It’s no secret that KTM and Yamaha have entered a battle of epic proportions in the Middleweight Adventure bike category. Reportedly coming to market soon are KTM’s 790 Adventure and Yamaha’s Tenere’ 700. Production ready versions are likely to be unveiled at the European INTERMOT and EICMA shows.
Flexing their adventure muscle, both KTM and Yamaha have been showing their prototypes all over the world. Recently, KTM brought the 790 Adventure to Sardinia and the European KTM Adventure Rally with Chris Birch as its pilot. Yamaha has been on a similar tour and will be bringing the Tenere’ 700 to Italy from 7 – 9 September 2018 with Dakar rider Alessandro Botturi in the saddle.
KTM and Yamaha have followed parallel strategies for the development and launch of these two new machines. Prior to releasing them, the manufacturers have chosen to show their machines to the public at large events as static displays and also in action. These events provide a double benefit to the manufacturers. First they create the tease by showing how the production ready bikes will perform in action. Second, the action shows also provide the means for additional testing and to gauge rider response. In this battle, no manufacturer wants to release a bike that will fail after the first few rider evaluations.
Sometime in 2019, adventure riders around the world may be faced with a difficult choice. Time will tell which manufacturer wins this epic battle. Both bikes promise adventure capability with longer range, better comfort and increased off road ability. Time will tell.