ACURA Sport Car | 2017 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R Review

Going over the bars for KTM’s novel wunderbike


A stunning blasted moonscape is a practiced means to depict the natural beauty of Peru’s Nasca Desert. And that moonscape makes a especially practiced house to exam a fast too large adventure-touring motorbike similar the novel 2017 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R.
KTM has sold to a greater extent than than 75,000 adventure motorcycles since 1993, too its re-named these large long-distance dirt bikes every bit “Travel Enduros.” I mean value that does a pretty practiced task of describing what these giant dirt bikes are all about. Honestly, we’d brain no affair what KTM called them, seeing every bit it has 56 official manufacturing flora riders competing all around the globe for 2017, most of them inwards the dirt. Yes, KTM’s entire reputation was built inwards the basis of serious enduro too motocross competition.
A Look Behind the Scenes at KTM
The 2016 flavor was a tape twelvemonth for KTM inwards terms of unit of measurement sales too also from entitle totals. There is no denying the Austrian fellowship has been kicking major donkey for the past times dyad years, too it is justifiably feeling its oats every bit it’s taken on the behemoths of the motorbike manufacture too ofttimes come upwards out on top. The success has necessitated massive expansion projects, too forthwith the piddling fellowship from Mattighofen isn’t genuinely so piddling anymore.
In 2002 KTM fielded an only novel cycle at the Dakar Rally powered past times a paradigm of its then-new LC8 V-Twin. It won the Dakar on its real firstly drive inwards 2002, too and so 2003 saw the production debut of the revolutionary 950 Adventure, a machine which rapidly became the catalyst for change, lighting a give notice nether the traditional large rally cycle too ADV touring machines of the day.

The continuous development of that original KTM LC8 V-twin has resulted inwards today’s giant 1,301cc engine which powers 3 dissimilar 1290 Super Adventure models for 2017 inwards improver to a pair of 1290 Super Duke R and 1290 Super Duke GT siblings.
With 9.8 inches (250mm) of basis clearance, the novel KTM 1290 Super Adventure R offers the same figure every bit finally year’s 1190 Adventure R, but that’s nonetheless a total 1.2 inches more ground clearance than other 1290 Super Adventure versions. And fifty-fifty though it offers a real plush ride inwards the fossil oil stuff, it definitely also offers increased resistance to dragging the undercarriage compared to the non-R 1290 versions.

Aside from a switch to caged ball bearings from tapered roller bearings inwards the steering caput for easier adjustability (and an unmentioned cost savings, no doubt), the 1290 Super Adventure R actually has the same frame too engine every bit finally year’s to a greater extent than touring-oriented 1290 Super Adventure, which for 2017 is forthwith known every bit the 1290 Super Adventure T. However, the novel R’s ECU programming is quite dissimilar too adds a dedicated Off-Road mode to complement its R-spec 21-inch forepart too 18-inch nurture wheels, slimmer bodywork, smaller fuel tank and longer-travel interruption compared to the novel 1290 Super Adventure south too T models.
So, inwards summary, the 2017 1290 Super Adventure R is basically a 1290 Super Adventure frame too engine coupled amongst 1190-R fuel tank and wheel sizes, plus all novel bodywork, a cool novel slimline LED headlight and truthful off-road suspension. Additionally, it includes a novel intake tract amongst optional foam pre-filter capability incorporated into its novel nostrils, a resonator side past times side to the throttle bodies to assistance encounter the upcoming Euro-5 standards, additional electronic programming, a vivid novel 6.5-inch tough-glass TFT display, too a waterproof smartphone compartment behind the headlight that features a built-in USB port. Upgraded handlebar switch clusters cause got been reconfigured to offering a to a greater extent than intuitive layout too are backlit. Finally, the quondam Super-A’s giant windscreen we griped close inwards our epic Sports-Adventure Shootout of 2015 has been replaced past times a much shorter windscreen adjustable for tiptop without tools.
All these changes cause got transformed the 1290 platform into a machine that feels significantly less ponderous too a lot to a greater extent than similar the (outgoing) 1190 Adventure R that performed so good inwards finally year’s Wire-Wheel Adventure Shootout.

