KTM’s flagship adventure bikes, the 1290 Super Adventure R and 1290 Super Adventure S, are both updated for 2022, with engine, suspension, frame, bodywork, and electronics all revised for next season. The Super Adventure R comes with a 21-inch front wheel and 18-inch rear, with knobby, tubeless Bridgestone AX41 tires for offroad fun. The Super Adventure S comes with cast wheels, a 19-inch front and 17-inch rear, and is intended more for street riding. However, both bikes share many of the same changes.
Starting with the frame: Both models seem to share the same new chromoly steel frame, with headstock moved 15 mm backwards and the engine mounts also changed. There’s a new aluminum subframe, and longer open-lattice swingarm, which is supposed to improve stability while accelerating.
Both bikes also see some changes to the engine. KTM doesn’t mention any changes to output, so it likely still makes around 160 hp and 102 lb-ft of torque. However, the updated LC4 V-twin has slimmer engine cases, which cuts down on weight, as well as a new exhaust and Pankl gearbox. The updated transmission is supposed to offer improved function for the optional quickshifter.
KTM overhauled the cooling system as well, with radiators re-designed to blow hot air away from the riders legs. The pistons are new, and supposed to be more robust than the previous 1290 engine.
Looking at the machines, you can see both bikes have a new three-piece fuel tank which comes in a wraparound style similar to the 790 Adventure and 890 Adventure models, although it isn’t quite as low-slung as those bikes. There’s a new, lower seat on both bikes for 2022 as well.
The KTM 1290 Super Adventure S sees a new WP Apex semi-active suspension, with optional Suspension Pro package, which offers more fine-tuning capability (separate damping settings for fork and shock as well as automatic preload adjustment and on/off anti-dive).
The Super Adventure R gets updated WP XPLOR forks and shock. The forks have separate compression and rebound systems, and the shock has a linkage-free Progressive Damping System; KTM says the suspension has been developed by its factory test riders, across a wide range of terrain, which should in turn improve its usability for a wide range of riders.
Both bikes see their electronics overhauled, with new six-axis IMU powering updated stability systems (leaning-sensitive ABS and traction control). Rain, Street, Sport, and Offroad riding modes come standard on these machines, and Rally riding mode is available as an add-on, offering nine-level adjustable traction control.
The Super Adventure models have a new 7-inch TFT screen with switchgear that’s also revised for easier interface. Both bikes have KTM My Ride as standard, allowing riders to use the dash controls to accept or reject incoming calls; at some point, KTM’s new-and-improved navigation system (powered by Sygic) should be available on both models as well. There’s also a waterproof phone compartment, complete with USB charging port. And, both bikes have an updated keyfob system with improved anti-theft technology.
The street-oriented S model also comes with optional radar-powered adaptive cruise control tech, which allows the bike to maintain a constant following distance behind other traffic in the same lane. This tech debuted in the world of cars, and over the past few years, many manufacturers have either released it on their flagship touring bikes, or at least started development of the tech.
KTM says both the 1290 Super Adventure S and 1290 Super Adventure R should be in dealerships this month.