KTM 390 DUKE (2013 - 2016) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£260|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
There's nothing else out there like the KTM Duke. There wasn't when the original, mind-blowing 620 Duke came out in 1995, there isn't now the range has expanded to 125, 390 and 690cc versions. As a machine that's easy to ride yet with plenty of fun on offer, it has virtually no competition. Its limitations over distance or for either carrying luggage or a pillion, however, are clear to see. This one lacks little over the latest version in return for a sizeable saving, so is worth serious consideration.
This bike was replaced by the 2017 KTM 390 Duke.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Although early examples suffered from overheating and build quality could be iffy (Dukes are built in India and then shipped to Austria for inspection) these problems have been solved.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
At just over £4,000 new you're getting a lot of bike for your cash. Used examples can be had for under £3000.
You get ABS as standard and a fairly basic digital dash.
|Engine type||Four-stroke, liquid-cooled DOHC, 4v single|
|Frame type||Tubular steel|
|Fuel capacity||11 litres|
|Front suspension||WP 43mm inverted forks, non-adjustable|
|Rear suspension||WP rear shock, adjustable spring preload|
|Front brake||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|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||55 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£44|
|Annual service cost||£260|
|Used price||£2,700 - £3,500|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||44 bhp|
|Max torque||26 ft-lb|
|Top speed||105 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||130 miles|
Model history & versions
2013: Model introduced
The 125 Duke costs £3999
Owners' reviews for the KTM 390 DUKE (2013 - 2016)
25 owners have reviewed their KTM 390 DUKE (2013 - 2016) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£260|
Version: Brazilian 2017...
Annual servicing cost: £500
Just got mine 2017 (here in Brazil this is the 2016 worldwide model), wich comes with little modifications from 2013-2015 models. I ever had a lot of other bikes, including F800R, MT-07 (maybe FZ-07 for some), but man, I'm very excited with this thing. It's one of a kind. So light and nimble. I'm loving it and it looks amazing with that trellis frame. And this model offers even more value here cause its at 60% the value of a new and updated model. And mine feels like new and fresh... Fantastic overall package... It put a spell on me... Maybe the orange spell!
Original brake pads are suck and just so so. I'll change they as soon as possible. Have read that its a valid upgrade for the original BYBRE radial calipers.
All taken in account, there's no way this engine could be better. I'm very impressed and feels like it performs way far from the official numbers...
Any problems yet, just got it well mainteened.
Here in Brazil every little thing is expensive nowadays. Our country is unfortunately dead. So a mere oil filter costs a lot. The original Motorex recommended oil is at an impossible price point of about 60USD each liter!!!
Trellis frame, 43mm WP upsidedown forks, radial front brake caliper, aeroquip steel brake lines, aluminum swingarm and handlebar... Much above more expensive bikes building like MT(FZ) 07...
Buying experience: I paid 16.000,00 BRZ REALS fot that. I bought it at a reasonable price point, from a private owner.
cos of the jerk
jerky throttle below 40mph
jerky throttle below 40mph no matter what gear your in or revs .rubbish in town or city as runs like it not getting enough fuel .but out of town its fine
Buying experience: took for first service they said its what the 390 dose and cant fix the jerk .well that no good as do a lot of town riding . what would of been a good bike isn't.. shame cos above 40mph its good .and i have been riding bike for 35yrs and i know what a bike should do this bike dose not .
Annual servicing cost: £120
An amazing bike for the money. I’ve always had bigger bikes. It’s so nimble and almost feels like it has been designed for the British B-road. Much more fun than my Street Triple was, and I always thought that was fun. It’s also a fantastic bike about town. Well mannered and great in traffic. When I had the warranty issues I felt like it took the shine off owning the bike, I was just waiting for something else to go wrong, or worried about the reliability post warranty. I nearly sold it, but glad I’ve persevered. What you pay for one of these is crazy for how good the bike is. Get one.
Mine has been back with warranty issues four times. The TFT screen fogs up inside with condensation, each replacement has done the same. I’m now on my fourth screen and it’s doing the same again. The clutch was slipping so it went in again under warranty. It was fixed temporarily but then had the same problem. Finally the clutch cable was completely replaced and there’s no issues with that at all.
