2022 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R: Closer Look at the Updated Touring Bike

The brawny, updated KTM adventurer arrives to North America fall 2021. Here's a closer look at details and specs.

When you have a big adventure ahead, you need a big and capable bike to meet the task (like one of these 7 dual-purpose bikes). This is where the 1290 Super Adventure R comes in, all the way from Mattighofen, Austria. Built right into this impressive bike is the tough Alpine DNA needed to conquer any terrain and any obstacle, that’s why it’s the Super Adventure.

Features: Powertrain and Drivetrain

The Super Adventure R is powered by a very impressive 160-hp V-twin LC8 engine with 101 lb-ft of torque. It’s compact, light and clearly very capable, and all while meeting the very exacting EURO 5 environmental regulations, which is no mean feat for any vehicle of power or capability.

The powertrain is paired with a 6-speed PANKL transmission that features an all-new aluminium shifting drum. It has optimized tracks for smoother shifting, which works with the copper-coated shifting forks to keep wear and tear to a minimum.

Key performance specs for 2022 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R:

Torque101 lb-ft of torque
CoolingLiquid cooled
ClutchPASC (TM) slipper clutch, hydraulically actuated
ABSBosch 10.3ME Combined-ABS (incl. Cornering-ABS and off-road mode)
Front brake disc320 mm
Rear brake disc267 mm

Stellar Performance

2022 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R
2022 1290 Super Adventure R. Photo: KTM

Every individual component of the powertrain and drivetrain creates a symphony in the KTM 1290 Super Adventure R’s performance. An additional design quirk that makes the smooth and seamless off-road performance possible is the lack of a throttle cable. The cable-free “ride-by-wire” system ensures near-instant torque in plentiful amounts to both wheels so you get fantastic throttle response as you traverse even the trickiest terrain.

Adventure in Comfort

Just because the 1290 Super Adventure R is a rough-and-ready type of capable bike, it doesn’t mean you can’t get comfortable. The wide and adjustable handlebar made from high-strength aluminium allows control and comfort rolled into one. Adjust to find your optimum position and you’ll find you can ride at any distance without any arm discomfort, from what we can see from these pictures.

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The seat is packed with superlative foam padding in a sculpted one-piece stepped seat design with a height of 88cm (34.6 inches). The ride height is high enough to gain a commanding view and feel in control, but low enough to be manageable for riders of different heights.

Here are some specs:

  • REAR SUSPENSION: WP Xplor PDS shock absorber
  • SEAT HEIGHT: 880 mm

For additional comfort, the rider can choose from two positions: stock or 10mm up and diagonally back. In this way, taller and shorter riders can set the bike up for maximum comfort and stability.

2022 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R
2022 1290 Super Adventure R. Photo: KTM

Illuminated Controls

The handlebar menu switch features ergonomically sound buttons and switches with illumination for low-light conditions. You can easily familiarize yourself with the geography and find yourself able to keep your eyes on the road while you manage the bikes important controls and functions.

Style and Technology Combined

This is not just a bike of mechanical performance, but one built for 21st-century riding. The dashboard features a new scratch-resistant 7” tilt-angle adjustable TFT display with flawless graphics and effortless readability. 

Other nice driver assistance features include cornering ABS, tire pressure monitoring system, off-road ride mode, additional traction control, cruise control and much more. These are all part of the Rider Aids package that makes your Adventure R ride all the more reassuringly well-executed.

2022 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R – Coming Soon to North America

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Riders in North America will soon be able to enjoy this exciting new model; the model you see here is a 2021 in overseas markets but will arrive to North America as a 2022.

A confirmed MSRP for the 2022 model year is yet to be announced, but the previous model had an MSRP of $18,599. That should give you a ballpark figure.