The KTM Adventure 1198 R is one of those bikes that at first glance just doesn’t make any sense. On one hand, it looks like a classic superbike, poised to set your hair on fire as it takes you from zero to 100 with the slightest turn of the throttle. But if you squint a little, it also kind of looks like a dirt bike with its knobby tires, capable of traversing the muddiest trails with ease. And then you go for a ride on it. And then it all becomes clear…so very, very clear. YES! This is a bike that makes perfect sense. It’s name, Adventure, could not have been more perfect. It is a bike that screams adventure, even when parked.
The KTM Adventure 1198 R is a very large bike, but that doesn’t mean it’s difficult to handle. In fact, the Adventure handles quite well. It comes with a 148 horsepower engine, more power than anyone would ever need, regardless of the riding situation. The only other dual sport that comes close is the KTM Adventure 1290.
The Adventure 1198 R has 21 and 18-inch spoked wheels that were designed for use with tubeless tires that have airtight rim beds. The bike comes standard with knobby tires for good traction in the dirt, but to my surprise these tires had acceptable performance on paved roads as well (acceptable for knobby tires, that is). KTM fitted this model with what they call Cornering ABS technology. This fancy name could just be marketing hype, but I can attest that the brakes really do work well in slippery mud. They are also very capable on paved roads, too.
There is a lot of clay in the soil where I ride, and this often makes for some challenging (and interesting) riding conditions. It was no challenge at all, however, for the Adventure 1198 R. The bike traversed every trail I took it on with ease.
I was somewhat skeptical at first about what the manufacturer calls “lean-angle sensitive traction control.” Once again I assumed it was marketing hype. And once again I was wrong. This feature assists the bike in maintaining good traction in most conditions. And, of course, at approximately 500 pounds, the bike’s stout weight definitely helps to keep the tires pointed in the right direction in muddy conditions.
The KTM 1198 Adventure is a brute of a bike that is otherwise very well mannered. The advanced technology KTM built into the bike allows it to remain quite civilized in uncivilized riding conditions. It is a well-mannered bike that is just as at home on the highway as it is on a muddy trail. It is a bike that truly delivers the best of both worlds. It’s a bike that delivers…pure adventure. Be sure to check one out in person if you get the chance. You can easily find a KTM authorized motorcycle trader online for a dealer near you.