2023 KTM 890 Journey | First Experience Evaluation

For 2023, the KTM 890 Journey will get up to date suspension, bodywork, electronics, ergonomics, and extra. (Photographs by Francesc Montero & Sebas Romero)

To remain present with the newest know-how and forward of the competitors, KTM has been on a two-year improvement cycle with its middleweight Journey platform. The KTM 790 Journey and 790 Journey R had been launched for 2019, then they developed into the KTM 890 Journey and 890 Journey R for 2021, and now we have now up to date variations for 2023. 

KTM unveiled the 2023 model of the extra off-road oriented 890 Journey R at its Journey Rider Rally in Idaho final September, and the 2023 KTM 890 Journey was introduced two months later. The usual mannequin and the R are largely the identical, differing solely by way of suspension, tires, seats, windscreens, and coloration/graphics.  

Associated: 2021 KTM 890 Journey R | Lengthy-Time period Experience Evaluation


When the platform debuted for 2019, KTM mentioned the 790 Journey was designed to be probably the most off-road succesful touring bike and the 790 Journey R was designed to be probably the most touring-capable off-road bike. They had been head and shoulders above anything within the class, they usually shared Rider Journal’s 2019 Bike of Yr award. 

2023 KTM 890 Adventure
The 2023 KTM 890 Journey is accessible in orange and black colorways. These two are proven with a few of KTM’s PowerParts equipment, which embrace slip-on exhausts, baggage, and varied orange-anodized bolt-ons.

KTM has continued its two-pronged strategy. To deal with its extra rugged mission, the 890 Journey R is supplied with higher-spec WP XLPOR suspension, which largely accounts for its larger value ($15,199 versus $13,949 for the usual mannequin examined right here). It additionally has Mitas Enduro Path+ tires, a single-piece seat perched 34.6 inches off the bottom, a brief windscreen, and rally-inspired graphics. 

2023 KTM 890 Adventure
To make the 2023 KTM 890 Journey extra off-road succesful, the suspension settings had been softened and knobbier Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR 70/30 tires changed the earlier mannequin’s the 90/10 tires.

On the press launch for the 890 Journey in Obidos, Portugal, KTM representatives mentioned that many purchasers find yourself shopping for the R over the usual mannequin as a result of they understand the higher-priced one as being the higher of the 2. But it surely actually comes all the way down to the place and the way somebody rides. In the event that they spend most of their time on the street with occasional forays within the grime, if their off-road driving model is extra exploratory than aggressive, and in the event that they tour with a passenger, the usual mannequin is a greater general match. 

Associated: 2023 KTM 890 Journey R | First Look Evaluation

In that vein, KTM made the 890 Journey extra off-road succesful with out sacrificing its avenue manners or road-going consolation. New damping settings for its WP APEX suspension are much less sporty, geared extra towards touring consolation with or with no passenger and compliance on tough off-road terrain. The totally adjustable 43mm inverted fork has an open-cartridge design with compression within the left leg, rebound in the proper leg, and new finger-turn adjusters on the fork caps. The Progressive Damping System rear shock is adjustable for rebound and preload, with an adjuster knob for the latter below the left facet of the seat. And just like the R, the 890 Journey has 7.9 inches of suspension journey entrance and rear, 9.2 inches of floor clearance, and 21-inch entrance and 18-inch rear wheels. 

2023 KTM 890 Adventure
The 2023 KTM 890 Journey has a taller, steeper windscreen with a middle cut-out that reduces buffeting.

On the know-how entrance, there’s a brand new ABS unit that works at the side of the 6-axis IMU, and as earlier than, there are two ABS modes: Street (full intervention entrance and rear, lean-angle delicate) and Offroad (much less intervention on the entrance, no intervention on the rear, and no compensation for lean angle). Additionally unchanged are the three commonplace trip modes (Avenue, Rain, and Offroad) and an non-compulsory Rally mode, all of which modify throttle response, energy, and MTC (Bike Traction Management). 

