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Heresy? T7 vs. 390

Discussion in 'Japanese polycylindered adventure bikes' started by spuh, Jul 13, 2020.

  1. spuh

    spuh Been here awhile

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    Is it heresy to compare Yamaha's T7 to KTM's 390 adventure? When the T7 finally arrived, it was (and still is) cross-shopped with the 790adventure. Both are defined as middle weight adv bikes; 3/4 litre twins with similar output and weight, proper size tires and capable suspensions. But reviews speak of significant difference in the riding experience. Mattinghofen's latest is an overgrown dirt bike and best ridden as such, always goading the rider into pushing the limits. Yet the T7 excels at a wider range of pace, from slow plonking up to 8/10ths. Meanwhile, KTM's 390 adventure has arrived to mixed reaction. Surprisingly poor off road but punching well above its weight on pavement with good power and enough room for North American males to get comfortable. So it's more road focussed with the ability to explore dirt up to the point where the 790 is really coming into its own. Which sounds like the T7 too.
    So has anyone else come to this conclusion? Should we be comparing the T7 against the 390 adventure instead of the 790 adventure? Looking forward to hearing from anyone out there who has ridden (or at least inspected) all three.
    #1
  2. Lewilewi

    Lewilewi Ride it like you stole it......

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    Ktm husky have new adventure bikes coming rumour has it a 500cc
    #2
  3. mcmann

    mcmann Adventure Rider Junkie Supporter

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    I would compare the 390 to the CB5X

    42C12BCD-5D1A-4E8A-8C69-DD1CD633BB74.jpeg
    #3
  4. mantan

    mantan Been here awhile

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    Most reviews are very shallow. Have you noticed that they almost never talk about service schedule/cost or repair cost/ease? How about long term cost of ownership, warranty term, etc.? Hell they hardly even mention the fuel range. All these things are important in real life.
    #4
  5. spuh

    spuh Been here awhile

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    Yes, that is the case for pretty much every review these days. MCN used to list a tiny amount of maintenance costs but of course they're gone now. Even the fuel economy reports in a test are rarely noted as being really measured or "as claimed by the bike's computer" (or even worse, "mfr's claimed mileage"). Most tests qualify statements with "for a beginner's bike"; I started this thread in part to see if anyone could compare these bikes without the qualifiers on the 390. Real back to back, apples to apples comparisons. Does "good for a beginner's bike" equate to "awful for an experienced rider's bike" (or "marginal" or "inadequate" or indeed just plain "good"?)
    #5
  6. HYLYNDYR

    HYLYNDYR naewittyshitepostedere

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    There’s a couple of YouTube videos from Australia with a couple that ride a t7 and a 390, she seems to ride it (the KTM ) pretty well off-road, it goes pretty damn good from the videos I’ve seen.
    #6
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  7. x32792

    x32792 Cracker American

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    T7 vs KTM 390 and CB500X

    Looking at the specs of all three bikes, I'd like to draw your attention to the specs of the T7 https://www.motorcycle.com/specs/yamaha/on-off-road/2021/t-n-r-/700/detail.html The T7 has and is being hyped as The New Millennial Unicorn, but at 452 lbs, 74hp and 62.6" wheelbase, she's a big ole girl and most likely a fine, mild tempered, light adventure bike...Jumping and hopping down the bunny trail? Meh.
    #7
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  8. goldentaco

    goldentaco Been here awhile

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    Heresy...YES

    I don't know why anyone would compare the two. A usual comparison is between two or more things of relatively close attributes. These two share nothing in common other than someone's conflating the two reviews of each bike having a similar result..."better on road than it is offroad" somehow making them equals in some sense.

    I would compare the 390 with the CB500X, Versys X300, BMW 310GS. At least you're looking at bikes of equal size and power that someone would rationally be interested in making a choice amongst.


    Jimmy Lewis has reviewed both 390 and the T 700.
    KTM:390
    Yamaha Tenere 700

    One thing to note, Jimmy isn't into generalizations and he seem like a genuinely positive guy so you don't get the simple hot/cold opinions of some reviews but it's more of a "just the facts ma'am" approach.

    J
    #8
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  9. spuh

    spuh Been here awhile

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    Hi, I'm the one who's comparing the two. Rather than be constrained to a category as defined by marketers or magazine comparos, I started with what I want in a new bike and then looked for bikes which fit my wants. These two fit the bill. Sorry if I've been caught colouring outside the lines. :p3rry
    Agreed about Jimmy Lewis and his reviews, he calls 'em as he sees 'em. Doesn't care if all the other experts disagree.
    #9
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  10. tomo8r

    tomo8r Long timer

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    Seems like a sound comparison to me.

    #10
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  11. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    Pro offroad racer Jimmy Lewis destroys myth of poor suspension No mention of dash wobble either, probably because he's looking where he's going when riding offroad. :lol3

    Capture.PNG
    #11
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  12. Bullseye45

    Bullseye45 Adventurer

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    Why would you want the 390 over the T700? Price? If $$ is the issue, get what fits your budget and be done.
    With the 390 you are going to need to be high in the revs all the time, which will mean you will need to be much more aware of the gears you are in and throttle control. The T700 will chug up/down road and trails all day long and smoothly out pace the 390 on highways.
    In a 400+ lb bike, I'd rather have more power and more control of it, than be under powered and really have to crack the throttle to get the power I need from the smaller motor to move that mass where I want it.
    If all you are going to do is ride paved and dirt roads any bike can do that. Most reviews on "adventure" bikes are guys riding roads and going through a puddle on a dirt road. Heck, my Harley can do that stuff. If you are looking to do more steep up/down heavy rooted/rocky/rutted up just wider than single track, decide which fits you and your budget better and go that route. If you are doing any highway riding, I would most def go with the bigger motor.
    Best of luck! I'd also go with the CB500X over the 390R in the sub 600 category, just my .02.
    #12
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  13. MCGMB

    MCGMB Been here awhile Supporter

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    Should?

