2015 KTM 1290 Adventure - First Look

INTERMOT 2014: The 1290 Super Duke R’s superb engine is now employed in KTM’s new long-distance ADV machine!

2015 KTM 1290 Adventure studio 3/4 view

KTM took home three Cycle World Ten Best Bikes awards in 2014, and at INTERMOT the Austrian company revealed another possible award winner next year: the 1290 Adventure. Powered by a 160-horspower version of the 1301cc 75-degree V-twin, this new 1290 Adventure, to my eye, is the best-styled KTM of its generation, or at least the one with the best graphics.

Muscular, but not excessively squared like other models, the new 1290 Adventure looks like it can go anywhere in style, with little effort, in full control and comfort. KTM says the bike has a dry weight of 505 lb., and this confirms a terrific power-to-weight ratio.

The bike is big, but it looks very well balanced on its 61.4 in, wheelbase, and its steering geometry is set at an intermediate 26 degrees of rake. There is 7.9 in. of suspension travel front and rear, and, consequently, the seat height is a lofty 33.9 in. off the ground. Suspension, as always, is by White Power, and the brakes are from Brembo, featuring dual 320mm rotor with four-piston calipers in front. In sum, the new 1290 Adventure is the KTM of choice for long-distance asphalt adventurers. If a significant amount of dirt is on your itinerary, you'd be better served by the lighter KTM 1190 Adventure and Adventure R.

KTM Freeride-E studio side view

In other news, KTM also unveiled their electric Freeride-E, an enduro machine powered by an 11-kW motor fed by a lithium-ion battery that’s good for about a 1-hour ride. Then, it takes an hour and a half to get the battery charged back up to 100 percent. The good side: The light Freeride is extremely easy and pleasant to ride, aided by the pleasant torque delivery typical of any electric motor.