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Review from my first 500klms.

Thought this might help riders looking at this bike. I had been looking for a smaller bike with great handling but enough power for the road. Got bored of riding litre sportbikes/naked at such low speeds we have in this country.

My bike history: riding for close to 30 years, more track days than I can count and had a race license for a while. Currently ride a 2016 BMW R1200GS and 2018 Yamaha WR250R. Sold my 2015 BMW S1000R about a year ago and have been wanting another sportbikes. Owned pretty much every litre bike around.

Quality
Some parts are obviously built to a price i.e. some of the plastics and mirrors. Other parts of the bike are fine, especially the finish on the engine. Easy to see for yourself in person

I do wonder how the long term finish on the plastics

Engine
Amazingly smooth!!! Never had a bike with an engine with such little vibration before, it's simply awesome. It pulls well from quite low down in the rev range. Plenty of power unless you're a hardcore power junky, especially when used primarily as a road bike. For me, this bike has a perfect engine for the road. I do feel like the bike is geared a little tall. The gearbox is very slick as well.

The sound this engine makes is amazing and addictive

Fueling
Very good but definitely a hole around 5000rpm that cause hesitations. This can be fixed though

Electronics
Excellent so far from what I experience today. I tried all the option except rain. None of them were intrusive like some more crude systems found on older Japanese bikes. STREET mode was good on bumpy roads as it mellows out the throttle a bit. SPORT is the mode I mostly rode in today as it's not as aggressive as TRACK mode with TRACK throttle response. Remember, these are throttle maps, not really fuelling.

The quickshifter and blipper works very well, like most quickshifter you need to make sure you don't load the shifter if you want smooth shifts

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE KTM let us have cruise control as an option!!!!

Brakes
I read a lot of these but certainly not as bad as I found. However, I prefer a higher entry corner speed so don't typically brake super hard. Also, lots of lower speed limits today so need to find a good road with higher speeds with good braking points. They do have good power but do lack initial bite but I understand new pads resolve this. I've ordered Brembo sintered pads that should be here on Tuesday.

Brakes come with braided lines as standard where Japanese brands are STILL putting on rubber lines on many of their bikes

Suspension
Surprisingly good!!! I weigh 85kgs for a reference but felt the suspension does a very decent job. It does feel a little harsh at lower speeds but I found the high speed compression very good and this was on some pretty bumpy roads. I was already looking at suspension options but will hold off at the moment.

Handling
EPIC!!! Reminds me a little of tracking my old RGV250 and VFR400R around Eastern Creek. Took me a little while to adjust how sharp it turns as my S1000R was a heavier turning bike, more like a normal well handling bike. The bike just goes where you want it to and would be VERY forgiving for a rider moving up in classes from a learner bike

I can only imagine a 790 will full suspension upgrade would be exceptional as the 890 will be...I want one :)

Misc
Stock tyres are fairly decent so I'll run these for a while. I had planned on changing them right away to Pirelli Rosso III, these are epic road tyres.

Come with angled tyre valves which is a very nice touch

Most powerparts are much cheaper than you would think. Although, some do look kind of cheap!

The person who designed the heated grips needs to be sacked. They might work but look terrible.

I'll update this is I think of anything else
 

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'20 890R
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Thanks for the feedback - I felt very much the same as you after a short time on my 790 but those small niggles with the tires, suspension, brakes all turned into more pressing challenges once I started to ramp up the pace after the 1000km break in period.

I kept the stock brake pads last season but have a new set of EBC HH E.P. track pads to go in once I do the Spring service and toss on new rubber in a couple weeks.

Keep us posted with any changes you make!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the feedback - I felt very much the same as you after a short time on my 790 but those small niggles with the tires, suspension, brakes all turned into more pressing challenges once I started to ramp up the pace after the 1000km break in period.

I kept the stock brake pads last season but have a new set of EBC HH E.P. track pads to go in once I do the Spring service and toss on new rubber in a couple weeks.

Keep us posted with any changes you make!
Totally agree. The Brembo pads I ordered should be here tomorrow so will be interested to see how they go. Next step will be a 19RCS.
 

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^^^ Good to hear you've been out and about Freda, KTM have cancelled our monday track day due to the virus, and today its raining, our first wet day since before christmas. A pad change really takes the brakes to another level, and the Rosso IIIs will sharpen up the steering even more, and with out sacrificing stability. You may find you need a few clicks on the ramp style pre load adjustment at 85kgs Freda. The suspension is surprisingly good, but i fitted a Nitron R2 shock with about a 1kn spring for my 75kg carcass. The Nitron is amazing on the bike, the front stock set up is very good but i went for a Matris fork kit. Quality gear, but only come with .8 springs and valved to suit those springs. Ive got a .8 spring one side and a .64 the other giving .72, he's ordered a pair of .7s from Racetec, and going to hone out the valves after dynoing the forks, in the meantime i changed out the motorex 5W and put 2.5W and its works fine for now. Mine came with the heated grips, and the bracket has broken and the rubber stick on pad came loose at the track causing it to flap around and break, its cable tied on at the mo. i wouldn't waste my money on one. The 790 was build to a budget, but at 2 years old now it still looks good, it was a demo which spent its first 6 months out in the winter weather out front of the shop.
 

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^^^ Good to hear you've been out and about Freda, KTM have cancelled our monday track day due to the virus, and today its raining, our first wet day since before christmas. A pad change really takes the brakes to another level, and the Rosso IIIs will sharpen up the steering even more, and with out sacrificing stability. You may find you need a few clicks on the ramp style pre load adjustment at 85kgs Freda. The suspension is surprisingly good, but i fitted a Nitron R2 shock with about a 1kn spring for my 75kg carcass. The Nitron is amazing on the bike, the front stock set up is very good but i went for a Matris fork kit. Quality gear, but only come with .8 springs and valved to suit those springs. Ive got a .8 spring one side and a .64 the other giving .72, he's ordered a pair of .7s from Racetec, and going to hone out the valves after dynoing the forks, in the meantime i changed out the motorex 5W and put 2.5W and its works fine for now. Mine came with the heated grips, and the bracket has broken and the rubber stick on pad came loose at the track causing it to flap around and break, its cable tied on at the mo. i wouldn't waste my money on one. The 790 was build to a budget, but at 2 years old now it still looks good, it was a demo which spent its first 6 months out in the winter weather out front of the shop.
I was really surprised how well is soaks up bumps on crappy back roads. Yesterday was a good time to start feeling out the bike on some decent roads. Going back out tomorrow for a good ride and might hit the same roads again.

They should be ashamed of the heated grips haha. Worse than an afterthought....
 
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