The new 2017 KTM Duke 390 sport bike looks like a machine straight out of an action movie. We’ve taken it’s 2017 model for a road test, and here we present the review of it’s design, performance, top speed, mileage, price, etc. Hint: it really amazed us on the highway!
The KTM Duke 390 is currently one of the most significant motorbikes in India’s motorcycling circuit. Launched back in 2013, KTM has introduced the second generation model of Duke 390 this year to the market. Its previous model has already established a mark for delivering stunning performance in almost every aspect. An Austrian powerhouse to the core, the company was founded back in 1934 but it was only in the year 1992, that company’s motorcycling and other divisions came into their own being.
It is quite interesting to know that India’s very own top player in motorcycles industry, Bajaj Auto holds a staggering 47.97% stake in KTM. Hence, most of the production and assembling of KTM’s mechanical beasts is overlooked at manufacturing units of Bajaj Auto. Manufactured in Pune, India, the Duke is also made available in 200 and 250cc range in entire Asian continent and only the 390 version is exported out to Europe.
Notorious for kicking off the naked bikes trend in the country, the KTM Duke and Superduke bikes were instantly dubbed as forces to reckon with. So, it was obvious that we had to take the Duke 390 for a road test and see whether it lives up to the reputation which its predecessor left behind. Without wasting any time we reached out to our authorised KTM partner in Sector-63 of Noida. After a few minutes of chat on the phone with Mr. Robin, the manager – my rendezvous with the Duke 390 was fixed the next day itself.
The following day as soon as the sun was up, I was too not just because of my excitement for driving the Duke 390 but simply because am an early riser. So, by the time I was done winding up my morning routine, it was almost time for my big exciting date. The KTM showroom is about 10 minutes drive from where I put up. So, after confirming it one last time with Robin, I was on my way to the showroom. On arrival, a very friendly staff greeted me and after an insightful discussion with Robin about KTM bikes, he led me to the Duke 390 and handed over its key.
Honestly, at first glance, the bike had me more than impressed. Resembling a machine straight out of an action movie, its stunning looks enraptured me so much that Robin had to cut my focus in between with “Are you ready”?? Yes, I was ready indeed!! If you are too, then read on to find out about my complete experience behind the handle bars of the remarkable new KTM Duke 390.
KTM Duke 390 Road Test Images
Design and Colour Variants
If I had the choice of describing the design of new KTM 390 in just one word, it would be “savage” and I mean it in a good way of course. Resembling nothing short of a savage beast, the edginess of its new body is sleek yet sharp at the same time. Carrying a superbly stunning design, it’s bound to leave a great impression on its onlookers regardless of their age.
It seems inspired from Ducati’s Monster and you can’t help but be reminded of the same the moment you behold the motorbike. However, the Duke 390 has managed to pick up those sleek edges of the Monster rather well – made it its own by polishing it into something which can only be considered a brilliant work of mechanical art.
The motorbike features an electric start and many other upgrades worth mentioning. The split headlight design of the motorcycle is eye catching. An aluminium colon placed perfectly in between, it keeps the heat generated by the bulbs under control. The tank looks very mean and muscular and right underneath is its trellis frame in trademark blazing orange colour. The sub-frame has exposed bolts in this version and the exhaust is slung to its side.
Another top feature to stand out on the motorcycle is that it has an upgraded instrument panel in form of TFT LCD. Also, the machine comes with smartphone tethering options which lets you manage your incoming calls efficiently. This again adds up to deliver a state-of-the-art design to the Duke 390. The seats of the motorcycle place its rider and pillion in comfortable positions which again in case looking to travel long distance on the bike.
When it comes to colour choices, you have just two options to choose from. The Duke 390 is made available in shades of white and orange intermixed with black in both. The motorcycle looks fantastic in both but I’ll definitely recommend the classic orange tank version as it looks essentially a KTM brat in this version. So, in this segment, the Duke 390 has outdone its older sibling and only raised the bar for its counterparts.
Performance and Handling
No prizes for guessing that Duke range of bikes have already carved a niche in India’s market for motorbikes. The Duke 390 has become one of its most coveted models and its previous version had garnered some fabulous reviews from riders and critics alike. The climate and roads of India pose an ultimate challenge for any motorcycle to get through. Getting rave reviews for clearing it, is like an equivalent of attaining a PH.D in performance and handling segment for a motorbike.
At just 149 kilograms, the Duke 390 is as light as a motorcycle can get. This is quite a feat in mechanical engineering for KTM. The sound of its exhaust again resembles any motorcycle out there which is a racer’s delight. The exhaust produced raw, meaty notes once I started the bike and as I disengaged its clutch, it rendered into motion effortlessly. It wasn’t until I pushed on acceleration that truly got to experience the taste of its raw and beastly power.
While riding it in city between traffic, the bike was a bit difficult to manage at low speed. Being so light and loaded on power, it kept pushing for acceleration. However, the controls functioned immaculately and everything from its brakes to clutch made cutting between traffic hassle free. The gears switched smoothly and suspensions were great in encountering speed bumps and ditches on the road. So far… so good!
