With the adventure bike class still dominating the new-bike market, there has been no let up in the push by manufacturers to be top dog. BMW’s R1200GS is the number one seller year on year and after decades of playing second fiddle to the Germans, KTM and Ducati have clearly had enough.
To maintain the bragging rights of BMW’s flagship, which is the UK’s best-selling bike over 125cc, the GS TE Exclusive has undergone a minor revolution – think Bake Off moving to Channel 4 rather than Fidel Castro overhauling the Cuban government –while the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S is similar with tweaks to an already highly competent package. The KTM 1290 Super Adventure S, meanwhile, has had the biggest upgrades with the addition of semi-active suspension, cornering ABS and a game-changing new dash.
The ethos of these road-biased flagship adventure bikes is that they can be all things to all men and women – engaging to ride, with real world performance, while retaining some off-road credentials and providing serious levels of comfort even after monster mileage days in the saddle.
To find out which one delivers the most, we took them on a 600-mile ride through Wales, taking in motorways, fire tracks and everything in between.
Read the feature in this week’s issue of MCN, out now.
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