    I think you "should" compare anything you want. I've always believed motorcycling is all about want and fun (as long as you can pay for it), not logic and need.:freaky

    Anyway, your comparison makes sense to me based on stated intended usage.

    Having said that, while there's a big HP difference between the two, there's certainly a significant height/weight difference. Being honest with where someone falls on that spectrum should make the buying choice.
    #13
  14. spuh

    spuh Been here awhile

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    Glad you agree. I can live with the lower HP and certainly less weight is always good. I'm hoping someone will chime in here on how capable the 390 is (comparatively) at highway speeds for hours and how much the cast 19" wheel and deficient ground clearance hurt the dirt performance. Obviously the T7 is better at both sides of the dual purpose equation but how much better? For 80% more money to buy; how much "better" does that cash buy?
    #14
  15. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    700 twin vs 390 thumper? I'd say 100 percent better.
    #15
  16. Bullseye45

    Bullseye45 Adventurer

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    You can't escape the rules of physics. At twice the power, the T7 will be far better on the highway. The difference comes after 65mph. Any bike can do 65, even if unpleasant. For comparison, those with the bigger CB500x say over 65mph (US) it feels used up and gets buzzy, now take another 100 HP off of that for the 390 . If you are talking longer trips, you will be working with less room on the smaller bike. And adding any weight or drag to the bike with luggage will be much more noticeable with the smaller engine. You could probably do everything on the 390 you could on the T7, but the 390 is going to be stressed. That engine is going to be at a high whine on the highway probably with little in reserve if you get in a tight spot and need a way out.
    If you are only going to do a few hours at highway speed, I'm sure you'll be fine on the 390.
    If you are going to do 300-500 mile days for several days/weeks in a row, go for the T700.
    Also, think about any updates/farkles and maintenance cost needed for the 390 you may not need to make to the T7. That may close the $ gap more than you think.
    #16
  17. mattebox

    mattebox Been here awhile

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    Tenere 700 has significantly more power and torque compared to the 390 ADV. So it's a lot nicer to ride on the street. You can blast off easily at stop lights. You don't have to shift as much and you have way more power to pass cars at highway speeds. Tenere 700 is also a bigger bike with longer wheelbase, so it will feel more stable on the highway.

    390 ADV is more closely compared to the CB500X. They have the same wheel setup, almost the same price, and the same wheelbase. The 390 ADV is 50 lbs lighter, but CB500X has more power and way more torque. CB500X is very fuel efficient and combined with a bigger tank it has more range and is more economical to operate. CB500X is also probably more reliable. I have a CB500X. It has decent power/torque but it's not a rocket. I've demo rode an MT-07 and that engine (same as the Tenere 700) is much better than my CB500X. So going to the 390 ADV would be a downgrade for the street.

    390 ADV could also be compared to the Versys-X 300. The have about the same price, weight, wheelbase and horsepower but 390 ADV has a bit more torque. But the VX-300 has spoke wheels which tolerate off-road better. VX-300 also has better ergonomics and feels like a bigger bike. Dirt Bike Test said they bent the cast rims on 390 ADV in two spots after some not that big hits and the tire leaked (see video at 14:30). They also said the 390 ADV has very street bike ergos and the chassis is not as roomy. The pegs are tilted forward for some reason and it's not as good a bike to ride standing.

    Here's an interesting thought. The Ninja 400 totally beats the 390 ADV in hp, torque and weight. If Kawasaki put the Ninja 400 motor into the Versys-X 300 chassis then that combination would easily beat the 390 ADV on the street and in the dirt. That's why people have been wishing for a Versys-X 400 for years now.

    In conclusion, IMO, the Tenere is better on the road and in the dirt (in terms of ergos, larger spoked wheels, suspension, ground clearance). The only downsides are much higher price and +70 lbs in weight.

    KTM 390 ADV: 37.5 hp, 23.2 ft-lb, 379 lbs wet
    Ninja 400: 44.0 hp, 25 ft-lb, 370 lbs wet
    Versys-X 300 ABS: 34.5 hp, 17.4 ft-lb, 386 lbs wet
    CRF250L Rally: 21.9 hp, 15.6 ft-lb, 346 lbs wet
    KTM 500 EXC-F: 41.0 hp, 29.5 ft-lb, 255 lbs wet
    CRF450L: 38.2 hp, 28.0 ft-lb, 289 lbs wet
    CB500X ABS: 45.0 hp, 35.5 ft-lb, 434 lbs wet
    Tenere 700: 59.0 hp, 42.7 ft-lb, 452 lbs wet

    [​IMG]

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    Dyno run by Motomaggr. Red/blue is Tenere 700: (right scale is torque kgf-m)
    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. tomo8r

    tomo8r Long timer

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    This is a 390 and a T7 doing the same ride.

    I've not watched it myself mind.

    #18
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