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ADV NewsSpied: Next-Gen KTM 390 Adventure With More Off-Road Capability

Spied: Next-Gen KTM 390 Adventure With More Off-Road Capability

The new small adventurer looks near production ready.

Published on 12.12.2023
2025 KTM 390 Adventure With More Off-Road Capability Coming
Photo: Bernhard M. Hohne/BMH-Images

Since its release in 2019 KTM’s 390 Adventure has been a popular choice for those newer to off-road exploration, and also for seasoned riders looking for a lighter, more-affordable adventure bike alternative. However, for some who place a high value on off-road capability, the smallest orange ADV alternative has fallen a bit short, at least without numerous upgrades. 

Well, judging by these fresh spy shots first published by Germany’s Motorrad, that’s about to change. What we see here is a much-evolved motorcycle, a full next-gen replacement for the existing 390 that will come with much more out-of-the-box off-road capability, including new suspension and wheels. 

KTM 390 Adventure With More Off-Road Capability Coming
Photo: Bernhard M. Hohne/BMH-Images

At the heart of the transformation is KTM’s new 399cc LC4c (liquid-cooled, 4-valve compact) single already transplanted in the 390 Duke for 2024. The tuning on this engine shouldn’t be far off what we see in the scrappy street bike, so 44.3 hp and 28.8 lb-ft of torque, only a small bump from the current Adventure’s output of 43 hp and 27.3 ft-lbs of torque, though a longer stroke on the new mill in the Duke does drop peak hp down to 8500 rpm from 9500 rpm, which should come in handy in off-road scenarios. This new, more compact engine will shave a bit of weight, too. 


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Spied at separate outings were two pre-production units, one in super rough condition and the newest sighting, in near production form. In the unfinishing version we can see what looks to be a modified adaptation of the new Duke’s improved steel trellis frame, which has been reorganized to offer increased rigidity. We also see a new swingarm on the more finished bike that features a standard off-road design rather than the previous generation’s external bracing. 

KTM 390 Adventure With More Off-Road Capability Coming
Photo: Bernhard M. Hohne/BMH-Images

Suspension front and rear will be a new combination from sister brand WP, and it’s presumed to offer more travel than the current Adventure’s  6.7 in front/6.9 in rear. A new 21-inch spoked front wheel replacing the current model’s 19-inch version is going to be much appreciated during off-road exploits, and is expected to be mated with a new 18-inch. Both will likely be shod in more off road-worthy rubber. 

New styling for the next-gen 390 Adventure makes it nearly unrecognizable from the current model, and in all the best of ways. There’s a definite edginess brought forward by the high, rally-style front fender and a tall, near-vertical one-piece windscreen/headlamp housing that give off a Dakar-esque feel. The dual, stacked LED lamps are a new, more modern vibe for KTM bikes, and we’ve already seen them replace the brand’s signature split insect-eyed design on some street models. 

KTM 390 Adventure With More Off-Road Capability Coming
Photo: Bernhard M. Hohne/BMH-Images

This new generation 390 Adventure is expected to debut as a 2025 model, though judging by the nearly finished look of this test mule, it may arrive as early as Fall 2024. Considering all the advancements, the price is likely to rise from the current $7,399, though having it continue to be built at KTM shareholder Bajaj Auto’s plant in Pune, India, should keep it from getting too crazy.

Author: Jamie Elvidge

Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.

Author: Jamie Elvidge
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vince
vince
December 12, 2023 10:37 am

Looks a lot like the CF Moto 450.

Dan B.
Dan B.
December 12, 2023 12:51 pm
Reply to  vince

Agreed. Been waiting for this one for quite awhile. Liking the looks and components of both of these. Finally some manufacturers are listening and providing some proper 400-500cc off-road worthy ADV bikes. If only Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki would follow suit. If they don’t, they are losing out on a larger market share than they realize.

Kai
Kai
December 12, 2023 7:50 pm
Reply to  vince

CF Moto 450 is a twin, so technically they will not have much in common.

Pela_adv
Pela_adv
December 12, 2023 1:31 pm

Ktnhas been teasing this bike since 2013 so don’t be surprised if they can it

Joe John
Joe John
December 12, 2023 1:50 pm

If I was in the market for a new bike this would be at the top of my list. I don’t really see selling my 701 for a 390 though.

Kai-Uwe
Kai-Uwe
December 14, 2023 7:08 am
Reply to  Joe John

Same here. I have, just before winter came, gone from a Norden 901 to a 701 Enduro (which will soon be a 701 Explorer 🙂 ). Had the 390AdvR been available I might have considered it, just like the new Royal Enfield. However now owning a 701 that is ticking all the boxes of my requirement list, I dont’ see going to a 390AdvR in the near future. Maybe KTM was in fact insprired by the great interest in the new Royal Enfield?

Karen
Karen
December 12, 2023 3:07 pm

If they were actually “spy” photos, it would be a death defying vocation to shoot and leak them.
This is all fantasy island crap, contrived and make believe.

Jamie Elvidge
Jamie Elvidge
December 12, 2023 4:57 pm
Reply to  Karen

Of course! It’s well known “spy” photos are usually leaked via the manufacturer usually with some agreement with the first magazine that posts them, although it does happen that people come upon these test mules in real life. Either way, it’s a win-win.

John Friddle
John Friddle
December 20, 2023 7:56 pm
Reply to  Jamie Elvidge

Hey there Jamie,
Yes, a win-win for sure plus we all need a little something to get curious about for the next model releases.
It was “a stretch” for me to buy the existing 390 after so many years of Milwaukie Chain Conveyers but, I really do like the bike and look forward to see what all KTM does to the new one. My version of off road these days is just anything that doesn’t involve pavement but, I find this little bike inspires me to get out of my comfort zone and explore.
Merry Christmas Jamie!

Kai
Kai
December 17, 2023 10:29 pm
Reply to  Karen

There are achually people who make a living out of shooting pictures of prototypes! Very popular are sites like the big car testing facilities in Swedens north around Arjeplog, were many car manufacturers are winter testing. I can very well imagine that waiting long enough outside a motorcycle manufacturer’s development center might deliver some well paid results.

https://bmh-images.com/

Martin Breakwell
Martin Breakwell
December 20, 2023 10:45 am
Reply to  Karen

The truth is out there Scully.

Christopher Johnson
Christopher Johnson
December 13, 2023 6:57 pm

Many questions: fuel capacity? Cruise control? Electrical system? Can this slot in as a down-sized 790/890 or is it just a poser version of the old 390?

Jamie Elvidge
Jamie Elvidge
December 14, 2023 5:34 am

Yes, so many questions we won’t have answers to until KTM deems it’s time. Stayed tuned and we’ll keep you posted on all the details as soon as they become available.

Kai
Kai
December 17, 2023 10:16 pm

Talking cost of ownership for a moment. The new engine now has an official service intervall of 10.000 km! When I did the math for the old model, adding up labor and parts for the first 30.000km, the 390 bikes were actually more costly than the 790/890, because of those short intervalls of 7500km (790/890: 15.000). That difference might now decrease, maybe be on par, maybe even turn around.
And yes, I also do one oil&filter change in between, but that’s up to each and every owner, I didn’t take that into consideration. However not every owner can do his own service.

Martin Breakwell
Martin Breakwell
December 20, 2023 10:46 am

Looks like the new Enfield Himalayan now.

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