How much do we MOrons love the KTM Super Adventure R? Enough to name it the Best On-Off-Road/Adventure Motorcycle of the Year in 2017! So, imagine how excited we were when our super-sleuth, Dennis Chung, uncovered CARB documentation on the Super Adventure S. Now, KTM has made it official, saying that, after previously being available in Europe, the S will hit the North American market in 2018. And a great celebration was held throughout the land!

Best On-Off-Road/Adventure Motorcycle of the Year Winner: KTM 1290 Super Adventure R

2018 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S Receives CARB Certification

The excitement comes from the fact that the 160 hp beast of a 75° V-Twin wrapped in the Super Adventure package will now have, as the KTM press kit puts it, “everything needed to eclipse sport motorcycles of any description.” How does semi-active WP Suspension, featuring a 48 mm upside-down front fork, a WP shock absorber with 200 mm of travel, strike you? Well, don’t speak until the four damping modes and electronically adjustable preload are factored in. But then there’s the multi-modal lean-angle sensitive combined ABS; ride modes with three street modes and one offroad; and disengageable, lean-angle sensitive motorcycle traction control (MTC) – also with multiple modes. Phew! Some will also want the optional KTM Travel Pack which consists of hill hold control (HHC), motor slip regulation (MSR) and quickshifter+. We know we would.

All these goodies should combine with the 120/70 ZR 19 and 170/60 ZR 17 Pirelli Scorpion Trail II tires to deliver performance on the pavement and even a little light-duty offroad riding to boot. The upright riding position and the wide aluminum handlebar (equipped with a WP steering damper) will be a great perch for racking up the miles. The accessory locking saddlebags will make sure that riders can carry what they need on – or off – the road.

The KTM Super Adventure S also includes many top-shelf amenities for touring. Naturally, the S features cruise control and the added nicety of a tire pressure monitoring system. All of this is visible on the 6.5-inch TFT instrumentation. There’s even a mobile phone storage compartment that has a USB charging port built-in. You’ll, want it, too, if you add the KTM My Ride system and iOS/Android app that allows for turn-by-turn directions to be displayed on the dash via Bluetooth. The My Ride system also features accepting incoming phone calls and controlling a phone’s audio player.

2018 KTM Super Adventure S

Riders will be glad for all these accessories as they attempt to drain the Super Adventure S’ 6 gallon tank. We can’t wait for our chance to drain a few of those tanks when the KTM Super Adventure S arrives stateside next year.

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  • Gabriel Owens

    Ok….I really really like it.

  • Alaskan18724

    Glad they’re finally bringing this one….

    • Gabriel Owens

      Would you buy it?

      • Alaskan18724

        I’ve been debating for a while. Every time I walk into a KTM dealer it seems like my checkbook twitches. I’ve never owned an ADV bike, and I’m not going to the Mato Grosso or anything, but it seems to me I might like one as a primary traveling rig. Then again, while I’ve never been a Gold Wing guy, that new one….Honestly? I want a good touring motorcycle, and that’s how I look at ADV bikes. I was grinning through the conversation about weight above. For a touring bike? Flyweight.

        • Gabriel Owens

          Yep. Adv bikes make good touring bikes in my opinion although the chain may get a little neglected. 7-9 inches of suspension travel makes for a smooth ride plus 6-7 gallon tanks, air pressure monitors, yada yada yada. My first ktm was the 1190s and it was extremely sporty. The lack of cruise kinda hurt its touring prowess though. But in my humble opinion it made an excellent sport tourer. I think Burns said that he preferred the 1190s to the 1290sa at one point and I agree because my second KTM was the 1290sa. I feel like the 1190 was more fun to ride. Both bikes had problems though and after the incident with the luggage on the 1290 I found a straight trade into the fjr1300 that currently fills the touring role for me. For the price paid on the KTM’s i feel like I encountered far too many problems with both. Gone back to Japanese bikes and will probably never look elsewhere. Yamaha and Honda, just keep oil and gas in em, they work every time. No drama.

          • Alaskan18724

            Fair analysis from someone who knows whereof he speaks.

          • Gabriel Owens

            I am extremely tempted by this motorcycle. It is the perfect combination of everything i liked about the 1290sa and the 1190s combined. Seems like it could be the profound “chosen one”. Plus no spoked wheels.

