790 vs 990.

Discussion in 'Dakar champion (950/990)' started by [Art], Jun 14, 2019.

  1. BDO

    BDO Been here awhile

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    My comparison is solely to get an idea how the 790 will compare to the 990 on the highway when loaded with camping gear. My 990 was great on tarmac with gear when we had to take a 90 mile detour last summer on the highway thru the Cascades because of smoke while doing the WABDR. I didn’t want a bike that would be straining when loaded with gear.

    Initial indications are that the 790 will do just fine on the freeway. The addition of cruise makes this even better.

    I think it’s really going to shine off-road. My ride yesterday was pretty eye opening on how good a job KTM did. The bike feels so damn light. I’m excited to hit some dirt and find out.
    #61
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  2. motoman250f

    motoman250f Been here awhile

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    The slab tests at lower rpm does help answer the torque question. You will notice lumbering along a trail a gear too high and not having to shift down. If the 790 can excel in the low end thats good information for a perspective owner coming from a 990 IMO
    #62
  3. bobnoxious67

    bobnoxious67 Baby steps...

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    3D4217CF-070B-471D-A2FC-871426508B88.png
    #63
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  4. 1coolbanana

    1coolbanana Long timer

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    Your talking to one of KTM's highest paid salesman, what did you expect him to say?
    #64
  5. chippertheripper

    chippertheripper motorcycle junkie Supporter

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    :photog
    #65
  6. bobnoxious67

    bobnoxious67 Baby steps...

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    Yeah, you’re right...he’s making it all up. :fpalm
    #66
  7. 1coolbanana

    1coolbanana Long timer

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    So you believe every salesman you meet, ha ha :jack
    Wow, have I got a deal for you :imaposer

    Lucky Yamaha didnt get him selling the T7 because hed be saying the same thing and youd be lapping it up :1drink
    Which part of paid endorsement dont you get?
    #67
  8. bobnoxious67

    bobnoxious67 Baby steps...

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    I do not agree with the words you are saying. I don’t see how because I believe his (and all the HUNDREDS of other reviews) about this bike that I "believe every salesman I meet". You can stop trying to change my mind now. Thanks a bunch.
    #68
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  9. BDO

    BDO Been here awhile

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    Who here has ridden the 790R and a 950/990 for more than a test ride ??

    Anyone of those folks prefer the 950/990 over the 790R?

    And no, I’m not talking about price (‘my 9X0 is much cheaper so I’m hanging onto it ...’).

    I’m asking which is the preferred bike to those that have ridden both - irrespective of price.
    #69
  10. Mosseltje

    Mosseltje Alive

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    Last week I had a nice trip with my 950SE in the Eiffel (Germany)
    Mostly on tarmac but still enjoying the numerous twisties.
    I noticed my riding skill lowered as I had hard time following my friends on newer motorcycles.
    Or my skills are stable but the newer bikes are just better....

    However every time we parked the bikes for a lunch or drink lot's of people gather around the 950SE.
    Maybe it is not the best bike anymore but it is still the most attention getting bike in the parking lot. :clap
    #70
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  11. oldfuddy

    oldfuddy Long timer

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    The SE will always draw attention. It was an instant classic when it hit the showroom floor. It will always be fun to ride as well. When I pull up to the pub or a eatery in my ‘72 Skylark Custom convertible it doesn’t matter whats there, Challengers, ZL1’s, a Z06, etc. the crowd is around my ‘72. its old technology, but it’s a blast to drive and like your SE it will always draw a crowd, but like your SE, it simply can’t compete with modern technology and if it’s day isn’t here yet, it’s coming. You can’t beat new vehicles, whether an auto or bike, the technology of today has changed the game. They are faster, safer, and more economical at the same time.
    #71
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  12. sqrlnts

    sqrlnts Adventurer

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    I prefer the mix of an old car with new technology. Anybody stuffed a new EFI twin into the SE yet?
    #72
  13. ADV67

    ADV67 Alsace rider

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    Yep, me. I had a 790 for 3 days from my dealer who is a friend. So still a test ride but then a longer one. Did some moderate offroad and trails with the 790.
    In the past I had the blue 990S (high 265mm suspension), a superduke 990, the 950SE (3 years incl offroad travel), the 1190R (2x), the 1290T and the 1290R. I travelled with all bikes with luggage and did some parts of the TET. I also own a 1200 GSA LC for comparison. Just did the ACT trail (1250km) from north to south Portugal with the GSA.

