KTM 390 Duke
For anyone who likes to take bends as rapidly as possible, the KTM 390 Duke is a sheer riding ecstasy. This nimble and light city motorcycle is great for you if you want a ride that falls somewhere between a 300cc and a 500cc category.
The KTM 390 Duke is equipped with a six-speed, liquid-cooled engine that produces 32 kW power. It is powered by an electronic starter. The total displacement offered is 373.5cc, which is a lot of power for the money.
This powerful motorcycle is prepared to leave the traffic behind with the flick of your wrist due to the innovative intake and exhaust, the 46 mm throttle plate, and the precise fuel injector. The slipper clutch not only opens when the engine back-torque rises too high, but it also helps when you increase the throttle.
Tethering your cell phone to your KTM 390 Duke for navigating and audio is also quite simple. You can keep your fingers where they should be while still tapping into the TFT screen with ease, thanks to a menu button on the grips.
Competitors of the KTM 390 Duke
Riding the KTM 390 Duke is a lot of fun, even though it has a small engine compared to more powerful motorcycles. Its major competitors are the Honda CB300R and Husqvarna's Vitpilen 401, both of which have less than 400cc of engine capacity. Let's have a look at some areas where these three bikes could easily compete.
Both the Honda CB300R and the Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 have the virtue of being newcomers to the market. They dress in modern neo-sportswear that strikes a nice combination of past and present. They are, in some sense, responses to the fantastic little 390 Duke, which dominated the entry-level naked bike sector when it debuted three years ago.
Aesthetics and Lighting
It's difficult to pick a winner in the aesthetics area because all three motorcycles are equally equipped for success. The KTM's rough edges and colorful pumpkin colors are sure to appeal to novice riders. The CB300R, on the other hand, is significantly more subtle, yet nonetheless attractive and simple to live with without attracting undue attention, for better or worse.
We like the CB300R's sleek, boxy forms, which display the vehicle's mechanics in a stylish way. The Vitpilen 401 subtly raises the volume, making it ideal for individuals who want to store their motorcycle in the sitting room and use it as a coffee table. It's a motorcycle that draws attention with its big white torso, curvy stepped seat, and exquisite spoked tires.
All three include bright LED illumination that not only appears modern and stylish but also helps you stand out among the rest. They have headlights that put non-LED vehicles from just a few years ago to shame. Smooth-shifting gearboxes and light, manageable clutches are two more similarities.
The TFT screen on the orange Duke 390 motorcycle is the most sophisticated, offering a vibrant contrast to the monochrome LCD on the other two. Between the CB300R and Vitpilen 401, the former wins because its screen is simpler to see.
It may, however, profit from a gear position indicator, which we usually see on new Honda motorcycles. Despite its stylish appearance, the Vitpilen 401's skillfully integrated round face meter package is tough to interpret while riding due to its small text. The buttons' physical function should also be improved.
Weight is a major concern for inexperienced riders. The Honda CB300 weighs only 315 lbs., 47 pounds less than the KTM 390 Duke and 25 pounds less than the Vitpilen 401.
Engine Size and Power
Admittedly, the Honda CB300R has the tiniest engine, but it still manages to produce a remarkable amount of acceleration for a motorcycle of its size. With its 286cc engine, the Honda produces 27.5 horsepower at 8,300 rpm, which is 13.7 horsepower less than the European-built rivals. It also has a lower maximum torque of 8 pound-feet.
The KTM 390 boasts a powerful 373cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled engine. A 6-speed gearbox is available, and the ride can produce 44 HP at 9,000 rpm with a torque of 37Nm. The Vitpilen 401 also comes with a 373cc single-cylinder engine that is quite compact. It is equipped with a 6-speed gearbox and can produce 37Nm of torque, which makes the 401 ideal for urban riding. A ride-by-wire system operates the electronic fuel injection to deliver refined and controlled power.
When it comes to horsepower, the Vitpilen 401 takes the lead over the KTM 390. Throttle and engine responsiveness are also quicker and more noticeable, which isn't always a good thing, especially in the hands of a beginner rider. On the other hand, more advanced users will certainly prefer the engine's punchier feeling.
The way these singles generate power has a significant impact on suspension effectiveness. The powerband of the four-valve mill in the Duke 390 and Vitpilen motorcycles, for instance, fills up the suspension system more than the Honda's softer delivery. At high speeds, the white Vitpilen and orange Duke’s engines shake a little more, causing extra vibration to enter the controls.
KTM 390 Duke vs. Honda CB300R vs. Husqvarna Vitpilen 401
It's no surprise that the Honda gets the best gas mileage for its smaller volume. It provides 71 mpg, which will give the 2.7-gallon gas tank some long legs. The KTM and Vitpilen, on the other hand, are a bit behind in the area, with the Vitpilen averaging 48.9 mpg and the KTM managing only 48.5 mpg.
In terms of suspension, all three bikes use non-adjustable twisted forks that not only look fantastic but also provide athletic handling. The rear suspension design is very identical, with the shocks attached directly to the frames and swingarm in this combination. The Honda's configuration proved to be the most effective, providing the most directional movement both at a leisurely cruising speed and at high speeds through bends. The KTM suspenders provide a livelier ride than the Honda, but it's nowhere near the Vitpilen's springiness.
Despite its small size, the Honda's aesthetics are the most comfortable and natural. However, if you're taller than average, you won't find the KTM 390's cabin as roomy as the Honda's. The seating posture underneath the waist is particularly tight and unproportioned. Nonetheless, we prefer the handlebars and more upright posture of the Husqvarna. The option to alter the placement of the clutch and stop levers on Euro bikes is also a nice feature. If you're looking for a more concentrated, racy-feeling motor below your legs, though, you'll probably go toward the Vitpilen, particularly if you're a tall guy.
You'd be pleased to ride any of these three motorcycles home at the end of each day. Each provides a unique perspective on motorcycle riding as well as a statement about the person behind the wheel. Despite being the most affordable, the Honda is the most refined motorcycle, with the superior build quality and a smooth, comfortable ride. But the KTM 390 Duke also has a class of its own, and the Husqvarna Vitpilen offers pretty much the same power as the Duke. It essentially all boils down to what you prefer in a two-wheeler.
About THE AUTHOR
Russ currently owns a Yamaha FZ6N and KTM RC 390. When it comes to vintage bikes, his favorite motorcycle is the feisty BMW R32. He also holds a particular interest in the LAMS segment and triple cylinders. Himself a riding enthusiast, Russ has had experience with racetracks from around the world including Willow Springs Raceway in California and the Imola Circuit in Italy.Read More About Russ Crowley