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Tiger 900 Rally Pro vs. KTM 790 Adventure R

Discussion in 'Triumph Tigers' started by Jarrett2, Mar 24, 2020.

  1. Jarrett2

    Jarrett2 Been here awhile

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    The Tiger 900 Rally Pro is also surprisingly fun on the track, I learned yesterday:

    #41
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  2. alonad

    alonad Been here awhile

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    All that means is that you have the wrong tires on lol
    #42
  3. Jarrett2

    Jarrett2 Been here awhile

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    Just getting some use out of the stock tires until my 50/50's come in.
    #43
  4. alonad

    alonad Been here awhile

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    Cool video... I was joking
    #44
  5. ridenm

    ridenm Missing my emotional support squirrel Supporter

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    Just stumbled onto this thread. I have a 2013 Tiger Explorer, but as I get older I feel less comfortable with the sheer mass and bulk of the bike. So I'm thinking of down-sizing, and I'm drawn to the Tiger 900 and the KTM 790 Adventure R. On the practical side, I live at the end of a dirt/sand road, and I can get the 1200 up/down just fine with the Heidenau tires I put on, but I have nowhere near the comfort level I would on a lighter, smaller machine. Our speed limit is about 20 mph, and that's just fine.
    When I bought the TEx, my use case was long-range touring in comfort with occasional commuting including daily dirt road use. I fit Jesse bags and a Madstad screen and got exactly what I wanted, with shaft drive. I have ridden around northern NM and took a trip to COTA for MotoGP. My biggest gripes with the bike are the weight and bulk carried up high, the heat pouring off the engine (I've actually scalded my thighs in street clothes on a hot ABQ day), and the road noise (bad with the stock tires, worse with the K60 Scouts). Just an FYI, the bike has had the 1st gen issues with throttle response and head wear fixed under warranty by Triumph, no questions asked. So I'm pretty pleased with the company and its customer relationship.
    Since I bought the bike, I've learned about the Backcountry Discovery Routes. NM's is pretty spectacular from what I've seen and read, and I'd like to be able to attempt it. Neither the TEx nor my KTM 350 EXCF are suitable, one way too big and one way too small. What's the Goldilocks choice?
    I just got a demo ride (street only) on a Tiger 900 Rally Pro and came away impressed. I like what they've done with the firing order and timing, I think the wind protection is adequate for touring, and I liked the large TFT display, much improved over the 1st gen Tiger Explorer. All around it seems like a better ADV package, compared to the TEx which is basically a touring bike for a guy who lives at the end of a dirt road. Now I need to get a demo on the KTM.
    So given the desire to downsize, which is the better choice - the Tiger 900 or the 790 Adventure R (I'm almost 62 years old, 5'10", 250# with decades of off-road and trials experience, not an expert but a skilled AM/INT vet rider)? Does the Tiger have the off-road chops to be safe doing a BDR? Does the KTM, which from all reviews so far is the superior off-road choice, have the comfort for long highway miles, like to COTA or Denver or Phoenix?
    #45
  6. Blakduk

    Blakduk Don’t be too practical.

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    @ScottyDog as you know I come from vibrating singles and also have a Ducati. I test rode the Tiger 800 and while motor smooth I went Meh, no character. I test rode the 900 RP and ordered one 5 secs after getting off it.
    Everyone else here has the 790R for a bit more off road. As has been said, if you have more off-road to do, the 790 wins there. But for me, wanting 80-90% road, with some dirt roads far from home, I'm going for the Tiger. I'm lucky to have a 501 set up for adv-ing, as I don't really like heavy less-crashable bikes for the usually inappropriate tracks I find myself in. (My 990 was very farkled for off-road, but it was still hard work and the challenge aside; became less fun than a smaller bike. And it was very far from a sporty on-road bike...) I felt the Tiger 900 RP was a quite sporty on-road bike.
    To readers, for a one bike compromise for off-road and road (and by off road, unless you are a gun rider, I mean trails, and easy gravel roads), the 790 would be probably one of the best out there. I'm not sure on prices or reliability. KTM do really have suspension and handling sorted.
    @ridenm I think you should just get the one 900RP/790R that looks the prettiest to you.
    I’ll just take the dirt a bit easier on the 900.
    #46
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  7. Jarrett2

    Jarrett2 Been here awhile

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    I'm guessing you've read my posts in this thread already. I've owned the Tiger 1200, 790 R and Tiger 900 Rally Pro. The Tiger 1200 and 790 R are gone and I'm almost 4,000 miles into the Rally Pro now.

    I'm content with the bike. It made my Tiger 1200 redundant for me. The engine heat is MUCH better than the Tiger 1200 even on the hottest days.

    At this point, I've taken my Rally Pro everywhere off pavement that I took my 790 R and then some and I prefer the Rally Pro in those situations.

    Granted, I've had heavier springs and fork oil added to the Rally Pro for my weight. With that done and 50/50 tires on the bike, I'd rather ride it off pavement than my old 790 R.

    On the highway, it is not quite as comfortable as the Tiger 1200, but it is darn close. Not too long ago, I rode my Rally Pro 400 paved miles up to Arkansas, then the next day 200 dirt miles, then the third day I rode it back home 400 miles. I would NOT have done that on the 790 R or even the non-R 790. I wouldn't have done the dirt on my 1200. But the Rally Pro handled all of it like a champ. It went up stuff like this and made it without issue:

    K-Trail.jpg

    After doing a hill climb that looked kinda like this one, a guy on a DRZ 400 said, "I've got more respect for Triumph Tigers now..."

