1. KTM 1290 Super Adventure R
The KTM adventure line’s pinnacle is the 1290 Super Adventure R. The motorcycle is prepared to go almost anywhere, which is precisely what KTM developers wanted it to be capable of. It’s a sturdy, high-powered vehicle that can handle just about everything.
The displacement of the V-twin liquid-cooled engine is 1,301cc. A six-speed manual gearbox is also included on the motorcycle. Combining this with a tubular steel structure gives you a sturdy and powerful motorcycle.
The Super Adventure was a massive motorcycle that was fun to ride but difficult to handle. For 2021, KTM has addressed this with a revised sub-frame that has decreased the ride height from 35.0 inches to 34.6 inches while also making it slimmer to make the bike more manageable.
KTM hasn’t just messed around with the chassis and seat. The Super Adventure R also meets Euro 5 emission criteria without sacrificing any of the 160 hp jaw-dropping V-twin’s power. Modern electronic rider assists have been introduced, all of which are controlled by a new 7-inch TFT display and switchgear.
The Super Adventure R is built on the same base as the S, but it is designed for off-road use. Traditional manually tunable suspension with additional travel has taken the place of semi-active WP suspension. The front tires are 21 inches in diameter, up from 19 inches on the S. They are spoked and pneumatic. Because of the wheel size and suspension improvements, the slope and trail are now more relaxed. The windscreen is narrower and shorter, allowing you to gaze over it when going off-road, and there are new colors and patterns on the latest version as well.
2. KTM 790 Adventure
The latest KTM 790 Adventure offers a great combination of on-road comfort, sporty performance, and off-road potential. Consider it a somewhat more street-oriented version of KTM’s flagship model motorcycle, the 790 Adventure R. Despite being the more pavement-oriented of the two, the KTM 790 isn’t shy when it comes to its off-road capabilities.
While it has lower-spec forks with lesser tuning options and much less ground clearance than others in its weight class, it still knows how to keep its genuine adventure qualifications with a wheelset of 18 inches in the back and 21 inches upfront, as well as a significant amount of ride height and suspension travel.
The KTM 790 Adventure is a mid-sized adventurous motorcycle with the same LC8 799cc parallel-twin engine as the 790 Duke but new mapping. At 8,000 rpm, it produces 95 horsepower at 8000 revolutions per minute and 65 lb-ft. of torque at 6,500 rpm.
The parallel-twin engine of the 790 enables it to have a lower seat height without sacrificing total ground clearance, which is 9.2 inches. The seat is customizable and can be set to 32.7 inches or 33.5 inches for greater legroom.
The motorcycle has a variety of aesthetic and technical elements that will make your riding experience more pleasant, easier, and instructive. The menu options on the display are easy to navigate, making it simple to find the information needed. It also has KTM’s My Ride technology, which connects to phones and allows riders to accept calls while riding and track GPS directions on the motorcycle’s TFT display.
The 790 Adventure comes with a large, movable windscreen to block windblasts at incredible velocities. Overall, the KTM 790 may be ideal for riders looking for a bike capable of handling both off-roading and urban adventures.
3. KTM 690 Enduro R
The KTM 690 Enduro R is one of the best big single-cylinder expedition motorcycles. It combines off-road concentration with street motorcycle practicality.
The bike is equipped with powerful 21- and 18-inch tires and completely adjustable WP Xplor suspension to show off its off-roading capabilities. It is powered by KTM’s LC4 690cc engine, which produces a usable substantial 74 hp at 8,000 rpm and 54.2 lb-ft.. of torque at 6,500 rpm.
The motorcycle seems more like a dual than a single at highway speeds, with a smooth temperament capable of putting down comfortable miles. Moreover, with its abundant torque, safe delivery, and incredibly tractable performance, the new LC4 engine promises to be amongst the most powerful.
There are not many electronic wizardries in this motorcycle, but there’s a lot of power. It’s a combination of an adventure motorcycle, an everyday commuter, and a trail motorcycle.
It feels surprisingly agile, given the 690 Enduro R’s rather hefty tubular frame system. The seat is thin, and the gasoline tank beneath it loops around the subframe, shifting the weight to the motorcycle’s center and low. It lets you navigate easily through unfamiliar terrains while avoiding trees and turning around in confined spots.
