Meet the Honda CB500X and the KTM 390 Adventure. The Honda retails for a smidgen over Rs 8 lakh, while the KTM 390 Adventure is priced at a little under Rs 4 lakh. A huge difference in price, no question. But, both bikes here promise to take you to the far away land, and if want arises, off the beaten track too. But, not so far off the track wherein rocks begin to replace gravel; or hard packed mud gives way to slush; or you lose cell network, and with it your ‘social’ life.
However, before we get into the thick of things, some disclaimers are called for.
One: This isn’t a ‘should you buy this or should you buy that’ kind of traditional comparison test. It’s more of a ‘you can buy this, but should you spend more and get that’ kind of story. And two: The KTM 390 Adventure you see here - our long term test unit - is slightly decked up.
So, the lovely Martini graphic job, the wider off-road spec rider footrests, the tail rack, and of course, the MotoWings exhaust, are not part of the standard kit. And yes, these changes have altered how the bike feels, but not enough to turn it around on its head. In that sense then, this 390 Adventure still works for this story.