You wait all this time for a bike with radar, then two come along at once. Yep, that’s right, like the new Multistrada V4, the new KTM 1290 Super Adventure S comes with Adaptive Cruise Control, but that’s not all it comes with. Thanks to some meaningful upgrades to the chassis, the engine and the electronics, the Super Adventure S is, according to KTM, “the sportiest and most technologically advanced adventure bike to ever roll off its production line in Mattighofen, Austria.” Here’s what they’ve done…
Let’s start with that big 1301cc LC8 V-twin engine. You get 160bhp and a whopping 138Nm from an engine that’s 1.6kg lighter than the last one, thanks to thinner crank cases like the new (well new last year) Super Duke R. In fact there are quite a few similarities, like the new lubrication system, the new cooling system and new exhausts. You also get a revised PANKL gearbox, but the quickshifter is still only an optional extra.
There are plenty of fancy electronics as standard though, including the new radar-utilising Adaptive Cruise Control System. I still haven’t had a go on a bike with radar, but Chad seemed to get on with it fairly well when he went on the Multistrada V4 launch for us last year… I’ll let you make your own minds up about whether or not you like the idea of it. I’m not convinced. I do like the fact that the new bike has got a brand new 7” whopper of a dash. They’ve told us that it’s got much more practical menus as well as clearer information. It’s also got the new connectivity unit so you can connect your smartphone (and then plug it into the USB charging socket in the little cubby hole under the dash). There are some new buttons to go with the new dash, including the ‘favorites’ button which lets you change the bikes set-up on the fly. You can switch between Rain, Street, Sport and Off-Road modes, and Rally mode if you’ve paid the extra for the privilege.
To remind you you’re on an adventure bike, there is a 23 litre fuel tank (with keyless filler cap), an adjustable seat (by 20mm), adjustable windscreen (by 55mm), and a centre stand.
The steering head has been moved back by 15mm and the position of the engine within the frame has been altered in an effort to improve the weight distribution and therefore agility. And to make sure the extra agility doesn’t make the new Super Adventure too unstable, they’ve lengthened the swingarm a little bit.
And if that’s not enough to help you hang on to a 160bhp bike, whatever the terrain, the new generation WP APEX electronic suspension will be making umpteen calculations every second to make sure your wheels have the best chance of staying on the ground.
The dealers should be getting them in March, by which time we should know how much they are going to be. We haven’t had confirmation, but expect the KTM 1290 Super Adventure S to be around the £15k mark. And expect it to be quite a bit more if you want any of the ‘extras’ packages, which you’ll need if you want a quickshifter, hill hold control, rally mode, that kind of thing. Aside from a few tweaks here and there, it doesn’t seem massively different to the last model, but the last one was bloody brilliant. So chances are, this one will be, too.