Burmese TusharNovember 07, 2019 4:37:59 PM IST
For motorcycle enthusiasts, the EICMA Milan Motor Show is the most anticipated event of the year; we see all the new models that manufacturers expect to launch in the next year and beyond. It has also become very relevant to us here in India, given how many of these models tend to end up in the local market. One of those models – which has been an absolute unicorn – is the KTM 390 Adventure. He has been spied on, wanted, speculated, analyzed and put to death for six years now. It was finally revealed, and according to lore, we had to dig to get the details. But first, a little background.
What is that ?
Since KTM made their first product available in India in 2012, they have changed the way we think about performance motorcycles. Thanks to Bajaj’s substantial stake in the business and their long history of profitable manufacturing, they were able to bring the Duke 200 to market at a very competitive price. He painted the motorcycle landscape orange and established KTM as a favorite among automotive journalists, enthusiasts and (unfortunately) the chappal, skinny jeans and the undercut crowd. Then in 2013 we got the 390 Duke, improving performance beyond anything we’ve seen in a locally made motorcycle. Now in its second generation, the 390 remains a favorite for those who can afford it and don’t subscribe to the dogma of heavy, lazy and macho machines.
There is a catch, however. For the most part, we don’t have perfect roads in India – the kind that KTM Duke bikes are so adept at tackling. There have always been those who have fun riding their motorcycles through seemingly impossible obstacles. It is almost a rite of passage for the owner of Royal Enfield to cross the Ladakh region on a motorbike. UK-based Triumph motorcycles have become synonymous with “adventure” motorcycles thanks to their Tiger motorcycle brand. Triumph launched these big, expensive and powerful machines in 2013, creating the market for those who want to use their bikes for leisure travel, on or off the road. It was a nascent market at the time, but the wave of interest in this kind of adventure was palpable.
So here’s what we have so far: 1) a growing audience who aren’t afraid to get dirty with their motorcycles and 2) a dearth of accessible and affordable motorcycles to get dirty with. The Royal Enfield Himalayan and Hero XPulse 200 qualify, but they’re a bit basic.
Halwawala aa gaya
Enter the KTM 390 Adventure, which promises the smooth performance of the Duke with the added ability to go (at least a little) off-road when needed. From what we know about the bike, this is almost exactly what we expected. It’s good and bad; we would have liked to be surprised a little ummeed se zyada. KTM just unveiled the bike in Milan, but the industry’s worst-kept secret is that they’ll be showing the bike at India Bike Week in December, and it’ll be available for purchase shortly. time after.
Based on the package they announced, we would expect between Rs 3 and Rs 3.5 lac ex-showroom for the bike. The 390 Adventure differs from Duke street bikes in several ways. The engine specs remain the same, which will disappoint many, but the changes give me hope. There’s now traction control to tame the bike when things get slippery, and adjustable front and rear suspension. It’s a bit taller than the Street Duke (seat 855mm!) With 200mm ground clearance and the “adventure” style that goes with it. Identical horsepower as well as alloy rims don’t bode well for this as an off-road beast, but apparently KTM wasn’t aiming for this in the first place.
Reframe your expectations
I have worked with riders in the past, and if you ask them their opinion on adventure bikes, they usually rhyme with “LOL!”. If you’re really hardcore you need an all-terrain bike – no lights, studded tires, huge suspension travel, weighs as much as your cat. On earth you need something that can withstand punishment and not throw you off, and if you get knocked off it’s light enough to pick up and go again. Adventure bikes cannot be those machines without compromise. They’re big, heavy, expensive, and powerful to make room for big, heavy, and expensive egos and (usually) a waistline. They will also occasionally carry a passenger and luggage, so accommodation must also be provided for these. So while you can probably do a 25ft jump on your R1250GS, you probably shouldn’t. Stay on the roads, bad roads, and trails, and an adventure bike will get you and your gear there in comfort. Until you drop it. Then I hope you have a good deadlift.
The KTM 390 Adventure offers ergonomic arrangements for the passenger, kit and comfort without a major drawback: weight. At 158 kg dry, the 390 is an absolute featherweight when it comes to adv. Less weight means it can settle for less horsepower. It’ll never be able to haul your portly ass along the highway with the eagerness of a Triumph Tiger, but the opportunities to do so tend to be scarce. Importantly, the 390 Adventure comes with adjustable suspension for the front and rear, which I know from experience makes a monumental difference in how a motorcycle handles on the road. Especially on bad roads. It can be the difference between riding on bad roads and tentatively drawing a line through them. By bad roads I mean broken tarmac, potholes, gravel and tar snakes. Seems familiar?
“At under 160kg dry, this will be the bike to hone your off-road riding skills on, before moving on to the big adventure bikes. And you might find that you don’t really need this. big bike adv. The possibilities of adaptation for off-road racing are also endless. I can see Adventure 390 becoming a regular feature of the INRC, “says Ashish Raorane, the only private international rally raid driver in India He’s been around the country and competed on a big adventure bike, and currently rides KTM 450 rally bikes, so I guess he knows what he’s talking about.
Thanks to its minimal weight and adjustable suspension, I think the KTM 390 Adventure will probably be one of the fastest street bikes you can buy in India bar none. You will be able to take faster, safer roads that would otherwise make you fear God. You will be less able to think about how best to get around the broken patches and just enjoy the ride more.
You can have twice the power and continue at half the pace. I made this mistake. Unless you hit the rocks with reckless abandon, the alloy rims on the KTM 390 Adventure will perform well. The 390 engine is energetic and sporty, and has none of the “thrust” you desire in an adventure motorcycle. But neither is the Tiger, and this fanclub is a vote bank in itself. You’ll get a large, flat seat, places to tie up your luggage, and a substantial selection of accessories and accessories without breaking the bank.
So stop complaining about alloy rims. There are only 30 of you in the country who can actually use the extra durability of the spokes. The KTM 390 Adventure is the hero we need right now.