Some readers have asked us what we were thinking when we put the little KTM 390 Adventure in our South Dakota shoout with the Aprilia Tuareg 660, the Ducati DesertX, and the BMW 1250 GS. We were saying that Adventure bikes don’t need to be big to have fun on all terrains. Significantly lighter than the other bikes in the shootout, the 390 has a lot of things going for it. The 390 Adventure has been a good seller for KTM, and we’ve really enjoyed it every time we have one in our hands. So, what makes the KTM 390 Adventure so special?
Last year, we voted the Aprilia Tuareg the Best Adventure Motorcycle of 2022 and the 2022 Motorcycle of the Year. Clearly, we like it, but after almost six months without riding one, we began to wonder if it was really as great as we remembered. Fortunately, we recently got to spend some quality time with a 2022 Aprilia Tuareg while adventure touring in South Dakota thanks to the good folks at Travel South Dakota, and it only rekindled our fondness for this motorcycle. This time, however, we spent more time in the dirt than we did on pavement, which only made us appreciate the balance provided by this motorcycle even more.
Anyone who has attended a large-scale rally will tell you that there is a certain point, after the front wheel has turned for home, that a feeling of emptiness can set in, a sensation, as the events of the past few days pass out of sight in your mirrors, that can call into question your very reason for being. OK, not really, but I’ve spent hours reminiscing about a rally as the miles rolled by underneath me on my way home. So, grab your gear and take a virtual ride home with me.
While it’s difficult to say which is the top rally in the popular consciousness of American motorcycling, both Daytona Bike Week and Sturgis feature prominently in biker mythology. If you break down both events into their most basic components, they look something like this: Bikers arrive from all over the country and other parts of the world, take over the main venues of several local cities/towns, make lots of noise, consume tons of food and drink, go for rides around the local area, consume more and make more noise, spend tons of money, and go home happy, already talking about next year. Daytona has a little more racing (to this crowd) and Sturgis has a lot more riding. Both are considered must-do motorcycle events.