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KTM Updates 890 Adventure R For 2023 And Adds Controversial New Feature

KTM has refreshed its 890 Adventure R for 2023, with the bike gaining new aesthetics as well as functional updates for the coming model year.

First to strike your eyeballs like a shock from the past is KTM’s revised bodywork. While the firm claims the redesigned fairing takes its cues from its 450 Rally machines, we see quite a resemblance to the iconic 950 and 990 Adventure as well.

Gone is the awkward-looking front end where the headlight stuck out ahead of the rest of the bike’s lines, with a new set of forward cowls that bring the headlight back into the lines of the bike as a whole. Making up the new bodywork for the 2023 model is a new fairing, fuel tank, and cowling, which all work towards improving aerodynamics and ergonomics. Most importantly the new plastics will do wonders for enhancing protection from the elements for the rider.

Perhaps taking more visible cues from the KTM 450 Rally setup, the WP suspension package on the KTM 890 ADVENTURE R is top shelf with fully adjustable WP XPLOR forks and a WP XPLOR PDS rear shock. According to KTM this was re-tuned to provide an improved feeling to ensure riders are less fatigued by the bike.

In a move that has already garnered controversy, KTM has given the 890 Adventure R an all-new “demo” mode for 2023. This demo mode allows riders to take advantage of all the specs and options available for the 890 Adventure R (like bi-directional quickshifter, rally mode and more) for the first 1,500 kilometres before the rider decides which pack or features to acquire.

The controversy around this comes from the fact that KTM ships the bikes with all the parts necessary already on the bike, so you've already paid for the physical parts and have to pay further to unlock them digitally to actually use them. It will be very interesting to see if the Demo mode sees owners opting for more, or fewer add-ons.

Other electronic updates include a new 5-inch TFT display — complete with USB-C connectors — which features a completely new appearance with coloured pictograms and intuitive graphics that allow for easier navigation through the menus.

Additionally, the new screen features an updated turn-by-turn plus navigation system which allows the rider to select the preferred destination out of their last selections.

KTM has also included the next generation of ABS control unit that takes readings from the 6D sensor — which continually informs the CMU on the angle, pitch, speed and general behaviour of the motorcycle — to apply the correct amount of braking force for any given situation.

For riding off the beaten track, KTM has made things a bit easier with off-road ABS now an integrated element of the bike’s Off-road mode or the optional RALLY MODE, without the need to switch the ABS to off-road mode independently.

Where the rubber meets the road, it seems someone at KTM HQ has been listening to New Zealand’s own Chris Birch, and as a result the 2023 890 Adventure R ships with Mitas’ new Enduro Trail+ tyres being the rubber of choice.

The 2023 KTM 890 Adventure R is expected to arrive in Kiwi KTM dealerships in the late first quarter of 2023 with pricing yet to be finalised.


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