What’s appreciable about the new 390 Duke:
-Sharper, aggressive and ferocious looks.
-A split headlight setup with 6 LEDs and a DRL.
-Improvised digital console displays more information and can connect to your phone for various functions.
-Offers different riding modes.
-The CAN bus setup wiring which is helpful for the central connectivity of the total bike.
-Ride by wire results in a more refined riding experience.
-Refined engine than the earlier version.
-Improved heat management system.
-Bigger and effective brakes than the predecessor.
What does 390 Duke miss out on?
-Heavier than the old duke by a huge margin.
-Way more expensive than the old 390 Duke.
-Slightly decreased top speed.
-Those who love the throaty exhaust note are going to miss it as the exhaust note has been silenced.
The 390 Duke was launched at INR 1,95,000 (ex-showroom-Delhi) and became a massive hit as it gave most power for the money. It was the bike for the speed enthusiasts who wanted more power than the
market had but thought super bikes could be affordable. So the 390 Duke became the choice for these rides. There was no naked bike with so much of a power at the time when the 390 Duke made its debut in the market. This bike’s success actually paved way for the launch of bike above 300 cc segment in India and the market soon saw the launch of bikes like Dominar, Ninja 300 and the RC390. With notable upgrades in the debut version of 390 Duke in India, KTM launched the new 390 Duke at INR 2,29,000 (ex-showroom Delhi) with many changes in the year 2017 to stand its position in the market. So to find out if the new duke can hold its throne, we took both the bikes for a short spin. And here’s what we feel about the bike.
Looks and Ergonomics
To start with colors the new duke comes in two variants which are white and orange which were
white and black in the earlier version. The new 390 Duke has changed in a lot of aspects from the
earlier model. The new 390 Duke has a seat height of 830 mm which was 800 mm earlier and the ground clearance has been increased from 170 mm to 185 mm. The new duke weighs 163 kg as opposed to 154 kg in the older duke, mainly due to the metal fuel tank in the new duke. The new fuel tank a bigger and accommodates 13.5 litres of petrol. The new Duke gets a side mounted exhaust
instead of the underbelly echaust. The new duke turns in sharper as the wheelbase has been
reduced from 1367 mm to 1357 mm.
The headlamps of both versions are AHOs but you get a split headlight setup with LEDs in the new one which makes it look extraterrestrial. The setup is pretty much brighter and better. Both have the same sleek LED indicators which are the best in class. Just like the headlamps, the tail light has also been split.
The switch gear used is of excellent quality and feels great to touch. The handlebar remains the same. It is a straight one with sufficient width. The grips on the handlebar are nice. Both have the knuckle protectors but the new one comes in orange as opposed the white in the old one. The front brake and the clutch levers are now adjustable. The seats are still split but are of superior build quality than the old duke and promises a happy rider and pillion butt. The tail has been narrowed to give a sleeker appearance but you cannot tie a bungee to it for carrying luggage for the rides. The chassis is also split and is painted in orange and white giving it a menacing look. It certainly grabs viewer’s attention.
One of the most significant upgrade is the LCD digital console. The older duke had plenty of
information already but the new instrument console just packs so much more! The console has 2 trip
meters. It displays fuel consumed and the trip time along with the average speed for each trip. The
circular tachometer changes color according to the rpm and looks really cool. It also has a temperature gauge, fuel indicator (inside the rpm circle), gear indicator at the top right corner and obviously the speed. The speed is boldly and clearly displayed at the center. The main feature of the console is that it can be connected to the phone so that we can see who is calling, phone battery indicator as well as signal strength . The arrow indicated switches on the left side of the handle are used to control everything from changing the time to choosing the riding mode you want. The supermoto mode just changes the abs setting and does not alter the power delivery. The DRL and the shift light can be configured too in the new Duke.
The foot-pegs have been replaced and the foot protectors are made up of plastics. They don’t seem to be strong but this is a boon if you meet with an accident, the chassis will not get damaged. Just the foot-pegs can be replaced as they are bolted on to the assembly . The side mounted exhaust looks good but takes away the sound in the initial rpms however in the higher revs, the bike just roars!
Engine and Performance
The new 390 Duke is powered by a BS4 compliant, 6 speed single cylinder 373.2 cc, liquid cooled, fuel
injected engine. It produces 42.9 bhp @ 9000 rpm and 37 Nm of torque @ 7000 rpm which was 42.9 bhp @9 500rpm and a torque of 35 Nm @ 7250 rpm. In fact, the new bike is punchier and the power is situated in the lower rpm. The new Duke sports 43mm USD forks in the front but the travel has been reduced from 150 mm to 142mm i.e. the ride will be stiffer.
In the braking department, the new duke gets a bigger 320 mm disc and it has taken the braking game to a whole new level whereas the rear disc remains 230mm. Well both have ABS as standard but the new duke has a rider mode called supermoto in which the ABS for the rear wheel is switched off which was absent in the earlier version but both come with a ABS which can be switched off completely. Both the dukes have 110/70 front and 150/60 rear tyre and a 17 inch alloys with orange coating. The new duke has a refined engine and comes with a ride by wire technology which improves the power lag during the on off throttle transition which helps in improving the track time but for a non-track rider it helps with the refinement. A mileage of 25-30 kmpl can be expected from the new duke which was 20-27 kmpl in the older duke. The vibrations have been reduced significantly and the heat management is well taken care of in the new 390 Duke. In simple words, the new duke will beat the previous version on the track.
The new 390 Duke may be expensive but brings a whole lot of features and upgrades which totally justify the cost. KTM has delivered an unmatched product and we recommend this bike to anyone looking out for a naked motorcycle with power, features and style quotient. Our Team gives a thumbs up for this Orange Rocket.
We would like to thank Kedar Redkar and Amit Zaware for helping us with the comparison and sharing their personal experiences with their motorcycles. Do follow them on Instagram. We have mentioned their insta handles-
Ketan Redkar: ketan._.grx
Amit zaware: amit_bikernomad