2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R and S Details Leak

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

KTM hasn’t officially announced its 2021 1290 Super Adventure models yet, but it briefly published the pages for both the street-focused Super Adventure S and more off-road capable Super Adventure R on its website. The pages were quickly taken down, but we’ve managed to snag the details. Both models receive a number of updates, including a radar-based adaptive cruise control system for the S model.

2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure Revealed in Patent Filings

We didn’t get a look at what the 2021 Super Adventure looks like, but we have a good idea, thanks to patent illustrations we uncovered in November. We can confirm that the Super Adventure will receive a low-slung saddle-shaped fuel tank described in the patent, with a similar design to the tanks used on the 790, 890 and 390 Adventure models. The fuel capacity will remain at 6.1 gallons, the same volume as the 2020 Super Adventure, but we can confirm the tank will have an electronically opened cap as well as a small storage compartment with a USB socket.

To meet Euro 5 standards, KTM gave the 2021 1290 Super Adventure models a completely reworked exhaust system. New header pipes connect to a collector chamber with two catalytic converters, while three lambda sensors will measure the emissions and help keep them within Euro 5 limits. The engine claims an output of 160 hp, the same as the 2020 model, but peak torque drops slightly to a 101.8 lb-ft. from 103.2 lb-ft.

The engine will be cooled by two separate radiators instead of the previous one-piece design. KTM also redesigned the airbox, making it easier to access the air filter. The transmission was also updated with a new Pankl gearbox, a change KTM first introduced on the 1290 Super Duke R.

The 2021 Super Adventure gets a new chrome-molybdenum steel trellis frame combining laser-cut tubes and forged elements. The engine is rotated forward within the frame by 2° compared to the 2020 model, which should help keep the front end down during hard acceleration. The steering head was moved back 0.6 inches for a shorter overall frame while the swingarm was lengthened by the same amount.

Both Super Adventure models receive a redesigned one-piece saddle with a shorter seat height than the 2020 model. The R model’s seat drops 0.4 inches to 34.6 inches while the S model is adjustable from 33.4 to 34.2 inches (previously 33.8 to 34.4 inches).

The R model will run on tubeless wire spoke wheels from Alpina. The wheels use O-ring seals on the nipples to help prevent air leakage. The S model will have cast wheels plus new bespoke MITAS Terra Force-R tires.

The Brembo four-piston brakes and semi-active suspension will be unchanged from the 2020 model. With the exception of the S model’s adaptive cruise control system, the electronics package will be similar to last year, with a tire pressure monitoring system, a Bosch 9M+ ABS, lean-sensitive traction control, and selectable ride modes including an off-road mode with its own traction control and ABS settings. The electronic settings will be dsiplayed on a new 7-inch TFT display (formerly 6.5 inches).

It’s unclear when KTM plans to officially announce the 2021 1290 Super Adventure R and S, but the work on its website suggests it will happen soon, likely after the holidays are over. We’ll have more information – including photos! – when it becomes available.

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Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the Motorcycle.com team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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2 of 8 comments
  • Martin collins Martin collins on Jan 10, 2021

    Please.......no more orange.....I can't take it anymore.

  • Andrew Song Andrew Song on Jun 02, 2021

    Why not adaptive cruise on the R model?? I was hoping to buy the R with adaptive cruise. Does anyone know why? Will we be able to add the radar in the slot and update the software in the future?