As expected, the official power figures from KTM say that the newly Euro 5-compliant mill produces 160 horsepower and peak torque of 101.8 lb-ft. However, this engine is also physically lighter by 1.6 kilograms (just over 3.5 pounds) than the outgoing unit.
That’s because Mattighofen shaved a little bit of weight here and there by producing thinner engine cases. New pistons are also part of the equation, and KTM also says they offer improved reliability, which always a welcome development.
The revised radiators work in tandem with the redesigned bodywork to guide hot air away from the rider’s legs, enhancing your riding comfort. There’s also a new suspension to consider, which features WP Apex Semi-Active Technology.
As we suspected, the updated adventure flagship also receives KTM’s brand-new Adaptive Cruise Control system as standard equipment—unlike Ducati and BMW who made it optional, so, well played, KTM.
Naturally, some of the brand's additional PowerParts accessory options also add individual damping adjustability, automatic preload adjustment, and even offer the ability to switch the Anti-Dive setting on or off at will. Bells and whistles are nice, but it does sound like you get some thoughtful upgrades with the stock 2021 1290 Super Adventure S.
Gallery: 2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S
Looking down at your dash, there’s also a new 7-inch TFT display that is mated to a connectivity unit that seamlessly pairs with your smartphone. Just beneath that display is a nice little cubby with a USB port so you can easily keep said smartphone charged and ready. New switches round out your cockpit on both sides of the handlebars. At this point, it remains to be seen what riders will think of them—as well as all the other changes—out on the road.
Pricing has yet to be announced, but KTM says that the all-new 1290 Super Adventure S will roll out to dealers all over the world starting in March, 2021.
At the time of writing in late January, 2021, it’s unclear when we can expect to see the updated 1290 Super Adventure S cross over to North America. Since KTM’s official webpage for the new model did briefly go live on the U.S. site, this is clearly nothing more than a delay. Stay tuned for more details as we have them.