    My conclusion: I just bought another low milage 950 SE last week. Price did not matter here. I could have sold one of my bikes and have bought the 790R. But I didn't.
    The 790R is technically the better bike and the easier bike to ride. It's also safer at the same speeds. It's probably faster on the twisty roads too, as it has advanced curve abs, traction modes and better brakes. Hell, the SE has NO abs at all. The 790R is heavier than the SE and has about the same power but carries its weight lower. The 790R feels lighter and easier in rocky terrain because of it's low cog. And 10 years of technology evolution is a lot at KTM!
    But the SE just makes me smile more and gives me more grin than the 790R. The SE is pure analog. It's raw, much less refined than the smoother 790R. It has more bottom end too. It's still repairable with my own brain. And I like that.
    I sold my ex SE about 3 years ago, with all farkles, safari tank etc, went all-in for the 1190R and then missed the bike. The GSA 1200 LC sure is a better long distance travel bike. Yes it's faster and better braking in the mountains than the SE. My 690R is a better offroad-do-it-all bike and easier on you if you go TET trail riding.
    The 790R is the closest to the old 950 SE as you can find new on the market now. You can tweak/farkle the 790 and make it even better and a bit lighter. But I wanted the original unicorn back. The SE. The 790 is fantastic but too refined for me, to much filtered compared to the SE. Fun to ride but less thrill. The 990's are in the same boat as the SE, providing more raw feedback to the rider. The feeling that the beast is alive and barking and growling under you. Everyone has to test the 790 and decide for themselves. If I could only have one bike, it might be the 790R, or the 690R. For me it's all about emotion when I'm riding. Maybe I'm just growing old.

    [​IMG]
    #73
  14. empedrado

    empedrado Been here awhile

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    I had a 950 & 990 from 03 to 2018 and put around 50,000 miles on each bike. For me the 790 is a much nicer and easier to ride bike. Life moves on. Not that the 990 is bad it is just the 790 is improved and for me a better bike.
    #74
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  15. motoman250f

    motoman250f Been here awhile

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    Love every word! thanks so much! To be fair you are comparing a modded open exhaust 950 to an unmodded stock exhaust 790? (just trying to figure out if the 790 can really have the bottom end of a 950 as some claim)
    #75
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  16. chippertheripper

    chippertheripper motorcycle junkie Supporter

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    I doubt it’ll ever really have the same feel off the bottom a true lc8 does/did. However, your wrist and clutch hand should adjust to the 790’s characteristics pretty easily.
    It’s a different platform. Whether one or the next is right for you is not for me to decide.
    #76
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  17. BDO

    BDO Been here awhile

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    Good summary. I think it’s similar to those that like the older air cooled 911’s. They are raw, front end bounces around and it has soul. The newer 911’s are much more refined, faster and heavier but easier to drive and more approachable. Neither is really ‘better’.

    I’d also comment that having the GSA is providing you some of those tech features we like on the newer 790 (cruise, quickshift, etc) that don’t exist on the 9X0 platform.

    Having owned a fully farkled 990 I do like my 790 better - so far.

    The perfect combo may be a 790 (or 950) and a mileage gobbling GSA!
    #77
  18. 1coolbanana

    1coolbanana Long timer

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    Excellent, some real world valid feedback :-)
    #78
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  19. amschnellsten

    amschnellsten Been here awhile

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    fullsizeoutput_2222.jpeg I must admit that I am a die hard 950 fan but this is my honest opinion. I picked up my 790r about a month ago and after spending some time together the 790r does everything better than my heavily modified 950. I thought I would not care for the new motor and I was concerned that maybe I should have ordered a 1090r. The 790 power is very impressive and to me feels faster in every scenario that I would use my 950. As for two up riding and heavily loaded the 790 is very similar to a 990, they are very similar in size and comfort. The 790 is very confidence inspiring, maybe not the best thing for me..... but it is extremely nimble. My 790 feels like a heavily loaded 450 to me. I agree with some others that the 790 just does not have that raw nature to it like the 9X0s and my 950 will never leave my side. Then I started thinking that I am comparing my bone stock 790 to every 950, 990, 950se that I have ever ridden and I can't remember how one feels stock. I think it has been years since I have even seen a stock 9x0. Maybe some mods to the stock 790 will start to unleash that rawnessss. Rally Mode certainly became extremely entertaining!!!









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    #79
  20. 1coolbanana

    1coolbanana Long timer

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    Awesome :thumb
    #80