2021 KTM 250 Adventure Test Ride Review
We do a detailed review of the latest ADV offering by KTM, the 250 Adventure.
Bike tested: KTM 250 Adventure; Road Test No. 1265; Test Location: Mumbai
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 2,89,600/-
The 250 Adventure takes over the ‘most affordable ADV’ tag from the 390 Adventure in the KTM lineup
While everyone hoped for the middle-weight adventure offerings by the brand after the 390 Adventure, KTM recently launched the 250 Adventure in India instead. The all-new KTM 250 Adventure is like a scientific experiment between the Duke 250 and the 390 Adventure. Its ergonomics and features are similar to the 390 Adventure, but its heart comes from the Duke 250. The halogen headlamp also reminds us of the previous-gen Duke 250. On paper, the bike has plenty to offer but how is it on the road and more importantly, off-the-road is what we wanted to know and our test ride review of the new KTM 250 Adventure will tell you exactly that!
MotorQuest: Not long ago, KTM introduced their first off-road offering in India in the form of the 390 Adventure. Now after just 11 months, KTM has introduced a smaller and more affordable adventure offering for us in the form of the 250 Adventure. The 250 Adventure has a lot to offer on paper, and there is no shortage of equipment at hand. However, we couldn’t help but compare it with its elder sibling at several occasions and the 250 Adventure comes extremely close to the 390 even though it shows signs of cost-cutting here and there.
Styling: The KTM 250 Adventure is an all-new offering by the manufacturer, but it doesn’t really look so styling-wise. The overall appearance of the 250 ADV seems extremely identical to its elder sibling, the 390 Adventure. The stance is tall, the alloys are similar, and even things like the fairings are identical to the 390. The biggest difference between the two ADVs is that the 250 actually misses out on the full-LED headlamp and uses a halogen one which comes from the previous-gen Duke 250. However, this isn’t actually all bad. The 250 Adventure is good looking, and it looks fairly chunky on the road.
The 250 Adventure resembles the 390 Adventure from all angles, except the front
It doesn’t look out of place from any angle and the proportions are well-balanced too. Except for the headlamp, the indicators and the tail light both feature LEDs making the bike feel premium. We also like the textured plastic used under the seat, which also adds to the premium feel. The only real gripe we have with it remains the absence of an LED headlamp, and we feel KTM could’ve put in a little more effort instead of just using an old halogen unit. Lastly, KTM is offering the bike in two colour options, an orange one and a stealthy black one with orange accents.
Instrument Cluster and Switchgear: Like the bike, the instrument cluster of the 250 Adventure takes inspiration from the 390 Adventure too. It is a fairly big fully-digital TFT display and shows plenty of information including fuel consumption, average speed, distance to empty, ABS modes, tank range, and service reminder along with all basic information. It might seem like the same unit from the 390, but the screen isn’t coloured here and misses out on connectivity features too. The 250 does offer a 12V socket underneath the speedometer and a GPS mount above it, similar to the 390 Adventure. Coming to the switchgear, the quality is great, and we didn’t have any complaints from it while on the move. However, its quality is lower in comparison to the 390 Adventure, and the whole joystick setup is missing which is a move to keep costs in check.
Ergonomics: The 250 Adventure feels extremely similar to its elder sibling here too. Taking up the positives first, the 250 Adventure gets upright handlebars and centre-set footpegs which result in a pretty comfortable posture. The only difference between the two is that the 250’s handlebar is made of steel while the 390 uses aluminium. The 250 Adventure is also very roomy, and there’s plenty of space to move around for the rider. Pillion comfort is decent too, even with the split seat setup. Another positive is the presence of off-road footpegs with rubber inserts, which shall come handy when things get rough. On the negative front, the 250 Adventure has a seat height of 855 mm, making it unsuitable for someone of average height. The bike also misses out on adjustable levers from the 390, which could’ve been a plus for it in the segment.
Performance: The 250 Adventure uses the BS6 compliant 248.8cc motor, same as seen on the Duke 250. The performance at 29.60 BHP and 24 Nm of torque has remained the same, and so has the state of tune. On the go, the 250 Adventure doesn’t offer much low-end grunt, but things become better in the mid-range and the motor comes to life towards the redline. It actually feels less lively than its naked counterpart, though, majorly because of the increase in weight. This is also reflected in the VBOX numbers as the bike took 9.4 seconds to reach a ton, making it the slowest 250cc in the KTM-Husqvarna lineup.
