KTM 1290 Super Adventure

The GS has been so dominant in the adventure class, and is still so good, but finally, there is a credible alternative in the shape of the KTM 1290 Super Adventure. The KTM is anything but another GS clone. Instead, this is a true road and dirt bike hybrid with a ludicrously powerful engine and a high base specification, including rider aids such as cornering ABS, plus creature comforts like independently-heated seats.

“The KTM still isn’t appreciated for being as good as it is. It’s a buzz to ride, yet still a big load-lugging adventure bike. It has to be on your shopping list.”

Phil West

Runner-up: BMW R 1200 GS

Second, but only after a very robust debate. The GS remains the model all adventure bikes benchmark against and is oh-so-dependable, but it’s less involving to ride than the KTM and doesn’t offer as much standard specification.

Runner-up: Yamaha MT-09 Tracer

It’s no hardcore, go-anywhere, load bearing tourer, but it’s a superb all-rounder that is fun, light, punchy and represents excellent value for money.

Category winners

Meet our panel of expert judges

Jon Quirk
Editor-in-Chief of Auto Trader, road rider, customiser and committed to helping everybody find their dream bike.
Rob Morphet
Launched Auto Trader Bikes in 1996, a key protagonist in its successful shift to digital and a passionate supermoto rider.
David Burton
Founding editor of independent motorcycle magazine Esses, road rider, prolific designer, tea drinker.
Phil West
One of the UK’s most authoritative, respected and long established motorcycling journalists. Now a senior road tester for Auto Trader Bikes.

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