Since you are here to read the review of KTM’s 250 Adventure chances are that you’ve been eyeing its larger cousin, the 390 Adventure, for a while. The 390 Adventure is no doubt a fantastic motorcycle that’s capable of going fast, is agile and also does decently well when taken off-road. Besides that, it’s also superbly apt for commuting in the city too. Then what’s stopping you from buying one? The way I see it, there are two main reasons. The first is the cost, which although for its segment is great, is still not accessible to all easily. The second reason is the bike’s performance which can be quite intimidating for someone who is not acquainted with having 44 bhp available at the twist of the throttle. Fortunately, the folks at KTM also feel the same. And as much as they want people to experience a dual-sport bike from their stable, they also want it to be accessible to a wider audience. The answer to that comes to us in the form of the 250 Adventure.
Is it a looker?
Not really. But then, like humans, not all motorcycles are always beautiful. Sometimes it’s the character and personality which weighs more but can take a while to notice. As I spent more time with it, the design started to grow on me. It sure isn’t a handsome motorcycle, but it is without a doubt strong on functionality. The riding triangle is flexible, capable of offering a relaxed as well as sporty stance. The handlebar is easy to reach while the legs place themselves on the footpegs without any need of visual confirmation. The magic, however, happens at the seat which is long and sufficiently wide. I say that because I could shift back utilising the pillion seat step whenever I was commuting and could shift ahead closer to the tank for a more engaging stance for quick manoeuvres. And when standing up on the pegs, there’s ample support to hold the tank with the knees also. Besides that, what’s worth mentioning is the new LCD instrumentation. It’s not the colour TFT one as seen on the 390, but it isn’t any less readable from any angle. All the information is displayed well and is well-spaced out allowing me to read it at a glance whenever needed.
What’s great about it?
Quite a lot. The first thing that I noticed was how easy it is to ride. The 250 is no slouch, mind you. It keeps to KTM’s code of urgency but in a more controlled manner. You can get hard on the gas and enjoy the smooth surge of speed as you shift cogs. It’s more like controlled chaos that is more manageable should things get a bit out of control. From the point of commuting in the confines of the city where the 250 would spend most of its time, it’s an experience that never gets boring. The liveliness of the motor and the agility of the bike keeps you alert and involved. The motor has enough punch to get off the line first while also being gentle enough to nudge through bumper-to-bumper traffic. Also, thanks to the updated cooling system that constitutes two radiator fans now, the heat dissipation is excellent keeping your mind off your limbs getting roasted.
If you spot a 250 Adventure on the streets, with a quick look, it is easy to mistake it for the 390 Adventure, which maybe isn’t bad and is bound to happen. The rationality behind it lies in the heavy platform sharing it has with the 390 Adventure. Which, in my opinion, is a fantastic thing because one can gain access to higher quality components at a much lower price. What you get is a light-weight trellis frame, USDs, adjustable monoshock, radial brakes and a well-calibrated ABS which is a lot of premium cycle parts. Yes, KTM has skimped on a few bits like the ride-by-wire, quickshifter, colour TFT unit and the LED headlamp. But, you aren’t losing anything of significance in terms of the bike’s rideability and capability.
Out on the highway, the 250 Adventure has enough power in-store to cruise at 100 kph all day long. And that is with barely any vibrations felt at the bar, seat or even at the pegs. Also, the MRF MOGRIP tyres have ample grip on offer in corners, while braking or even off the road. They might not be as sticky as the Metzelers, but they aren’t bad either. Same goes for the brakes which have adequate bite and progression to bring the bike to a stop without any fuss.
What’s not so great about it?
Just one thing. The halogen headlamp. Not that it is very bad at its job, but the 390 Adventure’s LED unit does a fantastic job at lighting up the road ahead. A well-lit road automatically inspires confidence as you can see a whole lot more. It would have been great if KTM had included the LED setup in the package.
And the last word is?
The 250 Adventure can be called the jack of all trades. It’s adequately fast, versatile and sufficiently equipped with features. It’s well-suited for motorcyclists who wish to enjoy their motorcycles off the tarmac beyond the city boundaries. Its forgiving nature allows one to venture into the growing trend of off-roading with sufficient power and control. At Rs 2.48 lakh (ex-showroom) it is slightly on the expensive side, but for the premium cycle parts and friendly nature, it’s a bargain worth considering.
KTM 250 Adventure
Displacement: 248cc, single
Max power: 29.5 bhp@9000 rpm
Max torque: 2.44 kgm@4000 rpm
Type: Split trellis
(F/R): 320-mm disc / 230-mm disc
(F/R): 100/90 R19 / 130/80 R17
L/W/H (mm): 2154/900/1263
Wheelbase: 1430 mm
Ground clearance: 200 mm
Seat height: 855 mm
Kerb weight: 177 kg
Fuel capacity: 14.5 litres
PRICE: Rs 2.48 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)