Annual servicing cost: £200
Best feature- ultra light and chuckable Worst feature- low revs it takes a while to get used to its jerkiness
Handles superbly and stops very well due to weight.
Engine loves to rev for a single but at low revs I tended to stall a lot before the first service. After service all is good.
Very well built overall however on my 3rd replacement dash due to condensation issues.
Super econominal on fuel
Well equipped with excellent dash. KTM Comfort seat is worth buying. Crash bars just in case. Fitted a screen as buffeting at motorway speeds can be a distraction.
Buying experience: New from Dealer
Annual servicing cost: £200
Cheap way into new bike ownership.
Lovely out of the crate and all running as it should. Runs out of revs very fast so regularly bang it off the limiter trying to overtake. So light and flickable but ultimately is suitable as a second 'fun' bike as it needs a bit more grunt.
It is what it is. A vibey single.
The original battery is pants and died within a year (not covered under warranty). The brakes need very regular cleaning. The throttle started sticking open on a ride out and within 45 minutes of riding I could accelerate full throttle without touching the thing. Slightly rotating the kill switch housing sorts this. I could probably keep goldfish in the TFT dash it has so much moisture inside that it runs down the screen (very common apparently and replaced under warranty, but replacements are supposed to also fail). TFT won't always display neutral and the oil and warning lights will randomly briefly light up. KTM My Ride app kills your phone battery. I've heard the original chain doesn't last past 3500 miles, I haven't experienced this yet as mine's only done 1100 miles. Fasteners have rusted up VERY fast.
First service involved valve clearance check.
Got KTM heated grips fitted before I picked it up which are a God send when the temp drops. The TFT is very smart, when it's not full of water!
Buying experience: Easy, did it all over the phone, never even had a test ride but had to wait a few months to pick it up. Heated grips, MY RIDE and a Black Friday pre reg offer, I paid £3250.
Annual servicing cost: £250
Amazing all round for a single-cylinder bike. I highly recommend it.
Surprisingly comfy for a small bike, I do 100 miles easily before any discomfort on the rear end.
Peach of an engine, smooth and very responsive. Great fun.
Starts on the button every time.
Get a regular 90mpg.
Love the full-colour dash with bluetooth connectivity.
Buying experience: I bought mine from Honda/KTM in Colwyn Bay in the sale at a £1000 off all KTMs. It was a bargain at £3700. I got a good part exchange price for my KLE too. I even got a half price first service because I bought from them. They are a very fair dealership so will buy from them again. I bought this bike for my girlfriend when she passes her test. I've ridden so my bikes; Harleys, V-Maxs, all Japanese stuff but much of the power is wasted. The little 390 does it all with top notch suspension, quality build and ABS. You cant go wrong whether a learner or an old fart like me. Try one you won't regret it.
Version: 2014 KTM Duke 390
I bought a 2014 390 Duke in 2015 and sold it in 2018, putting 23,000 kms on it over 3 years. It was bought to be a frugal commuter and let me tell you I got a lot more bike than I bargained for, it put a huge grin on my face over and over and over and taught me a lot more about motorcycling overall. I already had a Z1000 when I bought it so I thought I was a decent rider but moving down to a slower bike free'd up my mental cycles just that little bit to pick my line and roll on/brake points better and better. When this bike is running well you feel like you're absolutely on fire riding it, it's an absolute hoot and it'll bring smiles to just about any kind of motorcyclist of any skill level/age and it'll happily enable you to embarrass much bigger sportbikes on occasion and just about and Harley. The problems start though when you own it and start to get used to it and see the shortcomings which stem largely from the quality. It's a cheap bike and it shows, not only to the naked eye but how it runs and how you maintain it. If this bike nailed the quality and reliability section, it'd be an easy 5/5 from me.
For what you pay I could not have expected any more, the bike is stupid nimble and will keep up with and embarrass bikes with an engine much larger. Very flickable and light, easy to manoeuvre when the motor is off and put on stands, easy to squeeze through traffic. Brakes are well decent for what the spec sheet suggests, the disc warped so I put on a new one plus EBC HH sintered pads and the stopping power was more than adequate for the weight of the bike.
