enough turn-key capability to get you out on a bonafide adventure. It would make a great BDR bike with the capability to handle a variety of terrain, enough power to carry you and your gear, fuel capacity to meet range needs, and enough off-road armor to keep the bike protected from adventure-ending damage. Looking at all the equipment and electronics you get for an MSRP of $6,199, it’s a good value too. Not only is it an attractive package to draw new riders into the sport, but we can also see older and smaller-statured riders who are looking for a more manageable bike on the trail (i.e. easier to pick up) being enticed. And while some experienced off-road riders may desire more capability in the dirt, it still offers enough performance to be left impressed with what it can do, especially for the price. KTM 390 Adventure Specs ENGINE TYPE: Single Cylinder, 4-Stroke, DOHC DISPLACEMENT: 373.2 cc BORE/STROKE: 89/60 mm POWER: 43 hp ( 32 kW ) TORQUE: 27.3 ft-lbs (37 Nm) STARTER: Electric; 12V 8Ah TRANSMISSION: 6 Gears FUEL SYSTEM: Bosch EFI, 46 mm Throttle Body LUBRICATION: Wet Sump COOLING: Liquid Cooling CLUTCH: PASC Slipper Clutch, Mechanically Operated IGNITION: Bosch EMS with Ride-By-Wire FRAME: Steel Trellis SUBFRAME: Steel Trellis HANDLEBAR: Aluminum, Tapered, Ø 26/22 mm FRONT SUSPENSION: WP APEX USD Ø 43 mm REAR SUSPENSION: WP APEX Monoshock SUSPENSION TRAVEL FR./RR.: 6.7 in (170mm) / 6.9 in (177mm) FRONT/REAR BRAKES: Disc Brake 320 mm/230 mm FRONT/REAR WHEELS: 2.50 x 19”, 3.50 x 17” FRONT/REAR TIRES: 100/90-19”; 130/80-17” STEERING HEAD ANGLE: 63.5 ° WHEELBASE: 1,430 mm ± 15.5 mm / 56.3 ± 0.6 in GROUND CLEARANCE: 7.8 in (200mm) SEAT HEIGHT: 33.6 in (855mm) TANK CAPACITY: 3.8 gal (14.5 L) DRY WEIGHT, APPROX: 348.3 lbs (158 kg) WET WEIGHT: 379 lbs (172 kg) MSRP: $6,199 USD/ $6,799 CAD Gear We Used • Helmet: Arai XD-4 Vision • Jacket: Aether Divide • Pants: Aether Divide • Boots: Forma Terra EVO • Gloves: ARC Battle Born Air Author: Rob Dabney Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Mexico, North Africa, Europe, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.
  3. They say big things come in small packages and that’s been the hope for the 390 Adventure ever since KTM CEO Stefan Pierer first mentioned it in an interview some 7 years ago. Well after years of rumors, speculation and spy photos, it’s finally here, in the flesh. A small-displacement adventure bike that is approachable, versatile, economical and fun isn’t anything new in the market. There have been a number of small ADVs filling out this category for several years now, but they tend to be more adventure “style” than “bike.” So when the ‘Ready to Race’ brand jumped into the game, there were certain expectations, regardless of price. But have they hit their mark? Starting off with a 373cc single-cylinder motor borrowed from the 390 Duke, the pint-sized powerplant pumps out a respectable 43 horsepower and 27.3 ft-lbs of torque. Plus it comes packed with premium components you typically don’t get standard in this category like a TFT display with Bluetooth integration, a charging port on the dash, tapered aluminum handlebars, crash bars, skid plate, hand guards, adjustable windscreen, ByBre (Indian Brembo) brakes, and WP suspension with damping adjustments front and rear. Rider aids are also impressive like cornering ABS that is Street/Off-Road switchable, lean angle-aware traction control, a slipper clutch, optional quickshifter, and smooth fueling thanks to ride-by-wire throttle. ADVERTISEMENT That’s a lot of primo componentry for a budget-oriented adventure bike, but the one important area where KTM may have skimped a little is in wheel choice. Whereas its big brothers come with 21” front and 18” rear wire-spoke wheels, the 390 Adventure sports 19”/17” cast aluminum hoops. Also, the suspension travel is much lower than usual for KTM adventure bikes, measuring 6.7 inches up front and 6.9 inches in the back, along with a ground clearance measurement of 7.8 inches. Decisions were likely made to hit a specific price point, but it is important to keep in mind the smaller wheels and lower suspension do help get the seat h down to a more reasonable 33.6 inches and also improves maneuverability — important factors for any entry-level machine. However, KTM’s statement that the new 390 Adventure was made for touring and ‘light’ off-roading had me wondering if I should check my ‘Ready to Race’ expectations at the door. So is it an adventure bike worthy of the orange brand? Or just another budget lookalike ADV without any true off-road intentions? As a big fan of small bikes, I was thrilled to get some seat time on this long-awaited newest addition to KTM’s family to find out what it’s all about, and how it matches up with other bikes in the category. Read on for the straight scoop! First Look While the 390 Adventure is based on the 390 Duke, it shares a strong family resemblance with the 790 Adventure, with the exception of the low-slung fuel tank. Everything from lighting to the side panels, windscreen, display, seating, and GPS mount are a close match, just shrunk down to a smaller package… But it’s no minibike either. The ergos feel full sized in the seated position, with a comfortable reach to the bars and enough room to move around in the saddle. The distance from the seat to the footpegs is also comfortable for taller riders like myself at 6 foot 2 inches. Although in the standing position, it is slightly cramped with the bars feeling a bit low and too far back for my size, even with the handlebar supports set in the high/forward position. The dash is well-appointed with 5” color-TFT display, central mounting point for a GPS (optional accessory), charging port, tapered-aluminum bars and a two-way adjustable windscreen (requires tools).Turning on the display, the 5” Color TFT looks similar to the 790 and 1290 Adventures’, with a low glare design that switches colors for night and day. Its interface and control switches are just like the big bikes when configuring ABS and MTC (Motorcycle Traction Control) settings, although there are no rider modes. Instead, there is one standard fuel map and you can either turn traction control On or Off. ABS is also simplified with either Street (front and rear) or Offroad (front only) settings only. You can also set shift warning lights for two different RPMs and custom configure your home screen. About the only thing I didn’t find on the display was outside temperature, which is a nice tool to have for understanding current road conditions. It’s nice not being stuck with the stock suspension settings. Two clickers offer adjustable compression (white) and rebound (red) damping for the fork, while out back there is a rebound adjustment for the shock.The display is also compatible with the KTM My Ride app that allows you to connect your phone and headset via Bluetooth. Once connected, you can take calls, adjust your music and receive turn-by-turn navigation on the bike’s display, all managed with the left thumb controls. The larger display makes things easier to see what’s going on in your peripheral vision and the thumb controls keep the rider’s hands on the handlebars where they should be. KTM 390 Adventures in the US come with crashbars standard.Firing up the 390 for the first time, it sounds subdued compared to KTM’s heart-pumping twin-powered machines but it’s not without character. An initial test run revealed a flat powerband that doesn’t ‘wow’ the rider with low-end pop or high RPM surge. It’s just smooth and steady throughout. But you can get the front wheel up in first gear and ride a wheelie, if you clutch it. The suspension feels firm, which is unique for a bike in this class. And when setting up sag for around 230 pounds of rider and gear, I was surprised to find the preload on the shock was not even close to maxed out — a good sign for things to come on the trail. But first, the pavement… Highway Test Letting it loose on a freeway onramp, there is no rush of acceleration but the bike is deceptively quick. It easily gets up to speed to merge with traffic, and It’s fast enough to out accelerate most cars on the road. You don’t have to plan your passes like you might on a 250cc and in most situations you don’t need to downshift to make a pass. Keeping the throttle pinned and staying upright in the saddle, I was surprised to see triple digits on the speedo, without waiting an eternity. It seems faster than the Kawasaki Versys-X 300, Honda CB500X or Kawasaki KLR650, although not on par with say a Suzuki V-Strom 650. Steep grades and wind don’t seem to slow it down either. The bike has the torque to maintain 80+ on hills while still having some room to accelerate. The 390 Adventure feels steady on the highway and the windscreen is decent in the high position. For my h, the windscreen blocked the wind up to about nose level. That may not be great for a full day of highway riding, but it keeps the majority of wind off of you and it’s way better than not having anything. As mentioned previously, the seating position, along with the distance to the handlebars and pegs, is comfortable for taller riders and I didn’t feel cramped even after hours in the saddle. One thing I wasn’t that pleased about after a full day of riding was the seat. It’s fairly boardlike and I became sore after about an hour in the saddle. Another not so great highway feature was the buzz in the handlebars at higher speeds and even more so in the footpegs. Our test bike had the rubber peg covers removed prior to receiving it, so it may be much better with those installed. The serrated footpegs offer good grip in the dirt but without the removable rubber covers, they do transmit a fair amount of vibration on the highway.The vibes start to kick in at about 70 mph and you quickly remember this is a single-cylinder motor. What’s interesting though, is the oscillations get better once you get up to about 80 mph. In the 80s, it feels smoother, almost as if the counterbalancer was tuned for a higher speed. But it’s still not as smooth as its twin-cylinder competition like the CB500X or Versys-X 300 at that speed. The sweet spot for this bike seems to be about 68 mph, where the windscreen works great and the vibes are almost non-existent. In The Twisties Pointing the 390 Adventure toward twistier asphalt was a much more enjoyable ride. Here you can really feel some of the street DNA it inherited from the 390 Duke. Turning is effortless on the light maneuverable bike. Plus with the more street-friendly 19”/17” wheel combo, it’s easy to switch lines mid turn, and it doesn’t feel twitchy or sensitive to inputs. Riding with the optional Quickshifter is a blast too. Revving the little motor out for all it’s worth and banging through the gears is quite fun. Downshifting is also extremely smooth thanks to the Quickshifter and slipper clutch, both of which aid in making the bike feel effortless to ride fast. Even so, it’s not a bike that wants to be ridden at a furious pace. Its smooth, practical powerband urges you to take in the sights and enjoy the undulations of the road without anything to prove — that dude in the lowered Honda tuner car can go right by. But if you are in a hurry, the lightweight 390, with its stock Continental TKC 70 tires, gives you plenty of cornering speed, and the high pegs mean you have an abundance of lean angle before toes begin to scrape. The suspension’s firmness also keeps the chassis stable without much dive or squat during aggressive sport riding. ByBre brakes have excellent feel and allow for 1.5-finger emergency stops.The ByBre brakes are awesome too for a budget bike. The initial grab is soft and you can bring it to a fast halt with 1.5 fingers. There’s a ton of feel for brake modulation and the lean-sensitive ABS is also confidence inspiring to help correct any mistakes or panic stops. Accelerating out of a turn full throttle, the power hit is soft enough to not need traction control. But it’s there if you do hit a patch of sand in the road or for rainy days. Off-Road Test As you might expect, that smooth, flat power curve works great in the dirt. Even with Traction Control off, the torquey thumper motor keeps the rear tire glued to the ground in the lower RPMs. You really have to get the revs up, or be riding in sand or mud, to get any wheel spin. Moreover, the TC system seems to be turned for street and doesn’t have the sensitivity of KTM’s off-road traction control systems found on bikes like the 790 Adventure or 690 Enduro. Keep it on only if you are new to off-road riding and you are sticking to packed dirt roads. For more experienced off-road riders, the limited wheelspin it generates can make it harder to ride aggressively and power steer through turns. Getting that rear wheel to kick out takes work! But it does hold a clean line and goes where you point it. If you want to go up a hill, the long first gear will climb pretty much anything with a surprising amount of grip from the smooth tires. It won’t skip a beat if you are a big rider like me either. Getting it turned around and heading back down is also a much-less-sketchy maneuver than on any full-sized adventure bike, which gives a new off-road rider or those of smaller stature more confidence to push their limits. As far as off-road standing ergos, I found myself bending my knees more than usual to compensate for the cramped bar position. A set of risers would help open up the riding position for taller riders, but it may be about right for average-h riders. The seated position did leave me wishing I could slide forward more up on the tank like the 790 R, but there is a decent amount of room in the saddle to not feel locked in place. With its reasonable ground clearance and a firm suspension, you can take the 390 Adventure through semi-rocky terrain without a lot of bottoming on the skidplate. It feels plush through the choppy stuff and the well-damped