Royal Enfield Himalayan vs KTM 390 Adventure: What should you pick?

(Image Courtesy: Royal Enfield & KTM)

This lockdown has given us all time to reflect on the things that really matter. For most petrolheads, the urge of getting back on the road is almost irresistible. Although for some, that’s not the case. These are the kind of petrolheads that enjoy the great outdoors the old fashioned way. Yes, we do mean offroading in this instance. However, we go any further, no matter how great the urge to go out maybe, we do urge everyone to stay home and stay safe until we can safely get back onto our favourite roads and trails.

Recently, there’s been a significant rise in the adventure touring and trail riding scene in India. Which is brilliant but isn’t really surprising given the vast set of places to explore and the state of our roads in some parts of the country. Nonetheless, it is quite exciting. That’s because there is a wider range of adventure-based motorcycles to choose from in the market. And right now, there are two motorcycles from this segment which have gotten many like us quite thrilled, namely the Royal Enfield Himalayan and KTM 390 Adventure. Mind you, the Himalayan was launched back in 2016 and has been receiving timely updates, like BS6-compliance, over the years. The 390 Adventure was launched in December last year.

Although the Himalayan and 390 Adventure are quite different, which we’ll be getting to shortly, their basic fundamental purpose is pretty much the same. A reasonably priced machine which can handle the rough stuff and do long stints, if required, out on the highway. It should also be able to handle daily commutes and be easy to use. A tall order then, indeed. To make things a little easier, we’ve made a list of some of the things buyers could possibly look at (or not) while considering fine machines like the Himalayan and 390 Adventure.

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1. I’ve got the power!

Let’s get straight to the point. The Royal Enfield Himalayan comes with 411cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled which produces 24.2bhp at 6500rpm and 32Nm of torque at 4250-4500rpm. The KTM 390 Adventure, on the other hand, has a 373.2cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled motor which produces 42.9bhp at 9000rpm and 37Nm of torque at 7000rpm. The Himalayan gets a five-speed transmission while the 390 Adventure gets a six-speed. Clearly, the 390 Adventure takes this but there’s a stark difference in the way the power is delivered in both these motorcycles. The Himalayan is more of a relaxed cruiser with a meaty low end while the 390 Adventure is more aggressive and gets most of its power at the top of the rev range.

2. Hey, good looking

This one is subjective. The KTM Adventure 390 is much fiercer in its look but the Himalayan has a utilitarian feel to it overall. That two-tone paint scheme, sharp lines and edgy design language all-around make 390 Adventure look distinctive and unique. Meanwhile, the Himalayan looks more robust and clean in its approach. This is one area where the nature of the buyer comes more into play. Speaking of which, what would you prefer between these two when it comes to looks? Let us know in the comments section below!

3. The practical one

For starters, the seat height for the Himalayan is an easy-going 800mm, while the 390 Adventure comes in at 855mm, which can be slightly difficult for shorter riders. Another point in the Himalayan’s corner is the ground clearance, measured at 220mm. The 390 Adventure measures in at 200mm. The fuel tank capacity is also almost the same with the Himalayan having a 15-litre tank and the 390 Adventure, a 14.5-litre one. However, one major difference is the weight, the Himalayan tips the scale at 199kg (wet) while the 390 Adventure weights in at 158kg (dry).

4. Features, features, features

In this respect, the 390 Adventure has quite a few advantages. For examples, it gets modern features like traction control, a TFT display, LED lights, IMU-based cornering ABS and a Quickshifter as well, to name a few. Other modern touches include a 43mm USD fork with 170mm of adjustable travel. The Himalayan comes with a 41mm conventional fork with 200mm travel. The 390 Adventure gets a bigger disc brake at the front while the Himalayan gets a bigger disc at the back. Both have dual-channel ABS which can be switched off for a bit of off-road fun.

5. Finally, which one will it be?

However, the most important factor in this comparison has to be price. The BS6 Himalayan has a starting price of Rs 1.87 lakh (ex-showroom), while the KTM 390 Adventure is priced Rs 2.99 lakh ex-showroom. That, as one can tell, is a massive difference. In all honesty, it comes down to the budget really, if you have the extra cash, the 390 Adventure is the better option. It’s fast, modern and sharp. But if you don’t, remember that the Himalayan is a very capable motorcycle in its own right. It’s more relaxed, robust and efficient. However, if you do wish to read more about the 390 Adventure, head over to Abhay’s review here.