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KTM 790R and T7


Camel ADV
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3 hours ago, Camel ADV said:

Hey guys, I'm new to the forum and thought I should start posting. I imported a T7 into Canada in Sept. I believe it is the only T7 in North America other than the units that Yamaha themselves have. The bike is here on a 12 month temporary import permit. I also have a 790ADV R and have been able to put a bunch of time on them back to back.

 

I can't do a well-rounded comparison. I don't do nearly as much "ADV" riding as I'd like to. It's been almost 2 years since I loaded up with camping gear and was out on a backcountry overnighter or even rode on the highway for more than an hour. I'll tell you what I can though. They're different tools for different jobs. Riders need to be honest about what their needs really are. 

 

Hard Fast Riding:
The 790R excels at going fast. It destroys the T7 in rough, open terrain. The 790R suspension is simply better. It's not very plush but when you really start pushing the bike, it starts to work really well. The T7 suspension can't compete and honestly, how could it? You have 790R with 240mm travel and 48mm forks with 25mm cartridges vs the T7 with 200mm travel and 43mm forks with 20mm cartridges. Even with a respring/revalve, the shorter stroke and smaller cartridges/pistons in the T7 forks will be the limiting factor. Even with a respring/revalve from a great tuner, I doubt you'd be able to get the T7 suspension even close to the level of the stock 790R. The T7 will work well for spirited rides for most people as long as you're not too heavy and the terrain isn't too rough. Riders who usually just buy a bike and ride it with totally stock suspension will be happy with the suspension of the stock T7 too. If you're the kind of rider that gets all or most of their bikes revalved/resprung, this one will be no different.

 

Slow Technical Riding:
For slow technical riding, I'll jump on the T7 over the 790R every time. The T7 is an f'n tractor, it's a gorilla, it just chugs along. The low-end torque this thing has is incredible. It is very confidence-inspiring off-road. This CP2 motor is perfect for this bike and the gearing is on point. The 790 has good mid-range and top-end power but the bottom end is lacking and it's geared tall. It requires a lot more clutching to ride the same technical terrain. I went down one tooth on the front and up 3 on the back of my 790 and now it's slightly more stall resistant than the T7... that's a huge gearing change. If you don't spend much time on the highway, then gearing the 790 will make a huge difference in its usability for technical. The T7 just works out of the crate.

 

Ergonomics:
790: I feel really cramped on the 790. The footpegs are quite far back so my feet are under my ass, feels sportbike like. The peg location is great once you're standing as you're a bit more stretched out and stable but for sitting, they are too far back. The sitting to standing transition is less than ideal. Even with the KTM PowerParts tall seat, moving up and down wrecks my knees over the course of a couple hours. The bars will feel low for most people. Over the past few years, my preferred bar height has come down a lot. I started with 4" bar risers on my first ADV bike and as I get better offroad, my bars have started coming down. The 790 bar position feels pretty good for me as is. The stock standing position works well for hard and fast offroad.

 

T7: The sitting position is excellent and comfortable for long days. The pegs are a few inches forward so I'm not nearly as cramped sitting. The bars are very tall, most people that have sat on my bike have assumed I've added risers. This creates a bit of an issue for me when standing as I don't have the same "base" as I do on the 790. I need to lower the bars a bit to find the sweet spot. The sitting standing transition is much better than the 790 for me YMMV. The forward location of the footpegs and tall bars means I'm standing taller and having to hold on to the bars harder which puts more strain on my shoulders, back and forearms. This bike is begging for Stegz Pegz. If you don't know what they are, Google them. They've been a game-changer for me offroad (on Japanese bikes anyway).

 

Electronics:
The T7 doesn't have traction control but I don't think it needs it... it makes good tractable power and doesn't seem to want to spin wildly. I do wish it had Offroad ABS though. I thought it was gimmicky when it came out a few years ago but I have grown to like it, a lot. I also wish the T7 would retain the ABS setting when you turn the key off and back on. It's annoying (and dangerous) when the ABS defaults back to ON when you're doing sketchy offroad riding, grab the brakes and get basically nothing as you are headed toward <insert something you don't want to hit, or ride off of>.

