All hail the 1290 Adventure

KTM 1290 Super Adventure

KTM took the wraps off their 1290 Adventure at Intermot today.

The motor in the 1290 is a re-worked version of the Super Duke R’s engine, with different cylinder heads,a  revised crankshaft and added flywheel mass for easier use off-road. The V-twin makes 160 hp in this form, down from the Super Duke’s 180 hp. That’s 10 hp up on the 1190 Adventure, which used the V-twin from the RC8 superbike.

Other than the hot new motor, the bike has the typical frills found on high-end adventure bikes – adjustable windshield, heated seat, heated grips and a big 30-litre gas tank.

KTM also included a comprehensive electronics package on this bike. Most importantly, it has the “cornering ABS” they developed with Bosch, that helps riders stay upright if they lay on the binders when heeled over. There’s stability control, ride mode technology that manages motor output, traction control and a “hill hold control” that helps riders get started up a grade.

But wait! There’s more! The 1290 Adventure has “engine torque control” that stops your rear wheel from breaking loose during a bad downshift or  accidental hamfisted throttle use. It also has semi-active suspension developed in conjunction from specialists WP.  This electronically-managed suspension adapts to changing terrain on the fly.

That’s a lot of electronic wizardry keeping this motorcycle on the straight and level. According to KTM, this is the “Safest Motorcycle in the World,” combining all the luxury of a touring bike with extreme off-road capability.


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