When the manufacturers in the adventure riding world finally start to take notice and answer the calls of a generation of riders its time to get involved.
Add some pretty cool KTM design ideas to keep the weight low down (those fuel tanks...?!) and manage the engines considerable power output off-road and it’s clear you have a winning combination.
For many years here at Adventure Spec we (like most real world riders) have been asking for for lighter adventure bikes with 21/18 spoked wheels, a lower seat height, decent suspension and a road capable mile munching engine.
However, in keeping with tradition there are a few things that we think your KTM still needs to make sure that if you ride it the way the designers intended it will come back in one piece…
Skid rails to help reduce friction
The underside/sump area of any bike has always been a weak point when adventure riding as the prospect of dropping 250kg+ (bike including rider) onto a pointed rock is sadly all to real.
Whilst in engineering terms there is no way to make the force of such a drop magically disappear we can try to spread the load over as wide an area as possible in a bid to dissipate the impact.
In addition to this we can also do our best to prepare for those moments when the bike bottoms out and slides over jagged rocks often attempting to remove expensive CATs and rear suspension linkages (if you have one) as well as the rider!
Ready for some proper dirt
All this said we also realise that part of the joy of riding a bike in tricky situations is keeping it light. No one ever said ‘I wish my bike was heavier’ at any point of a technical ride. So, the question is...how do we protect the KTM790 from the bangs and scrapes it will inevitably experience without adding too much weight?
We think our new aluminium hard parts range for the KTM790 addresses these problems.
Using a lightweight high quality grade of 4mm 5000 series aluminium coupled with 6mm PEHD skid rails we have created a stiff and light long section of bash plate that will protect your engine sump and CAT from impact and slide damage whilst weighing in at only 2.6kg.
Of course, to make sure the plate looks the part as well as remaining as strong as possible we only weld using TiG systems, we use stainless steel fittings and we powder coat the plate to a choice of coloured finishes.
When the KTM790 first saw the light of day the first question on most people's lips was, ‘What are the tanks doing down there?!’. A departure from traditional tank positioning the idea looks to us like a logical follow on from the curtain-tank style of the now infamous 790 predecessor the 950/990.
Engineered to fit the innovative low tank
There is no question that the tank position has the desired effect of making the bike easier to lift for its weight, but there is always that nagging worry that that they feel very exposed so low down and could do with a little more protection in case of a big off.
Roll on the AS KTM790 Crashbars… made from 25mm 6000 series aluminium tubing with a fat 3mm sidewall these bars give you the strength you need without the weight penalty of steel.
If your 790 goes down it will pivot off the low crash bars, protecting the tank
The bars are designed for your 790 to lean on as the bike naturally falls into its resting position on the ground after a spill, hopefully taking the impact/weight off your tanks and acting as sacrificial grinding plates in the event of a long slide.
Weighing in at 3.86Kg for both the upper and lower bar sections (both come in the set) you can even choose to only install the lower sections if you want even more flexibility or weight savings.
We all prefer to keep our bikes rubber side down, but for those times when reality bites it’s often best to be prepared.
Note : We’ve been making crashbar and bashplate protection for motorcycles for over a decade. In that time we’ve discovered some pretty weird stuff, none more so than that the tolerance that we can make our parts to (so that they work exactly as we want) is often a higher tolerance than the bike manufacturers assemble bikes to…
What does this mean? It means that sometimes (particularly on European manufacturers bikes) you might need to fit all of your parts loose and tighten them up at the end.
Why is this? Because although the parts you have bought would fit the exact bike that we originally made them for there might be a cumulative tolerance difference on your bike of (in the worst case) up to a few mm.
Can’t you make your stuff to fit everything perfectly?
Yes, we could...but, it would mean putting slotted holes into all the attachment points which would ultimately make the entire finished assembly slightly weaker and potentially a sloppy fit.
So you want them not to fit?
The best case is that they fit perfectly, and for most people they will. But, for those who have a bike whose tolerances are towards the outer end of the tolerance spectrum we’d prefer them to fit snuggly when tightened up properly.
Keeps a slim profile to the 790