Big, powerful, all-around capable and laden with technology - that's the 2015 KTM 1290 Super Adventure
KTM have unveiled the new 1290 Super Adventure, the Austrian company’s brand-new adventure-touring machine that seems to be hell-bent on getting into a bloody scrap with the BMW R1200GS.
“The 1290 Super Duke sets a new benchmark in the travel enduro segment, with a class-leading equipment specification that leaves other travel enduros playing catch-up,” says a press note from KTM. “The Super Adventure’s uncompromisingly powerful KTM engine (with service intervals of 15,000km) is matched by safety and electronics packages that are streets ahead of the competition, which means that sports riding meshes seamlessly with a versatile travel enduro style, making the Super Adventure the perfect ride for any journey,” it adds.
The KTM Super Adventure’s 1301cc 8-valve liquid-cooled V-twin, shared with the 1290 Super Duke, has been retuned for adventure-touring-enduro, and produces an impressive 160bhp and 140Nm of torque. With ride-by-wire throttle control, the engine provides smooth, linear power delivery at all times. It may not be as explosive as its 1290 Super Duke cousin, but should provide more than adequate performance for its intended application.
The 1290 Super Adventure’s tubular steel space frame, die-cast, open-lattice swingarm and semi-active suspension sourced from WP make for a rugged, capable dual-purpose package that should be second to none. The bike rides on 19-inch (front) and 17-inch (rear) wire-spoked wheels, which are pretty much standard for this sort of machine. The Brembo brakes are fitted with lean-sensitive ABS (developed by Bosch), which we suppose must be very effective, but with a wet weight (fully fuelled and ready to ride) figure of 249 kilos, the Super Adventure could still be a handful to manage, especially in off-road use.
In an effort to keep things manageable on the big, beefy 1290 Super Adventure, KTM have fitted the bike with a WP steering damper, WP semi-active suspension system that continuously adapts damping rates in real-time in response to the terrain and the riding style, optional hill hold control (which prevents the bike from accidentally rolling backwards…), lean-sensitive ABS (with a special off-road mode that deactivates ABS on the rear wheel, but keeps it active on the front…), slipper clutch, and four-mode traction control for predictable handling. A high-tech LCD instrument panel keeps the rider well informed of all of the bike’s systems and their functioning. KTM claim that the 1290 Super Adventure’s ergonomics have been optimised for long hours in the saddle and in keeping with that, handlebar position, seat height, footrest position, lever position and windshield height are all adjustable.
Overall, the 1290 Super Adventure seems to be a big, capable machine that should be just about perfect for long-distance touring, with a bit of rough use thrown in for good measure. BMW R1200GS, you’ve been warned.