Monster Enduro: Gasoline’s gnarly KTM 1290 Super Adventure R

Custom KTM 1290 Super Adventure R by Gasoline Motor Co.
Back in the mid aughts, KTM and BMW’s perennial rivalry reached fever pitch. KTM had just released the 950 Super Enduro R—a stonking 942 cc dirt bike that was widely believed to be a response to the equally bonkers BMW HP2 Enduro. The two bikes went head-to-head at the gnarly 2006 Erzberg Rodeo, but neither stayed on the market for very long.

As wildly fun as they are, big twin-cylinder enduro bikes aren’t massive sellers, and both bikes were out of production before the end of the decade. Each boasts its own cult following now—but neither brand has built anything quite as focused since.

Custom KTM 1290 Super Adventure R by Gasoline Motor Co.
If you have an itch for monstrous roost-kicking enduro machines, you’ll need to turn to imaginative custom motorcycle builders like Australia’s Gasoline Motor Co. to scratch it. They’ve just transformed a bone stock KTM 1290 Super Adventure R into a contemporary take on the Super Enduro R, and it is beastly.

For adventure riding, the KTM 1290 Super Adventure R is more than capable out the box. Like most of its stablemates, it comes with top-spec gear; adjustable WP suspension, Brembo brakes and Akront wheels. And like most of its stablemates, its look is an acquired taste.

Custom KTM 1290 Super Adventure R by Gasoline Motor Co.
“It’s pretty ugly as an OEM machine,” Gasoline founder, Jason Leppa, says bluntly. “But it has the most technology and performance in an off-road motorcycle on the market.”

“We were on the hunt for the fastest and most capable off-road machine we could possibly find, that could handle the expansive deserts, sand dunes, rough terrain and mountain ridges of Australia. As a bike building team, most of our workshop technicians ride off-road, adventure and motocross machines on the weekends and in their down time. So we have an experienced and educated understanding as to what is needed both in style design, functionality and performance to build such an off-road monster.”

Custom KTM 1290 Super Adventure R by Gasoline Motor Co.
In Gasoline’s mind, what the KTM 1290 Super Adventure R needed was a complete redesign of its bodywork, front to back. So they tore the bike down to its bones—even going so far as to remove its subframe, and the fuel tank that hides under the OEM plastics.

Sitting front and center is a new carbon fiber fuel tank, built and designed from scratch. Gasoline molded it out of clay first, then 3D-scanned it and created a master mold to shape the final part over. It’s been designed to work with the original fuel pump and fittings.

Custom KTM 1290 Super Adventure R by Gasoline Motor Co.
Out back, the team fabricated an all-new chromoly subframe, with a trellis layout that complements the the main frame. A set of blacked-out aluminum filler panels hid the bike’s new custom battery box and electronic component mounts. Gasoline repurposed the stock seat lock too, and made a new license plate mount.

The seat was shaped over a fiberglass base, then upholstered in a carbon-look fabric, adorned with a pair of stripes to match the chassis. Gasoline again used clay to mock-up the tail bump, then built it out of fiberglass. Look at the KTM from the side, and you’ll notice that it subtly mimics the silhouette of the fuel tank.

Custom KTM 1290 Super Adventure R by Gasoline Motor Co.
The bits that dress the front end were scalped from other KTMs. The headlight cowling and front fender are from the Austrian marque’s EXC range of enduro bikes; the latter is fitted via a laser cut adaptor plate. A high-powered LED headlight from Enduro-Tech sits inside the cowl, modified to clear the stock ignition and steering locks.

Lower down you’ll find a pair of carbon fiber fork guards, transplanted from a KTM 890 Adventure R. The suspension, brakes and wheels are all stock, but the wheels have been refinished in gloss black. The exhaust headers are stock too—but the connecting pipe that links them to the SC-Project end can is custom.

Custom KTM 1290 Super Adventure R by Gasoline Motor Co.
Additional lighting comes from two LED spotlights, mounted to custom-made crash bars that flank the fuel tank. Tiny LEDs handle turn signal and taillight duties.

Gasoline kept the stock bars and controls, but relocated the KTM’s digital dash to sit above the bar clamps. It sits on a laser-cut bracket, by way of a 3D-printed, rubber-mounted housing. Then there’s what you can’t see; the custom-made airbox, complete with laser-etched graphics and a DNA filter.

Custom KTM 1290 Super Adventure R by Gasoline Motor Co.
For the graphics, Gasoline went minimal and striking. The livery is a mix of black and glossed-over carbon, strategically placed to emphasize the curves of the new bodywork. Sharp graphics—some in white and orange, and some in reversed carbon cut out from the black—are sprinkled all over.

Keen eyes will spot GPS co-ordinates written on the side panels that form part of the crash bar setup. They drop right in the middle of the Finke desert in the Northern Territory—the perfect proving ground for a motorcycle like this.

Custom KTM 1290 Super Adventure R by Gasoline Motor Co.
Gasoline’s aggressive re-interpretation of the 1290 Super Adventure R looks completely mental—and reportedly has a soundtrack to match (“It sounds like a Dakar bike on steroids,” says Jason). Until KTM decide to build another Super Enduro R, this will do nicely.

Gasoline | Facebook | Instagram | Images by Adrian Veale

Custom KTM 1290 Super Adventure R by Gasoline Motor Co.

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