suspension helps ensure you don’t get bounced off the horse. Its small bike agility allows you to snake your way around obstacles rather than power through them. Which is the best approach for this bike, because if you do hit sharp-edged ruts or boulders in the road, the front fork will let you know it doesn’t like it by giving you a loud thunk! Cranking up the compression damping on the fork helped make this occur less often, but 6.7 inches of travel does have its limits if you want to ride it like a dirt bike. The rear shock bottomed out only occasionally when pushing hard in big whoops or landing on flat after catching some air. Theshock is rebound damping only (no compression) so adjustments won’t help with that. But clearly the bike is up for some abuse, even with a bigger rider on it. Overall, the suspension is very responsive and keeps the tires on the ground with a balanced and composed feel. And with it being a relatively light adventure bike at 379 pounds wet, recovery from any loss of traction is easier. One type of terrain the bike struggled with was in the sand. Perhaps it’s the smaller 19”/17” wheel combo, the smooth TKC 70 tires, a shorter wheelbase, a steering head angle that is a little steeper than most adventure bikes, or all of the above. But the result is that the front wheel wants to tuck right away in deep sand. Throwing some knobbies on the bike would be helpful if you intend to do anything more than the short patches of sand during your adventures on the 390. Otherwise, pin it to win it! The tractable motor offers good grip on hill climbs, even with the fairly smooth TKC 70 rear tire.Another small annoyance was having to repeatedly turn the Traction Control off in the dirt. If the kill switch is turned off with the ignition on, it loses the Off setting. Or even if you just stall the bike and restart it within a few seconds, it sometimes loses the setting. I haven’t noticed traction control being this finicky on other KTM models before. The Bottom Line KTM has done a great job of creating a capable, entry-level ADV Bike at a price point that makes it easier for new adventure riders to get started on an orange bike. You don’t get all the premium components and hard-edged performance of their larger machines, but it’s a step ahead of the competition for this category. Thanks to ex-Baja Champ Quinn Cody, who helped develop suspension settings for the Americas and Europe, the 390 Adventure has good spring rates, adequate suspension travel and a range of damping settings so you aren’t stuck with whatever comes from the factory. It works well in the dirt for all but the most aggressive riding, and raises the bar in its class with its ability to travel further off the beaten path than the Honda CB500X, Kawasaki Versys-X or the BMW G310GS. After hundreds of miles of testing, the bike averaged 65 mpg on the highway and about 60 mpg in mixed terrain to give it a safe distance between fill ups of about 225 miles. Not only is it economical filling the 3.8 gallon tank, but it’s enough range to hang with larger adventure bikes. The 390 Adventure has enough power to keep up with bigger bikes too, although I do wish it were smoother on the highway. Comparing it to other single-cylinder models, KTM 690 Enduro R is smoother at 75mph with its dual balancer shafts. Yet without a windscreen, highway stints on the 690 are rough. The 410cc Royal Enfield Himalayan is also a smoother operator, but that’s in part because its limited-performance motor keeps the revs down. The 390 Adventure does feel smoother than either the BMW G310GS or CRF250L Rally though. But perhaps the 390’s vibration woes can be resolved with heavy bar-end weights and vibration damping footpegs. We’d love to see a set of wire-spoke wheels come standard on the 390 Adventure but cracking a wheel is less of a concern on a bike in this weight class. If you are looking to do more than just light off-roading, then a set of spokes might be your first mod, along with a cushier seat, and it could use a rear rack for carrying a top bag as well… There are a lot of custom mods you might ‘like’ to do, but from a practical sense there aren’t a lot of things it really ‘needs’ because the 390 Adventure is a versatile, well-equipped machine right off the showroom floor. Those looking to get started in the world of adventure riding, will find this fairly-light, compact, practical machine perfect for the daily grind, with enough turn-key capability to get you out on a bonafide adventure. It would make a great BDR bike with the capability to handle a variety of terrain, enough power to carry you and your gear, fuel capacity to meet range needs, and enough off-road armor to keep the bike protected from adventure-ending damage. Looking at all the equipment and electronics you get for an MSRP of $6,199, it’s a good value too. Not only is it an attractive package to draw new riders into the sport, but we can also see older and smaller-statured riders who are looking for a more manageable bike on the trail (i.e. easier to pick up) being enticed. And while some experienced off-road riders may desire more capability in the dirt, it still offers enough performance to be left impressed with what it can do, especially for the price. KTM 390 Adventure Specs ENGINE TYPE: Single Cylinder, 4-Stroke, DOHC DISPLACEMENT: 373.2 cc BORE/STROKE: 89/60 mm POWER: 43 hp ( 32 kW ) TORQUE: 27.3 ft-lbs (37 Nm) STARTER: Electric; 12V 8Ah TRANSMISSION: 6 Gears FUEL SYSTEM: Bosch EFI, 46 mm Throttle Body LUBRICATION: Wet Sump COOLING: Liquid Cooling CLUTCH: PASC Slipper Clutch, Mechanically Operated IGNITION: Bosch EMS with Ride-By-Wire FRAME: Steel Trellis SUBFRAME: Steel Trellis HANDLEBAR: Aluminum, Tapered, Ø 26/22 mm FRONT SUSPENSION: WP APEX USD Ø 43 mm REAR SUSPENSION: WP APEX Monoshock SUSPENSION TRAVEL FR./RR.: 6.7 in (170mm) / 6.9 in (177mm) FRONT/REAR BRAKES: Disc Brake 320 mm/230 mm FRONT/REAR WHEELS: 2.50 x 19”, 3.50 x 17” FRONT/REAR TIRES: 100/90-19”; 130/80-17” STEERING HEAD ANGLE: 63.5 ° WHEELBASE: 1,430 mm ± 15.5 mm / 56.3 ± 0.6 in GROUND CLEARANCE: 7.8 in (200mm) SEAT HEIGHT: 33.6 in (855mm) TANK CAPACITY: 3.8 gal (14.5 L) DRY WEIGHT, APPROX: 348.3 lbs (158 kg) WET WEIGHT: 379 lbs (172 kg) MSRP: $6,199 USD/ $6,799 CAD Gear We Used • Helmet: Arai XD-4 Vision • Jacket: Aether Divide • Pants: Aether Divide • Boots: Forma Terra EVO • Gloves: ARC Battle Born Air Author: Rob Dabney Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Mexico, North Africa, Europe, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.
  4. Published on 04.20.2020 [embedded content] [embedded content]When it comes to packing essentials for your trip, tools for your bike are a top list item. The desire to bring everything you need for the inevitable unknown problem leads many adventure riders to raid the garage toolbox, packing heavy and often redundant tools that significantly increase the weight of the bike. A better approach is to have a well-organized tool kit that is brand specific. One that includes just what you need to repair and maintain your bike. CruzTOOLS has been making compact, manufacturer-specific tool kits for years and have recently released an all-new BMW tool kit. BMW has made significant changes to its 2019 and newer motorcycles which has altered the tool requirements for road-side repairs and adjustments. The new RoadTech B2 kit includes a 34mm axle wrench and a four-stage hex axle adapter with 10mm, 12mm, 19mm, & 22mm sizes in one compact tool. This new kit also includes 6 torx keys, 5 hex keys, 4 metric wrenches, and a mini ratchet with 2” extension & sockets. The kit is rounded out with a 6-in-1 screwdriver, locking pliers, adjustable wrench, cable ties, mechanics wire, duct tape, thread locker, and a tire gauge. The tools all stay organized in a heavy-duty roll-up pouch. ADVERTISEMENT “The 34mm axle wrench is perfect for removing the wheel on an F850GS and the new 4-stage axle adapter works for removing axles on a wide range of BMWs including the new R1250GS and F850GS.” -Iain Glynn, Product Development, CruzTOOLS RoadTech B2 Tool Kit for BMW Motorcycles 2019-on: Complete travel tool kit for road-side repairs & adjustments. 34mm rear axle wrench and 10 x 12 x 19 x 22mm hex adapter for BMW axles & drain plugs. Four combination wrenches, and an 8” adjustable wrench. Mini ratchet with 2” extension and four sockets. 6 torx keys, 5 hex keys, 6-in-1 screwdriver, locking pliers. Duct tape, thread-locker, cable ties, mechanics wire, and tire pressure gauge. Organized in a durable roll-up pouch. Rolled Up Dimensions: 10 x 4.2 x 3.25 in. Entire Kit Weight: 3.85 lbs Lifetime warranty (no questions asked). Along with the BMW RoadTech B2 kit, CruzTOOLS also makes RoadTech tool kits for KTM, Triumph and a universal kit for Japanese motorcycles.
  5. [embedded content] [embedded content]The highly-anticipated Sena 50R and 50S have arrived in North America and will soon be available globally. The 50 Series headsets are Sena’s new Bluetooth 5 flagship communication devices featuring a more reliable next generation Mesh 2.0 Intercom technology. A More Robust Mesh 2.0 Intercom Tested by over one hundred of the world’s top ADV riders during the arduous Int.GS Trophy 2020, Sena’s Mesh 2.0 Intercom brings a new level of robust, reliable connections and flexible network message routing to the 50S and 50R thanks to significant technical enhancements made to the original Sena Mesh Intercom algorithm. According to Sena, Mesh 2.0 Intercom transfers up to 80% more data between headsets, even in harsh environments, resulting in clear and crisp conversation. Mesh 2.0 technology offers a significantly better level of intercom audio quality and robust connectivity. ADVERTISEMENT 50R and 50S users will also benefit from the two innovative Mesh 2.0 Intercom modes: Multi-Channel Open Mesh Intercom and Group Mesh Intercom. Similar to standard handheld or CB radios, Multi-Channel Open Mesh Intercom mode features the industry’s first mesh intercom function which allows users to switch between nine different channels. Open Mesh also supports a near-limitless number of users within a range of up to 5 miles / 8 km (min. 6 riders @ 1 mi / 1.6 km intervals) and one-click-to-connect allows users to join Open Mesh conversations with the single click of a button. Alternatively, Group Mesh Intercom mode allows for a private conversation with up to 24 users. Some additional 50R & 50S highlights include: Redesigned HD Speakers with more power, clarity, and comfort Bluetooth® 5.0 enabled Voice-activated digital assistant access (‘Hey Google’/’Hey Siri’) 30% faster Rapid Charging Automatic firmware updates via the included WiFi Adapter Multi-language Voice Command support 4-way Bluetooth Intercom Mesh 2.0 Upgrade for First-Gen Mesh Products On May 1st, Sena will launch a global firmware update providing, at no cost, the substantial technical advancements of Mesh 2.0 found in the flagship 50R and 50S devices to all current first-gen Sena Mesh Intercom products! With this firmware update, Sena 30K, Momentum EVO, and +Mesh users will immediately level-up to the new features and robust reliability found within the Sena Mesh 2.0 Intercom network and will have the ability to seamlessly communicate with the new Flagship 50R and 50S headsets. Sena is eager to continue to support our long-time and loyal customers with this latest technical update. Trade-Up Your 30K to the 50R & 50S In addition to the Mesh 2.0 firmware update, Sena will be offering a limited time Trade-Up program in North America. Current 30K users will qualify to trade-up to the new 50R or 50S at a substantially reduced price. More details about the Sena 50 Series trade-up program will be shared in the coming days. Availability The 50S and 50R are now available in North America. Both the 50R and 50S will retail for $339 USD / €359 EUR (Incl. VAT). The 50R and 50S will also be available in a dual pack option, which will retail for $599 USD / €629 EUR (Incl. VAT). Like all Sena products, the 50S and 50R are firmware degradable and come with Sena’s two-year warranty. Shopping Options
