Produced over a ten-year period between 1997 and 2007, the KTM 640 Adventure quickly became one of the most beloved dual-purpose adventure bikes on the market. This Jack of all trades machine is the ideal compromise between a large road bike and a small dirt bike. It sits in the middle, excelling at what it does.

This is THE bike to use to cross continents with poorer road surfaces. It will eat up any track and offers an incredible off-road experience. On the tar, it can feel a little buzzy, and after several hours of highway riding, you may be looking for something a bit bigger and comfier. However, on smaller side roads and city streets, the 640 Adventure is just as happy as when it’s in the dirt.

It’s certainly not the ideal bike for a beginner, as this 100% mechanical beast strips things back to basics. However, those with some off-road experience will soon tame the beast and never look back. It lacks all the mod cons of more modern adventure bikes, but what it lacks in features, it makes up for in unrivalled handling on poor surfaces.

Great for trips into second or third world countries and continents, but also a superb little commuter, the 640 Adventure offers something for everyone. Except long distance highway riders perhaps.

Key stats

  • Wet weight: 181 kg (400 lbs)
  • Seat height: 945 mm (37.2 in.)
  • Engine: Single cylinder, 4-stroke, Mikuni BST40, pressure oil lubrication
  • Power:6 HP (40 kW) @ 7000 RPM
  • Displacement: 620 cm³
KTM 640 Adventure, Stock.
KTM 640 Adventure, Stock. (Photo courtesy of

Why people like the KTM 640 Adventure

  • Unrivalled handling on dirt tracks compared to other dual sport bikes.
  • Long range fuel tank that can cover up to 300 miles.
  • It’s ready for adventure as standard, with most riders never replacing the majority of the stock parts.
  • Comfortable both on and off road.
  • Reliable and easy to fix with a little experience.
  • It’s great for a wide range of uses, from crossing Africa to nipping down the road for some milk.

Why people choose other bikes

  • It lacks the features of more modern bikes, such as ABS, cruise control, traction control, etc.
  • It’s quite a tall bike and shorter riders may prefer something smaller.
  • Extended highway riding can become uncomfortable as the bike can vibrate a lot at higher speeds.
  • It’s heavier than a lot of dirt bikes.
  • They’re increasingly difficult to buy, as they have gathered something of a cult following. Those who love them, never want to sell them.

Common modifications on the KTM 640 Adventure

Most riders are happy with the stock parts, though some may choose to replace the seat for something more comfortable over longer distances. Aftermarket tyres are also often fitted. Riders looking to hit the dirt tracks more frequently may prefer Dunlop 606’s or Pirelli Scorpion Pros.

KTM 640 Adventure, fully loaded
KTM 640 Adventure, fully loaded. (Photo courtesy of