 

Misc:
The TFT display on the 790 beats the T7's Gameboy looking unit. That been said, my TFT was replaced under warranty for condensation in it after 1000km... and is leaking again so perhaps a waterproof Game Boy beats a leaking state-of-the-art TFT...

Wheels: I run tubes in everything I own so the 790R's tubeless isn't an asset to me. YMMV.

Wind protection: A draw, they are both m'eh for me @6'3"

 

Fuel Range:
The 790 carries 25% fuel more and the range seems to reflect that too.

The gas gauges suck on both of them. The 790 doesn't start to read until a 1/2 tank. That's not an issue with mine, literally, the gauge starts at 1/2 and goes from there. I assume this is because of the tank's very weird shape. It would be very difficult to get a float/sending unit to work with the shape. Even though you know the gauge starts at half (meaning the gauge showing 1/2 tank is actually 1/4), I'm, still adjusting to it... have run out of fuel twice.

The T7 has a full gauge but it's not very accurate. When it reads empty, mine still has 3/8 of a tank left, not helpful.... and, I don't want it to read full longer, you're not conning me into thinking the bike is way more efficient than it actually is! I wish someone would just build a gauge/float that was accurate. Full means full, half means half and empty means you're pushing. At least that way I can plan accordingly.

You'd think the T7 would feel much more top-heavy with the fuel all up top compared to the 790 being very low... somehow, it isn't that noticeable. I have a few ideas about how to actually measure it... that will be interesting to see that actual results.

 

Conclusion:
For BDR type rides, either will work but I'd be more comfortable on the T7... it's just an easier bike to ride. The 790R is a more race-type bike and needs to be ridden hard and fast to be truly appreciated. If I am going riding in the desert in Southern California or Nevada, I'll take the 790R. However, after I swap to top-shelf suspension on the T7, this will be closer to a draw.
If I'm riding nasty technical trails at home (that I really should be using my actual dirt bike for), the T7 would be my pick. But... after really gearing the 790R down and this gets closer too.

Yamaha will sell a PILE of T7s. I think it's the new KLR... I don't mean that in a negative way. It's an inexpensive bike that should be reliable (I haven't had any issues and I'm not seeing many online yet). It's a great beginner bike (my noob girlfriend has a deposit on one) but it appeals to experienced riders too. There's no new tech in it, just tried, tested and true parts. I have seen rumors of a T7 Rally.... if Yamaha adds 48mm KYB SSS forks with 250mm travel and a matching shock, I think this will be THE bike to beat.

 

 

 

IMG_2699 2.jpeg

I wonder if the KYB forks from the WR 450 would fit? 

Probably a pipe dream, but those KYB SSS forks are the best factory forks I have ridden off road. 

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37 minutes ago, Cruizin said:

I wonder if the KYB forks from the WR 450 would fit? 

Probably a pipe dream, but those KYB SSS forks are the best factory forks I have ridden off road. 

Nuthin wrong with pipe dreams! Maybe Yamaha will bring out a more dirt orientated model after they get through the first year or so of production? Now that would be nice, though I know it's been said here before. (I got pipe dreams too!)

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43 minutes ago, Cruizin said:

I wonder if the KYB forks from the WR 450 would fit? 

Probably a pipe dream, but those KYB SSS forks are the best factory forks I have ridden off road. 

 

I have a couple pairs of SSS units in the shop. Swapped a pair into my Africa Twin... amazing ride quality.

The 43mm T7 forks are several mm smaller at the clamp locations than the 48mm SSS units. There's not enough meat in the triples to bore them out either.

 

The dirt bike triples are a poor fit in the T7 unfortunately. They require a new stem (not a huge deal on its own), the lower pinch bolt locations are on the back of the clamp and they hit the rad as is so steering angle would have to be limited. There is no mounting location for the ignition/steering lock (again, on its own, not a deal breaker). 

