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KTM Announces 1290 Super Adventure; Official Launch at Cologne


Undoubtedly bowing to the pressure imposed by the publication of numerous spy photos, KTM has acknowledged the existence of a new 2015 model, the 1290 Super Adventure, and released the official picture above.

Without too many details, KTM released the following statement on its blog, which points out not only the larger engine (obviously a relative of the 1290 Super Duke R), but the fact that the new Super Adventure “will feature further absolutely unique electronically supported riding assistance equipment.” Here is the KTM blog post:

As its name suggests, the 1290 builds on the current 1190 ADVENTURE. It will sit alongside in the diverse KTM Street range next year but the high-end machine will add a different dimension and choice for those who want the absolute pinnacle of luxury sport touring riding.

The SUPER ADVENTURE features a bigger engine capacity to increase power and torque. An incredibly large fuel tank will mean long durations before the need to stop; perfect for when the journey is long or so addictive that the rider just doesn’t want to get off the saddle.

As with the 1190, the SUPER ADVENTURE will feature the pioneering Motorcycle Stability Control (MSC) system. Developed in association with KTM’s technical partner, BOSCH, the ABS and traction control systems are at the forefront of motorcycle safety and have a range of selectable presets as to not remove any riding enjoyment. In addition, the new 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE will feature further absolutely unique electronically supported riding assistance equipment.

More details will be announced when the 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE is officially launched at INTERMOT show in Cologne, Germany, September 30, 2014.



  1. Mars says:

    Can’t we just call it a touring bike and be done with it? We don’t have to buy-in to the manufacturers silly claims of off-road-ability. It looks like a fine touring bike, and nothing else. Well, a touring bike that will wheelie like a goat.

  2. arbuz says:

    I will be interested to know how it compares to the new FJR 1300ES for highway duity
    Wind protection, smoothness, stability, heated grips, cruize control, etc

    • Stuki Moi says:

      eh, kneeroom…….

      With that tank and power, if reliability is there, it may turn out to be a competitive Iron Butt ride……

  3. Provologna says:

    MD/NB (Motorcycle Daily/Norm’s Blogspot): boundless unbiased wisdom from a motorcyclist with endless free time for the inter webs.

  4. Fasterdamitt says:

    Chain drive Triumph Tiger Explorer. Gotta throw a leg over one to see how they compare when available.

  5. GKS says:

    If you carefully read KTM’s press release, it is evident where this machine is aimed.
    “As its name suggests, the 1290 builds on the current 1190 ADVENTURE. It will sit alongside in the diverse KTM Street range next year but the high-end machine will add a different dimension and choice for those who want the absolute pinnacle of luxury sport touring riding.”
    There you have it “luxury sport touring riding”. If it does indeed have a 17″ front wheel, then it’s obvious that this is intended for hard-surfaced roads, but with “the adventure look”.
    As a previous poster said, it is a Multistrada fighter.

  6. Lenz says:

    Normie – when did you last have a dosage review

  7. dino says:

    “Incredibly large gas tank”… let’s hope so!

    maybe we need a new category to separate the ‘Adventure’ bikes that are meat for hard core street touring, and ‘Adventure’ bikes that are light weight, reasonable power, and meant for the off road with real suspension, knobbies, etc…

    • Lenz says:

      You make a good point dino.

      Mud, sand and any number of variations on the theme of unstable riding surfaces demand a reality check for any rider considering going out to play solo. If you can’t pick your bike up from the horizontal to the vertical on your own – if that’s how you’re gonna travel – then perhaps “less” definitely is “more”.

      There are techniques that utilise the major leg muscles and not the back but a lighter bike in difficult country has got me out of trouble in the past.

  8. John says:

    A possible game changer in the adventure bike arena might be one made by Yamaha based their great new 900cc triple (Yamaha MT-09, FZ-09 in the US) . The bike is already seriously light, fast, and cheap.

    If Yamaha were to merely dig in their parts bins and find some good off road oriented forks, bigger tank, and a longer travel rear shock it would be a real winner.

    This of course assumes that Yamaha has also found a way to fix its notoriously jerky throttle.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “This of course assumes that Yamaha has also found a way to fix its notoriously jerky throttle.”

