When the KTM 1190 Adventure debuted for 2014, it was a revelation, brimming with a 131-horsepower V-twin, cornering ABS (the first motorcycle to offer this important safety innovation), multiple engine, traction control and ABS modes, semi-active suspension, a tire-pressure monitoring system and remarkable capability both on pavement and off-road.
Over the past few years, as the adventure touring segment stood out as one of the few bright spots in an otherwise sluggish motorcycle market, KTM has expanded and reconfigured its Adventure lineup. For 2018, there’s the dirt-focused, 125-horsepower 1090 Adventure R, the dirt-focused, 160-horsepower 1290 Super Adventure R (both are equipped with 21-inch front/18-inch rear spoked wheels and manually adjustable, extra-long-travel suspension), and the new, street-focused 1290 Super Adventure S.
Based on the 1290 Super Adventure R that was introduced for 2017, the new S model is powered by the same 1,301cc version of the liquid-cooled, 75-degree LC8 V-twin that makes a claimed 160 horsepower at 8,750 rpm and 103 lb-ft of torque at 6,750 rpm and sends power to the rear wheel through a 6-speed transmission with a slipper clutch and chain final drive. Both models have four riding modes (Sport, Street, Offroad and Rain), Motorcycle Stability Control (which includes multi-mode cornering ABS and traction control, with settings that change based on riding mode), a chrome-moly steel trellis frame, Brembo brakes, an LED headlight with integrated cornering lights and a daytime running light, a 6.5-inch, full-color TFT instrument panel, heated grips and an on-the-go manually adjustable windscreen.
Since the 1290 Super Adventure S is geared more toward street riding, it’s equipped with WP semi-active suspension with four damping settings (Sport, Street, Comfort and Offroad) and pushbutton-adjustable rear preload with four settings (solo, solo with luggage, two-up and two-up with luggage). Cast aluminum wheels with a 19-inch front and 17-inch rear are shod Pirelli Scorpion Trail II 90/10 adventure tires.
Other features include cruise control, a tire-pressure monitoring system, a waterproof smartphone compartment with an integrated USB charging socket, the Race On remote keyless system, auto-cancelling turn signals and integrated mounts for the accessory touring cases (36L left, 30L right, $1,199.99). The seat’s height is adjustable (33.9/34.4 inches), fuel capacity is 6.1 gallons and claimed dry weight is 489 pounds.
The 2018 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S is available now in gray or orange for an MSRP of $17,999. The optional Travel Pack ($524.99) adds Hill Hold Control, Motor Slip Regulation, Quickshifter + (up and down clutchless shifting) and the KTM My Ride system, which allows for display and control of incoming calls and audio via Bluetooth, as well as turn-by-turn navigation on the TFT dash when used in conjunction with the smartphone app.