If you’re going to name a modern motorcycle ‘Super’ anything you had better make sure it stands up the criticism and critics of the motorcycling world. Everyone had their own likes, fads and dislikes when it comes to bikes so a ‘Super’ model needs to be an attention grabbing, head-turning show-piece!
First impressions of KTM’s latest 1290 Super Adventure hit that mark and then some. The clean lines deceptively hide the raw power of the 1290cc twin and its adventurous capability showing itself more of a street-savvy tourer and a comfortable one at that.
True to the adventure-touring style the Super Adventure stands tall with a seat height of 860mm adding to the grandeur of the beast and weighs in at 249kg fully fueled with its 30 litre tank.
Almost everything is adjustable on the Super Adventure. The foot rests have two positions, handlebars and hand levers can be adjusted, the semi-active suspensions is quickly changed to suit the load your carrying via KTM’s familiar instrument cluster.
Power modes can also be changed from Sport, Street, Offroad and Rain and the switchable ABS and traction control mimic those found on the Adventure R. Also showing on the display are tyre pressures, and a host of other data including temperature and time.
The standard equipment specification on the Super Adventure reads like a bikers wish list. You get:
- WP Semi-active Suspension.
- C-ABS (Lean angle sensitive with MSC).
- MTC (Motorcycle Traction Control).
- TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System).
- Multi-function cockpit.
- Full set of modes (Ride-by-Wire, MTC, ABS, Damping).
- LED cornering lights.
- Daytime running light.
- LED indicators.
- Adjustable ergonomics.
- Easy adjustable windshield height.
- Heated grips – we did actually use them on a cold morning!
- Heated comfort seats.
- Ultra-rugged offroad spoked wheels.
- Aluminum handlebar, black coated and tapered.
- Luggage rack and case carriers.
- Servo fan.
- Steel crash bars.
- Side and centre stand.
The latest Super Adventure also comes with Cruise Control with a simple to use button by the right hand grip. It’s easy to use, quick to disengage and, although not being a big fan of cruise control on bikes, it does work well on the long and at times tediously straight roads we have.
Getting the Super Adventure out on the streets is where the good looks morph into a monster bike capable of almost anything you can throw at it. It handles very well for a tall bike nipping between traffic and taking on the rough stuff offroad with equal ease.
With 160hp and 140 Nm torque at the ready from very low revs the 1290 Super Adventure really is a go-anywhere, do-anything bike. Comparing it to the 1190 Adventure R we tested earlier, the R is more dirt focused, rough and ready for offroading but with great on-road capability. The 1290 Super Adventure switches that around giving excellent on-road handling for long touring but still keep the offroad capability for when you need it.
One extra (optional) feature on the Super adventure is the Hill Hold Control (HHC). HHC prevents the motorcycle from accidentally rolling backwards when stopped on an incline. The HHC identifies if the bike is on a slope and at a standstill. After the rider has released the brake, the function automatically keeps the brakes applied until the bike is moving forward. The rider can then set off without rolling backward, giving a smooth start.
It also has the world’s first LED cornering lights. On the left and right side of the fuel tank the cornering lights consist of three LED segments, linked to the lean angle sensor of the MSC system. Depending on the lean angle, the KTM cornering light can use one segment or all three, always giving the rider the perfect view of where they are about to turn.
If you’re looking for a comfortable, manageable, powerful touring bike that doesn't compromise or give up its offroad heritage the Super Adventure fits the bill. KTM have once again taken their offroad pedigree and built a bike capable of anything you want to do with it. After a few days of riding the 1290 Super Adventure has most certainly earned it’s ‘Super’ title.
Test rides are available from KTM in Dubai.