Royal Enfield Himalayan BS6 vs KTM 390 Adventure: Spec Comparo
Which of these two ADVs makes more sense, on paper, to fill your adventure quota?
The Royal Enfield Himalayan has been the go-to affordable adventure motorcycle for years now. It has had its fair share of issues, which damaged its as well as the company’s reputation, but the updates to the bike have made it almost faultless. Despite the arrival of other ADVs like the BMW G 310 GS and the Kawasaki Versys-X 300, the Himalayan has managed to shine through. Even the Hero XPulse 200 doesn’t have the legs to match it. All hopes are pinned on the KTM 390 Adventure, then. How do these two fare in the BS6 era?
KTM has plonked in the 373cc motor in the 390 Adventure in the same trim as the 390 Duke. This will help the Austrian ADV have the legs on the heavy Himalayan on the highway. The same cannot be said when you take the bikes off tarmac. The tuning of the 410LS motor has dollops of low-end torque, something that is extremely handy in getting out of tricky off-road situations. The extra flab that it has put on now though, continues to be its Achilles heel.
We were pretty disheartened to know that KTM wouldn’t be kitting the India-spec 390 Adventure with the adjustable suspension units you find on the abroad-spec bike. While the hardware on the KTM is certainly superior to the Enfield, the Himalayan’s has more travel at both ends, especially the front. It is also running a 21-/17-inch spoke wheel setup, a great fit for off-roading.
Take the dirty business out of the equation and the 390 Adventure shines. Think of it as a larger, more comfortable 390 Duke. It certainly has got more advanced brakes and a more sophisticated ABS system, which is now aided by a six-axis IMU.
We have been pretty impressed with the packaging of the Himalayan. Of the two motorcycles here, it has the more accessible seat height as well as more ground clearance. Climbing aboard the 390 Adventure is certainly daunting, especially if you are a short or stocky person. Reaching your feet on the ground quickly while off-roading will also be a challenge, which could lead to tipping over. In the event of the spill though, getting the 390 Adventure back on its two wheels is an easier affair. The Himalayan’s new kerb weight of 199kg is not doing it any favours.
PRICE & VERDICT
The question remains - does the KTM 390 Adventure justify its high price tag as an all-round adventure motorcycle or are you better off saving close to a lakh with the Himalayan? As things appear, the 390 Adventure has the edge on tarmac. If you enjoy high-speed mile-munching and do not have the budget for a mid-capacity adventure motorcycle like the Kawasaki Versys 650 or the Suzuki V-Strom 650XT, the 390 Adventure should fit the bill perfectly.
Heading off road might be a bit tricky on the Adventure. No low-end grunt, alloy rims and not enough suspension travel leaves us longing for something better from KTM. That’s where the versatility of the Himalayan comes to the fore. Shame it could do with less weight.
If you are still confused which is the right one, why not check out our video where we take these two bikes as well as the Hero XPulse 200 on an epic road trip to Africa!