Why The Upcoming KTM 390 Adventure Will Give The Royal Enfield Himalayan Nightmares


Summary

  • KTM is planning a major overhaul for its 390 Adventure to compete with the Himalayan.
  • The upcoming KTM 390 Adventure will have more features and a redesigned aesthetic.


Just months ago, Royal Enfield kicked off an all-new chapter for its world-renowned Himalayan. It gained a liquid-cooled engine, loads of features, and premium mechanicals, while still promising the same package we’ve all come to love. In a way, RE shook up the sub-500cc adventure bike segment and fixed much of the previous Himalayan’s flaws.

However, the company’s competitors are already planning a counterattack. Case in context is Austrian giant KTM. The company is readying a massive overhaul for the 390 Adventure, as revealed by spy shots straight from Europe. These reveal some sizable updates, all of which could give the new Himalayan nightmares.

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The Upcoming KTM 390 Adventure Will Boast More Power Than The RE Himalayan

2024 KTM 390 Duke
KTM

In its new avatar, the Royal Enfield Himalayan employs a 452cc, single-cylinder engine. Armed with liquid cooling, the powerhouse promises 39.5 horsepower and 29.5 pound-feet–a massive 15 ponies up from the 411. However, the peak output is still short of the current 43-horsepower 390 Adventure, and things will get worse for the RE by the looks of it.

That’s because the spy shots of the updated 390 reveal a new powerhouse. The engine cases, exhaust layout, and cylinder head match the new 390 Duke, which suggests it’ll feature KTM’s new 399cc, single-cylinder mill. For reference, this engine has 44.2 horsepower and 28.8 pound-feet on the naked. This should be the case for the ADV too, since both 390s have always had similar outputs.

Specifications

Upcoming KTM 390 Adventure

Royal Enfield Himalayan

Engine

399cc, single-cylinder

452cc, single-cylinder

Horsepower

NA

39.5 horsepower

Torque

NA

29.5 pound-feet

Transmission

Six-speed

Six-speed

Upgraded Underpinnings Will Help The New KTM 390 Adventure Match Up With The RE Himalayan

One place where the Himalayan clearly has an edge over the 390 Adventure is the underpinnings. RE has equipped its ADV with a 21-inch wheel up top, partnered with long-travel suspension and spoke wheels. On the contrary, the current 390 Adventure has a 19-inch front wheel, along with alloys and suspension as standard–all biased towards road riding. But again, the spy shots tell an entirely different tale.

The upcoming 390 Adventure flexes a set of spoke wheels, where the front hoop is considerably larger than the rear. This hints at a 21/18-inch setup, matching the Himalayan’s sizes. More importantly, these wheels come shod with tubeless rubber–a key advantage over the new Himalayan (it comes with tube tires as standard). The new 390 also has a new asymmetric swingarm and adjustable WP suspension (visible in the spy shots), both more premium than the Himalayan’s conventional swingarm and non-adjustable suspension. Single disc brakes at each end are common between the two, meanwhile.

The Upcoming KTM 390 Adventure Will Boast More Features Than The RE Himalayan

Himalayan 452
Royal Enfield

There’s no denying RE Himalayan has made a giant leap in the features department. It’s switched from a mostly analog setup to a fully digital TFT instrument cluster, ripe with smartphone connectivity. You can even view Google Maps on the screen for seamless navigation features. Another key addition is the ride-by-wire system that brings with it a couple of riding modes.

But this still falls short of the 390 Adventure’s feature list. The current model already spoils you with a TFT instrument cluster, traction control, ride-by-wire, and cornering ABS–all of which will be there on the new model too. Furthermore, the spy shots show KTM’s new mineral-glass TFT and what looks like a quickshifter near the gear lever. So the Himalayan will need a fair bit more to match–let alone beat–its Austrian rival.

Same goes for the design. Judging from the spy shots, the new 390 has an overhauled aesthetic. It follows KTM’s new design language seen on the 990 Duke, evident from the distinct DRLs and vertically stacked projectors. Sure, this won’t cater to all, but we think it looks more catchy than the simple neo-retro design of the new Himalayan. Design is a subjective matter, though, so feel free to disagree in the comments.

The Upcoming KTM 390 Adventure Is Still Some Time Away

Orange 2023 KTM 390 Adventure parked on the kickstand
Rudi Schedl/KTM

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There’s no denying the new 390 Adventure is every bit the Himalayan’s nightmare. But there’s still plenty of time for RE to make its mark. That’s because KTM has already announced the MY24 390 Adventure worldwide with no major updates (only new colors). So the overhauled 390 won’t arrive anytime soon. The test mule doesn’t look production-ready either, which further cements the idea. Another key factor would be the pricing. The ‘24 model is already a pricey proposition in the States (priced at $7,399) and these updates won’t make it any easier on the pocket.

Source – KTM, Royal Enfield



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