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KTM’s new 390 Adventure welcomes riders to the dirty side

Published: 06 November 2019

Updated: 06 November 2019

The new KTM 390 Adventure takes the fun, feisty Duke as its starting point, then adds taller suspension, new wheels and a larger fuel tank to lend it some off-road and distance ability.

But despite the Austrian firm’s wild reputation, KTM are eager to promote the 390 Adventure’s welcoming accessibility.

2020 KTM 390 Adventure

The 390 is not a hardcore rally bike for square-chinned Dakar wannabes – instead it’s for riders dipping a toe in muddy waters for the frist time. It is, say KTM, "aimed squarely at motorcyclists who are profoundly curious but perhaps unaccustomed to light off-roading."

The Adventure differs from the Duke by virtue of longer suspension, with 170mm of wheel travel from the adjustable WP forks and 177mm from the longer shock. There’s also a taller 19-inch front wheel to help it roll over off-road obstacles, with new tyre sizes of 100/90x19 and 130/80x17.

Standard rubber is Continental’s TKC70, which offers a little more off-road grip than pure road rubber, but stops short of full-on knobblies. Seat height has risen to 855mm, but with a slim seat and a 172kg kerb weight it should be very manageable. 

The Duke’s 43bhp, 373cc single has been carried over unchanged. The steel trellis frame and swingarm look identical between Duke and Adventure too. And like the Duke, the Adventure has a colour TFT dash offering Bluetooth connectivity. Other gadgets up the Adventure’s sleeve include traction control and an optional two-way quickshifter – not yet available on the Duke. 

KTM 390 Adventure on the road

The 14.5-litre fuel tank should allow for a range of almost 200 miles, given the 390’s impressive economy. A height-adjustable windscreen, standard-fit handguards and optional panniers all point towards plenty of practicality too. 

The 390 Adventure is due to arrive in February, priced at £5499 – a shade more than BMW’s G310GS or Kawasaki’s Versys-X 300, but less than Honda’s CB500X.

A side view of the KTM 390 Adventure

KTM 390 Adventure looks ready to rock

First published: 29/05/19

KTM 390 Adventure spied in testing

Spy shots have emerged of a near production-ready KTM 390 Adventure and it’s almost indistinguishable from the recently launched 790 Adventure version. We’ve seen this bike a few times over the last two years but this is the first time we’ve seen one close to being finished.

The 390 Adventure will be a small capacity, ‘dual sport’ bike, built on existing KTM architecture and designed to rival bikes such as the BMW G310GS and Royal Enfield Himalayan.

The engine is expected to be an updated version of the 370cc single currently used in the the 390 Duke (a new version of which has also recently been seen). While it’s possible there might be some small internal changes, externally it’s very similar barring a new exhaust and catalytic converter that will help with the upcoming Euro 5 emissions standard.

The frame is also similar to that of the RC390 and Duke but interestingly is not the new steel trellis we’ve seen on the Duke that’s expected next year.

The version in the new pictures has long-travel suspension and 19/17inch cast wheels, however we’ve also seen a model with 21/18in spoked wheels suggesting there may be a standard model and an R version, just as with the 790.

Despite being a small capacity bike, it’s not short of features. It clearly has a full-colour TFT screen, as well as multifunction switchgear suggesting it’ll have all the latest electronics. It’s also been pictured with KTM luggage, suggesting there will be an array of PowerParts available. We expect the finished bike to be unveiled at EICMA in November, and hit dealers the following spring.

KTM 390 Adventure R? What we know now...

  • Engine is shared with 390 Duke but gets a retune and revised gearing for off-road use
  • Unlike some other small adventure bikes, KTM will ensure the 390 handles well off-road
  • The 390 will be made by KTM’s partner Bajaj in India – where the bike will likely see its biggest success
  • A ‘R’ version is also likely with more off-road wheels/tyres, better suspension and a single seat

KTM 390 Adventure spotted nearly ready

Spotted: first images of KTM 390 Adventure - the "mini-adventure"

First posted June 28, 2018

KTM 390 Adventure first spy shot

This is the best image yet of KTM’s eagerly-anticipated new junior adventure bike – the 390 Adventure.

The bike is expected to be officially unveiled at EICMA in Milan in November alongside the equally-new, middleweight, twin cylinder version, the KTM 790 Adventure.

The new, single-cylinder, dual purpose 390 is largely based around familiar KTM mechanicals and is expected to go on sale in early 2019.

Although the pictured bike is a pre-production prototype, its overall neatness and the fit and finish, particularly of its new bodywork, suggest it’s very nearly production-ready.

The single cylinder engine and basic tubular steel trellis frame is expected to be virtually identical to that of the current KTM RC390sportster and KTM 390 Duke roadster, however this Adventure version clearly has larger, 21 and 18-inch wheels which are now off-road-orientated wires rather than cast alloys, longer-travel WP suspension front and rear, more extensive bodywork, particularly at the rear and down the sides covering the rear sub frame and a new mini-fairing we expect it shares with the 790 version.

Although the ‘mini-adventure’ class is quickly becoming very competitive with recent offerings in the form of the Honda CRF250 RallySuzuki V-Strom 250Kawasaki Versys-X 300, BMW with an imminent, GS version of its new G310 twin, and Royal Enfield 400cc Himalayan – not to mention a flurry of adventure offerings in the 500cc and 650cc classes as well, the new KTM promises to bring all-new levels of performance and off-road ability to the sub-400cc category.

The news so far

Wheels/tyres: Off-road hoops and semi-dirt rubber promise serious dirt ability.

Engine: Essentially the same 373cc single as the 390 Duke, although we’d expect at least gearing changes.

Chassis/suspension: Familiar KTM tubular steel trellis but with longer-travel WP suspension front and rear.

Bodywork: Virtually all-new and likely to be the same as the forthcoming 790 Adventure – more coverage at the rear and sides plus a new, small headlamp fairing.

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