  6. Published on 04.16.2020 [embedded content] [embedded content]KTM has released more details for the highly-anticipated KTM 390 Adventure coming to North America. The long-awaited 390 machine harnesses DNA from its big brother KTM 790 Adventure, which it shares a strong resemblance with (minus the low bulbous tank). And with nearly two decades of competing in Dakar Rally racing, we expect KTM incorporated R&D information gathered from its long-running success. According to the orange marquee, the new 390 Adventure is an agile, entry-level model designed with both touring and light off-roading in mind. Using elements of the KTM 390 Duke platform as a base, while incorporating performance cues from the KTM 450 Rally, the 390 Adventure was “created with off-road capability and impressive road manners as part of the package,” says KTM. At the heart of the 390 Adventure is a liquid cooled, single-cylinder, four-stroke 373.2 cc engine equipped with an electric starter, pumping out 43 hp with a punchy 27.3 ft-lbs (37 Nm) of torque. Twin overhead camshafts, four valves and electronic fuel injection are integral to the KTM 390 Adventure’s power and together with a balancer shaft, deliver high levels of smoothness for all-day touring. Next-level rider aids include lean-angle-sensitive ABS and Motorcycle Traction Control (MTC) paired with a class-leading PASC slipper clutch to keep the rubber to ground while pushing limits on or off the asphalt. The 390 Adventure features fully adjustable WP APEX suspension in the front and rear.The removable, steel trellis subframe was developed to be compact and lightweight, but strong enough to carry a passenger and luggage, ADVERTISEMENT The low-maintenance, high-performance engine is housed in a flex and weight optimized chassis fitted with premium, adjustable WP APEX suspension offering 6.69 inches (170 mm) of travel in the front and 6.97 inches (177 mm) in the rear. Bringing this machine to a stop is easy with the BYBRE brake calipers, two-channel ABS system administered by BOSCH software and the standard OFFROAD ABS mode. Its versatile ergonomics, smooth power delivery and innovative technology all come together in a comfortable, lightweight package built for those wanting to fit more adventure into their daily lives. The two-part 33.6 in (855mm) seat is narrower in the front, making it easier to reach the ground.Features ENGINE Class-leading power-to-weight ratio PASC slipper clutch Ride-by-Wire system State-of-the-art engine management with EFI system Oversized radiator ELECTRONICS Lean-angle-sensitive Motorcycle Traction Control (MTC) Cornering ABS OFFROAD ABS TFT Display KTM MY RIDE SUSPENSION Fully-adjustable WP APEX front fork Adjustable WP APEX shock absorber The WP APEX shock absorber provides 177 mm of travel. The adjustable spring preload and rebound damping can be fine-tuned to the riders needs.CHASSIS Steel trellis frame Signature die-cast swingarm Cutting-edge BYBRE brakes Standard engine guards Robust cast wheels with CONTINENTAL TKC 70 tires The triple clamp is developed for a 63.5° steering head angle. The rider can also adjust the handlebar h with different mounts available in the KTM PowerParts catalogue.ERGONOMICS Minimal, slim bodywork Two-piece seat Tapered aluminum handlebars with off-road bend Low, accessible seat h Off-road footpegs with rubber inserts Footpegs come directly from the offroad models. Rubber inserts can be easily removed for more grip when heading off the beaten track. The 2020 KTM 390 Adventure is slated to arrive in North American KTM dealerships in May with an MSRP of $6,199 USD and $6,799 CAD. Stay tuned for ADV Pulse’s First Ride Review of this all-new model coming soon! KTM 390 Adventure Specs ENGINE TYPE: Single Cylinder, 4-Stroke, DOHC DISPLACEMENT: 373.2 cc BORE/STROKE: 89/60 mm POWER: 43 hp ( 32 kW ) TORQUE: 27.3 ft-lbs (37 Nm) STARTER: Electric; 12V 8Ah TRANSMISSION: 6 Gears FUEL SYSTEM: Bosch EFI, 46 mm Throttle Body LUBRICATION: Wet Sump COOLING: Liquid Cooling CLUTCH: PASC Slipper Clutch, Mechanically Operated IGNITION: Bosch EMS with Ride-By-Wire FRAME: Steel Trellis SUBFRAME: Steel Trellis HANDLEBAR: Aluminum, Tapered, Ø 26/22 mm FRONT SUSPENSION: WP APEX USD Ø 43 mm REAR SUSPENSION: WP APEX Monoshock SUSPENSION TRAVEL FR./RR.: 6.7 in (170mm) / 6.9 in (177mm) FRONT/REAR BRAKES: Disc Brake 320 mm/230 mm FRONT/REAR WHEELS: 2.50 x 19”, 3.50 x 17” FRONT/REAR TIRES: 100/90-19”; 130/80-17” STEERING HEAD ANGLE: 63.5 ° WHEELBASE: 1,430 mm ± 15.5 mm / 56.3 ± 0.6 in GROUND CLEARANCE: 7.8 in (200mm) SEAT HEIGHT: 33.6 in (855mm) TANK CAPACITY: 3.8 gal (14.5 L) DRY WEIGHT, APPROX: 348.3 lbs (158 kg) MSRP: $6,199 USD/ $6,799 CAD
  7. Published on 04.16.2020 [embedded content] [embedded content]KTM has released more details for the highly-anticipated KTM 390 Adventure coming to North America. The long-awaited 390 machine harnesses DNA from its big brother KTM 790 Adventure, which it shares a strong resemblance with (minus the low bulbous tank). And with nearly two decades of competing in Dakar Rally racing, we expect KTM incorporated R&D information gathered from its long-running success. According to the orange marquee, the new 390 Adventure is an agile, entry-level model designed with both touring and light off-roading in mind. Using elements of the KTM 390 Duke platform as a base, while incorporating performance cues from the KTM 450 Rally, the 390 Adventure was “created with off-road capability and impressive road manners as part of the package,” says KTM. At the heart of the 390 Adventure is a liquid cooled, single-cylinder, four-stroke 373.2 cc engine equipped with an electric starter, pumping out 43 hp with a punchy 27.3 ft-lbs (37 Nm) of torque. Twin overhead camshafts, four valves and electronic fuel injection are integral to the KTM 390 Adventure’s power and together with a balancer shaft, deliver high levels of smoothness for all-day touring. Next-level rider aids include lean-angle-sensitive ABS and Motorcycle Traction Control (MTC) paired with a class-leading PASC slipper clutch to keep the rubber to ground while pushing limits on or off the asphalt. The 390 Adventure features fully adjustable WP APEX suspension in the front and rear.The removable, steel trellis subframe was developed to be compact and lightweight, but strong enough to carry a passenger and luggage, ADVERTISEMENT The low-maintenance, high-performance engine is housed in a flex and weight optimized chassis fitted with premium, adjustable WP APEX suspension offering 6.69 inches (170 mm) of travel in the front and 6.97 inches (177 mm) in the rear. Bringing this machine to a stop is easy with the BYBRE brake calipers, two-channel ABS system administered by BOSCH software and the standard OFFROAD ABS mode. Its versatile ergonomics, smooth power delivery and innovative technology all come together in a comfortable, lightweight package built for those wanting to fit more adventure into their daily lives. The two-part 33.6 in (855mm) seat is narrower in the front, making it easier to reach the ground.Features ENGINE Class-leading power-to-weight ratio PASC slipper clutch Ride-by-Wire system State-of-the-art engine management with EFI system Oversized radiator ELECTRONICS Lean-angle-sensitive Motorcycle Traction Control (MTC) Cornering ABS OFFROAD ABS TFT Display KTM MY RIDE SUSPENSION Fully-adjustable WP APEX front fork Adjustable WP APEX shock absorber The WP APEX shock absorber provides 177 mm of travel. The adjustable spring preload and rebound damping can be fine-tuned to the riders needs.CHASSIS Steel trellis frame Signature die-cast swingarm Cutting-edge BYBRE brakes Standard engine guards Robust cast wheels with CONTINENTAL TKC 70 tires The triple clamp is developed for a 63.5° steering head angle. The rider can also adjust the handlebar h with different mounts available in the KTM PowerParts catalogue.ERGONOMICS Minimal, slim bodywork Two-piece seat Tapered aluminum handlebars with off-road bend Low, accessible seat h Off-road footpegs with rubber inserts Footpegs come directly from the offroad models. Rubber inserts can be easily removed for more grip when heading off the beaten track. The 2020 KTM 390 Adventure is slated to arrive in North American KTM dealerships in May with an MSRP of $6,199 USD and $6,799 CAD. Stay tuned for ADV Pulse’s First Ride Review of this all-new model coming soon! KTM 390 Adventure Specs ENGINE TYPE: Single Cylinder, 4-Stroke, DOHC DISPLACEMENT: 373.2 cc BORE/STROKE: 89/60 mm POWER: 43 hp ( 32 kW ) TORQUE: 27.3 ft-lbs (37 Nm) STARTER: Electric; 12V 8Ah TRANSMISSION: 6 Gears FUEL SYSTEM: Bosch EFI, 46 mm Throttle Body LUBRICATION: Wet Sump COOLING: Liquid Cooling CLUTCH: PASC Slipper Clutch, Mechanically Operated IGNITION: Bosch EMS with Ride-By-Wire FRAME: Steel Trellis SUBFRAME: Steel Trellis HANDLEBAR: Aluminum, Tapered, Ø 26/22 mm FRONT SUSPENSION: WP APEX USD Ø 43 mm REAR SUSPENSION: WP APEX Monoshock SUSPENSION TRAVEL FR./RR.: 6.7 in (170mm) / 6.9 in (177mm) FRONT/REAR BRAKES: Disc Brake 320 mm/230 mm FRONT/REAR WHEELS: 2.50 x 19”, 3.50 x 17” FRONT/REAR TIRES: 100/90-19”; 130/80-17” STEERING HEAD ANGLE: 63.5 ° WHEELBASE: 1,430 mm ± 15.5 mm / 56.3 ± 0.6 in GROUND CLEARANCE: 7.8 in (200mm) SEAT HEIGHT: 33.6 in (855mm) TANK CAPACITY: 3.8 gal (14.5 L) DRY WEIGHT, APPROX: 348.3 lbs (158 kg) MSRP: $6,199 USD/ $6,799 CAD
  8. [embedded content] [embedded content]Few people on this earth can match the skill of Chris Birch on a big bike riding technical terrain. The enduro champ started gaining notoriety online about six years ago with his jaw-dropping 1190 Adventure R videos, and nowadays he’s making those stunts look even easier aboard the lighter, more-nimble 790 Adventure R. Sure, we know it’s all skill but curious minds want to know if there’s anything in his bike setup or mods that us mere mortals might be able to take advantage of. Luckily for us, Chris had some spare time on his hands during this lockdown and put together a little video detailing all that he’s done to his personal 790R, along with the reasoning behind the choices he made. Here’s a quick overview so you can save some time on taking notes: Suspension: Chris normally likes running upgraded WP XPLOR PRO suspension with cone-valve technology and an additional 1.2 inches of travel, but his current bike is running the stock components (due to shipping delays) which he says are still very good. He also mentions he sets up his damping adjustments on the soft side, using something similar to the comfort settings in the owner’s manual. This gives him a more compliant ride and better traction for the more technical terrain he typically rides. Wheels: The wheels may be one of the more significant changes to the bike. Since his 1190R days, Birch has been reusing the optional Powerparts high-performance rims. He states the rear is a 2.5×18″ and isn’t sure about the front, but it’s likely a 1.85×21″ to match. These are a lot skinnier than the stock 4.50×18″ rear and 2.50×21″ front. Thinner rims allow for skinnier tires and a rounder contact patch for better grip while also providing increased dent protection. This also decreases overall rotating mass as well for improved agility. These skinny rims don’t seem to be available in the current PowerParts catalog, but you can go with a custom set from Dubya or Woody’s wheels. ADVERTISEMENT Tires: Chris is sponsored by Mitas, so he admits he’s biased. But he typically runs an E-12 rally tire in the rear and an E-13 in front, which looks more like a trials tread pattern but is a Rally Tire as well. That is the setup he uses for off-road-based adventure riding, and he runs the E-07+ when he’s doing more 50/50 dual sport riding. For a 100% off-road tire, he uses the Terra Force MX SM, which is designed for motocross competition. He also mentions he runs tire pressures between the low 20s to high 30s PSI depending on the terrain (soft vs rocky), and he uses heavy-duty tubes both front and rear to help prevent flats. Custom Controls: Here is where Chris has gone with custom components. For the grips, he’s removed the rubber covers and then glued a set of Pro Grip 785 foam grip covers in place. This gives him improved grip and more cushion to reduce the jarring of impacts. He also has a custom-built rear brake lever made by XRC (Xtreme Race Components) — a small company in New Zealand. This puts the pedal higher around footpeg level so it’s easier for him to stay on the balls of his feet. On the Bars: Birch says he likes to use the XRC Steering Damper because it keeps his steering light but kicks in when he really smacks something or has a big steering input. The XRC Steering Damper uses anti-fatigue bar mounts as well, which reduce the impact of bumps and jars on the hands and arms over a long day. Furthermore, he likes that this damper keeps the bars around the stock h which gives him better body positioning when he’s conquering near impossible to ride terrain. He’s also using the KTM Folding Mirrors, which offer low vibration and can absorb impacts from tree whacks and falls. Navigation: Chris doesn’t mention the Garmin Montana he uses for navigation but it is clearly visible on the bars and he lists it in the video description. The Montana is a popular GPS device for Adventure Riders with a glove-friendly touchscreen, preloaded TOPO maps, and it fits nicely on the bars of the 790. He also has a Quad Lock Mount to attach his phone to the handlebars. Clutch: To handle the constant abuse of hill climbs and loose technical terrain, he likes to put in a set of heavier clutch springs. This gives him more assurance he won’t burn the clutch out on the trail. To keep the clutch lever pressure similar to stock, he’s also using an aftermarket Camel ADV clutch actuator arm. The longer arm gives more leverage for a softer clutch pull and improved feel. Lighting: For extra visibility on the road, Birch is using the Multi-Function Turn Signals from Cyclops Adventure Sports. These bright LED lights not only grab other motorists’ attention better with their sequential flashing, they are also a lot smaller and more-rugged than the giant stock blinkers that come on the 790 here in the US. Seating: Birch has replaced the stock R seat with the KTM PowerParts Tall Ergo Seat. It has a +20mm higher seat h to give taller riders like him Chris, who is 6’2” (187 cm), a less-cramped riding position and a shorter distance to travel when transitioning from seated to standing. More padding probably gives him a cushier ride as well. Luggage: Chris says he’s been involved with testing the Kriega Overlander OS luggage system and that it’s been designed to work on KTMs. It uses a base harness that he straps on either small or large dry bags, depending on the type of trip, and he claims he can barely feel them while riding the bike. He also mounts a small Kriega Kube bag on the inside of the windscreen for quick access to essentials. Chris even admits, it’s not the most exciting KTM 790 Adventure R build. There are many more farkled-out examples you can find online that will dazzle the eye. What we like most about this build is that it shows you don’t need to modify the heck out of a bike — it’s purpose built and designed to function first. And even though he’s giving advice specifically for a KTM 790R, much of what he mentions is still sound advice for building other adventure bikes as well. If you are eager for more tips that could potentially have an even bigger impact on your riding, check out Chris’s new ‘Say No To Slow’ How-To series he just launched on Vimeo. The first episode on ‘How to Wheelie’ is free! Author: Rob Dabney Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Mexico, North Africa, Europe, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.
