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KTM’s Most Advanced Cat Is Out Of The Bag


The new 1290 Super Adventure has gotten better in almost every aspect

  • The Euro 5-compliant 2021 1290 Super Adventure S makes 162PS and 138Nm.
  • Gets updated electronics with two IMU controllers, semi-active suspension, and a new 7-inch TFT display.
  • Radar-guided adaptive cruise control comes standard.
2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S orange

KTM has globally unveiled its most advanced offering yet, the 2021 1290 Super Adventure. A while back, KTM accidentally went live with the Super ADV’s web pages, blowing its cover and leaking confidential information about the bike. The page was taken down soon after. This time around, KTM has let the cat out of the bag and given us a complete lowdown on the 2021 1290 Super Adventure.

The most noticeable update here is in the aesthetics. It’s available in two colour options: black and orange. The 2021 model gets full-LED lighting, a new headlamp, revised bodywork, a new windshield, and a redesigned exhaust. KTM says the bike can channel hot air away from the rider, thanks to two new radiators and redesigned side panels with massive air ducts.

2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S Black full

It’s also become more ergonomically sound for 2021. The chassis has been tweaked for better weight distribution and the steering has been pulled back to improve agility. The swingarm is longer too compared to the previous-gen model. More importantly, the footpegs, seat, and the handlebar are all adjustable to suit the rider’s needs.

KTM has also updated the Super Adventure’s already impressive electronics suite for 2021. The bike now comes with two controllers: one for wheel slip and the other for pitch angle. The ADV also gets WP semi-active suspension which uses the bike’s six-axis IMU to adapt to the terrain. In addition, the electronics package includes rider modes with off-road mode, traction control, cornering ABS, self-cancelling indicators, and a tyre pressure monitoring system. Optional extras like a suspension pro package and a rally package are on offer as well.

2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S Dash

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To toggle through these, KTM has thrown in a bigger, tilt-adjustable 7-inch TFT display accompanied by new switchgear on either side of the handlebar. The new display has a revised layout to enhance readability and gets KTM’s smart connectivity features as standard. A waterproof phone storage compartment with a built-in USB socket, keyless ignition, and an electronic fuel cap are also part of the standard equipment.

The highlight of the 2021 1290 Super Adventure S, however, has to be its new adaptive cruise control from Bosch. The radar is housed in the cavity below the headlamp assembly and works by maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle ahead. It has various presets and can accelerate or decelerate the motorcycle to maintain the set distance.

2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure action

The 2021 1290 Super Adventure S houses the same 1301cc V-twin motor which churns out 162PS and 138Nm. However, components such as the pistons, crankshaft, gearbox, clutch, and airbox have been tweaked to improve its overall reliability. They also account for a total weight loss of 1.6kg. So KTM’s claimed 15,000km service interval isn’t surprising.

KTM is yet to step into the premium ADV segment in India, one of the many reasons why the 1290 Super Adventure S won’t arrive here. Globally, the 1290 Super Adventure S will lock horns with the BMW R 1250 GS, the Ducati Multistrada V4, and the Triumph Tiger 1200.

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