The biggest of all the dirt-born adventure bikes the KTM 1290 Adventure R, has been stalking the wider trails of the world for some time now. And it’s very good at its business. In fact, it’s not too damn bad at the narrower tracks too. As good as it has been, the time had come for an update and KTM has now answered that call.
The change that’s most obvious to spot is the low-slung tank. Present since the release of the 790 Adventure, this design keeps the weight low which can be something of a struggle on big-bore ADV machines with large capacity tanks.
BIG BIKE, BIG HP
Together with PANKL, KTM has also reworked the gearbox shifting mechanism for faster, lighter and more responsive actions. The full force of this update can be felt through the optional Quickshifter+, which now has a faster and even more precise operation.
The ergonomics have been revised to improve long term comfort and offer a lower seat height. The chassis has been shortened, the swingarm lengthened and the steering head pushed back by 15mm to sharpen the steering characteristics. Thanks to a reworked airbox, riders can now easily access the air filter by simply removing four screws. The filter itself now features vertical ribs, instead of horizontal, which helps direct dust or sand towards the bottom of the airbox.
The WP Xplor suspension has received attention with all-new settings. The previous set-up was very impressive across a range of scenarios on and off-road, so any improvement is a bonus in our minds. The fully adjustable 48 mm forks with 220 mm of travel feature split damping functions while the same travel measurement graces the WP PDS shock.
KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE R – MODEL HIGHLIGHTS
All-new ergonomics offering extra agility
Redesigned seat with lower height
Reworked long-travel, adjustable WP XPLOR suspension
Optimized weight distribution with lower-placed fuel tanks
Cutting-edge electronics that enhance the ride
New, intuitive 7’’ TFT display with redesigned handlebar switches
New LED headlight with LED daytime light
Revised V-Twin engine [EURO 5] with improved heat dissipation
New, Adventure-specced tires by Bridgestone
Joachim Sauer – KTM Product Manager
“For KTM, ‘R’ stands for ‘Rally’ and ‘Racing’ so with the new KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE R we really feel in our element. Adopting all the great benefits of the recently launched S model, the KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE R is here to set new standards of all-terrain performance. With this new offroad powerhouse we wanted even more rideability and to achieve it, we looked into rider-focused ergonomics and improved suspension performance. The new bike also offers a big step forward in terms of weight distribution and riding agility. Making gains with the overall performance of our LC8, we were also able to give the 2021 KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE R innovative technical features. If some of the best moments of adventuring come about by discovering the unknown, with this bike riders could not have a better tool for the job.”