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ADV NewsMeet Gasoline’s KTM 1290 Super Adventure R Monster Enduro

Meet Gasoline’s KTM 1290 Super Adventure R Monster Enduro

Australian builder takes KTM's flagship ADV bike from a mere animal to a monster.

Published on 05.05.2023

Powerful and capable, the KTM 1290 Super Adventure R offers performance in spades, and that’s exactly why Gasoline Motor Co., based in Sydney, Australia, chose it as the base machine for its latest adventure bike project build. After all, if you start at the top, the sky’s your only limit. 

Gasoline Motor KTM 1290 Super Adventure R Enduro bike build

From first glance, we can see the name “Monster” (as Gasoline calls it) is wholly appropriate for this customized big enduro machine. The idea behind the gnarly-looking build was actually borne back in “the dark days of Covid lockdowns” says builder Jason Leppa, when so many of us, including Jason and his team, wanted to get out to remote areas and be secluded from other humans, yet also have a good time riding their off-road bikes while in mandatory isolation.  

Gasoline Motor KTM 1290 Super Adventure R Enduro bike build

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Jason says the project was about finding the best bike to take you to the most remote areas where there are no roads, no crowds, no people, then taking that bike to the next level. So while the rest of Australia was isolated at home on Zoom meetings, Jason explains they “went 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.”

Gasoline Motor KTM 1290 Super Adventure R Enduro bike build

Most of the Monster’s build crew are off-road riders, “so we have an experienced and educated understanding as to what is needed in style, functionality and performance to build such an off-road monster,” says Jason. “Hondas and Yamahas” were also considered for the platform before the team decided on KTM’s flagship 1290 Super Adventure R model, a bike that Jason says “was pretty ugly as an OEM machine,” but had the most technology and performance available at the time.

Gasoline Motor KTM 1290 Super Adventure R Enduro bike build

Whether or not you agree the KTM 1290 SAR was an ugly duckling out of the box, there can be no disagreement that the bike is now a stunner in its finished form. For some, it conjures memories of the iconic KTM 950 Super Enduro R produced from 2006 to 2008, a time when several manufacturers were releasing flexed versions of popular models, including BMW with its HP2 Enduro. 

Gasoline Motor KTM 1290 Super Adventure R Enduro bike build

One of the cool things about Gasoline, a huge South Sydney shop famous for cafe bike culture and a steady stream of customs and curated consignment bikes, is it seems to know not to fix what isn’t broken. In that spirit, the KTM’s already highly effective LC8 V-twin engine, with its 160 hp and 101.8 ft-lbs of torque, fully-adjustable WP suspension, Brembo brakes and Akront wheels were held over — though the rims were spiffed with a glossy application of back paint. 

But the team wanted to address appearance as well as functionality, so took the brand new unit and stripped it bare. A new subframe was fabricated from chrome alloy, using a trellis design that echoes the latticework of the main frame, both of which are now powder coated white, giving the Monster an edgy industrial vibe. 

Gasoline Motor KTM 1290 Super Adventure R Enduro bike build
Gasoline Motor KTM 1290 Super Adventure R Enduro bike build

The bike’s stock instrument panel, with its hidden trove of electronic wizardry, was relocated lower, to be more flush with the bike’s all-new carbon fiber fuel tank, an element that was first designed from clay, then 3-D scanned to produce a solid mold, over which the carbon fiber faced cell was shaped. It’s a cool look, with the bend of the tank and dash curving all the way forward to blend with the flush fairing and headlamp cowl, the resulting look resembling the haunches of a large predator. The carbon fiber look is echoed in the bike’s hand guards, fork shrouds and various bits, while the stock handlebar and controls remain. 

Gasoline Motor KTM 1290 Super Adventure R Enduro bike build
Gasoline Motor KTM 1290 Super Adventure R Enduro bike build

A clay mockup was also used to create the bike’s pert tail bump, which was finished in fiberglass and glossy black paint. The custom seat was shaped over a fiberglass base, then covered in carbon fiber patterned material and highlighted with two white strips that play to the white frame. The Monster’s headlamp cowl and claw-like front fender were pinched from KTM EXC models.

