KTM 390 DUKE (2013-on) Review

Published: 21 March 2014

A2 licence-compliant roadster that's light, nimble and exciting

KTM 390 DUKE  (2013-on)

A2 licence-compliant roadster that's light, nimble and exciting

  • At a glance
  • 373cc  -  44 bhp
  • 55 mpg  -  130 miles range
  • Medium seat height (800mm)
  • Suitable for A2 licence
  • New: £4,499
    Used: £2,600 to £3,700 See all KTM 390 DUKEs for sale

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

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.

Engine 4 out of 5

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.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

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.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

At just over £4,000 new you're getting a lot of bike for your cash. Used examples can be had for under £3000.

Equipment 3 out of 5

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

Owners' Reviews

16 owners have reviewed their KTM 390 DUKE (2013-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your KTM 390 DUKE (2013-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.2 out of 5
Engine 4.3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3.8 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.1 out of 5
Equipment 3.8 out of 5
5 out of 5

07 April 2018 by Rabbit

Fantastic handling suprising performance for a small engine. Superb ride Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Fantastic on A-roads. The A134 is a regular for me, from Halstead up to Swaffham - just a great ride
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
No problems as yet... fingers crossed!
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
60mpg being ridden with some urgency
Equipment
5 out of 5
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!

5 out of 5

KTM 390 2017 Duke ownership

05 April 2018 by CeeGeeBee

Amazing bike for the money - good quality and funky good looks Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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....
Engine
5 out of 5
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.....
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Everything works and still does...
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Just had the 1st service. Sensible fuel MPG. Uses no oil
Equipment
5 out of 5
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

2 out of 5

04 April 2018 by JB

Reasonable fun to ride, if not necessarily comfortable, but build quality was poor. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
2 out of 5
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.
Engine
3 out of 5
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.
Build Quality & Reliability
2 out of 5
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.
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
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.
Equipment
3 out of 5
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.
4 out of 5

Very good and fun bike bought in Vietnam

29 December 2017 by devka

Very good bike. +Power/weight, give a very good acceleration until 120km/h +Price -On/off throttle at 3.000rpm -Reliability Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
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.
Engine
4 out of 5
Very good engine, just need to be a bit more smooth. Solution found in 2017 model with cable throttle.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Very expensive to maintain in Vietnam because of costs and this bike is not very reliable, European bike.
Equipment
3 out of 5
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.

5 out of 5

Real world hero

02 December 2017 by Mystic Mattt

Perfect if you want to keep your license and / or enjoy riding at road legal speeds . Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
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 .
Engine
5 out of 5
Pulls strongly throughout the rev range , has some vibs through the foot pegs but almost non through the bars .
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
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
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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 .
Equipment
5 out of 5
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 :-)))))

5 out of 5

Love it!

23 July 2017 by Aaron

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... Read more removed DB Killer & it sounds great).

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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.
Engine
5 out of 5
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.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
1300miles down & no issues to report yet.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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.
Equipment
4 out of 5
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.

4 out of 5

After 40 years of Hondas, the future is orange.

21 July 2017 by BAZ224

Just needs bit better build quality to get 5th star Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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.
Engine
4 out of 5
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
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
stalling soon after start up a common issue when first purchased. Cured by ECU update at 1st service.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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.
Equipment
3 out of 5
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.

5 out of 5

New duke 390 babyduke beast

12 June 2017 by Ktm390

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... Read more 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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
comfortable and front brake is superb with abs and back brake is also great
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
can suck the gas when you open up the throttle but otherwise an excellent commmuter
Equipment
5 out of 5
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

4 out of 5

Time machine,takes a 70 year old back to teenage razing.

20 May 2017 by EDDY

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... Read more 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!

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
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.
Engine
5 out of 5
Cannot fault the motor now I have the fuel adjuster fitted.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
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.
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
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.
Equipment
4 out of 5
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.

4 out of 5

03 February 2017 by tasse23

Very fun bike for A2 license Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
Read all 16 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2013
Year discontinued -
New price £4,499
Used price £2,600 to £3,700
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £42
Annual service cost £310
Performance
Max power 44 bhp
Max torque 26 ft-lb
Top speed 105 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 55 mpg
Tank range 130 miles
Specification
Engine size 373cc
Engine type Four-stroke, liquid-cooled DOHC, 4v single
Frame type Tubular steel
Fuel capacity 11 litres
Seat height 800mm
Bike weight 139kg
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

History & Versions

Model history

2013: Model introduced

Other versions

The 125 Duke costs £3999

Photo Gallery

  • KTM 390 DUKE  (2013-on)
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