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The ADVENTURE community has been eagerly awaiting a lightweight, compact midrange travel enduro with outstanding cross country ability. The wait is almost over, for at the EICMA 2017, KTM proudly presents the prototype of such a super lightweight adventure bike designed all around the brand new 2-cylinder LC8c engine. The KTM 790 ADVENTURE R PROTOTYPE is exactly what the hardcore adventure crowd wants it to be: a true KTM to close the gap between the enduros and the larger bikes of the ADVENTURE series.

KTM is the name of the game in offroad as the market leader in this special segment. Picking up where illustrious predecessors – like the KTM 950 and 990 ADVENTURE rally bikes – left off, the KTM 790 ADVENTURE R PROTOTYPE fully embraces KTM’s READY TO RACE philosophy. This is something no other motorcycle brand can easily copy. The Austrian company aims at designing the most performance-focused mid-weight travel enduro of its class, with a dynamism and power-to-weight ratio normally found in larger displacement bikes. The rally design with its single seat, tiny LED lights and low-slung fuel tanks tells much of this story. KTM’s customary design and development partner agency KISKA, clearly referenced the new KTM 450 RALLY which was developed in parallel. If the Dakar Rally had a large displacement class, the prototype shown in Milan would be a tailor-made fit. Rest assured, nobody else other than KTM could build such a perfect ADVENTURE bike leaning on such proven and rich heritage.

The brand new, ultra-compact and lightweight 799cc LC8c parallel twin sits – of course – inside a lightweight and extremely rugged KTM chassis complete with top quality WP Suspension components front and rear. It goes without saying that a production version of this would come with the very best electronic rider assistance package – ready to support any kind of READY TO RACE adventure.

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LC8c Engine Specs

  • 2-cylinder, 4-stroke DOHC in-line engine, eight valves actuated via DLC-coated finger followers, electronic fuel injection, two balancer shafts, semi dry-sump lubrication with oil cooler
  • Max. output: 77 kW (105 hp) @ 9,000 rpm, max. torque: 86 Nm at 8,000 rpm
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Also released at EICMA the 2018 KTM 450 RALLY. KTM has dominated the motorcycle category of the Dakar Rally since 2001 and has been the brand of the overall winner in that category ever since. Initially, it was the KTM 660 LC4, and Fabrizio Meoni even won on the twin cylinder LC8 animal in 2002. In 2005, KTM launched a new generation of single-cylinder bikes with the 690 LC4, which was in turn succeeded by lighter machines when the organizers changed the rules and regulations in 2011, capping displacement at 450cc.

Even since then, KTM has been continuously developing its rally machines year after year to increase the durability of these relatively small, high-performance engines, while also further optimizing the output, handling characteristics, aerodynamics and a host of important details. This means that the most recently used machines have attained such a high level of development that their technological base no longer offers sufficient room for further innovation.

However, to stand still is to lose ground. Accordingly, the KTM rally racing division launched a new development project more than two years ago, which has since led to a completely new generation of the KTM 450 RALLY. The new machine has already proven its merits in several tests and was even raced for the first time at the Oilibya Rallye Maroc in October.

The advanced engine features increased peak power as well as extended durability, while the transmission now shifts even more smoothly than ever. A new engine management system that includes a newly developed throttle body ensures improved throttle response even at great elevations without any loss of output. To optimize the intake flow, the engineers have also developed a brand new air filter box. At the same time, the space freed up between the steering head and air filter box offers more room for the electrics and battery, while enhancing the centralization of masses around the center of gravity.

The new powertrain is mated with a brand new frame developed from scratch, combining increased agility on turn-in with enhanced stability on the brakes, without sacrificing straight line stability. Then there is a new swingarm with revised rear suspension for extra traction when accelerating, as well as increased reserves against bottoming out. Another innovation is that the brand new bodywork uses sophisticated aerodynamics to prevent turbulence around the helmet when the rider is seated, reducing fatigue, while enhancing visibility toward the front wheel. The new, softer seat and the new fuel tank shape have also enhanced the ergonomics and fatigue-free riding, while enabling the weight distribution to be optimized, while stringent lightweight design in every detail contributes once again to achieving a lower overall weight.

As previously, the new model will be offered to racing customers as the KTM 450 RALLY REPLICA in the course of model year 2018.


Chris Glaspell

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