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Author: noyau


Wheels on the 790 Adventure, and Adventure R are all the same. Spoked wheels with aluminum rims, 2.50 × 21″ on the front; 4.50 × 18″ on the rear. Those rims are designed for tubeless tires, with a sealing band on top of the spoke nipples to prevent air from going out.

The 790 Adventure Rally uses DID Dirt Star rims. With slightly narrower rims, 2.15 x 21” on the front and 4.00 x 18” on the rear. Those are not air-proofed at all, these wheels do require the use of tubes…

All models use the same tire sizes, 90/90-21 and 150/70-18.

The good news is that wheels are 100% compatible with 1050/1090/1190/1290 KTM adventure models. The 1090 Adventure R uses exactly the same sizes as the 790 Adventure for example. The cast alloy wheels of a 1050 Adventure (3.0 x 19″ & 4.5 x 17″) will also bolt right on. Even the 1290 SA size (3.50 x 19″ & 5.00 x 17″) fit just fine, but they are probably over the top for the little 790.

The wheels from the 950/990 Adventure will not fit as is however. The rear wheel will, but the front wheel needs custom hardware to offset the brake disks.

Of course, if you source from another bike, the disks and sprocket may be different, they will need to be swapped for 790 compatible ones.

There are also a number of third parties building wheels either from scratch or by relacing a new a rim of your choice on your existing hub.

Be aware of a few caveats if you change rim diameter (to 17″/19″ for example):

  • The electronic reads the bike speed via the slotted rings on the wheels. And the different sizes will make your speedo wrong, and may also confuse the various three letter acronyms (ABS, MTC,…). Ian Chappel in the UK used to make custom rings to fix this, but he passed away (RIP), and right now there are no other known sources for these.
  • Changing the rear wheel to a smaller one changes the gearing, and will make your bike slower for the same RPM on the same gear. To fix this for a 18″ to 17″ conversion, just change the rear sprocket from the original 45 teeth to 43 or 42 (43 is probably the closest gear wise, but 42 is a more common size and easier to find). To help you inmate Gaulin on ADVRider developed a gearing calculator spreadsheet, or you can use the excellent gearingcommander.

Common wheel upgrades:

  • Upgrade a S or an R to the narrower rims of the Rally.
  • Invest in a set of road wheels, 17″ on the back, 19″ on the front, for better road manner and moving the seat down a little bit.
  • Go supermoto, with two 17″ wheels, and go hooligan.


3.50 x 19″ & 5.00 x 17″ from a 1190S on a 790 S (source)
3.50×17″ & 5.0×17″ on a 790R. Photo by djauofd, Wheels by warp9 racing.
My own bike, with wheels sourced from a 1050 Adventure. Details.

tips and tricks

A collection of small stuff, with links to vidéos, tutorials or existing articles. All small things that have not graduated to a full article yet. Send me yours by writing a comment!

  • How to disconnect the fuel lines.
  • To switch from road to offroad more quickly, you can set “Ride Mode” and “ABS” under Quickselect 1 and 2. (Note that you need v29 installed on your bike for this trick to work)
  • The number of favorites selected for the main screen impacts readability quite a lot. Reduce to 4 and the font is way more readable.
  • Pur some grease on those brake caliper pins.

Crash bars

Crash bars are likely to be a bad investment on the 790 Adventure. Most (all?) of the crashbars mount to the fuel tank mount since it’s the only frame mount available on that part of the bike. This mount is not designed for any kind of force applied to it, it’s just here to hold the fuel tank in place. The couple of welds holding the captive nut are so light they are known to give in just by tightening the bolt by hand… There are multiple cases where the crash bars bent the mount, broke the part in two, and even cracked the tank at the mount.

In addition, due to the design of the bike there’s no frame at the bottom. Crash bars are being tied into the engine, skid plates, fuel tank, etc. They look the part, but in case of crash they will damage the parts they’re attached to.

All that to say that the consensus seems to be that crash bars are unnecessary on this bike. The fuel tank protection are all the protection you need, they are intended to be a fuse and replaced once dinged.

All those warnings will not stop third party to make crashbars, and people installing them. But do check where the crash bars are anchoring to.

SW-Motech have low bars available. See this review.

Outback Motortek are making crash bars, high and low, with optional bottom plate. See the video.

Touratech made a video with a lot of stuff visible on the bike (crashbars everywhere, luggage galore, headlight protection, hand guards). These are slowly starting to appear in their catalog (crash bars are €240 in your choice of color: metal/black/orange).

Hepto-Becker has crash bar in black, orange or metallic finish (Those have been reported to have to be removed for an oil change as they are in the way).

Metal mule released crash bars that protect the tank lobes. £140.

There are more, there will be more.

