KTM 390 Adventure X vs Royal Enfield Himalayan: Which Adventure Bike You Should Buy

  • Apr 18, 2023
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The 390 Adventure is more affordable than ever. Is that something that RE should be worried about?

KTM recently introduced the 390 Adventure X – the most affordable iteration of the ADV, with a price tag of Rs 2.80 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). That’s Rs 58,000 more affordable than the standard variant of the 390 Adventure, but more importantly, it is Rs 50,000 expensive than the Royal Enfield Himalayan 411 – the most accessible ADV in the segment. So, which of these two ADVs should you put your money on? Let’s find out:

Which Is The Better Mile Muncher?

We are already familiar with KTM’s 373.2cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled engine that makes 43.5PS and 37Nm. This motor has kept Indian enthusiasts entertained for almost a decade with one thing – Performance. And it has a clear advantage over the Royal Enfield Himalayan’s long-stroke 411cc air-/oiled-cooled engine’s 26PS and 32Nm. So, highway rides on the KTM should be a lot easier since maintaining decent highway speeds won’t be much of an issue like the Himalayan.

But for a bike that’s meant to munch miles, there’s a lot more that’s required than just sheer performance, and that’s where the Himalayan shines.

Who’s Better When Things Get Rough

The KTM 390 Adventure X has a clear advantage on the tarmac, but as soon as you venture beyond the beaten path, things don’t favour the Austrian ADV. Royal Enfield has used a telescopic fork and link-type monoshock in a tune that’s much more suitable for tougher terrains. Furthermore, its 21/17-inch wire-spoke rims are much more friendlier in off-roading than KTM’s 19/17-inch alloy wheel setup.

Complementing the Himalayan’s underpinnings is its engine. The long-stroke engine may feel a bit out of its league on the highway, but it outshines the KTM when off-roading. It has oodles of low-down torque that makes getting out of mud or tricky terrain a cakewalk for the bike. Meanwhile, the KTM feels alive in the mid-range so you have to keep it in its sweet zone to wriggle out of tricky terrain. That said, this could be fixed with a simple sprocket change, details of which are mentioned in this story.

But one big advantage that the KTM has are its tubeless tyres which won’t leave you stranded on the road, unlike the Himalayan’s tubed tyres which are harder to fix on the go.

Which One Is Amateur Friendly?

Now, this one is tricky. The KTM 390 Adventure X is lighter than the Royal Enfield Himalayan by 12kg but thanks to the latter’s accessible 800mm seat height, maneuvering the bike around a parking lot or through traffic or trails is much easier. Meanwhile, the KTM’s 855mm saddle height may be a bit daunting for shorter riders.

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Coupled with the easy-going nature of the Himalayan, most new riders will find it very friendly compared to the 390 Adventure which is a bit more demanding.

Which Has More Geeky Features?

Actually, neither. Unlike the standard 390 Adventure, the X variant doesn’t get MTC (traction control), riding modes, cornering ABS, ride-by-wire and quickshifter plus. All you will get is off-road ABS, slipper clutch and 12V USB socket. 

The Himalayan has only the switchable ABS to talk about. There’s no USB charger on offer even as an option. 

Other Things That Matter

With any Royal Enfield, you don’t just buy the motorcycle, but also get a ticket into RE’s vast community, and that has a great advantage – dealer rides, long tours like the Himalayan Odyssey, Astral Ride, Whiteout, Unroad and of course, Rider Mania. Yes, KTM too has been attempting to build a community with its Pro XP experiences, but it is nowhere close to what Royal Enfield offers. So, if you are looking for curated ride experiences, big weekend rides, Royal Enfield takes the win.

Conclusion

For someone who’s looking for a highway tourer, the KTM 390 Adventure is the one for you. You’ll enjoy the performance on the highway and its tubeless tyres are a bonus. But if you are someone who’s looking for something more versatile, the Royal Enfield Himalayan ticks all the boxes. It is affordable and more accessible and can tackle highways and even trails. Plus with the money you save, you can buy a bunch of accessories from Royal Enfield’s accessory catalogue.

And if you want the performance closer to the 390 Adventure, with the off-road prowess of the Himalayan, you can wait for the upcoming Royal Enfield Himalayan 450.

KTM 390 Adventure X Video Review

KTM 390 Adventure X
KTM 390 Adventure X
Rs. 2.80 Lakh
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