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ADV NewsKTM Unveils Reworked 1290 Super Adventure R for 2021

KTM Unveils Reworked 1290 Super Adventure R for 2021

Cover drops on new Super Adventure R with wide range of improvements.

Published on 02.23.2021

Just a month after KTM announced their revamped 1290 Super Adventure S, with its next-generation electronics, reworked bodywork and optimized chassis, the Austrian manufacturer has dropped the cover on their new off-road focused flagship model — the 1290 Super Adventure R. While we won’t see the high-tech Adaptive Cruise Control system released on the ‘S’ model, the big enduro does get a wide range of updates focused on making it easier to ride on the trail and meet Euro 5 standards. 

KTM 1290 Super Adventure R 2021
The new 1290 Super Adventure R now features a lower center of gravity, new ergos, a shorter chassis, longer swingarm, reworked suspension and many other key changes.

Some of the changes we’ve seen previously on the 790/890 Adventure models are now being applied to the Super Adventure like the low-slung fuel tanks, fully-customizable rider settings in Rally Mode, and an easier-to-access air filter. Other updates include a shorter frame with longer swingarm designed to give better feel of the terrain, all-new ergonomics, a lower seat height, improved engine heat dissipation, optimized suspension settings, just to name a few. Read on for a closer look at the full list of upgrades KTM has thrown at its off-road beast.

2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R
The blue color integration into the new graphics are reminiscent of the old 950/990 Adventure machines.

All-Terrain Agility

Riding the KTM 1290 Super Adventure R across rough terrain in the easiest and most intuitive way has been a development priority for the completely reworked 2021 edition. An all new bodywork providing excellent ergonomics and allowing it to hold the fuel in the tank as low as possible has been designed for better agility, a lower center of gravity and an even better feeling in all riding conditions.

2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R


A sharper cornering sensation has been achieved by moving the steering head back by 15 mm, re-locating the front section of the engine and introducing a slightly longer new diecast open-lattice swingarm for a greater depth of feeling under acceleration. KTM engineers have analyzed and trimmed every centimeter of the new bodywork in order to provide the right thickness and the optimal rider-bike contact.

The sensation of control and balance is augmented by the new three-part fuel tank that holds 23 l (6.1 US Gallons) and is positioned lower to assist riding equilibrium. Like the chassis, the subframe has also been reconstructed and is topped with a sporty stepped seat at 880 mm (34.6 in.) of height with slim dimensions and a handy storage compartment underneath.

2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R

Further enhancing handling is the reworked 2021 WP suspension configuration. The KTM 1290 Super Adventure R draws on KTM’s success in racing for its development  and embraces the best of WP XPLOR technology. The fully-adjustable 48 mm front forks with an impressive 220 mm (8.7 in.) of travel feature split damping functions and quick modification potential with a twist of the respective dials. The same travel measurement graces the WP PDS shock. The performance of the system was improved through tests in the Californian desert as well as long stretches of varied landscapes across Europe.

Performance-Tailored Technology

The 2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R is a vessel for the latest electronics packages and continuation of the collaboration with first-rate pioneers like Bosch. A new 6-axis lean angle sensor filters information on the exact pitch and position of the bike and its behavior. In turn, this affects the degree of Motorcycle Traction Control, Motor Slip Regulation, Motorcycle Stability Control and forces of Offroad ABS. To fit the needs of the modern all-terrain riding enthusiast, all rider assists can be tweaked or disengaged.

2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R

Alongside the standards RAIN, STREET, SPORT and OFFROAD ride modes, the optional RALLY mode permits riders to set throttle response to aggressive and select one of nine different levels of wheel spin. The changes to suit any kind of topography are all charted through the all-new and more use-friendly 7’’ TFT dash, which is hooked to a new Connectivity Unit. The larger view has quicker and more practical menus and clearly shows turn-by-turn directions indicated by the KTM MY RIDE app.

KTM 1290 Super Adventure R Highlights

2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R
  • All-new ergonomics designed to improve agility.
  • Redesigned seat with lower height.
  • Reworked long-travel, adjustable WP XPLOR suspension.
  • Optimized weight distribution with lower-placed fuel tanks.
  • Cutting-edge electronics that enhance the ride.
  • New Rally Mode allows custom tuning of throttle response and traction control.
  • Improved handling feel with revised frame and swingarm.
  • Faster and smoother shifting with reworked gearbox.
  • Reworked airbox offers easy access to air filter with four screws.
  • New, intuitive 7’’ TFT display with redesigned handlebar switches.
  • New LED headlight with LED daytime light.
  • Revised V-Twin engine [EURO 5] with improved heat dissipation.
  • New, Adventure-specced tires by Bridgestone.

