2013 Motorcycle & Motorcyclist of the Year

By Motorcyclist Staff, Photography by Kevin Wing

Best Adventure Bike 

KTM 1190 Adventure

The Deluxe Dirtbike

KTM's big-bore Adventure has long been the best bike for adventuring off the beaten path, but until now, its road-going capabilities have left something to be desired. All that dirtbike DNA made a motorcycle that excelled off pavement, but it lacked the luxury and technology you really appreciate after that eighth hour in the saddle.

That's no longer the case now that KTM has given the capital-A adventure bike its first comprehensive overhaul since 2006, greatly enhancing its road-worthiness without sacrificing any inherent off-road ability. A larger-displacement, 1,195cc, V-twin adapted from the RC8R superbike adds 30 percent more power, while a comprehensive electronic operating system—including switchable ride modes, four levels of traction control, combined ABS, and optional electronic suspension—puts the Adventure on-level with sophisticated competition from BMW and Ducati. It all works well, too.

Despite these changes, the Adventure still feels like a steroidal dirtbike, with an in-command riding posture equally suited for roosting berms or swerving around double-parked Priuses. This is an update done right, extending the Adventure's outright capability without compromising its existing ability.

Alternative Take

Ducati Multistrada 1200S

The Multi is the most versatile Ducati, combining the Testastretta engine and self-adjusting Skyhook suspension with the most comfortable and capable chassis. It’s too raw to be everyone’s ADV, but if you’re a recovering sportbike addict wanting to comfortably rip back roads, the Multistrada is your bike.

By Motorcyclist Staff
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"It's what these guys do: defend old-tech machines by bridging the conversation from clanky machinery to unique engine architecture, significant historical precedent, the serenity of Lake Como, or some other specious attribute meant to make us look past obvious flaws."

Leave out the part about Lake Como - and you're describing a harley rider..
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