The 1290 R gives upwards the quondam Super-A’s semi-active interruption inwards favor of a manually adjustable setup from WP. The interruption initially was a fight soft for my weight, too I did larn it to bottom too scrape a few times. However, a small-scale increment inwards the remote nurture preload adjuster, something similar ¾ of a turn, made a large divergence too effectively solved most of the bottoming issues too also fixed the slightly wallowy nature I was feeling before inwards the morning’s ride. The 1290 R is definitely a motorbike that responds good to having its knobs fiddled.
The 1,301cc 1290 Super Adventure R has noticeably to a greater extent than flywheel number compared to the 1190 R motor, which helps go on it tractable inwards the dirt fifty-fifty though it makes to a greater extent than powerfulness too torque. Oddly, the larger motor also gave me the impression that it was a fight less snappy inwards full general than the admittedly super-spunky 1190 motor. That’s most probable due to the 1290 motor’s extra crank inertia (flywheel effect), taller gearing, too mild low-end FI tuning, a combo of factors that arrive (deliberately?) less aggressive feeling than an 1190 off the bottom. With the 1290’s less aggressive low-rpm powerfulness curves the overall impression is that, inwards spite of its larger size too increased curb weight, the 1290 SA-R mightiness indeed be more user friendly than finally year’s 1190 R.

With a fully fueled 500-ish-pound cycle capable of ballistic velocities coupled amongst a fairly aggressive 250-ish-pound rider, at that spot was an extreme amount of frontward inertia at play when braking on our fast desert route. I was concerned at firstly that stopping mightiness live a problem, but I genuinely shouldn’t cause got worried. The SA-R comes equipped amongst Bosch’s state of the fine art 9.1ME ABS arrangement too KTM’s ain back-torque-limiting electronic “slipper clutch” which plant via the ride-by-wire arrangement a lot similar reverse-traction control. It allows some back-torque when decelerating too modulates the throttle plates to trim down the engine’s drag on the contact patch over slippery surfaces instead of genuinely making the clutch plates slip.
The arrangement makes scrubbing speed too popping off downshifts patch approaching fifty-fifty sandy downhill off-camber corners surprisingly drama-free. Its intervention is genuinely difficult to detect, aside from a consummate lack of rear-wheel chatter or whatsoever other sort of drama when downshifting over real slippery surfaces. Late inwards the ride, I was exhausted, my arms too legs were putty too yes, I was ofttimes riding inwards a highly MO-ronic trend during the 8 hours I spent blasting around the desert, but not once did I e'er experience the cycle do anything unsettling when scrubbing speed. Part of the credit goes to that long too stable 1290 Super Adventure chassis, but the lion’s part for certain must live awarded to the premium electronics too easy-to-modulate braking components. Desert racers never had it so good!

Man is this thing comfortable! This press introduction’s desert ride was perfectly tailored to torture the human body, but fifty-fifty some steep off-trail desert ripples (bordering on supercross trend whoops at times), acutely angled desert rocks, too the to a greater extent than ofttimes than non cratered 100-plus-mph access roads weren’t able to inflict undue discomfort. Sure, the upwards too downwards motions from some fairly hefty G-outs too plenty of large ripples inwards the rolling terrain did accept a toll, but most of that toll was only from managing this rider’s ain physical inertia, every bit endless high-speed downs transitioned into high-speed ups through crushing dark holes of gravity rapidly followed past times gentle rolling drop-aways into freefall that made me lite on my feet too hands every bit my trunk assumed a skyward trajectory…. don’t rinse, do repeat for 8 hours.
It was the nature of going upwards too downwards quickly, the uncomplicated physics of inertia too trajectory that don’t genuinely cause got much to do amongst the cycle at all, precisely a non-stop ballistic treadmill. I genuinely should swallow less too displace to a greater extent than inwards my everyday life, too thrill rides similar this i brand that fact oh-so-frighteningly clear. Where was I? Oh yeah, the 1290 Super Adventure R offers all of the relaxed comfort of a pure touring bike, too tardily inwards the solar daytime when I could barely elevator my arms or concord myself upwards at a stop, it became crystal clear precisely how comfortable this machine genuinely is.

