Defining the concept of upping the ante.

It’s been four years since KTM introduced the Duke series and since their launch, they haven’t received any big change except few cosmetic jobs that came in the form of new colour schemes. Yet, they sold like hot cakes.

Like we all expected, KTM unveiled the completely new 2017 Duke 390 at the EICMA motorcycle show last year, and it inevitably attracted all the attention because of its aggressive new sharper styling and plenty of exciting features.

The naked bike has gone through a decent amount of mechanical upgrades and surely has gone through a major overhaul regarding styling. The new Duke 390 has received its styling inspiration from the bigger and more aggressive 1290 Super Duke which happens to be the most powerful naked streetfighter in the class. The 390 is here to continue that legacy even at the bottom of the fight and doing so, KTM has made sure they leave everyone in the dust and bruised.

  • 2017 KTM Duke 390
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-1
  • Displacement:
    373.2 cc
  • Top Speed:
    104 mph
  • Price:
    5299
  • Price:
  • Overall:
    8.5/10

STYLING

left right
2015 KTM Duke 390 2017 KTM Duke 390
2017 KTM Duke 390 Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 719649

As aforementioned, the new Duke 390 borrows its styling inspiration from the more aggressive Super Duke. The first thing that will catch your attention on the new motorcycle is its new split LED headlamps which have made the front face look even more aggressive that what it already was. The split headlight unit gets a total of 20 separate LED’s, and an inverted U-shaped LED daytime running lamps.

There is an all new fuel tank design which is now made completely out of steel. This means that now you can easily affix your magnetic tank bag on it for those longer spells of the soul catching. The extended cowl will remind you of the Superduke’s silhouette, and the powder-coated Chromium-Molybdenum-Steel trellis frame is exposed to give that nakedness a sharp appeal. Moreover, it is now a dual colour split frame with bolt on the subframe where the tail section is longer and is chiselled to expose more of the detachable subframe.

2017 KTM Duke 390 Exterior
- image 719658
2017 KTM Duke 390 Exterior
- image 719669

Just behind the headlamp unit, you will also notice a completely new TFT instrument cluster which adapts its illumination automatically to the ambient lights. With a digital speedometer, fuel gauge and two trip meters, you also get an analogue tachometer, low fuel, oil and battery indicators and a high oil temperature indicator. Different modes for the various assistance systems can be selected using an illuminated menu switch on the left side of the handlebar. The instrument cluster can also be connected via the KTM App on your mobile phone to get call notification on the screen. The TFT display can also be used to change the songs on your mobile device with the help of the controls positioned on the handlebar.

The sharp front and rear end, the split LED headlamp, the new much more aggressive tank design, new colours and graphics all adds to the aggressive nature of the motorcycle making it even sharper looking than before. The ignition key will be tank mounted, and the bike gets a newly redesigned seat, and RC styled grab rails. The bike gets a new UV resistant paint job that will keep your ride looking fresh every time.

Overall Dimension

Make Model 2017 KTM Duke 390 Benelli TNT300 BMW G310R
Length 84.64 in 83.66 in 78.3 in
Width 29.9 in 31.5 in 35.3 in
Height 43.89 in 44.5 in 48.3 in
Wheelbase 53.42 in 58.8 in 56.6 in
Seat height 32.6 in 31.3 in 30.9 in
Wet weight 359 lb 432 lb 411 lb
Fuel Tank 3.5 gal 4.22 gal 2.9 gal

POWERTRAIN

2017 KTM Duke 390 Exterior
- image 719660

It might be slightly disappointing for some that KTM decided not to make any fuss about fidgeting with the powertrain much, but for people like me, there is absolutely no harm done. Why change a cracker of an engine when it is already performing like a maniac?

The 2017 Duke 390 will continue with the same 373cc, liquid cooled, single-cylinder engine which is capable of producing about 44 bhp @ 9,000 and 26.5 lb-ft of torque @ 7,000 rpm. Yes! The powertrain now makes 1 lb-ft of more torque. The single cylinder engine paired to a six-speed gearbox, with short ratios to make the bottom end as well as top-end performance much more thrilling.

2017 KTM Duke 390 Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 719657

The forged piston, Nikasil-cylinder-coating, balancer shaft and forced feed lubrication all give in for that 44 barking horses.It also gets double overhead camshaft which is constructed of high-quality materials and help provide full torque and superior acceleration while at the same time also keeps fuel consumption in check and makes it a daily good road machine.

This rev loving engine now gets the state-of-the-art tech that can make other contenders sweat in their pants. A new ride-by-wire system ensured excellent throttle response and smoother acceleration. It borrows the adjustable brake & clutch levers to suit every individual’s tastes. The motorcycle is equipped with new anti-hopping clutch/slipper clutch that prevents rear wheel stamping during sharp braking or accelerations.

