790 Engine quality/reliability

Discussion in 'Parallel World (790/890)' started by 1956Kmack, Sep 16, 2019.

  1. 1956Kmack

    1956Kmack Been here awhile

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    Thanks for this. I'm leaning toward the 790 on the hopes that it's road manners are as good as my Scrambler Desert Sled. Hoping the low CG offsets the 21" front tire. If so, it will meet all of my desires. If it's awful in the twisties, I'll go for the Tracer.
    #41
  2. Andy_L

    Andy_L Been here awhile

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    The 790 platform is crying out for an SM version IMO.
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  3. 3rdgeargrndrr

    3rdgeargrndrr Long timer

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    I presume the bike was set on one of the relaxed low power modes.
    Not sure paidputcomes putzed around in the settings.
    I dont think any other MC manufacturer neuters the motor with an ECU lock like KTM does for break in but I could be wrong
    #43
  4. SRTie4k

    SRTie4k Northeast Explorer

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    I doubt you'll ever see that. They already have two SM's in the 690SMC and the Husky 701SM. They'd be shooting themselves in the foot with a 790SM.
    #44
  5. Andy_L

    Andy_L Been here awhile

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    They've got 6 different Dukes/Superdukes and 6 different 790/1090/1290 Adventures (plus the 450 Rally) - surely a second SM in the KTM range wouldn't be a step too far. They've had 4 or 5 different SMs in the range concurrently in the past.
    #45
  6. SRTie4k

    SRTie4k Northeast Explorer

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    What Dukes and Super Dukes do you get in the UK? Because here in the states we have 4 variants: 390 Duke, 790 Duke, 1290 Super Duke R and 1290 Super Duke GT. Each is it's own use case.

    As for the Adventures/Super Adventures, each model has an on road and off road variant. And the 1090 doesn't really count, it was only an interim low displacement model until the 790 came out.

    I still don't see a valid economic reason to have a 790SM. The 790S version barely sells as is (at least in the US), and KTM already has a SM.
    #46
  7. Andy_L

    Andy_L Been here awhile

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    Dukes are 125, 390, 690, 790, 1290R, 1290GT.
    1090 Adventure is still sold in some markets alongside the 790 and 1290.
    #47
  8. brad21

    brad21 We have a pool... and a pond.

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    You won't be unhappy with it in the twisties at all. Feels like a supermotard and the throttle response and spin-up of the motor is really impressive.

    The only thing I'm thinking of doing is adding a one tooth bigger c/s sprocket as it turns just under 5000 rpm's at 70-72 mph. Anyone done this yet? It doesn't seem like it's working too hard at that speed regardless...
    #48
  9. paidoutcomes

    paidoutcomes Long timer

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    We sure did try all the settings on both bikes. See for yourself. Line up your tracer 900 against a superT in a straight line from zero to speed limiter and see if you can catch him. We swapped bikes and tried it multiple times. We are not professional riders so YMMV.

    Also, does KTM ECU lock the bikes? I couldn't get a straight answer from my dealer on my 2015 1290sa. They just made a big deal about coming in for the 600 mile service.
    #49
  10. 1956Kmack

    1956Kmack Been here awhile

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    Looks like Honda might want to join the conversation too.
    #50
  11. mhr650

    mhr650 Been here awhile Supporter

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    No, the only thing that is locked is the shift light. Of course, you should properly break in any bike, but a KTM you can ride fully to the rev limiter from the first day.


    liomiter.png
    #51
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  12. Its not Ginger!

    Its not Ginger! Been here awhile

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    The problem with the 690 / 701 is they are no good for distance, I think many folk might consider a modern equivalent to the 990 SMT, room for taller people, 200+ mile range, great handling, decent luggage options....

    ...I don't fit on the 1290 SD GT, it is too cramped, I also do not want rock solid sportsbike suspension, both the 790 and 1290 Adventures in "SMT" guise would be great, would consider either as my next bike if they did one.
    #52
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  13. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

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    If I was buying for myself from the two choices given, the KTM would be the one. However, based upon the OP's list of requirements, I think the Yamaha would fit the bill better. It may be heavier, but feels lighter at a stop due to lower seat. It has a very well proven, solid engine, whereas the KTM is still a little bit unknown. Dealer support for the Yamaha is going to be 10x more available and at least 3x as good (maybe more).

    My expectation from a performance and technical standpoint is that the bikes are not as far apart as some seem to believe (esp. if a lot of dirt is not in the plan.)

    My main suggestion to the OP is to test ride both and base his decision on that.
    #53
  14. SRTie4k

    SRTie4k Northeast Explorer

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    You're almost 100% describing the 1290SAS. The only thing that would separate a 1290SAS from a possibly "SMT" version is a 17" front wheel, which is something you can do yourself.

    Wouldn't it make more sense for KTM to just sell a 17" front wheel and fender?
    #54
  15. 1956Kmack

    1956Kmack Been here awhile

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    This is pretty much right on with my thinking except that the KTM S model actually has the lower seat height and higher fuel capacity.

