Overview of the KTM Duke 390
The KTM 390 Duke engine not only produces arm-wrenching power and hair-raising speed but also offers good fuel efficiency. The 373cc single-cylinder four-valve engine features a ride-by-wire, side-mount exhaust, and a bigger airbox. At lower rpm, it can produce 5.7 percent more torque. A slipper clutch was also added in the update that came out in 2015. The engine is small but smooth and punchy. Moreover, it can deliver the performance you expect from a mid-tier sport motorcycle.
The KTM 390 Duke’s cutting-edge chassis, combined with its light steel trellis structure, makes this motorcycle easier to turn and maneuver. The 17-inch cast alloy racer wheels are as lightweight as they are solid, allowing you to put the power forward with assurance, with a front-wheel width of 110mm and a back wheel width of 150mm.
The tires are made of high-quality rubber and will keep your KTM 390 Duke fastened to the roadway. They provide better traction in both wet and dry conditions, and exceptional longevity, even for motorcyclists who are known to push tires to their limits.
The upside-down WP forks, which feature the most recent open cartridge invention, not only outperform expectations when pushed to their limits, but they're also seamless and simple to use. This makes them suitable for a variety of riding settings, ranging from relaxed cruising to banging about on tight courses and everything in between.
Overview of the DRZ400
The Suzuki DRZ400 is a capable off-road motorcycle. A combination of reliable suspension, easy handling, generous power, and exceptional ground clearance makes this motorcycle enjoyable to ride. It's solid, capable, and reliable, allowing you to go on all kinds of off-roading adventures alone or with a companion.
Because of its deep five-speed gear cluster, the DRZ400 is more suited to off-road or on-road racing. The motorcycle will rev to 6250 rpm at 62 mp/h. On the open highway, the motorcycle performs well enough. The DRZ400 misses plenty of aggressive power due to its 400cc displacement, but it has enough horsepower to handle steep climbs, headwinds, overcome sluggish vehicles, and be fun to ride a motorcycle.
The original seat of this motorcycle is as firm as a piece of wood. A CA broad seat is a must-have for anyone who plans to travel vast places or ride for extended periods of time.
The standard DRZ400E braking is adequate but not exceptional. They do a good job of stopping the motorcycle, but when the DRZ400 is utilized as an adventure vehicle and bears all that additional weight, the little 250mm front brake rotor shows its shortcomings. The upgrade from a 250mm to a 270mm main brake rotor provides that added element of stopping force that makes braking extremely effective.
Differences between the KTM Duke 390 and the Suzuki DRZ400
Even though both these bikes are packed with commendable features and perform quite well in their own niches, there are some differences between the KTM Duke 390 and Suzuki DRZ400. These variations include the engine size, ergonomics,and overall feel and performance. Below, we’ve shared some key differences between the two rides.
Engine performance is one of the key factors to consider when looking for a motorcycle. The KTM Duke 390 has a 373cc, liquid-cooled, 4 stroke single engine which provides a huge amount of power, and at 32 kW, which is 44 hp, it's among the most powerful options for motorcyclists.The torque of this motorcycle is maintained at 35Nm at 7250 pm. This ride will take you anywhere from dense jungles to well-paved roads easily.
The Suzuki DRZ400, on the other hand, has a 398cc 4-stroke single, which produces power and torque of 33.4 hp and 25.6 lb-ft, respectively.
The top speed of the KTM Duke 390 is 104 mph, while the Suzuki DRZ400 can manage up to 94 mph. This means that if speed is your top priority, the former would be the better option.
Both the motorcycles have an engine that is quite powerful and potent. They perform without flinching, and the torques and power ranges are also significantly comparable. There is a minor difference in speed, which is expected as the Duke 390 is a sport motorcycle made for urban riding while the DRZ400 is targeted at off-road enthusiasts who like going for adventures and riding on perilous terrains.
Chassis and Wheels
The KTM Duke 390 is constructed by using a tubular steel trellis and has a wet weight of 153 kg, as KTM proudly claims. Thanks to bulk clustered near the center of gravity, it has maximum movement and grace, ready to overcome the rush-hour race day after day. With a front-wheel diameter of 110 mm and a rear-wheel size of 150 mm, the 17-inch cast alloy racer rims are as compact as they are sturdy, enabling you to put the power forth with confidence.
The DRZ400 is far from a compact enduro bike. It's a robust, dependable, and effective off-road vehicle. With a curb weight of only 138 kg, the DRZ400 can be considered a decent light motorcycle.
Obviously, adding adventure gear and luggage doubles this, but the total weight still results in an adventure motorcycle that is rather nimble in tough terrains and can be readily picked up by a single rider when you have one of those less than spectacular moments.The Suzuki DRZ400 is a kick-start off-road variant. It can tackle deep water passages with ease if properly set up, owing to the motorcycle’s wheels.
Seat height is another factor to consider when selecting a motorcycle. The KTM 390 offers a seat height of 820 mm, which will give you an extremely secure position. The pillion seat is integrated into the motorcycle's bodywork so that the stunning look of the 390 Duke is not compromised while ensuring generous comfort for any passenger riding with you.
The DRZ400 has a ride height of 935mm or 36.8 inches. The good news is that it can be readily reduced for shorter riders who prefer riding low.
The best way to lower the DRZ400 while maintaining the suspension function is to have it professionally dropped. There are several replacement seats for the DRZ400 that will lower the motorcycle by up to an inch without affecting the suspension. This option is not allowed on the KTM 390 Duke, which makes the DRZ400 a winner in this case.
The latest KTM Duke 390 offers sharper handling and better handling than previous iterations. The steel trellis frame boasts racier geometry and a more-canted front riding position, shifting more weight to the forward side. As a result, you get an extra feel of what the motorcycle's front end is doing in turns. The KTM 390 is still roomy and comfortable with its straight bars and offers an aggressive feel overall.
The DRZ4000 is a reliable dirt motorcycle and will last a long time with proper maintenance. It is mostly used as an adventure ride, which puts a lot of stress on the engine, especially when carrying a passenger or heavy loads. While many adventure motorcycles have been introduced in the market in the past few years, the perfect lightweight adventure ride still does not exist. Even in the strictly competitive space, the DRZ400 still stands as a worthy contender.
In a nutshell, if you are looking for a sport motorcycle for urban adventures, then the KTM 390 is a perfect ride for you. It offers generous power, decent mileage, and good speed, which should meet your expectations from a budget-friendly sport ride. On the other hand, if you prefer off-roading and are looking for a motorcycle for that purpose, then the DRZ400 is worth considering. It’s a highly capable ride that will make your off-road trips more fun and exciting.
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