Sinnis Terrain 380 Review 2021

 

The small/middleweight adventure bike market is quietly getting a lot more interesting. On the scale of off-road capability moving to ‘mostly-a-road-bike’ Honda’s CRF250/300 is a credible, capable road-legal off-roader. KTM’s 390 Adventure and Enfield’s Himalayan are road bikes with some off-road ability. Suzuki’s V-Strom 250 is mostly a road bike and the New Sinnis Terrain 380 is very much a full-sized ‘adventure-flavoured’ road bike with a very enticing price tag.

From ten feet away it looks like a Triumph Tiger with a hint of BMW GS. Almost as tall, almost as heavy, with an awful lot of presence for a 380cc A2-compliant motorcycle. The three-piece, aluminium luggage adds to the full-fat adventure bike image. Forget the off-road pretensions for a minute – if you want a small green-laner, there are better choices with spoked wheels and more compliant suspension. What the T380 does best is be possibly the only credible A2 touring bike with all the comfort and practicality, that also has funky, adventure bike styling.  

 

For and against
  • Full-size motorcycle credibility and comfort
  • Easy to ride and unintimidating
  • Excellent value, but built to last
  • Buzzy at motorway speeds
  • Heavy for a small capacity bike
  • Wet weather braking performance
2021 Sinnis Terrain 380 (8)

Less than £5k for a full-sized A2 adventure bike with full aluminium luggage and a three-year warranty.

 

2021 Sinnis Terrain 380 Price

£4595 otr or £4850 with full aluminium three-box luggage set is very competitive for a bike with these specs (the Sinnis luggage adds £255, where a pair of BMW aluminium panniers and BMW top box for a GS costs £1200). Royal Enfield’s 411cc Himalayan is the closest comparison both on price (£4599) and performance. Honda’s CRF250L, which makes less power but also carries a lot less weight is £4949. KTM’s 390 Adventure which makes a lot more power, also carries a lot less weight, lists at £5499, but can be bought for around £5k at many dealers. BMW’s G310GS costs £5435 and Suzuki’s V-Strom 250 from whose engine the Terrain’s motor is supposedly developed, makes a lot less power, doesn’t weigh that much less, but somehow goes just as quickly and, although the list price is £4849, it can be found in dealers for around £4000.  

 

2021 Sinnis Terrain 380 (10)

36bhp is enough to make the most of a typical twisty B-road or nip through the traffic in town. Top speed is around 90mph

 

2021 Sinnis Terrain 380 Power, torque and performance

Claimed power is 36bhp with 26lb-ft of torque. That’s about 50 per cent more than Honda’s CRF250 or Suzuki’s V-Strom 250 (which both make around 25bhp), but a lot less than KTM’s 43bhp 390 Adventure. Peak power is claimed at 9000rpm and peak torque is at 6500rpm and that’s how it feels on the road. You can feel the torque drop away slightly past 7000rpm but the engine holds onto its power for another couple of thousand rpm.

With small-capacity bikes the choice of gearing is essential for optimising performance. Both the internal gear ratios and the final gearing determined by the size of the front and rear sprockets. The design team at Sinnis UK who developed this bike tested several different final gear ratios before opting for one that favoured acceleration over top speed and the T380 pulls briskly through the gears, accelerating well for a 200kg, 36bhp adventure bike with the aerodynamics of an aluminium-coated upright piano. There’s enough power in reserve for overtaking a dawdling car or small van doing 48mph in a 60mph limit with the confidence that a 125 or 250 would lack and once you learn to ignore the doomsday TFT dash that turns bright red above 8000rpm, there’s enough speed available to feel confident.

Top speed before the dash goes crimson-disco is an indicated 78mph. Actual top speed is just short of 90mph although you need a long stretch of road to find that last 10mph.

On paper this sounds like it might be an issue, but in reality the T380 is happy enough at 70mph on short motorway journeys, but gets a bit buzzy after a while. If you’ve just passed your test and are stepping up from a 125 you’ll be thrilled with the midrange and acceleration if maybe a little disappointed to discover that trebling the power output of your old 125 doesn’t treble the top speed as well.

The best way to enjoy the T380’s performance is to remember it’s a tourer. Keep the speed sensible, spend your time looking at the scenery instead of the speedo and remember why you didn’t buy a sports bike instead.

      

2021 Sinnis Terrain 380 (34)

Twin-cylinder, water-cooled engine (note the twin lambda sensors for the fuel-injection) is well-protected by substantial crash bars

 

2021 Sinnis Terrain 380 Engine, gearbox and exhaust

Water-cooled, eight-valve, fuel-injected twin cylinder, with a six-speed gearbox. Reportedly based on Suzuki’s motor used in the Inazuma and V-Strom 250, Sinnis has increased the capacity and claimed power by 50 per cent. That’s a good thing because the T380 has a lot of weight to pull. With a full fuel tank, the luggage rack and all three boxes fitted it weighs almost the same as Honda’s Africa Twin (without luggage) that makes three times as much power.

