Report: KTM 390 Adventure Begins Testing in India

06/18/2015 @ 1:27 pm, by Jensen Beeler48 COMMENTS


It’s been a while since we heard about the KTM 390 Adventure, the Austrian company’s third installment to its built-in-India small-displacement motorcycle lineup.

Based off the KTM 390 Duke, the Adventure model has been a long-time coming, ever since KTM CEO Stefan Pierer lit it slip that the dual-sport would be coming, two and a half years ago.

It seems now that KTM is getting closer to production, as the folks at CarTrade are reporting that two test models of the KTM 390 Adventure (codenamed KT22) have been sent to India for R&D, presumably as a prelude to Bajaj beginning production on the budget-friednly machines.

At 300 lbs dry, the KTM 390 Duke platform would make for an enticing lightweight ADV bike, something the adventure market has been asking for, in response to the 500+ lbs trend of most adventure-tourers.

Such a bike would also be a very unique offering to ADV riders, which are currently bombarded by a variety of models that would supplant the dominant BMW R1200GS.

Of course, the news also means that we are still a considerable amount of time away from seeing a production KTM 390 Adventure — at the earliest, it could be a 2016 model.

It would be hard to imagine KTM not bringing the KTM 390 Adventure to the USA, one of the largest markets for ADV bikes, though with the way KTM USA operates, it would be 2017 at the earliest that we would see the small ADV bike.

By that point in time, the American market may lose interest in what KTM has to offer — something we’ve seen over and over again with KTM USA’s tardy offerings.

Source: CarTrade

  • Jason

    If it has ABS it will find a home in my garage.

  • Silverado TX

    I would very seriously consider this if it made it’s way to the States. However, being a 390 and an ADV is kind of an oxymoron of sorts, isn’t it? In any case… I like it.

  • Bob Krzeszkiewicz

    Sure, this size bike would be welcome in the USA. I like it.


    If they want it to sell in numbers in the USA, they’ll need to make the subframe longer and stronger so panniers can be mounted without being in the rider/passenger’s way. The wheels will also need to be sized for and able to accept more street friendly tires so we can ride long distances before going off the beaten path. I certainly wouldn’t do my 15 mile commute on full knobbies. Otherwise, this will just be a street legal but underpowered and overweight off-road bike in KTM’s catalog (by comparison to the EXCs).

  • Ducati Kid


    Perhaps first a Duke based 390 AR (All-Road) product?


    Easily producible for – GLOBAL – FAST, FRUGAL, FUN!

  • crshnbrn

    That’s more like it!

  • Piglet2010

    What about a KTM 390 SuMo?

    I fully expect there to be one, and for KTM USA *not* to import it. :(

  • Petzi_baer

    A 390 cc ADV with a passenger – I don’t think so …

  • paulus

    Not with you on this one… rubber should be dirt sized. There are street orientated dirt sized rubber, or Enduro-road legal knobblies. I would take this bike and ride it all over SE Asia… especially off-road (Once the shocks were swapped out)

  • paulus

    I am all for this… a good size for adventure. Just big enough for highway and small enough for off-road. As long as the country importers keep the price in line… it should be a winner.

  • Ducati Kid


    The funny part?

    Would have believed such product arriving GLOBALLY as Roads are poor in many Countries including regions of America.


    KTM is known Worldwide for ‘Off-Road’ motorcycles suggesting ‘On-Off-Road’ capable product debuting ahead of solely Tarmac offerings.

    My sincere thanks for your support.

    Hopefully Mattighofen (KTM) or Pune (BAJAJ) officials view this forum.

    Kindly notice novel, Multiple Piece, MAGS intended for severe punishment observed in Foreign lands!

  • Bob Krzeszkiewicz

    I wouldn’t personally. But in India, they take their wife, kids, goats and chickens for a ride. That is their test market, correct?

    And you need luggage for ADV riding. Not happening on this short tail. Would interfere with just the rider.