Would be 5/5 if the idle was smooth and consistent and it didn't leak oil! I hesitate to call this motor a gem for those reasons but when she's on song it can be breathtaking for its size. Make right on the limit of licence restrictions this 40hp is more than enough to blast you to 130kph, from there it's slow going, however. Very fun around town, the tighter the roads/course the better. You shift gears a lot to keep it on the boil but it rewards you for doing it.
The one very real and very big drawback of the 13-16 model years (I can't attest to if the 17+ is better). Bike looks great from a few meters away but as soon as you get close you can see that things are poorly painted, fairing panels don't line up and much more. The rocker cover gasket leaks, this is very common, I must have had a 'gem' of a motor because my head gasket never blew. The bolts seriously feel like they're made of a hard cheese, so easy to mess up the thread and the head. Never once in the 23,000kms and 3 years of ownership would I have called the idle consistent. It stalled when it was started cold and wasn't allowed to warm up, it stalled when it was too hot like 37+ degrees C and the motor was hot, crack the throttle and it'd just cough and was out like a light, the worst part of the stalling is that from a cold start the motor fired right up first tick, but if it had been running at all, it's a complete pain to restart, infuriating at a set of lights where you've filtered to the front on a very hot day and it stalls and doesn't want to start again. The front brake disc warped, the stock chain is also garbage and went about 3x faster than a quality aftermarket chain with the same level of care. It all felt very cheap and acted like it under stress.
Cheap to buy, cheap to maintain when things don't break. 1.5L of oil needed, only one spark plug, and would get about 2.9-3.8L/100km depending on your wrist.
For the model year and price I find this bike comes extremely well equipped, the dash is comprehensive with fuel range/economy, temp gauge accurate fuel gauge, gear indicator, shift light, I mean it's fully loaded. ABS is welcome for this class too.
Annual servicing cost: £160
Having completed the mandatory 620 miles (1000km) running in period I am super impressed with the 390's performance. I suspect the bike is restricted in some way during the running in period. The digital rev counter goes red after 6000rpm during running in to tell you to change gear. Once run in, the rev counter goes to red nearer 9000rpm and I noted a change to the exhaust note. For UK roads it's all you really need. Superb handling/breaking/acceleration around twisty A and B roads. Accelerates hard up to 80mph and then steadily increases upwards with wind blast becoming very noticeable. Seat is hard so an hour or so and you need to get off and stretch your legs. TFT screen is great. Highly recommend the bike (I am a 48-year-old rider with 30 years experience on all sorts of bikes from 50cc to 1000cc).
Seat is hard. Riding position is comfortable. Good for around an hour then need a break. Brakes are good enough.
Superbly smooth and very tractable. All you really need to be honest on UK roads. Gives great acceleration where you need it when overtaking at 40/50/60 mph.
Bike kept stalling when I first had it and finally broke down a few miles from home. Thankfully new KTM's come with RAC cover and they had me running within the hour. Turned out to be a faulty solenoid, replaced under warranty. Also had an issue with the TFT screen letting in moisture, again replaced under warranty.
1st service only so far. Valve clearances done.
ABS, slipper clutch, TFT screen, LED lights.
Buying experience: Bought from Fowlers in Bristol, pre-registered, in November 2017 for a special price of £2999.00 new. Complete and utter bargain!!!
Annual servicing cost: £85
Great bike, especially for new bikers and A2 licence holders. As a woman I love the lightness of the bike.
Ive done only around 6 hours straight, really comfortable.
Find it great, need a bit more power and it delivers. I only pop about, top speed 70mph for me, just so light!
Never let me down.
Local KTM dealer for lower bikes gives a more affordable price for service was very surprised helping the younger market.
Still on first tyres. As with all bikes, heated grips should come as standard!
Buying experience: Dealer, bought the 125 and 390 Duke while on promotion-passed A2 licence. Just gone back and ordered the Duke 790 -A2 licence option from same dealer.
Fantastic handling suprising performance for a small engine. Superb ride
Fantastic on A-roads. The A134 is a regular for me, from Halstead up to Swaffham - just a great ride
No problems as yet... fingers crossed!
60mpg being ridden with some urgency
Remove rear foot peg/exhaust hanger cradle it's awful and let's face it you're not carrying passengers on this bike. I fitted an Evo tech hanger with rectifier guard - it looks great
Buying experience: Bought new on a special at my local KTM dealer for £3099. What a bargain!