As previously mentioned, the bike is geared for acceleration rather than speed so it buzzes up to 60mph pretty quickly for a heavy bike, but needs relatively high revs to cruise in top gear. The six-speed gearbox has a light action, as does the clutch and finding neutral is easy whether hot or cold.

The two-into-one exhaust has twin lambda sensors for the fuel injection and a high-level silencer. Without a bash plate the exhaust downpipes would be a little vulnerable riding off-road.

 

2021 Sinnis Terrain 380 (9)

18 litre fuel tank gives around 200 miles range

 

2021 Sinnis Terrain 380 Economy

Suzuki’s V-Strom 250 on which this engine is based averaged over 70mpg when I last tested one and so I expected this slightly larger version in the Sinnis to be in the mid-60s mpg. Not so. Average fuel consumption was just 49mpg over our test period – considerably worse than the Yamaha Tracer 700 I’ve been riding that makes double the power from twice the capacity.

I’m guessing that the T380’s fuel injection isn’t as refined as Suzuki or Yamaha’s and with a lot of weight to pull the small engine is probably working past peak efficiency for a lot of the time. With a fuel capacity of 18 litres, you’ll still get close-on 200 miles between fill-ups though.

 

2021 Sinnis Terrain 380 (45)

Elements of Triumph Tiger and BMW GS in the styling. Thankfully, no KTM

 

2021 Sinnis Terrain 380 styling

Unless you were an expert most people would catch a glance at the Sinnis and assume it was a Triumph Tiger. Or maybe a BMW GS – unless you’re a geek, some of the adventure bikes are starting to look a bit similar these days.

The point is that the T380 is a handsome bike. It looks and feels right, things are where you expect them to be (apart from the rear shock absorber, which I know is in there, but struggle to see it). The (optional, but at this price, you’d be crazy not to) luggage seems very well made although the rack it fixes to is a little agricultural.

With the luggage fitted the T380 becomes quite wide for an otherwise compact bike and it’s easy to forget this when, ahem, filtering through traffic. Making progress through Brighton rush hour I might have high-fived a few cars’ wing mirrors – sorry.

  

2021 Sinnis Terrain 380 (21)

Suspension is quite firm for an off-roader and has rebound adjustment but not preload. Rear suspension is very well hidden

 

2021 Sinnis Terrain 380 Handling, suspension, chassis and weight

Like the engine, the T380’s handling works best when you take life steadily. The chassis feels strong and doesn’t wobble or weave in long fast bends and the front forks soak up bumps at medium speeds. The rear shock absorber is mostly well-behaved – soaking up bumps and behaving predictably as you pull and release the brakes. Occasionally, such as hitting a bump while leaning over or just hitting a big bump at speed it shows a lack of rebound damping and bounces back up a little too quickly, which lifts the rider out of the seat.

Mostly, this is just a reminder of what we said at the top of this test. The T380 is a tourer that can also double-up as a commuter. If you try and ride it like a sports bike, don’t be surprised if it grumbles occasionally.

Equally, it’s the suspension response that hampers the T380 most as an off-roader. I’m an incompetent off-road rider and rely heavily on most adventure bikes’ suspension to keep me upright on even the simplest of dirt tracks. The T380 has a riding position that invites you to stand up with confidence, but half a mile off road was enough to convince me it needs a better rider than I am to assess it properly.

  

2021 Sinnis Terrain 380 (17)

Petal discs, radially mounted calipers and ABS. They work well in the dry, but lack initial bite in the wet

 

2021 Sinnis Terrain 380 Brakes

Twin front discs with ABS and four-piston calipers work well at bringing all that weight to a halt with confidence in the dry. The lever needs a good squeeze but you soon get used to it.

The rear brake has enough subtlety and feel to add a bit of stability and confidence in damp corners when needed and also helps lots in very low-speed town riding.

In the wet things are a little less predictable. There’s a lag between applying the brakes and the bike slowing down and it felt like the braking power was reduced – almost as if the throttle was still slightly open while braking (it wasn’t).

This was disconcerting enough for an experienced rider with the brain space to work around it. For a relatively new rider for whom riding still needs a lot of mental effort, this would take some working out. It’s not dangerous, just different from the dry braking performance and it's been a while since I rode a bike that did it.

My guess is that it’s the brake pad material and swapping to a different brand of pad would help enormously. Sinnis are continually monitoring feedback and updating/upgrading parts on their bikes. I’m guessing they’ll have this sorted pretty quickly.

 

2021 Sinnis Terrain 380 (7)

Screen is unadjustable, but effective at keeping the wind off at speed. Riding position is comfortable, soft seat is comfy for a couple of hours

 

2021 Sinnis Terrain 380 Comfort over distance and touring

The seat height is 820mm which is tall for a small capacity bike, but normal for a full sized large capacity motorcycle. So, if you’re a full-sized and/or large capacity human, you’ll feel at home on the T380.

