KTM 1290 Super Adventure R (2021+) Maintenance Schedule and Service Intervals

This is the maintenance schedule and service intervals for KTM’s premium adventure tourer, the KTM 1290 Super Adventure R, as of 2021.

The KTM 1290 Super Adventure range was first announced in 2014 for the 2015 model year, and the first KTM 1290 Super Adventure R was released in 2017, with a more road-going variant being the 2017 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S.

The KTM 1290 Super Adventure R is a large adventure touring motorcycle based around the 1301cc liquid-cooled V-twin from the 1290 Super Duke R, but with different cam tuning and a heavier crankshaft. The engine makes 118 kW (160 bhp) at 9000 rpm, with 80% of its peak 138 Nm (102 ft-lb) of torque available at just 2,500 rpm.

There are two models in the KTM 1290 Super Adventure range as of 2021:

PartKTM 1290 Super Adventure SKTM 1290 Super Adventure R
Intended useSport touringAdventure touring/off-road
Fuel tank23L23L
SuspensionWP SAT (semi-active tech) USDWP XPLOR USD
Wheels19/17-inch cast21/18-inch spoked
Cruise controlAdaptive (radar based)Standard (non-adaptive)
Min seat height849mm (33.4 in)880mm (34.6 in)
Weight (without fuel/full fuel)220 kg / 485 lb221 kg / 487 lb
External featuresWindscreen, plastic engine guardCrash bars, hand guards, metal engine guard
Comparing key features between the 2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S and R

Since the beginning the Super Adventure range has come with the kitchen sink, including cornering ABS and cruise control, as well as a massive fuel tank, to compete with the BMW R 1200 GS adventure.

In 2021 KTM updated the 2017-2020 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R, with a host of changes

  • Tank changes to hold the fuel lower (to lower the center of gravity)
  • Moving steering head back 15mm
  • Two separate radiators
  • Easy-access air filter
  • Many engine changes — lighter cases, new pistons, improved shifting, and new two-header exhaust unit

The maintenance intervals stayed the same at 9000 miles (15000 km), but the table is different.

Updated Oct 2023 with chain adjustment guidelines.

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KTM 1290 Super Adventure R Service Intervals

Service intervals for the 1290 Super Adventure R are 15000 km / 9300 mi or annually, at which point you change the oil and filter and do a host of checks.

There’s a major valve service every 30000 km / 18600 miles.

The KTM Super Adventure motorcycles have hydraulic clutches, so change the brake and hydraulic clutches together at the specified intervals.

Finally, be sure to regularly maintain the chain, particularly if riding off-road regularly.

Maintenance schedule for the KTM 1290 Super Adventure R

Below is the maintenance schedule for the KTM 1290 Super Adventure R. The maintenance schedule in the manual is broken up into two sections — required maintenance and recommended maintenance (but you should do both). But in later manuals, KTM revised this, combining them into one table.

We’ve split out a standard annual service checklist from the major service items.

There are a few items that are different between the S and R, due to the different standard features, which is why we’re keeping the maintenance schedules separate.

Major Service Items Checklist


  • After the end of the service schedule, keep repeating it in this pattern.
  • Follow the earlier of time-based or distance-based service intervals. For example, change the oil every 9300 miles / 15000 km or year.
mi x 10000.69.318.6
km x 100011530Every
Perform the annual service checklist (see below)Year
Change the engine oil. (Motorex Power Synt 4T 10W-50)Year
Change the oil filter.Year
Clean the oil screens.Year
Change the air filter, clean the air filter box.
Change the spark plugs (air filter removed) (you need 2 x LKAR9DI-10 for the inside and 2 x LMAR7DI-10 for the outside)
Check the valve clearances (air filter and spark plugs removed)
Change the front brake fluid.2 years
Change the rear brake fluid.2 years
Change the hydraulic clutch fluid.2 years
Change the coolant4 years
Check the headlight setting
Check/clean the oil nozzle for clutch lubrication
Clean the dust boots of the fork legs
Check the swingarm bearing for play
Check the wheel bearings for play
Retighten the spokes
Change the SAS diaphragm valves
Check the frame
Check the link fork
KTM 1290 Super Adventure R (2021+) Maintenance Schedule

Annual Service Checklist

Below is the annual checklist for the KTM 1290 Super Adventure R. Do these checks according to the maintenance schedule above.


  • [Dealer] marked items need specialist dealer tools.
  • # Items not required at break-in — but simple to perform.
KTM 1290 Super Adventure R Annual Service Checklist
[Dealer] Read out the fault memory using the KTM diagnostics tool.
[Dealer] Program the shift shaft sensor.
Check that the electrical system is functioning properly.
Check the front brake pads.
Check the rear brake pads.
Check the brake discs for warp and wear.
Check the brake lines for damage and tightness
Check the front brake fluid level.
Check the rear brake fluid level.
# Check/correct the fluid level of the hydraulic clutch.
Check the shock absorber and fork for leaks. Perform service as needed and depending on how the vehicle is used.
Check the steering head bearing for play.
Check the tire condition
Check tire pressure (see below table)
Check the rim run-out
# Check the spoke tension
# Check the chain, rear sprocket, and engine sprocket.
Check the chain tension (see below guidance)
# Check the cables for damage and routing without kinks (fuel tank removed)
Check the coolant level in the compensating tank.
# Check the fuel pressure.
Check that the radiator fan is functioning properly.
Grease all moving parts (e.g. side stand, hand lever, chain) and check for smooth operation.
– Use lithium soap-based grease for major moving parts
– Use Motul chain paste for the chain
Empty the drainage hoses
# Check all hoses (fuel, coolant, bleeder, drainage etc.) and sleeves for cracking, leaks, and incorrect routing
Check the tightness of the safety-relevant screws and nuts which are easily accessible.
Check the antifreeze
Final check: Check the vehicle for safe operation and take a test ride.
[Dealer] Set the service interval display.
[Dealer] Read out the error memory after the test ride using the KTM diagnostics tool.
[Dealer] Make a service entry in KTMDealer.net
Annual service for KTM 1290 Super Adventure R

Chain Maintenance for the KTM 1290 Super Adventure R

You need to service your chain regularly, whether you’ve just been riding off-road, in rain or dust, or have washed your motorcycle.