Faulty Brake Light Switch sensor

Some bikes are suffering from a faulty Brake Light Switch sensor, usually the rear one. If the stop light is permanently turned on, this is likely the culprit. The fix is to replace the sensor under warranty, they are just defective from the factory. This requires removing the fuel tank.

The sensor seem to be self-calibrating, as such some stop and go action sometimes recalibrate the sensor and the problem fixes itself.

Push come to shove, replacing the switch is relatively easy (you just need to remove the fuel tank to get access). See this post on advrider by AdvRonski. The switch itself is even available on Amazon (but will require a bit of soldering to adapt the connector, so prefer the KTM part: front p/n 64111051100, rear p/n 62111051000, the only difference between the two appear to be the connector). Only use the KTM parts: front p/n 64111051100, rear p/n 62111051000, the OEM ones you can source elsewhere are not using the same pressure to trigger.

A faulty Brake Light Switch sensor will cause the Cruise Control to disengage, not set, or not resume.


The first recall was to replace the rear brake hose on 2019 and early 2020 bikes (all models). All the details are on the US NHSTA website. The crux of the issue is this:

The second recall was also related to brakes, but on the front this time, to replace a spring in the front master cylinder.

Second recall info

Rear footpegs sliders

To protect the rear, the footpeg sliders from the 790 Duke fits just fine, and provide a sacrificial bit of nylon instead of the expensive aluminium piece. Get yourself some piece of mind for cheap (P/N 61303946044, $13). Thanks Orfeas for the find!

Alternatively, if you have access to a 3D printer, advrider inmate Marchyman made a model to do the same part.

Additional front end support

There is an option to beef up the existing front end of the bike (lights, instrument cluster, GPS): everything is hold in place by four screws and the lower metallic support. There are some (very rare!) case of the posts on the frame breaking away during a fall.

TripleClampMoto developed a contraption to add more support to the front end posts on the frame (Price is moving often. I’ve seen as low as €62, and as high as €100. Check the site). In stainless, either just brushed or powder coated.

Camel ADV has a similar part as well ($80). In silver of black. Stainless powder coated.

And Rottweiler joined the fray with their own interpretation of the same device ($80): This one only braces the top mounts (as the bottom ones sees compression instead of forward tension for the top one?). They claim it’s a better design than a piece of sheet metal.

Annnd another one, this one from Spain. In orange or black, to color coordinate with the frame of the S or the R… Very simple and the cheapest of the lot, at €55.

What’s on my bike?

I’ve been asked what I installed on my bike as accessories and modifications. Here is the list. Some of these items were carried over from my previous bikes, or previous trips. Link goes where I bought the articles (I’m in France, so maybe not your best link if you live elsewhere).

I also acquired a set of 19/17″ road wheels, originally from a 1050 Adventure. Those bolted right on, I only had to find a rear brake disk, custom ABS rings, a 42 teeth sprocket and a set of road tires (Dunlop SPORTMAX ROADSMART III 110/80R19 59 V, and 150/70R17 69 V)

The awesome people I do recommend:

  • Ixtem-moto are the best. Michel’s team is always listening, and their service is top notch. I’ve been buying all my non specialized accessories from them for years. Best French distributor ever.
  • Louis, from Enduristan France, is also providing excellent service on their excellent luggage. I buy directly from them instead of going through Ixtem (sorry Michel) because Louis gives me a discount, for no good reason at all 🙂
  • I’ve talked quite a bit with Chris at Motominded, as when he designed their GPS support he used my design as a starting point. He improved it tenfold, and there’s not a lot left from me in their current product, but he was kind enough to give me the printing right for my own ABS cable protection in exchange. So thanks!
  • Perun Moto really do care about the quality of their products. Nikola Maletic, the owner, is very active on the forums, and evolves his products to make them better all the time.
  • Andrew Vanasche seriously care about his products. The design behind his GPS support is the best I’ve seen.
  • Ian Chappel (RIP) was a great bloke, making specialized parts not available anywhere else. He is missed.

CAN Bus and OBD2

The KTM 790 Adventure is like many other modern motorcycles employing CAN Bus for communications between the ECU, sensors and actuators. And some other devices like the front lights. A CAN bus is just two wires with data flying through it that can be read and written to.

A lot can be done from a CAN Bus, from capturing detailed read of temperatures, to uploading a new map for the engine. Your KTM dealer uses the CAN Bus during service to update the software on various parts of the bike, and to read the diagnostic codes. The risks of uploading software or new maps are high, pushing the wrong values may end up wrecking your engine. Reading or clearing diagnostic codes and monitor motorcycle performance however is perfectly fine, and can be achieved with your phone and a bit of hardware.

The simplest way to get access to the CAN Bus is the diagnostic port under the battery cover, it’s easy to find, and it’s sealed with a protective cap.

