The KTM 390 Adventure is getting a very significant update for 2023—the wizards at the Austrian factory are giving it a set of spoked wheels.
Actually, make that the wizards of the Indian factory, as these bikes are actually made by KTM partner Bajaj, which helps keep the cost down. That doesn’t matter to most buyers, who are happy to buy such a feature-packed machine (including leaning-sensitive ASB and traction control, LED headlights, and optional quickshifter) at a reasonable MSRP. And now, in 2023, the bike should be a bit more trustworthy off-road.
Previous generations of the KTM 390 Adventure relied on cast rims, which came with good points and bad points. On the plus side, cast rims keep the price down, are low-maintenance, and don’t require tubes. But they have one major minus: Cast rims are easily dinged up if you’re pushing hard off-road, and that potentially means expensive replacements.
Many 390 Adventure riders had already explored options for spoked rims, including factory-offered rims that were available as far back as 2021. Now, KTM is offering those as standard equipment on the 390, along with a new set of graphics. As per the press release:
“For 2023, KTM has not only splashed the KTM 390 ADVENTURE with a sharp, fresh look but has also beefed-up its offroad capability even more. The bike now has tough yet light spoked wheels (19” front and 17” rear) with black anodized aluminum rims so unplanned meetings with roots and stones out on the trail will not bring the journey to a swift halt. The 2023 KTM 390 ADVENTURE undoubtedly warrants this upgrade considering the offroad-capability engineered into the motorcycle, and it emphasizes that ‘adventure’ really can be part of the daily routine.
For what it’s worth, when Zac had one of these as a tester back in summer of 2021, he didn’t bash up the cast rims while off-roading (see his review here), but he was only on fire roads and gravel two-track with the bike, not rocky single-track.
With this bike on the market now, KTM probably won’t be delivering a ruggedized version of the 390 Adventure in the near future, but there were plenty of spy shots of that machine over the past few years, so maybe we should just hold tight and it’ll come out yet.