2017 KTM Duke 390 Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 719656

There is an Evaporative Emission Control System ‘EVAP’ system that prevents fuel evaporation, a new Bosch fuel pump and a new CAN BUS system from the Moto3 WSBK with love. This engine has a contactless cranking mechanism to reduce wear and tear. A brand new side mounted exhaust unit replaces the underbelly configurations to meet Euro-lV norms. This new exhaust sports a stainless steel underfloor pre-silencer and a rear aluminium absorption silencer that contains the catalytic converter.

Engine Specification

Make Model 2017 KTM Duke 390 Benelli TNT300 BMW G310R
Capacity cc 373.2 300 313
Bore/ Stroke mm 89/60 65/45.2 80/62.1
Output 44 bhp @ 9000 rpm 37.6 bhp @ 10000 rpm 34bhp @ 9500rpm
Torque 26.5 lb-ft @ 7000 rpm 20.21 ft-lb @ 9000 rpm 21 lb-ft @ 7500rpm
Type single cylinder, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valves In-line, 2 cylinder, 4-stroke, liquid cooled, 8 valves, DOHC single cylinder, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valves
Clutch type Wet- Multiplate with PASC antihopping clutch, mechanically operated Wet- Multiplate Wet- Multiplate
Transmission 6-speed 6-speed 6-speed

RIDE AND HANDLING

2017 KTM Duke 390 Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 719655
2017 KTM Duke 390 Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 719648

The Duke 390 still has not received any upgrades regarding chassis, and thus it still uses the light steel grade frame which optimises handling and precision. The frame also uses lightweight materials in its construction which has resulted in low kerb weight. Then there is this new subframe which means that you now seat 30 mm higher than the old Duke 390.

The bike gets adjustable brake and clutch levers, giving a far more superior control for the rider and boost his accuracy levels. The pillion seat is now even more comfortable with 12 mm thicker cushion. The steel fuel tank is contoured to perfectly match the supersport style and provide the rider with a tucked in confident feel.The riding stance is also now little more forward biased which tends to put a little bit of more weight on the handlebars.

2017 KTM Duke 390 Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 719654

At the front, the Duke comes fitted with open cartridge adjustable 43mm inverted hydraulic telescopic forks, while at the rear, it comes with a fully adjustable hydraulic mono shock with rear aluminium swingarm, both of which are sourced from WP.

In development with Brembo, KTM has developed a powerful and excellently adjustable brake system. This means that the driver always has his Duke fully under control. The pads are now sintered and at the front, the bike gets a 320 mm disc instead of the 300 mm previously used and a 230 mm unit at the rear. The ABS is made by Bosch and is switchable. Meaty 17 tyres sport on the orange alloys.

Chassis Specifications

Make Model 2017 KTM Duke 390 Benelli TNT300 BMW G310R
Frame Lightweight steel trellis frame Lightweight steel trellis frame Tubular steel bridge-type frame with bolt-on rear frame
Suspension / Front 43mm WP upside-down; 125mm travel Inverted telescopic forks Upside down fork 41 mm
Suspension / Rear WP monoshcok; 150 mm travel Off-Set rear monoshock Solid die-cast aluminum swingarm, directly hinged monoshock, adjustable preload
Brakes / Front 320mm Disc 4-piston radial fixed calliper, Bosch 9MB two-channel ABS 296mm petal-type Dual disc with 2-piston hydraulic calliper, ABS Single disc, diameter 300 mm, 4-piston fixed calliper, radially bolted, BMW Motorrad ABS
Brakes / Rear 230 mm Single-piston floating calliper, Bosch 9MB two-channel ABS 220mm hydraulic disc with ABS Single disc, diameter 240 mm, single-piston floating calliper, BMW Motorrad ABS
Tyres / Front 110/70 R17 120/70 R17 110/70 R17
Tyres / Rear 150/60 R17 160/70 R17 150/60 R17

PRICE

2017 KTM Duke 390
- image 719670

KTM USA has raised the asking price of the Duke 390 to $5,299, a $300 upwards from the previous edition. The bike now also gets UV resistant paint to keep the colour from fading due to exposure to the sun.The motorcycle is available with a KTM Orang&Black and White&Black colour option as of now.

Make Model 2017 KTM Duke 390 Benelli TNT300 BMW G310R
MSRP $5299 $3999 $4750

COMPETITION

Benelli TNT 300

2017 - 2018 Benelli TNT300
- image 692525

Benelli put together the TNT 300 “Tornado” with both the entry-level market and the frugal commuter segment in mind. This sporty little ride brings an unintimidating powerplant to the table tucked away in a naked sportbike assembly that fits in with current styling standards and carries more than a little Italian DNA. Sophisticated enough to pass muster with the emissions folks, this ride nevertheless presents a relatively simple alternative to some of the available options on the market today.