Version: Duke 2017
Annual servicing cost: £150
Amazing bike for the money - good quality and funky good looks
WP suspension- nicely set up- no cheap bongy yamaha MT rubbish here radial brake-again much better than the most rivals at this price point REALLY handles- light bikes 149kg-day to day more fun than my grown up flat twin beemer....seems to make more senses in the modern world....
Punchy for the size and economical with restraint. High tech-4 valve forged piston ride-by-wire slipper clutch-sophiscated single-revs to 10k- sit all day at 80....top a ton if you are cruel-private roads and track days officer.....
Everything works and still does...
Just had the 1st service. Sensible fuel MPG. Uses no oil
Std kit miles ahead at the price- ABS switchable good tyres brakes WP suspension. awesome Digital clocks -mpg gear indicator customisable display etc etc LED lights...switch gear lighjts up in the dark..often a premium feature on bikes costing >£10K....really good build fit and finish- no worries ref Indian build what so ever-MUCH better than most Japs...good job KTM
Buying experience: Dealer new-Kestrel. All excellent service-extras KTM parts fitted free & with 20% discount
Annual servicing cost: £250
Reasonable fun to ride, if not necessarily comfortable, but build quality was poor.
The suspension is as hard as a bag of bricks and marginally less effective, you feel every imperfection in the road. The seat isn't much better, and the pillion provision is best described as a bad joke. Fortunately you've only got 9.5 litres of fuel usable in the 11 litre tank, so you have plenty of opportunities to get off the bike and take a break. The brakes are effective, but need regular attention to prevent binding.
Snatchy under 3,000rpm, keep it at 4,000 and above and it's actually pretty good for the size. There's enough poke to keep up with traffic, with a bit in reserve for overtaking. I never hit the 105mph claimed by MCN but the bike will comfortably do 90. With the lack of wind protection, fatigue is the limiting factor in day to day riding, rather than the engine.
Oh dear. Built in India, and it shows. If it's made of metal it'll rust, if it's made of rubber it'll perish. In the space of 10,000 miles the throttle started sticking open, the gear shift lever fell off, the front brake disc warped, the steering head bearings went, the gear selector sensor failed, the fuel sensor failed, and the dash failed. The stock chain lasted 9,000 miles with weekly cleaning, lubrication, and adjustment. The rear mudguard is too small to protect the silencer box so this (along with the rear shock) bears the brunt of any crud flung up from the road and soon starts corroding.
Finding anywhere other than a KTM dealer to undertake anything other than the bare basics wasn't easy. Cost of parts isn't excessive despite there being few options for pattern parts when I owned the bike, but the frequency with which things failed meant the costs mounted up. Be prepared to wait weeks for some parts to arrive from Austria.
The dash has a speedo (obviously), tacho, fuel and temperature gauges, gear indicator, and trip computer. The trip computer and fuel gauge were laughably inaccurate, and the sensor for the gear indicator failed after 7,000 miles. An extensive KTM PowerParts accessories catalogue is available, as well as some from third party sellers; a replacement seat and windscreen should be first on your list. No centrestand available, even as an option. Stock Metzeler tyres were fine, Diablo Rosso III's also worked well.
Annual servicing cost: £500
Very good bike. +Power/weight, give a very good acceleration until 120km/h +Price -On/off throttle at 3.000rpm -Reliability
Perfect bike for cornering. Brakes some times are a bit not enough for the acceleration of the bike. You need to use your 4 fingers for use the brakes.
Very good engine, just need to be a bit more smooth. Solution found in 2017 model with cable throttle.
Very expensive to maintain in Vietnam because of costs and this bike is not very reliable, European bike.
Very nice suspensions but you need to fix them often because of oil leaking.
Buying experience: I bought it in Vietnam. Prices are very high and the service not good enough.
Annual servicing cost: £157
Perfect if you want to keep your license and / or enjoy riding at road legal speeds .
Everything works fine at road legal speeds , so if you live in the real world (where else is there to live?) it does everything you could want of it .
Pulls strongly throughout the rev range , has some vibs through the foot pegs but almost non through the bars .
