Честный обзор KTM 1290 Super Adventure
I travel a lot on different adventure bikes and this is a review of KTM 1290 Super Adventure S. I traveled about 1000 km on previous generation, which has been running since 2017, and a little on new 2021. Immediately general conclusion is that this is the only adventure bike from 1000 cc, which I did not want to give after test. I said that all bikes in this class are good, but you need to catch character. There is a stereotype that KTM - for those who want to knead mud - is not entirely true in relation to 1290 in S version. I'll try to describe character of motorcycle - it is for those who want to take everything from life.
So that motorcycle is not just universal, but that everything is did at level of specialized models. 1290 has a wider range of scenarios than all classmates - it is good in seemingly polar areas. See - this is a competitor to both Africa Twin and S 1000 XR, which have nothing in common.
I'm going to pour a lot of water on little things, but the main idea why KTM is so good is that it has a great balance of geometry, suspension and engine, everything else is secondary. I'll start with engine: in this model, engine is really the heart, no matter how sugary it sounds. Firstly, this is the largest motor volume of adventure bikes in the world - the only 1300. I note, outside the brackets, that throttle is well tuned on KTM - delays are minimized, electronics are not trying to smooth out actions. For example, if you release clutch too fast on a corner, you feel that in a moment you will begin to slide read tire. I love logic behind the electronic assistants on KTM motorcycles - they work very delicately and only work at a critical moment.
Feelings are as close as possible to cable throttle and old iron motorcycles, although model has a full set of advanced electronics. This is an important nuance because many competitors feel either synthetic or sluggish. If you look at torque graph, it is not impressive to say the least. Somewhere on level of Japanese,
but this is a deceptive feeling. What is the magic of 1290 dynamics. Engine turns quite easily and it is worth focusing on how smooth and tasty torque is somewhere from 3800 to 6000 rpm. Even if you ride 110 and 130 km/h in sixth gear, this is a range from 3800 to 4200 rpm in sixth gear, slightly higher in fifth. Do you see what I'm getting at? When you are traveling at a legal speed and you need to overtake someone, you have gorgeous traction without blunts exactly under shift of handle. No failure, just push throttle and overtake anyone.
If you want to indulge yourself, drop a gear or two down and from 6000 rpm it's completely pulp. In mountains, if you ride with sharp turns, there is almost always a range from 3800 to 6000 rpm, which covers all needs. KTM has unlimited power at any time, only you need to push throttle on a couple of millimeters. Even those who love a quiet ride will feel it.
Speed does not inspire me, but even I feel more emotions from such a motor. Those who love aggressive riding - even more moment is higher, the most relish starts from 6000 rpm. Pure delight, but it tickles your heels and ass from vibrations. In general, I do not understand excuse for rotten motorcycles in this class. Why buy 1200 if it doesn't give you emotion? For this there are motorcycles lighter and cheaper. Only if you take individual situations of frequent travel with a passenger, or if pilot weighs over 100 kg - then yes.
Traction is very well controlled, there are no unexpected jerks. I didn't even understand point of why division into Street and Sport modes is needed. Completely newbies do not buy such motorcycles anyway. In city, Sports are also more convenient.
On off-road it is a bit harsh - there is such a thing, Offroad mode works well there - it reduces traction to an optimal value, while it still slips easily if you turn handle a little more. This also includes excellent Brembo brakes with healthy 320 mm front discs. No one doubted that KTM brakes are always in top five.
Handles of both brakes and clutch are soft, hands do not get tired. All 1200s have good brakes, but I like KTM's setup - fast grip, linear predicted gain with good power. Sharp and crisp to match character of a motorcycle. After 5 minutes of riding, you can clearly understand what kind of effort will give what result. Many motorcycles still have to leave 20 meters, just in case. Vibration. There is always a slight itching on handlebar and footpegs,
but they do not interfere with up to 4000 rpm. If you ride 110 km/h, it will do. 125 in sixth gear - annoying, but less than on big GS. Feels like 1250 GS has same vibration level about 500 rpm earlier, while KTM has a slightly lower rpm on highway - and you are just on verge of walking, while vibrations are not enough yet. I know what I'm talking about - KTM had the most grueling route of all tests.
