KTM 1290 Super Adventure R incoming from Peru

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MCN’s Senior Road Tester Adam ‘Chad’ Child has touched-down in Peru to ride KTM’s new 1290 Super Adventure R – that’s right we’ve sent the smallest guy in the office to ride the big R version.

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 we tested two weeks ago, and the big, off-road biased 1290 Super Adventure R that we will ride imminently on some of the infamous Dakar route.

The R version boasts many similarities to the S version including the same love-it-or-hate-it headlight, 160bhp 1301cc V-Twin and huge list of rider aids, such as; lean-angle sensitive C-ABS, Motorcycle Traction Control (MTC) and five riding modes (Sport, Street, Rain and Off-road).


The big difference is the off-road stance of the R version which comes equipped with 21in front and 18in rear rims – shod with Continental Trail Attack II or Continental TKC 80 from the factory – and which are tubeless thanks to the laced rim design. They’re also fitted with KTM’s Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), which checks pressures constantly, and warns the rider in case of pressure loss.

The WP semi-active suspension of the S and T mode have been replaced by a conventional beefy 48mm inverted fork with extra stiff springs up front and a PDS shock absorber in the rear – all made by WP, all fully adjustable with 220/220mm suspension travel. Prices start from £14,499, positioning it well against its main competition, Ducati’s Multistrada Enduro (£16,695) launched last year, and BMW’s brand new R1200GS Rallye (£12,730).

Read Adam’s full report will be in this week’s MCN – on sale Wednesday, March 8.


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Adam Child

By Adam Child

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