  9. [embedded content] [embedded content]Few people on this earth can match the skill of Chris Birch on a big bike riding technical terrain. The enduro champ started gaining notoriety online about six years ago with his jaw-dropping 1190 Adventure R videos, and nowadays he’s making those stunts look even easier aboard the lighter, more-nimble 790 Adventure R. Sure, we know it’s all skill but curious minds want to know if there’s anything in his bike setup or mods that us mere mortals might be able to take advantage of. Luckily for us, Chris had some spare time on his hands during this lockdown and put together a little video detailing all that he’s done to his personal 790R, along with the reasoning behind the choices he made. Here’s a quick overview so you can save some time on taking notes: Suspension: Chris normally likes running upgraded WP XPLOR PRO suspension with cone-valve technology and an additional 1.2 inches of travel, but his current bike is running the stock components (due to shipping delays) which he says are still very good. He also mentions he sets up his damping adjustments on the soft side, using something similar to the comfort settings in the owner’s manual. This gives him a more compliant ride and better traction for the more technical terrain he typically rides. Wheels: The wheels may be one of the more significant changes to the bike. Since his 1190R days, Birch has been reusing the optional Powerparts high-performance rims. He states the rear is a 2.5×18″ and isn’t sure about the front, but it’s likely a 1.85×21″ to match. These are a lot skinnier than the stock 4.50×18″ rear and 2.50×21″ front. Thinner rims allow for skinnier tires and a rounder contact patch for better grip while also providing increased dent protection. This also decreases overall rotating mass as well for improved agility. These skinny rims don’t seem to be available in the current PowerParts catalog, but you can go with a custom set from Dubya or Woody’s wheels. ADVERTISEMENT Tires: Chris is sponsored by Mitas, so he admits he’s biased. But he typically runs an E-12 rally tire in the rear and an E-13 in front, which looks more like a trials tread pattern but is a Rally Tire as well. That is the setup he uses for off-road-based adventure riding, and he runs the E-07+ when he’s doing more 50/50 dual sport riding. For a 100% off-road tire, he uses the Terra Force MX SM, which is designed for motocross competition. He also mentions he runs tire pressures between the low 20s to high 30s PSI depending on the terrain (soft vs rocky), and he uses heavy-duty tubes both front and rear to help prevent flats. Custom Controls: Here is where Chris has gone with custom components. For the grips, he’s removed the rubber covers and then glued a set of Pro Grip 785 foam grip covers in place. This gives him improved grip and more cushion to reduce the jarring of impacts. He also has a custom-built rear brake lever made by XRC (Xtreme Race Components) — a small company in New Zealand. This puts the pedal higher around footpeg level so it’s easier for him to stay on the balls of his feet. On the Bars: Birch says he likes to use the XRC Steering Damper because it keeps his steering light but kicks in when he really smacks something or has a big steering input. The XRC Steering Damper uses anti-fatigue bar mounts as well, which reduce the impact of bumps and jars on the hands and arms over a long day. Furthermore, he likes that this damper keeps the bars around the stock h which gives him better body positioning when he’s conquering near impossible to ride terrain. He’s also using the KTM Folding Mirrors, which offer low vibration and can absorb impacts from tree whacks and falls. Navigation: Chris doesn’t mention the Garmin Montana he uses for navigation but it is clearly visible on the bars and he lists it in the video description. The Montana is a popular GPS device for Adventure Riders with a glove-friendly touchscreen, preloaded TOPO maps, and it fits nicely on the bars of the 790. He also has a Quad Lock Mount to attach his phone to the handlebars. Clutch: To handle the constant abuse of hill climbs and loose technical terrain, he likes to put in a set of heavier clutch springs. This gives him more assurance he won’t burn the clutch out on the trail. To keep the clutch lever pressure similar to stock, he’s also using an aftermarket Camel ADV clutch actuator arm. The longer arm gives more leverage for a softer clutch pull and improved feel. Lighting: For extra visibility on the road, Birch is using the Multi-Function Turn Signals from Cyclops Adventure Sports. These bright LED lights not only grab other motorists’ attention better with their sequential flashing, they are also a lot smaller and more-rugged than the giant stock blinkers that come on the 790 here in the US. Seating: Birch has replaced the stock R seat with the KTM PowerParts Tall Ergo Seat. It has a +20mm higher seat h to give taller riders like him Chris, who is 6’2” (187 cm), a less-cramped riding position and a shorter distance to travel when transitioning from seated to standing. More padding probably gives him a cushier ride as well. Luggage: Chris says he’s been involved with testing the Kriega Overlander OS luggage system and that it’s been designed to work on KTMs. It uses a base harness that he straps on either small or large dry bags, depending on the type of trip, and he claims he can barely feel them while riding the bike. He also mounts a small Kriega Kube bag on the inside of the windscreen for quick access to essentials. Chris even admits, it’s not the most exciting KTM 790 Adventure R build. There are many more farkled-out examples you can find online that will dazzle the eye. What we like most about this build is that it shows you don’t need to modify the heck out of a bike — it’s purpose built and designed to function first. And even though he’s giving advice specifically for a KTM 790R, much of what he mentions is still sound advice for building other adventure bikes as well. If you are eager for more tips that could potentially have an even bigger impact on your riding, check out Chris’s new ‘Say No To Slow’ How-To series he just launched on Vimeo. The first episode on ‘How to Wheelie’ is free! Author: Rob Dabney Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Mexico, North Africa, Europe, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.
  10. Published on 04.10.2020 KTM has issued a recall on certain 790 Adventure and 790 Adventure R models for an issue with the rear brake system. A total of 3,164 bikes are affected by the recall issued through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. ADVERTISEMENT According to the defect report, insufficient heat transfer between the rear brake hose and the metal fitting that mounts to the rear brake caliper may cause the brake line to overheat. For affected units, there is a possibility that the rear brake system may fail under heavy use. What Can Happen A failure of the rear brake system will obviously reduce the overall braking system’s effectiveness on the bike. As a result, braking can only be performed with the front brake which may increase stopping distance, increasing the risk of a serious accident. Make Model Year KTM 790 Adventure 2019-2020 KTM 790 Adventure R 2019-2020 How To Get it Fixed A new rear brake line, with a longer metal fitting, has been developed to improve heat transfer. To remedy the braking issue, it is necessary to replace the brake line that leads from the rear brake caliper to the ABS modulator. Also during the repair it is necessary to replace the round head Torx screw on the rear brake lever with a new screw. KTM will notify owners, and dealers will install the recommended parts, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin June 1, 2020. Owners may contact KTM customer service at 1-888-985-6090. KTM’s number for this recall is TB2011. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or check your VIN for recalls at www.nhtsa.gov.
  11. Published on 04.10.2020 KTM has issued a recall on certain 2019-2020 790 Adventure and 790 Adventure R models for an issue with the rear brake system. A total of 3,164 bikes are affected by the recall issued through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. According to the defect report, insufficient heat transfer between the rear brake hose and the metal fitting that mounts to the rear brake caliper may cause the brake line to overheat. For affected units, there is a possibility that the rear brake system may fail under heavy use. What Can Happen ADVERTISEMENT A failure of the rear brake system will obviously reduce the overall braking system’s effectiveness on the bike. As a result, braking can only be performed with the front brake which may increase stopping distance, increasing the risk of a serious accident. Make Model Year KTM 790 Adventure 2019-2020 KTM 790 Adventure R 2019-2020 How To Get it Fixed A new rear brake line, with a longer metal fitting, has been developed to improve heat transfer. To remedy the braking issue, it is necessary to replace the brake line that leads from the rear brake caliper to the ABS modulator. Also during the repair it is necessary to replace the round head Torx screw on the rear brake lever with a new screw. KTM will notify owners, and dealers will install the recommended, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin June 1, 2020. Owners may contact KTM customer service at 1-888-985-6090. KTM’s number for this recall is TB2011. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or check your VIN for recalls at www.nhtsa.gov.
  12. Ever since the Husqvarna 701 Enduro was first introduced in 2016, it’s been no secret it shares its platform with the KTM 690 Enduro R. Differences between the two bikes have varied from year to year, including bodywork, engine tuning, suspension setup, electronics, and more. Some years have had greater separation than others, but after the KTM 690 Enduro adopted the 701’s smoother twin-counterbalanced motor in 2019, many have been curious about how much of a difference there really still is. We got our hands on a set of 2020’s and have been putting them through their paces on several different adventures. To put the rumors to rest and bring clarity on what sets the KTM 690 Enduro and Husqvarna 701 Enduro apart, we spoke with Ex-Baja Champ and current KTM product developer, Quinn Cody. He has been deeply involved in product testing and dialing in settings for these two bikes, so who better to talk to for some perspective on the differences beyond what’s available on the spec sheets. After reviewing all the features and specs, and getting insights from Quinn, here is the scoop on how they differ: KTM 690 vs Husqvarna 701 Differences Seating: The 701 has more padding on the sides in the front of the seat. Weight Bias: The Husky has a slightly better front to rear weight bias when fully fueled at 45.1% / 54.9% vs. 44.7% / 55.3% for the KTM. Handlebars: The bars are a little wider on the 690 Enduro with a bend and h that feels pretty similar. Fuel Capacity: The KTM gets a slightly larger rear fuel tank 13.5 liters (3.57 gallons) vs. 13.0 liters (3.43 gallons). Exhaust: The shape of the exhaust canisters are different but both are roughly the same size. Differences in exhaust didn’t seem to translate into any noticeable variance in exhaust note or power characteristics. Torque: Husqvarna’s website claims the 701 Enduro has 71 Nm (52 lb-ft) of torque at 6,750 rpm, while KTM claims 73.5 Nm (54 lb-ft) of torque at 6,500 rpm. Quinn mentioned the mild difference could be related to the exhaust canisters. USB Port: The KTM gets a built-in USB port on the side of its headlight mask. The Husqvarna does not have one at all. Bodywork: Differences in bodywork include the headlight mask, side panels, tail lights and mirrors. Weights: KTM claims a dry weight of 321.9 lbs (146 kg) while the Husqvarna 701 is a bit lighter at 319.7 lbs (145 kg). We weighed both bikes fully fueled and got 350.0 lbs (158.8 kg) for the 690 and 344.2 lbs (156.1 kg) for the 701. Price: MSRP for the KTM 690 Enduro R is $11,899 USD and the Husqvarna is $11,999 USD. ADVERTISEMENT Clearly the differences for 2020 are subtle. They share the same motor, transmission, chassis, wheels, tires, instruments, controls… and we confirmed with Quinn that engine and suspension tuning are the same this year. After hundreds of miles of exploring on a range of terrain, we didn’t turn up any major differences between the two bikes’ performance either. However, the larger fuel tank on the KTM did come into play at one point when the 701 ran out of gas in Death Valley. With the extra fuel capacity of the 690, it was able to tow the 701 to the next fuel stop. The USB port on the KTM was also a nice feature to have for charging devices and running power to a GPS. And on the Husky, we noticed the extra side padding on the front of the seat was nicer on the knees when gripping the tank in both the seated and standing positions. If you are in the market for either of these bikes, the decision probably comes down to whether you want the extra fuel range, what kind of deal you can get, and which one appeals to you more through the eyes. Whether you choose Orange or White, you can rest assured knowing both are great bikes, with a range of upgrade options available, and there are no major performance features you’ll be missing out on if you decide to pick one over the other. Photos by Rob Dabney and Spencer Hill Author: Rob Dabney Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Mexico, North Africa, Europe, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.
