How does KTM’s 390 Adventure stack up against the segment leader, the Himalayan? We find out
[Update: KTM 390 Adventure Launched In India: Head Here For More Information.]
After what seemed like a never-ending wait, KTM has finally unveiled the 390 Adventure at the EICMA motorcycle show. However, we’ll have to wait a bit more to get our hands on the bike as KTM is only expected to launch the 390 Adventure in India by the end of this year. However, even before its launch, the 390 Adventure has created a storm in the entry-level ADV segment where the Royal Enfield Himalayan has remained the top dog for years now. Now that the 390 Adventure is almost here, do we have a new king of the segment or will the Himalayan keep its amazing track record? We find out
Engine and performance:
That the KTM leads on the performance front shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. The 373.2cc unit makes 19PS more than the Himalayan’s 411cc motor. Interestingly, KTM has chosen not to tweak the engine at all, which means it will have the same racy traits as the Duke. And while that might be a likeable attribute for a naked or a sportbike, we aren't quite sure how it would translate for an adventure bike. The Himalayan’s motor, on the other hand, is calm and has a strong mid-range. Moreover, the 390 Adventure gets a 6-speed gearbox instead of a 5-speed gearbox as seen on the Himalayan, which should make it a proper mile muncher. Also, the 390 Adventure is BS6-compliant, whereas the Himalayan hasn’t been updated to adhere to BS6 norms yet.
KTM’s known for equipping its motorcycle with top-notch components and the 390 Adventure is no exception. It features the same trellis frame as the 390 Duke and gets fully adjustable suspension at either ends. The Himalayan, on the other hand, gets a non-adjustable suspension setup, but it offers more travel than the 390 Adventure (30mm more at the front and 3mm more at the rear). Another advantage of the Himalayan is that it gets spoke wheels whereas the KTM comes with a set of alloy wheels. And no, KTM will not offer spoke wheels even as an optional extra. One of the reasons why KTM has gone with alloys instead of spokes is that it wants the 390 ADV to be a more road-focused motorcycle rather than a proper off-roader.
This is where things get interesting. If you have a shorter frame, say below 5’8’’, then it might be a bit difficult for you to plant your feet on the ground while riding a tall ADV. The Himalayan, in that respect, has been the benchmark for a while now. The seat height on the Himalayan is pegged at 800mm, which is 55mm less than the 390 ADV. What’s more interesting is that even though you sit lower on the Himalayan than the 390 Adventure, you don’t have to worry about scraping the belly to that extent. The RE offers 20mm more ground clearance than the 390 Adventure! This just shows us how compact the Himalayan really is.
At 14.5 litres, the 390 Adventure gets a slightly bigger fuel tank than the 390 Duke. The Himalayan gets a 15-litre unit. The fact that the 390 ADV has a high-strung motor and produces more power suggests that the KTM will have lesser range than the Himalayan. In our tests, the 390 Duke returned 28.5kmpl out on the highway, whereas the Himalayan Fi returned 37.8kmpl! We expect the upcoming 390 Adventure to have similar figures as its naked variant, the 390 Duke.
At Rs 1,80,951 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), the Himalayan is a fantastic value for money proposition. It’s a great mile muncher as well as a potent off-roader. The KTM 390 Adventure at Rs 2.99 lakh costs more than a lakh over the Himalayan. It does come loaded with top-notch components and features like traction control, a TFT display and LED lights but how capable is the 390 Adventure can only be answered after a proper review. Stay tuned.