With the launch of the BMW G 310 GS in India imminent, KTM have finally confirmed that they will indeed release their own light-weight adventure tourer, the much awaited KTM 390 Adventure. It’s no secret that BMW and KTM have been constantly at each other’s throats (and market shares) – where one is known for smooth ride and comfort, the other offers raw performance.
We’ve already seen the BMW G 310 GS up close, which you can read about here. And it’s time now to take a deeper dive at the just announced KTM 390 Adventure which has been making headlines recently.
Well here are the five things about the KTM 390 Adventure we know so far:
1. First spy images and test mules
Last year in October, German web-site, Motorrad, released two images which poured fuel on the whole KTM 390 Adventure rumour doing the rounds. One of the test mules had a more enduro or scrambler-like styling, while the other looked like a baby 1290 Adventure. A larger seat for both the rider and passenger and probably, nay, hopefully not made out of a smooth slab of stone (think Duke 390) would be ideal. Another great addition would be grippy foot-pegs with a more upright riding position and a raised handle bar which would be helpful for touring and longer rides. We also suspect the inclusion of 19-inch wheels upfront similar to its arch rival – the BMW G 310 GS.
2. The Official Statement
The statement from KTM was that they would be officially calling it the KTM 390 Adventure. Which follows in the series of their flagship 1290 Adventure and the 1090 Adventure. The Austrian firm says that the bike would also draw inspiration from the brand’s rally racing history (Dakar! Dakar! Dakar!), and we’re not complaining.
Since, Bajaj Auto owns a stake in the KTM the 390 Adventure, it will also be produced in India at Bajaj’s factory in Chakan near Pune. Speaking about the new launch, Amit Nandi, President (Probiking), Bajaj Auto said, “KTM is a niche brand for a select few. With the 390 Adventure we would be making our long awaited entry into the niche premium dual-sport segment which is a very apt segment for Indian roads.”
3. Segment in India
At the moment there are just two dual-sport motorcycles currently on offer – the Kawasaki Versys-X 300 and the home-grown Royal Enfield Himalayan. These very capable bikes will shortly be joined by a couple of interesting offerings, which includes the much awaited BMW G 310 GS and from a segment below, the Hero Xpulse 200.
Kawasaki Versys-X 300: The only twin-cylinder bike in the segment and, for obvious reasons, the 300 is also the most expensive with a Rs 4.60 lakh (ex-showroom) price-tag. Post testing, it emerged that this was a fun, versatile, do-it-all motorcycle that is at home on the road, or off. Read more.
Royal Enfield Himalayan: is the older work horse, priced at Rs 1.68 lakh (ex-showroom), the bike is fairly popular in India. Especially after the Indian bikemaker ironed out the initial snags and introduced the fuel injected version, along with a better gear box. Read more.
BMW G 310 GS: The yet-to-be-launched baby GS will carry a premium sticker and is expected to cost Rs 3 lakh. There are lots of hopes riding on this one, but we’ll have to wait for the launch to know more specifics. Read more.
Hero Xpulse 200: Being India’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer, Hero Motocorp can sense the pulse of the market and is also ready to introduce a pocket friendly on/off-roader from their stable. Shown at the recently held Auto Expo 2018, the Hero Xpulse 200 grabbed the attention of many enthusiasts. Like most Hero products the upcoming model is also expected to offer good value for money and is likely to be priced close to the Rs 1 lakh mark. Not to forget, this will be the smallest capacity model in this segment currently. Read more.
Which brings us to the 390 Adventure. The latest spy picture from Bike Socials reveal a lot more about the KTM 390 Adventure. Unlike some earlier test mules, the one spotted now has an LED headlight, indicators, rear-view mirrors and a number-plate which hint that this is a closer to a production model. The headlight is very similar to the one sported by the current KTM 390 Duke, but the Adventure has unique shrouds around it, apart from a clear panels on either sides and a clear screen above. This adds to the Adventure character and will also provide some wind protection. Even the radiator has more prominent surrounds.
The 390 Adventure will get purposeful wire-spoked wheels with on/off road tyres. The wheel size is difficult to judge but it appears to be a 19-inch front and 17-inch rear. The foot-pegs don’t seem to be as rear-set as the ones on the 390 Duke, which, along with a taller handlebar, should create a more upright riding position.
The Adventure will come equipped with the same engine as it’s Duke sibling, albeit tuned differently to suit the on/off-road character of the Adventure. The 373-cc liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine churns out 44 PS, and for this model, KTM may rework the power output, and then again, may just stick to playing around with the gear ratios to obtain maximum off-road capability.
Rajiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Auto, has maintained that the company will only launch new KTM models in India which can be produced locally. The idea, obviously, is to keep the pricing attractive.
KTM have proven that it is willing to be aggressive with its pricing in the Indian market. Its value for money and bang-for-your-buck attitude have worked out very well for the motorcycle company’s sales figures. They quickly managed a decent fan-following on Indian shores, and sales figures have backed up this notion. We hope that KTM carry on this aggressive pricing tradition in India with the 390 Adventure. So, a price tag of around 2.7 lakh (ex-showroom) should be realistic.
This new model will complete the 390 range for KTM – sport with the RC 390, naked roadster with the Duke390 and the adventure segment with the 390 Adventure. The company have slated the launch of the 390 Adventure into the Indian market for mid-2019.
Story: Zal Cursetji