KTM 1290 ADV…10K miles on…how is it doing?

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    By a friend of mine, his thoughts on the KTM 1290 after 10k miles from new:

    So, a significant number appeared on the odometer of my KTM and I thought that it was worth an


    Whenever anyone asks “how is it going on the KTM”, my usual reaction is “its so fast” * which is not
    very helpful but does reflect the overall impression of the bike of a bike that is unsurprisingly
    dominated by the immense V-twin that sits between your legs. I suspect that I am starting to explore
    the performance a bit more during the summer, exploiting the dry roads and good visibility
    * I will put this statement into context…I’ve only ridden adventure bikes, never a surface-to-surface
    missile masquerading as F1 replica sports bike, my teenage “cloak of invincibility” has evaporated,
    replaced by the shackles of responsibility and the self-preservation circuit that used to get me home
    after a night on the pop in my twenties has now been re-calibrated. This is not to say that I don’t ride
    with excessive speed in inappropriate situations, just that in comparison to my prior bikes the KTM is
    “so what’s it like to ride ?”…”fast and tall”…the elevated seating position (increased by the optional
    heated seat) means you can see what you’re approaching quickly and pick you lines to enjoy the grip
    and torque…..who’s levels far exceed my skills!! I have noticed that the bike must make me invisible
    as the number of car drivers who don’t register how quick you’re approaching is unbelievable, good
    job there’s plenty of power to overtake/fast filter or strong brakes wipe the speed off
    “so what’s the semi active suspension like?”….”seems to work well enough to enable me to ride too
    fast”…a more comprehensive answer is that it is unobtrusive and without foibles so it must be
    working well. It’s not as magic carpet ride as the GS but I’m preferring the more tautly spring feel of
    the conventional dampers
    “what’s it like on tyres ?”….”well, the rear hasn’t worn out in 2000 miles and it’s keeping me stuck to
    the road at silly speeds, so must be ok”……I got 7k out of the previous rear prior to a puncture
    ripping a holes thru to the carcass (the front was replaced under warranty as it started to crack!) and
    this rear is at 3k and only starting to square-off now
    “what are the brakes like”…”better than the GS’s!! “…a straight answer !! It’s nice to be on a
    machine that stops without any heart stopping moments

    Can you see an underlying theme in these responses ?


    So the other questions asked by bikers
    “can you feel the differences between the suspension and engine modes”…..inspite of all the
    bravado above…I haven’t played with the settings, I’ve left them in “street” mode for both as the
    bike is more than capable as it stands and I am too chicken to put it in race mode……I will hang my
    head in shame. Unfortunately, with the change in weather, I think I may have missed my opportunity
    this year but there’s always next year (when I’ll be fast approaching 20K and the bike will be nicely
    loosened up!!). It will be interesting to see if I can perceive any difference between the modes as
    there wasn’t anything significant when I played with the ones on the GS.

    “any warranty issues ?”…”apart from the early ones only an issue with the exhaust can tip paint
    cracking, that was replaced under warranty, its fine”…maybe I’ve lowered my expectations after the
    GS but I haven’t been too worked up about these issues. Other than that, the bikes been fine…the
    surfaces seem to be standing up ok to the salt and rtf…thankfully no rust, everything seems to still
    function ok…it’s all working as it should (and so it should!!)
    “what’s the servicing costs/dealer like”…very reasonable costs for the 10k service…dealers still feels
    a bit overwhelmed by the need to provide post-purchase support but they seem to be coping (even
    if they have a high turnover of service staff !) It’s a far cry from the swanky BMW dealership but then
    I’m not seeing that in the service costs.
    “is there anything that could be improved”….I think I mentioned before the lack of dedicated heated
    grip button (ok, its only two button presses via options on the excellent LCD screen) and the stupid
    position of the foglamp switch. The other thing that is slightly irking me is that it doesn’t sound that
    awesome…it doesn’t have the distinctive V-twin sound of a Ducati or Aprillia. I suspect that it’s
    because I am still running the standard exhaust can, however, on the basis that all of my neighbours
    remarked on how quiet my new bike is…I think for community harmony, it will remain. I’ll have to
    compensate by enjoying the addictive induction roar as you crack the throttle and engage the

    In summary, the novelty of a new rapid orange projectile still hasn’t worn off and I can’t see it
    happening anytime soon. The plan is to keep clocking up the miles and enjoying the scenery passing
    in a blur !

    The Mighty KTM at 3k miles:

    Why he traded a GS1200 for it:


    It's great that there are some alternatives to the wave of BMWs that seem to dominate this market. Nice that it's still going strong at the 10k miles mark.

    Look forward to hearing about the 'race mode' if it ever gets tested!  8)

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