This is a series of resources on the KTM 890 Adventure, the adventure sport motorcycle from KTM based on the 890-class parallel twin.

KTM launched the 890 Adventure in late 2020 for the 2021 model year as a fast follow to the KTM 790 Adventure, a bike that was already popular (and which still is).

The 890 Adventure is an adventure sport motorcycle, much in the same vein as other mixed-use enduro/highway motorcycles that aren’t dirt bikes, nor tourers, but have smatterings of both.

Like the other 890 motorcycles, the KTM 890 Adventure / R (and other specs) is based around an 889 cc liquid-cooled parallel twin. It’s a fire-breathing, characterful engine, that makes at peak 77 kW (105 hp) at 8000 rpm, with peak torque of 100 Nm (74 lb-ft) at 6000 rpm. Final drive is via six-speed transmission and chain

This resources page is to help current and prospective motorcycle owners (including me!) get a comprehensive view of the 890 Adventure. Whether you’re thinking of buying, renting, or test-riding an 890 Adventure, the following will help you make the most of your time.

Below you can find information on the maintenance schedule and service intervals, as well as parts you need for a standard service, guidelines for basic services like oil changes, drivetrain maintenance, and whatever torque specs are easily accessible.

2023 KTM 890 Adventure R Static RHS
2023 KTM 890 Adventure R Static RHS. Rudi Schendl

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About the KTM 890 Adventure

The KTM 890 adventure is an already iconic middleweight adventure bike from the brand known for dirt bike prowess.

The KTM 890 Adventure was announced late in 2020 for the 2021 model year, as a quick update to the 790 Adventure — which everyone had assumed would be around for a while. Many owners of the 790 were a little disappointed that their bikes were already out of date.

KTM kept making the 790 in Asian markets, and has actually reintroduced the line for western markets, too. Besides, if you want a 790, maybe you should consider the CFMOTO 800MT, which uses the same motor, but gives a whole bunch of tech in a very affordable package. Hard to ignore!

But the 890 Adventure is a clear upgrade over the 790. It has more power, more refined riding gear, and passed Euro 5 emissions restrictions more easily — so it had to happen.

The 890 Adventure (and other motorcycles in the 890 range) is based on an 889cc liquid-cooled DOHC parallel twin. It has a 270-degree crankshaft, which is the style of the time… providing claimed traction benefits, but also a whole lot of character and sparkle from an engine format that wasn’t always the coolest kid on the block.

In the 890 Adventure, the P-twin engine makes 71 kW (105 hp) at 8000 rpm, and peak torque of 100 Nm (74 ft-lb) at 6500 rpm. This is an excellent amount of power for on- and off-road work, and is comparable to many other bikes in the class.

KTM makes the 890 Adventure in two primary spec levels — the base model, and the R. There’s also the more limited Rally version, with even longer suspension. But given its price and limited production, it’s likely you’re considering just the base model or the R.

The primary differentiators between the KTM 890 Adventure and Adventure R is the suspension and base tires. The Adventure R gets higher-spec, longer-travel suspension, with more adjustability. Which isn’t to say that the base model lacks suspension travel — 200 mm is quite a lot. In fact, for some riders, it might be preferable, as it gives different on-road performance.

Aside from that, the bikes are very similar — it’s the options you get for them that will distinguish them (e.g. the “Rally” pack, luggage, and cruise control).

The KTM 890 Adventure / R has stiff competition in the segment. People looking for something slightly more road-going might consider the Husqvarna Norden 901, which uses the same engine, chassis, and many components, but in a package which performs differently.

And for those more on a budget, Japanese marques have released lower-spec but still very capable mixed-use middleweight adventure bikes. Good times! (See below for the “alternatives” section.)

KTM 890 Adventure Specifications

Here are the core specifications for the KTM 890 Adventure, along with some notes.

