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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey gang, traveled to check out those 3 bikes, and fortunately, dealer also had an R. But weirdly, it has passenger accommodations, so what the heck? It looks just like a regular 890; no sexy seat cowl, or exhaust bracket; the same passenger pegs and seat. Is that an option, or what happened? At any rate, that R bike has a build date of 12/20.
They have a black 890 with build date of 01/21. And the dealer close to me has a black with build date of 02/20, but that has the crate damage deep scratch on the tank. If I decide for the black, I'd try to get that one, and get the tank cover replaced.

The MT-09 has a build date of 11/20, and just got there. Also had crate damage on the tank. It's much narrower than my ex-MT-10, but definitely wider than the KTMs. And the tank splays super wide horribly. The seat looks like crap, and the fit and finish is definitely not up to the KTM standards. And most importantly, with a brand spanking new engine, I don't think it'd have better reliability than the KTMs. And it could actually be worse. At least the KTM's 890 engine is in its second year. And yes, some had serious issues, but haven't heard of that lately, which is good.

Now to the real help I need from you guys. As I mentioned earlier, when I ride, typically ride long days, from high 200s to low 300s (miles) average, and many times, multiple days. So need a comfortable bike, in both ergos, and seat/grips. Since I cannot test-ride anything anymore, here are the only meaningful measurements I could take, so please give me your honest opinion, even if it's not the R (ha ha). Will post the MT-09s just for comparison purposes as well. Oh, and I'm about 165 lbs with no gear (with gear and tail bag loaded, around 190, I estimate):

890: seat height=31-1/2", pegs=10-1/2", front sag=13/16", rear sag=13/16"
890R: seat height=32-1/2, pegs=11", front sag=9/16", rear sag=9/16"
MT-09: didn't measure pegs, but are even tighter than the 890. front sag=2/16", rear sag=12/16"

I was susprised how unbalanced the MT-09 is from the factory, and the front preload was close to all the way out, so probably can't get it any softer than that. None of the KTMs have front preload; not even the R (just rebound and compression).

As far as riding position, I asked the salesman to take pictures of me from the side, and the MT-09 is basically 100% upright, which I DO NOT like. The 890 has a very slight forward tilt,, and the R just a little bit more than the 890, which felt perfect to me. The seat feels a bit low on the MT-09, leading to the worst knee angle, so that's when I eliminated it from contention (too many negatives). The R has the best knee relief, since the seat is 1" higher than the 890, and the pegs 1/2" higher then the 890, meaning it has more cornering clearance, AND 1/2" extra knee relief, so perfect. And I can still reach the floor perfectly. Can't flatfoot, but close, and it's a pretty light bike, so not an issue at all, since I'll never carry a passenger. I was bummed that it didn't come as monoposto (no passenger hardware), so sucks having to pay the same as one as such. Asked the regional manager what his best price was on the dukes, hoping to hear better than MSRP out the door (meaning no freight charges, or any other fees), but doubt it. It hasn't sold, so my guess is others feel the same way as me. Ha ha. But for now, please let me know if you think the R might be too harsh off the twisties, or the 890 too soft. I'd let you know later what's the exact deal on each bike, so you can help me with that final important consideration. Thank you very much for your help folks. And sorry to combine here the 890 and 890R, but there's no freaking 890 forum; just this one. Take care.
JC
 