Diagnostic port

OBD2 is originally a US standard, a requirement for all vehicles to provide a standard way to read data and diagnostic codes. OBD2 is nothing else than a CAN Bus and a specification for a diagnostic port. All the solutions on the market do use an OBD2 port. In order to use them you need an adapter from the KTM diagnostic port to OBD2. There are plenty of vendors selling those, just search for “KTM OBD2 Adapter“. One that’s proven to work is this Lonelec adaptor (which comes with all the hardware to use TuneECU on Windows).

Once you have an OBD2 port, it’s just a matter of finding a software solution for you. The picture below have been taken using OBDLink on Android, using a OBDLink MX+ Bluetooth adapter. Just avoid the cheap adapters, they do not work properly most of the time.

Once connected (and bound via Bluetooth, Wifi or USB if/as appropriate), you’ll be able to examine any “thrown codes” and peek at some commonly coded sensors.

Techies that study this stuff may want to dig into an Adventure Rider thread titled “Results from hacking the KTM SuperDuke 1290 CAN bus”, as many of the “secret codes” used on the 790 are likely to be the same as other KTM models.

Many thanks to Scott McCrory for the original idea, some of the text and all the images for this article.

Riding Modes explained

The 790 Adventure come with a very advanced electronic package with features never seen before on production bikes (On the fly MTC tuning anyone?). This makes for a very safe bike, but understanding what the electronics is doing for you is paramount to fully exploit it.

There is a lot of confusion on the various riding modes and what exactly they are changing on the bike. This is not helped by different settings having the same name (“Offroad” can be a Ride mode, a Throttle control setting or an ABS setting for example). The riding modes have influence on throttle response, anti-wheelie, and traction control. ABS is not controlled by changing riding mode at all, and traction control (MTC) can be turned off separately for each mode.

This is not helped by the user manual, which goes in great length to explain how to turn things on and off, but doesn’t explain why you would want to change the settings, and for what purpose. And what exactly is changed by each settings. Be aware that some of the content in this article are educated guesses, until someone reverse engineer the code or KTM fact checks it. The source data for this article comes from KTM literature about the bike and the discussion in this advrider thread.

So to make it clear this entry in the FAQ is all about those three indicators on the bottom right of the dashboard:

The indicator shows the ride mode (one of STREET/RAIN/OFFROAD, the ABS (one of ROAD/OFFROAD/OFF) and the MTC (one of ON/OFF). All of those are freely mixable, you can set STREET/OFFROAD/OFF or OFFROAD/ROAD/ON for example. RALLY is displayed differently, see below.

Before diving into the ride modes, let’s talk about throttle response, ABS, and MTC.

Throttle response

The 790 is equipped with a ride by wire system. Turning the throttle tube just sends a signal to a computer. The computer can then decide how much power to give for a set rotation. Throttle response is just that, controlling the mapping from the amount of rotation to the amount of power.

There are four possible throttle responses available (Street, Rain, Offroad and Rally) but they are no all controllable directly. The various ride modes will select the associated throttle response (Rally mode is an exception).


The ABS prevents wheel lock. Wheel lock is bad when not controlled, and in an emergency braking situation ABS can save you. The ABS in this bike is very advanced, and it can regulate the brakes based on the lean angle. There are three possible settings for the ABS:

  • Road: ABS is active on both front and rear wheel, lean angle input is used
  • Offroad: ABS is active on the front wheel, and turned off on the rear wheel. Lean angle input is ignored.
  • Off: No more ABS. Note that this setting is not memorized, if you shut down the engine (or stall) the setting is going to reset to Road.

When on the road, unless you are a supermotard hero who want to slide the rear wheel in turns, you should be in the ABS Road setting. On the other hand, when riding off road it is useful to be able to lock the rear wheel for initiating a turn, or to be able to brake effectively on very loose surfaces, making the ABS Offroad setting useful in those conditions.

Also, comparing Road and Offroad ABS settings on just the front wheel, Road ABS is more aggressive in preventing locking. Braking on a loose surface with just the front brake there is a large difference between the two modes, Offroad allows for more slip, making the braking manoeuvre more effective. On the other hand, using Offroad setting on a really hard but slippery surface like ice would be a bad idea, as any slip there can send you flying, and the lean angle input would be useful.

The Offroad ABS is very effective on the 790 Adventure. Doing braking exercises on the dirt with the ABS off and with the Offroad ABS on, it requires a pro rider to reach the same level of performance without the ABS. For the common folks, you have no hope in hell moderating your braking as effectively as the Offroad ABS mode.

So in short: On the road, use Road ABS. Riding offroad, use Offroad ABS. Turning ABS completely off is not recommended unless you really know what you are doing and you are fully cognisant that it will reset by itself.

This video shows braking distances with the various modes on gravel.