At a minimum, KTM wants you to check your chain tension and alignment, and the condition of the chain and sprockets at every service (9 300 miles / 15 000 km).

Use a good quality chain lube to lubricate the chain — KTM recommends Motul chain lubricant.

To check the chain tension, put the motorcycle in neutral, make sure the motorcycle is on even ground, on its center stand, and with no load (no luggage).

  1. Get a small screwdriver.
  2. Find the chain guide between the chain and swing arm.
  3. Push the screwdriver into the recess of the chain guide between the chain and swing-arm. Push the screwdriver upward slightly.
KTM 1290 Super Adventure R Chain tension
KTM 1290 Super Adventure R Chain tension. Source: This video on YouTube.

The chain tension is correct when the screwdriver is parallel to the ground. You’ll note if it’s too tight (screwdriver points up) or too loose (screwdriver points down).

To adjust the chain tension, follow a fairly standard procedure. As when measuring chain slack, make sure that the motorcycle is on a level surface on its center stand, in neutral, with no weight on it (no saddlebags / luggage).

2021+ KTM 1290 Super Adventure chain tension adjustment graphic
2021+ KTM 1290 Super Adventure chain tension adjustment graphic
  1. Loosen the rear axle with a breaker bar and the adjuster lock nuts on either side of the axle.
  2. Turn the adjuster nuts to tighten (or loosen) the chain. Keep checking the chain tension to see if it has come within spec, using the method above.
  3. Keep an eye on the adjuster alignment marks on either side of the axle. Make sure that the adjustment is to the same point.
  4. When you’re done, tighten the axle to 90 Nm / 66 lb-ft, and tighten the adjuster lock nuts.
  5. Re-check the chain slack again to make sure it’s still within spec.

Make sure to also check the chain wear by measuring the top segment of the chain (which is taut) and comparing it to the spec above. Measure it in a few places. If the chain is too long, replace it.

Wheels and Tyres for the KTM 1290 Super Adventure R (2021+)

The KTM 1290 Super Adventure R ships with 21/18-inch spoked rims and “100% tubeless” tyres.

Here are the tyre sizes and recommended pressures for longevity (not optimised for your ride style or desired handling/grip level).

WheelTyre sizeTyre pressure (cold)
Front90/90-21 M/C 5RV TL35 psi (2.4 bar)
Back150/70 ZR 18 M/C 70W TL42 psi (2.9 bar)
KTM 1290 Super Adventure R (2021) recommended tyre sizes and pressures

About the 2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R

2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R offroad action pic

The KTM 1290 Super Adventure R is KTM’s biggest adventure touring motorcycle.

KTM has been doing adventure touring for a long time. They’ve earned a reputation for making big adventure tourers that aren’t just capable of crossing deserts — they’re also exciting to ride. Since launch, the 1290 range has always been immensely powerful, only matched in recent years by the big adventure tourers from Ducati and BMW, like the latest BMW R 1250 GS.

The KTM 1290 Super Adventure motorcycles are based around the now long-standing LC8 engine. Its a huge 1301cc liquid-cooled 8-valve 75-degree V-twin that makes 118 kW (160 hp) of peak power at 9,000 rpm in the 2021 incarnation, and 138Nm of torque — with most of that available at 2,500 rpm.

In previous years between 2017 and 2020, the 1290 Adventure R wasn’t updated significantly. But 2021 saw a “redesign” of the 1290 Adventure R from the ground up. The engine’s core displacement and power specs haven’t changed since the first KTM 1290 Adventure motorcycle was released, though the engine has been updated internally.

The most significant updates are:

  • A revised engine with many updated internals. This is to help the 1290 Adventure R remain compliant with emissions regulations but also keep power up at 118 kW / 160 hp peak, just where people expect it — though the peak is a little higher (9000 rpm vs 8750 rpm)
  • Redesigned chassis and frame with a lower center of gravity, longer swing-arm, and adjusted steerign head
  • A revised oil/liquid-cooling system, with two radiators rather than one. This helps with cooling as well as to keep warm air away from the rider’s legs.
  • A new 7 inch TFT display with a new layout, along with new handlebar controls

The KTM 1290 Super Adventure R’s stablemate, the 1290 Super Adventure S, also got adaptive cruise control for 2021.

Alternatives to the KTM 1290 Super Adventure R

If you’re looking at the 1290 Super Adventure R, then you’re probably also considering the Super Adventure S, the KTM’s road-going stablemate.

But you may also be looking at various other big-bore adventure motorcycles.

Manual for the KTM 1290 Super Adventure R (2021+)

The above maintenance schedule comes from the user’s manual for the KTM 1290 Super Adventure R for 2021.

KTM 1290 Super Adventure R maintenance schedule table screenshot

You can get the user manual directly from KTM’s website.

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