Up to now, a rider needed to choose ABS mode and trip mode individually. On a number of events on earlier fashions, I’ve converted to an off-road mode, headed down a path, and solely then realized I used to be nonetheless in Street ABS mode. Now, when both Offroad or Rally mode are chosen, Offroad ABS is routinely chosen, whereas Street ABS is the default for Avenue and Rain modes. 

2023 KTM 890 Adventure
For higher road-going consolation, the 2023 KTM 890 Journey’s seat has 10mm extra foam. It may be set at one in every of two heights: 33.1 or 33.9 inches.

Gear Up:

A brand new function on a number of 2023 KTM fashions is Demo mode, which permits a brand new proprietor to make use of and consider non-compulsory digital upgrades for 1,500 km (932 miles) earlier than paying for them. After the gap restrict has been reached and the bike is keyed off, the choices are deactivated. The proprietor then has the choice to return to the vendor to pay for them to be reactivated. On the 890 Journey, these choices embrace Rally mode, Motor Slip Regulation (MSR), Quickshifter+, and cruise management, which will be bought individually or all collectively as a part of the Tech Pack ($549.99).  

2023 KTM 890 Adventure
2023 KTM 890 Journey in Black

There’s additionally an upgraded 5-inch TFT show with new graphics, a extra intuitive menu system, and color-coded pictograms of the bike – when ABS is turned off on the rear wheel, for instance, it adjustments from inexperienced to crimson. With the non-compulsory Rally mode, there’s a high-contrast, minimalist Rally show that reveals the slip-adjust setting, which will be modified on the fly through the up/down arrows on the switchgear. An non-compulsory connectivity unit permits the bike to be paired to the KTMconnect app through Bluetooth, which allows Flip-by-Flip+ navigation in addition to music and calling features when related to a helmet communicator. A brand new call-out perform lets riders create a favorites record of 10 telephone numbers for fast entry. 

2023 KTM 890 Adventure
The 2023 KTM 890 Journey has a 5-inch TFT show with new graphics. The orange-anodized triple tree and brake fluid reservoir cowl are PowerParts equipment.

See all of Rider‘s KTM protection right here.

To underscore the 890 Journey’s newfound off-road worthiness, on the press launch, KTM organized a difficult route close to the coast of Portugal. It was a winter day that began off chilly, foggy, and damp. Our trip chief was Giacomo Zappoli, KTM’s Product Advertising Supervisor Offroad & Journey, a younger, energetic Italian who has competed in exhausting enduros and rally raids. After only a few miles of moist pavement, we turned onto a tough gravel street riddled with roots, ruts, and puddles, and earlier than I had even gotten my “grime legs,” we had been throttling our manner by means of deep sand. Alrighty then, sport on. 

2023 KTM 890 Adventure
The KTM 890 Journey has 7.9 inches of suspension journey entrance and rear, 9.2 inches of floor clearance, and 21-inch entrance and 18-inch rear wheels. 

All through the day, we switched continuously between paved and unpaved surfaces. The asphalt ranged from moist to dry, flat to curved, and rural to city, together with some sketchy roundabouts. The off-road terrain included loamy single-track winding by means of timber, dodgy farm roads lined with historical stone partitions, packed-down gravel on a Sixth-gear ridgeline dotted with wind generators, and even a shortcut between paved sections that had us roosting our manner by means of a small rubbish dump. The variability offered the proper alternative to check each trip mode repeatedly in its meant setting, and the automated choice of the suitable ABS mode meant there was one much less factor to fret about. 

The 890’s softer suspension settings felt spot-on for the variable terrain, and the brand new Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tires, which have a roughly 70/30 on/off-road ratio in comparison with the 90/10 ADV tires on the earlier mannequin, had been appreciated. Numerous rocks pinged off the beefier aluminum engine protector, which additionally covers the entrance and sides of the decrease gasoline pods on the horseshoe-shaped gasoline tank. The tank’s design, launched on the 790, carries a lot of the gasoline down close to the rider’s toes, decreasing the bike’s middle of gravity for higher dealing with. 