      (Norm G’s atoms collide going into Thermo Nuclear Meltdown)

    • Norm G. says:

      re: This of course assumes that Yamaha has also found a way to fix its notoriously jerky throttle”

      this of course FIRST assumes 3 things…

      #1. motorcyclists have sufficiently developed Moto-IQ’s.
      #2. human beings are fundamentally thinkers, not given to knee jerk response.
      #3. motorcyclists aren’t “consumers” easily influenced by “group think”.

      these are 3 things (if were completely honest with ourselves) we now know are absolutely NOT true.

      the fix gentleman is not with Yamaha or the bike, but WITH OUR BRAINS. the FZ9 is only doing what I says on the box. and guess what, we DIDN’T READ THE BOX. exhibit A…

      description of D-mode clipped directly from the Yamaha website. it only tells what’s going to happen. flicking up to the top setting yes, WILL give you sharper throttle response. however (comma) what it will NOT do is impart to you the riding skills of Valentino Rossi with which to handle the sharper throttle response.

      so please, if we can put this nonsense to rest…? I’d really appreciate it. thank you.

      • Dirck Edge says:

        “A” mode isn’t the only problem, and riders more skilled than you complain about it. You’re the one spewing nonsense on this topic.

        • Starmag says:

          Thanks Dirck! The know-it-all-over-posting gets old. You’ve been way more patient than A&R…..

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “Thanks Dirck! The know-it-all-over-posting gets old.

            wait, and erroneously disparaging the good name and product of a company doesn’t get old…? DOUBLE STANDARD ALERT alert…!!! at the end of the day, i sleep well knowing i’m part of the solution and not part of the whining 10,000.

            re: “You’ve been way more patient than A&R”

            he’s been patient, because he knows i’m correct far more often than i’m wrong, and doesn’t have a mind closed off to learning. you may not like my words or the manner in which they’re delivered, but again, this has nothing to do with what’s just been shown to you from Yamaha’s website. fairplay on the redirect though.

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “You’re the one spewing nonsense on this topic.”

          oops, I think you meant to say YAMAHA’s spewing nonsense. (see last bullet point of Key Features)

          but no worries, mistakes happen.

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “riders more skilled than you complain about it”


          excuse the additional post, but it just occurred to me…

          you’ve described the individuals LEAST likely to read anything…!?!?


      • mickey says:

        There is only one Valentino Rossi and very few with his skills, maybe Yamaha should redo the FZ 09 to make it more rider friendly to those of us with less than Rossi skills since they are trying to sell them to us, and not to him.

        Having ridden an FZ 09, as has my son who wanted one BEFORE actually riding it, for us the bike was certainly not pleasant to ride in the first two modes. Maybe because we were riding it where it was meant to be ridden, on the street, rather than on a race track.

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “maybe Yamaha should redo the FZ 09 to make it more rider friendly”

          re: “Maybe because we were riding it where it was meant to be ridden, on the street”

          here’s an idea, MAYBE we should just read the directions…?

          (yes, a crazy concept but stay with me)

          therein we can learn that the switch on the right handlebar has NOTHING to do with Power Maps and FI per say (that everybody is on about) and EVERYTHING to do with simply being the digital equivalent of a 1/4 turn throttle. and what does a 1/4 turn throttle do…? (say it with me people)

          look I get it, as the wisemen lament, “nobody’s ever in mood to learn what they THINK they already know”.

          in fact i’m guilty of it myself. having just switched from apple to android a week before indy, the friggin’ Note 3 manual is literally sitting a foot to my left on the desk still in it’s wrapper.

          while I bitch and complain (only to myself) about “why is this thing not doing what I expect it do”, it’s not lost on me that the dumbass isn’t Samsung…? the dumbass is the person who purchased a $700 piece of electronics (with a different ecosystem) knowing they haven’t broken the seal on the start guide…?

          that’s the difference.

          • mickey says:

            therein we can learn that the switch on the right handlebar has NOTHING to do with Power Maps and FI per say (that everybody is on about) and EVERYTHING to do with simply being the digital equivalent of a 1/4 turn throttle. and what does a 1/4 turn throttle do…? (say it with me people)

            Norm, Tell me again where it says the switch turns it into the digital equivalent of a 1/4 turn throttle because I and everyone else on the planet ( except you apparently) missed that notation.

      • Tom R says:

        What, no FISTPUMPS?

      • Provologna says:

        Per Norm:
        1. The three numbered points are “absolutely” false (Norm’s modifier, not mine).
        2. Only persons who lie to themselves disagree with Norm.

        Let’s just say that use of the modifier “absolutely” is childish, ignorant, and naive, as is labeling everyone who disagrees as lying to themselves.

        What part of the word “absolutely” leaves any opening for debate or error? None. The motorcycle demi-god Norm has spoken. It must be sweet being King of the motorcycle knowledge universe.

        In times past, calling a person liar ended in one of the two subjects legally dead from a duel, not outlawed in some countries till recently.

  9. cage free says:

    The 1290 is obviously more road and touring oriented than the 1190, I think that not having shaft drive would be a deal breaker for me.

  10. Jeremy in TX says:

    Because enough is never enough. More filling, taste great!

