Any one go from an Africa Twin to a 790 Aventure R?

Discussion in 'Parallel World (790/890)' started by WalterMitty2, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. WalterMitty2

    WalterMitty2 Adventurer

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    *Adventure (sorry for the typo on the title of the thread) :flush

    Love to hear from former/current AT owners who bought the 790R....

    1) Overall comparison of what you think are the pros and cons of each.
    2) Having ridden both, if you could only have one which would it be? Sort of a do over question, if all your bikes disappeared today, which would you get?
    3) Were you/are you a "Honda Guy" or "KTM Guy"? I will admit, I'm a bit of a Honda Guy, but in addition to the AT, I"m considering the 790R and the Ducati Desert Sled.
    4) Any other thoughts?

    Thanks for your input.

    Peace
    #1
  2. samsmith87

    samsmith87 n00b

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  3. WalterMitty2

    WalterMitty2 Adventurer

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    #3
  4. jmarleau

    jmarleau Been here awhile

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    I went from a 2016 Africa Twin to the 2019 790 Adventure R.

    1) They are fairly close in a few areas and but these bike in general are worlds apart. The Africa Twin is the only bike that I have ever owned that needed nothing in terms of spacers/risers or seat mods. This bike was incredibly comfortable "as delivered." The AT also has good wind protection with its excellent 80km/h windscreen. The 790, as delivered, has a rock hard seat and bars that were far too low and far too close to the body. I use 30mm+ risers and have the bars adjusted to the second position from full forward. The seat has softened up a bit but will need to be addressed. The 790R windscreen is useless and is far more comfortable completely removed. The high front fender on the 790R blows water all over you and the bike by simply riding though a simple puddle on the road. All can be addressed and fixed through Powerparts and/or the aftermarket.

    The suspension on the Africa Twin is super soft. So soft that bottoming the fork and shock was common for me. I had to increase the spring rate of my AT, which involved upgrading the coils in the fork and shock to suit my 190lbs weight. $$$. Some say the 2016 AT is suited for a 140lbs rider and I agree. The 790R suspension is absolutely a perfect fit for me as delivered. The 2016 AT, which shares most of its fork components with the 1995ish Honda CR, has a fork service life of 10,000km. (Directly from Honda) The anodizing wears off and creates the most un-driveable stiction that I have ever witnessed in a motorcycle fork. I would be shocked (no pun) if there were no lawsuits pending. The 790 is not without its faults. I have lost all oil in my 790R shock requiring a rebuild. There was a major difference with how KTM and Honda handled my claims. Honda told me that they expected customers to rebuild their fork at 10,000km as outer tubes were wear items, then directed me to their parts department to purchase new outer tubes. Honda have fixed this for 2018+ and onward, ignoring 2016 - 2017 owners. KTM apologized and claimed that there must be a defect, then "overnight-ed" my shock to a WP tech, then the dealer gave me a demo 1290 Adventure R for the week that my shock was away. (!)

    As for the engine, the AT engine is a masterpiece. The engine seemed to have endless torque at low RPM and on the highway, the tires created more noise and vibration than the engine itself. I would say that the AT engine, as well as the triple in the Triumph Tiger are likely tied for the smoothest engine I have ridden in any adventure bike. At 20,000km the valve check required absolutely no adjustment. I had no problem riding the AT down from Canada through Tennessee, Florida then up through the outer banks of North Carolina then back to Canada. In comparison, I tend to stall the 790 engine more at slow speeds. So I tend to ride the clutch more with the 790 to keep RPM's up. The 790 engine is less comfortable, noisy and has more vibrations, but past 6000rpm the 790 engine feels like it has significantly more power. The AT will start with "one" push of the starter button, the 790 takes 2 stalls and 3 presses. I recently took part in the Fundy Adventure Rally here in Canada. The morning of the rally while in my tent, I heard a bike take 3 times to start. Thinking someone was stealing my bike I jumped out only to discover it was another 790 going through it "3 start" routine. The 790 needs to stall at least 2 times before it will run. The AT's fuel gauge will tell you how much fuel is in the tank, the 790's fuel gauge has absolutely no idea. The 790 also feels significantly lighter than the AT. As a current 790 owner, I can't imagine going back to a heavier bike. The strange and low fuel tanks are also no joke. They work. Same with the 790's Birch Mode. Sit at the bottom of a rocky hill in Birch Mode 1 or 2 and you just sit and spin and throw rocks around. Bump it up to 5 or 6 and the engine provides traction and great forward propulsion. This is the first bike with traction control that I have used in more than just the off and on position. The traction control on the 2016 AT is ridiculous by comparison. Because it had a throttle cable, the system just cut the fuel while you held the throttle body wide open with the throttle. This resulted in a violently pinging and backfiring engine that felt ready to explode. This is likely cured with the new fly by wire throttles.

    In a nutshell, I believe the 790 will join an apparent long list of KTM machines that have many quirks but will also be one of the motorcycle world's great adventure bikes.

    2) I ride a lot of single track with a small 2 stroke enduro bike. The AT, and now the 790 serve as a commuting bike as well as a back road explorer/weekend camping bike. I would tend to sway more towards the 790R than the AT. The 901 Norden from Husky would be of interest.

    3) I am not loyal to any brands. I would buy everything.

    4) No.
    #4
  5. WalterMitty2

    WalterMitty2 Adventurer

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    Awesome...thanks for your time and for the info.

    I wish Honda would just take one of it's 650/700/750cc engines off the self and create a midsize AT shooting for as close to the 400lbs mark as they can get.

    My heart is leaning towards the 790R....brain says get a Honda.... I'm not sure I want to put up with my brain saying "I told you so" when/if issues with the 790R pop up.

    Thanks again.
    #5
  6. offroadjunky

    offroadjunky Been here awhile

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    Issues will pop up with the Honda too.
    #6