New KTM 390 Duke appears ready for launch in fresh spy shots

    The next-gen 390 Duke brings an all-new engine housed in an all-new chassis, and there is a good chance that displacement could grow to 399cc.

    Published On Jun 01, 2023 12:52:00 PM

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    New KTM 390 Duke appears ready for launch in fresh spy shots
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    For many months now, we’ve been seeing disguised test mules of the next-gen KTM 390 Duke testing on public roads, both in India as well as overseas. More recently, we got a very first look at the bike in a production paint scheme, albeit a partial look. Now, for the very first time, the entire bike has been seen in production form, and there are some new details visible.

    1. Adjustable levers now sport a new design
    2. Very stylised body panels and mirrors
    3. Engine likely to grow to 399cc

    New KTM 390 Duke: design

    Now that all the camouflage is off, we can get a proper sense of the design of this next-gen Duke, and what’s immediately apparent is that this is a very stylised motorcycle. The tank extensions feature neat floating sections and the DRLs on either side of the LED headlight look quite smart too. Even the way that the mirror stalks flow into the mirrors themselves is quite unique, and this is certainly a motorcycle that you can spend a lot of time observing and keep finding new elements to appreciate. Not all the bits work quite so well, though. There’s an unusual orange panel between the rider and pillion seats, and some might find the design of this bike a little busy.

    New KTM 390 Duke: features

    The 390 Duke it already a rather feature-rich motorcycle, but you can be certain that the existing equipment levels seen on the other 390s will also be seen on the next-gen Duke. So expect the addition of traction control and cornering ABS, as seen on the RC 390 and 390 Adventure. The Duke will also continue to get a Bluetooth-equipped TFT display and a bi-directional quick-shifter. We recently got a first look at the new layout that the TFT screen will feature, and switchgear is going to be redesigned as well. Another area that will change is the hand levers – they will continue to be adjustable, but now via a screw on the back of the lever (similar to what the Royal Enfield 650s now use).

    New KTM 390 Duke: engine

    Though not visible in this latest spy shot, we do know that the engine is going to undergo a revolution in this latest generation. The crankcases, engine covers, and exhaust routing are all a radical departure from the current motorcycle, indicating that there are major changes afoot. The current 373cc mill has kept the same fundamentals since it was first introduced in 2013, and the grapevine is rife with rumours of displacement growing to 399cc with the new bike. There would be multiple benefits to this. With emissions norms getting ever more stringent, a bump up in displacement would allow KTM to maintain or grow the output levels of the current bike – something that will be exceedingly difficult with the current engine in the future. Motorcycles are also expected to get heavier as the norms become stricter, and being able to extract a little extra output would help keep performance levels on par despite the weight increase.

    And then there’s also the fact that KTM races this engine in the WorldSSP300 championship, where the rules permit a maximum displacement of 400cc. Competitors like the Kawasaki Ninja 400 make full use of this, with a 399cc engine, while KTM has a 26cc handicap. Of course, the rules also make provisions to balance the performance of all the different bikes with different engine configurations, but KTM would stand to have a stronger package by maximising the potential allowed by the rules.

    New KTM 390 Duke: India launch and expected price

    With pictures of the finished bike now emerging online, an official launch does not seem very far away. The packaging of the crash guards on the bike in this video even suggest that it’s being readied for transportation. The next-gen Dukes were earlier expected to make their debut at EICMA in November this year, but it now seems like we could see them hit the market sooner than that. Once launched, expect the updated machine to carry a price hike over the existing Rs 2.97 lakh (ex-showroom) 390 Duke, sitting around the Rs 3.2 lakh mark.

    KTM Bikes

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