While the power output is same, the motor feels flat, thanks to the bump in weight
The performance isn’t too shabby, though, and it is ideal for an entry-level adventure bike. The slick-shifting 6-speed gearbox along with the slipper clutch is a blessing too. Key electronics like the quick-shifter and traction control from the 390 are missing here, but their absence doesn’t hinder the experience, as the motor is frugal and feels smooth. We didn’t face any heating issues with it whatsoever, and this is thanks to the two radiator fans that work well. Lastly, the 250 Adventure returned around 27-30 km/l and it can easily return up to 30-33 km/l when ridden sanely. This rounds up the total range of the 14.5-litre tank to about 430 kms.
Riding Dynamics: The 250 Adventure like its elder sibling boasts of a premium suspension setup. It gets WP Apex 43 mm upside-down forks upfront and a WP Apex mono-shock at the rear. The setup isn’t too plush, though. It is on the harder side and the suspension is definitely not suitable for outright off-road or touring duties. However, the suspension urges you to ride the motorcycle hard and even with a 19-inch front tyre, the cornering capabilities are pretty good. The feedback on offer is substantial as well, but as long as you keep it on the right side of the road. Moreover, only the rear suspension is adjustable, so it doesn’t let you tweak the front-end to your liking. There’s ample suspension travel at both ends, though, and the ground clearance at 200 mm is more than enough too.
Hooning around is just a throttle away for the KTM 250 Adventure
Braking-wise, the 250 Adventure features a 320 mm disc at the front, same as the 390 Adventure but as a cost-cutting measure, they are giving normal brake pads instead of the sintered ones. Consequently, the braking performance has taken a hit, and it isn’t quite as sharp as the 390. One can definitely make do with them, but they don’t inspire a lot of confidence. A dual-channel ABS is standard and an off-road setting is present, which lets you lock the rear wheel. One small thing we liked was that when you restart the bike, the bike remains in the mode set previously, making life a tad easier. Moving on, another thing that feels like a cost-cutting move is the absence of Metzeler rubber. The dual-purpose MRF rubber offers decent grip, but Metzelers would’ve made the overall package much more confidence-inspiring on any tarmac.
Verdict: At Rs. 2,89,600/- (on-road, Mumbai), the 250 Adventure isn’t really cheap. But does it justify this price? Up to an extent, yes. The 250 Adventure has some excellent and top-notch equipment at hand like the LCD display, LED indicators, LED tail light, WP Apex suspension, and a slipper clutch, which make it a good package. It definitely isn’t a proper off-roader and actually feels more of a tourer, just like the bike it takes inspiration from. All in all, one should consider the 250 Adventure if they want a capable touring bike which can take a bashing once in a while and costs under Rs. 3 lakhs. If you’re looking to get into hardcore off-roading, though, you should definitely consider other indigenous options.
* Road presence and overall feel of the bike is premium
* Does not dissipate too much heat and refinement is perfect
* Great riding dynamics, suitable to do touring duties at a good pace
What’s Not So Cool
* Seat height is pretty high
* Low-end grunt and mid-range aren’t too strong
* Suspension setup isn’t plush for hardcore off-road duties
* Engine: 248.8cc, Single-Cylinder, Liquid-Cooled
* Power: 29.60 BHP @ 9000 RPM
* Torque: 24 Nm @ 7500 RPM
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Fuel Consumption: 27-30 km/l
* Frame: Split Steel Trellis Frame
* Gearbox: 6-Speed
* Tyres: 100/90/19 (Front), 130/80/17 (Rear), MRF
* Suspension: 43 mm USD Forks (Front), Adjustable Mono-shock (Rear); WP Apex
* Brakes: 320 mm Disc (Front), 230 mm Disc (Rear); Switchable ABS
* Length x Width x Height (mm): 2154 x 900 x 1400
* Wheelbase: 1430 mm
* Ground Clearance: 200 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 14.5-litres
* Seat height: 855 mm
* Kerb weight: 177 Kgs