KTM has launched 7 of its products in India and gave the riders the feel of street racing by their powerful products. The Duke 200, Duke 390, RC 200, RC 390 Upgraded RC 390 and recently launched Duke 250 alongside updated Duke 390 are its consistently launched products that KTM has been serving to their Indian riders. We are going to throw our leg over the new KTM Duke 390, let us find out what new the riders are going to have in 2017 Duke 390.
Design And Looks: The very first glance of the bike shows the aesthetic look and also the feel of a strong motorcycle due to its beautiful steel trellis frame. With the color combinations of, orange, black and white, the motorcycle absolutely looks stunning. Having the same color (orange) alloy wheels actually completes the bike and separates it from other motorcycles. These color combinations has actually became the sign of KTM motorcycles. Even a far sight of the motorcycle can make people know which motorcycle is coming.
Being a racing brand KTM never misses out anything to provide their riders the feel of a proper racing motorbike, the perfect aerodynamic built of the bike shows that. From front to back it is completely an aerodynamic motorcycle which really helps the rider to pass through. The sharp headlight contains beautiful white DRLs LED lamps. Actually it has got 3 lamps, one which gets on as you switch on the ignition the other two are the upper and dipper which glows when you switch the engine on. A beautiful LED taillight placed just below the rear seat. It too looks different from the previous KTMs, and so does the whole bike. The front side indicators are placed just below the digital meter console and above the headlamp. The whole motorcycle is too sharp and so do its indicators.
When you get over the bike it completely mesmerizes you because of its exotic style and the immense 13.5 Ltrs. fuel tank. The tank looks huge with the sharp and aerodynamic air scoops, which actually gives the muscular look to the motorcycle. The 2017 Duke is different from its previous ones and so we can notice it by looking to the exhaust, previously launched Dukes were having underbelly exhaust system but the 2017 Duke 390 has got a beautiful, short and beefy exhaust which actually looks really cool and sporty.
Instrument Cluster & Switchgear: The new KTM Duke 390 has got a very beautiful 5 inches TFT digital display as the meter console, well just not the meter console it is, the whole new experience the rider is going to get because it has got the feature of the mobile connectivity, Yes you can connect your cell phone with your bike via RideMYKTM App and can easily know about the phone calls you are getting because it is going to display on your bike’s meter console. You can easily make it out which call is to be answered and which is not. So your girlfriend is never gonna be mad at you for not receiving her call, you have to use the App to have a word with your loved ones even when you are riding. Though we should not talk over the phone while riding but yes this feature is helpful and at least we can make it out who has called us and so that we could call them later. Also you can control the music by using the look alike remote buttons on the left side of the handle bar. Apart from this feature, several indicators are also there like, ABS on\off, Fuel gauge, Gear shiftings, Low engine oil indicator, Trip meter, Side stand indicator, Clock, Engine kill switch on\off indicator, Voltmeter for the battery, and yes Speedometer and Odometer that actually looks really cool.
The best and my favorite feature is yet to be discussed and that is the automatic adjustments of the brightness of digital meter, as we have tested the bike on a rainy day low light due to overcast gave us opportunity to experience this useful feature. The fonts on the display increases and decreases according to the need followed by the lightning conditions.
Apart from the display the Duke has got several switches on board like Engine Kill switch and the Self Start button (on the right side of the handle bar) and four buttons to operate the display, Horn switch, and Pass button has got the control of the upper and dipper of the headlamp (on the left side of the handle bar).
Ergonomics: Being a legendary racing brand KTM always focuses on to provide its customers a perfect blend of racing experience and fun. And for that they has got a really effective idea, i.e. the lightweight motorcycle performs faster and optimum power can be experienced unilaterally. And so it is also known as the brand having motorbikes with the “Best Power To Weight Ratio”. All together a light motorcycle having a kerb weight of 163 kg. when rolls over the road seems even lighter.
The single wide handlebar offers a sporty feel and is extremely comfortable, the level of comfort has also been increased by the soft split seat which actually looks small but can easily accommodate both rider and pillion. The foam of the seat is firm enough for trouble free ride.
The motorcycle is essentially a roadster but every enthusiast who dreams for long rides the 2017 Duke 390 can become perfect partner in their crime. The chiseled and comfortable footpegs accommodate the boots with ease and help in shifting gears and applying brakes. Though the rubber seems a little hard but it was okay and I must say they are certainly better than the previous ones. The overall height of the bike is 1274 mm which makes it ride able for various size of riders.
