Intermot: KTM 1290 Super Adventure R unveiled

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Blimey. This is going to be epic. Take the engine from the Super Duke R, give it a fiddle and a tweak, shove it in a huge hardcore enduro chassis, and pull the pin. If you thought the 1190 Adventure R was bonkers – this just stole its dinner money, pushed its head in the toilet and flushed it.

In typical R fashion, there’s the orange frame and crash bars, big laced wheels, and huge suspension travel – but let’s talk about the engine first. At peak tune, the 1290 motor is kicking out 173bhp – but KTM have skewed its strengths to deliver 160bhp, with 103.25ftlb of torque.

The R gets a rather distinctive new face, which you’ll either love, or think looks like a baboon’s backside. At its core is an aluminium carrier for the new LED lights, which also acts as a heat sink. Integrated into the lower part of the headlights are LED cornering lights which are controlled by the MSC lean angle sensor. 

The 1290 gets laced 21in front and 18in rear rims – which are shod with Continental Trail Attack II or Continental TKC 80 from the factory – and are tubeless thanks to the unique 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.

Those big rims roll on fully adjustable WP suspension with a full 220mm of travel front and rear. Stiffer springs in the inverted 48mm WP fork, and a progressively damped PDS shock absorber ensure the chassis can take whatever is dished out. 

The 1301cc V-twin was used in the 2016 Super Adventure, but for 2017 it gets Euro4 homologation, and its intake has gained newly developed expansion chambers for improved refinement and smoother power delivery, especially in the low and mid range.

At 2500rpm there’s already 80ftlb of torque heading for the back wheel. The engine and chassis are all tied together with the Bosch MSC package in its top specification with integrated, lean-angle sensitive C-ABS, Motorcycle Traction Control (MTC) and five riding modes (Sport, Street, Rain and Off-road).

In off-road mode, the ABS will allow the rider to lock the rear wheel, while retaining ABS on the front wheel. There’s also keyless ignition, cruise control, and an options list that includes Hill Hold Control (HHC), Motor Slip Regulation (MSR) and a bidirectional quickshifter – all of which can be controlled seamlessly via the new 6.5in TFT colour dash. There’s even a waterproof mobile phone compartment with integrated USB charger. And, of course, there are acres of luggage options, too.


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Richard Newland

By Richard Newland