KTM graced us with details about the Super Adventure S a month or so ago, but now it’s time for this; the KTM 1290... The all-new KTM 1290 Super Adventure R is here

KTM graced us with details about the Super Adventure S a month or so ago, but now it’s time for this; the KTM 1290 Super Adventure R. Like the S, there’s loads of saucy new parts that KTM say ‘will let adventurers discover the most hidden paths under the sky’… and having sampled KTM’s adventure range in the past and read the spec sheet for this model, I think they might be onto something.

Like the new S, and the Super Duke that came out last year, the Super Adventure R’s LC8 engine has had a fairly good going over. New pistons, lighter crank cases, and a new exhaust all help achieve the 1.6kg weight loss (in the engine), which isn’t to be sniffed at. You get 160bhp at 9,000 rpm and 138Nm of torque at 6,500rpm which KTM are claiming is the best in the sector. The new PANKL gearbox means gearshifts are slicker too, although you still have to pay extra for the Quickshifter+.

A new airbox has been designed which houses a filter with vertical (instead of horizontal) ribs, which means dirt is more likely to drop to the bottom of the airbox. It’s also been designed so that it can be removed really quickly by whipping out four screws. Nice.

All the bodywork has been tweaked and there is a new 23-litre three part fuel tank. The bulk of the tank is lower down in an effort to get the bikes overall centre of gravity as low as possible. And if you want to get your own centre of gravity as low as possible, or just get comfy, the screen, levers, pegs and handlebars are all adjustable.

The 2021 bike comes with WP’s reworked 2021 WP XPLOR suspension configuration, front and rear. The fully-adjustable 48mm forks and the WP PDS shock both have a whopping 220mm of travel. You get Brembo four-pot brake callipers at the front too.

There’s also been a few chassis adjustments. The steering head has been moved back by 15mm to help make the thing turn, there is a slightly longer swingarm for a bit more feeling when you’re hard on the gas, and the position of the engine within the frame has been altered.

The R comes with the new Bosch 6-axis IMU and RAIN, STREET, SPORT, and OFFROAD (with off-road ABS) modes as standard. RALLY mode is still only an optional extra. You do get a new TFT dash though, with the new connectivity unit, so you can pair your phone and stuff.

To help justify its £15,999 price tag, there’s keyless ignition, tyre pressure sensors and LED headlights with daytime running lights. But if you’re going on a proper adventure and you need something to take on anything you can think of, the 2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R might not be a bad shout. If you want one, they should be in dealers by March 2021.

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Al Fagin
Al Fagin
3 months ago

Fagan is the septic tank of reviewers. Didn’t include a demo of the adaptive cruise control in his YouTube review. What a joke.

Janosh Haenni
Janosh Haenni
5 months ago

I would take this one over every other adventure bike right now. 😎

Paul jarrett
Paul jarrett
5 months ago

Match up versus v4 Multistrada