A naked standard, the Tornado carries many of the design aspects we expect from the class, and you can still see shades of The Old Country in the curves of the lines. The entry consists of the usual isolated headlight can with a teeny-tiny flyscreen/wind deflector up top. Flyscreens don’t do much, to begin with, and I have serious doubts as to whether this vestigial detail does anything noticeable at all.

A four-stroke, parallel-twin engine serves as the beating heart for this sled, and though it’s rather unremarkable overall, it’s a proper screamer with a 12,000 rpm redline.In spite of the electronic fuel injection and catalytic converters, this mill only manages to meet Euro 3 emissions standards. Bottom line here is there is a major engine redesign on the horizon for Benelli if it wants to keep selling in Europe and North America. The power figures are sort of middling with 37.6 horsepower at 10,000 rpm and 20.21 pounds of grunt at 9,000 rpm. In light of the 432-pound kerb weight, the power output is sufficient for a bit of fun without taxing a beginner’s skill set too much and should allow it to keep up with some of its better-known competitors out of Japan.

Buyers in the U.S. can expect to pay $3,999 for this entry-level crotch rocket. It’s a budget-minded price tag, but remember that a good deal isn’t always a good deal over the long haul.

BMW G310R

2016 BMW G 310 R
- image 684742

Although it is the smallest bike from BMW, when it comes to performance, it is anything but small. Perfect for a handful of folks new to motorcycles, it is a rocket trainer for the experienced purists and is sure hell lot of fun for everyone riding on this machine. The combination of being lightweight and having a real powerhouse has always won the wars for every manufacturer, and this is no exception.

As the tagline says, this bike is manufactured for the world market, and it does the job of pleasing everyone rather naturally. For the BMW good looks unmistakably run in the family and this G 310R takes the genes of the S 1000 R.

This engine will deliver 34 bhp at 9,500 rpm, with a 10,500 rpm limiter, and a stated maximum torque of 21 lb-ft at 7,500 rpm. A moderate compression ratio of 10.6:1 is aimed at running this in different markets across the globe. Clutch action is light but misses out on a slipper clutch, probably the reason why the idling is at 1500rpm ruling out rear wheel chatter on the overrun. Euro 4-compliant catalyst whispers rather than booms. But that is of course only below 5000 rpm.

The suspension is well calibrated and uses the KYB 41 mm inverted forks and a mono shock. This provides a highly rigid composite structure for exact control of the front wheel, thus giving the G 310 R a directionally precise and secure steering response. 5-spoke alloy wheels wearing 110/70R17 and 150/60R17 tyre keeps un-sprung weight down at the axles. Stopping this is by ByBre (Brembo’s Indian subsidiary) 300mm single disc front brake with radially bolted 4-piston fixed calliper and 240mm rear disc brake with 2-piston floating calliper. In-house dual channel ABS is a standard feature.

This baby BMW is priced starting at $4,750 (including ABS). The BMW G 310 R will be available in the three strikingly expressive colour variants Cosmic Black/Polar White non-metallic, Strato Blue Metallic and the elaborately designed Pearl White metallic.

VERDICT

2017 KTM Duke 390 Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 719653

There is no doubt in the fact that the updated 2017 Duke 390 is definitely one of the best motorcycles under the 500 cc naked category. The naked streetfighter definitely is also one of the best looking motorcycles of its segment as well. It not only gets sharper styling but also an additional ride by wire throttle and a new exhaust system. The first in segment TFT instrument cluster is swanky and opens up a lot more user experience for you to go through.

For the price being asked, KTM is giving you better brakes, suspension, fueling, a segment first TFT instrument cluster only found in bigger bikes, LED headlight, adjustable levers, more torque, and a facelift to bring it more in line with its beastly older brother, the Super Duke R. This Duke390 with its powerful acceleration and instant power delivery has also become a perfect motorcycle for touring because it gets a slightly bigger fuel tank and also better seats for both the rider and the pillion.

2017 KTM Duke 390 Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 719652

Basically, the Austrian has ticked all the boxes necessary and more to make this motorcycle face no competition at all. Like previously, this Duke is also built by Bajaj, an Indian motorcycle manufacturer and fortunately, this time, they have upped their manufacturing ability with more importance given to fit and finish.

Buying a KTM will also give you a lot of perks that others don’t. Once you get your hands on either of the KTM bikes, you get access to KTM’s customer program that will let you get a taste of some orange. KTM track days to learn some sleek tricks on your bike, attend the brand’s official Orange-cup, stunt shows, short rides and long tours.


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