Somewhere from 5000 revs and above, very large vibrations occur - as if you are holding jackhammer. When you ride in mountains on adrenaline, you don't notice, but want to change your hands in evening. In other places, vibrations are not annoying - itching always persists on footpegs, but not a problem even in boots with thin soles.
It feels like vibrations on handlebar should be reduced to a comfortable level with anti-vibration spacers - there is not enough one drop on highway to a very comfortable level. Consumption for its power is very good. On highway on cruise control 127 km/h without panniers - 5.6 liters per 100 km. Average consumption for 2 days
in my mixed mode is 5.3 liters. Sound of engine and exhaust is excellent. At low revs, it is comfortably quiet, but pleasantly chirps when accelerating - that's the very thing.
[Wroom-wroom-wroom] [Wroom!] It is worth noting that muffler itself was hefty in previous version, since 2021 it was completely terrible and gigantic. Side panniers stand up very wide and you need to look for asymmetric models. They say that Euro-5 is to blame, but same Euro-5 does not interfere to Multistradas - they have small and neat mufflers . Another nuance that is important in city - as a rule, 1200s quickly overheat when they stand, and in a traffic jam they turn on fans, which is annoying. 1290 does not even hear fan - although it was turned on for a long time, plus when it measured with a vibrometer, it also calmly endured bullying with an increase in speed. There are complaints about heat from engine; in 2021 model, they even made a special thermal case.
Suspension is one of the most distinctive parts of 1290. All competitors strive for maximum comfort in usual sense - softness. It's like with mattresses - in theory, the softer better, but many deliberately choose balanced mattresses - not too soft and not too hard. Who wants a soft mattress - KTM will not suit you, here a suspension with a different ideology - maximum grip.
And, unlike most bikes with a stiff suspension, this is a conscious move, not a savings. In fact, WP semi-active suspensions promote Groundhook approach - bike sticks to asphalt. In contrast to Skyhook approach, whose main ideologist is Ducati. Many who try KTM suspension will probably not immediately like it - it is tough, you can feel every joint. For example, on a Ducati with semi-active suspension, the feeling of flying over road. Or in almost all Japanese adventure bikes, where you ride a jelly - handling is below average, but you can tell each other that you do not notice speed bumps and this will really be true.
On KTM, you will notice speed bumps, but if you want to - lay up to step, if you want - jump over stones. KTM's suspension adjustment is not much different in feel - it feels stiffer in most comfortable mode than Ducati in Sport mode. 1290 is probably the narrowest suspension setting range of any competitor. You need to feel this suspension, give it a chance. Yes, you feel all joints, but there are never sharp blows or any special discomfort. And it's not as over-the-top as KTM 890. On KTM test, there were quite a
few mountainous areas with bumpy roads. It was not that in evenings my ass hurt after 1290, but there was always impeccable control of road. In Sport mode, I wanted a little more rigidity - just tighten it by half a turn, and the main suspension revision in 2021 is just adjusted work in the most severe mode. Semi-active suspension is also good at leveling out dive - you can never say that you are riding a fork with a 200 mm travel. Suspension works well for two-person travel if you want to actively ride rather than sway in waves, on most motorcycles suspension works well only when traveling alone.
In general, regarding comfort of 1290 - I would not ride it on a month-long trip, but a two-week ride is just that. I'll try to explain what the difference is. Question is often asked to advise a motorcycle that can be riden, for example, 1000 km per day. It is not mileage that is more important here, but time and number of days. For example, when I was younger, on my 300 cc Indian Rust, I could ride up to 1500 km a day if I left before dawn and rode until nightfall. This can be done on any motorcycle.
