ADV Pulse

NEWSLETTER
Get ADV Pulse delivered by email
Sign up for ADV Pulse Weekly

Newsletter

Get ADV Pulse delivered by email
Sign up for ADV Pulse Weekly

Connect With Us

Follow On Facebook:

ADV NewsRoland Sands Unleashes A KTM 1290 Paris Dakar Tribute Bike

Roland Sands Unleashes A KTM 1290 Paris Dakar Tribute Bike

A homage to an era before 450s dominated the desert.

Published on 11.25.2022

Built as a homage to the era before lightweight 450cc bikes dominated the rally raid scene, Roland Sands Design is showing off its “Paris Dakar” custom, built for a customer who evidently wanted to own the coolest looking KTM 1290 Super Adventure R on the block. 

Roland Sands Design KTM 1290 Adventure R Bike Build

And what a looker it is, with that eye-popping custom Red Bull-inspired paint job and graphics work conjured by artisan house Airtrix, based in Santa Barbara, while the stock seat was covered by Seat Concepts with an all-weather synthetic suede-like material with carbon fiber on the sides. The visuals it turns out were the easiest part. The bike had arrived at RSD’s Long Beach facility during the second year of Covid, when supply chain issues were at their worst, so the crew had some time to come up with a master plan. 

Roland Sands Design KTM 1290 Adventure R Bike Build

The big question was how to make a bike that’s already so powerful, purpose built and technology rich, even better. After all, the 1290 Super Adventure R has plenty going for it, and RSD project manager, Cameron Brewer, took this into account, choosing to put a lot of focus on the bike’s physicality, rather than diving too deep into performance mods, though the R did have its emissions streamlined via a SAS Stage 3 Canister Removal Kit from Rottweiler Performance, and also received the company’s Stage 1 Intake Kit and Tuned Velocity Stack. 

Roland Sands Design KTM 1290 Adventure R Bike Build

ADVERTISEMENT

Rottweiler additionally contributed an Arrow Titanium Racing Header that graduates into a titanium Adventure Muffler with carbon fiber end cap from Italy’s SC-Project. The Super Adventure’s rear section is much tidier without its massive stock can, but what makes this area really stand out from stock is how RSD created new rear side panels and a “fender eliminator kit” in an effort to mimic the thick-hipped look of current rally raid race bikes, which typically run with an aft fuel cell. 

Roland Sands Design KTM 1290 Adventure R Bike Build

The 1290 KTM traded its stock 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels for more dent-resistant Excel Takasago rims, with oversized stainless spokes that rotate on Haan billet hubs. Aggressive knobbies, a Dunlop D606 for the front and Dunlop D908RR, accentuate the off-road ready vibe. The new wheels are slowed by Galfer Sintered brake pads and floating rotors front and rear, with the dual front discs moderated by Brembo GP4RX nickel plated calipers.

Roland Sands Design KTM 1290 Adventure R Bike Build
Roland Sands Design KTM 1290 Adventure R Bike Build

The big adventure tourer’s drive system is now a visual focal point with the addition of a flashy gold D.I.D ZVM X-ring chain that turns new sprockets from Superlite. In the video of the bike Brewer mentions KTM’s extensive catalog of “really rad stuff,” from which many items were plucked, including the custom’s chain guard, swingarm bolt cover kit, brake reservoir covers, plus several “factory racing” parts that include an ignition cover plug and footpeg set. 

Roland Sands Design KTM 1290 Adventure R Bike Build

Other KTM-sourced upgrades include a host of protective parts, from the oil filter cover to the unmistakable orange frame guards and touring windscreen. Heated grips were added, as well as the Austrian maker’s auxiliary fog lamp kit. This bit is interesting since the OE aux lamp system is teamed up with an additional lighting system from Baja Designs. “You can only go as fast as you can see,” says Brewer of the choice. The dual systems run on separate circuits, controlled by push buttons down below the fairing.

Roland Sands Design KTM 1290 Adventure R Bike Build

Other off-road friendly accouterments include the rugged Racing Skid Plate made by AXP and the addition of “Unbreakable” folding brake and clutch levers from AVS Inventions Inc., as well as smart Arrow Quick Flip mirrors from CRG. 

As for the bike’s extensive suite of rider aids, RSD had Three Brother’s Racing install KTM’s “Full Rally Pack”, which unleashes the “Rally” ride mode allowing custom tuning of throttle response and on-the-fly traction control adjustments. 

Roland Sands Design KTM 1290 Adventure R Bike Build

A Pro Taper EVO handlebar sits on a rubber mounted riser system, which not only dampens some vibration but allowed the team to mount a Scott steering stabilizer, for which RSD had to fabricate its own mounting brackets. Orange fork guards and a high-mounted front fender from KTM’s SX 85 trailbike were adapted for an edgy look. 

Roland Sands Design KTM 1290 Adventure R Bike Build

Perhaps the coolest thing about this bike is that it’s a sweet test mule for mods and eye candy any 1290 Super Adventure R owner can implement, save for the few custom adaptations made by the master builders at RSD. In fact, there’s an extensive list of every major and minor element of this design, right down to the smallest billet and carbon fiber bits on RSD’s website. After all, Christmas is right around the corner.

Photos by Roland Sands Design

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
ADVERTISEMENT

Related Stories

Related Stories

Comments
 1

Leave a Reply

One thought on “Roland Sands Unleashes A KTM 1290 Paris Dakar Tribute Bike

  1. Pingback: Roland Sands Unleashes A KTM 1290 Paris Dakar Tribute Bike | Vacation Inspiration

ADVERTISEMENT

South Pole Quest On Himalayans Comes To Life In New Video Series

In December of 2021 Royal Enfield marketing specialist, Santhosh Vijay, and B...

We Want You to Start the New Year With an Incredible Adventure!

ADV Pulse wants you to ring in 2023 with an incredible adventure to make th...

Field Tested: Mosko Moto Reckless 40L V3.0 Luggage System

Light is right, less is more… however you say it, it’s the mantra of ma...