Testing times for 2017 KTM adventure weapons

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MCN’s Senior Road Tester Adam Child has packed his bags and is heading to Corsica to ride KTM’s powerful 1290 Super Adventure S and the new 1090 Adventure.

The powerful Super Adventure first appeared in 2015 and was KTM’s first model to boast WP semi-active suspension. The technology didn’t end there – it featured lean-sensitive traction control and ABS, rider modes and cornering lights. The list of luxuries doesn’t end there – cruise control, heated seats, informative dash, tyre pressure monitors and a huge 30-litre fuel tank add to this creature’s comforts.

For 2017 KTM have had to clean-up the 160bhp, 1301cc engine to meet Euro4 regulations. They’ve achieved that without losing any power and opted to give us three different models, the 1290 Super Adventure T (essentially the old Super Adventure with 2017 upgrades), the 1290 Super Adventure S (the lighter, sportier version) and the big, off-road biased 1290R.

We’re heading out to Corsica to test KTM’s new 1290S tomorrow, which in many ways replaces the now deceased 1190. The rider aids, electrical gadgetry and semi-active suspension remain, but the weight has been reduced – mainly thanks to the smaller fuel tank, now 23 litres.

The road-biased S also comes with Pirelli Scorpion Trail II tyres as standard fitment in 120/70 R 19 and 170/60 R 17 tyre sizes. The all-new, multi-functional dash replaces the old standard screen on all Super Adventure models, along with new, easier-to-use switchgear.

MCN will also get the opportunity to test KTM’s new 1090 which replaces the old 1050. Now with 125bhp, up from the 95bhp, the significant increase in power should add to the fun factor which was a little lacking on the old 1050.

The new 1090 comes equipped with conventional WP suspension at both ends, multi-mode ABS, traction control, a slipper clutch and four rider modes. There’s also an adjustable screen, bars, footpegs and levers. The road-biased 1090 comes equipped with Metzeler Tourance Next rubber in 110/70 R19 front and 150/70 R17 rear tyre sizes. KTM also offer a 95bhp variant – which can then be restricted to the 38kW (47bhp) for A2 riders. Once the owner has their full licence, the restriction can be removed.

The new 1290 Super Adventure S is £14,299 and the all new 1090 Adventure £11,299

Check back over the weekend for more updates and the full report will be in next week’s MCN – on sale from February 22, which you can buy here or pick up from any local newsagent.

The  KTM 1290 Super Adventure S rivals

KTM 1290 Super Adventure S – £ 14,299 – Power (claimed) 160bhp – Torque 103FTLB – Weight 215kg (dry). The cheapest of the bunch with similar spec, and as you’d expect the most torque.

Ducati Multistrada S – £16,595 – Power (claimed) 160bp @9500rpm – Torque 100.3ftlb @7500rpm – Weight 212kg (dry) 235kg road-ready. Ducati’s sporty Multistrada also has clever semi-active suspension using the Skyhook system in partnership with Ohlins. On paper it can match the power of the KTM but is more expensive.

BMW R1200GS Exclusive – £15,565 – Power (claimed) 125bhp @7700rpm -Torque (claimed) 92.2 FTLB @6500rpm -Weight 244kg (road-ready) 216kg dry. BMW’s new Exclusive launched just two weeks ago is more refined than ever, with next generation traction control and semi-active suspension, but lacks the power to match the KTM.


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Adam Child

By Adam Child

Former MCN Road Tester with 15 years road testing experience on all kinds of bikes