The main question is how long. On a very long journey, you get tired of riding every day like the last time - you quickly burn out and stop enjoying surrounding beauty. On long rides, rhythm is smoothed out to an even, calm speed and concentration on comfort, so that motorcycle does not suck out strength, but replenish. By experience, a good motorcycle for long trips is when you have looked at something somewhere and you want to get on motorcycle as soon as possible and relax on road, and not get off it. This is why I always focus so much on details, such as vibration or engine noise. When you go on a short
trip on adrenaline or around city - in general, it doesn't matter what vibrations are there, how it hits shoulders and what the seating is with an incline. In Russia, this is a rare motorcycle, but in Europe it is often found - in mountains and on coast, uncles ride on smooth road tires without protection, clearly not going to climb into mud. It is good even in this way - not only off-road lovers buy it. On off-road, suspension is avesome. Of course, until you drop it, it's still a different weight category and you can't get away from it - it won't become a full-fledged enduro. Feels like it rides somewhere on level with steepest mid-cubic adventurers. You will never think that
you are riding 19" alloy wheels. By the way, there are spoked wheels in option - you should put them if you are going to actively ride outside asphalt. Such wheels were in stock in old version 1290 T, which with a tank of 30 liters. I even don't scold 1290 for alloy wheels, although ideally one should give a choice - model successfully tries to sit on two chairs - a sports asphalt chair and a liquid off-road chair. Alloy wheels are lighter, and KTM is confused on reducing unsprung weight. For same reason, 1290 has
a chain. Shaftdrive is certainly comfortable, but everyone knows that shaftdrive loses 32% of power and increases unsprung mass compared to chain, which is important for both sporty handling on asphalt and off-road. KTM did not even have a choice - such a bike could not exist with a shaft, like Ducati Multistrada. You can also notice how they fiddled with swingarm, lightening it by some 96 grams.
In S version, wheels are 19 and 17". On R version - 21 and 18", and increased suspension travel, and there is no semi-active version. Moreover, on R version, there is narrower tires on both wheels. In general, solid cons on asphalt - worse brakes, worse grip on asphalt, worse steering etc. I was shocked when I saw search queries - there are too many people looking for R. Do not buy if you are going to ride on roads, gravel roads, dirt roads of varying degrees of destruction, trails, etc.
R is generally needed for fifty people in the world to carry it to competitions. S version give possibilities for even experienced riders. I said same about KTM 790-890, but here everything is aggravated by weight of motorcycle. And about loss of 32% of power on shaftdriv is not true. Let's see in comments, how many people could not stand humiliation of physics. in version 2021 a little more balance finished - angle of fork changed, frame was shortened, by 2 degrees engine turned and slightly forward moved for greater stability, increased swingarm on 15mm.
With wobbling, in my opinion, is a tortured claim, it is often stuck out as one of the main disadvantages of a motorcycle. There is no wobbling on S1000XR, Tracer or Multistrada? For fun, I check over 200 km/h with a clogged topbox - nothing happened, it rides steadily. I read stories about wobbling. For most, wobbling was solved either by adjusting
suspension, or balancing wheels, changing pressure, or replacing tire - everything, as on most of these sporty motorcycles. And there is a damper in stock. It should be said that 1290 is very narrow for large adventure bike and is quite streamlined, so it's easy to disrupt aerodynamics with accessories. But the most interesting thing is that it is narrowest big adventure bike by handlebar and mirrors - it crawls in traffic jams on a par with many medium-sized cc bikes. Hand protection sticks out a little, so it is reasonable to take it off and put it on for riding in city only for travel and off-road trips, then there will already be many mid-sized bikes in width, which initially do not have handguards. This is such a plus to versatility of
competitors who are like elephants in a china shop when ride in city. In terms of ergonomics, there is a significant difference in versions. On previous version, until 2021, saddle in lowest position was 860 mm, which is critically a lot for many, because saddle is not just high, but also quite wide. On new version, saddle is in standard range for the class from 849 to 869 mm. In R version, standard saddle is slightly different - tapered at front.
There is also a concomitant moment - motorcycle stands on a side stand with a strong inclination, so it is slightly inconvenient to climb on it, either on right or on left - it feels like you jump on a motorcycle with a saddle of 880-890 mm. On the other hand, motorcycle can be safely parked on the side with a slope, it will not be knocked over by wind, etc. Saddle itself has something to say. It is not soft, but not to say that in terms of comfort it differs in some way from standard seats of competitors.