    Besides, they’re calling it an ADV bike, not a “ready to race” enduro. They already have those. And they’re made for one person.

  • Bob Krzeszkiewicz

    Maybe fine in SE Asia where so many roads are dirt paths connecting villages and speed limits are (non existent but the pace is typically only 40 mph due to existing crappy bikes being used). But what about the big USA where 75 and sometimes 80 mph is legal and the roads are good and long?

    Do you know what adventure touring is? It isn’t enduro. Ever ride full knobbies for thousands of miles? I have. It sucks the big one. Ever ride adventure bikes? (Not dual sports) Even Dunlop D606 sucks on the road. Kenda big blocks? Sucks. You can do it. But there’s a more capable way that walks the line between dirt and asphalt.

    Easier to find good adv rubber in 17 and 19″ sizes than 18 and 21. Being a 390, chances are the tires will be enduro width and not the typical 110 and 150. When Heidenau and Metzeler make a 90 and 110 or 120 wide set of K60s or Tourances for 18 and 21″ wheels, then you’ll be able to go anywhere off the beaten path. You could still mount Big Blocks and D606 for close to home and more serious dirt. If you want to go more hard core, they already make a 350 and 450EXC for you and they’re easy to plate in all 50 states.

  • paulus

    SE Asia is not all mud huts and banana trees. There are highways, beautiful roads AND dirt roads, mud huts and banana trees. :)
    I have a 500EXC for the hardcore adventure and road bikes for the tarmac. What is missing is the light-middle weight that can pull 80mph and hit the dirt trails when necessary… this looks promising. I have ridden long distance on knobblies, and it was not a burden. If you want mostly road and 17″ wheels… the KTM 390 Duke is already in the line up. KTM, please don’t water down the ADV bike potential :)

  • paulus

    Mag wheels soon become pseudo hexagons with a few good rock strikes. Spokes only + quality rims for dirty playtime :)

  • Gadfly57

    The idea of this is really great. My brother has the rc390 and it is a great little bike. However, it is quite a heavy engine. I would personally prefer an adventure bike based on the current enduro lineup (I have the 500exc). A sort of dakar replica is really what us KTM fans are looking at.

    Yes, I know the price would be way higher and that this bike caters to a very different market, but hopefully KTM realizes the potential of reworking current bulletproof designs. R&D costs would be low. Think sportbike to naked bike; the “skin” if you will is the only major component changed.

  • Ducati Kid


    After KTM’S Indian adventure with failed production One Piece MAGS something else, more plyable, is required.

    Have always employed ‘Spokes and Rim’ for DIRT use but believe evolution and technology today permit a novel, Multiple Piece MAG for ‘common’ terrains.

    Rock strikes?

    Fails anything virgin thus far but ‘Carbon Wrapping’ the Rim for additional protection would aid.

  • Harlan

    Well, that picture is NOT the bike. It’s a bad photoshop, we don’t know how the tail is going to be, so…yeah. No Dual Sport bike is going to have that low exhaust anyway.
    Perhaps you didn’t know, but you don’t need 100+ HP to do 80mph.
    You can do that on a loaded CRF250L all day, for christ sake.

  • sburns2421

    Far too heavy for serious off-roading. Not enough power to really use at 80 mph on the Interstate. (Likely) smaller physical size which will lead to cramped rider or at least cramped passenger accomodations. Reduced capability to carry gobs of stuff in panniers. At any rate once decked out with all the farkles it will be pushing $10k.
    I personally don’t see the appeal of any of the 390 models, although this one makes more sense than the Duke or RC.

  • Reid

    I’d be happier with more of a “normal” dual sport 390 model – something like a smaller displacement DR650 instead of a KLR650 like this proposed adventure 390. I just want something with a reasonably low maintenance engine and offroad capabilities to putter around the farm or run down the dirt roads to the country store.

