The KTM 390 Adventure is a formidable mid-size ADV that has been widely acclaimed by critics and buyers alike. KTM has now announced an interesting feat for its 390 Adventure. Ashish Raorane - Pro Moto XC athlete and 2021 Dakar Rally (Malle Moto Class) participant - astride a 390 Adventure has just set the fastest known time record from Batal to Kunzum La in Himachal Pradesh in what was the World's Highest Hill Climb Challenge.
Ashish Raorane went head-to-head with 11-time Raid de Himalaya champion, Suresh Rana, in his his rally-spec championship car in the high-speed face-off for the crown on Kunzum Kaiser. The 12.5 km treacherous mountain pass stretches from Batal (at 4,000m) to Kunzum La (at 4,551 m) with 20 hairpin bends. The average temperature was -5 degrees Celsius.
Suresh Rana went out on the road first in his rally-spec championship car, attempting to set a benchmark time. Rana started off at a blistering pace and had almost completed the course, until his car broke down with an engine block damage at turn 18. Unfortunately, he had to bow out of the challenge. The time set at turn 18 was a very competitive 11 minutes 49 seconds. However, a champion athlete finishing with a DNF due to engine failure in his championship winning car is enough testament about the difficulty of the challenge.
It was Raorane's turn next on his 390 Adventure. It must be noted that the motorcycle was in absolute stock condition other than its dual-purpose tires being swapped for a set of knobbies. Raorano, too, started off at a blistering pace. In fact, he had the lead on time at every turn. Raorane crossed the finish line at Kunzum La with an impressive time of 13 minutes and 4 seconds, thereby setting the fastest known time record.
Ashish Raorane, a marine engineer by profession, has been racing international rally raid championships as a privateer for three years. In 2019, he was the first Indian rider to complete the FIM Baja World Championship, finishing 12th overall. Raorane was also the only Indian rider at the 2021 Dakar Rally in the Malle Moto class. He, however, had to retire from the Dakar rally following a crash in the fifth stage. As for the 390 Adventure, it is powered by a single cylinder 373.2 cc engine that produces 43.5 PS @ 9000 rpm and a torque of 37 Nm @ 7000 rpm. That's enough grunt to ace a hill climb as difficult as this.