Updated KTM 1290 Super Adventure S Debuts with Refinements

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The Austrians continue to trickle out their new models for 2021, despite the fact that we are almost into February of new model year.

Regardless of that small detail, today we see the 2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S – a bike we have been expecting, but yet have also been excited to see.

KTM calls this their third iteration of the 1290 platform in the ADV space, and while many components on the “S” bike look familiar, we can also see that some key updates have come to this popular adventure-bike model.

First off, KTM has revised the ergonomics on the KTM 1290 Super Adventure S, though the changes might be subtle to spot.

This obviously includes the bodywork, which has been revised with help from a wind tunnel, but it also means a new fuel tank (23 liters) and a lower seat (thanks to a revised subframe design), which has 20mm of adjustability. The windscreen also sees improvement, and now boasts 55mm of height adjustability.

The chassis also sees some changes, with the steering head moved back by 15mm (the engine placement has also changed, thanks to a new head design), and in contrast, the swingarm is now longer for the 2021 model.

A new 7″ TFT “fish finder” dash is used and boasts a new design layout, and there are also a bevy of redesigned handlebar switches, both of which aim to increase the look and feel of motorcycle.

The 1,301cc engine has been updated for the Euro5 homologation, and boasts 160hp with 101 lbs•ft of torque. Overall, the LC8 engine is now lighter by about 3 lbs, thanks to thinner engine cases and a reworked oil circulation network.

There is also a revised oil/water cooling system going to the v-twin motor, with the two new radiators working with the redesigned bodywork to channel warm air away from the rider’s legs.

A six-axis IMU continues to be used by the traction control and cornering ABS systems, but now the semi-active suspension on the 2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S also benefits from the lean angle sensing.

KTM calls this a new generation of WP APEX Semi-Active Technology suspension, and boasts that it has augmented damping thanks to new valves.

Of course, the marquee addition to the electronics package is the adaptive cruise control (ACC), which can clearly be seen on the front of the motorcycle, and comes standard on the bike.

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.

In terms of optional equipment, KTM is offering a “Pro” suspension package, which includes more granular control over the electronic suspension settings (preload, damping, anti-dive, etc). There is also an optional “Rally Pack” that includes the “Rally” riding mode, with accompanying traction control settings.

The Suspension Pro and Rally Pack features together with the Quickshifter+, the Motor Slip Regulation (MSR), the Hill Hold Control (HHC) and the adaptive brake light are included in the all-in-one “Tech Pack”.

There is no word yet on US pricing or availability, and worryingly, KTM North America doesn’t yet list the revised KTM 1290 Super Adventure S as a model for 2021. More info on that, as we get it.

Source: KTM