Engine typeParallel twin DOHC, 4 valve, 270-degree crank angleThese are all the rage
Capacity889 cc
Bore x stroke (mm)90.7 x 68.8 mm
Compression ratio13.5:1
Peak power77 kW / 105 hp @ 8000 rpmModest, but enough
Peak torque100 Nm / 74 lb-ft @ 6500 rpm
Transmission / Final drive6 speed, chain
Front brakes2 x 320 mm discs, radially mounted 4-piston calipers
Weight (without fuel, approx.)~200 kg / 441 lb
Ride aidsCornering ABS / TC, Ride modes. Optional cruiseThese are optional: Cruise control, quickshifter (2-way), and MSR (motor slip regulation). Software add-ons.
Other bikes with same motor890 Duke
890 SMT
This is why you can’t just say “I have a KTM 890”. Need more info (unless it’s obvious).
KTM 890 Adventure core specs

KTM 890 Adventure Variants

There are a few variants of the 890 Adventure. Here’s how they differ below.

The Rally is a limited run 2024 model. It was also made in 2021.

Front suspensionWP APEX USD, 43 mm, non-adjustable
2023+: Preload/compression damping adjustable
WP XPLOR USD, 48 mm, fully adjustableWP XPLOR PRO 7548 shock, 3-way adjustable
Rear suspensionWP APEX monoshock, preload / rebound adjustableWP XPLOR PDS shock, fully adjustableWP XPLOR PRO shock, 4-way adjustable (including hi/low speed compression damping)
Suspension travel front / rear200 / 200 mm240 / 240 mm270 / 270 mm
Tires2023+: Pirelli Rally STRContinental Twinduro TKC80Mitas Enduro Trail E-07+
KTM 890 Adventure Base vs R vs Rally spec

In 2023, KTM made some improvements across the range, including

  • Reworked bodywork and fairing
  • All-new windshield for improved wind protection
  • Improved seat comfort
  • New engine protector
  • Upgraded 5” TFT display with 12V USB connection
  • New handlebar switch with intergraded hazard warning

Using the KTM 890 Adventure / R / Rally’s Screen and Controls

Whenever taking out a motorcycle, whether for a test ride or rental, I like to assess its core features, as well as those I’ll use on regular rides. This always includes things like

  • Trying different modes (ride modes, suspension settings, ABS/TC settings)
  • Using the cruise control (radar-enabled, if it has one… this one doesn’t)
  • Adjusting the suspension, if need be, to give it a fair test
  • Using the quickshifter

New KTMs tend to come with the kitchen sink of ride aids in test mode. After a certain distance (typically 1500 km) you have to pay to play.


KTM 890 Adventure left hand combination switch
KTM 890 Adventure left hand combination switch

Everything on the KTM 890 Adventure is controlled by a switch block on the left, and the cruise control tip switch above it.

Changing ride modes

There are three ride modes stock on the KTM 890 Adventure, with one more optional (Rally mode, with the Rally pack). The three core modes are Street, Rain, and Offroad.

To change ride modes, you have to use the switch block. Do this with the motorcycle at a standstill.

  1. Press the set button to get into the menu.
  2. Press up/down until “Motorcycle” is highlighted. Press set.
  3. Press up/down” until “Ride mode” is highlighted. Press set.
  4. Press up/down to choose the riding mode. Press set

That might seem cumbersome, but you can also set up your own bike (once you have one) so that one of the up/down buttons directly access one part of the settings. This is done via the “quick selector” setting. Quick selector can control ride mode, MTC setting, trip, or heated grips setting (maybe other things depending on your option level).

Here’s how the ride modes work on the 890 Adventure:

Throttle responseSoftBalancedVery directExtremely direct / Configurable
ABSBoth wheelsBoth wheelsFront wheel onlyConfigurable (ABS submenu)
TCVery little rear wheel slipNormal rear wheel slipHigh rear wheel slipConfigurable (TC submenu)
Power modes on the KTM 890 Adventure

Cruise Control on the 890 Adventure

Cruise is optional on the 890 Adventure (as is so much on modern KTMs). Before rolling out, if you want to test it, make sure it’s enabled in the software. This means that (if it’s not new, and thus with demo modes available) it should be a purchased add-on, and also it should be enabled in the menus (as should demo modes).