  13. Ever since the Husqvarna 701 Enduro was first introduced in 2016, it’s been no secret it shares its platform with the KTM 690 Enduro R. Differences between the two bikes have varied from year to year, including bodywork, engine tuning, suspension setup, electronics, and more. Some years have had greater separation than others, but after the KTM 690 Enduro adopted the 701’s smoother twin-counterbalanced motor in 2019, many have been curious about how much of a difference there really still is. We got our hands on a set of 2020’s and have been putting them through their paces on several different adventures. To put the rumors to rest and bring clarity on what sets the KTM 690 Enduro and Husqvarna 701 Enduro apart, we spoke with Ex-Baja Champ and current KTM product developer, Quinn Cody. He has been deeply involved in product testing and dialing in settings for these two bikes, so who better to talk to for some perspective on the differences beyond what’s available on the spec sheets. After reviewing all the features and specs, and getting insights from Quinn, here is the scoop on how they differ: KTM 690 vs Husqvarna 701 Differences Seating: The 701 has more padding on the sides in the front of the seat. Weight Bias: The Husky had a slightly better front to rear weight bias when fully fueled at 45.1% / 54.9% vs. 44.7% / 55.3% for the KTM. Handlebars: The bars are a little wider on the 690 Enduro with a bend and h that feels pretty similar. Fuel Capacity: The KTM gets a slightly larger rear fuel tank 13.5 liters (3.57 gallons) vs. 13.0 liters (3.43 gallons). Exhaust: The shape of the exhaust canisters are different but both are roughly the same size. Differences in exhaust didn’t seem to translate into any noticeable variance in exhaust note or power characteristics. Torque: Husqvarna’s website claims the 701 Enduro has 71 Nm (52 lb-ft) of torque at 6,750 rpm, while KTM claims 73.5 Nm (54 lb-ft) of torque at 6,500 rpm. Quinn mentioned the mild difference could be related to the exhaust canisters. USB Port: The KTM gets a built-in USB port on the side of its headlight mask. The Husqvarna does not one at all. Bodywork: Differences in bodywork include the headlight mask, side panels, tail lights and mirrors. Weights: KTM claims a dry weight of 321.9 lbs (146 kg) while the Husqvarna 701 is a bit lighter at 319.7 lbs (145 kg). We weighed both bikes fully fueled and got 350.0 lbs (158.8 kg) for the 690 and 344.2 lbs (344.2 kg) for the 701. Price: MSRP for the KTM 690 Enduro R is $11,899 USD and the Husqvarna is $11,999 USD. ADVERTISEMENT Clearly the differences for 2020 are subtle. They share the same motor, transmission, chassis, wheels, tires, instruments, controls… and we confirmed with Quinn that engine and suspension tuning are the same this year. After hundreds of miles of exploring on a range of terrain, we didn’t turn up any major differences between the two bikes’ performance either. However, the larger fuel tank on the KTM did come into play at one point when the 701 ran out of gas in Death Valley. With the extra fuel capacity of the 690, it was able to tow the 701 to the next fuel stop. The USB port on the KTM was also a nice feature to have for charging devices and running power to a GPS. And on the Husky, we noticed the extra side padding on the front of the seat was nicer on the knees when gripping the tank in both the seated and standing positions. If you are in the market for either of these bikes, the decision probably comes down to whether you want the extra fuel range, what kind of deal you can get, and which one appeals to you more through the eyes. Whether you choose Orange or White, you can rest assured knowing both are great bikes, with a range of upgrade options available, and there are no major performance features you’ll be missing out on if you decide to pick one over the other. Photos by Rob Dabney and Spencer Hill Author: Rob Dabney Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Mexico, North Africa, Europe, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.
  14. Published on 04.08.2020 KTM North America and US-based non profit, Backcountry Discovery Routes, have partnered up again this year to give away a ‘special edition’ KTM 790 Adventure R. This is a unique opportunity to take home KTM’s latest performance-focused adventure machine. Developed from KTM’s off-road race DNA, the 790 R features a liquid-cooled parallel-twin powerplant generating 95 horsepower paired with race-level componentry, a nimble chassis and an array of sophisticated technology. The team at RideBDR have taken this great ADV machine and made it even better with $9,000 worth of upgrades. This 2020 KTM 790 Adventure R features custom ‘BDR Special Edition’ graphics, WP XPLOR PRO Suspension with cone-valve forks, protection and luggage systems from Touratech, and LED lights by Cyclops. The accessory list includes: an upgraded suspension, hand guards, upper and lower crash bars, pannier system, dry bag, auxiliary light kit and headlight guard. The prize package also includes Butler Motorcycle Maps for all 10 Backcountry Discovery Routes. This KTM 790 Adventure R features WP XPLOR PRO Suspension with Cone-valve Forks — a $6000 upgrade.2020 KTM 790 Adventure R Upgrades • Custom Special BDR Edition Graphics • WP XPLOR PRO Suspension with Cone-valve Forks • Touratech Zega Evo X Pannier System • Touratech Upper and Lower Crash Bars • Touratech Hand Guards • Touratech 31-Liter Dry Bag • Touratech Headlight Guard • Cyclops Aurora Auxiliary Light Kit with DRL’s • Set of all 10 BDR maps (Butler Motorcycle Maps) Upgrades also include a Touratech headlight guard and Cyclops Aurora Auxiliary Light Kit with DRL’s. ADVERTISEMENT The Grand Prize is a Special BDR Edition 2020 KTM 790 Adventure R but BDR is also giving the option of taking home $12,000 in cash instead. You choose. Get in the game, go to WinKTM790.com, and enter for a chance to win this one-of-a-kind motorcycle by donating as little as $25. Donations directly support the creation of new BDR routes and preservation of off-highway riding opportunities for dual-sport and adventure riders. A winner will be chosen on Friday, July 31 at 12 noon (PDT). Photos by Backcountry Discovery Routes
  15. Published on 04.08.2020 KTM North America and US-based non profit, Backcountry Discovery Routes, have partnered up again this year to give away a ‘special edition’ KTM 790 Adventure R. This is a unique opportunity to take home KTM’s latest performance-focused adventure machine. Developed from KTM’s off-road race DNA, the 790 R features a liquid-cooled parallel-twin powerplant generating 95 horsepower paired with race-level componentry, a nimble chassis and an array of sophisticated technology. The team at RideBDR have taken this great ADV machine and made it even better with $9,000 worth of upgrades. This 2020 KTM 790 Adventure R features custom ‘BDR Special Edition’ graphics, WP XPLOR PRO Suspension with cone-valve forks, protection and luggage systems from Touratech, and LED lights by Cyclops. The accessory list includes: an upgraded suspension, hand guards, upper and lower crash bars, pannier system, dry bag, auxiliary light kit and headlight guard. The prize package also includes Butler Motorcycle Maps for all 10 Backcountry Discovery Routes. This KTM 790 Adventure R features WP XPLOR PRO Suspension with Cone-valve Forks — a $6000 upgrade.2020 KTM 790 Adventure R Upgrades • Custom Special BDR Edition Graphics • WP XPLOR PRO Suspension with Cone-valve Forks • Touratech Zega Evo X Pannier System • Touratech Upper and Lower Crash Bars • Touratech Hand Guards • Touratech 31-Liter Dry Bag • Touratech Headlight Guard • Cyclops Aurora Auxiliary Light Kit with DRL’s • Set of all 10 BDR maps (Butler Motorcycle Maps) Upgrades also include a Touratech headlight guard and Cyclops Aurora Auxiliary Light Kit with DRL’s. ADVERTISEMENT The Grand Prize is a Special BDR Edition 2020 KTM 790 Adventure R but BDR is also giving the option of taking home $12,000 in cash instead. You choose. Get in the game, go to WinKTM790.com, and enter for a chance to win this one-of-a-kind motorcycle by donating as little as $25. Donations directly support the creation of new BDR routes and preservation of off-highway riding opportunities for dual-sport and adventure riders. A winner will be chosen on Friday, July 31 at 12 noon (PDT). Photos by Backcountry Discovery Routes
  16. Adventure Gloves are one of those products that often try to do many things and end up compromising on everything. Adding all that street protection to a glove tends to make them feel bulky and hot for off-road riding. The new Battle Born Air gloves from A.R.C. keep it simple and focus on dirt performance. They are designed for warm weather and more aggressive off-road riding, with just enough abrasion protection for short stints on the street. The Battle Born Air is closer to a motocross glove in fit and feel than it is to typical ADV gloves. It uses breathable neoprene on the top of the hands and durable goat skin leather material on the palm, with reinforced fingertips and thumb. In between each finger, is a thin lycra material to give extra breathability and fast moisture wicking. You also have a large mesh nylon panel below the wrist to provide ventilation, plus pinhole vents in the goatskin palm give an additional cooling effect. Beefy D3O knuckle pads offer good protection but remain comfortable on the skin.Impact protection is provided by a thick knuckle protector made by D3O. D3O is a molecular armor which remains soft and pliable until impact when the molecules lock together absorbing the energy and dissipating it. There are also small TPU protectors on the finger knuckles for some additional impact and abrasion protection. ADVERTISEMENT Securing the glove is a basic Velcro closure with a neoprene wrist and it features Touch-Tech leather panels on the index fingers so you can use them with touchscreen devices. There is no wind protection, waterproofing, palm sliders or pinkie guards to be found, but the Air is not trying to be a do-it-all glove. Index fingers feature Touch-Tech leather panels for operating touchscreen devices.How They Performed The Battle Born Air gloves have a light stretchy feel that doesn’t make you struggle to get them on or off. You barely notice the D3O knuckle protector even though there is a substantial amount of padding in there. Everything is form fitted and comfortable but I did notice the fingers are a little longer than most standard size gloves I’ve tested. The D3O knuckle protector is very comfortable on the skin while riding and I never noticed any hot spots nor any seams that caused discomfort. The goat skin palm offered excellent feel on the bars and my hands stayed cool and dry on hot days or when working hard on a rocky-strewn trail. After testing these on many different rides over the last year, I’ve been impressed that my typical blisters never appeared — most likely, due to their excellent breathability and fast moisture wicking. That same breathability means they don’t do too well in cold temps. While riding early on cold mornings, I was always cranking up the heated grips or wishing I had some. Fortunately (or unfortunately) I did get to test their impact protection in a fall. Riding on a rocky trail in Death Valley, I lost the front end and went down at speed (I believe it was one of those moving rocks that jumped out in front of me). My clinched hand punched a rock hard when I hit the ground. That had me pretty concerned about broken fingers. After taking off the glove, I could actually see the indent in my skin from the knuckle protector. But that D3O armor did its job. No serious injury, just some swollen fingers for a few weeks. The Battle Born Air features a goatskin leather palm with pinhole vents along the fingers for improved breathability. The thumb and first two fingers are reinforced with goatskin panels.The glove held up well from the impact too, with only a few stitches tearing on a top seam. I’ve put a lot of miles on these gloves now and typically, gloves start coming apart at the fingertips and wearing through on the palms around this time, but so far so good. Their structure is still solid and willing to take on more abuse. About the only small annoyance I have noticed with these gloves is that the Velcro straps can come loose while riding if you aren’t very deliberate with closing them. The touchscreen tips have also come in handy when using a handlebar mounted Phone or the Trail Tech Voyager Pro. The first few times I used them, the Touch-Tech finger tip on the index finger was precise but I have noticed precision has lessened over time. And while the thumbs do not have the Touch-Tip leather covers, they still seem to work on screens for zooming maps. They don’t work well enough to type a message, but they are good enough to perform basic GPS navigation functions without taking your gloves off. [embedded content] [embedded content]As a dirt-specific glove, I was left very satisfied with the performance of the Battle Born Air and they’ve become my go-to glove for any serious dirt riding. But for street riding, they don’t offer much protection for a high-speed fall on asphalt or cold weather. You can use them all day for rides that stick mostly to dirt, linking up trails. However, if there are any twisty asphalt roads or major highway sections, it’s best to use a street glove and keep the Air gloves in a tank bag to throw on once you hit the trail. Who Are They For The Battle Born Air gloves are for Dual Sport and Adventure Riders who spend a significant amount of time in the dirt. They can act as your primary glove if your travels are almost exclusively on dirt, or a secondary glove used when you reach the trails. Their excellent breathability and fast moisture wicking makes them an ideal warm-weather glove, or for use during more aggressive off-road rides when you are working up a sweat. If you are regularly switching from street to dirt, a glove with a bit more protection like the Battle Born Wind Block would make a better choice. TPU protectors on the top of the fingers offer some additional impact and abrasion protection and the large mesh panel around the wrist area gives good ventilation right where you need it.Our Verdict All too often ADV gear tries to be too many things at once. But when it comes to gloves, sometimes specializing is the best approach. For the more dirt-focused rides, the Battle Born Air gloves have become my new favorite glove. And don’t be put off by the low price tag ($29), these gloves punch above their weight when it comes to quality and construction. While they may not offer the wind protection and waterproofing needed for long-range adventuring, a quick swap to a more street-focused glove isn’t that big of an inconvenience for most journeys. What We Liked Low price for a quality glove. They last a long time and hold up to abuse. Lots of breathability for warm days and aggressive rides. D3O knuckle pad offers great impact protection. What Could Be Improved Make the fingers a little shorter. A Velcro closure that stays closed. A tad more accurate touchscreen tips. Battle Born Air Specs Color: Black Sizes: Small to XXX-Large Armor: D3O knuckle pad and TPU on fingers Palm: Goatskin leather with reinforced panels Main Body: Neoprene, Lycra and Nylon Mesh Price: $29.99 Shopping Options Author: Rob Dabney Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Mexico, North Africa, Europe, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.