  • Duker

    Agree this will be a small offering compared to BMWs and bigger KTMs. However, it can function adequately for emerging markets. BTW, my Duke 200 does 80MPH for hours together, till the gas lasts. You are underestimating a 390.

  • crshnbrn

    Let me clarify that. It’s not more like what I think a 390 Adventure should be, but more like what I want in a 390 small-displacement bike.

  • Ducati Kid



    Personally I desire a sensible, small displacement motorcycle suitable for most uses offering welcome Utility while also capable of traversing multiple terrains – this Standard Fare!


    Depicted another ‘AR’ (All-Road) variant fitted with a Black colored Universal Base Plate component in the Passenger Pillion location.

    It permitting a Multiple Use Base for Storage, lashing down hardware or accommodating the Passenger Pillion (Cushion).

    (Passenger Peg Arms stow inside the ‘Side Pods’ Storage Bins)

  • It’s about time there were more small scale ADV bikes. Like the GP450 from CCM.

  • Piglet2010

    Where do you get the idea that a bike not certified to EPA emissions standards and USDOT regulations will be “easy to plate in all 50 states”?

  • Piglet2010

    I can tell you that a CRF250L with someone my size and a full load of travel/camping gear is not going to go 80 mph from Denver to Loveland on I-70* – that is more Versys/Wee-Strom/KTM 690 territory. Or even into a strong headwind from Salina to Denver. Now if Honda decided to drop in the 286cc engine from the CB300F, it could likely do the latter, but not the former.

    Now if this KTM makes the expected 38-40 HP at the rear wheel, I would be happy to ride it anywhere one-up (might have to use my Airhawk, depending on what seat KTM ends up with).

    *Might break the “ton” coasting in neutral going the other way.

  • Piglet2010

    One piece wheels can be made plenty strong – it is just that spoked wheels typically have heavy steel rims and one piece wheels have lightweight aluminium alloy wheels. Make a high-strength forged steel one-piece wheel of the same weight as a spoked wheel and see what happens.

    When is the last time you say spoked wheels on a new car or truck – early 1960’s? A cheap steel car wheel (say early 1990’s Honda Civic) can survive a hit hard enough to break the sidewall cords in the tire – I did that 3 times, actually.

  • Piglet2010

    Any bike can accommodate a pillion with enough bungee cords – just Google pictures of people in SE Asia carrying livestock to market. ;)

  • Piglet2010

    Hope the bike comes with KTM’s “bad fuel” option – allows most power on premium fuel, but can retard the ignition enough to run on 80-octane gas sold out of a glass jar on the side of the road in South America.

  • Piglet2010

    Yes, the system that allows for disabling the rear ABS only, that one can get on certain other KTM models.

  • Piglet2010

    I would not want a “dirt-bike with lights” type maintenance schedule on an ADV bike. Changing oil every other day on a long trip would get ridiculous in short order. Minimum of 5,000 miles, which should get all but the most hardcore two weeks between maintenance on the road.

  • Piglet2010

    This KTM 390 could work very well for a lot of people. Add a couple of locking panniers, windscreen, and heated grips, and it becomes an urban commuter that bombs through potholes, yet can haul a person and camping gear on fire roads and trails (not single-track more suited to the Freeride – but then, what bike can do that and be good to ride on the road?) away from things on a weekend trip.

    Yes, the Suzuki DR-Z400S can do that, but it has early 1980’s level technology for $6,600, and KTM could sell this for about $6K.

  • Piglet2010

    My TW200 can do that, as well as Suzuki DR-200S, Honda CRF230L, and Yamaha XT225, all of which can be found low-mileage, good condition used in the $2K range, and the Honda and Suzuki for less than $4K new if you find a “birthday bike”.

  • Krishna

    Do visit India sometime Mr.Krzeszkiewicz, it might help change your naive image of the country. And also, here in India, any person from the lower economic strata wanting to transport chickens and goats cannot afford a adventure motorcycle. There also isn’t anything wrong in taking a loving wife along for a ride.