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I’ll chime in on a couple of points. The 890r comes with the tail cowl and passenger seat/grab bars. In KTMs build instructions they are supposed to set it up in solo config but some dealers put the passenger equipment on.. if you end up going with an 890r make sure you bring this up if they don’t give it to you.
The 890r is certainly capable of all day riding, nowhere near sport bike ergos, but if you’re planning on doing more all day rides than twisties than the 890 may be a better choice. I went to a 17 fz09 (mt09) from a 2006 car 600rr. I couldn’t go 1 hour without everything cramping up on the 600. The fz is one of the most comfortable bikes I’ve ever ridden but I could easily go all day on the 890r and have much more fun while doing so, although reviews of the new mt 09 are very positive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thank you for your input. The 09 feels very similar to my ex-MT-10, which in part sold because it felt too big, and I don't need all that power. And also due to the lack of features, mostly electronics and up/down shifter (just clunky up). The KTMs feel way slimmer, and lighter, although they're not that much lighter. I was expecting a more 'radical' riding position on the R, but it's just about perfect. Feels almost identical to my ex-MT-10, but half the size. Ha ha. The new MT-09 would be too upright for me, which turns into back ache. I like a slight forward lean, which is what you get with the R. The 890 is only slightly off from upright, so basically upright. And the R has more cornering clearance and more leg room at the same time, so awesome. I feel more like riding on top of the bike, which wasn't too attractive to me before, but it gives more legroom, so it should be fine. I'm afraid the suspension on the 890 would be a hair too soft for aggressive riding, but I'm not sure. And the one on the R could be a bit too stiff, but haven't heard that from others around my weight, so it might be the right combination.

I'm glad you said dealer might have the solo parts; that'd be awesome. I wasn't counting to have both sets, so a great deal for just a grand more. The tires won't last at all, but I can get Road5s after the stockers, I guess. Thank you. Hope others chime in with the suspension. It'd be nice to get the static sag like I did it: on my tippy toes, and somebody else measuring sag at the forks, and at the rear with the tape measure perpendicular to the floor, passing in front of the rear axle. Thanks gang.

EDIT: In case I don't get any further help with the suspension, I asked a cousin of mine, who let me borrow one of his bikes for the tail of the dragon, and some other rides, to put his heavy Vanson jacket, and any other gear to weigh 165 lbs (he's a bit lighter than me now), and do the exact same sag test on the bike I used. That would tell me which of the 2 890s would be the better bike for me, and would go with that one. And problem solved. Ha ha.
 

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But for now, please let me know if you think the R might be too harsh off the twisties, or the 890 too soft.
I'm 270 and I know I need harder springs. I bottom out on sharp bumps and pot holes. So at 160 the suspension will be firm like you said you wanted it to be. This bike has excellent suspension components. It does not feel harsh at low speeds. Buy the R and be done with it. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Everything is pointing to that bike. I thought it'd be more radical, but on the contrary. The 890 is too bland. Ha ha. It's practically fully upright, and I don't want that. The MT-09 is even worse; that one is totally upright, like a Goldwing 1800 I used to have (to see if my wife wanted to ride... she didn't, so sold it right away).

Hey guys, so what should that bike come with? Both pillion and cowl, and brackets and pegs, with an extra set of hardware, correct? Anything else? And no front preload, correct? How about rear suspension adjustments? I only saw 2 adjustments, not 3. So which one is missing? Is it just preload and rebound? Finally, is everybody happy with the bars? They feel HUGE, like tillers. Ha ha. Just wondering if some change them, or shorten them, or they feel fine. For such a light bike, they seem humongous, but maybe I'm wrong. Thanks gang.
 

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Everything is pointing to that bike. I thought it'd be more radical, but on the contrary. The 890 is too bland. Ha ha. It's practically fully upright, and I don't want that. The MT-09 is even worse; that one is totally upright, like a Goldwing 1800 I used to have (to see if my wife wanted to ride... she didn't, so sold it right away).

Hey guys, so what should that bike come with? Both pillion and cowl, and brackets and pegs, with an extra set of hardware, correct? Anything else? And no front preload, correct? How about rear suspension adjustments? I only saw 2 adjustments, not 3. So which one is missing? Is it just preload and rebound? Finally, is everybody happy with the bars? They feel HUGE, like tillers. Ha ha. Just wondering if some change them, or shorten them, or they feel fine. For such a light bike, they seem humongous, but maybe I'm wrong. Thanks gang.
It comes with both cowl and pillion seat and passenger foot pegs. The rear shock as low and high speed damping, and preload adjustment. Page 289 of the 2021 890R User Manual. The handle bars are personal preference. They seem just fine to me.
 