  • To turn cruise control on, you press the cruise control tip switch to the left. Same action to turn it off. (The status will display on the screen.)
  • To activate cruise at the current speed, press the cruise control tip switch briefly at the bottom.
  • To increase or decrease speeds, you either briefly toggle up or down for a 1 km/h / mph increase, or hold it up and down for a 5 km/h / mph increase.

There are some aspects of using cruise, but the above should have you covered.

Adjusting the KTM 890 Adventure’s Suspension

The different specs of the KTM 890 Adventure come with different amounts of suspension adjustability.

ModelFront suspensionRear suspension
2021 base modelNo adjustabilityPreload — use the hand wheel (0-10 turns, 3 for most situations, 10 for full payload)
2023+ base modelCompression damping (left fork leg), rebound damping (right fork leg)
Standard is 15 clicks on both
Preload — use the hand wheel (0-10 turns, 3 for most situations, 10 for full payload)
RPreload on both fork legs, hand adjustable — 0-3
Compression damping (left fork leg screw), rebound damping (right fork leg screw)
Standard is 15 clicks on both
4-way adjustable (high/low-speed compression damping)

KTM 890 Adventure / Adventure R Service requirements

Overall, the KTM 890 Adventure, like other KTM 890 motorcycles, has 9300 mile / 15000 km or annual service intervals. At every service, change the oil and filter, and do a host of checks.

The major service for the 890 motor is every 18600 miles or 30000 km, at which point you check the valve clearances and change the spark plugs.

The valve clearance inspection is a big and also fiddly job — you need to remove the plastics and tank, plus other things that get in the way of the heads. To replace shims, you have to remove the cams, which means you have to be comfortable re-installing cams with correct alignment. Plus, even though there are just two cylinders, access to the shims is a bit tricky.

The 890 Adventure has a cable clutch, which means that you should service it regularly. However, you only need to change the brake fluid and don’t need to worry about clutch fluid.

KTM recommends changing the coolant every four years.

Finally, as the 890 Adventure has a chain drive, you need to regularly service it, particularly when riding in dust and wet.

Maintenance Schedule for the KTM 890 Adventure

Below is the maintenance schedule for the KTM 890 Adventure, adapted from the manual, and simplified somewhat. This information came from our partner site,

We restructured this slightly into a “service schedule” and a checklist of items to do at every service.


  • After the end of the service schedule, keep repeating it in this pattern.
  • Follow the earlier of time-based or distance-based intervals. E.g. change the oil every year or 15000 km — whichever comes earlier.
miles x 10000.629.318.6
km x 100011530Every
Standard inspection checklist (see below) — Check all
– Fluid levels
– Electrics
– Safety equipment
– Bearings
– Tires
– Suspension items
– Cables / wiring
– Hoses
(See the full inspection checklist here)
Change the engine oil. (Motul 7100 10W-50)Year
Change the oil filter (KN-650)Year
Clean the oil screensYear
Change the air filter (KT-1113), clean the air filter box
Change the spark plugs (LMAR9AI-10)
Check the valve clearances.
Change the front brake fluid (Motorex DOT 5.1).2 years
Change the rear brake fluid (Motorex DOT 5.1).2 years
Change the coolant (Motorex Coolant M3.0)4 years
Check the headlight setting
Check the fork bearing for play
Clean the dust boots of the fork legs
Check the wheel bearing for play
Check the cables for damage and routing without kinksYear
Check the fuel pressure.Year
Check the frame
Check the link fork
KTM 890 Adventure Maintenance Schedule

Chain Maintenance on the KTM 890 Adventure

You need to service the KTM 890 Adventure’s chain regularly, particularly as it’s an enduro travel motorcycle that you’re likely to ride through dust, creeks, mud, rain, dirty roads, and so on.

