Have you ever swung a leg over a motorcycle, fired it up, and with a twist of the throttle were immediately inspired by where it might take you? Whether it’s carving single-track in search of bunkers in the Pacific Northwest; a road trip from California to Key West opting for tent camping over room service and Egyptian cotton; or a multi-month sabbatical the slow way through South America. . . wherever your inner explorer craves, the fresh-faced KTM 390 Adventure seems to be a skeleton key to unlock these doors and more.
KTM’s 390 Adventure has all the best characteristics of a traditional “ADV” motorcycle and with that all the necessary sex appeal. It’s not your average entry-level ride, if it could even be classified as “entry” at all. Approachable, affordable, giving us a bit of everything without sacrificing an ounce of quality… KTM’s latest is making quite an entrance.
I’m 5'2 with a 27-inch inseam, and weigh a mere 116 lb. To say my high-performance, on-/off-road options are limited is an understatement. What I can wrap my mitts around usually comes equipped, thanks in part to the American mindset, with an ego-cutting title of “Beginner,” “Baby” or “Girlfriend.” What’s big to me usually won’t be big enough for an ordinary man or many women. For too long there’s been a void in the small-displacement adventure sector, and the manufacturers who have answered the humble demand seemed to have come up a tad “short.” When OEMs build products just to fill a space in the market, they often seem to be an afterthought: piecing together leftover parts, slathering them in colorful decals, and presenting them as innovation. That is, until quite recently.
The first promising piece of machinery was Kawasaki’s mean green Versys-X 300, powered by the same engine used in their tried and true Ninja 300. It was well-balanced and functional at pounding pavement as well as disappearing down some types of dusty roads. And it boasts a very reasonable price point at $5,500 without ABS or $5,800 with. But many complained about the soft suspension, minimal ground clearance, and callus inducing seat. Plus, it “felt like a toy.” Back to the drawing board. Other brands have been (re)releasing bantam bikes of their own, like BMW’s G310GS, Honda’s CRF 250 Rally and CB500X— among others—none of which checks every box. All the while,
KTM had been brewing their long-awaited 390 Adventure at an anxiety-inducing pace. But it seems patience paid off because this tangerine dream is breaking down barriers. KTM’s little beast comes well-equipped all for the extremely reasonable MSRP of $6,199. Throw in some extra coin and you can ride into the sunset with some additional farkles, such as an AKRAPOVIÄŒ exhaust, luggage, color-coordinated handguards, and headlight guard.
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THE YOUNGEST TO TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD? JACK GROVES
In the age of electronics, hyper-communications, and convenience, it’s untrue that the world’s youth have lost the taste for adventure. There will always be an element within the human spirit that demands and grows from new life experiences—an instinct as old as Mankind. And you don’t have to look far to find it.
Alpinestars Tech 7 Enduro Drystar
Motocross boots have evolved considerably over the last 20 years, but that hasn’t been the case in the ADV segment, and we often have to sacrifice proper protection for dry feet. Meet the new Alpinestars Tech 7 Drystar enduro boot. We’ve been waiting for a boot like this for quite some time and, to this day, it still boggles my mind that it took so long.
SLIDING FOR ADVENTURE
For the last 25 years I’ve been riding off road on everything from a 450cc lightweight to a heavily laden 1200cc adventure motorcycle. Although I was usually able to handle anything through rough terrain at slower speeds, I struggled at higher speeds on loose surfaces. And the biggest pucker moments occurred while approaching tight turns on gravel roads at high speed—barely navigating them safely.
National Cycle VStream Sport Windscreen for Honda Africa Twin
There are many ways to improve motorcycle rider comfort, covering everything from bar risers to footpegs. Having done almost all of them, I decided to switch out my stock windscreen to see if it made a difference, especially on long trips.
TIN CAN TO TIN CUP A LONG OVERDUE TRIP
Long before the modern U.S. highway system was built, with rest stops, 24-hour fuel, and every imaginable packaged food choice on hand, there were the “Tin Can Tourists,” the original American motorized overlanders. As early as the 1900s, these wanderers faced many of the same challenges we live with today. But life was far simpler for the Tin Can Tourist traveling dusty, rutted tracks in meagerly powered vehicles, camping off roadsides in canvas tents, and eating cans of beans over Sterno stoves. Fifteen months ago, we sold our house to join this rambling lifestyle.
R&R for an RN IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
A mid the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic, I needed to find the quiet serenity that comes on two wheels. As a nurse educator in a trauma-based tertiary hospital, I’m deep in the trenches, responsible for disseminating information and implementing health regulations to frontline workers. Inundated with fear from global news, increasing numbers of the infected, lack of resources, and a palpable universal panic as the world began to shut down, I needed to be away from it all for a while.
RAM Tough-Charge X-Grip Waterproof Wireless Charging Motorcycle Mount
RAM Mounts were first introduced in 1995, and over the last 25 years their ball and socket system has become the most ubiquitous way to mount devices wherever you need them. Recently they increased functionality to include Qi wireless charging with the Tough-Charge line of mounts.
HOW TO SURVIVE an Adventure Ride
I’m no expert endurance rider or a professional fitness instructor, but what I can do is ride my motorcycle continuously for five long days and feel physically content at the end of the trip. Okay, maybe after the celebratory beers, I might not feel as good on the morning of the sixth day, but at least my muscles will be relaxed. So, what can you do to prepare for an upcoming off-road adventure to stay strong, enjoy the ride and be able to dismount at the end of the day without calling friends over to pry you off your bike? Here are a few tips from personal experiences that will help you succeed.
Touratech Aventuro Traveller Carbon Helmet
Touratech has a long history of taking great helmets and adding their own features to make them stand apart. Their newest offering, the Aventuro Traveller Carbon, is no different. It’s built upon the Nexx X.Vilijord, a helmet not sold in North America but one that sits at the pinnacle of the Portuguese brand’s line-up. The Aventuro Traveller becomes its own with a full carbon shell, signature Touratech look, and easy accommodation for just about any communication system available.
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