Engine, chassis, design, there's changes all around
We recently spotted KTM hard at work testing the next-gen 125 Duke and 250 Duke, and if you thought the 390 Duke was going to be left out of the party, then think again. Team Orange has just been snapped testing the updated 390 Duke, and like its smaller sibling, there are big changes afoot.
In the powertrain department, the engine itself appears largely the same but KTM has changed the exhaust routing, which is now less circuitous than before. This new layout seems to increase ground clearance, but whether it brings any additional firepower or not, only time will tell. This test mule features only an underbelly cat-con but we expect the production bike to get a traditional side-slung silencer unit as well.
The lion's share of updates are in the chassis department. Like the eighth-litre and quarter-litre Dukes spotted earlier, the 390 Duke seems to get an updated main frame, with a slightly tweaked trellis pattern and engine hangers. The subframe is all-new and no longer a trellis design, instead featuring the composite construction seen on the new 1290 Super Duke RR. Another major upgrade is to the swingarm, which bears little resemblance to the older unit, featuring a new shape and new internal bracing pattern. Going hand-in-hand with the new swingarm is an offset shock absorber. This test mule is also running the new wheels and brake discs seen on the soon-to-be-launched next-gen RC 390.
As for the design, the new subframe means that the tail-end is going to get a refresher, while up front, KTM has slapped on all-new bodywork with some rather sharp tank extensions. Interestingly, the one on the left side features an air-intake of sorts. Whether this is just a dummy unit for aesthetic purposes or it performs a cooling function or feeds air to the engine, we will have to see once an official unveiling occurs. That is expected to happen sometime at the end of this year, followed by an official launch at around Rs 2.90 lakh.