The adventure biking arena has a new contender with the launch of the KTM 390 Adventure. Granted that it’s yet to come to India, with the bike being unveiled at the EICMA in Milan for now, but the excitement is palpable.
While most are comparing the KTM 390 Adventure with BMW and Kawasaki bikes because of its likely pricing, we’re taking a more aggressive stance by pitting it against the Royal Enfield Himalayan.
This bike sells for a lot less than what the KTM 390 Adventure will cost, but engine displacement wise, Himalayan is much closer to KTM than the BMW. Here’s a detailed look at both the bikes from KTM and Royal Enfield and what they offer.
The first thing that you will notice is that the Himalayan does not try very hard on the looks front. The paint schemes available are black and white in matte finish. The design is minimalist as well, and the bike has a tall stance.
The instrument cluster on the Himalayan has a unique layout and includes a compass, which can come in handy on your off-road trips. Being a mixture of analogue and digital, the cluster takes some time getting used to, but once you are familiar with it, it is pretty informative. The rear has an LED tail lamp and a neat layout.
With the 390 Adventure, KTM seems to have borrowed a lot of design elements from the 790 Adventure to come up with its scaled down version, which is not a bad thing at all. But more importantly, KTM seems to have followed the basics, which is essential for touring purposes.
The 390 seems durable with its steel trellis frame and the front-end USD forks are fully adjustable to suit the needs of the rider. There’s a definite touch of aggression to the bike especially with the headlamps, which we expect from KTM, and people might find it to their liking.
All in all, both the bikes will find takers, depending on their requirement, which mostly depends on how quick you want to be.
The Himalayan sports a newly designed 411cc engine called the LS410. The ‘LS’ stands for ‘long-stroke’ and comes with a counter-balancer. Previous generations of Royal Enfields used to vibrate a lot, making them uncomfortable for long journeys.
The LS410, though, has almost no vibrations and is also quite punchy, despite the seemingly tame specs of 24.5 horsepower and 32 Nm of torque. With the upgraded fuel-injected (Fi) engine, the bike’s performance has seen a big improvement, which becomes evident while riding it.
Fair to say these gradual changes have ensured the Himalayan manages to stand on its own, especially since it didn’t have a lot of competition till now. However, with the KTM 390 Adventure, the scenario has the potential to change.
The 390 Adventure is all about performance, even though it carries a smaller engine compared to the Himalayan. The bike gets a BSVI compliant 373cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled engine mated to a six-speed gearbox, which is capable of churning out 44PS of power and 37Nm of torque.
That’s not all, KTM has bestowed the 390 Adventure with traction control, which was missing on the latest variant of the Duke 390 from earlier this year.
Looking at how these two bikes stack up, the liquid-cooled unit on the KTM is definitely capable of handling itself with ease in tough terrain conditions. The Himalayan is no slouch either, but there are instances where its air-cooled engine tends to show its shortcomings.
So what else can we compare with these bikes? For starters, their safety aspect has been covered with over 300 mm front discs, and over 220 mm at the back. Both the bikes offer dual channel ABS, which has become mandatory for bikes in this segment.
The Himalayan weighs over 191 Kg, gets a ground clearance of 220mm and sports a 15-litre fuel tank to serve your touring needs. The KTM 390 Adventure weighs only 166 Kg, which is pretty light for an adventure-tourer. The KTM 390 Adventure offers 200mm of ground clearance and a 14.5-litre tank.
Royal Enfield offers a taller wind deflector on the Himalayan, but KTM is most likely going to ask people to invest in a deflector as an accessory, as the factory unit gets a small visor atop the headlamps.
Which One is Better?
As you might have seen by now, both these bikes cater to different users. If you’re in the market for an adventure tourer and go on long distance rides, then you’re probably looking at the two best options.
KTM is expected to launch the 390 Adventure in the coming months, and reports suggest it will cost about Rs 3 lakh, which seems pricey, but for the features it offers, that is still better than what you’d pay for the BMW G310 GS. Simply put, if you like a slightly mature, rugged bike with decent torque, but not too much power then the Himalayan is the best choice for you.
However, if you prefer more grunt and enjoy the extra power even while going on tours, the KTM 390 Adventure would suit you perfectly.
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