The older T version came standard with a comfort saddle with a different composition and heating for rider and passenger. Now saddle is simpler in stock, and comfortable one has been taken out as an accessories. Previously, there was a comfortable, moderately smooth vinyl, since 2021 they have been using saddle upholstery, which stands at 790 and 890 - such a very rough vinyl, similar to sandpaper. The point is that you stick to saddle with your pants and why you need it on adventure bike - I don't really understand, it's more of a sports theme. Bike still has an impressive height - many need to dangle their butt to side at a stop to reach the ground, and pants do not slide well over new saddle. Maybe I don't understand something?
I'm definitely more comfortable on previous saddle. Handlebar is slightly pushed forward and downward - it cannot be said that an absolutely straight seating, although it is quite within the class. Personally, with a height of 188 cm, I definitely need spacers if I don't want to ride in a slope, and of stayed I just don't have enough. For some reason, there is no cool feature of junior model 790-890 on any version, where you can move handlebar closer and further due to different holes on traverse. It is alleged that since 2021, ergonomics have changed slightly due to a general change in geometry, but I confess I did not feel any difference.
Knee angle is very relaxed even compared to classmates and footrests are in the right place. Of course, here you can adjust brake and gearbox closer and further and angle of inclination under boots, as is customary on KTM. You can change position of footpegs closer and closer and higher and further. The only thing that I do not understand
is why they got greedy folded gearbox foot. I really like shape of mirrors. In video, you hardly understand, but they are huge, and outside is quite wide. The only problem is that handlebar itself is narrow and located at bottom - elbows eat up most of it. Spacers will solve
this problem too. Windscreen, like everyone else, works for some kind of abstract average height - I miss it anyway. And it is narrow - it blows in shoulders. Everything is decided by selection of correct windscreen, like everyone else. By the way, in T version, muzzle was wide and even stock screen was wider. It's a shame to be out of production - a connoisseur rival to GS Adventure - with a curb weight like a modern skinny 1250 GS.
Windscreen has a cool adjustment. I pay attention to this, because when you change screen, adjustment is preserved and it is easier to select models for yourself than in motorcycles with a fixed windscreen. First, adjustment has a large height range in itself. And also a convenient way of setting - you can turn it with left or right hand. For example, when you adjust at a stop, most likely you are standing with clutch engaged and it is convenient to turn it with right hand. While riding, on contrary, adjust it with left. On old version, wheel is
not very comfortable for glove, since 2021 adjustor has been improved. It seems like a trifle, but you can see that people are busy with improvement, and not sitting on a 40-year history. In fact, I run on the tops, so as not to tighten review - there are a lot of minor changes in motorcycle and it is interesting to learn about them, especially having experience riding old version. And old bike is still the best in many ways, but realize that some little things really push borders or simplify operation. Somehow flagship motorcycle should be improved. On GSs, as there was not a very convenient regulator, which broke for many, and even got jammed during my test, it still stands.
In old version, plastic of tank was blown into groin - since 2021, they simply changed plastic of edges and now it does not blow. 30-liter T version had a wide tank in height, like GS Adventure, to protect legs from wind. Version from 2017 has a narrow windshield at the tank - it blows a little on knees and legs, but there is also no directional dense flow, as on narrow GS.
I caught myself thinking that 1290 has wind protection at level of premium mid-sized adventurers - Tiger 900, 850 GS - only there it is excellent wind protection, and within 1200s it is already below average. Since 2021, wind protection is much better - firstly, due to tanks lowered down and changed plastic. It doesn't blow at legs anymore and, I think, is effective in the rain, like on younger model. Also look at how cute fork is - dirt from under-wheel will definitely hold back well. While we're on subject of lowered tanks on sides - this is the best solution for adventure bikes, I'm glad KTM continues to implement it. First, it lowers motorcycle's center of gravity.
It was already low in previous version. Side tanks also have another useful function - motorcycle gently rests on them when it falls. It is easier to lift and if weight and center of gravity are important to you, and not scratches on plastic, you do not need to hang motorcycle with crashbars.
