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KTM 390 DUKE Naked Motorbike Review

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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

The current market seems littered with new, learner-friendly bikes, which are A2 licence compatible as manufacturers try to get new riders on board. The new 390 Duke may not have the touring ability of BMW’s G650GS or the sporty appearance of Kawasaki’s Ninja 300, but I think it should win the fun stakes and for most young riders that’s where it matters. It’s light, nimble and exciting, which is impressive considering it only has 44bhp.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

Considering the motor only packs 44bhp (it can be restricted to A2 compliant) it feels a lot more as the bike is so light and lively. First gear is over too quickly in a blur of revs, but keep the throttle pinned and acceleration isn’t half bad. Tuck in small enough and the digital speedo will read an indicated 105mph. There’s a little kick at just below 7000rpm which is the sweet spot, hit this mark and the Duke displays an impressive turn of pace.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The brakes and suspension are pretty much the same as the 125 Duke, but with different shims and springs and the 390 benefits from far grippier Metzeler tyres. The ABS-assisted brakes are learner-friendly, the seat height is low (just 800mm) and thin, which means even shorties won’t have a problem touching the floor. It’s light and agile so not intimidating for new riders and it’s not too heavy either. On the downside the Duke isn’t very comfortable and the 11-litre tank won’t deliver much range, but overall it’s excellent.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

You get ABS as standard and a fairly basic digital dash.

KTM 390 Duke (2013-current)

Detail Value
New price £4,499
Dealer used prices
£4,200 (2013) - £4,570 (2013)
Private used prices
£3,660 (2013) - £4,100 (2014)
  View full used price info
Engine size 373 cc
Power 44 bhp
Top speed 105 mph
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 4
Engine rating is 4 rating is 4
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 3 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 3
Value rating is 4 rating is 4

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3

It may be built in India, but the Duke seems to be well finished. Every bike is quality checked in Austria before being shipped to dealers.

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

At just over £4,000 you are getting a lot of bike for your cash.

Insurance

Insurance group: n/a

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Model History

2013: Model introduced

Other Versions

The 125 Duke costs £3999

Specifications

Top speed 105 mph
1/4-mile acceleration secs
Max power 44 bhp
Max torque 26 ft-lb
Weight 139 kg
Seat height 800 mm
Fuel capacity 11 litres
Average fuel consumption 55 mpg
Tank range 130 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group of 17
Engine size 373 cc
Engine specification Four-stroke, liquid-cooled DOHC, 4v single
Frame Tubular steel
Front suspension adjustment WP 43mm inverted forks, non-adjustable
Rear suspension adjustment WP rear shock, adjustable spring preload
Front brakes 1x300mm discs. Four-piston radial caliper. ABS
Rear brake 1x220mm disc, single-piston caliper. ABS
Front tyre size 110/70ZR17
Rear tyre size 150/60ZR17

See all KTM 390 DUKE motorcycles for sale

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£3,800

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£4,495

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£4,999

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 3.5(1 review)

  • An eager new puppy!

    Cripes

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Remember the last time you had a new puppy? Well this bike is that puppy. Full of boundless energy and a few whoopsies along the way. The 375cc thumper powerplant is like that new puppy on a leash, snatchy at low speeds but in its element once you can get it out onto open roads. The brakes are fitted with ABS and bring things to a halt predictably. The suspension has very little travel so Britain's potholed roads can give you a buckeroo ride - best seek out those smoother country 'A' roads. There's a nice dash that gives comprehensive information including fuel consumption and a gear indicator. Prince Philip would certainly guess where it's made, as the cheap plastics and rough finishing are very evident, but the upside is a great value bike - until you get locked into the KTM system, needing expensive valve adjustments and OEM parts. It's been a monster hit in India, where enthusiastic owners articulately discuss the minutest details of this epic bike - and that's where you'll find a refreshingly different angle to bike ownership away from the UK obsession with adventure or sports bikes. Be in no doubt, this is an amazing bike, brimming with character and fizz. If you're bored with the horsepower race and think bikes are getting too big then this is just the bike to titivate you!

    20 April 2014

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Cripes

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Cripessays

 Well, just come back from my first long trip (500 miles) on the 390...

It was great fun, more so when the mood takes you at the start of a run. We travelled on a mixture of roads, but I found the bumpy single track roads around the north-west of Scotland to be hard work with the Duke's stiff suspension - despite adjusting it to be more compliant. The stiff suspension works against the rather thin and uncomfortable seat too, so I did get a pummelling and was quite sore afterwards.

It's nothing that can't be sorted though - might get the ergo seat option, or by a gel/air cushion cover for long trips.

The good news is that I could keep up with my friend's K1200S - 160bhp compared to 46bhp! The Duke is so chuckable it feels like it has no weight at all. Economy averaged around 78mpg too. It handles extended runs at 80-90 leptons no bother at all...

I bought a Via Terra Claw luggage system from India (£25!) and it took plenty of stuff for its compact size. I also fitted a Puig touring windshield and grip puppies for comfort.

All in all, the little Katoom handled the big trip very well indeed - just need to fluff up the seat comfort...

Hope this helps

 

28 August 2014 08:00

garthibiza

garthibizasays

Duke 200

 Hi Cripes,

See you wrote your comments in April. Now that you've ridden the bike for longer, what are your thoughts ?

I currently ride a Yamaha XJ 6n, 2011, but am considering downsizing to something smaller, more fuel efficient, lighter.

Some say thatthe KTM's are not a good investment in the long term and question the reliability.

What do you think ?

I welcome your response..............

15 August 2014 10:50

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