  11. Man Relish says:

    So, how much could this possibly cost

  12. skybullet says:

    Looks like KTM has moved the “Adventure/GS type” bar a notch higher. Tough to improve on the previous thoughtful and intelligent comments from those who ride fast enough to appreciate the difference.

    • mickey says:

      You guys haven’t seen the BMW S1000 ADV bike pics being posted on the web? want more ponies? Hang on they are coming.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        Looks like a 17″ front wheel on that one though. A little Multistrada-ish for my tastes, and I suspect KTM’s answer to that will be an 1290 SMT rather than the Adventure.

  13. Wendy says:

    I am ordering the surgery for my wrists and collar bones now.

  14. Lenz says:

    At the risk of repeating an earlier post, the 1290 engine upgrade into the current Adventure rolling chassis will provide major performance matched with great rider ergonomics. The practicality of 200+kg bikes in dirt / mud / sand has always been an issue. Customise a CRF 450 Honda for fuel, lights and carrying capacity and a real, go anywhere bike can be created that can be brought back from the horizontal to the vertical by a mortal man.

  15. al says:

    I personally think this bike looks much like the 1200GS…What I’d like to see is an 800cc V-Twin dual sport adventure bike that weighs in at 350 lbs. I don’t need more power just less weight. And be reasonable with the suspension travel as well, keep the seat height down so that all of us short people can ride the damn thing, 35″ max…

    • mickey says:

      Al, you must not be that short if you can ride a bike with a 35″ seat height comfortably. At 35″ I could maybe touch down on one side IF (big if) I could even get on the dang thing.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        With a few exceptions, most of my bikes have been in the nose-bleed section, probably 34″ – 35″ seat heights. I am 5’8 with a 30″ inseam, and the Adventure and the Ulysses in particular had me hanging with one cheek off the bike and still just touching the ball of one foot down. Not fun in stop-and-go traffic, and I just learned to bail rather than try to save it should gravity get the upper hand while in the dirt. Oh, and you just have to get off and push the bike if you need to go backwards. 🙂

  16. Norm G. says:

    in your face “Wasser Boxer”.

  17. Tom R says:

    When a 150 hp enduro bike is just not enough…

  18. jim says:

    Those are tubeless tires I assume?

  19. Caribooster says:

    Okay, now that we have the worst kept secret out of the bag. Let’s see a real 800cc Adventure bike that most of us want for those trips to the Arctic & South America.

    • Mark says:

      Ditto! and make it 110 horsepower (vs. the 80 BHP Triumph Tiger and BMW 800s) and I will sell my beloved Tiger 1050.

      • Dave says:

        Would the nature of the 110hp that you could pull from an 800cc engine (higher revs, lower torque) even be desirable for adventure touring?

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        That is a lot of punch for an 800cc engine, particularly if you want some low-end served up with it. To Dave’s point, such an engine might be the bees’ knees on something like an 800 Semi-SuperDuke, but not so great in an Adventure bike. But hey! We come here to dream, too, so why not?!

        • TF says:

          I think the 821 Ducati engine would be great in a smaller version of the Multistrada with a more off-road focus. It performs very well in the Hyperstrada……much torquier than I would have imagined.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            I haven’t ridden one, so can’t say. Don’t those tend to dyno around 95 hp though? That is still quite a bit regardless. And Mark may have meant crank hp anyway which would be about right for the 821. A Terrastrada with the 821 might just be the ticket!

          • TF says:

            I had a Hyperstrada on loan for a couple weeks. It was quite impressive compared to my 1100 Hyper…..obviously less thrust on the bottom but more on top. I would envision that engine in a smaller/lighter Multistrada variant to compete with the Triumph 800XC. Spoke wheels, 21″ front, off-road tuned suspension, blah, blah, blah.

      • Caribooster says:

        I just returned from the Arctic last month. 8100 km on my 640 Adventure, so I would be happy with 80 hp and 50-60 ftlb of torque with a nice smooth ride.

        • Stuki Moi says:

          Thumbs up!

          How did the bike run? Any issues?

          And, just for calibration, are you a sick good alpha adventurer/mechanic that could keep anything running indefinitely, or more of a regular Joe 21st century rider?

  20. TimZ says:

    Twenty-first century design marred by 19th century unshielded chain drive to rear wheel? Why no enclosed oil bath? If dirt can block pannier locks, it makes no sense whatsoever to have a naked chain flapping around in flying real estate.

    Modification required.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      There is an R1200GS with your name on it.

