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KTM 390 Adventure, Royal Enfield Himalayan BS6, Hero XPulse 200: Which One For Whom?

Published On Jan 21, 2020 By Praveen M. for KTM 390 Adventure

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Wondering which entry-level ADV to buy? This should help clear things out!

KTM has finally launched its most-awaited adventure tourer, the 390 Adventure, in the country at Rs 2.99 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). With this, the entry-level adventure segment just got all the more exciting. Here’s a detailed analysis of what the Hero XPulse 200, the recently launched Royal Enfield Himalayan BS6, and the KTM 390 Adventure offer so that you can make a more informed buying decision:

Hero XPulse 200: Buy to learn the nuances of off-roading

The Hero XPulse 200 is the most affordable of the lot, at Rs 98,500 for the carburetted model and Rs 1,06,500 for the fuel-injected variant, both ex-showroom Delhi. It is not only the most affordable motorcycle in this list, but also the lightest and the most off-road capable motorcycle. It weighs 154kg kerb for the FI variant, which is 8kg heavier than the KTM 390 Adventure and a whole 45kg lighter than the Royal Himalayan. 

What’s more, it also gets properly potent underpinnings in the form of 37mm telescopic front fork with 190mm stroke, 10-step preload-adjustable monoshock with 170mm rear wheel travel, 21-inch front and 18-inch rear spoke wheels shod with dual-purpose Ceat Gripp rubber. These aspects coupled with the generous 220mm ground clearance should help you make short work of bad roads and off-road terrain alike. But on the flip side, the bike is only good off the road. Out on the highway, the 2-valve air-cooled motor generating 18.2PS and 17.1Nm feels stressed on the highway if the motorcycle crosses 80kmph. Overall, if you’re a newbie who wants to learn the basics of off-roading, the Hero XPulse 200 is a great buy. Being a Hero motorcycle, the parts should also be reasonably affordable in case you break things on your off-road adventures.

Royal Enfield Himalayan BS6: Buy if you want an affordable adventure tourer

It was the Royal Enfield Himalayan that really got the whole ADV trend going in the country. In its BS6 avatar, the Himalayan is 5kg heavier, tipping the scales at 199kg kerb. It comes with off-road friendly underpinnings like 21-inch front, 17-inch rear spoke wheels with Ceat Gripp XL dual-purpose tyres, 41mm telescopic forks with 200mm travel, and a linked monoshock with 180mm travel and 220mm ground clearance. Even though the Himalayan meets all the requirements of an off-road-friendly motorcycle, the sheer weight plays spoilsport in its off-road dynamics.

But if you can handle the weight, you shouldn’t have a problem exploring the famed Leh-Ladakh. The motorcycle also offers great highway touring capability, better than Royal Enfield’s other 350cc and even 500cc motorcycles. You can comfortably do triple-digit speeds on the highway, thanks to the counterbalanced 411cc motor, which churns out 24.3PS at 6500rpm and 32Nm at 4000-4500rpm. As far as the pricing is concerned, it starts from Rs 1,86,811 (ex-showroom Delhi), comfortably slotting it bang in between the affordable XPulse 200 and the premium KTM 390 Adventure. Moreover, it also offers the distinct advantage of greater brand presence and the opportunity of taking part in company-organised ride events. Buying the Himalayan will guarantee you a ticket to Royal Enfield’s community, famously known for the camaraderie between its riders.

KTM 390 Adventure: Buy if you want a tech-laden mile-muncher with light off-road capability

Armed with lean angle-sensitive traction control, cornering ABS with off-road mode, standard bidirectional quickshifter, TFT display with smartphone connectivity, optional turn-by-turn navigation, and even a 12V socket, the KTM 390 Adventure is the most feature-packed motorcycle in the entry-level ADV space. 

It is also the most powerful ADV of the lot, thanks to the KTM 390 Duke-derived 373.2cc single-cylinder BS6-compliant motor, which generates 43.5PS and 37Nm -- the same as the current-gen KTM 390 Duke. This should make cruising at speeds beyond 100kmph a breeze. 

That said, its off-road prowess isn’t on par with the Hero XPulse 200. Sure, it has premium underpinnings -- WP Apex 43mm inverted front fork and a monoshock, with 170mm travel up front and 177 travel at the rear. However, its 19-inch front and 17-inch rear cast aluminium wheels wrapped with Metzeler Tourance dual-purpose tyres can only take that much beating off the road. At 200mm, the ground clearance isn’t as high as the other two motorcycles either. We hope KTM will offer spoke wheels with more off-road biased tyres eventually.

All in all, the KTM 390 Adventure makes sense if you want a value-for-money fully loaded Adventure tourer that’s capable of touring and the occasional trail ride.

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