    During this water crossing in Arkansas, a KTM 350 EXC and that same DRZ 400 went down in front of me as they were crossing it. So, of course they decided to video me coming across since others had fallen and there was a chance I was going down too :) Have to admit, I was a bit nervous about it, but the Rally Pro went across it like a champ:


    I even did some single track on the Rally Pro recently and it handled it surprisingly well. So far, every time I throw the Rally Pro at something off road, it surprises me and handles it much better than I expected it would.

    Tiger900Single.jpg
    #47
  8. 666

    666 Agnostic and Orange

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    I rode 790R, it is much lighter than 800/900. Definitely feels like a dirt bike. Obviously 900 can be ridden offroad but it will take more work, it is less crashable/droppable and doesnt have 21 front.
    #48
  9. HeliMark

    HeliMark Long timer Supporter

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    Rally Pro has a 21" front wheel.
    #49
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  10. Jarrett2

    Jarrett2 Been here awhile

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    And it is only 35 lbs lighter. I wouldn't call that much when talking about ~500 lb bikes.

    I don't find the Rally Pro to take more work off pavement. I haven't crashed it yet, but the Rally Pro does have crash guards stock where the 790 R does not.

    And as mentioned, it does have a 21 inch front wheel. The only thing I agree with that post is that the 790 R feels like dirt bike.

    It's fun to ride a dirt bike in dirt, not much fun to ride it anywhere else. The Rally Pro is fun to ride almost everywhere, imo.
    #50
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  11. ridenm

    ridenm Missing my emotional support squirrel Supporter

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    Thanks for the replies, guys. I'm suffering sticker shock looking at the Tiger 900 even though it's nicely equipped for the price. I'd still need to add lockable bags and dirt-worthy tires. I looked at the accessories I'd have to purchase and get installed on the KTM (center stand, cruise control, etc.) and that narrows the price difference, but still - yowza, nearly $20K to roll the Triumph ready for dirt touring.
    #51
  12. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    That little stream crossing reminded me so much of my 800XC w/Ohlins cartridges and shock. A flying couch that would positively eat up trail trash. Only when the hits got big and the speeds got high did it start to quickly cry uncle.
    #52
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  13. Jarrett2

    Jarrett2 Been here awhile

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    They are pricey. But its tough to find a more well rounded ~500 lbs ADV bike right now.
    #53
  14. Blakduk

    Blakduk Don’t be too practical.

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    Wow that is great stuff to read! Love it. My mates are not gonna want to hear that!!
    #54
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  15. 666

    666 Agnostic and Orange

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    Yes, sorry. But it is still a pig compare to 790. Just jumping from one bike to another it is very apparent. Especially with the full of gas bikes.
    I remember it felt like a pig compare to even my old 950 adv. And suspension is definitely nicer for offroad. But tiger is better street bike for sure.
    #55
  16. HeliMark

    HeliMark Long timer Supporter

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    No one is disputing that the KTM is better in the dirt. It is a dirt bike trying to somewhat be a street bike. The 900 is just tilted more towards the street, and the compromises that come with that.

    What everyone is saying here, is that the 900 is good off road with good on road manners. As with any bike, you need to find the size you want, and the primary mission, and decide which one works for you. No different then the African Twin or the 1090 does better off road then the Tenere, Tiger and GS, while the Tenere, Tiger and GS does better on road, with some decent off road chops.
    #56
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  17. Jarrett2

    Jarrett2 Been here awhile

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    I thought the same thing until I actually got the two bikes into the same places off pavement. Not as different as I thought they would be as compared to the dealership parking lot.
    #57
  18. ScottyDog

    ScottyDog Been here awhile

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    Thanks to all the comments on this thread! Test rode them both - not extensively - and tried to buy the Rally Pro in white on the day. Sorry mate, none til November...:dirtdog Hunted all over Australia and managed to find a straight Rally at Blakduk's favourite dealer, who even discounted the price for me! Figured I could do without the heated seats in Queensland and serious Off Road modes and add the extras as I go.

    Can't believe they put street tyres on from new, and until I get them changed haven't been on the dirt. But i am surprised at the low speed balance, all round comfort and quality feel. Bit worried about the engine heat comments, but not a problem so far. The 790 would be a great bike for lots of serious dirt, but the Tiger will get me where I want to go these days. And it keeps my old carby Scram company in the shed. :rogue

    Not a lot of extras around ATM other than genuine. Anybody have suggestions on 50/50 tyres, bashplate, luggage systems, engine guards, etc??

    Cheers, Scott
    #58
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  19. Jarrett2

    Jarrett2 Been here awhile

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    I've run the Anakee Wilds on my Rally Pro and liked them. If you want something a little less aggressive, the new Trailmax Missions are pretty cool. And Triumph makes some engine guards and luggage for it. I think I'm going to go for one of the rackless systems for it though. I'm just not a fan of hard bags off pavement. Haven't seen a skid plate for it yet. I need one. I dented mine riding on that rocky stuff pictured above.
    #59
  20. ScottyDog

    ScottyDog Been here awhile

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    Thanks Jarrett, good to see you doing all the capability test piloting for the rest of us...!!! :clap

    The genuine stuff doesn't look real strong as you've found out, the aftermarket guys must be onto it, you would hope.
    R&G, Touratech have stuff on their sites but no stock.
    Inmate in Canberra painted his guards black, looks much better IMO.
    Thanks for the tyre tips too!
    #60
    Blakduk likes this.