This is 10 kilograms, which for some reason no one counts. On KTM, these bars are simply not necessary - material of tanks is special plastic and has proven itself well since 790 version. And in general, a common proven scheme in rally bikes. Earlier, on right side of face there was a pocket for a phone with USB-charger. Now there is a slightly larger pocket on tank. And more interesting - through
this storage there is access to air filter. Separately, both on old and on new versions there is a 12 Volt socket under screen. Hand protection is high - it does not blow into hands at all.
Since 2017, the coolest LED headlight with powerful light has been installed. Most motorcycles have a much simpler light. There is also cornering illumination - but it works after tilting, so there is little sense from it - it takes half height of entire headlight, bottom 3 rows. If tilted a little - one diode lights up, if stronger - 2 or 3 - thus, plus or minus, line along the horizon is preserved. Exactly the same system on Triumph 1200 and various Multistrada, only there the row of LEDs is horizontal and headlights are outwardly more traditional.
KTM 1290 stands out from all motorcycles with its vertical design - you can't confuse it with anything else. Display. There is something to say here. Until 2017, there was a dashboard with an analog tachometer, but with a digital speedometer and an additional block of different parameters - it's not a simple dashboard. From 2017 to 2021 a user-friendly screen. The concept is like the rest of KTM line, but it's huge. The most important thing is that
you can display up to eight of any parameters on screen, but, let's be honest, no one needs that much. The most chic is use with a navigator - there will be a tachometer, parameters, and navigation tips with intersection icons at same time. There is simply nothing to complain about. Why am I suddenly praising KTM navigation, if I scolded before ? The map is still poor, but the point is that navigation works great on phone in background. And when you turn on ignition again, for example, after refueling, nothing needs to be reconnected - navigation automatically connects to motorcycle and continues to display prompts. It is convenient to use when there is a phone with a normal navigator nearby and you are guided by it. But in most situations, the distance to next turn is the same. Turned it around - made sure that
prompts are identical and you are already looking only at large bright screen - just the prompts in upper corner are in sight, you don't need to peer at phone on handlebar. Suitable, of course, only if you specify only one end point, and not ride a snake along checkpoints. In 2021 version, TV is even bigger. Interface was heavily redesigned, but customization flexibility remained. There is also an intricate optional Rally display mode, sharpened off-road. With this option, throttle response and rear wheel slip are also tuned .
There is an interesting trick. TV can be tilted - there is a latch at bottom and you can tilt it back and forth. The range, however, is not too wide. What pissed me off about previous generation KTM was how engine modes changed. Most often, I use 3 different scenarios on motorcycles: first is highway, when I stupidly put the most comfortable suspension, all safety systems to maximum. The second is a city or mountains, when I put a sports rigid suspension. Third - enduro - reduced
power, soft throttle response, medium or semi-rigid suspension without traction control and ABS on rear wheel. So on KTM, when you change engine mode, most of settings need to be additionally changed. In 890th - okay, there are no suspension settings and there are no so many electronic assistants, and not such a powerful engine - more or less you can ride in one mode. There are a bunch of parameters here and just infuriates. I very often rode to some sections in a non-optimal mode - I just didn't want to stop and poke around in menu, especially when don't know - maybe asphalt starts around the corner again.
When I saw that concept of buttons on handlebar and display had been redesigned, I had no idea that they would leave this stupid thing, but no, in 2021 version it is still impossible to change all parameters at once. As before, you can put on 2 buttons entrance to setting of any menu functions, but this does not fully solve the problem. 1290 has long had keyless access. On 2021 version, they decided to show off and removed all keyholes from motorcycle altogether, physical key is no longer there. And for this we took a dubious
step. The keychain itself is about same shape as everyone else's, only there is usually a key hidden there, which can be opened by a button. The only thing is that it can be annoying when manufacturers didn't give keyless access to tank.
But otherwise everyone was fine. In addition, on a touring motorcycle, there are trunks anyway, and all original trunks are opened with the same key from keyless fob. On KTM, original trunks can also be opened with a key, so instead of one key fob, you also have to carry a second key. This is the first idiocy. Since to show off - it was necessary to make keyless trunks, and better with face and voice recognition. Bend over to trunk, say your name out loud and box opens. Immediately become the king of bike-party. The battery can be discharged and you cannot open saddle electronically by pressing button, so they left opportunity to urgently climb under saddle - this is the second idiocy.
