KTM Duke 390
The KTM 390 Duke is a perfect example of why many people enjoy street riding. This Corner Rocket maximizes customer value and riding experience by its snappy handling. It promises a fantastic ride, whether you're battling your way through the urban landscape or are going on an off-road adventure with your fellow riders. The motorcycle is preferred by both beginner and experienced riders because it's lightweight, strong, and packed with cutting-edge technology.
As the turns get closer in the valleys, the KTM 390 Duke can offer motorcyclists an easy way out. The 390 Duke's high seating posture makes it easy for any rider to adjust their position. This ride is always ready to roll, thanks to its 53.4-inch wheelbase and sharp 25-degree rake.
All these characteristics combine to make the 390 Duke an excellent urban ride. The WP Apex suspension also handles city street imperfections. The 373cc motor delivers plenty of power despite being a short-stroke type. The ABS has a Supermoto setting that enables you to slide the back wheel if you're the wild sort.
The 12-volt lead-acid cell generally lasts longer with proper maintenance and care. Other voltage-powered circuit boards, such as the TFT screen and LED lighting, work admirably and do not necessitate regular monitoring.
Because of its powerful 150mm spring, the KTM 390 Duke can handle almost all types of terrains. The loading is adjustable, so you have complete control whether you're riding alone or with a companion, with or without baggage, on the freeway, or on the racetrack.
Kawasaki Ninja 300
Kawasaki has been among the most steadfast makers of compact motorcycles aimed at beginner riders for years. The Ninja 250 is a legendary motorcycle that had a major redesign in 2008. Kawasaki produced the Ninja 300, the next generation of that motorcycle, a few years down the line. It outperforms the Ninja 250 in every manner, and it may even be the finest motorbike for new riders.
Because most cars are now automatic, a prospective rider's first encounter with a clutch may be when training to ride motorcycles. This is a lot to digest at first, but the Ninja 300's Assist and Slipper Clutch make things easier. A GP-style clutch allows you to draw in the shift lever with minimal force. To begin shifting gears, all you need is two fingers. Shifting through the gears on the Ninja 300 is a joy; everything has been fine-tuned to the point that it almost feels like the motorcycle has a rapid shifter.
The Kawasaki Ninja 300 also provides excellent gas mileage. The original Ninja 250 guzzled incredibly little gasoline, and the second generation has maintained that hereditary feature. With aggressive riding on the Ninja 300, it's typical to see real-world fuel efficiency of 50-60mpg. If you are careful with your gas and ride calmly, you could certainly get better mileage.
Differences between the KTM Duke 390 and the Kawasaki Ninja 300
Style and Looks
The Kawasaki Ninja 300 is a much more appealing vehicle in terms of aesthetics. Everything about the motorcycle is stylish, from the twin headlamps to the unusual wheels, and you won't want to miss it on the highway, especially when it's colored in Kawasaki's trademark candy lime green.
Given its 375cc displacement, the KTM Duke 390 appears small in size. The fact that it looks exactly like the Duke 200 takes away the wow factor, while the color palette does set it apart from its sibling.
The lights on the KTM Duke 390 are LEDs. While the bare styling of the Duke 390 flexes all its capabilities, the Ninja 300's full faired appearance makes it appear larger than it really is.
While the KTM Duke 390 is well-built, visible wiring may make you question its build quality. Some components come from the Pulsar, which may not be to everyone's taste. When it comes to build quality, the Kawasaki Ninja 300 is practically immaculate, with top-notch quality and performance in every detail. The Ninja 300 lacks a grip rail, but a recess is buried behind the seat, which is a nice addition.
On the Duke 390, you sit up straight and steer with a large handlebar. The motorcycle is a nice tourer; however, the seat is a little hard, and the reflectors are a bit small. The Ninja 300 has clip-ons and specialized steering. The footpegs are situated higher, and you recline lower. Despite having a relatively harsh riding stance, the Ninja 300 is incredibly comfortable. Although both bikes are acceptable for short and tall users, the Ninja 300 has superior overall ergonomics.
Instrumentation and Gears
While the KTM Duke 390's dashboard is entirely digital, the Kawasaki Ninja 300's tachometer is analog, with practically all else being digital. The console on the Ninja is substantially larger and easily readable at all speeds. The Duke 390’s displays a wealth of information, but the tachometer is too small.
The Ninja 300's console has larger lettering, and the large tachometer is immediately in front of your eyes; therefore, it wins in this category as well. These bikes have adequate switchgear; however, the Ninja has a little advantage thanks to its black piano switch polish. The Ninja 300's reflectors are more outwardly positioned than the Duke 390's, providing improved rear sight.
Both bikes have strong nighttime illumination, but the Ninja 300's twin lights are superior because they illuminate the entire road. A daylight running light is also included in the Ninja.
The Ninja 300 appears to be earning its premium thus far, but it cannot compete with the Duke 390 in terms of performance. The Duke 390 has a better power-to-weight ratio of nearly over 300 PS per ton compared to the Ninja 300's 226 PS per ton.
The Duke 390 is quicker than the Ninja 300 right away and is swift off the mark. However, the top speed of the former is only 104 mph, while the Ninja 300 can go up to 119 mph, which is a surprise given since the engine displacement is only 296cc.
The simultaneous twin power plant on the Ninja 300 is extremely tuned, and vibrations are non- existent. When you start the motorcycle, the Duke 390 shakes quite a bit, and while it's not terrible, it simply can't compete with the Ninja 300 in terms of smoothness. The Duke 390 has a larger compression than the Ninja 300, so it knocks a little when you use poor-quality gas.
In conclusion, the Kawasaki Ninja 300 is a good city bike, even if it is a little heavy to handle in traffic. The Ninja is our pick for city riding because Kawasaki has done an excellent job of diverting excess heat from the rider. No matter how much time you redline the Ninja 300, the flow of air through the bodywork distributes heat away from the user, and the motorcycle never heats up.
In city settings, the Duke 390 warms up a lot, and riding in stop-and-go traffic might give your legs a heated massage. The Duke 390's increased ground clearance, however, is a plus because you must be extra careful on the Ninja 300 while passing over huge speed-breakers.
In a nutshell, if you’re looking for power and acceleration, then it might be worth considering the Duke 390 as it has a stronger engine that can deliver better performance. However, if you’re more interested in aesthetics, comfort, ride quality, and advanced features, then we suggest you go for the Ninja 300. It excels in these areas and will allow you to ride in the urban settings easily, whether you are an experienced rider or are just starting out.
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