Intermot 2014: 2015 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R

Kevin Duke
by Kevin Duke

KTM’s 1290 Super Duke R blew us away this year, beating all rivals in an exhaustive bout of Streetfighter competition because of its blend of incredible power and accommodating ergonomics. Its exceptional performance and versatility earned it our Motorcycle of the Year award.

2014 Motorcycle of the Year

Now KTM has transplanted the SDR’s supernaturally strong 1301cc V-Twin into its Adventure series to create the 1290 Super Adventure R. The engine’s transition from SDR to SAR includes new cylinder heads, revised camshafts and a crankshaft that adds some flywheel mass to create a more tractable motor. But don’t get the wrong impression the 75° V-Twin has been neutered. KTM claims a maximum of 160 hp and 110.6 lb-ft of torque.

A wealth of electronic rider aids produce what KTM says is “the world’s safest motorcycle.” The Bosch-developed MSC links ABS and traction control with lean-angle sensors to ensure the grip from the tires remains within limits even when cornering and braking. Standard equipment also includes programmable semi-active WP suspension, cruise control and TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System).

KTM’s 1290 SAR also includes some technology recently seen on a few BMW models. Helping see around turns in the dark is an LED cornering light that shines to the inside of a corner to better illuminate where a rider is heading. Optional is KTM’s HHC (HillHoldControl) which prevents the bike from rolling on a hill when stopped, similar to BMW’s Hill Start Control that earned our Best Technology award this year.

The 1290 Super Adventure R boasts other notable upgrades. Long-distance travelers will appreciate the SAR’s massive gas tank, able to hold 7.9 gallons of premium (required) fuel. A larger windshield delivers additional protection from the elements and is hand-adjustable to different heights. A customized fit is enabled by adjustable footpegs, handlebars and seat, the latter residing at 33.9 or 34.4 inches.

A chromoly steel frame continues KTM’s tradition, with wheels set 61.4 inches apart. KTM’s subsidiary, WP, supplies the semi-active suspension that boasts 7.9 inches of travel at both ends. Standard equipment includes luggage racks and a centerstand. KTM claims the SAR scales in at 505 lbs with its tank empty.

KTM’s American rep tells us the Super Adventure will be brought to our shores, with delivery to U.S. dealers next Spring. Full details, including its MSRP, will be announced November 14 at this year’s International Motorcycle Show in Long Beach, California.

KTM says the 1290 Super Adventure R will be “the new benchmark in the travel enduro segment.” From what we can tell, even at this early stage, that could very well be true.

Follow the rest of our 2014 Intermot Show coverage for more information on new 2015 motorcycle announcements.

Kevin Duke
Kevin Duke

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2 of 4 comments
  • Sato san Sato san on Oct 01, 2014

    Gosh!! i want this one.. from my dream of GS adventure.. i'm chaning to Ktm super adventure

  • SRMark SRMark on Oct 01, 2014

    I'll just buy the new DL650 and put KTM stickers on it. Or maybe I'll just start playing the lottery again. Wishes and horses