Test ride: KTM 390 Adventure

We like a little adventure in our lives and KTM is catering for that with its all-new light off-roader.

The 390 Adventure is KTM’s smallest adventure bike but shares a family resemblance with the bigger 790 Adventure and 1290 Super Adventure S.

It weighs in at just 158kg and is powered by a 43hp, 373cc single-cylinder engine but, when it comes to ability, the 390 Adventure is no lightweight.

Fun to ride, with an easy-going nature that inspires confidence, it will appeal to both experienced and novice riders.

The water-cooled single needs revs to feel at its best with peak power at 9,000rpm and 37Nm of torque at 7,000rpm.

The demo bike’s engine was still tight but became noticeably smoother from 4,000rpm, and respectably responsive at 5,000rpm with a clean throttle pick-up. With enough punch to get away from traffic and hold 70mph, it’s pokey without being intimidating.

Apart from the wide bars, the 390 Adventure feels narrow weaving through traffic and commuters will like the light slipper clutch and slick six-speed quickshifter gearbox.

Based on the 390 Duke, the Adventure model has 19” front and 17” rear wheels, longer travel suspension and knobbly higher-profile tyres for trail riding.

That said, it’s very competent on road too, cornering confidently with its light weight and wide bars making it agile and responsive.

Long-travel suspension gives a comfortable, absorbent ride and can be adjusted, front and rear, to personalise the set-up.

Priced from £5,499, the 390 Adventure is well kitted as standard, with LED lights all round, a smart TFT instrument panel and traction control and first-in-class cornering ABS, with on and off-road modes.

The brakes have good feel, able to shed speed quickly without unsettling the bike.

The downside of the higher ride height, compared to the 390 Duke, is short-legged riders will find the 855mm seat rather tall. I’m 5' 8" tall but could get both feet on the ground only on tiptoe, holding it up leant slightly with my foot flat on the ground.

Despite my padded rear end, the seat feels firm. The lack of padding would be the limiting factor on a longer trip rather than a 14.5-litre tank which gives a decent range with a claimed 83mpg.

KTM’s 390 Adventure is a likeable, capable all-rounder suited to commuting and longer rides, twisty tarmac and getting off the beaten track.

It’s the small brother in the Adventure range but puts a big smile on your face every time you ride it.