Having ridden the 1190R for several years, I was very interested to hear the changes on the new machine. The 1290R features a completely new look, with the front of the bike having LED lights with a bold styling package.  The chrome-molybdenum frame of the chassis features 220mm of WP suspension front and rear, with 48mm diameter forks up front, and a PDS rear shock. 21” and 18” spoked wheels are standard equipment with Conti TKC80 tires. According to Chris Birch, the new bike is more capable out of the box than previous models and the suspension is more off-road capable.

At 1301cc, the 1290 Super Adventure R has even more power than KTM’s previous 1190R off-road oriented bike. This motor is derived from the first generation Super Duke R, but KTM’s engineers developed the cylinder heads and added a new crankshaft.

The 1290 has four ride modes; Sport, Street, Rain, and Off-Road. Power in Street, and Sport modes is 160HP, and in Rain, and Off-Road it cuts the power to 100HP.  The traction control and ABS options allow the rider to select the exact option for the current terrain.

A big new feature, literally, on the 1290 is the new 6.5” color TFT display with Gorilla glass. Modes, menus, and programmable features are accessed by the same left side buttons as the 1190R, but the view is much more modern now with the big display that has a special coating to cut out reflections to keep the info easily readable in all lighting conditions.

The display also features a new optional Travel Pack that adds Motor Slip Regulation, Hill Hold Control, Quickshifter, and the new KTM My Ride Bluetooth smartphone tethering. Speaking of your smartphone, there is now a USB storage compartment to the right side of the cockpit that will charge and hold your phone on a safe and dry place. You are now able to answer calls, and control your music right from the handlebar.

Other standard key features to make the ride more comfortable are new heated grips with integrated wiring, a windshield that is adjustable on the road just using one hand, cruise control, and a new wireless key system. The bars and pegs are also adjustable. A big plus is heat protection under the seat to keep the rider from getting too hot from the motor. A good option to consider if you plan on riding a lot of off-road is the foam pre-filter that fits into the air intakes on the front of the bike.

With 160HP it’s no surprise that this bike goes hard. The first thing I did notice though was the lack of vibration from the new LC8 motor. Much smoother that the 1190R. The suspension was also a big step up from the stock 1190R kit, and although I ran out of talent a few times and hit some square edges too hard a few times, the forks did not seem to mind.
Whether you are day trips to your local riding areas, or you want to ride around the world the 1290 Super Adventure R is probably the bike you should be riding.

MSRP $17,999
Available at dealerships in April
Go to KTM.com for more information.


Chris Glaspell

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