IT’S NO SURPRISE that having revealed its plans for a new 800cc parallel-twin engine, KTM will also develop an adventure bike using the same motor. But spy shots of the prototypes reveal it’s a serious off-roader – more hardcore than BMW’s F800GS sort of serious.
The engine is the same unit in the 790 Duke concept bike and, with a capacity of around 800cc, it’s the firm’s first parallel twin and one that is promised to contain intriguing technological solutions.
Performance-wise, its expected capacity would suggest a peak power of around 67kW, and the parallel-twin layout means it’s far more compact than KTM’s existing V-twin engines.
It’s bolted to the trademark trellis frame, with the typical cast alloy swingarm and the usual WP suspension.
It’s also possible that the bike has an unusual airbox and fuel tank arrangement to help keep it compact. Usually, both parts compete for space in the same area, right above the engine.
Honda’s solution on the Africa Twin was to split the airbox into two halves, one on each side of the steering head. KTM’s idea appears to be to split the fuel tank into left and right.
From these shots, it looks like the two halves of the tank are mounted low down on either side of the engine, with long filler necks feeding them from a pair of caps, which sit either side of an airbox that completely occupies the normal ‘tank’ area. Lots of duct tape covers the bulges ahead of the rider’s shins, and this appears to be the location of the bike’s actual fuel tanks.
While that spot might seem to make the tanks vulnerable to knocks and scrapes, presumably the final versions will be made of a tough plastic material that can take punishment without splitting.
The design should help keep the bike’s weight and COG low down, making it feel even lighter – and given KTM’s usual record, it’s likely to be rather less hefty than its rivals in the first place.
By Ben Purvis
Not one, but two!
Well-developed prototypes have been spotted on test in Spain, revealing at least two distinct versions of the 790 Adventure name will be unveiled in around a year’s time. One is shod with knobbly tyres and has no screen – giving it an oversized enduro bike look. The other sports road- going rubber and a tall wind deflector above the headlight. In typical KTM style, it’s likely that there will also be more than one suspension option, with higher-spec versions gaining R badges.