KTM 890 Adventure: A Year of Ownership and Reliability Review


When it comes to adventure motorcycles, the KTM 890 Adventure has gained considerable attention since its release. As an owner of the KTM 890 Adventure for a year, I want to provide an honest review of its reliability and overall performance. In this article, we will delve into the key aspects of the bike’s reliability, addressing both positive and negative experiences.

Impressions and Performance: The KTM 890 Adventure offers a more compact and lighter design compared to its competitors, which lends itself to enhanced maneuverability and a lower center of gravity. The power-to-weight ratio is excellent, providing ample performance for various riding conditions. The bike’s handling and traction control system, especially in rally mode, have received high praise, allowing riders to confidently navigate challenging terrains, including muddy sections.

Reliability Concerns: One aspect that often raises concerns among prospective buyers is the perceived reliability of KTM motorcycles. While it is true that some reliability issues have been reported with previous models, it’s important to note that my personal experience with the KTM 890 Adventure has been mixed in this regard.

Screen Fogging: One of the issues commonly associated with the 790 and 890 Adventure models is screen fogging. Initially, my bike experienced severe fogging, which was promptly addressed and resolved by the manufacturer through a warranty replacement. However, it’s worth mentioning that the replacement screen still exhibits some minor fogging, albeit to a lesser degree.

Front Wheel Balance: Another reliability issue I encountered pertains to front wheel balance. Despite attempting various solutions such as tire changes and wheel balancing, I have not been able to completely eliminate a front end hop occurring around 35 to 40 mph. Although the dealership claimed no issues with the front wheel, it remains a concern that warrants further investigation.

Ownership Experience: Despite the aforementioned reliability concerns, it is crucial to highlight the positive aspects of owning the KTM 890 Adventure. With approximately 6,700 miles on the bike, including a challenging ride along the western half of the TransAmerica Trail, the bike has proven to be capable and versatile. The suspension, while not as advanced as the R model, has performed well for my needs, providing a comfortable ride. Furthermore, the bike’s handling, power delivery, and its ability to handle off-road sections have been impressive.

Comparison and Future Considerations: In terms of reliability, it is important to acknowledge that no motorcycle is perfect, and individual experiences may vary. While some competitors offer electronic upgrades as standard features, KTM’s approach of charging extra for these features has drawn criticism. This nickel-and-dime strategy may be a potential point of contention for prospective buyers, especially considering the evolving market where certain mid-weight adventure bikes come with these features as standard.

KTM 890 Adventure

Conclusion: As an owner of the KTM 890 Adventure for a year, my overall experience with the bike has been positive, despite a few reliability concerns. The bike’s performance, handling, and power-to-weight ratio have exceeded expectations, delivering an enjoyable riding experience. While the screen fogging issue and front wheel balance concerns are notable, they have not significantly affected the bike’s overall performance.

Ultimately, when considering the KTM 890 Adventure, it is essential to weigh its merits against individual preferences and requirements. The bike’s reliability, while not flawless, should be evaluated alongside its performance and features to make an informed decision. With proper maintenance and care, the KTM 890 Adventure can serve as a reliable companion for thrilling adventures on and off the road.


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