MCN’s spy snapper scooped these shots of a KTM 390 Duke test mule in Spain, which reveal visual changes including a reshaped fuel tank and side panels, an updated seat unit and a revised rear light. However, beneath those revised cosmetics MCN believes there’s also a host of engine updates to satisfy new Euro 4 regulations.
KTM remain tight-lipped about the changes but MCN understands this bike will be revealed officially later this year before going on sale in 2017.
The updates to the 390 Duke are not entirely unexpected. Not only is the bike going to have to meet the 2017 Euro 4 regulations, but as it was introduced in 2013 the 390 Duke is also due a mid-life refresh to keep it competitive against increasing sub-500cc competition.
The 373cc single-cylinder motor currently produces 43bhp and this may well go up slightly because of changes made for the new regulations, as more stable combustion and more efficient fuel delivery with the latest engine management systems not only give more power but also increase fuel economy. There is also the possibility that KTM will have fitted a second balancer shaft in the cylinder head, as first seen on the firm’s 690 Duke launched at the end of 2015. This extra balancer shaft works to smooth out the low rpm engine response, giving near twin-like smoothness from a single cylinder.
The 390 Duke has been a stunning success for KTM around the world, and – in addition to the smaller capacity 125 and 200 Duke models – has helped the Austrian company become Europe’s biggest manufacturer by volume. The new Duke is also expected to gain a mid-capacity stablemate in 2017/8 in the form of a new 800cc parallel twin, as revealed in MCN last week.