2022 KTM 390 Adventure Review: Likes And Dislikes

Modified On May 16, 2022 04:38 PM By Jehan Adil Darukhanawala for KTM 390 Adventure

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Do the small updates to the electronics package make the Austrian ADV better?

2022 KTM 390 Adventure Review: Likes And Dislikes

There was much hope, and hype, for the KTM 390 Adventure to be the great do-it-all adventure motorcycle that Indian motorcyclists had envisaged.

However, it turned out to be far from what we had anticipated, and instead was more of a grand tourer. For 2022, KTM has brought in subtle updates to the adventure bike. How do they enhance the bike’s rideability?

2022 KTM 390 Adventure Review: Likes And Dislikes

LIKES

Improved TC For Off-roading

The 390 Adventure’s electronics package has seen the introduction of two new levels of traction control intervention: Street and Off Road. The former was barely noticeable in its operation on tarmac. It was quite intrusive when you start to run out of tarmac, which is where the other mode does help. 

Switching to Off Road, the traction control allows the rider to slide the rear a fair bit before stepping in a controlled manner. If you have enough experience off-roading, you can simply turn the aid off completely, though. And the good news is that the system remains in the same state until you turn the key off. In the event of a fall or you kill the motor via the kill switch, the traction remains off.

2022 KTM 390 Adventure Review: Likes And Dislikes

Cooler Colours

I have got to be honest, the new blue and orange Dakar bike-inspired colours just make the bike look smashing. It is definitely eye-catching and more appealing than the older version. And it isn’t just this shade. The Dark Galvano Black option, too, looks a lot more stealthy than the previous edition, if you prefer it that way.

2022 KTM 390 Adventure Review: Likes And Dislikes

Toughened And More Durable Wheels

KTM claims the new five twin-spoke alloys are lighter and tougher. These should hold up better when subjecting the bike to some serious torturous terrain. But since we’ve not heard about the older rims cracking or failing, these ones should do the trick just as well.

2022 KTM 390 Adventure Review: Likes And Dislikes

DISLIKES

Still No Adjustable Suspension

Why, KTM India? Why? We still cannot wrap our heads around the fact that KTM refuses to kit the 390 Adventure with adjustable suspension for Indian buyers. The firm tune means that you are constantly bouncing off stuff when tackling trails, something which gets just a little overwhelming for inexperienced riders. Even on the road, you cannot go carefree over broken patches or speed humps, what with the suspension tossing you around. 

2022 KTM 390 Adventure Review: Likes And Dislikes

Peaky Performance 

The advantage of using the 373cc motor in the same state as the 390 Duke was to make the 390 Adventure an incredibly fast tourer. The disadvantage: you never feel settled at highway speeds. At 110kmph, the bike urges you to go faster and faster, which could end up becoming a recipe for disaster on Indian highways. 

More so, hustling the bike in the city or keeping it under control when off-roading becomes a task. The motor needs to be in the right zone and in the right gear always, tractability not being its strongest suit.

Navigation Is Glitchy

Instead of integrating Google Maps like most of its competitors, KTM has developed its own maps and navigation application. It used to be a paid app until recently, charging customers a bomb to use the aid, and the app ended up being too glitchy. 

2022 KTM 390 Adventure Review: Likes And Dislikes

Our Take

The updates that KTM has brought to the 390 Adventure make a small but noticeable difference to off-road riding. What we would have ideally liked are changes to the motor to make the power more accessible, and adjustable suspension for better overall damping. 

At Rs 3.35 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), the updates come in at a premium of Rs 6,500 over the 2021 model, and given how prices of all two-wheelers are shooting up crazily, this seems like a fair hike. So, if you bleed orange, then the new-gen 390 Adventure should serve you well.

However, we think that now couldn’t be a better time to start saving for two homegrown purposeful upcoming competitors of the KTM, as Royal Enfield and Hero both have big adventure bikes on their minds for 2023.

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