890 Adv R vs Africa Twin

Discussion in 'Parallel World (790/890)' started by catfishhands, Feb 28, 2021.

  1. catfishhands

    catfishhands Adventurer

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    I owned a 2017 Africa Twin and really enjoyed it. But I sold it in preparation to get a 890 Adv R. Yesterday I got to demo the 890 Adv R and I walked away with mixed feelings. I still want the bike, the suspension was worlds better, it has better ergos, better electronics than the '17 AT, yadda yadda. But I was really surprised that the engine felt so lackluster, its muffled to death, it doesn't thump. It feels like a newer gs800. I'm not saying its lacking power but are there any other people coming from other bikes like the AT that feel this way?

    Does decat, high flow muffler, and rott intake give this engine more character and low end umph?
    #1
  2. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    It's been awhile since I rode one but as I recall the AT had pretty nice grunt down low and thru the mid-range and then signed off and just made noise after that. The 790 (and I imagine the 890) is the polar opposite. I hear the 890 has improved bottom compared to the 790 but they are both designed to come alive at higher RPMs. One of two things will happen if you go with the KTM. You'll either learn to love letting it breath and hang on for the ride or you'll decide that you really want a motor tuned for low end in which case, the new P-twin from KTM is likely the wrong motor for you.

    Did you get the chance to do a full on WOT acceleration thru the RPM range on the KTM? If you felt that was lacking in comparison to the AT then there was something wrong with the demo bike or it had been placed in rain mode. ;)
    #2
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  3. catfishhands

    catfishhands Adventurer

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    I would have been gentle to the bike but it was their demo, so I figured I wouldn't be the only asshole doing wheelies before break-in.

    I hammered it. It has serious power, especially up high. I guess I was just spoiled with the AT low end.
    #3
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  4. relz

    relz Adventurer

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    I changed from the 2016 africa, to a 790 adventure. At first I too missed the low end/low rev grunt, and the sound of the engine (not even talking about wind protection and high speed highway riding).
    BUT... now a few months down the road (and lot's of down the off-road too :) ), I wouldn't dream of looking back. The 790 is so much more fun! (and heaps better off-road).
    You've just go to get used to really hammering the throttle. My bike lives above 6000rpm at all times, unless I'm stopping for a red light or something :).

    At some point I also went down a tooth on the front to a 15 tooth, and also replace the exhaust with a slip-on. Now the bike has more grunt, wheelies like crazy, and has a very nice growl (above 6000 where I am any way).

    I love the 790, and am sure that the 890 is no less fun.
    #4
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  5. Dan D.

    Dan D. Long timer

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    Put the throttle in Rally mode... Thing will launch on contact.



    It does love +6000rpm's though.

    Never ridden an AT... But now I want to try one. :)
    #5
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  6. new2adv

    new2adv Converting gas into wheelies since 1974

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    A tuner like the Dimsport Rapidbike makes a BIG difference to the midrange power on the 790/890.
    #6
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  7. zoo

    zoo Been here awhile

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    All I did was the decat. Never touched the exhaust and the new lower grunt sound is prefect. To me, it is alot more of a fun, fast, performance bike compared to my AT.
    #7
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  8. Matrace

    Matrace Been here awhile

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    I changed from an AT Dct 2109, and I totally agree, so more fun , AT is high and heavy, The 790 is next to the ground and so nimble , never care about the weight and less gaz ....
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  9. Matthewm

    Matthewm Been here awhile

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    true story to a T.

    I went riding today with a rider on an AT who've I ridden with a few times before when I had my Tiger 1200. First time on the 890R and he had problems keeping up, and I hadn't even put it in Rally mode yet.

    I'm gonna go out on a limb and say you're gonna love the 890.
    #9
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  10. rh2yadv

    rh2yadv Ow!

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    I am pondering this very decision this week. 890ADV (non-R) vs CRF1100 (non-DCT, non-AdventureSports).
    I rode my buddy's 890 standard yesterday. It was basically magic. The perfect height, perfect weight, very flickable in the twisties, and once you get it up in the revs, you better hang on! I have a test ride on an AT later this week. I sat on one in the dealership, but they didn't have their "test-ride insurance policy in place yet" so I have to wait until Thursday. I can already say the 890 seems a better fit for my 5'9" frame, and it's easier to get up off the sidestand. Plus there's less dashboard in your way. My only reservation is KTM quality vs Honda; I plan to do a fair amount of two-day trips in the future.

    Point of reference, I'm looking to replace my '06 950ADV. The 890 is already light years ahead of the 950 in my book, if maybe lacking a little bottom end torque, but not by much.
    #10
  11. catfishhands

    catfishhands Adventurer

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    Ive got the 890 R now. Its better in so many ways simply from having better suspension. The only "reliability" issue Ive had in the first 1000 miles is 2nd gear is hard to land. Shifting was never an issue on the AT. The 890's power is inspiring. After break in the power just never stops, it can be frightening. The AT is no slouch, but its power is lower and plateaus quickly. It was never scary. But the suspension getting tied up in knots in the twisties and offroad was too much of a downfall for me. Not to mention the fear of the "fork wear" on the AT. That bugged me.

    But if you do go sit on another AT, be sure to put the seat in the low position, that will help ya.
    #11
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  12. pazzo

    pazzo Been here awhile

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    So what I'm hearing is, the 890 is the little chick that likes to scream and the AT the fat chick that likes to belch?
    That about got it?