  • Ducati Kid


    Strong doesn’t denote DUCTILE!

    Today Foreign KTM ‘Duke’ Series (125, 200, 250cc [features a reduced 375 Bore] and 375) owners ‘thump’ to their dealers with damaged O.E.M. One piece, MAG wheels.

    Expect this Stateside once America acquires the correct technique!

    Spoked Wheels?

    In the past quality, reliable ‘Spoked Wheels’ were assembled with Buchanan’s S.S. Spokes lacing Akront, joined today by Borrani, D.I.D., Excel or Sun brands, Aluminum Rims.

    Motorcycle Wheels? Time for an industry change …

  • Bob Krzeszkiewicz

    I have been to India. Several times to ride in the mountains starting in New Dehli and traveling into Nepal and Bangladesh and back. I’ve never been further south than that. But I’ve seen all the different economic areas in my travels.

  • Bob Krzeszkiewicz

    Texas is filled with 350, 450 and 500 EXCs with license plates. The 690 is street legal off the floor.

  • Jason

    No. 390cc and ADV is not an oxymoron. Plenty of adventure can be found with “only” 390cc and more if the route actually included unpaved roads.

  • Piglet2010

    I hate to break this to you, but Texas is not all 50 states.

    Where I live, unless it is originally comes with EPA and USDOT certification, it is not getting a street license. And without a Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin, you will not even get a permit for use on public OHV parks.

  • Piglet2010

    Um, ductility only matters once yield stress has been exceeded. Unless your spoked wheels have bent rims after hitting something, ductility has not come into play, nor work hardening which would make it difficult to straighten the rims.

    The only “magic” thing about spoked wheels is that one can compensate for a bent rim by deliberate unequal spoke tension, which may get you out of the woods, but still requires an eventual wheel replacement.

    Also remember that higher ductility does not necessarily correlate with a longer fatigue life.

  • Ducati Kid


    Multiple Spoke Wheel use in terrains that severely punishes them highlights their advantage at ‘distributing’ loads across numerous points saving individual Hub, Spoke, Nipple and Rim components.

    Simply, a wheel that distributes severe impact loads permits individual parts to survive another day.

    Just like tree branches swaying in the wind!

  • Piglet2010

    You are aware that spoked wheels are pre-tensioned structures that carry radial loads by losing pre-tension in the spokes nearest to where the load is applied (i.e. the bottom spokes carry the load)? Therefore, other than the rim, the other components will only fail from fatigue (of if you let a gorilla tension the spokes during wheel assembly). OK, maybe if you hit a retaining wall at 130-mph on you 1200cc class ADV bike the hub could be fractured from impact as it hits the wall a few microseconds after the rim has crumpled, but that is the least of worries at that point.

  • BBQdog

    Hope this one comes with a better (more torque) power curve and better suspension then the Duke and RC range.

  • Gadfly57

    Good point. I’m not a long trip kind of guy (yet) so this is something I did not consider. However, It is not necessary the engine that I am most concerned with. The chassis/suspension is the best part of the bike. Anyway, the idea is there.

  • motobyte

    Do want! Looks like the perfect play bike.

  • Alessandro Borroni

    why? isn’t a 390cc the perfect size? i think it’s the 1000cc+ segment which is an oxymoron… unless you’re a giant, those bikes are too big and heavy to take off-road. this thing, with a large fuel tank is just about perfect

  • Para

    Looking great !!!

  • crankedrelic

    Adventure bike with the exhaust so low? I don’t think so.. I own the duke, and many engine tweaks will be needed for it to turn into a dirt bike..

  • Soumendra Kumar Bagh

    Just completed the Himalayan Trip including three highest motorable
    passes in the world, along with pillion rider and luggage with my 200cc
    bike. I think 390cc will suffice for an entry level ADV. And for peoples
    who feel like thor riding solo without their wife, kids, goats and
    chickens, they should try it. It will be fun…