I did mention last month of a new addition to the garage. It is something I have been looking at for several months, checking out several different bikes for the purpose of more comfortable and relaxed, long distance, motorway type riding, but still keeping the adventure and unpaved road option. The 690 is a brilliant bike, its raw, not particularly sophisticated and ultimately, designed for a more narrow band of riding. The adventurising of the bike has opened up that band, however there is only so much opening can be done and its limitation is the longer distances, in a limited time.
So my search began with a close look at 3 bikes. The Yamaha T700, Honda Africa Twin and the KTM 790 Adventure. The Honda was discounted first, due to the cost and weight. The Yamaha T700 is a really nice bike and did tick lots of boxes. It rode well and had a smooth powerful power train. I struggled to get a ride on my preferred 790 choice, the R version. No dealer appeared to have a demo available, so I did ride the non R version. Again this is a really nice bike, it has a great riding position for me and again a smooth powerful power train.
The choice came down to personal preference and to me the KTM’s riding position felt better. I got the feeling with the Yamaha it was too tall up front, just a little top heavy psychologically . With the added benefit of electronic rider aids, the KTM came out the winner for me. before anyone chirps on about electronic rider aids and how they are not needed and stick to human/bike interaction. I am a forward thinking person, I try not to look back, the future is the future. I use technology every day of my life and I have an interest in the new features that are available. Technology on bikes will not go away, so I embrace it
I took a punt and got the KTM 790 Adventure R, its a brilliant bike, I used it in Kielder in August and it works great for me. a few small modifications have been made to personalise the bike, like lower pegs, larger rear brake footpad, foldable brake and clutch levers, screen deflector and the statutory sweeter sounding end can