 

The big problem is the length of the SSS forks and it isn't that they are too long but that they are too short, strangely enough. The upper tubes are basically the same length but things go bad with the lowers and axle lugs. When the T7 forks are full compressed, there is still 30mm of chrome showing. Add to that, the lugs themselves are a few inches longer than the SSS units. Once everything is measured out, the T7 forks with 200mm travel are only 16mm shorter (SSS length varies slightly year to year) than the 300mm travel SSS forks. BUT, the T7 upper triple drops down from the steering stem location down to the clamp location and the dirt bike units don't drop. So.... at the end of the day, dirt bike triples with SSS forks would leave you with exactly the same fork travel as stock (up travel needs to be limited by 100mm give or take). 
 

 

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Bits and pieces for your adventure bike. Camel-ADV.com

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I think Kapriony Team bolted a 250mm suspension from the wr450f...they evaluated both bikes in order to decide with which they will race in the Africa Eco Race...rumours say they were initially impressed by the stock Tenere 700 but with the 450 forks the balance of the bike changed...and it did not feel right. Anyway I think that the Tenere 700 is very new compared to the 790 R so there was not enough time for bigger tanks and suspension alterations to fiddle in...I think as time goes by and more aftermarket players get a T700bin their hands we will soon see a true Rallye version...

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Nicely detailed review about both bikes.  Thank you.  I have been following your channel on youtube.

 

cheers

-Bob

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11 hours ago, Camel ADV said:

 

I have a couple pairs of SSS units in the shop. Swapped a pair into my Africa Twin... amazing ride quality.

The 43mm T7 forks are several mm smaller at the clamp locations than the 48mm SSS units. There's not enough meat in the triples to bore them out either.

 

The dirt bike triples are a poor fit in the T7 unfortunately. They require a new stem (not a huge deal on its own), the lower pinch bolt locations are on the back of the clamp and they hit the rad as is so steering angle would have to be limited. There is no mounting location for the ignition/steering lock (again, on its own, not a deal breaker). 

 

The big problem is the length of the SSS forks and it isn't that they are too long but that they are too short, strangely enough. The upper tubes are basically the same length but things go bad with the lowers and axle lugs. When the T7 forks are full compressed, there is still 30mm of chrome showing. Add to that, the lugs themselves are a few inches longer than the SSS units. Once everything is measured out, the T7 forks with 200mm travel are only 16mm shorter (SSS length varies slightly year to year) than the 300mm travel SSS forks. BUT, the T7 upper triple drops down from the steering stem location down to the clamp location and the dirt bike units don't drop. So.... at the end of the day, dirt bike triples with SSS forks would leave you with exactly the same fork travel as stock (up travel needs to be limited by 100mm give or take). 
 

 

So, one just needs to change out the triples ?  If so, I predict that will be a very popular upgrade.

 

Yamaha went very cheap with the forks on the MT-07 and MT 09. My mt09 was like a pogo stick in the Canyons. It was actually kind of dangerous to ride fast.

 

This is how they keep the price low. Sad, because their dirtbike suspensions are usually their most endearing quality. Best suspension I have ever had was my YZ 250 with KYB forks. 

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1 hour ago, Cruizin said:

So, one just needs to change out the triples ?  If so, I predict that will be a very popular upgrade.

 

Yamaha went very cheap with the forks on the MT-07 and MT 09. My mt09 was like a pogo stick in the Canyons. It was actually kind of dangerous to ride fast.

 

This is how they keep the price low. Sad, because their dirtbike suspensions are usually their most endearing quality. Best suspension I have ever had was my YZ 250 with KYB forks. 

It needs custom triples to make it all work. You'd still have to sort out brakes as the T7 bits won't work with the SSS fork lugs.

I've got some conversion parts in the works for my bike. If they pan out, I'll likely add them to our site as well.