Now, was the time to test whether the Duke 390 does actually live up to the KTM’s tagline of “ready to race”? Out on the highway, it was me who was in control of the beast and I challenged it into giving its best. On revving up its 373 cc engine, it roared with energy and jetted ahead. Just under 6 seconds, it went from 0-100 and zoomed past other vehicles making them appear like blurred lines. The entire 6 gears switched without any disruptions at this speed too (except the buttons on panel felt a little stiff to press) and its LCD monitor did a fantastic job in displaying vital information along side. Now, this is the kind of performance one would expect off of a KTM!
Everything about the 2017 KTM Duke 390 is radical. Same goes for its smart TFT colour screen which takes care of everything from displaying its speed to managing other functions on the bike. So, when the motorbike hit 100kmph, it felt like it was only warming up for something really spectacular.
On taking the hint I pushed on acceleration further and was I right!?? The speed clearly read 169 when the Duke 390 finally decided to let go. At this point it felt like the bike was really ripping through the wind, with its engine high on adrenaline and begging me to take it easy. A splendid performance – delivered.
Mileage per Litre and Fuel Tank Capacity
The fuel tank of all new KTM Duke 390 is made of steel and comes with a capacity to store in 13.4 litres of petrol with reserve combined. This is quite adequate enough considering most bikes in the category have similar storage capacity.
When it comes to going the distance, the motorbike delivers a little over 20 kilometres per litre in city traffic and goes up till 26 on expressways. This isn’t too great and not too bad either considering it boasts of a powerful engine.
Details and Specifications
When you dig into the details of the new 2017 KTM Duke 390, you’ll find that KTM has in fact upgraded it quite nicely. It can definitely be called the better Duke when compared to its older version. The headlamps have received a complete makeover and the speedometer has gone full colour, which only adds to its fancy new design. The new exhaust system and its placement make it look much edgier and goes on to compliment the overall masculine stance.
The revised BS-1V motor delivers and its ride-by-wire throttle promises a smooth acceleration and better control of the bike. Apart from this, a lot of parts such as the brakes, tyres and suspensions have been upgraded on quality and seem durable. The colour and graphics on the bike are on point and render the motorcycle into a visual feast.
Technical specifications of 2017 KTM Duke 390 are as follows
- Engine: 373.2 cc, BSIV, Single Cylinder, 4 stroke, spark ignition, Liquidcooled
- Max power: 43.5 Ps @ 9000 rpm
- Max torque: 37 Nm @ 7000 rpm
- Front suspension: WP upside-down Ø 43 mm
- Rear suspension: WP monoshock
- Front breaks: Four-piston radial fixed calliper, brake disc 320 mm
- Rear breaks: Single-piston floating calliper, brake disc 230 mm
- Front tyres: 110/70 X 17
- Rear tyres: 150/60 X 17
- Ground clearance: 178 mm
- Fuel tank: 13.4 litres (Tank+Reserve)
- Head lamp: Projector Headlamps
- Dimensions in mm: length = 1978 mm, width = 688 mm, height = 1098 mm
- Kerb weight: 149 kilograms
In its Duke range, KTM has a bike for everyone and especially those who are on a budget. Starting with 200cc, it goes up to 1290cc. However, if you’ve your heart set on the Duke 390, then be prepared to shell out Rs. 2.30 lacs in New Delhi (GST included).
The on-road price of the KTM Duke 390 after you’ve paid for the road tax, RTO and insurance will shoot up by Rs. 25000 more. So, the overall price would add up to around Rs. 2.55 lacs in total.
Other Features and Accessories
Along with the bike, company provides its main key and a duplicate one in a custom KTM keychain. Apart from this a user manual is provided which also will help keep track of service record of your bike in future. Also, a faux leather document holder is provided to keep all the papers in place. Other accessories such as jackets and helmet will have to be purchased separately.
Pros and Cons
Although the KTM Duke 390 did a commendable job and scored straight A’s in most of the tests, there were some aspects where I feel it has room for improvement. In following points we break down its biggest highs and lows.
- Lightweight yet powerful at the same time
- Brilliant upgrades from its previous version, both on design and parts
- Priced feasibly
- Not that great on mileage
- Not so city friendly
- Need a service for proper cleaning every single time
KTM has proved its mettle quite audaciously ever since its Indian debut back in 2012. It instantly struck a chord with the younger generation and its Duke range of naked motorcycles was embraced with arms wide open. So much that when the launch of second generation KTM Duke 390 was announced, many (including me) were really curious to know everything about it has to offer.
Hence, after driving, testing and making it toil hard out in the ferocious Indian summer heat, I do testify that the 2017 KTM Duke 390 has only bettered with time. It is everything I want in a motorcycle. It’s dependable, razor sharp and rides like a sports bike should. The new Duke 390 is as close as you can get to experiencing the thrill of racing and riding hard, especially if don’t have a big spending budget for a sports bike. In the golden words of KTM itself, “This is not a toy bike. It is a genuine motorcycle”. So, are you ready to race??
— Rahul Chauhan
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