To do this, you don't need any tools at all - open cap with hand and pull the cable - in fact, motorcycle does not have a lock. Motorcycle is opened with bare hands in 30 seconds, after which terminal is removed or cut off - and do what you want. This whole undertaking is only to declare that we have a true-keyless access. Innovation we deserve. Let's talk a little about accessories.
The concept of options at KTM is that bike is equipped with all electronics, but you can't use it. Bring the money into cashier - dealer simply ticks base, after which update is downloaded to motorcycle and you can use function. Cruise control shifted from version to version. On very old models, cruise control was on handlebar under right hand, which is very inconvenient. In previous version, on left side there is quite a convenient cruise control with a large joystick, which many will envy. Since 2021, cruise control buttons are even more convenient - with your thumb you increase speed or restore cruise control, and under index finger, in the same place on other side, button for setting and reducing speed.
Additionally, from this year, there was an active cruise control with radar. In my opinion, pure pampering and can be used only 2 times a year in a group at opening and closing of motorcycle season, and for show-off. I am sure that manufacturers put it on only because Smiths have a radar, which means we should have it. With all my liking for motorcycle, I would not call it reliable. The platform itself has been tested so that serious problems unlikely. The older generations had
three serious recall campaigns in USA - fuel tank leaks, chafing wires, which could melt fuel line, leaking shock absorbers. But you need to understand that these are only full-fledged recall campaigns related to security. There is nothing extraordinary on forums - sensors stopped working, various electronics, and typical problems associated with low-quality fuel. Traditional problem of KTM is that design is drawn by one company, assembled and tested by another, plus engineers cannot choose any suspension of any brand, but are tied to WP, which are part of a group of companies, but are still another company. In addition, KTM bought different brands, shoveled production all over the world, it is necessary to produce almost the same motorcycles with different looks, they began to develop Moto GP team. In Russia, it is not obvious, but KTM, with all its brands, sells more motorcycles than, for example, BMW is a giant corporation that is clearly growing faster than it can be controlled.
There is no conditional founder who holds the entire process in one hand and controls all stages. As far as I understand, the main problem is low quality control in production of components and assembly. Someone is lucky and not a single problem for the whole time. As with LADA and UAZ
- each machine is unique. Who just wants to ride, and not serve a horse - this is not about KTM, unless you are lucky. Even though 1290 is considered the most hassle-free in the entire KTM lineup. In fact, things are not so bad. I visit different rental offices, we even have guys who arrange semi-enduro trips on 790 Adventure. I have not met with completely bad machines, although rental motorcycles are raped much more and I have friendly relations with some owners - I would know if there were continuous problems with KTM.
The owner of bike from video has both Africa Twin and Tigers, and he himself is British, not Austrian - there is no reason to defend the honor of KTM. And if everything were that bad, he would not have bought 790 Adventure after 1290. Let's think by default that I'm talking about a new motorcycle. Used KTM is a thing for an amateur, where the reliability factor comes to the fore.
KTM has a service interval of 15,000 km, so there is no point in getting off the official service. Basic warranty is 2 years. KTM has an extended warranty in major European countries that can be extended up to 12 years or 80,000 km, but depending on country, there are nuances with what exactly warranty covers. In Russia, everything is sadder,
because Ducati has a 4-year warranty, BMW has 5 years, and with KTM there are no extended conditions after two years, as far as I know. With such a reputation, logically, KTM should have silenced everyone with the longest warranty, but alas. It is important to note that 1290 has a high compression ratio and is sharpened with 95 gasoline. Now I will troll and express myself from position of a snickering First World Resident. Yes, Africa Twin can be powered by
87 gasoline, but let's take a sober look at things - how many owners of new Africa went to conditional Mongolia? And this is a specialized motorcycle for tough travel. What's the point in downgrading 1290 engine for sake of one customer out of 1000 who's going far away? Let this single buyer buy an Africa Twin or Tenere, and others will enjoy excellent dynamics - especially since this model holds only in markets of Europe and America. Russian market has not surrendered to anyone.
