KTM 390 Duke review, test ride

    We ride KTM's potent new streetbike, the new 390 Duke.

    Published on Apr 19, 2013 03:43:00 AM

    19,982 Views

    Overall quality is good, as are fit-finish and attention-to-detail on the new motorcycle.   
    The liquid-cooled 390 Duke comes with a four-stroke, 373.2cc, single-cylinder (bore and stroke, 89mm x 60mm) and fuel-injected engine with dual overhead camshafts driving its four-valves. There’s a forged piston and Nikasil coated cylinder. Engine weight is low at 36kg. Peak power output is a strong 43bhp at 9000rpm, while maximum torque produced is 3.57kgm at 7000rpm. The gearbox offers six-speeds, a one-down and 5-up, toe-shifted box with power delivered through an X-ring sealed drive chain. Gears shift with a smooth, well weighted feel and all ratios feel nicely spaced, taller than on the 200.
     
    The 390 Duke does feel best when ridden hard, short-shifting up the gearbox to keep revs in the meaty bit of its powerband. 
     
    The 390 clutch works with progressive feel, and only marginally heavier pull than the 200 Duke. Throttle response is immediate on the fuel-injected bike, and the power band is wide. The 390 engine provides ample low-end grunt, building into a strapping mid-range that flows all the way up to redline, over 10000rpm. There’s good torque, but top end power is strongest, best performance calling for hard pushing over 6000rpm. The 390 provides seriously quick acceleration, and easily holds respectable cruising speeds, with the instruments reading 7000rpm when at 130kph in sixth gear, and 5000rpm at 100kph also in top gear. We took the 390 Duke up to an effortless speedometer indicated top speed of 107kph in third gear, an indicated 133kph in fourth and over 150kph in fifth, with sixth still to engage. KTM tell us they have tested the 390 to a true 162kph top speed in sixth, which we will verify as soon as we strap on our test equipment.
     
     
    KTM Bikes

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