The single LED headlight is likely to be just a prototype-friendly thing at the moment, but what headlights will the new 1290 get?

This is the 2020 KTM 1290 Super Adventure in action for its first testing miles on the open road.

Our spy snapper caught the bike undergoing road tests alongside a 2019 BMW R1250GS as the Austrian factory makes major changes to the 1301cc Adventure styled mile muncher.

The changes to the 1290 are immediately obvious when you see it in action. It’s all about the bodywork and ergonomics!

Gone is the minimal bodywork from the 2019 motorcycle, replaced with a more encompassing set of plastics. There’s a bigger TFT colour screen, a new windscreen, new seats, more fuel carrying capability and better ergonomics, too.

This is the current KTM Super Adventure 1290 S, you can see the difference in the bodywork changes which are much more finished and 790-esque than previously seen

The bike we’ve photographed undergoing tests is running a pretty crudely-formed set of bodywork that apes what we saw at the end of last year on the 790 Adventure from KTM.

This is the 790 Adventure from KTM, you can see the similarity between this and the next-generation 1290 in terms of the lower petrol tank bulges around the front lower engine parts

The shoulders of the 1290 are now flared out, the petrol tanks are moved down lower on the front of the bike and the conventional-position for what would normally be the petrol tank is now filled by a tank cover that’s been re-shaped and has a side profile that’s lower than on the current version of the 1290 Super Adventure.

The fairing itself is also heavily revised with the current bike’s large, split-face headlights gone on the prototype photographed. The model being ridden in our photos only has a single round LED headlight unit. This is unlikely to be how the finished bike will look so it’s anyone’s guess at the moment as to whether we see the twin headlights return (in which case, why not fit these to the prototype motorcycle?) or if we’ll see something re-designed from KTM when this bike eventually hits the shelves.


The prototype motorcycle looks to have a redesigned nose too with the bottom of the fairing jutting out further than on the current bike, the air-deflecting shoulders have been re-shaped and the screen, although looking very similar to the one on the current bike’s side profile, has come in for some serious re-working when viewed from the front.

That screen is clearly adjustable (manually on the current bike and at the moment it looks like the prototype bike has the same manual adjustment wheel fitted rather than an electronic adjustment option) with large cut-outs in the fairing showing how much it will move up and down to suit a rider’s needs.

The TFT screen is larger and clearly visible in this photograph

The new KTM 1290 Super Adventure will go on sale in early 2020 and will be shown to the world at the end of this year complete with the 790-esque bodywork in place.

Tony Carter

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