          • Alaskan18724

            Concur. Objectively, this bike is responsive to most of my motorcycling needs. It appears to have the magic calculus, “more than the sum of its parts.” My biggest problem is that I’m so smitten by the looks of the new Z900RS Café, the CB1000R, and the Ducati Scrambler 1100. I know they don’t do the same things (well, they do, but they don’t), but I’m having such a visceral reaction to them. Oh, and I’m still hung up on a leftover Lowrider S or Moto Guzzi Eldorado 1400. Conundrum: You can only spend it once.
            I really appreciate your comments–they strike a chord with me.

          • SerSamsquamsh

            Funny. Lowrider S, Z900RS, or the Adventure. those are the bikes I’ve been circling around too.

          • Alaskan18724

            I know, right? An embarrassment of riches, that’s what we have right here….

          • Gabriel Owens

            Dont forget the new Golden Wang

        • SerSamsquamsh

          For some reason until your comment I never thought about using an ADV for sporty-touring. I’ve ridden the Adventure and thought, “wow, I could totally ride 500 miles a day on this!” Unfortunately the marketing as a dirt bike made me think it’s super heavy though, plus the idea of falling over in a creek is not appealing to me in anyway.

          So, thanks!

          • Alaskan18724

            Right there with you. Sit up riding position, plenty of leg room, power, great available luggage (Touratech stuff is exceedingly cool, lots of beautifully machined clasps and catches, hydraulic struts, very studly), heated grips and saddles, cruise control…and 200+ pounds lighter than dedicated touring rigs. It does take a while to get used to standing on the left footpeg to climb aboard. I’m NFL sized, and I have trust issues mounting that way….

          • Gabriel Owens

            120 pounds lighter than a fjr1300 170 pounds lighter than the connie 14.

          • Alaskan18724

            Yep. And never mind Goldwings, Roadmasters, and UltraGlides….

          • Alaskan18724

            I’m talking myself into this….

          • Gabriel Owens

            The 1290 didnt have an airbox issue, the wheels are cast and wont have the speed wobble my 1290 had, you mentioned aftermarket bags so the KTM bag lock issue is a non issue. The only other gremlins would be the excessive heat on the left side and the steering head clunk. Im sure by now that clunk gremlin has been solved. The heat issue is subjective. So I think this bike has a very good chance of being a winner.

          • Alaskan18724

            I can’t find the “two thumbs up” button.

          • Gabriel Owens

            I was only ever able to get about 6k out of those tires. Which is good. Theyre the best in the category and actually do well semi offroard. Well maintained dirt roads are no problem.

          • Gabriel Owens
          • Gabriel Owens

            The new goldwang makes muh worm wiggle.

          • Alaskan18724

            Yeah. I had never even remotely considered one before. Either this one is really cool, or I suddenly turned a generational corner….

          • Gabriel Owens

            Exact same thought.

          • Alaskan18724

            And I’m rally wondering which of the big ADV bikes would be most…pleasing…to a pillion. Never underestimate the importance of pillion happiness.

  • Born to Ride

    Looks incredibly heavy. My multistrada is safe for now.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      Wet weight is 525 lbs with 6.1 gallons of fuel.

      • Born to Ride

        So… 70-75lbs heavier than my Multistrada and carrying half a gallon extra gas?

        • Sayyed Bashir

          Multistrada 1200 is 511 lbs with 90% fuel which is 5.3 gal x .9 = 4.77 gal. With a full tank it would be 514 lbs. So the KTM is 11 lbs heavier with a 1301cc 160hp engine compared to a 1198cc 152hp engine. I think it is a fair comparison.

          • Born to Ride

            Good thing I don’t have an overweight multistrada 1200 then?

          • Gabriel Owens

            Humor is wasted on Mr. Bashir. He needs to relax his anus.

          • Larry W

            Fairer comparson would be the Multistrada 1260. May even need to go to the Pikes Peak version tho match features.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            That’s a good comparison.

          • Tom Traynor

            And then the 1260 Pikes Peak is what–maybe $4000 more? My 1190 Adventure can hang tight with my buddy’s Multistrada in a roll-on–and rides my fiance’ much better. I expect the 1290 will do the same compared with a the new 1260 Ducati–and still ride two-up better. I love the 1290 motor in my Superduke and it actually is smoother than the 1190. Hopefully I can get my KTM luggage and comfort seat and maybe Wings pipe to switch over. I’m in–Black please!

          • Sayyed Bashir

            How many KTMs do you have? And you want one more?

          • Tom Traynor

            Also a 2017 250 xc-f :). I have a KTM problem. But no problems with my KTMs—except a fiddly gas gauge easily rectified/modded by dealer on these new ones.

            The 1190 would be replaced with the 1290.

