Well, the results are in, and they are quite interesting and quite close.  Before we get into the results, it’s best to recap what we asked you to do.  You were asked you to rate the BMW R1250 GS and KTM 1290 Super Adventure R in ten different moto areas and also to provide an overall rating.  Those areas were:

  1. Engine power
  2. Off-road capability
  3. Overall comfort
  4. Braking ability
  5. Electronic technology
  6. Control switches and settings
  7. Weather protection and engine temperature control
  8. Maintenance requirements
  9. Reliability
  10. Styling

You were asked to give each section a rating from 1 – 5 with 1 being poor and 5 being excellent.


Since you were not required to rate both motorcycles, and more people rated the R 1250 GS than the KTM 1290 Super Adventure R, we weighted the averages to make sure our comparison was “apples to apples.”

The BMW R 1250 GS. Photo credit: BMW

Ultimately 58% of participants chose to rate the BMW while 42% decided to evaluate the KTM.  Some of you also took the time to share our Reader Shootout on social media, and that unquestionably gave the survey a more comprehensive range of responses.  Thank you, and please remember to share our other shootouts as they are posted.   More opinions give more accurate results.

The KTM 1290 Super Adventure R. Photo credit: KTM

OK, so let’s see how the bikes fared.  When we looked at the total number of wins in each category, the BMW ran away with the contest.  The GS won 7 out of 10 categories.  While that may seem an overwhelming victory, it’s really not an overwhelming one.  The margins between the two were generally no more than two or three 10ths of a point, sometimes a few hundredths of a point,  and in one case, a thousandth of a point.  Still, the BMW wins in total category count.

Final Results

The final results were:

Reader Shootout  June 8 @ 08:00 BMW KTM
Engine power 4.287 4.537
Off-road capability 3.819 4.267
Overall comfort 4.334 3.92
Braking ability 4.34 4.178
Electronic technology 4.25 4.138
Control switches and settings 4.162 4.006
Weather protection and temperature control 4.178 3.301
Maintenance requirements 3.89 3.868
Reliability 4.035 3.881
Styling 4.18 4.181
Rate moto overall 4.358 4.205


With the KTM winning the first two categories of engine and suspension by a significant margin, some might say that points towards KTM’s “Ready To Race” philosophy and racing is what can get you there first.  But, others may argue that adventure riding is not a race, and therefore, the other categories which BMW won are indicators that the GS will get you there perhaps not as fast, but more comfortably.

Whichever side of the fence you end up on, it’s clear that you think both bikes are capable and enjoyable mounts.  Tell us what you think of the results in the comments below.  And, please give us some ideas for the next shootout.  Right now, I’m leaning towards thumpers like the Honda XR650L, KTM 690, and Suzuki DR 650.  Thank you all for participating in our first reader shootout.

Note: Green font indicates category winner.

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