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I don't mean to be mean but..., if you had done ANY other reading on this forum besides your own posts, you would have realized the answers to many of your (repeated) questions. You are now in a NEW thread asking most of the same questions and with the same concerns. I'm surprised that others are still taking the time to keep engaging you. Why don't you just buy the cheapest Yamaha you can find and be done with this already? It's what you are going to do anyway, right?
 

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Hey gang, traveled to check out those 3 bikes,
Hey JC where do you live and where did you travel to to see the bikes?

I would try to find a used 790 or 890 so you could take one for a ride. That's what I did at a local dealership. Most will let you ride a used bike.

After the brief 15 minute ride I absolutely knew I had to own a 790. 2 days later I was an owner.

Zero regrets. Just wish I was younger and had a better back.

Good luck.
 

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Hey gang, traveled to check out those 3 bikes, and fortunately, dealer also had an R. But weirdly, it has passenger accommodations, so what the heck? It looks just like a regular 890; no sexy seat cowl, or exhaust bracket; the same passenger pegs and seat. Is that an option, or what happened? At any rate, that R bike has a build date of 12/20.
They have a black 890 with build date of 01/21. And the dealer close to me has a black with build date of 02/20, but that has the crate damage deep scratch on the tank. If I decide for the black, I'd try to get that one, and get the tank cover replaced.

The MT-09 has a build date of 11/20, and just got there. Also had crate damage on the tank. It's much narrower than my ex-MT-10, but definitely wider than the KTMs. And the tank splays super wide horribly. The seat looks like crap, and the fit and finish is definitely not up to the KTM standards. And most importantly, with a brand spanking new engine, I don't think it'd have better reliability than the KTMs. And it could actually be worse. At least the KTM's 890 engine is in its second year. And yes, some had serious issues, but haven't heard of that lately, which is good.

Now to the real help I need from you guys. As I mentioned earlier, when I ride, typically ride long days, from high 200s to low 300s (miles) average, and many times, multiple days. So need a comfortable bike, in both ergos, and seat/grips. Since I cannot test-ride anything anymore, here are the only meaningful measurements I could take, so please give me your honest opinion, even if it's not the R (ha ha). Will post the MT-09s just for comparison purposes as well. Oh, and I'm about 165 lbs with no gear (with gear and tail bag loaded, around 190, I estimate):

890: seat height=31-1/2", pegs=10-1/2", front sag=13/16", rear sag=13/16"
890R: seat height=32-1/2, pegs=11", front sag=9/16", rear sag=9/16"
MT-09: didn't measure pegs, but are even tighter than the 890. front sag=2/16", rear sag=12/16"

I was susprised how unbalanced the MT-09 is from the factory, and the front preload was close to all the way out, so probably can't get it any softer than that. None of the KTMs have front preload; not even the R (just rebound and compression).

As far as riding position, I asked the salesman to take pictures of me from the side, and the MT-09 is basically 100% upright, which I DO NOT like. The 890 has a very slight forward tilt,, and the R just a little bit more than the 890, which felt perfect to me. The seat feels a bit low on the MT-09, leading to the worst knee angle, so that's when I eliminated it from contention (too many negatives). The R has the best knee relief, since the seat is 1" higher than the 890, and the pegs 1/2" higher then the 890, meaning it has more cornering clearance, AND 1/2" extra knee relief, so perfect. And I can still reach the floor perfectly. Can't flatfoot, but close, and it's a pretty light bike, so not an issue at all, since I'll never carry a passenger. I was bummed that it didn't come as monoposto (no passenger hardware), so sucks having to pay the same as one as such. Asked the regional manager what his best price was on the dukes, hoping to hear better than MSRP out the door (meaning no freight charges, or any other fees), but doubt it. It hasn't sold, so my guess is others feel the same way as me. Ha ha. But for now, please let me know if you think the R might be too harsh off the twisties, or the 890 too soft. I'd let you know later what's the exact deal on each bike, so you can help me with that final important consideration. Thank you very much for your help folks. And sorry to combine here the 890 and 890R, but there's no freaking 890 forum; just this one. Take care.
JC
I was tossing up between 2020 mt-09, 790 and 890 R... Rode all bikes (except the 890 R as it hadn't landed yet).
Went with the KTM.
Put down a deposit and waited 3 months for it to finally arrive.
Absolutely no regrets, fucking LOVE this bike. Hands down the best of the three.
Had the same requirements as you, also used to own a 2005 cbr600rr. This is 100% the bike you want.
 

