First Drives

25 June 2013

First ride: KTM Duke 390

Fresh from Austria, here's the riding impression of the maddest little Duke yet. And it's here now!

Kartik Ware
Car image



Holding your breath for the KTM Duke 390? So was I. And I've just gotten off the Duke 390 after our ride in KTM's home country, Austria. And as you can imagine, it's a lot of fun. But how much fun, exactly? Does it offer more - much more - than the Duke 200? Will it change the game in India? Does it make sense to sell your 200 and buy this one? The answer is... wait for it... YES!

Sure, it looks the same. But who cares? Especially after you've twisted the throttle to the stop and rowed through the gearbox to hit 100kph in less than six seconds. And then go on to blast past 165kph with an enthusiasm that thrills you. The Duke 390 is a mad little thing. Uses its 44 horsepower and 35Nm to raise hell quite well, it does.

And when you get to the corners, the madness continues. The Duke 390 weighs less than 150kg with fuel (139kg without fuel), so throwing it around is never a problem. Moreover, the 110/70 front and 150/60 rear Metzeler tyres are perfect partners in crime for the suspension and brakes. Together, they keep raiding your adrenal glands till they're dry.

When we do ride it in India (which we will very soon), we'll have the perfect picture - on Austria's smooth roads, the Duke felt stiff but comfortable. For India, the suspension will be tweaked and it'll be interesting to see how that turns out. And it has been priced at Rs 1.8 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). Rest assured, the Duke 390 is all the madness you've been waiting for. You may breathe now. Phew.

The numbers
373.2cc, 43bhp, 35Nm, 6-speed, steel trellis, 110/70 (front tyre), 150/60 (rear tyre), 11 litre fuel tank, 139kg (without fuel), Rs 1.8 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)

Tags: 390, duke, ktm

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