SINNIS TERRAIN 380 (2020 - on) Review
- Less than £5k including luggage
- Huge 7-inch colour dash
- Practical and comfortable
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£100|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
Adventure bikes are increasingly defined by big engines, big power and even bigger price tags. But the new Sinnis Terrain 380 does things differently. This A2-compliant parallel twin costs just £4594 on the road (2020 price) – and a mere £255 more adds a three-piece suite of lockable aluminium luggage. This is a bike that’s all about versatility and value.
- Related: Best adventure motorbikes
A full-size riding position and impressive wind protection means you could not only cheerfully commute on it, but take it touring too (though you may want to raise the gearing if you’re going to spend much time on motorways).
- Related: Best A2-ready motorbikes
If you’re after a featherweight dual-purpose weapon that’ll give the confidence to explore rutted routes you wouldn’t dare tackle on a big GS, then the Sinnis Terrain 380 doesn’t trouble the likes of Honda’s CRF250L. The Sinnis is heavier and a lot more road-focused – but it’s also a much more complete all-rounder as a result, and far superior over distance.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
Chassis spec looks good, from the beefy upside-down forks with adjustable damping to the four-piston radially mounted brake calipers and large petal discs. In practice, the setup works reasonably well at steady speeds, but try to ride sportily and the components’ limits are quickly apparent. Brakes have fairly good feel but need a strong squeeze to stop sharply. Hit a bump with any lean angle and the springy shock pogos around, lacking in control. And while the adventure-treaded Timsun tyres behave in the dry, they struggle to generate grip or confidence when it’s wet.
All in all, the Terrain is much happier when things are more relaxed. It’s a comfy place to be – the motor may be small capacity the bike isn’t small physically. Its 820mm seat height means a 5ft 9in rider can just about get both feet flat on the floor. The handlebar is set high in true adventure fashion, while the rubber-topped lightly serrated footpegs give reasonable legroom. You feel sat inside the bike, well sheltered behind the tall, wide windscreen, aboard a comfortable (if slightly squidgy) seat.
However, those full-size proportions extend to the Terrain’s weight. Sinnis claim a kerb weight of 200kg, but it’s probably more. With its fuel tank brimmed our test bike, complete with its aluminium luggage, tips MCN’s digital scales at an eyebrow-raising 240kg. It’s unlikely the luggage accounts for that 40kg difference…
Tiptoeing along a smooth, flat gravel trail the Terrain 380 proves quite content. The riding position feels natural standing up, the bike is nicely balanced between your knees, and the soft response from the motor and brakes is unlikely to catch you out. But for anything gnarlier it needs a bashplate to protect the engine, handguards to cover levers, and more capable tyres.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The parallel twin’s design has its roots in Suzuki’s Inazuma 250, but larger pistons swell capacity to 378cc and its top-end has been upgraded to four valves per cylinder. Claimed output is 36bhp, though the motor needs to be spinning hard at 9000rpm (not far off the rev limiter) to find it. Thankfully peak torque (26lb·ft) comes much earlier, at a more usable 6500rpm.
Around town it feels nippy enough, pulling quickly through the revs and snicking slickly through the six-speed gearbox with a light clutch action. But overall gearing is very short, which can make it feel revvy and laboured when roads open up and speeds increase. In top gear at 60mph the motor sits happily just short of peak torque, but by a motorway cruising speed of 77mph it’s at a frantic 8000rpm. Top speed is around 85mph. Disappointingly, fuel economy didn’t get above 50mpg, while valve clearance checks are needed every 4000 miles.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
The Sinnis Terrain 380 is built by Chinese goliath Zongshen, where it’s called a Cyclone RX3S in its home market. The quality and durability of bikes coming out of China has improved massively in recent years, though their reputation remains dogged by historic anecdotes. How well the Terrain 380 will stand up to long-term use remains to be seen, though some peace of mind should come from the fact that Sinnis offer a three-year warranty and one year’s roadside assistance.
Visually, some of the Terrain’s bolts and components look comparable with the standard of affordable Japanese machines. But there are areas, like the tyres, the rear shock and the rough finish on the cast wheels, that give away its budget nature.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
The Sinnis Terrain 380 starts at £4495 plus on-the-road costs (£55 registration fee, £44 vehicle excise duty) for a total of £4594 (2020 price). That’s remarkably affordable – getting on for a grand less than a KTM 390 Adventure, a BMW G310GS or a Honda CRF250 Rally. But for a mere £255 more you can upgrade to a Terrain that comes with the full three-piece aluminium luggage seen in these pictures. A brand-new bike with 105 litres of lockable storage capacity that still leaves plenty of change from £5000? At this price, its most obvious adventure rivals are the Royal Enfield Himalayan and the Zontes ZT310-T.
Sinnis Terrain 380 vs KTM 390 Adventure
The KTM 390 Adventure, like the Sinnis, has an A2-ready motor, adventure-sized cast wheels, all-LED lights, clever colour clocks, semi-knobbly tyres and plenty of dirty thoughts.
The two share something else in common. The Sinnis isn’t built by Sinnis: it’s made in China by Zongshen. And the KTM isn’t built by KTM, but by Indian firm Bajaj. In the car world this is known as badge engineering. In the case of the 390 Adventure, it’s Bajaj engineering…
Climb onto the Sinnis and the sense of substance is surprising. I’m ensconced snugly inside the bike, its 820mm seat height giving a sense of adventure elevation while still letting both feet rest (just about) flat on the floor. The handlebar is set high, with plenty of room for arms to stretch out, while shoulders are well shielded by a tall, wide screen.