I had an issue with a faulty radiator fan / thermostat which was changed free of charge at the first service but never gave me any problems
I've now covered 1200m on the bike , the first service was £157 at 1000km (620m) . The next service is due at 10,000km (6200m) . The bike is more powerful , lighter , cheaper and better equiped than all the competition .
ABS , full colour flat screen dash with easy to change display options , back lit switchgear , bluetooth connectivity for your phone , excellent vib free mirrors
Buying experience: I bought the bike new from a KTM dealer having previously owned a Triumph Tiger 1050 . With 6 points on my license and a job that involves driving I decided to buy something designed for real world speeds , I haven't been disapointed and get back from every ride with a smile on my face and my license in tact :-)))))
Fantastic Bike, this is a step up from a 2015 125 Duke, so this is considered my first real "big bike", I was looking for an MX5 of the bike world & i think I've found it :-) Ordered mine with hand guards, engine bars & Akrapovic slip on (only just removed DB Killer & it sounds great).
I am 6ft & i find the bike comfy, compared to my previous Duke you are more forward on the bike so a little more over the handle bars, I had a few long rides 1:30-2hr & felt fine.
power delivery is great, geared really well, all the power is where you need it for lots of fun, it has a lot of get up & go without having to drop it down but if you do then smiles are going to increase. Ive had no false neutrals, no cutting out & pretty smooth at low speeds.
1300miles down & no issues to report yet.
first service was subsidised from my dealer at Jim Aim Racing, it was cheap. keeping a log of fuel economy, I commute daily with a good mixture of roads best I have had is 75mpg & my average is 65mpg based on 10 fill ups, i normally fill up at around 130miles to a tank.
TFT screen has loads of info on it, a little more than i need to be honest, on the main screen you can have your favourites on display all the time, I have these as trip 1, average consumption, battery & fuel range. I have not bothered about the phone connection. Only negative I have on this, the clock tends to run a bit fast & needs adjusting every month or so. An addition I would like is phone/GPS connectivity for sat nav directions, imagine this could be possible with a firmware update.
Buying experience: purchased this through Jim Aim Racing at Braintree, they really looked after me & kept me up to date with the progress of my bike. I ordered mine in white before KTM had even shipped to the UK so had a little wait.
Annual servicing cost: £100
Just needs bit better build quality to get 5th star
Rules the B-roads and towns. Even with the KTM gel comfort seat upgrade, 1 hour is max riding time before need to get life back into knees and arse. For pillion it's even shorter. My teenage son was in agony after 30 minutes on the back.
Bit harsh at around 6K RPM - but it's a single Shame EU regs mean it sound a little 'wimpy' on stock exhaust. K&N airfilter improves not only power but induction sound
stalling soon after start up a common issue when first purchased. Cured by ECU update at 1st service.
My nearest KTM Centre happy to provide almost any demo bike as courtesy bike free of charge during service. So far I've had RC390, Duke 690 and SMC 690 for a day at a time.
Digital dash is the worst feature of this bike. Next to impossible to use any of the functions without recourse to the user manual. (twice a year, when the clocks change, out comes the manual to see how to change the time display). Updates I recommend: KTM Powerparts Gel seat; 11. Optimate battery charger socket wired in; 1. KTM Alarm system; 2. Tank protection sticker kit; 10. Double-bubble screen from MRA (don't waste your money on the official KTM one if you are over 5ft 8in). Other (aesthetic) accessories I invested in: 5. KTM Powerparts 10 to 30 Litre rear bag; Crash bobbins; Engine protection crash bars; Aluminium Handguards; R&G Racing Tail-Tidy; 7 x 5 inch number plate; Rear hugger/chainguard from Pyramid Pyramid also supplied me a free Extenda-Fender for evaluation.
Buying experience: Bought from new in 2014. Only white were available first, but when I learned KTM would be introducing a black version in spring 2014 I ordered one in Feb. However first few production runs went exclusively to USA, so it wasn't until June that I eventually got mine.
