Lightweight adventure fans has their dream come true, as KTM continues to double down on the Adventure segment. KTM Malaysia at Genting Permai introduce two new models, the 250 and the 390 Adventure.
These two bikes will represent the extremes of KTM’s adventure series with the entry level 250 Adventure and mid-sized 390 Adventure.
The 390 Adventure is a mid-displacement machine with an affordable price tag at RM30,800 while the 250 Adventure will be aimed at entry level adventurers at RM21,500.
First Ride: KTM 390 Adventure
Well I must admit, I have a fear factor when comes to off-roading! The mental mistake I always make is height and weight fear factor when comes to riding off road. If an adventure bike over 200kgs, I will sure have a fear of dropping the bike and picking it and starting again! So comes 390 Adventure to scene! What I learned is that even more seasoned adventure riders who wanted a lighter, smaller bike. Something that didn’t weigh 300kg with a 875mm seat height. So the 390 Adventure comes ready dandy!
The first test I did on the 390 was to test out the comfortability cruising at constant highway speeds and that was what the 390 Adventure did, consistently at 140-160kmh through Karak in the morning. Engine response was smooth and responsive, with occasional over revving. For sure you would get by with a single piston 373cc engine. Churning out a 44 horsepower at 9,000 rpm and 37 Nm of torque at 7,000 rpm.
Equip with TFT dash and off-road mode for ABS, which means it can be disabled at the rear wheel while remaining activated at the front. That’s a bonus for riders who actually want to ride off-road.
The 390 Adventure’s lightweight trellis frame was inspired by the 450 Rally. It features a removable rear sub-frame (ideal for repairing a damaged rear end without having to replace the entire frame), which is something that even larger ADV bikes from other manufacturers don’t offer. It also gets the same aggressive footpeg as found on its larger siblings.
KTM 390 Adventure Suspension
The rear WP APEX shock on the 390 Adventure is adjustable for preload and rebound damping. The inverted WP APEX fork includes split functionality with adjustment for compression damping on the left side and rebound adjustment on the right. The rear WP APEX shock features an adjustable preload collar as well as rebound adjustment. The fork provides 170mm of travel up front while the rear end features nearly 178mm of travel, which means the 390 Adventure should provide a solid mix of both on- and off-road performance. 19-inch cast wheel up front and a 17-inch wheel in the rear.
While the 830mm seat height sounds like it’s a little on the tall side, KTM is claiming its narrow shape should provide an easy reach to the ground. While I’m sure that will be true for Spurgeon-sized riders who stand over six feet, three inches, I’d imagine there will be some riders looking for an accessory low seat.
Speaking of accessories, it looks like KTM already has plenty of ways for you to outfit the 390 Adventure to match your intended use. They have luggage options so you can actually do some real-world touring on this little guy.
Based on what my experience with the 390 Adventure, the new KTM is going to be quite appealing for a much larger audience than just the beginner riders. It’s also going to appeal to folks looking for a small-displacement adventure bike with big-bike touring functionality.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, WP Pro Suspension components are available for a wide variety of KTM models, as well as for additional manufacturers. Cone Valve technology is a completely redesigned internal valving system. Unlike traditional suspension, a Cone Valve system replaces the mid-valve piston and shim stack with a cone adapter and cone spring. It allows fluid to move faster on harder hits thus reducing initial damping to allow for a plusher ride over extreme terrain while still maintaining maximum traction. All of this occurs without affecting the upper portion of the stroke, which means you can take bigger hits and jumps without bottoming out the suspension. All adjustments can be made externally without the need for revalving the suspensions internals. The TL;DR of all of this is a much more precise handling machine to exactly match your riding style over any given terrain. Also KTM told us that the 390 Adventure has QuickShifter pre-installed but need additional RM1600 to enable it for new 390 Adv purchased.
How capable will this bike be at off-roading?
I got a taste with Mr Muddy few days ago during the Media test, although light off-road, it was raining the day before so the 390 Adventure took the sandy and muddy single-track weaving its way through the palm tree estate in Rawang. Lightweight really is great in the mud, I need not say more. If I do own one, I will have 3 version of the 390 Adventure, a SuperMoto 390 Adventure and 390 Enduro, hahaha, well that just me!
I have no doubt in my mind that for folks looking for an off-road-focused adventure bike, the KTM 390 Adventure will be the lightweight Adventure bike to beat for years to come.