  17. I can recall a day, about a week ago, when things were different. When cold weather meant throwing on an extra layer and dealing with it as best you can. I think I was tougher then. However, why be tough when you can simply push a button and be warm? FirstGear’s assemblage of heated gear provides the rider nearly any environment they want to dial in, in nearly any cold environment they want to ride in. Highly functional and solidly constructed, different items can be run simultaneously or independently depending on rider preference. At the core of the system is the heated jacket, which is worn as a liner underneath your motorcycle jacket. The lightweight nylon/polyester construction features a main zipper plus five smaller zippers for compartments serving different functions. Inside the back of the jacket is a small storage compartment, and on the outside of the jacket, roughly where the left pocket would normally go, is another storage compartment intended for a high-capacity (15600 mAh) lithium-ion battery that is motion activated. Inside this pocket is a pass-through hole where the jacket’s power cable can be routed either inside or outside the pocket, depending on whether it is being powered directly from the bike, or via the portable battery. The jacket liner, pant liner, gloves, and sock liners can be interlocked together and powered off a portable battery or from the bike’s power.When the weather warms up, and juicing up the jacket is not required, the power cable can be tucked away in a small zippered pocket directly beneath the battery compartment. Two more power leads can be found zipped up near the cuffs of each sleeve, which allow either heated gloves or glove liners to be attached. Zippered pockets in the jacket sleeves hide cables which provide pass-thru power to the heated gloves. ADVERTISEMENT A small flap at the hemline on the left side of the jacket holds the three-way power button. Pressing and holding the button for approximately two seconds will power the jacket on or off. Once powered on, simply clicking the button toggles it through the three heat setting options of high, medium, and low. The illuminated button changes color to correspond to each setting – either red, white, or green. An optional remote control, powered by a disposable A23 battery, can be mounted on the handlebar. And after a straightforward, seamless Bluetooth sync procedure, the jacket’s settings can be easily controlled on-the-fly while riding without taking one’s eyes off the road. A small flap sticks out the bottom of your heated jacket liner that allows you to control temperature settings with the push of a button.Removing the power leads from their storage compartments at the end of each sleeve, provides connections for the heated Outrider gloves. As a stand-alone glove, the fit and construction are both excellent. In addition to knuckle and finger protection, the gloves feature Knox SPS scaphoid protectors on the palm side. The left glove has a rain squeegee on the index finger, although it is attached in a “laid down” orientation which is sleek, but less effective as a squeegee than some designs. Both gloves feature touch-screen-friendly fingertips. Pulling heavier cold weather gloves on and off is a bit more difficult than lightweight MX gloves, so being able to check a phone or GPS, gloves on, is a plus on any ride. When plugged in, pass-through circuitry allows the settings on the gloves to be controlled independently from the jacket, as well as independently from each other. Typically, one would most likely want to run both gloves on the same heat setting. However if desired, each glove can be set to any temperature on its own, with the jacket either on or off. Touch-screen-compatible fingertips were a welcome feature when navigating by GPS app.Moving down, heated pants and sock liners complete the ensemble. The nylon/polyester/spandex pants are robust enough to work as a stand-alone layer, or even stand-alone pants in a travel context. A long flap on the left provides access to the power switch even when wearing a low-hemmed jacket. Behind the switch is a zippered pocket containing the power lead, which can also double as a battery compartment should a rider want to electrify the pants while off the bike. Short ankle zippers allow for easy entry and exit, and small hook-and-loop closure pockets inside each ankle store the power leads to connect electric sock liners. Either the upper items (jacket and gloves), or the lower items (pants and socks), can connect to either the bike or battery power source, and be run independently of each other. Use of a Y-splitter cable allows all items to be run simultaneously. First Impressions Before connecting anything to power and firing up the heated gear’s circuitry, simply putting on everything reveals the high level of construction and fit. Use of spandex in the pants allows them to form-fit, which better transfers heat to the body. The nylon/polyester jacket has a good fit as a liner, however if you are in between sizes it’s possible the smaller would be more effective in overall heat transfer. Use of polyester and spandex in the sock liners mean they fit snug, and thin enough that very little extra “bulk” is felt inside one’s boots. The heated jacket liner has heating elements on the arms, neck, back, and chest.Possibly the most impressive part of the ensemble are the Outrider gloves. Bulky winter gloves can sometimes be a pain to get on and off, however excellent fit makes these gloves surprisingly easy to use for such a robust build, and use of touch-screen-compatible materials in the fingertips means you’ll likely not need to remove them as often as gloves lacking this feature. Knuckle flex panels in the thumb and first three fingers, various armor panels, and inclusion of Knox sliders all lend to an overall high-quality feel in these gloves. The excellent fit of the Outrider Gloves makes them surprisingly easy to get on and off for a padded winter glove.After syncing the bluetooth remote switch, the jacket can be powered up and controlled either by the on-board switch or the remote. While both the remote switch and the jacket have three-color LED lights corresponding to the heat settings, one minor point to note is that the colors don’t entirely agree. While High (red) and Low (green) match up respectively on both the remote control and the jacket, medium is represented by a white light on the jacket’s button, and an orange light on the remote switch. It’s significant to mention that the bluetooth connection to the remote switch was retained from the initial pairing, and did not have to be reset over several weeks of testing. The jacket’s heat settings can be easily controlled from a Bluetooth remote mounted on the handlebar, so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road.How It Performed Heat is felt almost instantaneously once the jacket is powered up, and in the high setting it is hot! Where the jacket is pressed into the body (by virtue of a backpack, fold in the material of an outer jacket, etc..) the heat sensation is more pronounced. As the jacket shifts while moving around, one can feel heat touching different parts of the body from elements in the chest, back, arms, and collar. Running a smaller size with a tighter fit might allow for a more uniform distribution of heat. Activating the gloves results in a less-pronounced but equally effective heat sensation. Perhaps the thicker construction of the gloves compared to the jacket acts as a heat-sink, or simply the fact the hands are more exposed to the wind and the cold than a jacket liner leads to the comparatively lesser heat sensation. The full-gauntlet glove’s heating elements are in the back of the hand and along the back of each finger. A typical problem that occurs when riding in cold weather with heated grips is that the palms of your hands can be burning while the tops can be freezing cold. Running these gloves simultaneously with heated grips creates an ideal microclimate for the entire hand when the surrounding climate is less than ideal. Warmth aside, the fit and construction allows for good grip and feel of the controls for a winter glove, and the aforementioned touch-screen compatibility is a welcome feature. Spandex positions the heating elements snugly against the front of each leg in the pant liners. Like the jacket, heat is felt almost instantaneously in the pants when power is activated. Like the gloves, the heat sensation is less pronounced in the socks, but an adequately warm climate is created. Given the socks are the only items without independent heat adjustment control, it’s possible a “safer” heat level was designed into them. Powered By Bike or Portable Battery A couple motorcycles were involved in testing this electric clothing: a KTM 1090 Adventure R (with aftermarket heated grips installed), and Royal Enfield Himalayan (without heated grips). Aboard the big KTM, firing up all the clothing items and setting everything to broil made a pre-dawn run out to the desert like no other ride I’ve done. Dark skies with rain and temperatures dipping into the high 30’s didn’t reflect the bizarre level of comfort riding through it on such an exposed vehicle. I felt like I was back in my truck with heated seats and cabin climate control. Even in these conditions, the high (red) setting was seldom needed on the jacket or pants – medium was fine. I prefer my hands to be warm, and thankfully the gloves’ independent heat control meant I could have them running on high while the jacket and pants were on lower settings. If the portable battery runs out of juice during your trip, you can recharge it via your bike’s USB power port. Depending on which items of clothing are fired up, and what heat settings are selected, the portable lithium-ion battery can be used to power everything for several hours – or potentially all day depending on settings or whether just one or two items are in use. Once the battery is depleted, the clothing can be plugged directly into the bike’s power, while the portable battery is recharged through a USB port. Running the jacket and gloves with vehicle power results in identical levels of heat as when using portable battery power. When all clothing items are running together, while connected to the portable battery, noticeably lower heat levels at each setting can be felt in certain items. This was also true when running the gear on the Himalayan. Compared to the KTM, the Enfield’s less-powerful charging system seemed to struggle a bit with powering all the heated gear simultaneously. With only 221 watts coming out of its alternator, after using roughly 86 watts of power to run the bike itself, the Royal Enfield is left with around 135 watts to spare. All of the heated gear running simultaneously sucks up nearly 103 watts of that surplus between the jacket (42 watts), pants (38 watts), gloves (14.4 watts), and socks (8.2 watts). The numbers technically work, but with margin for power consumption variance of just under 33 watts. The heated gear may also be powered off the bike if the portable battery runs low. An SAE to Coax adapter cable allowed us to plug into our battery tender line.On the other hand, when running all of the FirstGear heated gear, plus heated grips, and charging the portable battery as well as a cellphone, the KTM’s 450-watt stator output didn’t seem to struggle. It’s also worth noting the jacket and gloves performed equally well when running them together on either bike. Once the riding day (or night) is done, the ability to power up heated clothing with a portable battery really shines. Rather than needing to layer up at a cold campsite, one simply pushes a button (or buttons) and dials in their own level of comfort. Uses quickly expand beyond the adventure realm as well. While a mid-day break stop on a cold high mountaintop is an obvious place heated gear would be beneficial, rather than turn on the heat in my office, I typed up this review in the cold pre-dawn hours wearing motorcycle gear with little glowing buttons. Product testing never felt so nice. Who It Is For FirstGear’s new heated motorcycle gear is ideal for anyone who rides in a country that has a winter, which is most riders. While the most common use of this electric clothing would be in an adventure touring context, connecting it to the portable lithium-ion battery means running the heated gear in a dual sport or even dirt bike context is possible. Our Verdict Addition of heated clothing to the adventure touring realm is a luxury which fast becomes part of one’s standard kit. Given these items can work well as liners either with or without power means the user might well end up running them in lieu of stock liners all the time. Why be tough when you can be warm. Maybe not the best ad slogan. What We Liked Great fit and construction. Independent heat control settings for different areas. High heat levels for colder weather. Keep the heat going once you’re off the bike. What Could Be Improved Squeegee on the left index finger could be positioned better. No manual included for lithium-ion battery. Shopping Options: Photos by Jon Beck and Rob Dabney Author: Jon Beck Jon Beck is fulfilling a dream of never figuring out what to be when he grows up. Racing mountain bikes, competitive surfing, and touring as a musician are somehow part of what led Jon to travel through over 40 countries so far as an adventure motorcycle photographer, journalist, and guide. From precision riding for cameras in Hollywood, to refilling a fountain pen for travel stories, Jon brings a rare blend of experience to the table. While he seems happiest when lost in a desert someplace, deadlines are met most of the time.