Use a good-quality and portable lubricant like Motul Chain Paste, which is highly regarded, and portable — easy to carry!

Chain maintenance itemEvery
Check the chain, rear sprocket, and engine sprocket
Chain length: 18 rollers = 272 mm maximum
Check the chain tension
Chain tension spec: 2-5mm distance
KTM 890 Adventure Chain Maintenance

To check the chain condition on the 890 Adventure / R:

  1. Put the bike up on a centre stand (or raise up the rear somehow).
  2. Put the transmission into neutral.
  3. Pull on the lower chain section with 15 kg / 33 lb of weight.
  4. Measure the distance of 18 rollers (checking against the max spec).

If the chain is looser than the max spec, replace it, along with the sprockets.

To check the chain tension on the 890 and Adventure, the manual and the sticker on the side of the motorcycle are a bit confusing. Here’s a slightly clearer guide.

Motofomo KTM 890 Adventure and Adventure R chain tension
KTM 890 Adventure and Adventure R chain tension
  1. Find the plastic chain slider, go to the end, and go 2.5 cm (or one inch) apast the end.
  2. Push the chain up and try to make it touch the metal swing arm.
  3. Measure the distance from the flat part of the link fork directly above the chain to the chain. Target spec: 2-5mm (0.08-0.2 in).

If the tension is not within this spec, adjust the chain tension.

Motofomo KTM 890 Adventure adjust chain tension
KTM 890 Adventure adjust chain tension

To adjust the chain tension on the 890 Adventure, you have to

  1. Loosen the axle nut and lock nuts on either side of the axle.
  2. Turn the adjusting screw until you reach the target chain tension spec.
  3. Make sure you check the reference marks, to make sure you’re adjusting both sides of the motorcycle the same amount.
  4. Tighten the lock nuts, and then tighten the axle nut (90 Nm / 66.4 lb-ft of torque)
  5. Check the chain tension again to make sure it’s still within spec.

Wheels and Tires for the KTM 890 Adventure

The manual recommends the following tyre sizes and pressures.

Adjust the pressures according to your own preferences, setup, ride style and conditions.

WheelTyre sizeRecommended
Tyre pressure (cold)
Front90/90 – 21 M/C 54V M+S TL35 psi (2.4 bar)
Back150/70 R 18 M/C 70V M+S TL42 psi (2.9 bar)
KTM 890 Adventure recommended tyre sizes and pressures

The tyres that ship with the 890 Adventure are Avon TrailRiders, which are less aggressive than the TKC 80 tyres on the 890 Adventure R, and less aggressive again than those on the Rally.

You can no doubt fit more aggressive tyres to your 890 Adventure though.

Tightening Torque specs

Below are some core tightening torque specs from the manual. There are quite a few more in the manual for you to peruse.

Oil drain plugs (x2)2015
Oil filter cover screws64
Spark plugs118
Front sprocket10074
Rear axle9066
Front axle4533
Steering head1813
Top triple clamp1511
Front brake caliper4533
Rear brake caliper pin2216
KTM 890 Adventure tightening torque specs

Alternatives to the KTM 890 Adventure

The 890 Adventure is a middleweight adventure motorcycle, which means it’s in a tough crowd these days! Below are the current contenders in an awesome market.

Other Related Motorcycles from KTM / Husqvarna

If you’re interested in the 890 Adventure, you’re probably also considering other motorcycles with the 890 motor. They’re not all KTMs!

Reference — Owner’s Manual for the KTM 890 Adventure

The above information came from a mix of the owner’s manual, service manual, press releases, and forum information for the 890 Adventure.

Below you can see some screenshots for the manual of the KTM 890 Adventure.

You can see how in earlier years, KTM separated out “required work” and “recommended work”, but then combined them from 2023 onward.

You can also download the manual directly from KTM here.

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