The KTM 790 Adventure series seems to have proved successful for KTM, now morphing into the 890 series for 2021. That’s a logical step forward. Now, it looks like KTM’s making another logical step forward, and using the 790 design to improve its 1290 flagship model.
Last week, Motorcycle.com published a series of drawings showing a new KTM 1290 Adventure, possibly a 2021 or 2022 model. The reality of a new KTM 1290 Adventure is nothing unexpected; KTM’s got to update its machine to meet Euro5 specifications sooner or later, if it wants to continue its European sales. However, the manufacturers don’t seem keen on colouring too far outside the lines these days; overhaul the intake and exhaust, maybe a new fairing, and call it a day.
Looks like KTM is taking things a bit further, though, by taking the KTM 790 Adventure’s gas tank design (which carried onto the 890), and putting it onto the 1290.
When the 790 Adventure debuted for the 2019 riding season, it broke several long-standing KTM traditions, most notably with its parallel twin engine. The wraparound fuel tank wasn’t exactly ground-breaking technology, but it was something new to the adventure bike scene. Some large-capacity aftermarket fuel tanks carry fuel in lobes low, down around the engine, but no factory bikes had the gas tank designed to wrap around the base of the engine.
This design makes for better weight distribution, and also provides some protection in a tip-over. Although you’d think the orientation would make the gas tank more vulnerable, KTM claims it’s pretty crash-proof.
These are all good things, and that’s potentially why KTM wants to put the tank onto the 1290. Is it guaranteed? No, but this patent looks like a likely happening.