Customizers work on bikes for any number of reasons, but broadly speaking, the general idea is to take any given bike and make it better. Now, of course, ‘better’ is subjective—and what’s ‘better’ for off-road purposes is usually not ‘better’ for the track. There are a whole lot of directions a bike can go in, and that’s where things usually start to get interesting—as with the KTM 1290 Paris Dakar build recently undertaken by Roland Sands Design. 

The team started with a KTM 1290 Super Adventure, and the build began during covid times—which, of course, presented its own challenges. Since off-the-shelf parts weren’t yet plentiful for this bike, RSD had to reach out to some of its friends for prototypes. Luckily, with so many friends in the parts and accessories business, they were able to source what they needed to kit out what became the KTM 1290 Paris Dakar. 

While the first thing you might notice is the Airtrix custom Red Bull paint scheme, there are numerous details within this build for you to spend quality time with. It started, as you do, with performance—Rottweiler Performance provided an intake kit, as well as a tuned velocity stack, tapered steering bearing kit, folding mirrors, a skidplate, and more. They also provided an Arrow titanium racing header, which works nicely with the titanium SC Project slip-on exhaust that RSD also installed.  

Gallery: Roland Sands Design KTM 1290 Paris Dakar

Other trick bits include Pro Taper EVO handlebars with a Carmichael bend, ASV billet unbreakable brake and clutch levers, full Baja Designs lighting setup including auxiliary lights, Dubya wheel sets with Haan billet hubs, Excel Takasago rims, and oversized stainless-steel spokes, Galfer brake rotors and pads, Brembo GP4RX nickel front brake calipers, a BRP ISO sub-mount handlebar riser system with Scotts steering stabilizer, and so much more. Changing the rear wheel to an 18-inch one allowed fitment of a pair of proper Dunlop knobby tires to further unlock this machine’s off-road potential. 

Seat Concepts also made a custom seat cover out of a grippy suede-like material that of course looks cool, and also used some carbon fiber on the sides to accentuate the finished product. Things you might not spot right away (but which are nonetheless important) include an Antigravity lithium battery setup (including harness), as well as a number of KTM aftermarket accessories, including heated grips, frame protection, even more auxiliary lighting, and a touring windscreen.  

The full build was about helping this bike live up to its potential as a potent off-road adventure machine—so what do you think? Did RSD succeed? 

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