The most street-worthy of KTM’s Super Adventure lineup, the 2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S is updated this year. The changes are wide-ranging, so let’s dig in and gawk until we can ride it.
The chassis gets massaged, with the goal of better cornering performance. The 2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S’s steering head is moved back 0.6 inches, and the front of the V-twin motor is repositioned.
To improve acceleration stability, the swingarm is longer, though KTM isn’t saying by how much.
There are changes to the seating. A new subframe provides the rider with a lower seat height. Also, the seat height now has two positions that are 0.8 inches apart.
Ergonomics have been changed. There’s a new 5.5-gallon tank and bodywork to make it easier to move around on the new Super Adventure S, as well as direct heat away from the rider’s legs. There’s also a new adjustable windshield with 2.2 inches between positions.
The sum total of the changes is “lower centralization of masses and refined weight balance,” according to a KTM spokesman.
The V-twin powerplant gets new pistons to meet Euro 5 regulations. Don’t worry—it puts out 160 horsepower and grinds out 102 ft-lbs of torque.
The 2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S’s motor sheds 3.5 pounds due to thinner engine cases. Inside, the Pankl gearbox is optimized for the optional quickshifter.
The optional Rally riding mode gets an update. Offroad, Sport, Street, and Rain return.
KTM has worked on the traction control to make it cornering-aware and less intrusive. The system now uses two different controllers—the wheel slip and pitch angle controllers work independently and concurrently to maintain traction. The Cornering ABS and Offroad ABS functions are by Bosch.
The semi-active WP Apex suspension gets an update for the 2021 edition of the Super Adventure S. All we can get from KTM is that it’s a “new generation” design. The optional Suspension Pro package adds individual damping adjustments for the fork and shock, automatic spring-preload adjustment, and Anti Dive technology (defeatable).
We expect many S buyers to get the Rally Pack. It gives you the Rally mode, quickshifter, Motor Slip Regulation, Hill Hold Control, and an adaptive brake light. No, we don’t have a price tag on this option package.
There’s an all-new 7-inch TFT to control all the modes. A large bright screen with great software always makes adjustments easier. In addition to the big screen, the software has been improved.
Cruise control is now radar-assisted, and standard on the Super Adventure S. If you start getting too close to the vehicle in front of you, the cruise control will step in to avoid a collision.
Here’s what KTM Product Manager Joachim Sauer has to say about the new S: “The 2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S is a sporty bike designed to offer unparalleled riding fun in any terrain. With this model, KTM enters its third generation of big Travel-Enduro bikes for street and gravel adventurers. Collecting feedback from the market, we focused on enhancing rider feeling and ergonomics while introducing groundbreaking advancements, such as the Adaptive Cruise Control, the KTM way. The new generation model will carry you as far, long, and as hard as you want, while keeping the original KTM DNA strong with its elevated performance potential.”
The 2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S hits dealer showroom floors in March. Unfortunately, North America is excluded. However, we saw the KTM 890 Duke R show up a year early, so we may see the S come to America sooner rather than later.
This week Teejay chats to Tyler Poppe. Tyler works on the TV show Mayans MC–and yet he doesn’t ride an American V-Twin. Wassup with that?? Also, Arthur finds out from friend Mike Cardillo about his thoughts on the full-size version of the Kawasaki KLX 140R F trail bike.