  18. Published on 04.01.2020 Adventure proof packing systems innovator Giant Loop has introduced the world’s first seat-top tent for motorcycles, the EXPANDER™ Adventure Tent. Weighing in at just under 20 lbs., the EXPANDER™ mounts to virtually any adventure touring motorcycle, providing 100 square feet of hazard free living space while deployed safely off the ground. Constructed in the USA with tubular and extruded titanium framework, ladder and supports, with ultralight Vapor™ fabrics, the EXPANDER™ packs into its own case 6” tall x 18” wide x 18” long, or about the size of a box of Donuts. Upgrades include one-click remote controlled deployment and packing, anti-microbial UV interior lighting and a Dyneema®/Kevlar® predator barrier (patent pending). Ladder and supports fold up to fit neatly inside the 6″ x 18″ x 18″ pack. Straps on securely to most adventure bikes and dual sports. ADVERTISEMENT USA MSRP is $2,999.99. Pre-orders for the Giant Loop EXPANDER™ Adventure Tent are available now, with a non-refundable deposit of $299.99 USD, exclusively at giant-loop.com. Estimated first production ship date is April 1, 2021. Get it today!
  19. Most riders hide from winter. Dutch adventure motorcyclist Sjaak Lucassen embraces it, seeing bitter cold, snow and ice as a path to one of the most remote places on earth. Beginning in January 2021, Lucassen will ride his modified 2001 Yamaha YZF-R1, from Anchorage, Alaska to the geographic North Pole. The 3,000-mile journey includes hundreds of miles over sea ice, which means he has to go at the coldest time of the year in order for the ice to remain frozen. Due to the extreme conditions, the trip will require three winter seasons and over two years to complete. ADVERTISEMENT Sjaak’s journey to the North Pole during the peak of winter will mean he’ll have to battle temperatures as low as -40° F (-40° C) through skin piercing snowstorms. But Sjaak actually hopes temperatures stay as low as possible to decrease his chances of running into what he considers the biggest danger — falling through the open ice. Deep snow drifts and cracks in the ice could swallow the bike. And Sjaak will have to receive periodic weather updates and satellite data about open spots on the ice cap. Then there is the ever-present threat of polar bears who consider humans on the menu. He’ll be as independent as possible, hauling his own food, tools and camping gear in a sled and sleeping in a tent. To keep warm, Sjaak will use several different options including a generator, a motor, a heat gun, and fuel. Given the small window in the year when temperatures drop to the extreme lows he needs to ride the polar ice, Lucassen is aiming to reach the North Pole in three stages: Stage 1 – Anchorage, Alaska to Tuktoyaktuk, Canada (1,800km/1,100 miles): This section of the ride will be on winter roads, which will give Sjaak time to get used to the weather and his R1 as well as make any small modifications if needed. Stage 2 – Tuktoyaktuk to Ward Hunt Island (2,300km/1,400 miles): Things get more challenging in 2022, when he’ll venture over the frozen Beaufort Sea and across coastal islands. He’ll have to avoid pressure ridges which can result in big blocks of ice piled up and is most likely going to require the navigational skills of a local guide. Stage 3 – Ward Hunt Island to North Pole (800km+/500miles+): Things get crazy in 2023 when he points the R1 directly north and heads out over the frozen ocean. Sjaak’s exact route will depend mainly on ice conditions. He’ll have to be on high alert for stretches of open water and the presence of huge pressure ridges could mean big detours. So what’s the inspiration for this crazy adventure? Lucassen hatched the idea of a ride to the North Pole during an around-the-world trip he took in 1995. “In Pakistan, on the Karakoram Highway, I felt like I was on the end of the world. But it’s not the end of the world. The end of the world is the North Pole . That popped up in my mind and since then I kept in my mind to go there once in my life.” And why an R1? Sjaak has always preferred sportbikes for his adventures. He praises his R1 as reliable and surprisingly capable in rough terrain after airing down the tires. The Test Run Sjaak had completed several winter rides before but he says none were as important as the one through Beaufort Sea. In February 2013, Lucassen rode over 6,200 miles on a R1 from the northernmost tip of the continental US to the southernmost tip, a test trip of sorts for the North Pole push. “To keep it a real motorcycle journey, I had put myself some limits. Like travelling the entire distance by using the bike’s strength and my own, so no physical help from others,” he explained. The journey began in the polar ice of Barrow, where there are no roads, which meant he had to ride over the frozen waters of the Beaufort Sea to civilization. The trip was an eye-opener for him, highlighting how far behind he still was in his planning and preparations. The tires were too stiff and not wide enough, and the bike would dig into soft snow. The tires were also too tall, making the bike difficult to upright after a tip over. The bike would also overheat if he covered the radiators, or not warm up enough if he didn’t. And his sled, which was big enough to carry all his supplies and sleep in, was far too heavy. The Bike – Arctic 1 Sjaak’s sled in 2013 was too big . He will now sleep in a tent and pull a lighter sled that can carry 150 kg of supplies.To address the issues he experienced in his test run, Lucassen built another 2001 R1. Enter ‘Arctic 1,’ his new weapon built specifically for the North Pole expedition. The upgraded R1 rides on squishy, monster tires: 60-cm (23.6 inches) wide in the rear, and 40 cm (16 inches) in the front. No such motorcycle tire exists off the shelf, so Lucassen designed them himself and found a company to make them. He also widened the swingarm and designed a drive system with primary and secondary chains to accommodate the fat rear rubber. In the front he designed extra-wide triple clamps and modified the fairings to make it all fit, somehow managing to keep the R1’s sportbike lines intact. Sjaak can increase the h of his R1 for obstacles or lower it so it is easier to pick up the bike after a fall. An onboard compressor also allows him to deflate or inflate the tires while riding.During his previous winter challenges, Sjaak used BestGrip studs. “They made such a difference that I am going to use them again, for sure,” he says.In addition, Lucassen added a new radiator with more cooling capacity, heating elements to warm the carbs and the antifreeze, and had special oil developed that wouldn’t solidify in the extreme cold he’ll be facing. He will also carry a small generator to warm the bike for morning starts.The sled was also modified to make it lighter and ensure it can pull 150kg of supplies. It’s taken 13 years of preparation for the trip and he’s not done yet. Lucassen is still working on the necessary permits and paperwork needed to access the North Pole and get the Guiness Book of World Records to recognize his attempt, raising money and finding a support driver to haul fuel during the last stretch and possibly provide protection from polar bears. There’s no big-money team behind the expedition, just a man and a dream most would consider crazy. But he embodies the DIY spirit, and you get the feeling that he’ll make it. “If there is too much open water I’ll come back the next year,” he said. “And if there is too much open water in that year too, then I’ll make the bike float. But I will go to the North Pole .” Follow Lucanssen’s incredible journey on Facebook, YouTube or his website. [embedded content] [embedded content] Author: Bob Whitby Bob has been riding motorcycles since age 19 and working as a journalist since he was 24, which was a long time ago, let’s put it that way. He quit for the better part of a decade to raise a family, then rediscovered adventure, dual sport and enduro riding in the early 2000s. He lives in Arkansas, America’s best-kept secret when it comes to riding destinations, and travels far and wide in search of dirt roads and trails.
  20. BMW of North America has issued two new recalls on certain R1250GS-range motorcycles and several other models for a brake fluid reservoir cover issue and swing arm/final drive pivot pin defect. Approximately 51 R1250GS and 60 R1250GS Adventure models, for the 2019 and 2020 model years, may be affected by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) recall related to the brake fluid reservoir cover issue. Another 252 non-GS models (RnineT, RnineT Scrambler, RnineT Pure, RnineT Racer, R1250R, R1250RT, R1250RS) were also affected by the same reservoir cap issue. In addition, two 2020 R1250GS models were affected by a pivot pin defect along with another two 2020 R1250RT models, for a total of 369 motorcycles affected by both recalls. ADVERTISEMENT According to the first recall defect report (20V166), certain vehicles were produced with a brake fluid reservoir cover which may not fully conform to US Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. This non-compliance recall involves an optional color-specific brake fluid reservoir cap, which may not clearly state the required type of brake fluid or process for filling the reservoir. The second more serious recall (20V165) states that a pivot pin, which connects the final drive to the swing arm, may be faulty. During motorcycle assembly at a rework station, the pin showed signs of cracking prior to reaching the specified torque settings after being torqued a second time. It was concluded that the pin may not have been produced to specifications during a particular production period. What Could Happen The NHTSA report on the first recall notes that the non-compliant brake fluid reservoir cover contained language that may be confusing or misunderstood, which could lead to an improper maintenance procedure. Improper brake system maintenance could affect braking performance. The second recall states the defective pivot pin could cause the connection between the final drive and swing arm to loosen. A loose connection between the final drive and swing arm could reduce stability and control, increasing the risk of a crash. Models Affected By The Recall: Make Model Issue Year BMW Motorrad R1250GS Brake Fluid Reservoir Cap 2019-2020 BMW Motorrad R1250GS Adventure Brake Fluid Reservoir Cap 2019-2020 BMW Motorrad RnineT Brake Fluid Reservoir Cap 2018-2020 BMW Motorrad RnineT Scrambler Brake Fluid Reservoir Cap 2018-2020 BMW Motorrad RnineT Racer Brake Fluid Reservoir Cap 2018 BMW Motorrad RnineT Pure Brake Fluid Reservoir Cap 2019-2020 BMW Motorrad R1250R Brake Fluid Reservoir Cap 2018-2020 BMW Motorrad R1250RT Brake Fluid Reservoir Cap 2019-2020 BMW Motorrad R1250RS Brake Fluid Reservoir Cap 2020 BMW Motorrad R1250GS Swing arm pivot pin 2020 BMW Motorrad R1250RT Swing arm pivot pin 2020 How To Get It Fixed Owners will be notified by First Class mail and instructed to take their motorcycle to an authorized BMW motorcycle dealer to have the defective brake reservoir cap or pivot pin replaced for free. If this condition occurred on an affected motorcycle prior to this recall, the remedy would be covered by the BMW Motorcycle New Vehicle Limited Warranty program. Therefore, reimbursement for a pre-notification remedy is not necessary. Notification of dealers is planned to begin on March 27, 2020. Owners will begin getting notified on May 11, 2020. Owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153). You can also check your VIN to see if you are affected by the recall at www.nhtsa.gov.
