The sub-500cc adventure category is evolving like never before. It all started when Royal Enfield surprised everyone by carving a new niche in its legacy with the Himalayan, its first-ever adventure tourer, which instantly clicked with the Indian audience. With consistent updates in all these years since its launch, the Royal Enfield Himalayan has only become nicer and more popular while sticking to the old-school legacy that Royal Enfield is known for.
While the Himalayan is a proper off-road adventure tourer, it looks too simple and focused, and does not click with many motorcyclists, who prefer their rides to be fancier and packed with modern mechanical bits and features. It is this essence that KTM understood and materialized in the form of 390 Adventure, an all-new adventure tourer based on the fun-and-fantastic platform of sub-500cc Dukes. It offers a host of new-age equipment, thus making it look like a whole new generation above the Himalayan.
With the adventure motorcycle category gaining more acceptance, the KTM 390 Adventure and Royal Enfield Himalayan continue to be the two most popular adventure motorcycles while offering their attributes in their distinctive flavours. Which one of the two suits your taste more? Here’s our take on it:
The KTM 390 Adventure is available in a single variant, which is available in two colour options of KTM Factory Blue and Dark Galvano Black and is priced at Rs 3.29 lakh. The Royal Enfield Himalayan, on the other hand, is available in three variants, all of which differ in terms of paint schemes and pricing. The base-spec variant gets single-tone colour schemes of Snow (White), Granite (Matte Black), Gravel Gray and Mirage Silver, and is priced at Rs 2.15 lakh. The mid-spec variant gets two dual-tone colour options of Lake Blue and Rock Red and is priced at Rs 2.18 lakh. The range-topping variant is available in two exclusive shades of Pine Green and Granite Black and is priced at Rs 2.22 lakh (all prices ex-showroom, India).
These prices make the 390 Adventure almost a lakh rupees more expensive than the Himalayan, though it tries to justify with its more premium mechanical components and features (more on that below).
|KTM 390 Adventure
|BMW G 310 GS
|Rs 3.29 lakh
|Rs 2.15-2.22 lakh
(prices mentioned above are ex-showroom, India)
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Engine and Chassis
Both the motorcycles have completely different hearts and chassis, which make them truly distinctive in the way they ride. The long-stroke, single-cylinder, air-cooled, 411cc engine of the Himalayan is the bigger engine of the two, but it is the short-stroke, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, 373.4cc engine of the 390 Adventure is the more technically advanced and powerful of the two. Also, the 6-speed gearbox of the 390 Adventure is slicker to use than the 5-speed gearbox of the Himalayan.
Not only the powertrain but the suspension, brakes and tyres of the 390 Adventure are also wider and bigger than those of the Himalayan. However, the longer travel in the front and rear suspension, off-road spec tyres, and spoke wheels with larger front wheel make the Himalayan more hardcore for off-road riding purposes compared to the 390 Adventure.
|KTM 390 Adventure
|Royal Enfield Himalayan
|Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, 373.4cc
|Four-stroke, air-cooled, single-cylinder, 411cc
|43.5 PS @ 9,000 rpm
|24.5 PS @ 6,500 rpm
|37 Nm @ 7,000 rpm
|32 Nm @ 4,500 rpm
|43 mm upside-down hydraulic telescopic forks, 170 mm travel
|41 mm hydraulic telescopic forks, 200 mm travel
|Mono-shock with aluminium swingarm, 177 mm travel
|Mono-shock with rectangular swingarm, 180 mm travel
Both the motorcycles here have a tall and lean stance, but thanks to the bigger and sharper looking body panels of the KTM 390 Adventure, it looks the bigger of the two motorcycles. It is also wider and taller than the Himalayan, though the Himalayan is the longer motorcycle of the two. The Himalayan also has higher ground clearance, and with a 55 mm lower seat height, it is friendlier to ride for new riders.
|KTM 390 Adventure
|Royal Enfield Himalayan
|Fuel tank capacity
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Design and Features
Both the KTM 390 Adventure and Royal Enfield Himalayan follow very different routes of differing design philosophies while having typical adventure tourer lean and tall stances. The Himalayan is the more old-school looking of the two motorcycles here, with rounded headlamp and ambler turn indicators having an all-halogen setup. The layered part-digital instrument console with different housings for different meters, including that of a digital compass, makes the rider’s cockpit look very comprehensive.
On the other hand, the KTM 390 Adventure looks like the flashier motorcycle among the two with its all-LED headlamp, turn indicators and tail lamp, split pillion grab rails, backlit switchgear, alloy wheels, tubeless tyres and the full-TFT instrument console which comes with Bluetooth connectivity. Both the motorcycles come adorned with pannier holders on both the sides of the pillion seat, though the Himalayan showcases its go-anywhere ability with jerry can holders around the fuel tank and top box mounts on the extended platform of the tubular pillion grab rail.
There is no denying the fact that the KTM 390 Adventure is a much more modern looking and equipped motorcycle when compared to the Royal Enfield Himalayan. It has a much more advanced and powerful engine with an additional cog in its gearbox, more modern upside-down front forks and mono-shock with aluminium swing-arm at the rear and a whole lot longer list of modern features, which are simply absent on the Himalayan. All these advancements truly justify the hefty premium it carries over the Himalayan and is a perfect choice for younger riders who prefer a faster motorcycle or those who love long-distance touring on two wheels.
However, it is wrong to say that the Himalayan is an inferior motorcycle in general. In its essence, the Himalayan impresses with its raw and rugged appeal, longer travel for front and rear suspension, lower seat height better brakes, off-road tyres, spoke wheels and additional mounts for auxiliary luggage. All these attributes truly make the Himalayan a better motorcycle than the 390 Adventure when the going gets tougher on rougher terrains.