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2022 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S | First Look Review

In 2017, KTM split its 1290 Super Adventure into two variants. The R trim favors off-road exploration while the S model takes to the tarmac. The 2022 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S has been updated with even more tech, comfort, and performance for the open road.

KTM’s vaunted LC8 V-Twin loses 3.5 pounds thanks to thinner cases and a new oil circuit. The liquid-cooled, 1,301cc engine also benefits from a new dual-radiator system that shuttles hot air away from the rider while cooling each cylinder more efficiently. KTM integrates the radiators into redesigned bodywork including a low-slung, 6.1-gallon gas tank. A lower seat delivers all-day comfort with 0.8 inch of adjustability while riders can shift the wind tunnel-tested windscreen up by 2.2 inches.

Under the new bodywork, KTM tweaked the chromoly steel frame, shifting the steering head rearward by 0.6 inch. Further aft, the new aluminum subframe balances the 1290 Super Adventure S’s weight distribution for optimal agility and stability. An extended open lattice swingarm also steadies the big-bore ADV at high speeds and under acceleration. WP APEX Semi-Active Technology (SAT) suspension automatically adjusts damping parameters on the fly in Comfort, Street, and Sport modes. Owners can expand the SAT functions with optional Off-Road, Auto, and Advanced suspension modes.

A new WP APEX rear shock now offers 7.9 inches of travel with 10 steps of hydraulic preload adjustment. Customers can also spring for KTM’s optional automatic leveling system, which adapts the suspension to High, Low, and Standard settings according to added weight. While KTM equips the Super Adventure S for the road, Off-Road ABS lets riders lock up the rear for slides and mitigates ABS intervention on the front wheel.

The 1290 Super Adventure has always been on the technological forefront and the 2022 S model ups the ante with radar-assisted adaptive cruise control (ACC). The Bosch-developed system automatically adjusts speed based on the traffic ahead and users can tailor following distance with five settings. Street, Sport, Off-Road, and Rain ride modes are even more refined with a six-axis lean angle sensor and a less intrusive traction control system. Users can also add KTM’s Rally ride mode, hill hold control, motor slip regulation, and a quickshifter as options.

The new 7-inch TFT display features a user-friendly interface along with KTM My Ride Bluetooth connectivity. A waterproof smartphone compartment protects the user’s devices against the elements while providing USB charging. KTM’s new Race On system also allows the rider to start the adventure bike, lock the steering column, and open the gas cap without using a key. The 2022 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S sets a new benchmark for performance and technology, but there’s no word yet on availability or pricing.

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