2023 KTM 890 Adventure
Chook’s eye view reveals how slender the seat is in entrance, which reduces its efficient stand-over peak.

Although unchanged for 2023, KTM’s 889cc LC8c parallel-Twin stays a compact, well-balanced, energetic engine. Once we put a 2021 890 Journey R on Jett Tuning’s dyno, it made 90 hp at 8,200 rpm and 62 lb-ft of torque at 6,200 rpm on the rear wheel. The trip modes permit the engine’s character to be tailor-made to situations, and the Twin’s flexibility, responsiveness, and auditory rumble are well-suited to an journey bike that can be pressed into totally different roles and supply sufficient pleasure to maintain issues fascinating. 

Impressed by the KTM 450 Rally – which clinched the highest two positions within the 2023 Dakar within the fingers of Kevin Benavides and Toby Value – the brand new bodywork on the 890 Journey has a extra built-in entrance fairing that features bigger tank and facet panels. The connection between the fairing and the body now makes use of two solid aluminum elements, offering further power in addition to extra load-bearing capability for big GPS gadgets (there are USB and 12V retailers on the sprint). The brand new windscreen is taller, has a steeper pitch, and features a vertical lip on the prime, in addition to a gap within the middle that reduces buffeting at excessive velocity. Wind safety and airflow had been noticeably improved, and the taller display screen didn’t intervene with terrain studying throughout difficult off-road sections. 

2023 KTM 890 Adventure
On the 2023 KTM 890 Journey, each time the Offroad or Rally trip mode is chosen, the Offroad ABS mode is chosen routinely.

Consolation was additional enhanced with an additional 0.4 inch of froth within the seat, which will increase the peak of the twin place seat by the identical quantity to 33.1/33.9 inches. To compensate for the added peak, the seat has been made narrower within the entrance to make the efficient stand-over peak roughly the identical. Since I’ve a 34-inch inseam and ample curb weight of my very own, I appreciated the seat’s further help however didn’t thoughts the additional peak, even within the larger setting with rear preload cranked up a bit. Decrease seats and a reducing package can be found as equipment. 

Our take a look at trip on the 890 Journey actually lived as much as the bike’s title. I made heavy use of the brakes as I tailored to the quickly altering situations – each the entrance lever and rear pedal had been straightforward to modulate – and the ABS intervention did its job with out fail. Late within the day, because the hide-and-seek solar had dried out the pavement and we did our greatest to maintain up with Zappoli on a very serpentine stretch of street, I gassed it exiting a nook and felt the rear step out. Earlier than I may even suppose “Oh, sh…!” the TC mild flashed and the second handed. 

2023 KTM 890 Adventure
The 2023 KTM 890 Journey has a beefier engine protector that additionally protects the decrease pods on the horseshoe-shaped gasoline tank.

Again on the resort, my fellow North Individuals and I went on to the bar; we didn’t move Go and we didn’t gather $200. We ordered tall glasses of beer, toasted one another, and recounted highlights of the day. We had been out within the components, difficult ourselves, exploring a brand new space, and having enjoyable. That’s what journey is all about. 

2023 KTM 890 Adventure
2023 KTM 890 Journey in Orange

2023 KTM 890 Journey Specs

Base Value: $13,949 

Value as Examined: $14,499 (Tech Pack) 

Web site: KTM.com 

Guarantee: 2 yrs., 24,000 miles 

Engine Sort: Liquid-cooled, transverse parallel-Twin, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl. 

Displacement: 889cc 

Bore x Stroke: 90.7 x 68.8mm 

Horsepower: 105 @ 8,000 rpm (manufacturing facility declare) 

Torque: 74 lb-ft @ 6,500 rpm (manufacturing facility declare) 

Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated slip/help moist clutch 

Closing Drive: X-ring chain 

Wheelbase: 59.4 in. 

Rake/Path: 25.9 levels/4.2 in. 

Seat Peak: 33.1/33.9 in. 

Moist Weight: 474 lb (claimed) 

Gas Capability: 5.3 gal 

Gas Consumption: 52.3 mpg (claimed)