From Rumor to Reality: Elusive KTM 390 Adventure Gets Spied
The most anticipated new model in the small ADV class may be here soon!
When KTM head Stefan Pierer mentioned in an 2013 interview plans to produce a new dual sport model based on the Duke 390 platform, it generated a huge amount buzz. The idea of taking the 43 hp, 373cc single-cylinder engine from the 390 Duke and stuffing it into an off-road chassis to create a light-weight, versatile and affordable Adventure Bike sounded like a winning formula.
But many a hope was dashed when KTM later clarified that it would require significant development time and there were no immediate plans for the project. For more than three years now, would-be owners of the KTM 390 Adventure have waited patiently for their dream adventure bike to arrive, and for many it was beginning to feel like the bike would never materialize.
Things have changed drastically in just the last few months in the small-displacement Adventure Touring category. What was once a wide-open market has quickly begun to fill out with major manufacturers getting into the game. Recent announcements from Kawasaki with their Versys-X 300, Honda with their Rally 250, BMW’s new G310GS and Suzuki’s V-Strom 250 concept, all show this will become a crowded field in no time. And perhaps this recent news has lit a fire under KTM, motivating them to put the 390 Adventure on top of their priorities list.
Rumors and claims about the KTM 390 Adventure have been abundant on the Internet, but until today, there has been no clear evidence that KTM really is producing the bike. Luckily, Cycle World magazine has captured the first clear spy photos of what is presumed to be the elusive KTM 390 Adventure undergoing testing at a KTM facility in southern Europe, and from what we can see, KTM may have been saving the best for last!
Spy photos show a smaller Adventure Bike with a 21″/18″ wheel combination, beefy swing arm, large front fork tubes, long-travel suspension, single-piece enduro seat and a high front fender — all traits pointing toward a bike with an off-road focus. A clear windscreen, carbon-fiber navigation tower and stacked dual headlights that look like they were sourced from the KTM 450 Rally Race Bike, further support the idea that this bike is going to be a screamer in the dirt!
The question remains, will KTM focus on the entry-level market with more affordable, heavier components, and deliver it with an accessible seat height that offers less suspension travel and ground clearance? Or will they go for the enthusiast market that is looking for a lighter, performance-oriented bike that may cost a little more. Only time will tell, but hopefully we won’t have to wait much longer. The KTM 390 Adventure looks like it’s close to being production ready. Potentially, we could see KTM’s newest mid-sized ADV being announced sometime in 2017, to be released as a 2018 model.
For more information on the spy photos, visit Cycle World.