    I am finding it difficult to locate one of either to sit on let alone ride.
    #55
  16. ianmp

    ianmp *****

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    There is a relatively new site called riders - share dot com where people rent out their personal bikes. I'm not pimping it because I don't have a bike on there, but for me it's been convenient to get long immersive test rides on anything I'm interested in. The website provides all the insurance and stuff of a conventional rental place, so for ~$60-$180 you can take a 500 mile or more test ride of a bike. Maybe that's not for everyone, but I've used it several times and been happy. I will pay $75 to avoid talking to a salesman for an hour. It also helped me realize I didn't want an FZ09, as fun as they are.
    I don't know if it's the case in the midwest, but out here there's almost any current bike you could want to ride within 100 miles.
    #56
  17. ianmp

    ianmp *****

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    They do... they just don't sell it with the right spacers and abs ring!
    #57
  18. JETalmage

    JETalmage Been here awhile

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    1956Kmack,

    People obsess over 17" wheels like it's some kind of immutable rule of the universe for going around a paved curve. My 500EXC is more nimble and confident and fun on twisty pavement than any street bike, including my 990 SuperMoto T. Most any dirt bike or dualsport is, if only because of the weight.

    Like you, I'm also over 60. I've not ridden either, but after 50 years of riding, and having owned about that many or more bikes, I'm pretty confident about what to expect. The 790 appeals to me far more than the rather vanilla Tracer, for some of the same reasons you mentioned. The two bikes are similar in weight, but you can just look at them and see that they are differently purpose-built.

    With me, the more dirt-bike-ish a bike is, the more I like it as a street or road bike, even though I have no interest in or illusions about actually riding a 450 lb bike off-road. I still prefer the greater surface versatility, the somewhat more suspension travel and ground clearance, the upright stance and wider bars, and the generally less finicky ruggedness of a more "dirt-aware" bike. To me there is a difference between a bike being physically comfortable and being mentally conforting to ride. I'll give up a significant amount of the former to enjoy more of the latter.

    The fuel range is a big deal to me, too, on any bike (including dirt bikes). I ride a lot and simply despise having to go the gas station every-other day. That's why I have an auxiliary tank on my 990SMT and had one on my 690 Enduro, and have an aftermarket 4.5 gallon tank on the 500. The 790 should yield greater range, stock, leaving the luggage rack vacant for its intended purpose.

    So the 790 is the first bike to come along that temps me away from my 990 SMT, which I also would never ride off-road, but which I bought specifically because it felt more like a compact dirt bike to me (5'7", 165 lb) than any of the bulky Adventure Bikes.

    If I ever do make that trade, I'll go for the non-R simply because it's a little shorter and (again) I won't be actually riding it off-road in anything more than a purely utilitarian way. But I won't feel finicky about it tooling around dirt roads, etc. And on the street, the change from the SMT's 17" rim to the 790's 21 will be a complete non-issue. The fact that the 790 has a cable clutch will be a more significant issue. (That's just a turn-off to me, along with a few other niggling things.)

    JET
    #58
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  19. 1956Kmack

    1956Kmack Been here awhile

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    Thanks JET. You bring up some interesting points which I had not considered regarding designed in durability based on intended use. It makes sense that a dirt bike morphed into a road bike would be structurally more "stout" than a sport bike similarly re-purposed.

    The sport bike chassis would be design for torsional stiffness to resist flexing from ride induced effects while the dirt bike would be stiff because it is designed to withstand forces not only related to rider inputs but additionally those created by harsh irregularities in the riding surface itself. This should tend to hold up better in offroad situations.

    Another thought your perspective gave me is about percieved comfort.
    Having learned to ride on the enduro and moto-x bikes of the 60's and 70's then moving up to the cruiser type bikes in the 90's, my preference is to be seated in a more vertical position with my feet slightly forward for straight line travel then to slide way forward onto the tank when I need to have more control.

    The dirt bike riding position is more suitable to that riding style than the sport bike position which exaggerates the body forward feet behind and up position but excludes me from finding the comfortable position I look for.

    I got to sit on both the Tracer 900 and the 790 Adventure yesterday and this is exactly what I felt but didn't associate it with the bike's evolutionary background.

    The only thing negative I noticed was the extreme resistence of the 21" tire to rotating the handlebars while sitting still (I assume this will carry over into low speed maneuvering as well) whereas the 17" on the tracer was light as a feather to turn.

    This is also important to me as I get older because I feel "shakey" on heavy bikes which resist my efforts to maintain balance at low speed. Raising the forks in the clamps may improve this some.

    All in all, the 790 ADV with a few electronic options activated seem to be a better match for me.

    I still need to ride them both for verification because things don't always end up like they appear on paper.


    I really appreciate all of the input this thread is generating. I find that the wisdom of others with similar riding experience is much more accurate than what the salesmen and brochure writers have accumulated.
    #59
  20. brad21

    brad21 We have a pool... and a pond.

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    Don't forget the 790 has a built in steering damper, this might have been some of the resistance you were feeling...
    #60