Adventure Motorcycles | Sinnis Terrain 380 (2021) review

Sinnis Terrain 380 Adventure

We put some serious touring miles on the Sinnis Terrain 380 to see if it’s a match for the lightweight adventure motorcycle segment

AFTER the big battle for outright adventure bike glory at the top end of the market, one of the most exciting and fast paced battles is in the lightweight adventure segment. Sent in to do battle against bikes like the KTM 390 Adventure, BMW G310 GS, and Suzuki V-Strom 250, the Sinnis Terrain 380 is the latest bike to take the fight to the A2 ADV class.

Built to prove that adventure bikes don’t need to be towering behemoths with huge engines, the Terrain 380 (or T380) has the profile and presence of a larger middle-weight adventure machine, with an accessible 820mm seat.

We took the T380 for a two-week loan, including a two-day tour to Lake Vyrnwy in Wales.

Here’s what we learned in that time.

Sinnis Terrain 380 engine

Powering the T380 is a parallel twin-cylinder engine that features water-cooling and four valves per cylinder. It’s 80.0 x 68.6mm bore and stroke translates to a buzzy and fizzy feel. It’s claimed 36bhp and 26ft-lb are adequate on the road, although with 200kg to shove down the road, it’s not the most intense riding experience I’ve come across.

New riders and those moving up from 125cc machines though should enjoy the extra grunt of the bike, and riding it will really help them get to grips with slick gear shifting – as they’ll be doing lots of it. The T380 has extremely closely spaced gears, with the 6th feeling like an overdrive and it seems like there is only about 1,200rpm covering the final three gears.

While this isn’t such an issue on back roads and B-roads, out on the motorway, it’ll quickly become tiresome. At 75mph the engine will be spinning at a heady 8,000rpm. The best bet is to take your time, keep it below 70mph, enjoy the extra MPG you’ll be experiencing and take in the scenery.

Sinnis Terrain 380 handling, suspension and brakes

The suspension set-up of the T380 is actually great for on-road riding in that it is supportive and fairly nicely damped. You don’t get the feeling that it is a particularly budget set-up. The front end has rebound adjustment only, while there is an adjustable shock at the rear. Even fully loaded up on a two-night tour to Wales for an event didn’t seem to flummox the bike, impressive stuff for a bike in this sector. It holds a line surprisingly well, and even getting the bike airborne on some of the canal bridges on the way to Lake  Lake Vyrnwy, the Sinnis handled everything I could throw at it with aplomb.

While the on-road handling is good, the off-road is compromised by the road-biased settings. Having turned the nose of the T380 towards my nearest green lane, I quickly came to the opinion that suspension is too firm for any serious off-road work. The Timsun (no I’ve never heard of them either) adventure tyres have fairly hefty grooves in them, although I found that they quickly clogged with thick clay mud and offered little to no grip. If you’re looking at the T380 as a machine to tackle some green lanes, bear in mind you’ll be a fair-weather participant – or budget up upgrade the bike’s hoops.

Braking on the T380 is taken care of with two-piston radially mounted calipers at the front and a single-piston caliper at the rear. ABS is a two-channel system that works okay, although, like most systems on budget bikes of this type, it is fairly intrusive and lacks the ability to be turned off – always a bit of an annoyance on an ADV machine. The two-piston set-up does mean you’ll need a full four-fingered squeeze of the lever to haul the 200kg bike up to a stop. It’s a similar story with the rear brake, with the T380 requiring a hefty stamp on the lever to make it inroads into deceleration. It’s helpful for fine control though and would probably only need a pad upgrade – front and rear – to transform the feel and performance.

Sinnis Terrain 380 Comfort

One of the first things I noticed about the T380 was just how bloody soft its seat is. In a world where manufacturers seem to think you can’t have an adventure motorcycle without a concrete hard seat, the plush and very soft seat on this bike was a pleasure for my posterior. Even on some longer three and four-hour rides on the bike, I had no issues whatsoever with my delicate derriere.

The rest of the ergonomics are equally impressive, no doubt helped by the bike’s oversize proportions for the class it sits in. The screen is tall and provides ample protection from the wind and rain, and really all that’s missing are some handguards for year-round comfort.

What issues are there with the Sinnis Terrain 380

So far, so (mostly) good for the ‘little’ Sinnis. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t issue-free. First and foremost, the thing that needs changing straight away is the length of the side stand. It’s short, and I mean dangerously so. With the panniers and top-box loaded up, placing the bike on the sidestand on the car park at Lake Vyrnwy resulted in it tipping off the sidestand and causing me to have to lift the bike back up before it hit the deck. On inspection, the sidestand is about 5.5-inches long, and for no apparent reason. There is a centre stand on offer as an accessory – that was fitted to the test bike – but it’s not ideal to have something that fails in this way when the panniers and top box didn’t seem to be over-loaded.

The second gripe is the TFT dash, which in the marketing images looks very trick. In reality, though it’s just tricky to read. Hidden behind a thin layer of plastic that sits 10mm above the screen of the TFT, the dash in anything other than the dark is tricky to read, with the warning lights and indicator repeaters also difficult to see. Bonding the TFT to the protective screen would solve the issue, I just can’t fathom why that wasn’t done from the start.

What we like about the Sinnis Terrain 380

  • Comfort is excellent
  • One of the easiest bikes to ride in the sector
  • Genuine 200-mile range thanks to 18l tank

What we didn’t like

  • Sidestand needs another inch or two added to it
  • Screen design makes for a nice mirror
  • Buzzy engine at motorway speeds

Sinnis Terrain 380 verdict

Take the T380 at face value and look at it as a commuter/tourer/dry-weather green lane machine, and there isn’t much to dislike about the bike. It’s super easy to ride, extremely comfortable, handles well on the road and can manage around 200-miles between fill-ups. The revvy nature of the engine will limit the long-range touring ability of the machine, although swapping out the final drive for a smaller rear sprocket should improve that.

The biggest problem that the T380 faces is not something of its own making. As mentioned at the top of the review, the lightweight A2 ADV market is crowded and highly competitive. With pretty much every manufacturer wading in for their slice of the pie. At the top of the pile is the KTM 390 Adventure, a bike that will only cost around a grand more than the Sinnis. Add to that the tasty 0 percent APR deals that are out there for the KTM, and it’s hard to argue against the Austrian Adventurists for a true ADV bike in lightweight form.