KTM 790 Adv mods so far

Why do we spend so much time, money and thought on modifications for these machines? Maybe one reason is that we are aware that they are mass produced tangles of metal and plastic and we want them to feel more like our own unique thing. However, if beauty is in the beholder’s eye then our new bike might already arrive with that quality of gladdening the heart just by looking at it in the garage – until that feeling evaporates next to a newer more desirable model. After my first trip on the KTM I made a list – a long list – of things I wanted to change or add to the bike to improve the riding experience.

One or two items on this list were in the rational box but most were in a box with a more complicated label on it. At the risk of stating the obvious the label on the non-rational box includes something about enjoying identifying with a hardcore life without actually necessarily living it. ‘Aspirational’ would maybe be a simple way to think of it. Nearly everything on both lists is done now – along with some that were not on it at all.

The really practical things, honestly: cruise control and heated grips – the former an expensive dealership item, the second a do-it-at-home event.

Look no hands or cold hands

Then the possibly practical: One finger lighter action clutch: another home fitment. The stock was not awful but its the gentler biting point of this set up that makes the difference. A slightly longer lever is such a simple idea.

The main engineering challenge would have been the limited range of movement behind the fuel tanks.

Then in the appearance category is Barkbuster handguards. The existing ones were fine but these look better and add to visibility.

Look – they stand out

Some more items from the orangery: the high front fender I bought when I bought the bike (I’m not sure how practical it really will be), some lower wider footpegs from Rade Garage and some radiator protection at the front from R&G who did not reply to my query about fitting these guards. You have to bend the lower part to fit – though the instructions don’t mention this. Also down there but not too visible is a larger brake pedal from Touratech and a larger side stand foot also from the German company.

motorcycle with orange bits

Then there is the new exhaust from Italian company SC Project. I’d watched some Youtubers fit this and then remove the baffle to produce an amazing exhaust note. However, I’ve not yet been able to pull out that part and wonder if I’ve bought a new non-removable design. So apart from losing some weight, this did not quite deliver on expectations. I haven’t given up yet though…

2 and 1/2 Ks. Now how much did the original weigh?

I nearly forgot: the first things I did when I got the bike into my garage was to install my faithful PDM60 electrical unit that I’d used on two previous bikes and removed and then dismantle the front to make a kind of temporary mounting and connection for a new GPS Garmin unit. (Temporary until the Aurora rally kit)

KTM showing wiring under seat

There’s never enough room under the seat for this kind of addition

The other first thing was to fit a Perun luggage rack. This was a well made piece that fitted perfectly – and looks great. Fitting this enabled my first trip away on the bike.

Perun rack – nicely built. I took off the original grab handles to fit my soft luggage

Most recently I replaced the ugly and hard to adjust mirrors with Double Take mirrors from the US via Adventure Spec. These arrived quickly at a not too high price and were super easy to fit. Apart from wanting to join the club and their looks my main reason for fitting these was not the fear that I might break the originals on a fall on the trails but that they will be easier to adjust on the road.

Nice look but they seem eminently stealable.

Coming some time soon fromGreek company Aurora is their rally kit which will completely replace the slightly ugly front of this machine – once I have risen to the major challenge of installing it. Then I think I will call it a day, well apart from maybe a nicer seat…. and some…

A second staycation on the bike (2021)

There’s something about these trips at home that fail to ignite the flame of real excitement – the excitement of boarding the overnight ferry, of rolling off riding on another side of the road, of not saying much because you can’t speak the language, and usually, sunnier weather. But we are where we are and for this trip I have a new motorcycle, after a couple of years of wanting something less likely to land me in it when stuck or on an incline.

But its been hard to give full attention to preparing for the trip. I booked three campsites back in April – one in Derbyshire, one in Yorkshire, and the final in Cumbria ( I think) not far from Hadrian’s Wall. But over the last week I’ve been struggling with moving all my websites from the imminently closing Webfaction to another hosting company (I’ve never had to encounter A records before) as well as getting more and more frustrated with my insurer Carole Nash who have taken payment for a policy I cancelled – on my old bike – despite assurances that they would not. So these have been distractions. Also, with my bike now stored away from home, packing has been complicated. I have been scrabbling to kit out the bike for travel. I’ve installed a new GPS and recently have a new (small) tank bag from Mosko Moto but have to stuff my luggage into a rolltop bag strapped to the rear rack. I don’t even have a map holder for the tank bag (its on order along with a large rackless luggage kit) so have decided not to take any paper maps for the first time.

My sheepskin lives again
Even more minimal packing
Even fewer clothes

New stuff to try out – apart from the bike – drip feed coffee filter I saw on tshansen’s channel about camping with his KTM 790 Adv…

…and the less exciting proper footprint/groundsheet for my new-last-year tent. But last year the groundsheet I had was too big, my Thermarest roll was too long, and there was one too few tent pegs. This year these should go smoothly. I also have an adapter to try to recharge some of my electronics via a shaving point adapter…

What could possibly go wrong?