KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S (2017-on) Review

Published: 03 May 2017

It’s three bike in one – tourer, sports bike and off-roader

KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S  (2017-on)

It’s three bike in one – tourer, sports bike and off-roader

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The new 1290 Super Adventure S is lighter, smaller, and easier to use than the big Super Adventure T and is a direct replacment for the 1190, which has now been discontinuted. It’s dripping in rider aids which can now be used to their full potential thanks to a new easy to use informative dash. The S also comes with excellent WP semi-active suspenion and is backed up by a strong engine. 

Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5

The semi-active WP suspension has four settings – Comfort, Street, Sport and Off-road – which reacts according to your chosen riding mode, and can be swapped on the fly. The new S is sportier than the old Super Adventure. The steering is light for such a big bike, which encourages you to really throw it around with relative ease. When the semi-active suspension is working overtime the 1290 remains composed, stable and boosts confidence. 

Engine 5 out of 5

The 1301cc V-Twin is now Euro 4 compatible and KTM have cleaned up the motor with a new exhaust, new cylinder head, including valves and cams, plus changes to the fuelling. Even though the engine is cleaner and quieter than before KTM say the power and torque figures remain the same as the old model, 160bhp and 103.25ftlb of torque. It makes 79.6ftlb of torque at just 2,500rpm!

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

KTM’s reliablity and quality is continuingly improving and the 160bhp is near proven in other models such as the 1290 GT and Super Duke. 

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

The base price of £14,299 means it's cheaper than the competiton and for that you get a decent level of specification. However, the bike we tested would cost £16,777, which isn't too bad and puts it much closer to the competition.

Insurance group: 17 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The KTM 1290 comes with an impressive spec sheet. Four rider modes, cornering ABS and lean senstive traction control, all controlled by the fancy new colour dash. Other neat touches include LED cornering headlight, keyless ingnition, cruise control, illuminated switchgear, self-locking manual screen and even a waterproof phone storage compartment complete with USB input. Heated grips are an optional exta.

Owners' Reviews

3 owners have reviewed their KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S (2017-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S (2017-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.7 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

You gotta have one of these-they are simply astonishing

02 January 2018 by Chris Hart

The bike lives up to all the marketing hype and then some. Readers will observe that I am a huge fan of the KTM, that said if I was riding two up I would probably take the GS, so some objectivity can be taken from narrative. I mostly ride solo and in this guise the KTM does make every ride an adventure, it's the way it does it which is so exhilarating that did it for me. I am sure others will say the same about a Ducati or Triumph. We are all lucky to have so much current choice of quality bikes.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Perfect in every respect faultless. I don't believe the KTM and GS should be compared, luckily enough I have both and they both are brilliant bikes, they just get from A to B in very different styles. I spend 99.9% of my time on tarmac, but the roads in South East England are so so poor it feels like riding 99.9 % over potholes. But the roads don't bother these types of bikes they just tramp on and on and steer so well at what ever pace is set.
Engine
5 out of 5
Blows everything else away KTM clearly have some very clever chaps at the factory. The rider modes suit every circumstance, rarely use sport mode in the UK. Pointless.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
So far so good done 4000 miles mostly in europe in the alps in September. Too early to tell about reliability. I do tend to do as much servicing and preventative maintainace as i can. I also have a very old BMW GS 1100 for winter use and another BM GSA 1200 last of air cooled models. BMW,s do need looking after as well. I do apply plenty of product products to all my bikes and they all get pampered. So I do my bit to give the bikes he best chance to be reliable
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Haven't had to pay for a big service yet but as with all these high spec bikes you buy knowing what you are letting yourself in for!
Equipment
5 out of 5
I fully loaded my KTM with just about everything but kitchen sink. Heated seats brilliant no idea why Germans don't offer options in GS they are missing a trick. The heated seat design is also so much more comfortable than the standard seat even with no heat! For me what swung the KTM to me and not GS or Ducati Multi Strada or Triumph, I really wanted to love the triumph but the looks didn't do it for me, was KTM equipment the ipad dash which is so clear and informative,the electronic package cornering headlights which really do work, quick shifter up and down the box is flawless and so much fun every where. It very quickly becomes completely intuitive to use and I have ridden many many bikes.
Buying experience

KTM know I will be a misery if I get any real grief that can't be sorted by normal protocols, but I will also be a pussy cat provided the bike does what it is supposed to do. Laguna Motorcycles did me proud and they do know me well. Had a bumpy start with KTM UK about customer service. Enough said move on, I'll give KTM benefit of the doubt for the moment. I didn't think they really understood modern customer service as well as they should at the beginning of the journey. Many many years ago I was in "the trade " front of house so to speak so I know how the whole customer journey should work...

5 out of 5

rejuvenated and very pleased

01 December 2017 by Ouchmed

Lets place for improvement of the seat height compared to the handlebar. Imho that would make it a 5-star tourer.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
the brakes are top notch. But the engine, that is from another level.
Engine
5 out of 5
Smooth at low revs. And beasty once above 4500rpm
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Compared to others it is no more expensive than Japanese let alone a German or an English.
Equipment
5 out of 5
Full package for a reasonable price considering other brands.
Buying experience

In my country, the KTM dealership team ARE the nicest of them all. Not snobbish as the dealers of my previous bike *coughs in German*.

5 out of 5

1290 S 1000 miles in.!

30 May 2017 by Paddy

what a bike, what an engine, great suspension. Awesome machine . Standard seat aint so comfy. need the ergo seat.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
ride quality spot on
Engine
5 out of 5
awesome engine, puts a real smile on your face
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Windscreen not very scratch resistant
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
costly. 30 quid more than a GS
Equipment
5 out of 5
love the LCD screen, Gear shifter, suspension.
Buying experience

small network V BMW. But happy to travel as bike so much fun

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2017
Year discontinued -
New price £14,299
Used price £12,500 to £14,700
Warranty term Two years
Running costs
Insurance group 17 of 17
Annual road tax £88
Annual service cost £170
Performance
Max power 160 bhp
Max torque 103 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Tank range 250 miles
Specification
Engine size 1301cc
Engine type Liquid cooled, V-Twin, chain drive, six gear
Frame type Steel trellis
Fuel capacity 23 litres
Seat height 860mm
Bike weight 215kg
Front suspension Semi actice WP 48mm forks
Rear suspension WP single rear shock, semi active
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs, 4-piston radial calipers, cornering ABS
Rear brake 267mm disc, twin piston caliper, ABS
Front tyre size 120/70x19
Rear tyre size 170/60x17

History & Versions

Model history

2017: Model introduced

Other versions

1290 Super Adventure T
1290 Super Adventure R

Photo Gallery

  • KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S  (2017-on)
  • KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S  (2017-on)
  • KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S  (2017-on)
  • KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S  (2017-on)
  • KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S  (2017-on)
  • KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S  (2017-on)
  • KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S  (2017-on)
  • KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S  (2017-on)
  • KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S  (2017-on)
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