In fact, there’s an unexpected heft to it. Sinnis quote a kerb weight of 200kg – on paper, that’s barely any lighter than a Yamaha Ténéré 700. But they’re surely underestimating.
With its 18-litre fuel tank brimmed and that three-piece aluminium luggage fitted, MCN’s scales show the Terrain is 240kg ready to ride. The KTM is 174kg. Clearly the Sinnis’s boxes account for some of that difference, but not 66kg. That’s more than MCN’s photographer.
Nevertheless, along the A-road loop of the MCN250 the Sinnis scurries along, keeping pace with traffic easily and effortlessly. Its 378cc parallel twin (based on Suzuki’s Inazuma 250, but with a bigger bore and an eight-valve head) thrums through short gearing to quickly find itself in sixth gear.
On open roads 60mph equates to around 6200rpm – that’s busy, but close to peak torque. Ride much faster and starts it get a bit buzzy. Power-wise Sinnis claim 36bhp, made way up at 9000rpm shortly before the rev limiter kicks in. But while you can thrash the motor, it’s better in the upper-midrange.
It’s a similar story with the Sinnis’s chassis. Ride with a leisurely mindset and the Terrain steers and suspends pleasantly – heads where you ask, tips over a fair way, soaks up bumps without bothering the rider too much. But push on with intent and things get wobblier, the shock rebounding sharply if you hit a bump mid-corner, which in turn sets off a wiggle at the handlebars.
So the best thing to do is sit back and relax. Providing you’re not in too much of a hurry, for a small-capacity bike the Sinnis is remarkably competent at covering ground. You could take it touring, albeit steadily, particularly with that lockable luggage (though it’s a shame the boxes are keyed individually and the topbox isn’t quick-release).
The centrestand is a welcome inclusion too, as are the 12-volt and USB power sockets straddling the huge colour dash. But it’s a pity the fuel economy isn’t better – 49mpg is thirsty for a small motor. And those 4000-mile valve clearance checks seem excessive.
In straight dynamic terms, the KTM creams the Sinnis. The 390 has a stronger motor, sharper brakes, superior suspension and a huge weight advantage. It pulls harder, goes faster and feels far more exciting. It can be chucked through corners with joyous abandon and fizzes furiously out of turns. The KTM might be 20% more expensive, but it’s easily 20% more capable, 20% quicker and 20% more fun.
And yet, over a full day riding the MCN250, both Bruce and I prefer the easy life of the Sinnis. The Terrain’s slower, steadier and less sophisticated, but its extra girth, broad bodywork and wind protection make it a less tiring, more cosseting place to spend six or seven hours ticking off the miles.
Road presence and wind protection aren’t flashy but they count for an awful lot in winter – maybe a more hedonistic ride in the height of summer might have tipped our preference in the KTM’s favour. For short squirts of silliness and quick fixes of fun, get the KTM. For all-day rides and outright practicality, it’s the Sinnis.
From onboard your eyes are mesmerised by the Terrain’s gigantic 7-inch colour dash. Speed, revs and gear position are all shown clearly, along with a fuel gauge. The display does have a habit of flicking frequently between three different colourschemes though, almost certainly in response to ambient light but, sometimes, seemingly at random. The average fuel economy figure it shows is all over the shop too.
The dash is straddled by a pair of power sources – a 12-volt socket to its left and a USB port on the right – so smartphones and sat-navs can be kept charged up. The dash also boasts Bluetooth connectivity, but go to the trouble of pairing your phone and all it’ll do is show when someone’s ringing you.
More traditional practical touches include standard-fit crash bars and a centrestand. The aluminium luggage set is optional, but for just £255 it’s a no-brainer addition. Total storage volume is 105 litres, while the topbox is large enough to hold a helmet. The only downsides are that the three boxes use separate keys, the right-hand pannier sticks out further than the left (due to the silencer), and the topbox isn’t quick-release.
|Engine type||Liquid-cooled, 8v, parallel twin|
|Frame type||Tubular steel trellis|
|Fuel capacity||18 litres|
|Front suspension||41mm usd forks, adjustable rebound|
|Rear suspension||Monoshock, adjustable rebound|
|Front brake||2 x 300mm discs with four-piston calipers. ABS|
|Rear brake||260mm disc with single-piston caliper. ABS|
|Front tyre size||110/80-19|
|Rear tyre size||140/70-17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||49 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£44|
|Annual service cost||£100|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Three years|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||36 bhp|
|Max torque||26 ft-lb|
|Top speed||85 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||194 miles|
Model history & versions
- 2020: Sinnis Terrain 380 introduced. Road-focused adventure bike with a huge colour dash, deceptively spacious ergonomics, mini-GS styling and plenty of practicality – especially with its optional hard luggage fitted. And all for an ultra-competitive, sub-£5k price tag.
Owners' reviews for the SINNIS TERRAIN 380 (2020 - on)
1 owner has reviewed their SINNIS TERRAIN 380 (2020 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£100|
Annual servicing cost: £100
Great seating position sitting and standing. Clutch is silky smooth and light, feels like a slipper clutch. Power delivery is smooth and forgiving. Works well off road and fills you with confidence on the dirt. ABS is too sensitive the gearing is too short, needs another thousand revs. Looks great in grey, would recommend to those looking to step up from a 125 for an adventure bike that can do on and off road.
Over 250 miles from one tank in urban areas. Still new so no service yet but will be doing myself