The era of affordable dual-purpose motorcycles was started in India with the Hero Impulse. However, due to the small engine and lack of interest in such bikes in that time, the Impulse did not do as well in the market. Since the discontinuation of Impulse and the arrival of the XPulse, two new affordable motorcycles from foreign brands entered the Indian market – the BMW G310R and the KTM 390 Adventure. Both these motorcycles are the most affordable dual-purpose bikes in their respective line-ups and are becoming quite popular in the market too. The Hero XPulse 200 is currently the most affordable dual-purpose bike that you can buy in India. But how does it compare with the other two motorcycles on the real off-road tracks? Here is a video on Kat Ramana channel that shows how differently these bikes handle the bad roads.
The video shows the real struggle of a KTM 390 Adventure and a few more BMW G310R on the rough roads. At first, the BMW G310R stops midway in the ruts after spotting that the rider in front of him struggling to go ahead. This breaks the momentum and that’s when the real deal starts. Three people try to bring the G310R in reverse to give it enough space to gain momentum and go ahead. After struggling a lot and using brute force to lift the bike and get it on the right path, the first G310R rider successfully passes the stretch. In the meantime, the second rider of another BMW G310R struggles and falls down while doing the same stretch. Another person takes charge of this bike and crosses the stretch.
It is the KTM 390 Adventure that really struggles to cross the patch. The bike fails to find any grip on the ruts and the rear wheel keeps on spinning. The KTM rider struggles the most here. Towards the end, we can see a BMW G310R and Hero XPulse crossing the way without any trouble.
What is happening here?
As easy it may seem on the videos, riding on such roads require a very high skill set that can be developed after practising on rough roads and understanding the bike completely. Even the KTM 390 Adventure struggled the most, it does not mean that it is not as capable as the BMW G310R or the Hero XPulse. There are a few reasons for it.
- The KTM 390 ADV’s engine is very different than the others. The single-cylinder engine develops a maximum power of 43 Bhp at 9,000 rpm and peak torque of 37 Nm at 7,000 rpm. It is a high revving engine and revs freely too. Whenever the rider was opening the throttle, the engine had to be revved and with torque, the engine was generating enough power to make the wheel spin. This is why low-end torque is important, especially during off-roading. The G310R can be seen doing it while struggling much less.
- Shift the weight. It is why you see riders standing on the footpegs of bikes and shift the weight as necessary while doing off-roading. Without any momentum and weight shift, the bike really struggles to cross the stretch.
- KTM 390 has the highest seat height of all the three bikes. This is something that makes it difficult for people to put their feet down firmly on the ground. This is a major disadvantage on a KTM 390 ADV while doing off-roading for short riders.
- The tyres of the KTM are road-biased and we don’t think that the tyre pressure was lowered to tackle the terrain. Lower tyre pressure ensures a better grip. The Hero XPulse had much better tyre grooves to tackle the rough roads.
- The lightweight of the Hero XPulse also helps in moving it around and makes it much agiler on the roads.