KTM 390 Duke: First Ride
We bring you an exhaustive ride report of the KTM 390 Duke!
Having already been introduced to the Duke 200 by KTM, many Indian bikers have been waiting with bated breath for the launch of the bigger 390 Duke. But it’s not only the enthusiasts in the country who represent the eager bunch. In fact, its very own maker KTM Sportsmotorcycle AG too is sufficiently inclined to unleash the more ferocious sibling to the world.
It is heavily banking on this machine as it prepares to launch the built-in-India motorcycle not just in selective markets, like it did with the younger siblings the 125 and the 200 Duke, but across 80 countries worldwide where it will share dealership space with all other KTM motorcycles. There is a lot riding on the 390 Duke for KTM as the Austrian bike-maker commences its onslaught on the street market after having globally led the charge in the off-road segment for over five decades now. Also Read: KTM 390 Duke launched at Rs 1.80 lakh
KTM 390 Duke. ZigWheels First Ride Pics!
We ride the latest offering from the stables of KTM in its heartland Salsburg,Austria, the 390 Duke
The 390 Duke is aimed at plugging the gap between the 200cc and the 600cc segments bringing with it strong performance in a lightweight framework offering form and function for the street
On the outside, the 390 Duke is identical to its younger sibling, the 200, barring minor changes to the graphics on the tank, all-new white paint scheme and the wheels and the steel trellis frame powder coated in trademark KTM orange
Thumb the starter and one can instantly figure that the engine note is raspier and the exhaust is significantly louder over the 200 Duke
Unlike the 200 Duke wherein one had to stay in the short powerband of the machine in order to keep the thrust handy, thanks to the capacity hike and solid torque output, 390 Duke offers a wide powerband
A significant change which will appeal to most Indian biker junta is the tall sixth gear ratio, which hands the 390 Duke with some solid touring capabilities for our roads
While the 200 Duke felt out of breath at 138km/h, the 390 Duke can reach a top whack upwards of 170km/h while sustaining triple digits cruising speeds effortlessly in sixth gear
Turning directions with minimal effort, the 390 Duke was a hoot on the narrow country roads carrying precise lines around corners thanks to its lightweight build backed by incredible throw of power and torque providing incredible levels of excitement
KTM has managed to deliver a compact and lightweight 375cc motor which weighs only 36kg and allows them to use the same ultra light steel trellis chassis of the 125/200 even for the larger 390 Duke
The KTM 390 Duke employs Brembo developed Bybre 300mm disc brakes with ABS on front
Unlike the 200 which runs on MRF rubber, the cast alloy 17-inch wheels on the 390 Duke will come to India shod with Metzeler Sportec M5 Interact tyres employing a 110/70-17 on the front and 150/60-17 on the rear
For the stunt crazy lads out there who prefer one wheeling over two, the trick to turn off the ABS is to slot the motorcycle into the neutral gear while the engine is running and to keep the button pressed until the ABS light on the display starts to blink. ABS De-activated.
Turning is sharp on the 390, it is not twitchy and offers excellent road holding and stability even at speeds well above 140km/h, which is largely attributed to the 1,367mm wheelbase – a 6mm increase over the 200 Duke
The saddle height on the 390 is dropped by 10mm and it now measures at 800mm making it even more comfortable for short riders
Both the suspension units are developed by KTM’s subsidiary WP or White Power Suspension from Austria and are made by WP’s Indian partners, Endurance
To sum it up, the 390 Duke indeed packs in a lot more firepower over its younger sibling although without adding more mass and not requiring any extra efforts when on the saddle
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