  21. BMW of North America has issued two new recalls on certain R1250GS-range motorcycles and several other models for a brake fluid reservoir cover issue and swing arm/final drive pivot pin defect. Approximately 51 R1250GS and 60 R1250GS Adventure models, for the 2019 and 2020 model years, may be affected by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) recall related to the brake fluid reservoir cover issue. Another 252 non-GS models (RnineT, RnineT Scrambler, RnineT Pure, RnineT Racer, R1250R, R1250RT, R1250RS) were also affected by the same reservoir cap issue. In addition, two 2020 R1250GS models were affected by a pivot pin defect along with another two 2020 R1250RT models, for a total of 369 motorcycles affected by both recalls. ADVERTISEMENT According to the first recall defect report (20V166), certain vehicles were produced with a brake fluid reservoir cover which may not fully conform to US Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. This non-compliance recall involves an optional color-specific brake fluid reservoir cap, which may not clearly state the required type of brake fluid or process for filling the reservoir. The second more serious recall (20V165) states that a pivot pin, which connects the final drive to the swing arm, may be faulty. During motorcycle assembly at a rework station, the pin showed signs of cracking prior to reaching the specified torque settings after being torqued a second time. It was concluded that the pin may not have been produced to specifications during a particular production period. What Could Happen The NHTSA report on the first recall notes that the non-compliant brake fluid reservoir cover contained language that may be confusing or misunderstood, which could lead to an improper maintenance procedure. Improper brake system maintenance could affect braking performance. The second recall states the defective pivot pin could cause the connection between the final drive and swing arm to loosen. A loose connection between the final drive and swing arm could reduce stability and control, increasing the risk of a crash. Models Affected By The Recall: Make Model Issue Year BMW Motorrad R1250GS Brake Fluid Reservoir Cap 2019-2020 BMW Motorrad R1250GS Adventure Brake Fluid Reservoir Cap 2019-2020 BMW Motorrad RnineT Brake Fluid Reservoir Cap 2018-2020 BMW Motorrad RnineT Scrambler Brake Fluid Reservoir Cap 2018-2020 BMW Motorrad RnineT Racer Brake Fluid Reservoir Cap 2018 BMW Motorrad RnineT Pure Brake Fluid Reservoir Cap 2019-2020 BMW Motorrad R1250R Brake Fluid Reservoir Cap 2018-2020 BMW Motorrad R1250RT Brake Fluid Reservoir Cap 2019-2020 BMW Motorrad R1250RS Brake Fluid Reservoir Cap 2020 BMW Motorrad R1250GS Swing arm pivot pin 2020 BMW Motorrad R1250RT Swing arm pivot pin 2020 How To Get It Fixed Owners will be notified by First Class mail and instructed to take their motorcycle to an authorized BMW motorcycle dealer to have the defective brake reservoir cap or pivot pin replaced for free. If this condition occurred on an affected motorcycle prior to this recall, the remedy would be covered by the BMW Motorcycle New Vehicle Limited Warranty program. Therefore, reimbursement for a pre-notification remedy is not necessary. Notification of dealers is planned to begin on March 27, 2020. Owners will begin getting notified on May 11, 2020. Owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153). You can also check your VIN to see if you are affected by the recall at www.nhtsa.gov.
  22. Published on 03.27.2020 Motorcycle chain lubrication specialists Scottoiler have launched the newest version of their popular electronic chain oiling system – the eSystem v3.1. The Scottoiler kit is designed to automatically lubricate your motorcycle’s chain and sprockets while you ride, keeping them properly coated and significantly reducing drivetrain maintenance. The eSystem feeds minimal amounts of oil to your chain only when you ride. This allows the electronic oil kit to use a lubricant that has almost no tack additives preventing dirt and grit from sticking to it. A cleaner lubrication means your chain does not develop the typical layer of black, grinding paste. Scottoiler claims your chain and sprockets will last up to 7 times longer, and the oil reservoir lasts for up to 1,800 miles between refills. Scottoiler eSystem Features The new eSystem version 3.1 offers self-calibration, additional flow rate settings and retention of all pre-established settings.Increase chain and sprocket life up to 7 times Improves performance Reduces chain maintenance Motion Sensitive Graphic Display Accelerometer technology Lubricant oil level gauge Precision flow rate Lubricates while you ride Includes 250ml bottle of Scottoil chain lubricant Up to 1,800 miles between refills The new eSystem version 3.1 has evolved based on extensive research conducted with customers of the original models through version 2. Now even more user-friendly, v3.1 self-calibrates, allowing for an even quicker start-up. Plus additional flow rate settings, particularly on the lower end, allow for even more precise, measured and gradual oiling of your chain. ADVERTISEMENT As a response to existing eSystem users requesting to introduce this feature, the new eSystem now retains all pre-established settings. If you’re coming back to your bike after winter, or returning to your bike after taking a break, then don’t worry about having to input your settings again, all your previous preferences will be stored in the memory, even when disconnected from the battery. Version 3.1 offers an easier to operate interface and keeps all your previous settings stored in memory, even when disconnected from the battery.The Scottoiler eSystem V3.1 is made for both seasoned bikers and newcomers to the world of chain oiling alike, with easy installation and calibration. With a one-time investment in chain oiling, the eSystem V3.1 ensures a high level of control and precision when looking after your motorcycle chain, paying for itself in its maintenance and preservation qualities. The V3.1 system comes in both High Temp and Standard Temp versions with an MSRP of $299.99. [embedded content] [embedded content]Version 3.1 Updates All new software pack Upgraded hardware Upgraded buttons & screen Easier to operate interface Long term memory retains settings Shopping Options
  23. Published on 03.24.2020 Wolfman’s all-new Tincup Pocket is a minimalist waterproof storage solution (1.2 liters capacity) that holds just your bare essentials like keys, snacks, wallet and phone. It’s incredibly versatile as well. Depending on the base you choose, you can strap it onto the tank, a number plate, waist belt, or use it as an auxiliary bag attached to your primary luggage. When used as a tank bag, it offers easy-access storage that doesn’t get in the way during aggressive off-road rides. What’s In The Box Tincup Pocket WP Bag Removable clear map pocket Sold Separately: Mounting bases for tank bag, waist belt, auxiliary bag, and number plate. First Impressions We’re currently testing the Tincup Pocket in the tank bag configuration with the ‘Sloped’ Tank Bag Base which fits most motorcycles. There is also a ‘Crown’ Tank Bag Base for fuel tanks that are shaped like a peak. Getting the harness on the tank was simple, attaching it around the steering stem and on the frame rails near the seat. A large Velcro panel holds the bag in place with a single quick-release strap over the top to secure it. This makes the Tincup Pocket easy to remove in seconds if you need to run into a gas station for snacks. The new Tincup Pocket is part of Wolfman’s next-gen line of bags that are waterproof, without needing an inner or exterior waterproof bag. Construction looks sturdy with a 840D Nylon TPU laminate material that uses a beefy YKK waterproof zipper to get quick access to your items. And there is a detachable map pocket that sticks to the top with Velcro. Two inner sleeve pockets and a hi-viz yellow interior make finding gear and staying organized easier. So far, it seems well built and has an economical use of space. ADVERTISEMENT Highlights Stash small essentials like wallets, keys, and phones in this protective motorcycle bag. Mounts quickly to other Wolfman Motorcycle Luggage. Multiple mounting points make this easy to place anywhere on your bike. Numerous pockets make it easy to find gear and stay organized. Wolfman Tincup Pocket Wolfman Tincup Pocket We’ll be putting the Tincup Pocket through its paces in the coming months to get a better idea of how well it works on real-world adventures. Let us know any questions you have in the comments below and we’ll try to get answers for you. Stay tuned for more to come! Wolfman Tincup Pocket Features 1.2 liter capacity Waterproof 840D nylon TPU laminate, black outside bright yellow inside Radio frequency welded seams #8 YKK waterproof zipper Easy to find yellow cord on zipper sliders 0.35 lbs Removable clear map pocket, 4.5″ L x 3″ W (11cm L x 7cm W) 4″ L x 7″ W x 2.75″ H (10cm L x 18cm W x 7cm D) Price: $39.99 bag; $24.99 tank base Shopping Options
  24. While every element of your riding gear is important for comfort and safety, there’s no question your helmet is the most consequential. It’s also the most complex, needing to meet multiple behind-the-scenes reliability standards that are continually evolving. The most universal motorcycle helmet testing standards are those imposed by the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), a branch of the United Nations. After not seeing a change in the last 20 years, updated ECE standards will require new levels of safety from helmet manufacturers, and will likely increase costs as well. In the U.S. we’re familiar with our own very basic Department of Transportation’s (DOT) standards for helmet integrity, as well as the Snell seal of approval, which satisfies safety parameters developed for racing. The ECE testing standards, currently denoted as 22.05 and soon to be version six (22.06), are the most comprehensive testing requirements, measuring everything from the polystyrene’s reaction to different temperatures, to the prismatic effect of the visors. If your helmet meets ECE standards you’ll find a requisite stamp on the shell or a white tag sewn into your helmet’s liner. ADVERTISEMENT The upcoming amendments to current ECE standards will include additional trials, as well as construction requirements, such as added reflectivity. The new regulations will also expand to visors, sun-shades and helmet-specific accessories. In the testing department, new helmets – currently rated by how well they hold up when propelled onto an anvil – will be subjected to “drops” at a wider range of speeds, including low speed tests to determine how helmets perform in minor or secondary impacts. Rotational tests will also be introduced for the new ECE standard approval. Studying the new impact data that results from prescribed hits at specified anvil angles will address important new research on the dangerous effect of glancing blows. In this scenario, sensors will measure the twisting motion of a head inside the helmet, which is significant since rotational force can cause significant damage to brain tissue without any obvious external trauma. Currently, modular helmets can be certified without testing with the chin bar raised. This will no longer be allowed, and all modular lids must meet or exceed the regulations in their closed as well as their open positions.New testing procedures will also address modular helmets and how their integrity might be altered when the chin bar is raised. As it stands, a modular helmet can be tested and certified as a locked and closed full-face. The new 22.06 standard will require all modular lids meet or exceed the regulations in their closed and locked, as well as their open positions. Flip-down sun shades, tested in their working position, will be assessed to make sure they don’t restrain or prevent the movement of the visor. Any official accessory communicators and/or cameras specific to a helmet (think Sena’s “smart” road-riding helmets) will also be examined to determine their influence on shells and visors in the case of impacts from various angles. Use of any other accessory not tested during ECE approval will render the standard certification invalid. Use of any other accessory not tested during ECE approval will render the standard certification invalid.Visors will undergo more vigorous testing than ever, only passing if they don’t deform, fracture or detach when shot with a steel ball at 60 m/s (134mph) to simulate the visor being struck by road-borne debris. While the United Nations Economic and Social Council isn’t scheduled to vote these measures through until June, helmet manufacturers around the globe are gearing up to make sure their products will pass muster, an undertaking speculated to result in a 5% increase in price at the consumer end. What this also means for buyers is there should be some good deals down the line on all the ECE 22.05 standard helmets still in production today. Manufacturers and dealers will have 36 months from the commencement date of the new standards to clear the outdated inventory before it becomes illegal to sell. If you’re feeling bored during this weird season of Coronavirus quarantines you can read all 127 pages of the official proposal here. It’s super brainy —pun intended. Photos by Spencer Hill and Stephen Gregory Author: Jamie Elvidge Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.
  25. Published on 03.20.2020 [embedded content] [embedded content]You’ve seen bike’s with their auxiliary lights customized to come on with the high beam switch or synchronized with the turn signals, as well as flashing auxiliary and brake lights that get other driver’s attention fast. How do they do it? The easy way is with a CAN bus accessory controller. Denali has been a leader in this technology with their plug-n-play CANsmart controller for BMW and Harley models, now they are making it available for CAN bus-equipped KTMs. With the CANSmart you can customize the functionality of up to four accessories for improved safety and awareness on the road, all controlled with the original handlebar switches. Simply connect the CANsmart Controller to your KTM diagnostic port to access over 35 programmable accessory settings designed to control auxiliary lights, turn signals, horns, brake lights, or any accessory you can imagine. Control OEM accessories, 3rd party accessories or use the included wiring harnesses for plug & play connection to DENALI driving lights, DRLs, SoundBomb Horns, and B6 Brake Lights. ktm_light_square_720x The Integrated Accessory Control allows you to control up to two sets of LED lights right from your KTM’s SET button. Simply toggle your DRLs on/off twice to turn you auxiliary lights on or off.Key Features Include: Integrated accessory control allows you to independently control up to two sets of LED lights right from your KTM’s SET button. On the fly dimming allows you to dim up to two sets of lights without connecting to the software, while riding. CANsmart accessory manager software lets you set each of the four circuits to control whatever accessory type you want. Lights can be set to synchronize high/low beam with factory high/low beam switch, dim on the fly, modulate during the day to increase visibility, flash to pass, strobe with horn, and cancel inversely with turn signal. You can also set amber lights to flash as a turn signal. Brake lights flash upon deceleration using “Smart Brake” technology. Plug & play installation of all DENALI lights and horns, no additional wiring harness needed. On board power allows you to connect any electrical accessories such as phones, GPS units, or heated gear. Fits new model KTM Duke & Adventure models: 790 & 1290 Duke, 790 Adventure, 1090 & 1190 Adventure, and 1290 Super Adventure. The free Accessory Manager Software lets you set each of the four circuits to control whatever accessory type you want. You can choose between dozens of features and settings to customize each accessory type to match your riding style.Shopping Options: ADVERTISEMENT
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