The KTM 690 Enduro R feels more like a dirt motorcycle than an adventure one, with Brembo braking and switchable ABS, a curved, broad handlebar, map switch, and tiny easy-to-read digital tachometer. Even the shrouds appear small, and the handguards appear identical to those found on KTM’s Enduro motorcycles.
4. KTM 790 Duke
The efficiency of the KTM 790 Duke on sloping roads backs up every claim made by the Austrian manufacturer about the motorcycle’s capabilities. An agile chassis and precise handling make the bike easier to handle.
This motorcycle illustrates that KTM is all about performance. The smooth instant power delivery at low rpm is complemented by a medium rpm that carries enough power to produce wheel-lofting pleasure, thanks to the presence of delicate clutch actuation, well-spaced overdrive gears and clutchless up- and downshifts.
Furthermore, the 790 Duke falls into highway speed in top gear at 5,000 rpm, with enough air in reserve to comfortably surge through congestion, and only minor engine disturbance is sensed via the controls above 6,500 rpm.
The motorcycle has demonstrated to be a formidable weapon for slithering its path through the worst congestion in commuter mode. It’s also great on interstate highways. The crankpins’ 75-degree offset, along with a 435-degree firing order, simulates the feel of KTM’s larger 75-degree V-Twins.
Rain, Street, and Sport are three riding modes that vary the engine’s overall power delivery and stability control involvement using preset parameters. Track is a fourth option that enables the rider to customize the throttle response and TC parameters, and turn off the anti-wheelie function and activate a launch control function.
5. KTM RC 390
MotoGP and World Superbike inspire almost every small-displacement sport motorcycle design. However, only a few are considered luxury lightweight motorcycles. When it was first released in 2014, the KTM RC 390 defied the trend. The motorcycle now appears to be on the verge of taking the lightweight, supersport category to the next step.
A three-directional IMU supports lean-angle-sensitive stability control and ABS. The bike comes with an updated and lightweight chassis, customizable WP Apex suspension, and continental tires, among other things. Apart from the new aerodynamic chassis inspired by the Orange Brigade’s RC16 MotoGP device, the redesigned 2022 KTM RC 390 profiles luxury updates concentrating on functionality and comfort.
To maintain European A2 license eligibility, KTM retained the RC’s liquid-cooled single-cylinder 373cc engine mostly intact, applying a small list of upgrades to meet new Euro 5 regulations. The RC 390 receives a completely reworked exhaust system, altered fueling, and a 40% bigger airbox. The outcome is a 1.5pound-foot increase in torque at 7,000 rpm, bringing it to 27.3 lb-ft..
Most of the RC 390’s upgrades are centered on handling. KTM improved the RC’s steel trellis structure and bolt-on subframe’s transverse stiffness, shedding 3.3 pounds in the procedure. More weight is saved by using clever lightweight tires that are 7.5 lbs. lighter than before, resulting in a significant reduction in unsprung mass.
With compress and rebound damping control, the 390 also gets a new fork from WP, which KTM owns. Spring preload and rebound dampening are adjustable on the Apex shock, a rare occurrence in the lightweight market.
The RC is the only vehicle in its class with lean-angle-sensitive turning ABS. With KTM’s Supermoto ABS, the technology may be switched to enable rear-end lockup. The revised braking system reduces the RC 390’s weight by 2 pounds.
Having relatively minor engine changes, redesigned MotoGP-inspired bodywork has enhanced top speed by about 7 mph. The clip-on handlebars can be adjusted by 10mm, and there’s also a complete new TFT display in front of them with Bluetooth technology to connect KTM’s My Ride application.
6. KTM 1290 Super Duke R
Since its debut in 2014, the 1290 Super Duke R has combined comfort with track-level performance and robust and usable low and intermediate power. The model shows how high-quality suspension, lightweight rims, sticky wheels, and great ergonomics can drastically improve an already excellent handling vehicle.