    I sat on a AT yesterday and it's a pig compared to the 890.
    #12
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  13. rh2yadv

    rh2yadv Ow!

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    So, like an NC700, then? I rode a buddy's NC700 once, and I was like "Wow, great grunt.... and now that it's revved up, the party's over."

    Hadn't heard about this issue... What's the story?

    I'm thinking the AT is going to just be too big, too heavy, and too uninspiring. But I could be wrong. I'm looking at the 2021 1100 model, which supposedly makes a little over 100HP, and like 70 ft-lbs for most of the rev range.
    But it's hard to argue with a bike that has similar output but weighs, what, over 40 pounds less?

    I guess I'll know for sure after this week's test ride.

    My 950ADV's reliability issues I think are more due to age than design. Every now and again it's some little thing. The clutch master cyl started leaking last week and I fixed that. This week it's the shifter seal. Next week? I dunno. I can't remember the bike ever leaving me stranded, but it is definitely in the "TLC" phase of its life. I'd just rather start out on something new than spend all summer getting the old one back up to scratch.
    #13
  14. c-m

    c-m Long timer

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    Looking at the dyno charts they aren't too different. The main thing is as people have been saying he AT has more low down grunt, but not much, and it evens out once you start getting higher up. From 3,400 rpm it looks like the AT only have an extra 2 or 3 ft-lbs max. Similar with the 950-990, but this time the 890 has more low down torque and more torque everywhere.

    Obviously the dyno numbers can be difficult to compare but they do help to give you a rough idea.

    A new 750 or 800cc or similar AT could be a good adventure touring option. The litre plus bike is just too big and heavy. Honda should make the most of their Dakar wins and spit out a new bike, as usually happens when a manufacturer wins the Dakar. Though the machine are less relevant these days then they used to be.
    #14
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  15. Matrace

    Matrace Been here awhile

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    I got the both and left the At, the feeling is so different, 790 Adv is present at any stairs, motor shocks frame , and so lighter.
    #15
  16. Fathead890R

    Fathead890R Adventurer

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    I had a 16 AT and loved that bike. It was like a tractor. I went and test rode the 890R and it felt sportier. It felt like a natural transition to move to the 890R, so I pulled the trigger and switched. I'm going to order a 15T sprocket soon because I feel like it may be a better fit off-road for more technical riding.

    The Things I like better about the 890R are the weight, Rally Mode, suspension, electronics, and there is no doubt it's an off-road bike. The things I like about the AT are the power delivery, seat height( 30 inch in seam is generous for me), and it was a more comfortable tourer.

    If your not going off-road a lot you may like the AT better with a little suspension work. I like both bikes, but the 890R has just been better for my uses now.
    #16
  17. catfishhands

    catfishhands Adventurer

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    I dont remember all the details now but I think on the CRF1000 non ATAS the coating on the forks was wearing causing significant stiction in the stroke of the fork. There is no recall for this. People were sending their fork legs off to get Kashima coated, and even then they would still wear. I had some stiction but I was terrified to open the forks up and know how much it was going to cost me.

    All of these new bikes have SOME mechanical or electronic issues. If you go to the two dedicated AT forums you'll see similar amounts of threads with problems. Same for the 790s / 890s.

    Edit

    I dont care how the dynos look, my AT felt strong and thumpy down low, good initial hit, and then it just sort of leveled out. I never felt like I was hanging on.

    On the 890, it feels like the power is okay down low and then around 5000 rpms it hits it stride and by 9000 you are definitely "hanging on."

    Alsooooo the AT is the superior touring machine, the KTM just doesnt have the stability, wind protection, or smoothness.
    #17
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  18. rh2yadv

    rh2yadv Ow!

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    I'm kind of used to that power delivery on my 950ADV. It has nothing below 4000 RPM, and actually protests a bit if you try to lug it there.
    I rode my buddy's 890 on Saturday, and while I was not hammering it TOO hard (hey, the bike only has 300 miles on it!), once you got it over 5k you could feel the power really build. Frankly, down low, it feels a little like a thumper, which isn't all bad.

    I have to be realistic -- while I do want a capable tourer for some overnight trips this year and next, MOST of my riding is close to home. And I'd love to arrive at my destination with a big grin on my face. Having a somewhat lighter bike is also going to make it more likely that I jump on and ride on any given day -- probably the main reason that my street-legal XR400 is the ONLY bike in my stable that saw any action last year. The most fun you can have under 50 MPH! LOL

    My 950ADV has seen some multi-thousand-mile multiple-day trips, and I never felt it was unstable or uncomfortable on the highway. Granted, the 890 is a little lighter and does have less wind protection, but it's certainly a similar bike.


    I think, so long as I never have this nagging feeling in the back of my head "Is this bike going to make it" I can have fun on anything.

    These are all good points you all make. Thanks for taking the time to give your invaluable real-world feedback.
    #18
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  19. rh2yadv

    rh2yadv Ow!

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    Well, I rode an 890 again last night, for a longer ride and on a lot more varied road conditions. I love it. It’s so effortless to ride on dirt and gravel and yet comfy and sporty on asphalt. I think it’s “The One”.
    #19
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  20. Matrace

    Matrace Been here awhile

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    Yes it’s the one , as it can be use as a reverse bike, day to day on road and if needed on gravel or off-road paths , that’s what I did wait for 20 years, real trail that can be laid on the ground without fear, and gently back on road .
    #20
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