It has been quite a while since enthusiasts have been begging KTM to introduce a variant of the 390 Adventure with wire-spoked wheels and adjustable suspension, and it seems like Christmas has arrived early for them (or late, but it’s cause for celebration anyway). KTM has finally launched the 390 Adventure-SW and has also brought along with it a little bonus present in the form of the 390 Adventure-X, but we’ll get to that in a short while.
KTM has been offering the adjustable-suspension in Euro-spec motorcycles for some time, but now, it has finally made its way to India as well. The fully adjustable suspension on the 390 Adventure-SW allows the rider to tweak the suspension’s compression, rebound and preload characteristics. It now gets 30 clicks of compression and rebound damping on the front USD forks as well as rebound adjustment on the rear mono-shock of 20 clicks, with a 10-step preload adjustment.
The variant further gets wire-spoked black anodised aluminium wheels shod with the same Metzeler Tourance tyres as the alloy wheel variants. The only difference is that, although these tyres are rated for tubeless use, the nature of the aluminium rims is such that they have to be used with a tube-type setup. Featuring new Dakar-rally inspired body graphics, it also gets riding aids such as switchable traction control, off-road and street riding modes, cornering ABS, and off-road ABS.
As for the ride experience, there are no changes in terms of ergonomics. What has changed is that the rider is now able to customise the suspension response and feel on the fly, as per their comfort. It does take a bit of fiddling with to get the perfect setting, but the effort is rewarded with a more responsive and comfortable ride. On the ride to Prodirt Academy, we got a good 60+ km stretch of nice winding roads with uneven patches where we got to experience how good the bike felt on the tarmac and let me tell you, that was one smooth ride. The quickshifter did feel slightly glitchy, but thankfully that can be turned off.
At Prodirt we got to take the 390 Adventure-SW on rocky ascents as well as descents and experienced the amount of control we had on the motorcycles, courtesy of the switchable riding modes and traction control. The adjustable suspension with the wire-spoked wheels meant that everything was more pronounced — control, precision and manoeuvrability. We also got to jump the bikes, bottom out the suspension and set it to a more sporty off-road compatible setup. Dirt trails, river crossings and the bike took everything that was thrown its way.
Now as a bonus, we also got to ride the 390 Adventure-X, which is the most affordable among the four variants at ₹ 2.80 lakh (ex-showroom). The reason for the lower price tag is the fact that this model does not get most of the rider aids, except for the ABS. It also misses out on the TFT display, and features a simpler LCD unit in its place. It also gets MRF Mogrip Meteor tyres instead of the Metzelers, which are pretty decent units themselves.
Now, without all the rider aids to act as training wheels, the X variant is capable of some no-frills hooliganism off the beaten path. I for one did not miss the rider aids one bit, and am of the opinion that it would allow for a better connection with the motorcycle itself, enabling one to experience the machine to its full capacity. Also, the omission of these features cuts the price by ₹ 60,000 at least, hence making the bike more accessible to consumers. Now I was able to confirm that the adjustable suspension along with the wire-spoked wheels are a direct fit onto the standard bikes as well, but are not offered as a customisable option from the factory.
KTM will continue to sell the two existing variants of the 390 Adventure alongside the two new models, making the total number of variants on offer now to be four. Ultimately, KTM has come up with a range of products with an option for everyone, not to mention how fun the bike is in both the decked-up as well as bare-boned avatars.
MOTODATAKTM 390 Adventure-SW / 390 Adventure-X
44 bhp@9000 rpm
3.78 kgm@7000 rpm
Type: Split trellis frame
F/R: 320-mm disc / 230-mm disc
F/R: 100/90 R19 / 130/80 R17
Rs 3.60 lakh / Rs 2.80 lakh (ex-showroom)