Watch: KTM 1290 Super Adventure R Long-Term Review


Since it was first launched in 2017, the KTM 1290 Super Adventure R has been sitting in a class of its own. Boasting features derived from both a Dakar- and Pike’s Peak-winning heritage, the 1290 SAR offers a unique combination of off-road capabilities, high-tech rider aids and a massive V-twin powerplant producing 160 horsepower, all designed to deliver a high-performance machine both on and off the trail.

In 2022, KTM decided to up the ante by improving their flagship adventurer with a wide array of updates that enhanced the bike’s off-road prowess, increased touring comfort and further refined its technological wizardry. 

2022 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R long-term review
2022 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R long-term review

Notable changes include a shorter frame and lengthened swingarm that moves the rider forward over the bars for improved feel and control, while a redesigned fuel tank carries weight lower on the bike for a lower center of gravity. The long-travel (8.7” stroke), fully-adjustable WP XPLOR suspension was also reworked with all-new settings to improve performance off-road.

2022 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R long-term review


Additional changes include a lower seat height, new rider mode customization options, a smoother gearbox, new LED lighting and TFT display, improved heat dissipation, and more. The changes have been sweeping and we’ve been analyzing them all over nearly a year of testing covering thousands of miles.

2022 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R long-term review

So how good is it?  In many ways it exceeded our expectations, but we did find a few nits to pick. In this video, we put it through its paces in sand, technical single track, whoops, hill climbs, and more. Plus we got it leaned over in the twisties, split lanes in the city and clocked some major miles on the super slab to explore the long-haul comfort and versatility of the machine. 

2022 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R long-term review

Is the new and improved KTM 1290 Super Adventure R good enough to ride with the latest crop of 800-950cc middleweights in the dirt? Is it a comfortable touring bike for longer journeys? Even two up? Is 160 horsepower a bad idea off-road? We have answers to all your burning questions and more on this beast of an adventure bike. 

Thanks for checking out the video and let us know your thoughts and questions in the comments below. For those of you who don’t mind a little reading, you can also check out our full review article of the 2022 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R here.





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