RIDING TWO-UP ACROSS ITALY ON THE 2021 KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S
Traveling alone and mostly offroad across 72 countries, I never felt the itch to have someone close during my rides. I think solo traveling is the best way to get to know the outside world and yourself. Quite recently, my decade-long riding plans were about to change, as I got to cross Italy with my riding partner. And that was an opportunity I could not miss…
The preparation of the trip, as always, was practically zero. We simply loaded the bike with the bare minimum and set off. And here I am on the saddle of the 2021 KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S together with Amina, who comes from Morocco. From Bassano del Grappa, we crossed the small Dolomites, visited Lake Garda and the rest of Northern Italy until we reached Liguria, where the Cinque Terre have us amazed with its timeless beauty.
My initial concerns that Amina could find all the hardships in the world traveling with just one change of clothing quickly dissipated as she proved to be extremely versatile and flexible from the very start. Her only suffering was the cold temperatures.
The electronically adjustable suspension of the KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S allowed us to travel comfortably and not suffer the holes that are often found on Italian B-roads. The great advantage of the new suspension is that it is very easily adjustable based on the road you are travelling on and directly from the illuminated switches on the left of the handlebar. I can say that I changed my set-up every day, several times a day. I am in love with the new semi-active suspension.
We got on the ferry in Livorno and found ourselves in wonderful Sardinia, a paradise on earth. We traveled along the coasts and the internal part of the fantastic island and along the famous road 125. Thanks to the perfect asphalt and the excellent grip, we allowed ourselves to let go of a few more horses from the engine and have fun. This bike is a blade and riding on this street is the funfair for adults. The perfect weather was a welcome addition and after four days we were back on the ferry to Rome, the Eternal City for some needed rest.
After a couple of days of rest, we left for Naples, a transfer stage on the motorway, probably my first time on the motorway with the new bike. There, I was able to test the Adaptive Cruise Control system, which amazed me. With added safety from the latest technology, the bike accelerates and brakes on its own, holds the pre-set distance from the vehicle ahead and gives you a greater sense of long-distance comfort and safety. I spent this stage of the trip playing with the ACC like a young boy.
Naples and the Costiera Amalfitana welcomed us with their unique beauty, we were captivated by the scenery and by one of the most iconic roads for motorcyclists. We enjoyed it all. Amina never stopped taking photos and videos, she has been captivated by the beauty of Italy. Sometimes we got a bit cold, so I had to operate the heated grips and saddle. She was amazed by this extra luxury thought for the travel companion. The comfort of this motorcycle, even for two, is extraordinary. Miles slip under the wheels and you don’t even notice it.
We crossed the south of Italy and landed in the beautiful Puglia where we walked along the coast and, as always, tasted all the local delicacies. Italy is an incredible country also from a gastronomic point of view, each region has a lot to offer, and the food is one of the best you might find anywhere in the world. Central Italy never ceases to amaze. We crossed Umbria and arrived in Tuscany. The KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S was like a dancer in the Tuscan hills among the Chianti vines. With a bit of searching, we ended up discovering the most scenic and characteristic roads. Just fantastic.
We rode an average of 230 kms per day, traveling a couple of hours in the morning and a couple in the early afternoon. We would also use the rest of the day to visit some cities or simply spoiling ourselves to an Aperitivo after a long day of riding in the most beautiful country in the world.
After three intense weeks we returned to Bassano del Grappa with many memories. My first trip with a pillion was a success, we had no inconvenience. It was hard for me to accept, but traveling on the road and not offroad makes the journey enormously smoother. I must be honest, solo adventurous trips and motorbike holidays as a couple are completely different. Beautiful, but different. Traveling alone, you only deal with yourself, and, in my case, you face new difficulties every day mainly due to offroad conditions. As a couple, you must find compromises and a lot depends on how well you can communicate with your riding partner. In my case, I was pretty lucky.
The bike was flawless. I was able to learn more about the electronics and appreciate the new dashboard which, thanks to the color graphics, allows you to check the bike by simply pressing a button.
The world is big and it’s out there for all of us to explore…