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Bits and pieces for your adventure bike. Camel-ADV.com

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19 minutes ago, Camel ADV said:

It needs custom triples to make it all work. You'd still have to sort out brakes as the T7 bits won't work with the SSS fork lugs.

I've got some conversion parts in the works for my bike. If they pan out, I'll likely add them to our site as well.

We have a DIY tech tip section. Feel free to write up DIY install tech tips with pics for any part that you will be selling on the forum .

I'll have your new vendor section ready tonight. 

 

Yes guys , @Camel ADV is joining our supporting vendor program and I can't wait to see what he will be offering us for parts and advice! 

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  • 4 weeks later...
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6 hours ago, Millsy1050 said:

@Camel ADV 

 

I see what looks like a camel tank on your 790 in that pic - can we expect one before too long for the T7?  That little tank is begging for some extra range

I can't say at this point, still feeling things out.

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Bits and pieces for your adventure bike. Camel-ADV.com

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4 hours ago, Camel ADV said:

I can't say at this point, still feeling things out.

If you get to design stage but worry about recouping cost, we could do a preorder on the forum for a couple months and see how many preorder payments we get. If you can offer a small discount to the people who preorder, it could go viral with a lil help from me and the members sharing it all over online, and that could help with the costs of production. 

 

Just an idea. But yeah, if you could be the first to release a larger fuel tank, i am thinking that it would sell like crazy and this could be a very successful preorder. 

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10 hours ago, Camel ADV said:

I can't say at this point, still feeling things out.

 

Theoretically, for the impatient types, I'm guessing it would be possible to mount a generic camel tank to the back of a pannier rack with some improvised brackets? Or is there more to it than that?

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6 minutes ago, Millsy1050 said:

 

Theoretically, for the impatient types, I'm guessing it would be possible to mount a generic camel tank to the back of a pannier rack with some improvised brackets? Or is there more to it than that?

There are no generic Camel Tanks, they are bike specific. There are a few bike models that use the same tank but with different mounting brackets and plumbing kits. The shape of the available space on the T7 isn't "normal" so there's no opportunity to repurpose an existing tank. 

Bits and pieces for your adventure bike. Camel-ADV.com

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1 hour ago, Camel ADV said:

There are no generic Camel Tanks, they are bike specific. There are a few bike models that use the same tank but with different mounting brackets and plumbing kits. The shape of the available space on the T7 isn't "normal" so there's no opportunity to repurpose an existing tank. 

Makes sense - thanks for the reply 

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Just thought I would post this on this thread - the rear of the bike is actually quite narrow once you remove the OEM rear panels. 

6A3A4714-D355-41AE-AF0F-C57544DD3155.jpeg

66538481-970E-4A8D-B826-7826A6EB7A0F.jpeg

Location: Central Ontario, Canada

Riding footage: www.instagram.com/beefmoto

Message me if you are close - let's go riding!

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On 2/19/2020 at 12:38 PM, Cruizin said:

If you get to design stage but worry about recouping cost, we could do a preorder on the forum for a couple months and see how many preorder payments we get. If you can offer a small discount to the people who preorder, it could go viral with a lil help from me and the members sharing it all over online, and that could help with the costs of production. 

 

Just an idea. But yeah, if you could be the first to release a larger fuel tank, i am thinking that it would sell like crazy and this could be a very successful preorder. 

Not every business decision is driven solely by revenue, not my business anyway. 

 

I designed the first Camel Tank for the BMW F800GS in 2013. 2 weeks before it launched, BMW announced the F800GSA with 8L more capacity than the standard version... killed demand for my product. The CRF1000L AT arrives in June 2016, I designed a tank for it, it sold well. Honda changed a bunch of things at the back of the bike in 2018 and the tank didn't fit anymore...and they announced the Adventure Sport version with a bigger gas tank. I considered making a tank to fit the 2018-up AT... I'm glad I didn't because they completely changed the bike again for 2020. 