The 1290 SDR’s 1,301cc liquid-cooled, LC8 V-twin receives an additional top-feeder fuel injection system, 56mm throttle bodies, a revised ram-air intake, and wider exhaust headers – all of which add to its advertised 180 horsepower at 9,500 rpm and 103 lb-ft. of torque at 8,000 rpm.
To conserve weight, engine casings have been thinned, and the new cast-in engine bearings have enabled the pivot for the larger swingarm to be lifted 5mm for increased stability. The Pankl transmission has been modified for faster shifts and faster action, so shifting is now race motorcycle-grade, and the toss can be fine-tuned to two places.
The throttle response is smoother across the powerband, with a ripping sensation and croaky exhaust noise and an eagerness that rises without crashing from low speed to afterburners. The stronger, thinner new chrome-moly steel chassis and composites subframe replacing the previous trellis provide the most noticeable increase to the motorcycle’s balance and stability.
Lighter CAD-built rims with specially engineered Bridgestone Battlax Hyper sport S22 tires improve turn handling and grip, and the motorcycle has lost around 15 pounds wet altogether thanks to a.5-gallon shorter fuel tank.
As you’d expect from a motorcycle with this much horsepower, there’s an option for almost everything you can expect in the electronics section, as well as a cart full of rider inputs. Motorcycle Stability Control (MSC) with cornering and Supermoto mode ABS is the default, as are Rain, Street, and Sport ride settings.
The MSC incorporates a 6-axis lean angle detector and two distinct controllers to keep everything under control. A wheel-slip controller controls rear-wheel spinning, while a pitch angle controller detects and controls sudden changes in front-wheel lifting. An extra Track Pack includes Track and Performance settings with launch control, a 9-level spin adjustment, a track riding mode, and an anti-wheelie feature for track days or races.
7. KTM 950 Supermoto Orange
The 950 Supermoto and its older cousin, the 950 Adventure, share a similar engine and highest quality WP suspension. The 950 SM has a smaller wheelbase, 17-inch rims with sport motorcycle tires, and improved braking to help it run better on asphalt.
Its liquid-cooled 950cc LC8 engine, which is Dakar proven, produces 98 horsepower at 8,000 rpm and 69 lb.-ft. of torque at 6,500 RPM. Between three thousand to eight thousand rpm, torque remains stable before falling off until the rev limiter reaches around 9,000 rpm.
The SM’s engine is still supplied by a couple of Keihin CV 43mm carburetors with a mechanical choke. The slender twin roars to existence with a bumpy sound that makes you smile as you lift the choke lever and touch the starter button.
The engine is connected to the six-speed transmission by a hydraulically operated wet clutch with a stylish stainless-steel cable. The clutch lever exerts a moderate effort, with excellent modulation and no excessive slip, and shifting is practically automatic.
Furthermore, a quality WP inverted fork with 48mm stanchions provides strength to the front end, while a WP adjustable mono-shock at the rear keeps things in balance. Both ends have completely variable preload, rebound, and compression dampening.
To minimize weight, the 4.6-gallon tank is built of light polyamide. KTM seats are noted as high, thin, and shallow, and the Supermoto’s are no exception. It’s 34 inches above the ground and 34 inches long, giving the rider and companion plenty of freedom to move around - which is helpful because the seat becomes unpleasant after about an hour.
8. KTM 300 XC-W
KTM’s Enduro two-stroke range has always remained a priority for the company. The KTM 300 XC-W is proof of that. This dirt motorcycle has received considerable improvements in 2020 and is designed to take on the most difficult terrain, such as tough muddied trails and narrow taped-off tracks, as well as incredible boulder climbing.
This motorcycle was built to be ridden hard on every terrain and in every tricky situation possible. The transfer port injection (TPI) helps to improve fuel efficiency and reduces pollution. TPI technology also eliminates the need for pre-mixed gas and carburetor jetting, allowing you to fill up at the compressor and end up leaving your jetting kit at home.
The WP fork is the Xact Air, the wheels are Dunlop, and the robust braking systems are Brembo on the 300XC. It’s slim, electric-only, oil-injected, and runs smooth and strong. Although it misses a spark arrestor, the side stand is superb, and the exhaust tone is decent.