The bodywork and screen are effective at keeping the windblast and rain off the rider letting you sit at 70mph on the motorway for as long as you want without getting battered. And the riding position feels very natural. The relationship between your neck, back, arms and knees is very natural – it’s a comfy bike. That well-considered riding position also makes life easy when cutting through traffic because you can see a long way ahead.

Passengers have such a reasonable experience too – once they are aboard. Clambering over the panniers takes a bit of practice, but once on, the seat is comfy and the top box acts as a backrest. Overtaking with a pillion aboard needs a bit more planning and top speed drops to around 70mph, but the suspension copes well and there’s plenty of room.

 

2021 Sinnis Terrain 380 (27)

TFT dash is easy to read and easy to use. USB and 12v power supplies are handy.

 

Rider aids and extra equipment / accessories

The TFT dashboard is bright, brash and occasionally has a mind of its own – swapping from one background colour to another for no apparent reason. Instead of having a redline on the tacho, when the engine hits 8000rpm, the whole of the rev counter turns bright red which is a little alarming at first, but amusing thereafter.

Plenty of information is available including (oddly) a display of maximum speed achieved, which seems a little unnecessary.

There’s a 12v power socket and a USB charger fitted so you can charge your phone and power your heated jacket at the same time and a simple ABS system to keep you upright when you forget its icy because your heated jacket works so well.

And should the worst happen and you and your T380 take a tumble, there are some substantial crash bars fitted to protect the bodywork (or mount your Go-Pro to if you’re a proper adventurer)

 

2021 Sinnis Terrain 380 (43)

Great touring bike with some off-road capability for either a new A2 rider or someone with experience looking for value in a new machine.   

 

2021 Sinnis Terrain 380 verdict

Stood next to the Sinnis Terrain 380 it’s hard not to be impressed by the amount of motorcycle you get for the money. The build quality is so far ahead of previous Chinese bikes it makes you feel embarrassed for holding such prejudices. Not quite as good as the Japanese bikes in all areas, but pretty damn close in many.

On the road it’s the same story. The performance is good, handling likewise, comfort and equipment are all good too. Only the lack of damping in the stiffly sprung rear shock absorber lets it down, but as mentioned earlier, there’s a good chance this will have been improved shortly.

The Sinnis T380 is a different-but-serious alternative to Suzuki’s V-Strom 250 or Royal Enfield’s Himalayan. The more I rode it, the more I came to appreciate what a good bike it is.

 

2021 Sinnis Terrain 380 spec

New price

£4850 otr as tested

Capacity

378cc

Bore x Stroke

80.0x68.6mm

Engine layout

Water-cooled twin cylinder

Engine details

4-valve DOHC four-stroke

Power

36bhp (27kW) @ 9000rpm

Torque

26lb-ft (35Nm) @ 6500rpm

Top speed

90 mph (estimated)

Transmission

6 speed, chain final drive

Average fuel consumption

49mpg tested

Tank size

18 litres

Max range to empty (theoretical)

198miles

Reserve capacity

45miles

Rider aids

ABS

Frame

Steel trellis frame

Front suspension

41mm USD telescopic fork

Front suspension adjustment

rebound

Rear suspension

monoshock

Rear suspension adjustment

preload, rebound

Front brake

Twin disc, two-piston caliper

Rear brake

Single disc, single-piston caliper

Front tyre

110/80-19

Rear tyre

140/70-17

Rake/Trail

Not available

Dimensions

2156mm x 900mm x 1380mm (LxWxH)

Wheelbase

1420mm

Ground clearance

140mm

Seat height

820mm

Kerb weight

200kg

Warranty

3 years plus 1 year breakdown cover

MCIA Secured Rating

Not yet rated

Website

www.sinnismotorcycles.com

 

Looking for motorbike insurance? Get a quote for this bike with Bennetts motorcycle insurance

 

What is MCIA Secured?

MCIA Secured gives bike buyers the chance to see just how much work a manufacturer has put into making their new investment as resistant to theft as possible.

As we all know, the more security you use, the less chance there is of your bike being stolen. In fact, based on research by Bennetts, using a disc lock makes your machine three times less likely to be stolen, while heavy duty kit can make it less likely to be stolen than a car. For reviews of the best security products, click here.

MCIA Secured gives motorcycles a rating out of five stars, based on the following being fitted to a new bike as standard:

  • A steering lock that meets the UNECE 62 standard
  • An ignition immobiliser system
  • A vehicle marking system
  • An alarm system
  • A vehicle tracking system with subscription

The higher the star rating, the better the security, so always ask your dealer what rating your bike has, and compare it to other machines on your shortlist.

 

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