For example, the entire Russian motorcycle market, including Chinese small-cubicles, is only 2-5% of sales of KTM group, depending on year. Moreover, the share of premium motorcycles in volume, obviously, will only decline - for example, with fantastic growth of Russian market by 25%, BMW managed to show a drop in sales last year. True, BMW sank 3% last year in Europe as well, when KTMs growned by 18%. And in 2020, I did only one review of BMW 850 GS and one review of KTM 790 posted.
1290 Super Adventure is a fairly popular travel motorcycle in Europe. He is always included in top 10 best-selling adventures, and this is not a crumbs. And, apparently, owners really ride them, because I see 1290s in mountains very often. Engines-millionaires from the same series. Here's to me, as a buyer of a
new motorcycle, why a million-strong engine that doesn't run, but can leave my grandchildren? Why do I need thick, heavy jeans that sweat in but will wear out for 20 years? Why do I need an eternal primus needle, after all? Better than 10 years I will experience pure delight, and then I will buy another motorcycle with a fundamentally different level of manufacturability. People who are ready to spend 20,000 euros on a toy have a simpler attitude towards things. When basic life needs are resolved, emotions are much more appreciated and it is much more difficult to achieve these emotions. And manufacturers do not care about people who are going to buy these motorcycles in 30 years on swap meet. I'm kindling a troll to make you feel like all people are different with different needs.
And buyers of premium adventure bikes initially have a little more complicated queries. There is no one ideal for everyone and it is difficult to transplant fans of Ducati and KTM into a Honda, even with a lifetime warranty. Think Ferrari and Lamborghini owners don't know that Toyota Corolla is more reliable? Here you can ask a question - why am I then abuse GS? Because he rides like a reliable Japanese, and European sores.
I don’t think 1290 is the perfect bike, it’s not bike to ride around the world, but it’s the most versatile of all elephants. In the city, due to its compactness, it is the best. More precisely, VFR is more pleasant in city due to automatic transmission and fat low revs, but these motorcycles are very conditionally in the same class, and VFR has been discontinued. Off-road, by far the best of 1200, even in S version.
For running on asphalt - one of the best, there is already taste and can discuss Ducati or KTM. I won't say, that KTM the most comfortable, and I won't even include it in the top three, it just has enough comfort so as not to get tired while traveling - you just need to choose windscreen for yourself, and better anti-vibration spacers on handlebar - literally a little vibration reduction is not enough for complete happiness. Didn't say anything about KTM chain.
For many, this will be a significant disadvantage. But judging by which bikes KTM actually choose from, they all have a chain. Some have compared it to GS, but they are completely different. I think that most of them ask such queries, have not yet felt the difference between models. So smoothly we move on to comparison with other motorcycles based on Youtube and Google queries.
Here, the entire top queries are heaped and there are no oddities at all, like on GSs. For example, one of the popular queries for 1200 GS is a comparison with Tracer 900 and S 1000 XR. KTM 1290 Super Adventure or BMW R 1250 GS. And here is 1200 GS. KTM gives a fun feeling, GS is not very calm in terms of dynamics. In city, GS is bold - difference is palpable, do not listen to the fans who ride in traffic jams the fastest in the city, and enduro competitions win. It's not even physics, but geometry. If we take some undulating
mudroads, such as Russian quarries, it may seem that they ride about the same, but when hard irregularities and stones begin, KTM begins to dominate there. When I rode KTM on polygon, it was boring, because motorcycle could ride comfortably at a higher speed. Some people think that I am trying to ride at the limit, but no. There are 2 methodologies on how to compare motorcycles on bumps - or try to reach fastest lap speed, but there is a disadvantage in that with experience you start to ride faster and conditions can change in different weather. And the second method is to ride the same route on different motorcycles at the same speed of about 40 km/h for a stable comparison. The speed is such that all
road bikes could somehow pass. For GS, for example, riding 40 km/h where fragments with hard pits is scary due to impacts, but on KTM it is very stable and suspension allows you to go faster. I don’t know if it’s noticeable in video, but it’s not even trying to throw me out of saddle where fork breaks for SUVs.
