Trail – KTM 1290 Super Adventure S test: high performance maxi-trail! – Page 1 – Static: Adventure on the right road!


Ajaccio (Corsica), the

KTM 1290 Super Adventure S test: maxi-trail maxi performance !

Trail - KTM 1290 Super Adventure S test: high performance maxi-trail! - Page 1 - Static: Adventure on the right road!

Only two years after its release, the KTM 1290 Super Adventure is evolving in depth and diversifying to better occupy the – juicy – segment of maxi-trails. MNC tested the ultra-efficient "S" version, with its stormy 160 hp (!) And its cutting-edge electronics.


Page 1 – Static: Adventure on the right road !

With its generous 200 mm travel (front-to-rear), its 19-inch rim and its wide height-adjustable handlebars (same for the footrests and the saddle), the KTM 1290 Super Adventure S enters the trail category..

  • KTM 1290 Super Adventure S test :

But trails in "maxi" or even "ultra" format, evidenced by its intimidating measurements (1560 mm wheelbase, 238 kg and a saddle perched at 860 mm in the low position) and especially its extraordinary engine: a twin-cylinder 1301cc 160 hp and 140 Nm of torque! Neither more nor less than the most efficient in the category, just ahead of that of the (160 hp and 136 Nm) ! 

The tone is set from the start of this twin open at 75 °, without entering a key thanks to the new hands-free device via remote control-transponder as standard. The big side silencer lets out a nervous, snapping growl, unlike the wise purr of a Yamaha Super Ténéré 1200, for example (listen to it with our). A few gas strokes confirm this mechanical liveliness, in addition to appreciating the correct functioning of the ride-by-wire: the enormous pistons move with incredible speed given their 108 mm diameter. The cow: with 10,250 rpm before the switch, that promises ! 

The general size of this "monumen-trail" is to match: the pronounced separation of the thighs around the 23 L tank and the large saddle height mean that the tips of the boots are just on the ground with 1m75 under the height chart. Small rider refrain, even if accessibility is improving compared to the old 1290 Super Adventure "all-court", which is renamed Super Adventure "T" with its change to Euro4 in 2017.

Because KTM is reorganizing and diversifying its maxi-trail range with henceforth three models with different aims: the 1290 Super Adventure with spoked rims and protections for off-roading, the very high-end designed for long runs "all comfort" with its 30-liter tank, and the one that sharpens and perfects itself to counter the benchmark of the genre: the BMW R1200GS. And KTM has given itself the means of its ambitions, rolling the biceps under its costume as the largest European motorcycle manufacturer with ! 

KTM puts the spotlight on Adventure

Redesigned by Kiska (still "cut" in his pencil strokes…), the 1290 Super Adventure-S features a new chiseled line from which emerges a very original optical unit in the shape of a horseshoe. In addition to its "Full LED" technology (such as the rear light and indicators), this headlight provides an adaptive lighting function thanks to three rows of diodes in its lower part, which light up one after the other following cornering to illuminate the inside of bends during night driving. A system that is really convincing in use, as MNC was able to (re) verify when driving at night on the small steep roads of Corsica.

Other refinements installed as standard: an ABS and an anti-skid which can be configured and sensitive to the angle, driving modes, semi-active WP suspensions – whose calibration varies in real time via solenoid valves – and an incredible " edge "with 6.5-inch color TFT dies, as readable as it is intuitive (see our demonstration in). Note that this instrumentation worthy of a spaceship can be connected – via the KTM My Ride option – with a phone, then slip into the new and clever waterproof storage with USB socket provided for this purpose on the right side of the board. on board. 

Always practical, let’s also mention the appreciable presence – and appreciated as standard! – hand guards, passenger handles, suitcase racks, a luggage rack, notched toe clips with removable rubber (well seen for off-roaders), cruise control, indicator tire pressure or backlit buttons on the stems. Admittedly the price suffers (16 690 €), but the competition from across the Rhine can take the seed !

The mudguard covering the fork plungers to protect them from splashing also reveals a functional and intelligently designed motorcycle, as do the angled rim valves, the 12 V socket placed under a hood in front of the handlebars and the essential center stand for lubricating chain. Also note the introduction of "floating" case mounts, in order to improve stability when the optional luggage is installed (Triumph uses the same principle on its Trophy 1200). 

Only downside at this stage: if the new adjustment of the height of the windshield has indeed become easier, the stiffness of its kinematics still harms the approval. Turning the notched dials located at the base of this impressive bubble is not impossible while riding, but requires (too much) energy and dexterity. Much more than to manipulate the simple systems of the Multistrada 1200 and the R1200GS… 

Still, the protection is excellent, with an irreproachable deflection at the level of the helmet and the shoulders, all without turbulence at high speed. And at high speed, the 1290 Super Adventure-S quickly takes you there, catapulted by its supercharged V-twin! Fortunately, the cycle part and the assistance are up to the task: go to the next page to discover our verdict of dynamic behavior !

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