            Did I mention a 2007 Ducati GT1000 custom cafe? At least that one is holding value/appreciating.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            Yes, I have been thinking about getting a 500 EXC-F. Already have a 1190 R and two other bikes. The gas gauge on my 1190 R is not “easily rectified/modded by dealer”. They replaced it under warranty but it still has the same problem. There is a lip on top of the floating cylinder that catches on top of the gauge when you fill up the bike. On YouTube it shows how you can remove the tube and shave off the lip.

          • Tom Traynor

            Gss guage: KTM told my dealer how to do the easy shaving mod on Adv 1190. I think Superduke neededs it too. Point me to video? Sometimes easier to do myself.

          • Sayyed Bashir
          • Gabriel Owens

            Are you an extremely uptight person?

          • Sayyed Bashir

            Whatever that means.

    • Gabriel Owens

      Sportier and lighter than my fjr by 120 pounds.

  • Larry W

    These really are sportbike fast and all day comfortable. I have the 1190. Put the Scorpion Trail II on this summer after reading that KTM chose this for the S versions. Stunning improvement on twisty roads, can hang with anything. Hope they bring in the 1090 S as well. Would rule this class on the street like the R version does in the dirt.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      Yes, I have the 1190 R and keep TKC80s on both the front and rear for safety and performance in the dirt. They don’t last as long on pavement and feel a little squirmy but the bike flies. I have other bikes for the street including a Suzuki Bandit.

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      • Gabriel Owens

        Tkc80 front tkc70 rear is an amazing combination

        • Sayyed Bashir

          I would beg to differ if you are going off-road. All your traction and braking comes from the rear tire. My rear tire was worn out from freeway riding and I was going downhill on a fire road with loose dirt and gravel and I couldn’t slow down at a T-junction even with full braking. Ran into the embankment but luckily didn’t drop the bike. My friends with R1200GSs used to have dual sport tires and could barely make it on muddy roads because the sipes would fill up with mud and the tires would become very slippery. I used to make fun of them because with my TKC80s, it was the same as riding on dry pavement. I think a TKC80 rear and TKC70 front would make more sense. The knobs on the TKC80 front wear out in a strange way if you ride too much on the freeway where every other knob is worn out so the bike goes up and down. At high speed the front wheel bounces up and down rapidly making it dangerous. I am thinking about trying a TKC70 front tire next time.

          • Gabriel Owens

            Congrats typing that paragraph that ill never read. I already know from experience that combination is killer.

  • JMDGT

    It is a big bike but I give it a thumbs up. S versions appeal to me more. It has all the right bells and whistles for me. A smaller version would be better. For me that is. I still prefer a smaller machine. The Colin Chapman school of thought regarding performance applies to all things.

    • Will Francis

      Agree on a smaller version being available. Well, lower at least. I’d happily give up some suspension travel for 2″ lower on a bike meant for street focus. I’d immediately replace my daily commuter bike and touring bikes with one. I’m on the tallish side but I prefer bikes that don’t feel like a horse.

      • Sayyed Bashir

        My 1190 R does feel like a horse standing next to it. The mirrors are level with my head. Have to use the foot pegs to get on it.

      • Kevin Duke

        May we introduce you to the Super Duke GT, one of my fave motorcycles of all time…?

        • Gabriel Owens

          That bike kinda feels like its tall in the saddle too. Not a problem for me but its something i noticed.

        • Will Francis

          I thought the GT was the answer but when I sat on one it felt unnecessarily tall for a bike in its segment. It’s only a couple cm shorter than the full adventure bikes. Also, my ideal bike is more upright and has more wind protection. Give me a 1290 S at 800mm seat height and I’d be in heaven.

          • Gabriel Owens

            Yes, I think this bike may just indeed be “The Chosen One”.

  • Tom Traynor

    So for grins I preliminarily price shopped this with KTM bags OTD (my dealer has prices and ordering can begin December) against new Multistrada 1260 S also with bags.

    KTM = $ 18,900.
    Ducati S = $24,000-ish

    $5000 difference. KTM for me!

    • Gabriel Owens

      Hey boss, where did you get that 18900 number?

      • Tom Traynor

        Village Powersports in Grand Rapids. Mike White or Dallas Lane. Buying 6 bikes and 6 snowmobile over 10 years may have helped? Will say I did not absolutely confirm that as otd price—but they know that’s the number I’m after when I ask. Michigan sales tax is 6%.

  • Jeff S. Wiebe

    Like other commenters, I also like the new Goldwing very much, but this one seems to hit all the right notes.