It was much to a greater extent than comfortable rolling around at 10 mph creating a gentle breeze than, say, stopped amongst both feet on the basis waiting for the residual of the grouping patch the Sun baked my already smoldering gear. Or, say, sitting on the tailgate of a truck at a residual stop, or, say, laying on the soft desert floor. Yep, moving along relaxed inwards the spot of the 2017 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R was relative bliss during this 100-plus-degree ride through a South American desert. Just imagine what it would live similar on normal U.S. pavement or a graded give notice road? Truman’s Packard in all probability couldn’t agree precisely how plush this thing would live inwards a non-Dakar setting.
It crashes well, too! Okay, so let’s larn to the elephant inwards this virtual room: I crashed my balls off at the goal of the day, literally doing the real finally technical fight of riding of the whole intro. We were close 90% of the means through our route when nosotros came to a huge valley of seriously deep sand, the type of sand you lot tin can only dismount your cycle inwards too walk away without using the kickstand. The sand’s texture bordered on talcum pulverization – pulverization amongst depths ranging from 4 feet to 400 feet deep. Flanking the sides of the valley were row upon row of giant dunes, most of which were several hundred feet high. Far out, man, this house is kinda trippy. Knowing that our “advanced” ride grouping was beingness led past times Dakar veteran, 4-time Baja M too 3-time Baja 500 Champion, Quinn Cody, it was clear that nosotros were going to live entering those dunes at some signal along this deep sand valley.
Just riding along the flooring was a decent challenge, but the large KTM handled it well. At i signal the Pb trio of bikes, including me, stopped to allow the residual of the grouping to pick out remove maintain of up. As I sat panting on the valley floor, I cued my rapidly dying helmet cam too shot what tin can only live described every bit a foreshadowing clip. ‘We’re inwards deep sand too I mean value they mean value nosotros are all going to become upwards inwards those giant dunes… I’m non worthy, etc. I’ll seek to larn a clip inwards the dunes if I don’t cash inwards one's chips too the photographic television set camera battery lasts’
Oh, yes, that was all fun too games, until it wasn’t. About a mile afterwards Quinn stops too yells dorsum to the group: “Okay, who wants to alive their Dakar fantasy too follow me upwards onto i of those dunes?” No takers, so Quinn decides to brand a quick exhibition ride upwards the human face upwards of a 300-foot-tall mount of sand on our left. I watched Quinn boom upwards too out of sight over the top, too and so every bit I saw him coming dorsum downwards towards the group, my stupid testicles overrode my encephalon too I Hey Y’all Watch This!’d my means out from the grouping too attacked the gradient of the dune for myself.
I followed Quinn’s tracks upwards to the top, highly impressed past times the 1290’s powerfulness too grace every bit nosotros surfed over the human face upwards of this giant sand wave. I briefly allowed the speed to drib downwards to xv mph patch turning around, so the cycle started to sink off-plane too the bars started to swap dorsum too forth, but a piddling extra throttle rapidly rectified that problem. However, every bit the cycle came dorsum upwards on top of the sand’s surface, I was distracted plenty non to notice a subtle employment of shadow approaching inwards my left peripheral vision… that employment was the border of a vertical drop-off too less that a 2nd afterwards I shouted “I’M ABOUT TO GO OFF Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 [email protected]&KING CLIFF!” every bit I pitched off the border at around eighteen mph.
Lucky for me, it was only close a 15-foot vertical drop. Unlucky for me, the transition at the bottom was something similar an 80-degree angle… similar nose-first into a enterprise wall of sand. Sudden-stop. Over-the-bars. Ooof! BAM! The 500-pound KTM falls over on my left leg, giant metallic karate-chopping my shin too crushing the musculus too tendons against my tib too fib through my Alpinestars Toucan Adv Touring boot. It doesn’t experience great, but the cycle is perfectly fine. After a infinitesimal or ii of laying inwards the deep sand swearing side past times side to the bike, Quinn shows upwards too begins the experienced-dune-rider-to-inexperienced-dune-rider lecture close apartment lite too shadows tricking riders to their deaths. He says that piddling cliff could precisely every bit easily cause got been a dyad of hundred feet direct down.
I tin can barely walk, but Quinn is fresh every bit a daisy too retrieves my fallen mount from the pit of despair every bit I limp dorsum upwards to high basis too hold back for my knight inwards shining MX gear to pick out me my bike. I got lucky, sort of, too was able to ride dorsum downwards the human face upwards of the dune to the residual of the grouping waiting far below. Then it was close a 15-mile transfer to our finally residual halt of the day, which I was able to consummate without farther issue. However, in i lawsuit stopped past times the back upwards truck, it became clear that my solar daytime was done. I could barely stand upwards too was quite light-headed from what I forthwith suspect was a mild concussion. An ambulance ride ensued from that point, followed past times a multi-hour emergency room visit, IV painkillers, antibiotics, X-rays, too full general TLC for the giant (fat) American inwards this small-town Peruvian hospital. At check-out time, the grand total mouth came to a whopping $36 including a week’s worth of prescriptions.
Thus ends my fourth dimension amongst the novel 2017 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R. I only missed the finally thirty minutes of the all-day ride, too that was precisely a repeat of the same give notice roads too highway sections that nosotros rode at the starting fourth dimension of the solar daytime on the means into the desert. By the way, the large KTM effortlessly handled the urban heart too mortal streets of Paracas, the highway leading into the desert, too the semi-paved access roads on the means in, so I cause got confidence inwards telling you lot that that finally segment of the ride would cause got produced no novel or startling revelations.

