2022 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S | First Look Review

Adaptive cruise control buoys a raft of updates on the road-oriented ADV.

2022 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S

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.

2022 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S

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.

2022 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S

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.

2022 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S

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.

2022 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S

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. MSRP is $19,499.

For more information or to find a KTM dealer near you, visit ktm.com.


  1. I’m not a fan of the people hating euro govts and all of their stupid emissions controls. Motorcycles should be exempt from these regulations.

  2. Had a 2019 SA for a couple of years. Absolutely loved it. But the old lady was afraid of it. So I traded for a BMW K1600 Grand America. Super comfortable, handled well once you’re moving and surprisingly nimble. Very heavy, 750 lbs and long, over 8 ft. Hard to maneuver into the garage, in a parking lot, etc. Old lady still uncomfortable riding. Sold it, and going back to the KTM SAS. I can hardly wait to get on the new 2022.
    The BMW R1000XR is very uncomfortable, the seat is just too hard and shaped like a bowl. The engine is good but is only happy above 6-7000 RPM. Handles great, very nice electronics but just plain uncomfortable.
    In this class, that leaves the Multistrada V4S, V4S Sport or Pikes Peak. If you can afford it, go for it. But for the money, the KTM rules.

  3. Had a 2019 from new and loved it, a bit tall for some, but for me it was ok at 6 ft tall with 31 inch inside leg. Power was awesome, in my opinion as good in real terms as my former new MT10, yes really!! In fact i was so happy with the 1290 super duper i was seriously considering buying my second brand new 2020 KTM, but before hard cash exchanged I took the latest model out for a test ride…. and what a disappointment.. it felt very different and not in a good way, seating position not so commanding, power definitely reduced and the indicator switch so vague that there was no way i could live with it, to be fair reduction of emissions are responsible for the power loss, but how could I justify paying more money for essentially the same bike but get less power and live with the dodgy indicator switch. So sadly goodbye to KTM, but fond memories of my particular model, who ever buys my old bike is gonna love it, well until they try my new steed the BMW R1259 GSR Adventure,,, expensive but fabulous.😁

  4. I have a 2021 European S. I think that the Adventure class are the Swiss Army Knives of motorcycling. My S doesn’t do everything perfectly but it does many different things quite well. I feel that the SAS leans more toward the sporting end of the spectrum and lacks the comfort of the BMW for touring. However the SAS is probably better at touring mountain roads with lots of turns. With the power and torque that the KTM has on tap it’s most certainly more fun.


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