      That is not a 19th century chain. Regardless, I don’t think a chain case would be feasible with the long travel suspension. Even if it were, one of the benefits of a chain on bikes that (really or vicariously) get used off-road is the ability to swap out sprockets with relative ease. I used to carry a spare front sprocket on my 950 Adventure so I could swap out for dirt work or highway droning as needed.

    • TF says:

      Anyone who has ridden dirt bikes for a number of years (decades) will tell you how far chains and sprockets have come. A modern o-ring chain lasts a surprisingly long time on a dirt bike in extreme conditions and with relatively little maintenance.

      • zuki says:

        TimZ I think it’s pretty reasonable to state for a fact that drive chain technology has come a long way since the 1800s!

        • Stuki Moi says:

          No kidding….

          Shaft drive may have made some sense in _some_ weight sensitive applications in the 20th century. Not so much anymore….

  21. john says:

    What Buchman says, ditto

  22. john says:

    Love it.

    I like lots of hp.

    I’d trade my 2012 concours for it

  23. Hot Dog says:

    I need to go 200 MPH down the worst gravel road I know. Then I will be satisfied.

  24. Gronde says:

    Does anyone manufacture an attractive Adventure bike? This bike is not going to win a beauty contest any time soon, that’s for sure!

    • nickst4 says:

      They did: the Cagiva Gran Canyon! For some reason it wasn’t rated as useful offroad, and the power of the 904cc desmo engine s embarassing on paper, but my latest acquisition is an absolutely tremendous ride. Without doubt, IMO, it was the neatest installation of a 2-valve air-cooled Duke engine ever and thankfully had no beak, Terblanche at his very best!

      Nick, UK

  25. Gronde says:

    Does anyone manufacture an attractive Adventure bike? Get real, this thing is as ugly as sin!

    • Man Relish says:

      Yes, my 2003 Vstrom 1000….and it has all the advancement you could need; traction control via the right wrist, anti-lock brakes via the right fingers and right foot, and of course stunning looks.

      • xlayn says:

        You are missing the 80 extra ponnies that will be cut out by the computer on grave, rain…. road…. and everything in between cause bike’s power it not matched to the intended buyers (base uppon look) but to a race configuration machine.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        “and of course stunning looks”

        This had the air of a very credible and dignified comment until right there.

        • Man Relish says:

          Dignified, ah, the perfect word to describe the venerable vstrom, followed quickly by stylish, trend-setting, venerable, and…. breath taking…

          • Starmag says:

            Well, I used to think they were ugly, but since the new one with the beak came out, the old ones are looking better. A truly great bike for the $7500 my dealer is asking for a left-over 2012.

        • Starmag says:

          Thanks for the laugh.

          • Man Relish says:

            you want to laugh, a few years ago 6 of us rode around the eastern united states, hitting all the iconic roads. every one of the “men” in my group had to stop after 50 – 100 miles to stretch due to their riding position or get off their mahagony seat that they paid $$ money for. Stock Vstrom, no problems. at night they were worried their bikes would be stolen. Vstrom, no problems. They constantly berated me about my bike’s “looks”. It appears this trip was not without irony, as every one of them went down, scratching their “good looking” bikes. Vstrom, still scratch-less.

      • dino says:

        Amen! when i bought my 2002 Vstrom, i figured i wouldn’t have to look at it while i ride it, so not so bad… Even one of the salesmen at the dealership cried out “Holy cow, we sold it!”. not realizing i was right behind him..

        50,000 trouble free miles, and now its styling is about as controvesial as a Goldwing! and a downright beauty compared to the overstyled plasticy garb that they push lately… and the dual headlights (2 for low, 2 for jigh, just like a car) are the best i’ve ever had, including any car i have driven.

        Stunning, indeed!

    • Starmag says:

      To fully appreciate the beauty of this bike you’ll have to wait for the FZ-09 ADV variant and it’s eyeball bleeding bugliness. It’s all a matter of comparison. Yamaha is on a roll styling-wise marketing to entomologists. William Kirby would no doubt approve if he wasn’t on his back with his legs in the air.

      • mickey says:

        Yet nothing Yamaha (or Suzuki, or KTM or any one for that matter) makes, is as ugly as the Honda NM4

        • Starmag says:

          Fugliness is in the eye of the beholder, but I think even Soichiro might agree with you.

  26. John F says:

    I wonder if the panniers are included in the price?

    When the 1190 Adventure was tested with the factory panniers, the testers claimed that the locks on them became jammed because of dirt. They were also quite flimsy.

    Maybe KTM has learned a lesson from this and has changed their pannier supplier to Touratech or SW Motech.

  27. Cap says:

    Dual-clutch setup?

  28. zrx4me says:

    wish I could afford one.

  29. James Buchanan says:

    Let me be the first to say “My saliva glands puke forth… das’ very nice.”

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