The SA-R is only a nifty large super-fast touring bike, which also happens to piece of work real good inwards some fairly serious off-road conditions. Its upper-midrange too top-end powerfulness brand curt piece of work of long straights, deep sand and/or the steepest hills, too it would cause got few, if any, equals on a long street ride/tour mixed amongst challenging off-road environments.

2017 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R
+ Highs
·         Super comfortable, similar all-day too all-night comfortable
·         Very stable too piece of cake to ride, fifty-fifty inwards deep sand
·         Slides predictably cheers to the chassis’ stability coupled amongst practiced electronic tuning too a manageable powerfulness delivery
·         High speed off-road capabilities go past times expectations
– Sighs
·         A piddling large for slow, technical situations
·         A piddling on the pricey side to precisely launch into the boonies amongst reckless abandon
·         Engine may live a little too well-mannered
·         Doesn’t come upwards amongst a parachute for its rider


Option too Accessory Notes:

Our exam units were equipped amongst a choice of accessories from KTM’s Power Parts catalog, including Akrapovic exhausts, large platform off-road pegs, heavy duty aluminum skid plates, too washable foam pre-filters inwards both intake snorkels.
KTM says it only offers functional upgrade accessories, I believe a spokesman stated it thusly: “None of this bullshit cosmetic stuff” offered past times another OEMs. The KTM website forthwith has an online configurator so you lot tin can mix too agree options to create your ain version of an ideal build.
KTM’s optional “My Ride” app connectivity tin can pair amongst your smartphone to allow command of music too calling via the handlebar switches accompanied past times visual cues on the vivid novel 6.5-inch TFT display.
The optional Travel Pack bundles MSR, Hill Hold control, too KTM’s quick-shifter + systems. KTM hasn’t announced pricing for the move pack every bit of yet, but I can’t imagine it volition live expensive plenty to give notice through the stock 1290 R’s pricing payoff compared to a base Multistrada Enduro.
2017 KTM 1290 Adventure R Specifications
Engine Type
2-cylinder, 4-stroke, V 75°
Displacement
1301 cc
Bore x Stroke
108 mm x 71 mm
Compression Ratio
13.1:1
Power
158 hp at 8750 rpm (claimed)
Starter
Electric starter
Battery
12V 11.2 Ah
Lubrication
Forced oil lubrication amongst 3 oil pumps
Transmission
6-speed
Primary Drive
40:76
Final Drive
17:42
Cooling
Liquid cooled
Clutch
PASC slipper clutch, hydraulically actuated
EMS
Keihin EMS amongst RBW too cruise control, double ignition
Traction Control
MTC (4-Mode, disengageable)
Frame design
Chromium-Molybdenum steel trellis frame, pulverization coated
Subframe
Aluminum, pulverization coated
Front suspension
WP USD Ø 48 mm, 8.7 inches of travel
Rear suspension
WP-PDS Monoshock, 8.7 inches of travel
Front brake
2 x Brembo four-piston radial fixed calliper, brake discs, floating, 320mm discs
Rear brake
Brembo twin-piston fixed calliper, 267 mm disc
ABS
Bosch 9ME combined ABS (incl. cornering ABS too off-road mode, disengageable)
Chain
X-Ring 5/8 x 5/16″
Steering caput angle
26°
Trail
4.8 inches
Wheelbase
62.2 ± 0.6 inches
Ground clearance
9.8 inches
Seat height
35.0 inches
Tank capacity (approx.)
6.1 gallons
Dry weight
478.4 pounds (claimed)
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