KTM 390 Adventure Review (2020)

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KTM 390 Adventure

It has more than enough power off-road and rips the twisties quite nicely.
- Rating: 10 / 10

What Is It?

The KTM Adventure 390 is an A2 licence friendly adventure bike and is powered by a Euro 5 compliant liquid cooled 373.2 cc single cylinder engine, producing 42.9 bhp at 9,000 rpm and maximum torque at 7,000 rpm.

Specs

  • Seat Height: Average (855 mm / 33.7 inches)
  • Dry Weight: Average (158 kg / 348 lbs)
  • Economy: Good (60 mpg / 4.7 l/100km / 21.2 km/l)
  • Range: High (190 miles / 306 km)
  • Top Speed: Average (100 mph / 161 km/h)

Pros

  • Power to weight ratio
  • Great off road
  • Looks great
  • Suspension
  • Light

Cons

  • It's up against stiff competition on the road and off-road side
  • Seat is on the high side
  • Needs spoked wheels

What Is It Like?

KTM 390 Adventure

KTM 390 Adventure 2020

About me

I'm a 35 year old male, 5'11", 83 kg (183 lbs). I've ridden motorcycles habitually since 2009 but on and off since I was little. I've owned over 20 motorcycles.

Why did you choose it?

I chose the 390 Adventure because of the power to weight ratio. The 12:6:1 compression tells me the motor is ready to rip and also fuel efficient. Top of the line parts and electrical components as well as an awesome price point.

What is good about it?

The suspension is great front and rear. It is lightweight so solo rides provide mental security that if you go down it can be picked up no problem. It only weighs 20 pounds more than the DR650 I came off of.

It's fast and agile, and once the motor is broken in the power really opens up. A very capable bike in gnarly off-road conditions with the proper tires.

What could be improved?

I would like spoked wheels and longer front forks, but those are my only complaints. However, I aired down to 20 psi on both tyres, ran some tubeless knobblies and had great handling with no bent rims.

The traction control option has to be turned off every time you start the bike. I believe there may be a dongle that fixes it but haven't confirmed as yet.

What is the economy like?

I'm averaging around 63.7 miles per gallon at the moment.

Any mods or upgrades?

I've added risers so far which are a must, a Pirelli Scorpion Rally front tyre and a Motoz Tractionator rear.

How is the engine?

The engine is powerful for the displacement but then KTM doesn't release anything that doesn't have some kick to it. It has more than enough power off-road and rips the twisties quite nicely.

KTM 390 Adventure

How does it handle?

The front forks and rear spring are adjustable. I'm still dialling it in but I was impressed with the on street handling.

It sat down in the turns under load as if it was working in unison with my thoughts getting closer to the ground and transferring the weight evenly. I've never owned a bike that felt like it understood the tight turns the way this one does.

What are the brakes like?

The brakes are top notch and the ABS off-road mode is a life saver. It has saved me a couple times already.

The front works really well with the bike. The rear locks up and the front goes ABS in off-road mode and allows for maximum skid control. The rear tyre falls right in line with the front during strong pull braking.

Is it comfortable?

The stock seat could be better but it's not terrible. I've sat on many bikes much worse but I will eventually replace the seat.

How reliable have you found it?

I'm almost 900 miles in and its started every time I've hit the button. No complaints.

What's the servicing frequency and cost like?

The first service for break in was £211 / $278 USD. I thought it was a bit steep but any bike you buy taken to the dealer is going to be pricey. It only takes 1.7 litres / 1.8 quarts of oil so buying bulk oil should be cheap in the long run. Filters and screens were cheap as well.

To sum up

8.5 out of 10 for what it is in the adventure bike world needing spoked wheels and more suspension travel.

10 out of 10 for what I expected and got in return. It exceeded my expectations completely.

- Ryan M, 2020

Deals, specs and pics

Price Guide

Year
Dealer
Private
Part Ex
Mileage
2022
£6,000
£4,850
£4,250
1,200
2021
£5,200
£4,150
£3,650
2,100
2020
£4,950
£3,950
£3,450
3,700

Gear & Accessories

Related Bikes

KTM Duke 390 - Naked equivalent

Add Your Review

Do you own this bike? We would love to hear anything good, bad, unexpected or that you have changed plus anything that a prospective new owner might find interesting or useful.