Pros: - everything, price, steering, accessories, look, engine performance, digital display, even the stock exhaust is above average Cons: - reliability might be an issue in the long term but for now its performing perfectly (on 350kms at the moment) - a small minus is how close the large catalytic converter is to the rear suspension which transfers an awful lot of heat into the shock, can be fixed with a new exhaust slip on system.
comfortable and front brake is superb with abs and back brake is also great
can suck the gas when you open up the throttle but otherwise an excellent commmuter
tft control panel is next level stuff, hopefully we'll see software updates in the future
Buying experience: bought brand new, third one sold in new zealand
Fun,any excuse to take it out.Motorway cruising at 70mph gives 70 mpg.Don't be put off by its small capacity it it is more than capable of reasonably sensible biking in the UK.I have raced Vincents and ridden everything in 54yrs of unbroken motorcycling and after 10 months and 6000 miles I am not bored with it.The disappointment was the demonstrator I took out fuelled perfectly and would pull 5th at 30mph,my new machine was uneven at low speeds and needed a lower gear in speed limits,after a row with KTM over the difference in the bikes I fitted an Italian fuel unit,it now performs like the demonstrator.I felt that I had been conned at the time!
Original seat hard and the front of the pillion is curved the wrong way so it pushes into your bum.The pro seat is comfortable for 200 mile days.
Cannot fault the motor now I have the fuel adjuster fitted.
The zinc plating on the nuts and bolts is very poor,so have replaced with stainless.Rear chain is rubbish.After a lot miles in the wet with a chain oiler fitted I found the links were seized. I split the chain and found there was no lubricant on the pins that should have been sealed by the o rings.Otherwise it has not missed a beat.
Was charged 2hrs labour for 1st service.Had not been advised that this was chargeable, so assumed it would be free as in the old days.
Rear tyre lasted 4000 miles, replaced with a michelin 2ct which feels much nicer on cornering and the wear seems to be less.Fitted a Tutoro chain oiler,a Givi tank bag larger size than the official one and it fits perfectly.
Buying experience: Bought from South Wales Dealer,80 mls away.He demanded I had the bike there at 9am for first service which should take 100mins.Eventualy got the bike back at 2.30pm.Big joke when I complained about the uneven fueling especially when I pointed out their demonstrator was perfect.(All bikes vary sir)was the excuse.Had to complain to KTM to get all the paperwork from them.Very unprofessional they didn't even have a desk to site at to do the paperwork,only a high counter with other customers pushing for space.
Very fun bike for A2 license
It is quite competent for a newbie like me. But know your dreams even if it is going to be your first bike if you are not planning to change it swift. It is a pretty light and small bike. If you are planning on just commuting than it's fine, but otherwise it's a bummer.
Until 120kmph it is like an arrow. I can go 1.5 hours on it and you start to feel the tiring power of the wind.
Even though the overall quality is well known on this bike, the plastic belly cap can get noisy sometimes. And it's little bit disturbing.
I haven't had any accessories. But I like the gauge.
Version: 390 duke
Annual servicing cost: £100
Easy to ride and impossible not to have fun on. It's so much fun in the twisties you'll find yourself avoiding every straight road that you can. I'd been off bikes for a few years before test riding a Ducati Scrambler which I liked - low seat, light weight, good handling and comfortable riding position - but I got fed up with waiting so had a look at other options. Had a test ride on the Duke 390 in less than ideal conditions - greasy, bumpy country lanes but still came back with a grin and not wanting to hand it back. You can commute on it easily the upright riding position giving a good view of the traffic ahead. It's quick away from junctions and the brakes with ABS are strong if lacking a little feel. This bike loves corners, it changes direction easily and quickly whilst never feeling that it will pitch you off. It just breeds confidence and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to new or returning riders for getting back in the groove. The engines very strong for a little 'un and the fuelling is mostly fine except for a little wooliness below 5K, it does like to rev. I haven't had any of the stalling issues that affected some of the earlier bikes. I'm not a big fan of the loud paint and shouty graphics but it's a matter of taste I suupose so you can make your own mind up about that.
Brakes are strong but could do with a little extra feel - uprated pads apparently solve this. I found the suspension fine on smotther roads but a bit bouncy on bumpier ones. I knocked off the preload on the rear shock by 1 and it improved (I'm around 80kg with my gear on).
It's a little fluffy below 6k but it gets better from there and really lifts it's skirts from 7k to the limiter. I'd love a bit more low down and also a bit more noise from the standard exhaust - sounds a bit like a generator.