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The ergos on the 890 R can also be adjusted by moving the bar clamps on the top triple clamp, there are two sets of holes to choose from.
 

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I did 660km sunday on my 890r. It’s the most comfortable I’ve felt on a bike doing a big day in ages. I’m so happy with my purchase decision. On many bikes I end up with tingling outside Fingers, carpal tunnel feeling, not so on this bike. the seat is a big Hard plank, but lots of options to fix. I saw the regular 890 at a dealer, bars are different than the R. My 890r had all the hardware to run passenger pegs, seat, grab bar in a box for me when I picked up bike. I strapped a small bag to the passenger seat, so the solo cowl hasn’t been used much.
 

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I picked up my '20 890R and rode it home 500+ miles.

I have to say, I hate the cowl, it is cheap and crappy looking and looks like an afterthought. I have yet to remove the passenger pegs but even after I do, I think I will keep the seat on as it looks better then that cowl. I have to say, my only complaint about the bike so far is the cheap, dirtbike quality plastics. By last bike was a SDR and before that it was a line of BMWs and none of them had the rough edges, bubbles in the stickers, and general crappy plastics (ok, maybe the SDR a little).

However, I am happy where they put their money on this bike namely the suspension, brakes, technology, chassis, and engine as those are the things that really matter when riding. Would I have paid $1,000 more for better body panels? Yes. But I understand they have to meet a price point to be compeditive in a segment. Did I love the full carbon fiber bodywork in my HP2 Sport? Absolutely. However, this is a better bike in every way (except looks).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The rear shock as low and high speed damping, and preload adjustment. Page 289 of the 2021 890R User Manual.
Thank you very much. Found the owner's manual via google, and will read it all tonight. Read the section about suspension adjustments, but no specifics. I only saw 2 adjustments on the rear shock, and possibly a 3rd, but definitely not 4, so not sure it has all of that. Will scrutinize the shock closer, to see what I miss. Unless more adjustments are on the other side, which I doubt. But thanks again.

Why don't you just buy the cheapest Yamaha you can find and be done with this already?
If you knew how to read, you'd know I already discarded that bike. And I read every relevant post I found before posting the first time. Sorry you don't have a life, but go dump your crap on somebody else. And don't read my posts anymore. I'm ignoring you right after typing this.

Hey JC where do you live and where did you travel to to see the bikes?
El Paso, TX, brother. You know, I tried looking for rental bikes on riders-share.com, and absolutely nothing where I live, nor anywhere else 300 miles around. But didn't occur to me to look for used bikes at the 2 local dealerships. I'll ask tomorrow. And yes, I'd know right away which of the 2 is right for me. I'm still waiting for my cousin to measure the bike I use sometimes, and that should tell me which is the better one. And it also happens to have WP suspension, so as close as I can get without riding them. Thank you for your help.

I was tossing up between 2020 mt-09, 790 and 890 R... Rode all bikes (except the 890 R as it hadn't landed yet). Went with the KTM.
Hey, WHICH KTM??? Ha ha. You mentioned 2, and no sig with details. So which one? And what's your weight? Thx..

