One of the most debatable topics is – Which bike is better – Bajaj Dominar 400 or KTM 390 Duke? Some people believe that both the motorcycles get same engine, in fact some even say that Bajaj has copied it entirely from KTM. But that’s not the case. Even if the Dominar’s engine block is based on the same engine block as the 390 Duke, it has been heavily tuned and can be referred as a derivative only. We genuinely feel that the KTM 390 Duke is the only worthy competitor for Dominar 400. Let’s find out which bike is is suitable for you-
Starting with the physical appearance, the Bajaj Dominar 400 is beefy and makes it presence felt. On scale, the Dominar measures 2,156 mm in length, 813 mm in width and 1,112 mm in height while the KTM 390 Duke is 2,145 mm in length, 760 mm in width and 800 mm in height. The Dominar 400 looks muscular and mighty but the 390 Duke is sharper and sheeny. The Dominar comes in three colour options – Rock Matte Black, Glacier Blue and Canyon Red while the Duke is offered in two colours only- white and orange. The Dominar 400 is bigger and hence it weighs more than 390 Duke. The 390 Duke weighs 163 kilograms only, thanks to its split trellis frame. On the other hand, the Dominar 400 weighs 182 kilograms (almost as much as RE Classic 350). Hence, the 390 Duke has got better handling and feels more confident around the corners. The Dominar 400 has a 13 litres fuel tank while the 390 Duke gets a 13.4 litres fuel tank. The Dominar has an upright riding posture as it is a sports-tourer. The Duke has an aggressive, forward biased riding posture. Even though both the motorcycles get full LED headlamps, Dominar lives up to its tagline- Dominate the night and the illumination is relatively better than the Duke.
Now, let’s discuss how the engines are different. The 373.3 cc SOHC Triple Spark 4-valve liquid cooled DTS-i engine of Dominar 400 produces maximum power of 35 PS @ 8,000 rpm and a peak torque of 35 Nm @ 6,500 rpm. The 373.2 cc, liquid cooled engine of 390 Duke produces maximum power of 43.6 PS @ 9,000 rpm and a peak torque of 37 Nm @ 7,000 rpm. Its pretty clear now that 390 Duke is more powerful and faster than Dominar 400. The former has recorded a top-speed of 167 kmph while the later has managed to reach 148 kmph. But this does not mean that Dominar is slow either. The Dominar clocks 100 kmph in 8.23 seconds and is capable of cruising at 120+ kmph all day long tirelessly. At lower speeds, there is a constant need to downshift the gears. The vibrations are relatively well-tackled in 390 Duke than Dominar 400. Talking about gears, both bikes have 6-speed transmission and get slipper clutch which is a must for all the ambitious riders.
The instrument cluster of Dominar 400 is a split one (partly on fuel tank and partly mounted over handlebar) and displays sufficient information, but the instrument cluster of 390 Duke is whole different level – displays fuel consumed, duration and average speed of each trip, connects to the phone, displays network & battery charge and the tachometer changes colour with change in rpm. Adding on to it, the 390 Duke gets WP USD suspension in the front against the telescopic suspension on Dominar 400. Here too, the 390 Duke has an edge over Dominar 400. Talking about the fuel efficiency, the Dominar 400 goes about 29 km in a litre of petrol while 390 Duke manages to cover 27 km in a litre of petrol. Ok, so Dominar 400 is slightly better here. The braking system is taken care 320 mm and 230 mm disc brakes in front and rear for both the bikes and both the motorcycles are equipped with ABS. The switch gear on the Duke looks premium and feels good to touch while the one on Dominar is just ordinary.
At last, lets compare the PRICE. The Dominar 400 is priced at INR 1,58,000 and the 390 Duke is priced at INR 2,29,000. A price difference of INR 71,000 seems too much, isn’t it? Here, one must understand that the value propositions of both the motorcycles is different. The Bajaj Dominar 400 has been launched as a value for money tourer, capable of mile-munching tirelessly above 100 kmph. If you are planning to buy a bike for long rides, Dominar 400 is the bike for you undoubtedly. On the other hand, the KTM 390 Duke is an aggressive, naked streetfighter which is more of a sportier sort and is meant to move around swiftly in the city and small rides. The 390 Duke is a machine to be ridden by experienced riders as the pick-up and speed are exceptionally great. Its riding posture is not suitable for long rides. Keeping in mind the power figures, built quality, the upgraded instrument cluster, USD suspension and other features, the price of 390 Duke is definitely justified. If budget is a constraint, there’s absolutely no need to be disheartened, Bajaj Dominar 400 would keep you happy too 😉 ;-).
Here’s the full specifications list-
|DOMINAR 400||390 Duke|
|Dimensions||Length||2156 mm||2145 mm|
|Width||813 mm||760 mm|
|Height||1112 mm||800 mm|
|Wheelbase||1453 mm||1357 mm|
|Ground clearance||157 mm||175 mm|
|Kerb weight||182 kg||163 kg|
|Fuel capacity||13 Litres||13.4 Litres|
|Engine||Type||Triple spark, DTS-i engine, closed fuel injection, liquid cooled||Single Cylinder, 4 Stroke, liquid cooled|
|Max power||35 PS @ 8000 RPM||43.6 PS @ 9000 RPM|
|Max torque||35 Nm @ 6500 RPM||37 Nm @ 7000 RPM|
|Clutch||Slipper Clutch||PASC Slipper Clutch|
|Gearbox||6 speed||6 speed|
|Braking System & Tyres||Brakes front (mm)||Dual-channel ABS, 320 dia disc||Dual-channel ABS, 320 dia disc|
|Brakes rear (mm)||230 dia disc||230 dia disc|
|Chassis & Suspension||Frame||Beam type Perimeter||Split trellis frame, powder coated|
|Front Suspension||Telescopic, 43 mm||WP USD, 43 mm|
|Rear Suspension||Multi-step adjustable Mono Shock||WP monoshock|
|Electricals||Battery||12V, 8Ah VRLA||12 V|
|Headlamp||Full LED with Auto Headlamp On (AHO)||Full LED with Auto Headlamp On (AHO)|