The 300XCW’s cylinder is power-valved and employs EFI. As a result, there is improved fuel atomization, fewer pollutants from more effective fuel burning, and better fuel economy. It has a balancing shaft to decrease engine noise, a 6-speed semi-close gearbox, and KTM’s DDS clutch, which uses a diaphragm spring connected to Brembo hydraulic actuation for an extremely light clutch push and excellent feel.
KTM has historically been known for its Chromoly structural steel frames, which provide a better feel. The motorcycle has a detachable aluminum subframe and has redesigned cylinder head stays for smoother cornering and less noise. The motorcycle has machined hubs and huge rims. Dunlop AT81 rubber is used on the rims.
9. KTM 690 SMC R
In rear-end chopping slides, the KTM 690 SMC R is renowned for offering a great experience in practically every riding environment. This Supermoto is powered by the latest-generation LC4 engine, rated at 74 horsepower. The 3.6-gallon gas tank is a load-bearing element for further strength and precision in conjunction with the chrome-molybdenum steel structure.
Its slim form makes it ideal for swiping around every corner. Two ride modes, turning ABS, lean-angle-sensitive stability control, motor slip control, a clutch-less up and down quick shifter, and Supermoto ABS setting are just a few of the highlights of this incredible vehicle.
Because KTM has its suspension manufacturer, WP, the 690 SMC R comes with last-generation WP Apex suspensions that perform admirably on every surface. You can ride it quickly through the curves and on tough terrains
Brembo provides a braking system, which is quite effective. It only takes a little more pressure to bring it to a complete stop. Furthermore, an ABS dongle is available, allowing you to disable the rear ABS and glide as you choose.
The upgraded engine runs very smoothly, is incredibly refined, and no longer vibrates. This motorcycle is also appropriate for inexperienced riders due to its reasonable power curve, moderate acceleration, and safe haven for electronics.
10. KTM 390 Adventure
The KTM 390 Adventure pushes the boundaries of discovery by combining all-road adaptability, resilient built, and real-world power. The newest KTM 390 Adventure may have had a small engine, but that doesn’t imply that it can’t handle just about anything. The liquid-cooled 373cc four-valve single develops 43 horsepower and 26 lb-ft. of torque, providing the little motorcycle plenty of power to get out of or around most obstacles.
The 390 KTM Adventure offers all the best features of a typical “ADV” vehicle, as well as the requisite attractiveness. It boasts the same easy-to-read TFT display, great LED all-around illumination, and lightweight but robust aluminum handlebars as the other grand adventure motorcycles.
The 390 Adventure suspension is better than most of the other motorcycles in the sub-500 bracket, in addition to the unexpectedly fast engine. The WP Apex forks and shock are adjustable and well-matched to the motorcycle’s weight and performance.
The suspension only becomes loose in the bends if you’re traveling fast enough; otherwise, the ride is solid, responsive, and usually nicely absorbs the road’s irregularities. The body is itself tight, with a lot of mass centralization. The solitary 320 mm disc works well with the ByBre radial-mount four-piston caliper if you need to slow down.
List of Other KTM Motorcycles
- KTM 50 SX Mini
- KTM 65 SX
- KTM 990 Adventure
- KTM 1190 Adventure
- KTM 450 EXC
- KTM 450 Rally
- KTM 500 EXC
- KTM 950 Super Enduro R
- KTM 640 Adventure
- KTM 200 Duke
- KTM 125 FRR
- KTM 200
- KTM 690 Duke
- KTM 250 FRR
- KTM 300
- KTM 990 Super Duke
- KTM LC4 660R
- KTM 1190 RC8
- KTM RC16
- KTM 1290 Super Duke R
- KTM RC250GP
- KTM Freeride
- KTM 390 Series
- KTM 790 Duke
- KTM 950 Adventure
About THE AUTHOR
Russ currently owns a Yamaha FZ6N and KTM RC 390. When it comes to vintage bikes, his favorite motorcycle is the feisty BMW R32. He also holds a particular interest in the LAMS segment and triple cylinders. Himself a riding enthusiast, Russ has had experience with racetracks from around the world including Willow Springs Raceway in California and the Imola Circuit in Italy.Read More About Russ Crowley