2500 kilometers on KTM1290 Super Adventure S

Last Updated on: April 30, 2021

2500 kilometers went quickly, or quicker than I thought. During and right after Easter we had good spring temps so I wasted no time.

That did not last. Now we’re down into single digits Celsius. But with proper gear it’s not an issue, gusts or no gusts. It’s been day rides only. The longest this far a moderate 370 kilometers. I take it step by step. Also saving holidays for later in spring, and summer.

2500 kilometers done

In Nore og Uvdal Valley, Norway April 2021

Accessories or must haves

In a previous post, specifically this one, I “debate” accessories and must haves. Not all is on yet. Crash bars, Barkbusters and miscellaneous safety stuff are still pending on delivery. The first to be put on, almost immediately after I picked up the bike, was the KTM Ergo, or comfort seat. Then followed Puig Touring screen.

These two components are essential on the bike. At least for me. Won’t repeat myself, but the stock seat is rock hard. Butt-pain hard. The OEM windscreen, especially for taller blokes like myself, not good at all. Without these two vital changes I don’t think the ownership would have been a long lasting.

The next and for me absolutely necessary items are handlebar risers. I’ll return to why in a moment. There are a few variations available, but not all may be as immediately compatible as you might think. Or, at least not without several adjustments.

Kravikfjorden, Nore og Uvdal, Norway

Along Kravikfjorden, Nore og Uvdal, April 2021

2500 kilometers, how have I fared

Pretty well I would say. Niggles will always have to be dealt with. if you’re tall like me, very few bikes will fit like a glove. And one must be prepared to adjust as well. Ergonomic adjustments are important. As for the 2019 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S, having done in excess of 2500 kilometers I can clearly say handlebar risers are a must.

The handlebar is too far away. Mind you, this comes from a >190cm tall bloke with pretty pretty long arms. And additionally, it’s too low. The position also affects standing. Which for me is almost impossible without  bending, both forward and down. Like hunching a bit.

The consequence can be fatigue in arms and ligaments on longer hauls. Many experience this, on a variety of different bikes. But the worst is a tendency towards backpain. Not alarmingly bad, but it’s there. Now, it could be down to me. I’ve not ridden anything else since the accident. And I’ve had a tendency to mid back pain during recovery.  Off and on, depending on what I do.

Next 2500 kilometers, with handlebar risers

I ordered some bar risers from Voigt Moto Technik. Specifically, this set. On paper they looked ideal. Quality items,  fit for the bike it said on the web page. A truth with, quite literally, modifications. Mechanically they fit perfectly. Ergonomically they look ideal. Putting them on I immediately saw  it would not work. Cables were stretched way too much. I could hardly turn the steering.

KTM1290SAS - cables right side

Even without risers cables are tight on right side

Well bummer.

So what needs to happen next is one of two. Or better, both. Next week I’ll take the bike down to a workshop. They will remove the tank and see if it’s possible to easily change cable routing. If not I’ll return them, and buy OEM KTM risers for the 1290. They will not give me 30mm rise, and 19mm offset. But they will work. Without need for lots of adjustments.

Booster plug, another must have

So there we have it. Well almost. That’s where I’m at, after 2500 kilometers plus on the new bike. It’s great. But there is one more thing worth mentioning. And it is a niggle on the 2017-2020 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S. The bike is, compared to BM R1200GS/GS Adventure, rough on low RPM. And a bit lumpy.

If you are used to low RPM comfort it’s something you’ll notice. Right away I’ll wager.  But there are solutions. One in particular attracted my attention. A Booster plug from Booster plug. I got it mounted by a KTM dealer. Didn’t want to fiddle with it myself, as the bike still is on warranty.

The product delivers on all claimed accounts. But BMW R1200/1250 GS & GS Adventure still are smoother bikes in low RPM. I suppose this is down to engine construction among other things. But the Beemers are also geared differently.

You can tackle some of the roughness, vibrations and shaking by changing sprockets. One tooth less and you’ll have a better RPM in 6th gear and low speeds. My adjustments is simply to ride more in 5th or 4th. The quickshifter on the 1290SAS is, compared to that of the beemer, silky smooth. Almost like riding a DCT Honda Africa Twin.

Anyhow, so that’s that. Back with more experiences soon’ish.

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