Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Baltimore, MD (USA)
2018 1290SAR Reliability Concerns
New to the forum, first post. I'm looking at purchasing my 1st adventure bike. I have 50 yrs. of riding experience, 10 years of motocross racing and trail riding when I was young. I currently own a Honda CR250 that I occasionally take to the track. So I feel very confident off-road. I've ruled out the GS, I have an RT and it's great on the road, but I'm not interested in two cylinders hanging off the side when I'm off-road, it's not a matter of if I'll drop it, it's a matter of when.
I live on the East Coast of the U.S. and my local dealer doesn't allow test rides. So I rode to the next closest dealer 45 minutes away and test rode a 2018 1290 SAR back in October. They sent me out alone and directed me out of town to the twisties. I was totally sold on the bike, I couldn't believe how the knobbies stuck to the road and loved wheelieing out of the corners by simply twisting the wick. However, I wasn't about to make an impulse buy and wanted to do more research before laying down the cash. So, I found this forum and started reading as much as I could and determined that buying the 1290 was a bad idea. Based on reading this forum it seemed like there were way too many problems with the 1290 SAR. I got a taste of what it's like to get a bike serviced that is made overseas this past summer when my 2017 Triumph Street Cup needed a safety recall done and a warranty claim for a miss at higher RPM. Bottom line is the bike sat in the shop for 3 1/2 weeks and they ended up taking the parts off a bike from their showroom to get me back on the road.
The adventure bike purchase is intended to fulfill a bucket list item which is to ride to Alaska and to hit some BDR routes in the lower 48. Reliability would be key.
Now I understand that there are lemons when it comes to just about anything that is man-made. Typically these are a small percentage of any given product, but these few can spoil it for the rest.
So I started researching the Honda AT and more or less decided to go that route. Until after finding a post in a forum for the AT and a guy said he bought one based on the bad reviews of the KTM, like me he didn't want to spend his weekends working on his KTM or waiting for months for parts, so he bought the Honda. However, two of his buddies bought KTM's and love them. Now he wishes he had bought orange.
So I would like to hear what "actual" owners of 1290 SAR's have to say. Assuming I get a "good" one, what do you think I have to look forward to? I'm seriously considering a 2018. They had been on sale for the month of October for $15, 999.00 (U.S.) but are now back up to $17,999.00 with .99% financing, which I look at as free money. Any constructive input would be very much appreciated.