And this is S version on alloy wheels. Where GS is better, especially old one - on very long long journeys from a month, where there are difficulties with branded service, spare parts and high-quality gasoline. But here GS has an important nuance. There is a big misconception that GSs are comfortable. If you are even slightest susceptible to vibration, GS will be pissed off. And judging by the fact that the main feature of Playstation 5 is subtle vibrations on joystick, there are more people like that than you might think. These are not enchanting vibrations found
on cruisers. 1200 class has plenty of bikes with great comfort, which is crucial on long journeys, as I said. Ducati Multistrada 1260. V4 can be easily attributed to this. Multistrada is indeed similar in dynamics, but different in character. We are not talking about off-road, it is obvious here. Conceptually,
Ducati's suspension aims for maximum comfort and float above the road. Ducati loves to ride in a straight line or in gentle long corners - steadily, evenly, so that there is no wind, etc., and Multistrada rides with maximum comfort.
Even on Ducati, feeling that electronics strongly interferes with the operation of throttle does not leave. KTM, on the other hand, is rough and scratchy - suspension is sharpened for sharp handling, comfort in second place. Dynamics are more aggressive, vibrations.
BMW S 1000 XR. BMW with a strong focus on sports. Less comfort, suspension is purely for good asphalt. Seat ergonomics on S 1000 XR is comfortable, but different - at least, it feels more sporty - handlebar is lower, angle at knee is sharper and slightly back, plus saddle is such a sporty rigid bucket with side support. In city, dynamics is taste, and there, and there, there is an abundance of power.
For travel, only KTM is suitable, for XR only if trip is for a couple of days or better without a passenger. Honda Africa Twin. Purely in terms of parameters, KTM 1290 Super Adventure R is the closest competitor to Africa, but if you look at requests for Africa, it will be compared to anything, KTM appears in the second ten. KTM does a smart thing - they split their models into S and R versions. If you want a versatile bike, take an S. Want a purely rally
bike - R. This is my main complaint with Africa Twin - narrow huge wheels and rolly long-travel suspension on paper look good, but on pavement, cons with handling begin. Africa is more comfortable than KTM - there are no vibrations, suspension is soft, and there is also an automatic transmission. In general, classic Japanese. Stock saddle, however, will not appeal to everyone. Even in Africa, by default, they
always mean the basic light version on manual gearbox with a small tank and manual suspension - there are too many compromises for travel . And Adventure Sports with a good range and automatic gearbox - a heavy boar with a high center of gravity, begins to lose in many ways to KTM. It seems that already at 250 kilograms don't want on off-road, but it seems that it is not so fun to swing on asphalt.
If just want to travel comfortably on bad roads, fill up with bad gasoline and not think about reliability - that's in this vein, Africa is one of the best motorcycles. In terms of dynamics, Africa loses, but it does not matter, because everything rests on suspensions and wheels - there is no point in more power. This, by the way, applies to KTM, if you ride on plus or minus off-road tires - neither power nor sharp steering will play a role. KTM is good at changing roles - if you want, travel on road tires along Mediterranean coast and Alps. If you want, put on some more angry tires and go to Caucasus. And no one will condescendingly
look at motorcycle that it is not for this. KTM 790/890. 890 less comfortable - suspension is very stiff and much easier than big brother, uncomfortable saddle. With growth over 180, an uncomfortable fit - knees bent, handlebars very low.
I don't like dynamics at all - torn with dips and accelerations, but if you go on highway and don't slow down too much, it's very vigorous for its class. Much can be forgiven for the chic low weight, very low center of gravity and impressive range. On off-road, in terms of a combination of factors, there is no steeper than modern adventure bikes, say, from 600 cubes. Except for exotic, which is not sold in Russia. 790 had serious problems with reliability, 890 also has complaints - but KTM usually has complaints about poor quality control - some minor failures, leaks, etc., which you can fix yourself.
That's all. Reviews on three different Ducati and other large adventure bikes are ahead. Subscribe not to miss, and don't switch.