KTM 1290 Super Adventure S

by MotoGusto Editor

KTM has taken full advantage of the development feedback to introduce a new era of rider-focused design and ground-breaking technology with the 2021 KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S.

Introducing the third generation of over-1000cc KTM ADVENTURE models, the KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S is the sportiest and most technologically advanced Adventure bike to ever roll its wheels off the production line in Mattighofen, Austria. Forged to provide the benefits of a versatile sports-tourer with diligence paid to ergonomics and comfort over any terrain, in brief, it’s the ultimate high-performance Adventure bike.

KTM 1290 Super Adventure S

Redesigned ergonomics

Focusing on keener handling, the new KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S introduces a chassis overhaul that further enhances weight distribution and riding agility. A sharper cornering sensation is achieved by moving the steering head back by 15 mm and relocating the front section of the engine. Additionally, the longer open-lattice swingarm contributes to a more stable feeling under acceleration. The subframe has been crafted to provide a lower seat height without sacrificing durability or practicality.

Surrounding the rider is a new 23-litre, keyless-cap fuel tank and a set of bodywork that augment the bike’s agile feeling. Every centimetre of the panelling has been analysed in order not to impede the riding sensation. The new two-tiered seat is adjustable by 20mm which should provide additional comfort for long rides. Also customisable are the handlebar levers, the all-new TFT and the windshield that has been developed through wind tunnel testing and can be moved by 55 mm. Overall, the KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S excels for its lower centralisation of masses and refined weight balance. It begs to be ridden hard or caressed to speed over long distances.

Can you spot the radar-based Adaptive Cruise Control system?

Technology to boost performance

Regulating the ride is the new generation of electronic aids with a less intrusive level of traction control in RAIN, STREET, SPORT, OFFROAD and an updated (optional) RALLY mode. To take you to the best riding terrain with less fuss, the KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S introduces an innovative Adaptive Cruise Control system as standard for 2021. Developed in collaboration with Bosch, the radar-based system automatically adjusts the safe distance to traffic ahead according to five stages that can be set with the redesigned handlebar switches.

KTM’s all-new switchgear and 7-inch display

The riding experience is further boosted with the brand new 7” TFT display that is hooked to a new Connectivity Unit for seamless smartphone pairing. 

The larger dashboard view has quicker and more practical menu systems as well as clear aesthetic infographics to clearly indicate various sections of the bike. The dash sits on top of a redesigned storage compartment with a USB charging socket. 

To communicate with the new display, the KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S comes with all-new switchgear. It offers a new and more seamless user experience. A new set of quick select and favourites buttons will allow for set-up changes on the fly and while the rider stays focused on the roads ahead.

Advanced componentry 

The heart of the KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S is the revised Euro5 compliant V-twin. The eye-widening 160hp and 138Nm come in a lighter form (-1.6 kg) thanks to thinner engine cases and a new oil circuit. The engine breathes through an upgraded two-headed exhaust and shifts with a revised PANKL gear mechanism that brings significant improvements in the optional Quickshifter+.

New pistons have further raised reliability, and the whole unit retains better cooling thanks to a new water/oil system. The two new radiators work with the redesigned bodywork to channel warm air away from the rider’s legs. 15,000 km service intervals and low fuel consumption round-off the re-energised powerplant.

Furthermore, the lean angle-dependent Motorcycle Traction Control has two different controllers operating its data and strategies independently: one for wheel slip; the other for pitch angle. The Cornering ABS and Offroad ABS systems are products of the new Bosch Motorcycle Stability Control system, while Motor Slip Regulation is optional.

The KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S will hurtle along bumpy trails courtesy of a new generation of WP APEX Semi-Active Technology, suspension. The SAT boasts augmented damping thanks to new valves while the 6D lean angle sensor inputs directly into the unit for a thorough outline of rider behaviour.

Part of the updated range of KTM PowerParts designed explicitly for the KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S is the Suspension Pro package that offers individual damping for the fork and the shock, automatic preload adjustment and an on/off Anti-Dive setting. With the additional Rally Pack featuring the RALLY riding mode and the respective MTC slip adjuster, all of the Suspension Pro and Rally Pack features together with the Quickshifter+, the Motor Slip Regulation, the Hill Hold Control and the adaptive brake light are included in the all-in-one Tech Pack.


  • New ergonomics: new fuel tank, lower seat & new plastics
  • Reworked bodywork: shorter chassis, new subframe & longer swingarm
  • Optimised weight distribution: added agility & comfort
  • New generation electronics: innovative ACC & reworked cornering MTC
  • More intuitive 7” TFT display: optimal accessibility
  • Redesigned handlebar switches, improved CCU
  • Revised 1301cc LC8 engine: 160 hp & 138 Nm
  • Next generation of Semi-Active Suspension
  • Remodeled optional technology: Suspension Pro, Rally Pack & Tech Pack


  • Engine: 1301cc, Liquid cooled, 2-cylinder, 4-stroke, V 75°, 138Nm, 118kW
  • Gears: 6-speed
  • CO2 Emissions: 134 g/km
  • Start: Electric 
  • Stroke: 71mm
  • Bore: 108 mm
  • Clutch: PASC (TM) slipper clutch, hydraulically actuated
  • EMS Keihin EMS with RBW and cruise control, double ignition
  • Fuel consumption: 50mpg (approx.)
  • Lubrication: Forced oil lubrication with three oil pumps
  • Tank: 23 litres
  • Brake Discs: Front, 320mml; Rear, 267 mm
  • Chain: 525 X-Ring
  • Dry weight: 220kg
  • Frame: Chrome-moly tubular space frame, powder-coated
  • Ground clearance: 223mm
  • Seat height: 849 mm
  • Steering Head Angle: 65.3°
  • Suspension: Front: 200mm; Rear, 200mm

As of January 2021, price has yet to be confirmed. It will be available in dealers from March 2021 (except North America).


#ktm #ktm1290adventures #1290adventures #ktmadventures #motogusto

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