1. Adventure Rider Print Magazine!
    We're doing a print magazine this November - 128 pages of high quality adventure riding stories, photography and interviews!

    Click here to purchase a copy for $9. Limited copies still available.
    Dismiss Notice

The Break the KTM 790 ride - A trip around the USA.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by windblown101, Sep 8, 2019.

  1. 2on2off

    2on2off Head'n somewhere new

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,138
    Location:
    The Western USA
    Excellent ride report and bike review. Very well balanced and entertaining read. Read the whole report in one evening.
    windblown101 likes this.
  2. Hannda

    Hannda Short, fat, bearded, old & slow

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Oddometer:
    47,741
    Location:
    Not yet far enough away from town
    Thanks for taking the time.:thumb
    windblown101 likes this.
  3. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,702
    Location:
    Star Tannery, VA
    As a follow up, the bent radiator is still on the bike and holding up fine. New one is on the shelf. Clutch got me thru the trip fine but I am currently experimenting with a Rekluse Torqdrive clutch pack because I found the OEM clutch was showing signs of getting a bit crispy after the trip.
    Manny U and Hannda like this.
  4. SlowBo

    SlowBo n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2018
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    Northeast Texas
    Very enjoyable read - thanks for putting in the effort to share!

    Newly inspired, I need to begin planning for my own adventures ....:hmmmmm
    windblown101 likes this.
  5. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,702
    Location:
    Star Tannery, VA
    That's high praise indeed! Thank you.

    I also was inspired by the stories of others. I owe them a debt of gratitude for fanning the flames. Solo travel on two wheels towards the unknown and unseen has been hugely fulfilling. If the desire is there, just do it! Time is a finite commodity. ;)
    scorch, No-Fret, offworlder and 3 others like this.
  6. Defender90

    Defender90 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2014
    Oddometer:
    31
    Location:
    Finland
    Thanks for sharing this trip. Very nice scenery you found, our landscape is quite boring compared to yours.
    Also appreciate a lot your opinion on 790 and telling your added equipment and gear.
    You changed front sprocket to 15 tooth, can this be done without shortening the stock chain?
  7. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,702
    Location:
    Star Tannery, VA
    @Defender90

    Thank you. The scenery out west is a long way from home but so worth the trip when time allows!

    The 15 tooth sprocket will work fine with the stock chain. No need to cut it.
    No-Fret likes this.
  8. jwc

    jwc Ready to go Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    401
    Location:
    South Louisiana
    Just found your report. Well written and an awesome ride. Thanks for sharing.
    windblown101 likes this.
  9. rdiamond

    rdiamond Bob D

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    This was such an enjoyable trip log to read. I have a new baby and won't be doing any long trips anytime soon and reading your posts and videos was almost like taking a trip! Great job! And, by the way, the one of the guy riding off the cliff reminded this new Dad to stay within my skill level (moderate) when I do get to go back out! Thanks for putting this together!
  10. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,702
    Location:
    Star Tannery, VA
    Thanks. Yep, cautionary tale for certain with that drop off the cliff. I'm sure the memories you'll be making with your new family addition will be worth the break from long trips for a bit!
  11. reg71

    reg71 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    41
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Just stumbled on to your report again after seeing it a long time ago and I read the whole thing in 1 sitting. Great job. I pretty much agree with you on the 790 and I am enjoying mine thoroughly. I sold my BMW f800GS because I didn't feel a need to be that sensible anymore. I think i dislike the seat more than you, but that's an easy fix. I still have my trusty 500 EXC, but I'm considering even letting it go.

    I keep waffling from soft bags to hard. Right now I have the GL 39L setup and it's ok for a day or 2, but I am very seriously thinking about that Reckless setup you had. It seems like it would be quite a bit better. How are they holding up after however long you've had them?
  12. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,702
    Location:
    Star Tannery, VA
    Soft bags are by far my favorite for anything that even starts to get technical. I like hard bags for their convenience on the street and they are fine for easy stuff where dumping the bike occasionally is highly unlikely. When the ride gets technical soft bags are my go-to. Racks or no racks, its going to be soft bags everytime.

    I only mount the Reckless 80s for long trips and my long trips always have some semi technical riding in them. Maybe 20k miles on rhe bags now and they have hit the ground many times. So far other than a few minor scuffs they remain undamaged.

    If I was shopping for bags for every day use, grocery runs etc hard bags or traditional style soft bags that mount to racks would be a strong consideration, but I'd still go rackless for long tough trips. Love being able to just undo 4 straps and have the whole mess off the bike and no racks left on for a day run from a base camp. But you do pay a small price in the way of convenience. You learn tricks pretty quickly to get to stuff during the day easier. Extra drinks can be slipped between the saddle bags and holster for quick access. Jacket or wet clothes stashed under the beavertail, etc.
    rbsride365, scorch and reg71 like this.
  13. El Chorizo

    El Chorizo Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2016
    Oddometer:
    38
    Location:
    San Diego
    That Top Of The World video shows the capability of both you and the bike. Super well done. I'm in the process of swapping my 2017 1200GS Rallye with an inmate's 790 R. While my GS has never let me down nor have I gotten into a situation it wouldn't handle or get me out of, I'm excited to try a different bike. I've put my bike through tons of offroad (Continental Divide, Baja, etc) and have realized I'm definitely drawn to the dirt! I applaud your adventure and your courage in taking the road less traveled as much as possible. This write up has confirmed that I'm making the right decision. Or at least its not a bad decision. Thanks for taking the time. If you ever find yourself in SoCal or want to head to Baja, hit me up - we'll head towards some dirt...
    windblown101 likes this.
  14. rbsride365

    rbsride365 Hi-Viz

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    830
    Location:
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
    Found this report just a couple of weeks ago and have finally finished it up. Awesome trip. The 790 intrigues me. One day I may have one. Bought a Honda ATAS a year ago since it made more sense for the two up off road that my wife enjoys with me. If I was only riding solo I have a feeling this would be the bike. The AT gets a little better with break in and Ohlins suspension. I've enjoyed it but it is big for off road.

    One question for you pertaining to the tires. Was that front Motoz Rallz on your bike when you pulled back into the garage at home the same one that left with you at the start of the trip? Wondering how many miles it might get. I have run an Adventure rear but with a TKC80 and they wear about the same mileage wise. Was considering the Rallz for something a little more aggressive. Can you tell me how long the front and rear lasted you? Thanks! And thanks again for the time to post this all. I thoroughly enjoyed it. One of the best I've come across in a while.
  15. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,702
    Location:
    Star Tannery, VA
    Thanks for the kind words!

    Yep, the RallZ front made it through the whole trip (a bit over 8k miles). It was completely toast by the time I got home. The RallZ rear I replaced at 5500 miles in CO. It was getting hard and not working as well off pavement.

    I've run a few sets (4 or 5?) of RallZs on a couple different bikes now. It's been my experience that tire life on long trips has a lot to do with how aggressive one rides and air pressure.

    On long rides I try to keep in mind that I'm not out for a local afternoon spin in the woods and need to be a bit sympathetic towards the tires if I don't want to be spending the time and money to replace them often. I've found anything less than 36PSI cold in the front RallZ for long high speed pavement will overheat them and trash them quickly (as will super aggressive braking on long twisty pavement runs). Still, about the best all around tires for my needs when it comes to long distances and the mix of stuff I like to ride.
    No-Fret, MVI and rbsride365 like this.