The new 2020 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R could very well be the most advanced adventure motorcycle out there. Powered by an engine with more than enough grunt to tackle any terrain, and equipped with a chassis that’s agile and nimble to traverse the toughest of obstacles, the Super Adventure R is the ultimate adventure package that eats miles for breakfast.
The power is supplied by KTM’s top-flight 1301cc 75-degree V-twin engine which is capable of producing an impressive 160 horsepower, and even more exciting 103 lb-ft of peak torque. With specs like that, it really can smash through dirt trails with serious ease. For real off-road performance, a few of KTM’s additional add-ons may be required though.
What really elevates the 1290 Super Adventure R is the sheer amount of sophisticated on board technology. The riding aids are some of the best in the business. The 2020 model comes equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system, a full traction control package, signal cancelling technology, and of course, C-ABS with motorcycle stability control. If that wasn’t enough, the Super Adventure R also boasts off-road ABS and off-road traction control, for full confidence riding no matter how tough the terrain.
The 2020 KTM Super Adventure R is available in a black, white, and orange, color scheme, with a price tag of $18,599.
On this page:we’ve curated specs, features, news, photos/videos, etc. so you can read up on the new KTM 1290 Super Adventure R in one place.
The 1301 cc V-twin engine packs one hell of a punch for fully loaded adventure tours. It has truckloads of torque from the bottom up and hardly ever needs hurried downshifts. With 160 hp and 140 Nm of torque on tap, the engine provides more than enough usuable grunt to happily eat up kilometers of dirt trails in the blink of an eye. A unique mix of the highest quality components combined with a fully developed and reliable engine allows extremely long service intervals of 15,000 km. That’s a lot of adventures.
A spread transmission on the primary wheel transfers the power to the clutch basket without any backlash, which eliminates vibration and reduces engine noise. On the intake sides there is a newly developed resonator chamber, designed to polish the torque output in the lower to mid-range rpms. This substantially increases the smoothness of the KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE R power train.
Not only does the slipper clutch open when the engine back-torque becomes too high, it also assists when you open up the throttle. The former prevents destabilizing rear wheel chatter when braking sharply or decelerating; the latter reduces the lever force required for changing gears, allowing the clutch to be controlled with one trigger happy finger – saving you energy while riding.
A key element in the smooth power delivery of the 75° V-twin is each cylinder’s state-of-the-art 4-valve cylinder head. These combine twin plug ignition, flow-optimized ports and a slick low-friction valve drive train with cams from each cylinder’s twin overhead camshafts driving DLC-coated cam followers.
The chrome-molybdenum steel trellis frame makes a major contribution to the bike’s excellent chassis geometry. It’s a rugged, laser-cut, robot-welded thing of beauty with a glorious surface finish. At only 9.8 kg, it helps to keep the total, unfueled weight at a spectacular 217 kg. All muscle, no fat.
The die-cast, open-lattice swingarm is not only particularly light, it’s also precisely manufactured. The design has been optimized for stiffness and stability, while still offering excellent flex characteristics.
Ergonomics & Comfort
With two handlebar clamping positions: 10 mm forwards or backwards from stock; plus five reach settings of the hand levers, the rider has more freedom to set the bike up for greater control, and uncompromised comfort, which means a more satisfying adventure ride.
Illuminated Menu Switch
Illuminated switches don’t only look good, you locate the most important buttons in the blink of an eye. At night.
Different modes for the various assistance systems can be selected using a menu switch on the left side of the handlebar. It’s very simple and intuitive: “up” and “down” through the menu selection, select the desired menu item with the left button, confirm it with the right. Plus you can make it even easier by personalizing your settings screens with two quick-select menus. Job done.
Bodywork & Graphics
Form and function are integrated beautifully into the KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE R’s design. The headlight for example has a central aluminum section holding the LEDs, which keeps the unit cool. Two more LED strips – acting as daytime running lights – surround it. Another set of LED cornering lights round things off at the bottom. They use the lean angle sensor of the MSC system to adjust their intensity in real-time. Unlit corners? A thing of the past. With a KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE R, the future is bright.
Software & Electronics
The KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE R gives riders all the necessary and desirable information on a state-of-the-art, clearly arranged 6.5-inch TFT display. Even in direct sunlight, vital data is displayed clearly and crisply thanks to its bonded, anti-glare surface made of a strong sheet of glass. In addition to obvious data (speed, revs, fuel level etc), the computer can show different ride modes, ambient air and oil temperature, onboard voltage, trip info, average speed and fuel consumption stats, plus range and distance to next service.
USB Phone Pocket
A convenient compartment keeps your smartphone safe on the road. It keeps it charged too, thanks to its integrated USB socket. The optional incoming call and audio functions link the phone to the bike via Bluetooth. It’s always nice to let people know you absolutely have to take that enormous detour.