MTC (Motorcycle traction control)

The interesting thing about MTC on the 790 Adventure is that it can be fine tuned. It’s not just a on-off switch; depending on the riding mode selected it will be more or less aggressive. The ultimate MTC control being the optional Rally mode, where it can be modulated through 9 different settings, on the fly.

Another interesting point is that the MTC doesn’t act on the engine directly. MTC of old, on less advanced motorcycles, used to just cut ignition to regulate power. On the 790 the MTC acts on the throttle directly. Conceptually the throttle by wire has two inputs: the rider throttle tube position, and the MTC. The lower of the two will be the throttle input for the engine. This makes for a very smooth MTC intervention.

The MTC on the 790 Adventure can also share with the ABS the lean angle sensor to adapt the slip control based on current conditions.

There is a setting in the motorcycle menu to turn MTC completely off, overriding the fine tuning done when changing modes. As with ABS this setting resets itself when the engine stops.

If you have Rally mode on your bike, you should probably never turn MTC completely off, use Rally mode instead. If you have a 790 S without Rally mode, it is useful to turn it off in certain conditions like deep gravel or sand, but most of the time the Offroad ride mode is sufficient to tone down the MTC offroad.

Another last tidbit about MTC: If you are using cruise control and the MTC triggers for any reason, MTC is going to force the CC to turn off. This can happen on a highway when going over bridge expansion joints for example. Be aware.

MSR (Motor slip regulation)

MSR conceptually is the opposite of traction control: it prevents the rear wheel from locking when shifting down. If the driver is very aggressive with their downshift there is a risk of getting to the point of making the rear wheel loose traction and slide. This would have the same effect as using the rear brake to slide the rear wheel.

To avoid this, on downshift, the MSR checks the rear wheel rotation, and if it detects the issue it will put just enough throttle to keep it turning.

MSR on the 790 adventure is tied to the rear ABS. MSR is only on on if he ABS is ABS fully on. MSR is disabled in ABS offroad mode, and when the ABS is completely off. There is a message on the display when switching away from full ABS saying “MSR is off”. Now you know what this message means.

Ride modes

The three default ride modes are changing Throttle control, MTC, and anti wheelie. The optional Rally mode is the fun one with on the fly configuration.


  • Throttle control: Fairly direct. Strong response.
  • MTC: Full on, lean sensor input enabled (unless MTC is turned off)
  • Anti Wheelie: On

The default mode to use when on the road. Makes for a peppy fun bike, with the rider’s aids turned on to back you up in case of mishaps.


  • Throttle control: Very soft. Needs lots of input to get power.
  • MTC: Full on, lean sensor input enabled (unless MTC is turned off)
  • Anti Wheelie: On

For the days where adherence is low, road is boring, or you want to save your tires for a long journey… also you can use this mode to get accustomed to the bike the first times you ride it.


  • Throttle control: Less direct than street, and more linear, to give more control in technical areas. Allows the rider to be more precise with the bike power delivery.
  • MTC: on (unless MTC is turned off), but less intrusive, allows for some slip. The lean sensor is disabled to allow the rider to uses a berm, sand dune or rut to lean into a turn.
  • Anti Wheelie: Off

The go-to mode for almost everything offroad. Not ideal on the road as the amount of slip allowed is quite important. But okay for short stints on the road between two tracks. Be aware that the MTC lean sensor is off here, so a big handful of throttle in a turn with off-road tires will launch your bike sideways…


Rally mode is an option on the 790 S, standard on the R and Rally.

  • Throttle control: can be manually selected from Street, Offroad and Rally. Street and Offroad are apparently the same as in their relative modes. Rally throttle control is extremely direct, the throttle control turns into a virtual on/off switch.
  • MTC: Fully controllable from 9–full on to 1–almost off (Unless MTC is turned completely off). Lean angle sensor is disabled to allow the rider to uses a berm, sand dune or rut to lean into a turn. The amount of slip allowed can be changed on the fly with the up/down button on the handle bar. It is thought that 9 is roughly what Street and Rain mode are calibrated for, and 7 is where Offroad mode probably is. Use 5-6 for sliding around on fire roads, 3 for deep gravel, 2-1 for sand. For a slippery technical climb put it on 7, throttle up and let the bike climb by itself, it’s uncanny.
  • Anti Wheelie: Off

The display changes in rally mode. [Rally] is displayed on top of the speedo, A big number showing the current MTC setting is shown at the bottom (or n/a if MTC is off), along with the current throttle and ABS settings.

Like Offroad Mode, probably not the ideal mode on the road as the MTC lean sensor is off. But, if you know what you are doing, sure. Off road, it’s the ultimate weapon, where you can change the slip level according to your skills and the conditions. Watch out with the Rally throttle control: you will chew your tires in record time, and your mileage is likely to take a hit as well!

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