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Zontes 350T ADV vs KTM 390 Adventure comparison: price, comfort, features, reliability, performance, mileage – Introduction

Zontes 350T ADV owns a large ADV style, outstanding features in the segment and a higher price than the KTM 390 Adventure.

It’s been an important year for Adishwar Auto Ride India (AARI), the Hyderabad-based company that now runs Benelli’s India operations. In 2022 alone, AARI has introduced four more Chinese-owned motorcycle brands to our shores, namely QJ . engine, Zontes, Morini motorcycle and Keeway. In fact, the company has gone from selling a handful of Benellis to retailing 26 different models from five manufacturers. One of those bikes is the Zontes 350T ADV that you see here, with its outstanding styling, great feature list, 350cc engine and factory price of Rs 3.67 lakh. That kind of pricing positions it higher than the Rs 3.37 lakh KTM 390 Adventure (old showroom), a bike that we consider one of the best touring solutions for this money . Can the Zontes keep up?

Compare Zontes 350T ADV vs KTM 390 Adventure: design and features

It certainly hits the spot in terms of design. While the KTM’s long, skinny, and insect-like styling is certainly an acquired taste, the Zontes is a much larger and more conventionally styled ADV. It has striking-looking LED headlights (which also work very well), a large 18-litre fuel tank, MV-Agusta style dual exhaust pipes and 160cc rear tyres. When KTM simply blends into the traffic, Zontes never stops turning and making people point at it. If it absolutely stands out from the crowd you’re after, then Zontes should easily grab this one.

If some people are gawking for a closer look, you might astound them with Zontes features, some of which you’ll only find on bikes 7-8 times more expensive. For example, keyless entry, the windshield can be raised and lowered electronically at the touch of a button, and the same applies to the rear seat release mechanism and the fuel tank cap. This is truly a motorcycle whose keys never need to leave your pocket.

The Zontes display is customizable but small.

Zontes’ TFT screen, although a bit small, also has a variety of display modes and can even mirror your smartphone screen. While all of that is pretty cool, it wouldn’t be so good if the screen wasn’t working. And this is exactly what happened to our test bike when the monitor decided to call it a mid-stop during our shot. This was later diagnosed as a blown fuse, which also caused the windshield adjustment knob to fail.

That’s not good on a motorcycle with an odo under 1,000 km and quality is a concern here. Some plastics feel flimsy, others have edges that aren’t smooth enough, and the overall feel isn’t one of satisfying or premium quality. By comparison, the KTM feels much better built, and its TFT display is much larger, easier to read, and easier to operate. KTM also has its own unique features such as traction control system, switchable rear ABS and off-road mode with softer traction control. There’s also a two-way quick-shifter, but this feels incredibly clunky unless you’re using it above 6,000rpm.

The 390’s display is easier to read and use.

In terms of seating position, the Zontes feels like a bigger bike around you, and it has more all-round windbreak. Meanwhile, KTM feels relatively slim but more spacious for tall riders and has more comfortable seats. However, shorter riders will find the KTM’s saddle height more of a challenge.

Zontes 350T ADV vs KTM 390 Adventure comparison: performance and range

Zontes claims that their 348cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled, four-valve single-cylinder engine produces 38.8hp and 32.8Nm of torque, not far from the 43.5hp and 32.8 lb-ft of torque. 37 Nm of KTM. The engine feels and sounds gruff, slightly vibrating at higher rpm ranges. Shifting is also a bit high, but fourth gear is oddly close to third, and it’s almost like the experience of repeating the same number when you shift from three. The Zontes managed a run time of 8.2 seconds from 0-100 km/h in our tests, which is slower than we expected and 2.1 seconds slower than the KTM.

Zontes’ stance is also not very good and this bike is best left for the runway.

The KTM’s engine also feels pretty rough and rattle at low rpm in the city, but it gets smooth once you get past around 4,000rpm. It’s still a grumpy engine and you’ll feel some vibration through the footpegs, but they’re the kind you can live with and it’s quieter than the Zontes in general. It’s also a lot faster with shorter shift times and an interesting spike starting at 6,000 rpm. The KTM engine can also keep the stroke speed higher. We tested the performance of both bikes on the highway and at a steady 70-85kph, the KTM returned 34.6kpl while the Zontes managed 31.6kpl.

