Back in 2013 KTM announced that the KTM 390 Adventure was going to be a new addition to their line up, a legitimate adventure travel bike derived from offroad models.
It would stem out of KTM’s rally bike generation and one quick look at their success in famous rally’s like the Paris-Dakar assures even the biggest sceptic that they know what they are doing.
KTM’s many off road bike fans got excited when they heard a lightweight adventure model was on the way.
However, it took seven more years and some premature announcements before the KTM 390 Adventure was finally ready to join others in the line up alongside the flagship 1290 Super Adventure.
The Duke 390 was an instant success for KTM hitting the lightweight market and attracting new riders into the orange and black fold. So it is no surprise that since the 2020 release the 390 Adventure has also attracted a keen following and some pretty glowing reviews.
Let’s take a look at the 2022 KTM 390 adventure.
2022 390 Adventure Review
The best place to start with any motorcycle is the engine and this is especially true for the KTM 390 Adventure engine. Super reliable and something quite special, being the same one used in the 390 Duke, albeit remapped.
Lightweight and compact construction, single cylinder with a double overhead camshaft is a fairly simple design but incredibly effective.
The water-cooled, 373cc motor is a powerhouse of performance capable of rolling around town, blasting into the back roads and then some highway miles for good measure.
It revs high and makes you work for the top end (but that is the joy of smaller bikes) and prefers to sit between 7,000rpm and 10,000rpm.
Now it is quite a buzzy engine with some vibrations, some will hate it but others will feel it adds to the adventure vibe.
At high speeds while perfectly capable of sitting at 80mph, the fuel range does significantly drop. The engine is mated to a 6 speed gearbox which is controlled by a quality slipper clutch.
A fuel tank ventilation system with straight air intake channels aids active heat dispersal to maintain quality performance. The gear ratios are spread in the right way and the clutch springs make the system smooth as butter.
The single-cylinder engine is housed in an extremely stable trellis frame and a robust engine guard protects the motor from any damage should you drop the bike on one of your more challenging offroad escapes.
The race proven frame, like the engine shared with the Duke 390, is mounted to a relatively long swingarm and has increased ground clearance. Rear shock links directly to the swingarm and there are quality 43mm WP Apex Suspension inverted forks on the front.
Bybre brakes are fitted to the front with switchable ABS and cornering ABS. Other electronic rider aids include traction control and an offroad mode.
The switchable ABS means that you can perform a controlled rear wheel slide, a useful technique in offroad riding.
A good idea would be to fit a more suitable offroad tire setup for better off road performance if you plan to actually venture into the dirt for more aggressive rides.
You have an ergonomic riding position, neutral upright and ideal riding position for maximum control and comfort.
The 390 Adventure has a more offroad oriented layout than the RC390 and Duke 390 however, it is certainly more of a naked bike stance than other rally bikes or adv bikes.
The riding position is partnered by agile steering behavior and outstanding straight line stability aided by the solid frame and long wheelbase.
Overall the agile machine perfectly combines flowing street rides with enough dirt capability for the average rider. The frame does offer excellent flex characteristics for harder, faster riding and in the event of braking sharply.
Distinctive KTM style bodywork including tank spoilers, orange and black paint work, headlight mask and a tapered aluminum handlebar ensures the 390 looks the business and as an equal to its bigger bikes.
The TFT display is a great feature for access to all information you need and to move through the rider aids as and when you need them.
2022 KTM 390 Adventure Specifications
Engine and Transmission
Engine – Four-stroke, double overhead camshafts, single cylinder head
Capacity – 373cc
Bore x Stroke – 89 x 60mm
Compression Ratio – 12.6:1
Cooling System – Liquid cooled
Starting – Electric
Induction – Electronic Fuel Injection
Transmission – 6 speed
Final Drive – Chain
Clutch – PASC slipper clutch, mechanically operated
Max Power – 43.5 hp
Max Torque – 37Nm
Chassis and Dimensions
Frame – Steel trellis frame
Front Suspension – 43mm WP Apex inverted fork
Rear Suspension – WP Apex rear shock
Front Brakes – Single 320mm disc, 4 piston radially mounted caliper bybre brakes
Rear Brakes – Single 230mm disc, 2 piston caliper
Wheelbase – 1,430mm/ 56.3″
Seat Height – 855mm/ 33.6″
Ground Clearance – 200mm/ 7.8″
Dry Weight – 158kg
Wet Weight – 173kg
Fuel Capacity – 14 liters/ 3.8 Gal.
KTM 390 Adventure Top speed
The 390 Adventure has a top speed of around 95 mph but there have been some claims of the bike exceeding 100mph.
2022 KTM 390 Adventure List Price in £ & $
The 2022 KTM 390 adventure is priced from $6,799 in the US and £5,999 in the UK.
2022 KTM 390 Adventure Vs Competitors?
There are two main bikes that KTM 390 Adventure can consider competition: the Royal Enfield Himalayan and the BMW G310 GS.
The BMW comes in at $5,695 and the Royal Enfield at $5,495 both of which therefore have a lower price point than the KTM.
So is the KTM worth the extra in comparison?
Well, the G310 GS, is BMW’s lightweight adventure bike, it has a similar legacy as it follows in the bigger GS series known for dominating the adventure bike market upon the very first models release.
So, similar to the KTM the GS is a bike built with a purpose in mind to live up to a very strong reputation.
However, if you were to look at the two bikes together and the features then as standard the KTM is the one more suited to real off road adventures whereas the GS lends itself more naturally to the everyday adventures of riding around town.
The engine in the KTM is just that little bit bigger than the GS and Himalayan too offering more power and easier/more comfortable highway miles.
The Royal Enfield Himalayan doesn’t quite follow in suit with having a legacy line to carry in it’s DNA but it has been developed and tested in some of the toughest riding terrain riders could endure.
In terms of value for money then the Himalayan beats off any competition especially when you look at the affordable touring amenities that are available for the model.
Both the KTM and BMW are more expensive in addition to accessories and for maintenance if parts are needed than the Royal Enfield. However, the overall quality of the bikes are quite premium.
The KTM’s engine without a doubt has a reputation for extreme reliability.
Between the BMW and KTM the decision of which is better will come down to personal preference and brand loyalty.
Overall, if you are looking for a lightweight adventure motorcycle capable of weekend camping trips and more, then the 2022 KTM 390 Adventure is one of the best there is. It can stand proudly in the KTM Adventure range as a serious adventure bike, although you will need to make a few tweaks.
More info at KTM here.