First Look: 2018 KTM Super Adventure S

Evans Brasfield
by Evans Brasfield

A Super Adventure for riders who prefer an emphasis on pavement

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.

first look 2018 ktm super adventure s

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.

first look 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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4 of 57 comments
  • Tom Traynor Tom Traynor on Nov 11, 2017

    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!

    • See 1 previous
    • Tom Traynor Tom Traynor on Nov 12, 2017

      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 Jeff S. Wiebe on Nov 17, 2017

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