Compare Zontes 350T ADV with KTM 390 Adventure: ride and handling

The easiest way to explain the gap in performance and efficiency between the two is that Zontes are very heavy. The company claims a curb weight of 196kg and I wouldn’t be surprised if it were even higher than that. The front end feels heavy and sluggish from the get-go – just turning the steering wheel takes more effort than it should. The cumbersome, heavy steering feel continues as the speed increases, and it takes quite a bit of work to get the Zontes through a series of bends.

KTM rear shock absorbers feel harsh on bad roads.

KTM is a peach by comparison. This bike has always been a great handle on the road, and its cubic Metzeler Tourance tires provide better feedback and grip than the Chinese CST tires on the Zontes. When it comes to off-road driving, we’ve always complained that the KTM has odd, road-biased ergonomics and a poorly-suited suspension. As you learn to work with these challenges, you can jump or slide the KTM around and it will get things done in its stride.

The KTM’s standing ergonomics are street-oriented and clumsy, but it’s perfectly capable of riding on dirt roads.

The Zontes also have a difficult standing stance, with sharp fuel tank edges digging deep into your thighs while rear footrests lift your heels outwards. Top heaviness added to the unhappiness of off-roading, but what really stopped us from taking the Zontes over cobbled roads was the relatively low ground clearance and the underpowered engine. KTM’s fenders are made of plastic but are quite stiff; However, the Zontes’ exhaust box is completely exposed and the soft front suspension means it will scrape rocks fairly easily.

Zontes eliminates its emissions with ease.

On the road, the Zontes has pretty good suspension comfort, but the forks can bottom out on bigger impacts. For comparison, the KTM’s front suspension is decent, but the rear suspension feels harsh on rough and bumpy roads and that’s because of the extremely strong rebound damping. This is a motorcycle that would benefit greatly from an aftermarket suspension, especially at the rear. Performance and brake feel are good on both, but the lighter KTM stops quicker and the Zontes’ ABS can sometimes be too intrusive.

Compare Zontes 350T ADV and KTM 390 Adventure: comments

The Zontes mainly has a dramatic look to it and has a number of features like tubeless spoked wheels and keyless magic that give it a unique look. However, it needs a leap in quality, refinement and capability, if it is to justify this price point and hold its ground against similarly expensive motorcycles like the KTM or the BMW G 310 GS. As an attention-grabbing gadget, the Zontes is unmatched at this price point, but while it’s competent in certain areas, it won’t be as impressive once the wheel starts to move. If you want a comfortable, drivable, daily commuting motorcycle with a long road trip and a little off-road on the way, then the KTM is still the way to go.

Zontes 350T ADV KTM 390 Adventure
Rating 5/10 8/10
Price (old showroom, Delhi) 3.67 lakhs 3.37 lakhs
Engine Single cylinder, 348cc, liquid-cooled Single cylinder, 373.27cc, liquid-cooled
Power 38.8 hp at 9,500 rpm 43.5 hp at 9,000 rpm
torque 32.8 Nm at 7,500 rpm 37Nm at 7,500 rpm
gear 6 speeds 6 speeds
Strength to weight 197.95 hp/ton 245.76 hp/ton
The standard long 1420mm 1430mm
Clearance 173mm 200mm
limited weight 196kg 177kg
Seat height 830mm 855mm
Gas tank 19 liters 14.5 liters
Front suspension USD fork USD fork
Rear suspension Single shock absorber Single shock absorber
Win first 320mm . disc 320mm . disc
Rear brake disc 265mm 230mm . disc
Tire size (front) 110/80-19 100/90-19
Tire size (rear) 160/60-17 130/80-17
0-60kph 3.2 seconds 2.82 seconds
0-100kph 8.2 seconds 6.15 seconds
Scroll acceleration
20-50kph 2.14 seconds 2.33 seconds
30-70kph 4.02 seconds 3.95 seconds
50-80kph 3.62 seconds 4.03 seconds
60-0kph 16.64m 16.05m


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