I have to say, I hate the cowl, it is cheap and crappy looking and looks like an afterthought.
You know, after looking at the new MT-09, the KTMs honestly look like premium bikes by comparison, so I'm not as critical anymore. But yes, since they cost significantly more, they should have less crappy plastics indeed, but at least the fit and finish of their parts is well above the MT-09. By the way, I'd also leave the pillion in place, to use a tailbag. I used to have an Ogio, but might be too big for that area. The other option is a special kind of rack that goes in place of the seat/cowl, and has slits to secure any small tailbag. I think I bookmarked that thread, so will look for it after buying the bike. I'd immediately remove the pegs and grab bar, and install the exhaust bracket. I'd like to install a better looking muffler, but would only do it if I can find one with a dB insert, so it's not that much louder than stock. And save a few lbs in the process.

Thank you all very much for your great help. Well, except that guy with PMS, or something (ignored now). Will keep you posted.
 

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I picked up my '20 890R and rode it home 500+ miles.

I have to say, I hate the cowl, it is cheap and crappy looking and looks like an afterthought. I have yet to remove the passenger pegs but even after I do, I think I will keep the seat on as it looks better then that cowl. I have to say, my only complaint about the bike so far is the cheap, dirtbike quality plastics. By last bike was a SDR and before that it was a line of BMWs and none of them had the rough edges, bubbles in the stickers, and general crappy plastics (ok, maybe the SDR a little).

However, I am happy where they put their money on this bike namely the suspension, brakes, technology, chassis, and engine as those are the things that really matter when riding. Would I have paid $1,000 more for better body panels? Yes. But I understand they have to meet a price point to be compeditive in a segment. Did I love the full carbon fiber bodywork in my HP2 Sport? Absolutely. However, this is a better bike in every way (except looks).
If you want carbon, they got carbon:

Bring your wallet
 

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However, this is a better bike in every way (except looks).
When KTM first came out with the cosmic praying mantis styling I thought to my self "Man what an ugly bike. Who would design something that looked like that, unless it was for a star wars movie."

Well it sure is funny how something will grow on you given enough time.

Now I really like the clean, chiseled, modern look. And when I look at the older styled bikes they just don't turn my crank like they used to. Unless of course they are a few of the new retro design bikes like the Kawi 900 RS Cafe, which I think is pretty cool.

Ultimately beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I do have to remind myself that when I am on the bike I won't be looking at any of the styling but rather savoring the sharp handling and the visceral torque of the great little vertical twin that could.

I hope you enjoy your Duke as much as I am enjoying mine. ;)
 

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When KTM first came out with the cosmic praying mantis styling I thought to my self "Man what an ugly bike. Who would design something that looked like that, unless it was for a star wars movie."

Well it sure is funny how something will grow on you given enough time.

Now I really like the clean, chiseled, modern look. And when I look at the older styled bikes they just don't turn my crank like they used to. Unless of course they are a few of the new retro design bikes like the Kawi 900 RS Cafe, which I think is pretty cool.

Ultimately beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I do have to remind myself that when I am on the bike I won't be looking at any of the styling but rather savoring the sharp handling and the visceral torque of the great little vertical twin that could.

I hope you enjoy your Duke as much as I am enjoying mine. ;)
Well, I sold my SDR to get my 890R. The SDR was also ugly but it was such a brute that it was cool ugly and downright intimidating to anyone who looked at it. The 890R is not the nightclub bouncer that the SDR was so lacking those muscles, it does not pull off the look as well IMO.

I still sold my SDR for it so I obviously love the bike. As you said, when you are carving corners, nothing else matters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hey guys, dealer just told me they don't have the freaking solo hardware; what the hell? And they're obviously not discounting it at all. Are you guys sure the 2021s come with both? The build date on this one is 12/20. In addition to that, the bike has deep scratches and scuffs all over the damn place, due to sitting there for months, and careless people. Not sure what I'll do, but will keep you posted.
 
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