The KTM 390 Duke has been a favorite choice among enthusiasts. Both beginner and intermediate riders find the KTM 390 Duke as a very capable machine. Equipped with friendly ergonomics, adequate power output, and most of all a very enticing price point, this motorcycle could quite possibly be one of the best bang for buck options in the market today.
That being said, there is no such thing as a perfect motorcycle, and all motorcycles have their own specific works. So, if you are in the market for a new KTM 390 Duke, be sure to read on to see if this bike really is for you.
As far as performance is concerned, the KTM 390 Duke is an outright performer. Equipped with a 373cc single cylinder engine featuring dual overhead cams, liquid cooling, and electronic fuel injection, this bike puts out an impressive 44 hp and 37 Nm of torque. Now this may not sound much, however the way it delivers power is truly impressive. The nature in which a single cylinder engine delivers power is such that it has a lot of torque at the bottom and slowly tapers off as you get into the upper reaches of the rev range. It’s also important to note that the Duke has a considerably high compression ratio, meaning it has a tendency to run very hot, especially in heavy traffic situations.
That being said, it isn’t uncommon for beginners to feel a little startled by the way this bike puts power to the ground. Additionally, this bike is Geared rather shortly. Meaning it isn’t capable of as high speeds as it’s multi-cylindered counterparts. Speaking of which, the 390 Duke also offers a slightly more raw riding experience, as opposed to the smoother and more refined parallel-twin engined bikes.
In terms of components, KTM leads the pack by fitting the Duke with top-of-the-line components for its class. For starters, you get WP suspension components front and rear. Front suspension is composed of a WP Endurance 43mm inverted fork, While rear suspension duties are handled by a WP mono shock with adjustable preload.
Braking duties are handled by a pair of Bybre brakes front and rear. The front is equipped with a four piston caliper that bites onto a 320mm rotor, while the rear is a 220mm disc. That said, the bike comes standard with ABS which can be programmed to suit the rider’s preferences. Equipped with a Supermoto mode, the rear ABS can be disabled allowing the rider to perform skids. There’s also an option to switch it off completely.
Perhaps the coolest thing about the KTM 390 duke is its full color TFT instrument panel. When the current iteration of this bike was launched back in 2017, it changed the game as no other motorcycle in its segment was equipped with such a feature. In fact, even today, full color TFT displays are more commonly found on higher end models.
The KTM 390 Duke is currently priced at P289,000. This is incredible value for money considering how much bike you’re getting for the cost. It’s main competitors consist of the Kawasaki Z400, which has a sticker price of P279,000, the CFMoto 400NK, which goes for P219,800, and the Kawasaki-Bajaj Dominar 400, which retails for P175,000. That being said, the KTM is the dearest of the lot.
Additionally, it’s important to consider maintenance and repair costs when buying a big bike. In this case, the KTM, being the most technologically advanced, will indeed be the most expensive to maintain. Oil change intervals on the 390 Duke are rather short at 5,000 kilometers—it is however recommended to have your service done sooner if you ride harder. That said, an oil change at an authorized KTM Service Center can set you back around P3,000 to P4,000.
Here’s another pro tip, if you’re getting the 390 Duke as your first big bike, be sure to fit it with a set of frame sliders or crash guards to protect all the vital components in the event of a tip over. Not only are replacement body panels for this bike rather expensive, they can also be pretty difficult to come by, with parts shipping from India and sometimes even Austria, taking anywhere from 30 to 90 days to arrive.
Overall, the KTM 390 Duke is an incredible choice when it comes to bang for buck performance. It is indeed one of the most fun motorcycles out there, and it feels as though the engineers and designers at KTM have designed this machine with fun in mind. That said, this bike isn’t without its quirks. It’s the most expensive bike in its class, both in terms of price and cost of maintenance. It also isn’t the smoothest and most comfortable, thanks to its powerful thumper that has a tendency to run really hot. However, all things considered this bike indeed makes for a riot on two wheels.