Engine And Performance: Discussing about the technical specifications the, bike has got the same outgoing 373.2 CC single cylinder liquid cooled engine having 4 valves in it. Well the bike churns out the power of 43.5 PS @9000 RPM and 37 NM of torque @7000 RPM. Having a 6 speed manual gear transmission the 2017 Duke 390 has also got some outstanding features like, the Slipper Clutch technology and EVAP system. Slipper clutch technology is basically a technology which reduces the probability of wheel lock while shifting gears from higher one to the lower one. Also due to this technology the trouble of Throttle Blipping has been reduced considerably while downshifting. Previously launched KTMs were not being liked for the exhaust sound they produce but the 2017 Duke 390 is a different story altogether. To comply the BS IV norms the bike has got a side slung exhaust which has actually changed the sound of the bike drastically and this is something where KTM should had worked longtime ago. And now the new Duke is absolutely ready to gain the attention of the crowd due to its bassy sound. Coming to another technology used in the 2017 Duke 390 is the EVAP system, let us go through what exactly the EVAP system is-
The term EVAP stands for, Evaporative Emission Control System. Well it sounds little technical and a term that cannot be understood easily, but this is actually a technology that reduces the loss of the fuel from the motorcycle. Basically it is a technology used in cars since passed many decades but motorcycles have got this feature recently and is seriously a very helpful technology.
Now the question is that how it actually works? The answer of the question is hidden under the term itself, the Evaporative Emission Control System prevents the motorcycle’s fuel to be lost due to evaporation from the fuel tank and from the hose pipes. Actually the fuel tanks (from inside) are coated with the Charcoal Canister which has capability to absorb the fumes generated underneath tank, and whenever we open the tank in order to fill the fuel those fumes get in contact with oxygen and evaporates which was seriously an unnoticeable loss till the date, according to the analyses 2-5% of fuel is being lost due to the same process.
RELATED ARTICLE: Motorcycle EVAP System Explained
KTM, along with the racing experience has also provided there riders this fuel efficient technology which is seriously a much needed feature. The countryside long and clear asphalt made the ride so mesmerizing and allowed me to get the most out of the bike and it seriously made me succumbed in front of it.
Brakes And Suspension: The lightweight midsize bikes like KTM Duke 390 get power with full galore and so the brands have to take care about the safety of the rider, the pillion as well as the bike and for that each manufacturer keeps on working to make its product more and more safer and so does KTM.
Disk brakes were known as the safest feature for every vehicle but now the time has got changed and ultimately more upgraded, more powerful motorcycles are ruling over the market therefore the immense power can not only be controlled just by the disk brakes. So a new technology has been introduced to make the bikes trust worthy in case of safety measures. Yes, we are talking about the ABS technology, the ABS (Anti Lock Braking System) is truly an overwhelming technology which has insured the safety to a great level.
Now a days ABS has became quite common, mostly it can be seen in the premium motorcycles. On the disk brakes there is a small ring placed which indicates that the bike is ABS equipped. We have explained how the ABS works in our previous reviews, you can refer to our article "Dual Channel Motorcycle ABS Explained" for more insight.
the ABS actually prevents the bike’s wheel to get locked under hard braking. This technology is extremely helpful for regular riders but not meant for the stunt riders. The 2017 Duke 390 is equipped with dual channel ABS and it comes only in ABS variant. This doesn’t mean that the stunt riders cannot experience and play with it. The new Duke 390 comes equipped with Switchable ABS. So, we can say the best in class motorcycle has got the best in class features as well so that no rider can miss out the experience of riding it. Let's talk about the suspensions, the 2017 Duke 390 has got Upside-down 43 mm front suspension and at the rear it has got (the adjustable) WP Monoshock, the rider can adjust the height of the bike by adjusting the monoshock to a certain level. Going through a clear asphalt is always easy but when the potholes and off roads are concerned the bike must be having good suspensions. Even on the long corners, the monoshock really helped me to lean the bike with full confidence. KTM isn’t just a racing brand but also known as the off road king due to its products so we can say the 2017 DUKE 390 is a complete package of experiences for the enthusiasts. Verdict:
KTM entered the Indian market, a decade ago and had truly dominated the whole biking fraternity in most effective way. Having just 7 (new as well as upgraded) products, the KTM has been pleasuring its customers with its lightweight and powerful motorcycles. The KTM didn’t only upgrade its old Duke 390 but also has upgraded the standards of riding in India.
The beautiful strong built, sporty color combinations, beautiful LEDs, immense power, upgraded technologies like ABS, EVAP, Slipper Clutch, and the most beautiful Meter console till the date has seriously changed and urged the level of biking. Launching the bike at a price tag of INR 2,26,000/ ex-showroom KTM has seriously didn’t leave any stone unturned. Everything the International racing brand KTM has provided to their customers at such an aggressive price point, I must say the bike is extremely gorgeous, powerful, efficient and value for money.
Review By: Haroon Mohd. Khan
Photographs By: Minhaj Ali