This was supposed to be one of those trip reports with exciting photos and a detailed story. Unfortunately, four days and about 1000miles into the trip, the front brakes on my brand-new 790 locked solid dumping me hard on the gravel at about 30mph. Instead of a full trip report, I'm hoping this recap and review help me collect my thoughts on a new bike I really want to like. Here's what happened: The pandemic combined with one of the hottest Arizona summer on record means we haven’t been getting out to play as much as usual. So when my friend who is new to riding got a KLR and decided he wanted to take on the Colorado BDR, I immediately came up with all the reasons we shouldn’t go: It’s hot. I don’t have the right bike together. His bike might explode. It’ll be a pain to get away from work. Etc. After some gentle persuasion from guys like @ADVweekend , I did what any bored, slightly depressed person with too many old bikes would do. I took advantage of that sweet sweet 0% KTM financing and bought up a 2020 790 Adventure R. @TheGearDude convinced me to take the Mosko plunge and @Camel ADV got me squared away with some hard parts. I also picked up a beautiful new Arai DS helmet, CRG mirrors from Rottweiler, heated grips, and some other goodies. Nothing commits you to a trip like melting your credit card. Turned out the bike needed some warranty work. The display was scratched since new and I couldn’t get the quick shifter to work, both of which the dealer fixed. Since my first ride, the brake light was on almost always or would flicker intermittently regardless of the brakes being applied. At the initial service, the service manager said the problem was the brake pressure switch that’s part of an abs module. The part was backordered and would need to be replaced later by the dealer so they could properly bleed the abs system. Hey, at least the brake light was always on, right? They told me to come pick up the bike and sent me on my way. The trip started great. My buddy rode out from California and we left my house in Tucson early the next morning headed toward Cortez—about 450 miles of scenic two-lane highway and barren Navajo reservation. @KENMOTO and Matt trailered out and got us setup with a nice campsite in Dolores. Here’s what we woke up to: The first section of the BDR is mostly boring forest service roads. We managed a couple side excursions on some ATV trails to spice things up before dropping into Telluride for lunch and a quick hop to see Bridal Veil Falls. The people watching in Telluride is almost as interesting as the rugged nature. . . I feel bad for all the Instagram boyfriends out there taking pictures of their girlfriends trying to pose in the middle of the street. That night, we tucked in just past Ophir, camping next to the river. Over a freeze dried dinner, @KENMOTO and I were talking about almost causing each other to blow a switch back turn earlier in the day. Offroad ABS kick on and I thought the brake had gotten soft for a second, but pressure returned almost as quickly as it had gone. We checked the brake system for any sign of trouble. The lever was stiff and everything looked good so I turned in for a cold night without giving it a second thought. The next morning we’d start all the high mountain passes. The climb out of Ophir is spectacular. A benched shale road leads to the pass that is amazingly exposed. The bike was working well even in the deep, loose rocks. Our new KLR rider was having fun and our confidence seemed to be gaining with the altitude. The real trip had started. But that soft, inconsistent brake feeling came back. Slow at first, nothing unmanageable, but it became really was noticeable coming down the backside of the pass. Thankfully most are easy graded roads, not loose rock like the way up. The group was riding well so I put the brake issue to the back of my mind, writing it off as a quirk of altitude even though the extra freeplay meant the lever was flopping loosely. Later in the day, we jumped over to Ouray for lunch and soaked up the sights of town before finishing the rest of the passes on the route. The BDR doesn’t offer anything really technical, but the exposure and huge scale alone can be intimidating. Cresting the top of one of the passes and taking in the view, especially with broken weather and sunshine blowing through, feels like a great accomplishment. Coming into Lake City at the end of the day was an awesome reward. It usually takes me a few days to get out of “work” mode and let go of the run up it takes to prep the bike and pack for a trip like this. I was finally starting to relax for the first time in a while and we enjoyed some BBQ and one of the best icecream floats ever at a turn of the century soda shop/pharmacy. Despite some uncomfortable moments coming down some of the passes with a squishy brake lever, I was having a great time. We had overcome what seemed like the toughest section of the trip. We got up the next day and enjoyed some coffee in Lake City, ready to push on to the fast, graded road leading toward Tin Cup and Buena. Things started easy, fast and scenic. I was settled in, finally enjoying the bike and feeling of traveling. And that’s when things got weird. About 200 yards from where this picture was taken, around the gentile turn to the left, my front brake locked solid. As I was going down, my first reaction was pure confusion. I couldn’t make sense of why the front was scrubbing out from under me. My second thought was to not let my precious Arai hit the ground. Sliding on my left side, my shoulder eventually tucked pulling my head along the ground with it. After some deep breaths and a fruit snack, stock of the damage was limited to a sprained wrist, tops of both my knees were tweaked (despite wearing knee pads so I must have hit the handlebars), bruised elbow, shredded gloves and pants, and gouged helmet, shattered mirror, and scrapped plastics on the bike. Two week later, my wrist and knees still hurt to touch, but all in all I think I got off lucky. While I was enjoying my time on the ground, the guys picked up my bike and immediately noticed the front brake was locked solid. They had to drag and pick up the front wheel to get it out of the road. Eventually, someone was smart enough to open the front bleeder and the brake lever popped back to normal. We opened the fluid reservoir too, which immediately over flowed. Confidence in the bike totally shot, so we hatched a plan to limp the bike off the BDR and coordinate a trailer ride for me back home. One hand, it was great how the group came together on the trip, even though everyone’s vacation was inadvertently cut short. The highs we had are why we ride motorcycles and makes me want to do more. On the other hand, the bike is the most expensive consumer good I’ve ever bought and am in disbelief that it would fail like that. It hasn’t helped that KTM has been pretty quiet about what happens next. I wish there was a clear lesson here, but for now I’m mostly confused. More thoughts on the bike and what we think caused the brake failure in the next post.