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KTM 390 Duke Review.

We recently sampled the 390 Duke streetbike and The edgy, aggressive 390 Duke is similarly styled to its sibling, the 200 Duke, bright orange rims marking the easiest way to tell the new 390 apart.The muscular,flamboyant 390 is a compact, modern day motorcycle with a weight tipped forward stance.

A wee little visor protects the dinky, digital instruments bay. Reading the tiny display counter isn’t as simple as it should be, more so when riding fast, as riders will find is often the case on the 390 Duke.

Although the speedometer is always clearly seen, the cascading type rev counter is hard to follow. The 390’s bold, red shift warning beacon proves very helpful when pushing the 390 Duke, as this is such a quick revving motorcycle, more so in first and second gears, that it’s easy to run into the spoilsport rev limiter when riding the bike hard. Be the First to do something Different.

 The 390 comes with a tapered alloy handlebar, and illuminated, crisp working switches that along with a bright headlight prove attractive looking at night. Dog-leg shaped control levers and functional rear view mirrors are standard, these neatly mounted on rubber boot protected stalks.

There’s plenty of alloy, including a smart swingarm, several sub-frame sections and your brake and gearshift pedals. The 390 comes with split seats, a contemporary tail-fairing, slim brake warning light and outstretched number plate mount mounted above a tyre hugger. Overall quality feels just as good on the Indian bike as from our ride in Austria, not surprising when you consider all 390’s are produced here at Bajaj. Likewise, fit-finish and attention-to-detail are also top notch. The 390 Duke uses a liquid-cooled powerplant, a four-stroke, 373.2cc, single-cylinder engine with dual overhead camshafts driving a quartet of valves.

The India bike uses an enhanced cooling system, for our torrid conditions and we’ve faced no overheating issues this far. There’s a forged piston and Nikasil coated cylinder for enhanced performance. Peak power output is a healthy 43.5 bhp at 9000rpm, and the 390 makes 3.57kgm of torque at 7000rpm. The 390’s six-speed transmission shifts smoothly at all times, with a well weighted feel. The gearbox operates in a one-down and 5-up, toe shifted pattern. Power is transmitted to the rear wheel via an X-ring sealed drive chain. Unlike the 200 which is geared short, the close packed gear ratios on the 390 feel so much taller, making the 390 a more relaxed bike to ride.

The bike scythes through crowded traffic effortlessly, with engaging of its top two gears inappropriate under 45kph. Best performance is unleashed by short-shifting up through the gearbox, keeping revs just under redline, in the meat of the wide powerband. The 390 provides seriously quick acceleration, blasting past 60kph from rest in 2.47 seconds and easily holding respectable cruising speeds of well over 100kph. The rev counter hovers around 7000rpm when holding 130kph in sixth gear, and 5000rpm at 100kph. We took the 390 Duke up to a true indicated top speed of 162kph in sixth. The new KTM engine is impressive, with a rorty and baritone exhaust note, this bike is sure to turn Heads No matter how you ride it.

Frame     Tubular space frame made from chrome molybdenum steel, powder-coated
Fork     WP Suspension Up Side Down
Shock absorber     WP Monoshock
Suspension travel Front     150 mm
Suspension travel Rear     150 mm
Brake system Front     Disc brake with four-pot brake caliper
Brake system Rear     Disc brake with one-pot brake caliper, floating brake discs
Brake discs - diameter Front     300 mm
Brake discs - diameter Rear     230 mm
Chain     5/8 x 1/4” (520) X‑Ring
Steering head angle     65°
Wheel base     1,367±15 mm
Ground clearance (unloaded)     170 mm
Seat height (unloaded)     800 mm
Total fuel tank capacity approx.     11 l
Unleaded premium fuel (95 RON)
Weight without fuel approx.     139 kg

Design     1-cylinder 4-stroke engine, water-cooled
Displacement     373.2 cm³
Bore     89 mm
Stroke     60 mm
Performance     32 kW (43 hp)
Starting aid     Electric starter
Transmission     6 speed, claw shifted
Engine lubrication     Forced oil lubrication with 2 Eaton pumps
Primary gear ratio     30:80
Secondary gear ratio     14:45
Cooling system     Liquid cooling system, continuous circulation of cooling liquid with water pump
Clutch     Wet multi-disc clutch / mechanically operated
Ignition system     Contactless, controlled, fully electronic ignition system with digital ignition timing adjustment.


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