Gasoline Motor KTM 1290 Super Adventure R Enduro bike build
Gasoline Motor KTM 1290 Super Adventure R Enduro bike build

We love the way this bike’s custom exhaust pipe, tipped in a weight-shaving SC-Project exhaust canister, slithers up close to the frame, further giving the machine a feel it’s a whole animal instead of various bits mashed together. As for overall weight lost in the build, Jason guesses they dropped between 25 to 30 kgs (55 to 66 lbs) from the 1290’s stock dry weight of 221 kg (487 lbs).

Gasoline Motor KTM 1290 Super Adventure R Enduro bike build

In an effort to goose a bit more power the team engineered a custom airbox to house a DNA air filter  —  in addition to employing the SC-Project exhaust — and enlisted a performance fuel mapping. Shinko knobbies make the Monster look ready to bite, while extra lighting, including LED spot lights mounted to the bike’s hand-built crash bars, and a high-powered Enduro-Tech headlamp light the way. The Monster’s skid plate is KTM original equipment and fits right in. 

Graphics are all at once underplayed and obvious, with the black gloss and carbon fiber theme interrupted only by the bike’s stark skeletal unpinning and a few orange highlights sprinkled about to remind us from whence this machine originally came. 

Gasoline Motor KTM 1290 Super Adventure R Enduro bike build

Like what you see? Jason says Gasoline Motor doesn’t replicate its custom bikes, but he would be willing to build a buyer something similar. And it might be worth a query. You never know when you’re going to need (want) to escape the world again, and so much better if it’s aboard the baddest adventure bike around. 

Photos by Adrian Veale

Author: Jamie Elvidge

Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.

Author: Jamie Elvidge
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Stevan Addison
Stevan Addison
May 5, 2023 10:11 pm

I own the bike in the pictures above . The build had been a nightmare from the outset. The bike is still problematic with a terrible build quality from GASOLINE.
Buyer beware!!!!

Marcio
Marcio
May 6, 2023 5:17 am
Reply to  Stevan Addison

Whats the autonomy of the bike? How big is the fuel tank?

Gasoline Motor Co.
Gasoline Motor Co.
May 8, 2023 5:14 pm
Reply to  Marcio

The Fuel Tank Capacity after the modification is now 18.5 Litres.

Gasoline Motor Co.
Gasoline Motor Co.
May 8, 2023 5:10 pm
Reply to  Stevan Addison

Unfortunately Stevan Addison showing ungratefulness for the amazing KTM Motorcycle built for him. He failed to understand that this motorcycle is more than 60% custom built and completely re invented. Our team communicated with the customer on a regular basis and we’re extremely transparent during every process. There were delays due to some faulty workmanship from Carl Cerra @ ( SKUNK MACHINE) a sub contractor who assembled the carbon fibre tank using the incorrect glue which reacted with the petrol and did not seal. The delay was not caused by any type of Gasoline “ terrible build quality “ as stated by Stevan Addison.
In the end, Our Team and tons of incredible media with positive feedback from our followers around the world, made it all worth while and we thank YOU for that.
Gasoline Motor Co.

deathsoswiftly
deathsoswiftly
May 9, 2023 10:22 pm
Reply to  Stevan Addison

lol I knew this would exactly be the case

Joe John
Joe John
May 9, 2023 1:10 pm

Your photographer didn’t do you any favors. Why did they use a black background with a black bike? I have no idea what I’m looking at.

Mario P
Mario P
May 9, 2023 1:24 pm

Never thought I would say this about a KTM but what a beauty!! Bravo!

Andreas Reiter
Andreas Reiter
May 10, 2023 10:12 am
Reply to  Mario P

A REAL BEAUTY (and most probably a BEAST as well)

Bob
Bob
May 10, 2023 10:08 am

Brutal! But No bash plate?

Jeff, Hampton Va
Jeff, Hampton Va
May 10, 2023 10:29 am

It’s good to see bikes like this and Roland Sands. It lends finances to ideas that trickle down to ADV R owners such as myself. Cameron Brewer, at Roland’s Sands was very gracious and helpful with describing modifications and vendors not touched on in ADV PULSE write up: built my idea KTM.
Kudos to the people at Gasoline Motor Company for an excellent build!

wfo75080
wfo75080
May 10, 2023 11:49 am

YUK! Besides not being able to look at a black bike against a black background it looks like a ride in the mud will result in the rider’s back being covered in mud. The pipe would be smashed after one challenging ride and stock suspension after paying this much for a bike?

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