Austrian bike maker KTM and India’s Bajaj auto joined hands and came out with high performance, race-oriented, and stylish bike, KTM Duke 390.
During KTM Duke 390’s launch event in 2012, KTM’s CEO Stefan Pierer interacted with media and shared his opinion that their joint venture with Bajaj will help them sell stylish motorcycles in saturated markets around the world. Soon, KTM Duke 390 became India’s first high-end super bike to be sold in the US market.
Bike’s concept is Austrian, but its design and other aspects were made in India, by Bajaj. KTM and Bajaj have also manufactured and sold Duke 125, and Duke 200 in India and certain European countries.
Bike’s latest version is known as Duke 390 – 2015. Some experts feel that Duke 390 is Duke 200’s next variant. But 390’s body graphics, LEDs used in indicators, lower seat, bigger fuel tank, combined with 17 inch alloy wheels do differentiate it from Duke’s other orange bikes.
Engine and other specifications
Most of the Indian bikes appear impressive on paper and on their manufacturer’s websites; unfortunately they turn out to be nothing different from other existing bikes on the street. But Duke 390 with its 375 cc engine is not just another bike meant for Indian roads.
Bike’s ground clearance is 170 mm, and weight is 139 KG. In-order to get real taste of this bike’s power, it is advisable to either go to nearby test track, or opt for highway that has less traffic. Its 6-speed gearbox, 4-stroke water cooled engine blend perfectly with each other, you won’t even notice when you pass 150 KMPH mark.
Gearbox follows one-down-five-up pattern. Bike offers mileage of around 30 KMPL, and its fuel tank can store 11 litres of petrol. Lower seat and handles offer comfortable journey even during long rides.
Disc brake with its four pot brake caliper manages the bike’s front brake. Floating brake discs with one pot brake caliper manage the bike’s rear brake. Steel braided hydraulic lines are used to control both brakes.
Its powder-coated, tubular space steel frame is light in weight. Bike’s front up-side down fork and shock absorber are made by WP Suspension. Overall, the suspension system does manage to absorb bumps.
DUKE 390’s digital dashboard consists of tachometer, odometer, trip meter, and most importantly, it also shows speed and fuel level. Bike’s side stand indicator also seems helpful. It is advisable to keep an eye on bike’s speed, as its three chambered silencer won’t let you realize your bike’s speed from engine’s roar.
KTM Duke 390 is often compared with Honda CBR 250R ABS, the Royal Enfield Classic, Kawasaki Ninja 300R and Hyosung GT 250R. According to car and bike experts, Duke KTM 390 is one step ahead of others in the segment when it comes to performance.
Compared with Kawasaki Ninja 300, KTM 390 looks smaller in size. But KTM 390’s digital dash board is considered better compared to that offered by Kawasaki Ninja 300 R.
User reviews suggest that riders prefer Kawasaki instead of Duke 390 while travelling through day to day traffic on city roads.
Anyway, Duke 390 does not seem to be the bike that common man can use for his daily commuting needs, unless he can afford to spend Rs 24,000 for a pair of Metzeler Sportec M5 tyres. Some critics also hate the fact that certain parts from Pulsar are used in 390. But when it comes to power and price, Duke 390 is better and affordable.
If you have sufficient money in your locker, and wish to buy “real” bike in India, KTM Duke 390 can definitely prove helpful to make your weekends more exciting while on off road ride.
2015 Specifications and Prices
Type: 1-cylinder, 4-stroke engine
Valvetrain: 4 valve
Power: 43PS at 9000 rpm
Torque: 35NM at 7000 rpm
Compression Ratio: 9.2 : 1
Clutch: Wet multi-disc clutch
Top speed: 167kmph
Suspension(F): WP upside-down 43 mm
Suspension(R): WP monoshock
Brakes(F): 300 mm Disc
Brakes(R): 230 mm Disc
Seat height: 800mm
Tank capacity: 11l
L x W x H: 1980 mm x 750 mm x 1080 mm
Kerb Weight: 139kg
Ground Clearance: 170 mm