KTM has been teasing with the 390 Adventure for quite a while now. After years of spy shots, the Austrian marque finally introduced the world to its latest ADV at EICMA 2019. Barely a month later, the bike made it to India, gracing the hallowed grounds of India Bike Week. But then again, KTM decided not to reveal the pricing. Now, the wait is finally over. The bike has been launched in India at Rs 2.99 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
A similar motorcycle with an Indian connect is BMW Motorrad’s G 310 GS. The bike shares draws inspiration from its bigger siblings, and just like the 390 Adventure, it is made in India for the world. So, it is only fair to compare these two ADVs… on paper, before we go for an all-out road test.
The design of both these bikes is inspired by their bigger siblings. The front end, for example, of the 390 Adventure is very close to the 790 Adventure, with the split LED headlamp, flanked by transparent wind deflectors on either sides. The beefy tank and wide seat too is heavily inspired by the 790 Adventure.
The G 310 GS too carries the design language of the bigger ADV from Bavaria. The 310 GS has the heavy shoulder line extending to the trademark BMW beak. Like the bigger ADVs it gets the luggage rack as well.
The Beemer looks more sophisticated while the KTM, with its trademark Orange and funky graphics lends it a menacing look.
The KTM 390 Adventure gets the much-loved 373.2cc single that we all know and love from the 390 Duke. Yes, it is liquid-cooled and it does have DOHC. However, the ADV produces 42.4bhp at 9,000rpm and 37Nm at 7,000rpm. The BMW G 310 GS, on the other hand, uses a liquid-cooled, DOHC, 313cc, single-cylinder engine producing 33.52bhp at 9,500rpm and 28Nm at 7,500rpm. Though the GS produces less power, it has a slight weight advantage. While the 390 Adventure weighs 162kg (dry), the G 310 GS tips the scales at 169.5kg with all fluids, so it would be safe to assume that the 390 Adventure will be heavier than the GS. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in real world performance, considering how manic we know the 390 engine to be, versus the more sedate delivery on the BMW.
On the KTM 390 Adventure, the international-spec motorcycle gets 43mm WP Apex adjustable forks at the front, while the India-spec model gets a non-adjustable unit. The monoshock is the same as the international model. While the front offers 170mm travel, the rear gets 177mm of travel. The G 310 GS, meanwhile, gets 41mm USD and a monoshock both offering 180mm of travel. Both the bikes use a 19/17-inch wheel setup with Metzeler Tourance tyres. However, the KTM gets 100/90 section tyre at the front, the BMW gets 110/80 section rubber. The GS also gets a fatter 150/70 rear tyre while the 390 gets a 130/80 section one. While both the bikes get a 4-pot caliper at the front, the 390 Adventure gets a 320mm disc while the GS gets a 300mm disc. At the rear, the KTM gets a 230mm disc while a 240mm disc does the job for the Beemer. Both the bikes get a single pot caliper at the rear.
The 390 Adventure is handsomely proportioned and bigger than the Beemer in every aspect. While the Beemer gets 835mm seat height with an option to increase it to 850mm or decrease it to 820mm as an option. The KTM on the other hand has a seat height of 855mm which will make things slightly difficult for shorter people.
At 1430mm, 390 Adventures enjoys a marginally longer wheelbase than the GS (1420mm), which should translate to slightly better straight line stability.
When it comes to features, the 390 Adventure is loaded to the T. The Austrian ADV gets dual-channel cornering ABS with the functionality of switching off the ABS at rear, bi-directional quickshifter, slipper clutch and a TFT instrument console with Bluetooth connectivity as standard. The GS, meanwhile, gets only switchable ABS and a digital console that feels dated now. The KTM also benefits from KTM’s powerparts catalogue, which allows significant upgrades including to the suspension.
The BMW G 310 GS, at Rs 3.49 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) has been a pricey proposition right from the start, with the only advantages on its side being the BMW badge, handsome looks and the great fit and finish. Now, at Rs 50,000 cheaper, KTM is offering a far superior package with the manic engine that everyone’s already tasted, features like bi-directional quickshifter, cornering ABS and traction control, a Bluetooth-enabled TFT display and a slipper clutch. Just like with their naked siblings, the 390 Adventure comes across as much better value for money than the BMW on paper. We can’t wait to put them head to head to see how they square off in the real world!