I won't tell you the exact $ amount for tank R&D and molds but it's a lot. Molds aren't easily changed once made so even the slightest change from the bike manufacturer can cause major headaches. Also, to sell well, tanks need to be compatible with all the popular pannier systems. That means buying all the usual systems for the bike and trying to make a tank to work with as many as possible. Every brand fits differently, mounts differently, the rear cross bars are in different spots, the way the panniers themselves mount to the racks are different (and can be problematic). Once you made notches, cutouts and changed the geometry of the tank to work with the popular brands, the capacity is far lower than you started with and it's a battle to get it looking decent... Then pannier manufactures tweak their designs the following year and the tank no longer works with them.

When I finally get the tanks done and announce them, they are often met with, "$400, that's outrageous! A RotoPax is $80! An empty Gatorade bottle is free!". I recouped my costs on the Africa Twin tank but two year runs simply aren't long enough to justify the amount of work involved. There are lots of rumors swirling about a T7 Rally... It has better suspension! It has a bigger fuel tank! It's just a graphics kit! If there is a T7 Rally coming and it has a bigger tank, that cuts the potential market for my product by a HUGE amount.

When people ask about me designing a T7 Camel Tank and I reply, "I can't say at this point, still feeling things out.", these are the reasons.

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Bits and pieces for your adventure bike. Camel-ADV.com

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I think it's a bit off topic to discuss here for an auxiliary or bigger aftermarket tank for the Tenere 700...one reason I would pick the 790R over the Tenere 700 is the 4 liter bigger tank of the 790...but I think there is enough room under the rear plastics to accommodate 2 2litres small auxiliary tanks...or even more...but adding weight on the rear or designing a bigger front tank needs a lot of r&d because it could change the bikes Dynamics shifting weight to the rear or adding to the front. I doubt Yamaha will offer a Rally raid version with bigger tank. I think they will offer a version with ohlins maybe longer travel...the only chance to offer a Rally version with bigger tank is if the T7 prototype that looks bulkier on the front had a bigger tank already. So if its a bolt on situation they could do it...

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12 hours ago, Camel ADV said:

Not every business decision is driven solely by revenue, not my business anyway. 

 

I designed the first Camel Tank for the BMW F800GS in 2013. 2 weeks before it launched, BMW announced the F800GSA with 8L more capacity than the standard version... killed demand for my product. The CRF1000L AT arrives in June 2016, I designed a tank for it, it sold well. Honda changed a bunch of things at the back of the bike in 2018 and the tank didn't fit anymore...and they announced the Adventure Sport version with a bigger gas tank. I considered making a tank to fit the 2018-up AT... I'm glad I didn't because they completely changed the bike again for 2020. 

I won't tell you the exact $ amount for tank R&D and molds but it's a lot. Molds aren't easily changed once made so even the slightest change from the bike manufacturer can cause major headaches. Also, to sell well, tanks need to be compatible with all the popular pannier systems. That means buying all the usual systems for the bike and trying to make a tank to work with as many as possible. Every brand fits differently, mounts differently, the rear cross bars are in different spots, the way the panniers themselves mount to the racks are different (and can be problematic). Once you made notches, cutouts and changed the geometry of the tank to work with the popular brands, the capacity is far lower than you started with and it's a battle to get it looking decent... Then pannier manufactures tweak their designs the following year and the tank no longer works with them.

When I finally get the tanks done and announce them, they are often met with, "$400, that's outrageous! A RotoPax is $80! An empty Gatorade bottle is free!". I recouped my costs on the Africa Twin tank but two year runs simply aren't long enough to justify the amount of work involved. There are lots of rumors swirling about a T7 Rally... It has better suspension! It has a bigger fuel tank! It's just a graphics kit! If there is a T7 Rally coming and it has a bigger tank, that cuts the potential market for my product by a HUGE amount.

When people ask about me designing a T7 Camel Tank and I reply, "I can't say at this point, still feeling things out.", these are the reasons.

Sounds like a huge financial and logistical risk. Thanks for explaining. 

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