This is the 2013 KTM Adventure 1290

Dailies -



Spotted nearly undisguised while undergoing validation tests in Germany, InfoMotori brings us the best photo yet of the upcoming KTM Adventure 1290. So far, so expected. Trellis frame, a larger v-twin for more power, the saddle-style fuel tank appears to remain (as the more rearwards of the two body work pieces extending down from the “tank” area), 21-inch front wheel, etc. Much-needed upgrades comes in the form of a new headlight incorporating LEDs across its lower half and radial brake calipers. There’s also a 690 Duke-style aluminum swingarm with exposed webbing. Sexy. But how does this bike fit into KTM’s upcoming product plan?

Last August, we brought you this leaked slide from KTM North America’s dealer meeting, detailing that importer’s 2012-2014 product plan. As you can see, there’s two Adventure models here. This touring-oriented 1290 (we’re getting it in 2014, likely after the model debuts in Europe) and the more dirt-focused “Adventure R 1090.” We think the model seen above is the 1290 because a) that motor is fucking huge and b) every component is relatively basic, which isn’t the game KTM plays when it’s serious about off-road performance.

This 1290 is intended to compete more with bikes like the R1200GS and Yamaha Super Tenere. A comfortable, practical distance bike that’s pretty capable off-road if you fit good tires. It’s that Adventure R 1090 that we’re most excited about though, that bike promises to bring real dirt performance to a package that can just about do some touring too. In short, the balls out, insane performance bike that draws clear inspiration from the company’s smaller off-road race bikes.

The modular engine being used in both is reportedly being co-developed with Porsche and should come equipped with a sophisticated, performance-oriented traction control system and ride-by-wire.

And yes, ever-tightening European emissions regulations are meaning some seriously huge exhausts.

More pics at InfoMotori

  • Zirq

    “We think the model seen above is the 1290 because a) that motor is fucking huge…”


    Thank you. That made my Monday satiable.

  • Ben

    Looks like the RC8 engine. ‘Tuned for torque’ I suppose.

  • dux [87 CBR600, 95 XR600R]

    Anything with a motor that big is not serious about off road performance. It should make for a fine poseur mobile to compete with the super shiny BMW tall tourers.

    • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1200]

      It doesn’t sport the beak that is costume de rigueur for the Starbucks parking lot that us old-guy poseurs think is an Adventure destination.

      • dux [87 CBR600, 95 XR600R]

        It has a hint of one – hopefully it won’t start a furious beak size debate…the Ducatistas might show up!

    • Justin

      Anything above 800cc is going to take a bucket of money to have any dirt capability. I put about a 350lb hard limit (all up weight, full tank of gas) on any bike with dirt pretensions. Maybe you can do endurance stuff with slightly more weight, or fire trails. Any more will kill you.

  • Campisi

    Do you really need 1,200 cubic centimeters for touring and off-road riding? It just seems pointlessly large.

    • Grant Ray

      Nope, you don’t. The 990 is perfectly fine. So’s the 690R after throwing on the Dakar fairing and fuel cell, for that matter. But, keeping up with the Joneses and all…

    • dux [87 CBR600, 95 XR600R]

      I’m holding out for the KTM 2990cc Adventure V8, surely coming out sometime in 2015.

    • Ben

      As a owner of a super enduro, Sometimes ‘pointlessly large’ is exactly right.

    • Sledgecrowbar

      Since when is it a question of need? This is an adventure *sport* tourer, it should be able to make your eyes bulge on the highway, with luggage. This is like a K1600GS, but half as wide and hopefully not 28 grand.

  • stickfigure

    I just wonder how big the radiator is going to be. The cooling system of my 990 barely keeps up on a hot day.

  • PenguinScotty

    I think you guys are spot on regarding which bike category it’ll fall into. Street, primarily.

    Then again, it doesn’t make much sense to me, since it’ll essentially be a mix between the Adventure and SM-T… Why not give the big lump to the SM-T, since it’s a street bike already and leave the Adventure an Adventure bike?

  • wwalkersd

    Hey, Wes, what happened to the daily updates on the Zero?

    • Campisi

      Maybe his daily life is secretly uneventful or full of stuff he can’t mention without giving away future content, and therefore chooses to save it all up over a period of time and release it in chunks? Or, perhaps Hollywood Electric binned it while trying to hot-rod its programming and he hasn’t even been using it.

      The world wants to know!

  • markbvt

    Any further info on that Adventure R 1090? It would be nice if KTM basically brought back the Super Enduro with a bigger gas tank…

  • Justin [CBR(s):250&F2/3,K6 GSXR1K, XR600]

    I really wish Adventure bikes would get smaller, and that doesn’t seem to be in the cards. If you can’t advertise a HP bump, the bike’s a failure. Someone needs to bring out one of these bikes that comes in at under 450 with a tank of gas from the factory. Even BMW’s F800GS is over that. Anyone who likes riding dirt either (a) doesn’t even consider adventure bikes or (b) realizes that they have their place: on the street!