KTM 390 Adventure: Review In Images

Modified On Jan 28, 2020 By Alpesh Rajpurohit for KTM 390 Adventure

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Does the new 390 Adventure really live up to the ‘Adventure’ tag? Time to find out

The KTM 390 Adventure is finally here and so are a million questions. Is the 390 ADV the perfect adventure motorcycle for us? Is the Rs 2.99 lakh (ex-showroom) price tag justifiable? But, most importantly, is it worth the wait? We have ridden the new 390 ADV on a very tough off-road track and on the road to bring you all the answers. 

There’s no way you’d mistake this for anything other than a KTM. The LED headlamp and the bright orange steel trellis frame from the 390 Duke are instant giveaways. 

While it’s closely related to the Duke, the Adventure embodies KTM’s rallying pedigree with its tall and watchful stance. The headlamp sits high and forward-set, crowned by a clear windscreen above it, which masks the gap to the forks.

There are plenty of off-road cues like the knuckle guards on the wide handlebar and the big serrated footpegs. 

At 855mm, the seat is higher than the Duke by 30mm! This means riders below 5’6” will be tiptoeing when at a standstill. However, taller riders will rejoice that there finally is a KTM suited for them. 

Once in the saddle, the 390 Adventure will feel comfortable for tall, short or wide riders as the wide handlebars and the mid-set footpeg position create a nice and upright stance. 

While the 390 ADV feels just right for the highways, it could have done better for off-road use. For starters, the bike feels a bit wider than expected when standing up. The handlebar is set a bit low too, and that makes finding the right stand-up-and-ride posture a little troublesome.

The 390 ADV gets features that are usually found on more expensive bikes. For instance, it comes with a bi-directional quickshifter, cornering ABS, traction control, off-road mode, and full-colour TFT display. 

The engine on the Adventure has been carried over virtually unchanged from the Duke, but it feels just a bit smoother and less grumpier at low revs. Now, this could be because KTM has tuned this motor to meet the BS6 emission norms.

The 390 motor has proved itself as a capable long-distance companion and in this package, it just emphasises the point. It will sit comfortably at triple-digit speeds, and won’t hesitate to get there either!

Despite the 19” wheel, the added weight, the slower steering geometry, and the longer wheelbase, it feels fun and precise. It surely isn’t as fast and pointy as the 390 Duke, but on a windy road it will always be within pouncing distance of its streetfighter sibling. The strong brakes, shared with the Duke, also instill the confidence to run at a fast pace.

Push it into anything wilder and things will seem unnecessarily daunting. Unlike other KTMs we’ve seen in India, the Adventure isn’t one to gently hold your hand and lead you on. There is an awkwardness to its off-road manners that makes it feel daunting rather than welcoming. You could blame this on the lack of additional travel from the suspension, the weight, and the long wheelbase.  

This Adventure is actually a tourer, with rough-road capability, which should be enough for most people. Its spacious and comfortable ergonomics and its ability to tackle all kinds of roads and cover distances with ease will win it a lot of admiration and desirability. 

If you ignore the tall seat height, it should prove to be a great companion in the city. Those of you waiting for an off-road machine to go seeking wild adventures will have to wait a bit longer though. But if you’re looking for a thoroughly capable and affordable tourer, you can’t go wrong with KTM’s 390 Adventure!

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