Quality appears OK rather than brilliant but it's obviously built down to a (great) price. Only issue after it's first season was the sidestand bracket nuts loosening off - bit of loctite and 10 mins of spanner time and all is good again. Some of the wiring routing looks a bit untidy - I would definitely avoid using a hose or pressure washer on it.
Only outlay was fuel and chain oil as I got the first service in the purchase price. It's good on fuel especially as you are always wanting to give it a handful exiting the bends. I get about 110-115 miles out of the tank.
The tyres are fantastic, lots of grip and lots of confidence. The standard seat was awful after 1 hour - the KTM Power parts seat is fine for 2 hours at a time, so OK between fuel stops. The mirrors aren't the best but do benefit from taking a bit of time adjusting them into the right position. There's very littl under seat storage, i'll probably replace the pillion with a rear cowl to gain some there. I find it hard to see much of the dash display without purposefully looking down
Buying experience: Got a good deal from the guys at The Rocket Centre in Blackburn as I needed to refresh some of my gear and I wanted the taller screen and powerparts seat. They had the bike ready on time and leant me one of their test bikes whilst mine was in having it's first service. Staff were friendly and helpful.
Annual servicing cost: £100
Don't believe MCN reviews of this bike. My advice is buy a Honda CB 500 or any thing but this KTM.
When the bike works you can have fun, but in the winter the bike covers you from head to fool in road spray.
Dreadful. It stalls when cold and is difficult to restart. Then stalls when warm and leaves you stranded in dangerous positions. Paddling the bike across rush hours lanes when it leaves you stranded in the outside lane is no fun and life threatening!
The plastics are like polythene and the decals fall of. Made in India and it shows. The engine on my bike had an incurable stalling problem.
The bike seems cheap to service by Redline KTM Loughborough, but the service from the dealer is very poor and similar from KTM themselves. The incurable stalling problem led me into an acrimonious stand off with both. The up shot was Redline KTM bought the bike back, but both were happy to put me back on the road on a dangerous vehicle. I lost money, but I value my life, unlike Redline or KTM.
There is none. It is avery basic bike with no carrying capacity at all. I had headed grips and hand guards fitted. Both worked well in the winter commute.
Buying experience: Appalling. The sales guy when I picked the bike up was very unwelcoming. Told me to get my stuff off the counter and then road my part exchange scooter like a dervish around the car park.The experience did not improve when I had problems. Buy from Sutton Honda or Pidcocks! They both know how to treat customers
Annual servicing cost: £1,100
Great fun to ride as a first bike. The bike gives me the confidence to search my personal limits as a new rider. I would definitely recommend 'the duchess' for new riders who love going for a Saturday and/or Sunday blast during the weekends, and a thrilling commute to university during the week.
The ride is soft and comfortable. Because of the flashy orange paint job, KTM's trademark, this bike attracts quite some attention when cruising through more populated areas (which I, personally, don't mind). The duchess is eager to make you smile during acceleration, but every once in a while she has to be slowed down. This aspect is the only drawback for me in regard to the Duke 390. The brakes don't give me much confidence under high braking pressure, nor do they give me much feedback in the tips of my fingers. Maybe with some more higher grade brake pads the initial bite (and general stopping power) can be improved.
It has to be said, the Duke 390 has a beautiful mid-range. When you hit the sweet-spot, located around 7000 - 8000 rpm, the duchess kicks you in the behind and keeps you smiling until it meets the limiter way to soon. In the lower revs the bike makes a addictive gurgling sound but tends to be more jerky and harder to ride smoothly.
Good build quality that gives a genuine big-bike appearance. The bike fires up every morning without a hesitation, ready to race!
Approximately the cost to run my bike a year (all seasons every day), including insurance, taxes, tires and servicing. Make sure you check your oil-level regularly when driving a Duke 390, they absolutely need a refill of their dinosaur-juice on a regular base.
As a new rider the standard ABS is a great feature. In emergency situations you can't make the mistake of grabbing the brakes and losing the front-end resulting in a costly bill or worse... The duchess has a comfort seat as an accessory, which is worth it's weight in gold in comparison with the standard seat. Nevertheless the standard seat is easier to move around when you obey KTM's motto.
Buying experience: I've bought the Duke 390 with only 3000 km's on the odometer for a good price of €4000.
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!