Premium-Spec Components

The KTM 1290 Super Adventure R relies on the new Euro 5-ready LC8 that is now 1.6 kg lighter and froths out 160 hp at 9,000 rpm and 101.8 ft.-lbs. (138 Nm) of torque at 6,500 rpm for the best power-to-weight offering in the segment. KTM has combed through the internals of the V-Twin powerplant to improve heat dissipation and shave grams in the quest for improved rideability.

2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R

With a lot of effort going towards optimizing the air flow through the bike, the 2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R features two separate radiators instead of the one-piece unit of its predecessor. With newly designed air ducts, the amount of hot air streaming towards the rider´s legs has been significantly reduced and the difference becomes easily noticeable in the slow, tight sections.

Thanks to a reworked airbox, riders can now easily access the air filter by simply removing four screws. The filter itself now features vertical ribs, instead of horizontal, which helps direct dust or sand towards the bottom of the air box. Overall, a better design for hardcore adventurers.

Some additional engine updates include lighter engine cases, new pistons, improved shifting, altered coatings and easier filter access and a re-jigged two-header exhaust unit, with the updated package making the LC8 livelier, more reliable and more dependable for all types of trails. 15,000 km service intervals have again been achieved with low fuel consumption at 5.7 l / 100 km (41.3 mpg). Together with PANKL, KTM has also reworked the gearbox shifting mechanism for faster, lighter and more responsive actions. The full force of this update can be felt through the optional Quickshifter+, which now has a faster and even more precise operation.

2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R

To cope with the rigors of life away from the beaten track, the new model is armed with premium level equipment. New, Adventure-specific Bridgestone tires are wrapped around ALPINA aluminum spoked wheels, which can be run tubeless with a reassuring O-ring sealant in the spoke nipples. This new generation machine also comes with a new eye-catching orange, blue, white paint and graphic set.

KTM RACE ON tech takes keyless ignition to a new level of autonomy, separate Tire Pressure Monitor system sensors provide more detailed customisation and four piston radial mounted Brembo callipers bring the whole show to a fearsome stop or satisfying slide. The windshield, the levers, the pegs and the handlebars all are adjustable to further enhance rider adaptability.

2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R

2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R

As is the case with its S model counterpart, the new KTM 1290 Super Adventure R benefits from a remodeled optional software packages. With the Rally Pack offering the RALLY riding mode, the MTC slip adjuster and the adjustable throttle response. The all-in-one Tech Pack includes the Quickshifter+, the Motor Slip Regulation, the Hill Hold Control, the adaptive brake light and all the features of the Rally Pack.

Pricing in Europe has been set at €19,795 EUR (£15,999 GBP). The new model will hit international markets starting March 2021. North America will have to wait a bit longer as it is expected to hit dealers here until the Fall as a 2022 model.

KTM 1290 Super Adventure R Specs

ENGINE TYPE:2-cylinder, 4-stroke, V 75° LC8
POWER:160 hp (118 kW) @ 9,000 rpm
TORQUE:101.8 ft-lbs (138 Nm) @ 6,500 rpm
COOLING:Liquid cooled
STARTER:Electric starter
BORE X STROKE:108  X 71 mm
CLUTCH:PASC (TM) slipper clutch, hydraulically actuated
CO2 EMISSIONS:134 g/km
EMS:Keihin EMS with RBW and cruise control, double ignition
FUEL CONSUMPTION:5.7 l/100 km (41.3 mpg)
LUBRICATION:Forced oil lubrication with 3 oil pumps
TANK CAPACITY (APPROX.):23 l (6.1 US Gallons)
ABS:Bosch 10.3ME Combined-ABS (incl. Cornering-ABS and offroad mode)
CHAIN:525 X-Ring
DRY WEIGHT:221 kg (487.2 lbs)
FRAME DESIGN:Chrome-moly tubular space frame, powder-coated
GROUND CLEARANCE:242 mm (9.5 in.)
SEAT HEIGHT:880 mm (34.6 in.)
SUSPENSION TRAVEL (FRONT):220 mm (8.7 in.)
SUSPENSION TRAVEL (REAR):220 mm (8.7 in.)
PRICING:19,795 EUR (15,999 GBP)

Author: ADV Pulse Staff

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KTM Unveils Reworked 1290 Super Adventure R for 2021 - ADVENTURE & OVERLAND MOTORCYCLE TRAVEL
February 23, 2021 12:26 pm

[…] post KTM Unveils Reworked 1290 Super Adventure R for 2021 appeared first on ADV […]

Kirk wallenberger
Kirk wallenberger
February 24, 2021 1:15 pm

Made in China, not interested!

February 27, 2021 9:55 pm

So KTM still did not separate off the wheelie Pitch axis from the Yaw axis in the IMU? There is still not independent wheelie control like Honda Africa Twin 2020/21?


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