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BMW G 310 GS BS6 vs KTM 390 Adventure: Which One Makes More Sense?


We compare the nuances of both the ADVs and try to weigh in over where they stand

GSvs390

BMW Motorrad made quite a splash when it launched the BS6-compliant BMW G 310 GS at a staggering Rs 64,000 less than the price of the BS4 iteration. It also undercuts its arch nemesis, the KTM 390 Adventure, by around Rs 19,000. So which one makes better sense?

Sleekness vs butchness:

The KTM 790 Adventure’s genes are quite evident on the smaller 390 Adventure. Its insect-like LED headlamps, sharp lines on the fuel tank and the long split seat give it a distinct Dakar Rally-bike vibe to it. On the other hand, the BMW G 310 GS has a slightly more imposing stance like its father, the R 1250 GS. The new all-LED headlamp goes quite well with the large, chiselled fuel tank. Moreover, the new colour schemes make the bike look a lot more premium and rugged. Unlike the KTM 390 Adventure, the German ADV gets a single-piece seat layout. If you’re a fan of sleek adventure tourers, then the KTM 390 Adventure is the one for you. Riders who like the feel of big burly mile-munchers will find the BMW G 310 GS appealing.

No-frills or smart tourer?

The technologically inclined ones will appreciate KTM 390 Adventure’s feature list. Apart from an all-LED lighting system, it gets a proper TFT instrument cluster with bluetooth-enabled smartphone connectivity. Using the KTM My Ride app, one can access features like calls/ music/ and optional turn-by-turn navigation. For better convenience, there are directional buttons on the left switchgear too. To make the motorcycle newbie friendly, KTM has equipped it with a lean angle-sensitive traction control linked to ride-by-wire throttle. This coupled with the cornering ABS with offroad mode should help in improving the confidence of both rookie and pro riders alike. It also gets a 5-step adjustable brake and clutch levers for superior versatility. And to ensure safety during aggressive downshifts, there’s a slipper clutch offered as standard too.

Other than the all-LED headlamp with LED indicators, BMW Motorrad has also equipped the motorcycle with ride-by-wire throttle and 4-stage adjustable brake and clutch levers. That said, the ride-by-wire isn’t enhanced by any other electronics like ride modes, which its Indian cousin, the TVS Apache RR 310, gets. Another notable addition is the assist and slipper clutch in the BS6-compliant version. Unfortunately, BMW Motorrad has left the LCD instrument cluster intact in the new-gen model. That said, it is still quite info-laden with practical bits like mileage indicator, distance-to-empty, and other run-of-the-mill data. All in all, the new BMW G 310 GS is good for those who want a no-frills tourer whereas the KTM 390 Adventure is good for those who want their motorcycle to be as ‘smart’ as it can get.

Heart of the matter:

The KTM 390 Adventure’s 43.5PS, 37Nm single-cylinder 373cc motor ensures the bike can cruise at speeds well beyond 100kmph with ease. Its 14.5 litre fuel tank can also ensure lesser stops between fuel-ups. The BMW G 310 GS’ smaller 313cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled motor isn’t as powerful as the Austrian terrain tamer’s. However, BMW Motorrad has managed to make the engine run cleaner without compromising its output figures. It makes the same 34PS, 28Nm as the BS4-compliant version. While it also can sustain speeds above 100kmph the small 11 litre fuel tank wouldn’t give as much range as the KTM. If performance is your priority, look no further than the KTM 390 Adventure. Otherwise, the G 310 GS will serve you just fine.

Mile-munching underpinnings:

Both the BMW G 310 GS BS6 and the KTM 390 Adventure are road-biased ADVs, equipped with sophisticated underpinnings in the form of inverted front fork and rear preload-adjustable monoshock. Being the more powerful one, the 390 Adventure gets a bigger 320mm front disc whereas the BMW G 310 GS gets a 300mm unit. At the rear though, the GS gets a larger 240mm disc as opposed to the 390 Adventure’s 230mm rotor. Both bikes get a 19-inch front and a 17-inch rear alloy wheel with dual-purpose rubber on both ends.

Verdict:

Spending an extra 19,000-rupee premium on the KTM 390 Adventure gives you a lot more geeky bells and whistles than the G 310 GS. However, they aren’t exactly indispensable for a discerning rider. If you are willing to compromise on that front, but still want a potent, premium-looking touring machine that ticks all the other boxes, the BMW G 310 GS is the one for you. Also Read: Paper Fight: BMW G 310 GS BS6 vs Royal Enfield Himalayan

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