KTM 1290 Super Adventure S (above) will spawn additional 1290 Super Adventure model
In early 2021 KTM launched two distinct new 1290 Super Adventure models and a year on it looks like a third version is on the cards.
At the moment, your choices are either the 1290 Super Adventure S, oriented towards road-biased touring and complete with high tech kit including a front radar sensor, or the rough-and-tumble 1290 Super Adventure R, with less luxury but more off-road ability. Now a third derivative, simply called 1290 Super Adventure, has been approved by European authorities – and as you might imagine it steers a course between the two existing models.
Although the approval documents don’t include pictures, they do give details of the bike’s dimensions and performance, and from those we can create a pretty accurate impression of what to expect. And, in short, it looks like the 1290 Super Adventure is intended to be a lower-spec, lower-price derivative of the 1290 Super Adventure S.
From this angle, the upcoming 1290 Super Adventure should be virtually indistinguishable from the Super Adventure S (above)
The name alone points towards that specification. The ‘S’ designation has previously been used to denote highly-equipped road models, while ‘R’ – in the context of a KTM adventure bike – means more off-road ability. With neither additional letter, we’re looking at a road-oriented version of the 1290 Super Adventure that’s stripped of the S’s bells and whistles.
A deeper dive into the type-approval documents for the 1290 Super Adventure confirms that impression. It’s physical dimensions, including the 1557mm wheelbase, 2255mm length and 1450mm height all match those of the 1290 Super Adventure S, while differing from the R – which is longer overall and in wheelbase thanks to higher suspension and larger, off-road wheels, and has a lower screen.
There is just one notable difference in the bare figures when comparing the 1290 Super Adventure with the S version, and that’s weight. The upcoming base model is 5kg lighter, at 240kg wet, while both the S and R models measure 245kg in the same form.
The 1290 Super Adventure R (above) will remain the most hardcore off-road version
That reduction points towards kit being stripped away for the base model, and the two elements of the S that are likely to be gone on the 1290 Super Adventure are its WP Apex SAT semi-active suspension and the Bosch-made front radar, which enables the Super Adventure S’s adaptive cruise control and collision warning systems.
Ditching those components might make the upcoming base model less capable overall, but the move should lead to a significant reduction in price. At the moment, the 1290 Super Adventure S costs £15,599, but eliminating the semi-active suspension and radar could well lead to the base model being around £1000 cheaper. The Super Adventure R already does without either radar or semi-active suspension, but its high-end components mean it’s even pricier than the S, at £16,649.