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2020 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S [Model Overview]

2020 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S

The King Of Adventure Is Here: The 2020 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R

The more road-focused of KTM’s big boy Super Adventure series returns for 2020. The KTM 1290 Super Adventure is almost identical to its Super Adventure R twin brother, but with some subtle differences that make it better suited towards aggressive street riding rather than horizon-chasing adventure touring. Still, it’s great at both and if you’re looking for a versatile motorcycle that can deliver award-winning performance, the KTM 1290 Super Adventure S is a hard bike to beat.

Powered by the same liquid-cooled LC8 V-twin engine that powers the likes of KTM’s other top-flight motorcycles, such as the 1290 Super Duke R and Super Duke GT, the Super Adventure S offers shed loads of power. The 1301cc engine produces an unprecedented 160 horsepower, 100 lb-ft of peak torque, and drives the Super Adventure to a top speed of 162 mph.

The engine is held in place with a lightweight tubular trellis frame, equipped with WP Suspension springs, Brembo brakes, and road-focused 19-inch front wheel and 17-inch rear rim. Naturally, the Super Adventure S is kitted out with all of the top-of-the-range riding aids including off-road ABS and more! Of course, riding aids are an absolute essential for a motorcycle with a class-leading power-to-weight ratio.

The 2020 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S is available in two color options: orange and black or black and gray. The MSRP is $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 S in one place.

2020 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S

Model Overview

General Info

  • Price:  $18,599
  • Key Features:
    • Anti-lock brakes (ABS)
    • Menu switch
    • Ride-by-wire

Key Specs

  • Engine type: 1,301cc, liquid-cooled LC8 V-twin
  • Power: 160 horsepower
  • Dry Weight: 215 kg
  • Seat height: 890 mm

2020 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S

2020 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S Specifications

From KTM


Engine 1,301cc, liquid-cooled LC8 V-twin
Power 160 Horsepower
Bore x Stroke 108 mm x 71 mm
Compression Ratio
Fuel System Injection
Starter Electric
Lubrication Forced oil lubrication with 3 oil pumps


Clutch PASC (TM) slipper clutch, hydraulically actuated
Transmission 6-Speed
Final Drive


Suspension Front WP Semi-active suspension USD Ø 48 mm
Suspension Rear WP Semi-active suspension monoshock
Brakes Front 2 x Brembo four-piston radial fixed calliper, brake discs, floating
Brakes Rear Brembo twin-piston fixed calliper, brake disc
Tires Front
Tires Rear
Fuel Tank Capacity 23 L
Color Black, Orange


Spark Plugs
Headlight LED
Tail Light LED


Overall Length
Overall Width
Overall Height
Ground Clearance 220 mm
Seat Height 860 mm
Curb Weight 215 kg



2020 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S

2020 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S Features

Engine & Exhaust

The 1301 cc V-twin engine’s 160 hp with 140 Nm of torque are equally suited to lazy street riding as they are to full-throttle blasts onroad or off. The combination of lightweight chassis engineering and a compact but powerful engine take the KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S to the top of its class in terms of power-to-weight ratio and ride dynamics. 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 S’s power train.

PASC Clutch
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.

Cylinder heads
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.

Cylinder heads
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.

DLC coating
DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) is an extremely hard, durable coating used in many engine parts, such as cam followers, to assist sliding behavior. It improves performance and our engines love it!

Twin ignition
The twin plug ignition system controls the two differently sized spark plugs in each cylinder head independently of each other. This results in more efficient combustion and a smoother, optimally controlled combustion sequence. What that means to you, is better-controlled power, lower fuel consumption, and reduced emissions.

The KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S’s forged piston structure is derived from Formula 1 technology. The result is a high loading capacity despite its extremely short and lightweight design. Although they have grown in diameter by three millimeters, the pistons are 47 grams lighter. This way, reciprocating weight is minimized, for responsiveness and a playful engine nature. The piston skirts have an additional state-of-the-art, GRAFAL® finish. It further reduces friction and is particularly hard wearing.

Smooth throttle response is what you get, beyond simply being free of a throttle cable, which is why the KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S’s ride-by-wire system is so attractive. It ensures perfect dosage of the readily available and plentiful torque, while electronically translating rider throttle commands into throttle valve positions, which are perfectly adjusted to suit different riding conditions.


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 215 kg. All muscle, zero 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.

Menu switch
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

LED Headlight
Form and function are integrated beautifully into the 1290 S’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 S, the direction is clear.

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.

2020 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S Photos

2020 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S Videos