KTM 1290 Super Adventure S: The numbers

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KTM know a thing or two about making adventure bikes, and despite torrential rain during the world launch our Senior Road Tester Adam Child was impressed with the new 1290 Super Adventure S.

But just because KTM make good adventure bikes doesn't mean they've got it all their own way. The adventure bike market is bigger than it's ever been, which means the competition is fierce.


Of course there's the bike that essentially started the adventure bike boom back in 2004 - the BMW R1200GS - which is still as popular as ever. For 2017 BMW have introduced the Exclusive TE which takes the standard GS and adds an extra level of luxury. The TE gets self-levelling suspension which reacts to your riding for maximum comfort. If you want an off-road GS then you'll want to opt for the new R1200GS Rallye. But the luxurious GS is 35bhp down on the 160bhp KTM.

If you want big power with your adventure bike similar to the KTM then you'll want to take a look at the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S. The Ducati makes 160bhp - the same as the KTM - and just slightly less torque. The 1200 S is much more road-focused than the KTM, with 17 inch wheels front and rear, but there is a Multistrada Enduro that can tackle the rough stuff.

Sitting somewhere between the BMW and powerful V-twins is Triumph's 137bhp Tiger 1200 Explorer XR which is possibly the most comfortable adventure bike on the market. In its most basic form the Triumph comes with rider modes, ABS, traction control and an electronically adjustable screen. The three-cylinder engine gives the Triumph a unique character in the adventure bike class and provides a good blend of power and torque on the road.

KTM 1290 Super Adventure S

Price: £14,299
Engine: 1301cc V-twin
Power: 160bhp@8750rpm
Torque: 103ftlb@6750rpm
Weight: 215kg (dry)
Frame: Steel trellis
Seat height: 860/875mm
Suspension: Semi-active 48mm WP forks and WP single shock
Brakes: 2 x 320mm discs with four-piston Brembo radial caliper and 267mm rear disc with two piston Brembo caliper
Tank capacity: 23 litres

Ducati Multistrada 1200 S

Price: £16,595
Engine: 1198cc V-twin
Power: 160bhp@9500rpm
Torque: 100ftlb@7500rpm
Weight: 235kg (kerb)
Frame: Steel trellis
Seat height: 825-845mm
Suspension: 48mm fully adjustable upside down forks, fully adjustable electronics spring, both with Ducati Skyhook Suspension
Brakes: 2 x 330mm discs with Brembo four-piston calipers; 265mm rear disc with two-piston caliper
Tank capacity: 20 litres

BMW R1200GS Exclusive TE

Price: £15,564
Engine: 1170cc boxer twin
Power: 125bhp
Torque: 92.2ftlb
Weight: 244kg (road ready)
Frame: Tubular steel
Seat height: 850-870mm
Suspension: Front Telever, rear Paralever both with ESA
Brakes: 2 x 305mm discs with four-piston calipers; 276mm rear disc with two piston caliper
Tank capacity: 20 litres

Triumph Tiger 1200 Explorer XR

Price: £11,900
Engine: 1215cc inline three-cylinder
Power: 137bhp@9300rpm
Torque: 90ftlb@6200rpm
Weight: 244kg
Frame: Steel cradle
Seat height: 837mm
Suspension: 48mm WP fully adjustable forks, single WP rear shock, both with semi-active option
Brakes: 2 x 305mm discs with four piston Brembo calipers, 282mm rear disc with two-piston Nissin caliper
Tank capacity: 20 litres


Looking for the perfect adventure bike? Visit MCN Bikes For Sale website or use MCN's Bikes For Sale App.

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