Mythical Routes is well known for its epic adventure motorcycle travels, and the serious adventure-oriented bike builds like one will be the best all-round adventure motorcycles for some time, the Husqvarna 701 Rally Replica. Once again Mythical Routes has joined forces with Aurora Rally Equipment to develop an upgraded version of the best mid-range adventure motorcycle since 2019, the awesome KTM 790 Adventure R.
All current 701 / 690 / 9X0 Aurora Rally products were very successful and had zero construction failures. Keep in mind that the Aurora Roadbook Holder is well known in the Dakar community and took part in many races such as Merzouga Rally, Africa Eco Race, Morocco Desert Challenge, etc.
It’s time to discover how does the brand new navigation tower behaves on the 790s frame, with rally fairing and lights as close to KTM Factory-spec as you can get. The most important factor is weight distribution and this was our number one development priority since the most important factor of the stock 790 Adventure is its perfect balance from stock.
Speaking with Dimitris Lasithiotakis, head-developer of Aurora Rally Equipment, it was clear from the start that “the weight is always an important factor”. The KTM 790 Adventure is the perfect example to explain that the actual weight of the individual parts does not matter that much. It’s the design behind them that matters the most. The 790 Adventure, for example, has the tank positioned in a way that keeps the fuel weight low, resulting in unique mass centralization. Just pushing the bike around, it immediately feels feather-light, even though it is not that light. It’s the design characteristics behind it that make it perfectly balanced.
The Aurora 790 Rally kit is designed with the same principle in mind. The total weight of the motorcycle remains unchanged after the installation of the kit, with only 1,7kg added in total, but the center of gravity of the whole assembly is moved closer to the headstock, minimizing the ‘cantilever’ effect. The lights and the main parts of the tower bring the weight closer to the handlebars, while the smart choice of materials, further allowed us to ‘move’ the center of gravity where we wanted it in the design phase. For example, the stainless steel bottom cover is chosen (both in design, geometry, and thickness) so that the center of gravity of the assembly is moved lower and closer to the bike. This results in a rally kit that not only will improve the looks of your 790 Adventure but will increase the functionality and performance as well!
Given the motorcycle’s unparalleled aesthetics and functionality upgrade, it takes it one step closer to KTM’s true off-road race DNA
OUR RIDING IMPRESSIONS
From our first rides was obvious that not only the “ready to race” feeling of the 790 Adventure R remained the same, but instrument visibility drastically increased on standing position with the GPS and OEM instruments getting closer to you, augmenting the riding experience, like a factory rally bike. At the same time, due to the taller KTM Rally screen, superior wind protection is provided.
The rally Navi-tower is well made and gives you the option to mount the OEM dash on the handlebar so that the rally-oriented riders can mount rally roadbook on top of the tower array. As noted above, the Aurora Roadbook Holder is well known in the global Rally community. At this point, we have to mention that we have seen many other builders that incorporate all instrumentation mounted on them, resulting in larger and longer sizing, moving the weight further away from the center of gravity and unfortunately changing the chassis characteristics as well. We are very happy with Aurora’s design up and we feel that many actual adventure riders will see that as an advantage on this kit. Even if it is used for fast road riding with the rider at the seated position, all instrumentation is at a comfortable distance from your eyes, and the GPS position helps to interact with it, without stretching too much.
Add to the mix of a couple of accessories from top manufacturers, and this has the potential to be the best long-distance adventure motorcycle you can buy
SPIDER HEAD CLAMP AND HEADLIGHT
Aurora’s well-known Spider head clamp design eliminates a design issue of the KTM, the weak headlight brackets that have been known for breaking at the top weldment of the frame after a “nice” crash. On other kits, you have to add $80 just for this reinforcement. Also, the Aurora clamp is 35% lighter than the first-gen of spider clamps introduced back in 2016, proving that Aurora’s engineers keep pushing the boundaries of material technology.
The OEM led is replaced by Baja Designs Squadron “sport” as a high beam (off-road use only) and is not road legal in the EU. The main beam is a Hella 60mm led bulb and seems to provide better light than the OEM lamps do. Everything is well protected since it is located under the OEM KTM-Rally mask and the OEM KTM-Rally stone guard, all from the KTM rally bikes. We may soon upgrade even that setup when Aurora comes with an extra set of Baja, using an extra bracket left and right of the bike under the lovely molded ABS side panels.
HARD PART UPGRADES SO FAR
On all of our previous builds, we used the awesome Pivot Pegz to help with foot comfort and safety when riding on the pegs for many hours every day. They are wide enough to help distribute your weight and the pivoting action makes changing gears a breeze. In the same spirit of flexibility, we always preferred the use of the Rox Speed FX Risers above all other risers for a better standing position and relaxed road miles, because of the added range of motion they provide, both for seated position and standing position.
We have already installed the KTM rear frames, even though we never use hard panniers. They are strong and constructed under KTM quality requirements, something that any engineer will know that is more important than who is the sub-contractor that constructed them, but that is maybe a good subject for another post. We never use frames for luggage solutions like the AltRider Hemisphere saddlebags we ofter use, but when using larger bags like the Enduristan Monsoon, we always prefer to mount them on frames for the extra stability they provide.
Being fond of good music, we couldn’t keep from installing the Akrapovic slip-on exhaust as well. It helps save a few pounds, but they just look and sound gorgeous, and every build should have one! The last item already installed is the HDB NexGen handguards. These handguards take the beating as none we have ever used, being built like tanks. Nothing gets in the way of a nice ride like a bent lever!
Small details take something good and make it something excellent
FUTURE PLANNED UPGRADES
The original KTM bash plate is good but nowhere as safe as we want it to be. So we have already pre-ordered all the necessary gear from AltRider, a US manufacturer dedicated to quality. In our second, long term review of the KTM motorcycles, expect read our take on AltRiders skid-plate, crash bars, racks, and controls.
We have had an excellent partnership with Enduristan these last years, and have used almost every item in their inventory in our travels. They are 100% weatherproof and we intend to use them extensively with the 790s. Last, no project is “special” until it has a full graphics kit. Our new 2020 Mythical Routes theme is designed by us and produced by Hyena Graphics.
Planning ahead, we have a very long expedition on the way. Fuel has always been an issue with countries out of the Europen Union, so we are working on the Ryan Tanks, with their “left” and “right” tanks (4.5lt each) to help us boost the range more than the use of our Rotopax 1 gallon tanks. We do not want to use anything more than 1 gallon mounted on the rear rack since it makes no sense to accumulate weight that high.
As always we are using Klim gear being ambassadors of the brand
In that particular long expedition, we are planning for the summer of 2021, we will be using the Klim Adventure Rally, a suit born for long-distance adventure riders who needed a bombproof suit, provided by Most Wanted Warehouse, the company that introduced the Klim brand to Greece back in 2014.