Comparing the 2017 KTM 390 Duke against its closest rivals on paper brings us some interesting results
The much-awaited 2017 KTM 390 Duke is finally here. The new model gets sharper bodywork and a host of features as well. The updates have led to a 29,000 rupee hike, and the new 390 Duke is priced at Rs 2.26 lakh ex-showroom New Delhi. With the higher price tag, new cycle parts and additional features, can the new 390 Duke distance itself further from its rivals, or not? A full blown comparison test will help us establish that, but meanwhile, we're pitting the new Duke against its rivals on paper to see where it stands now.
Being the newest bike, the new KTM 390 Duke has the freshest design here. What makes it stands out further is the bright orange hue no doubt helped by the fact that it is styled along the lines of the 1290 Super Duke R which features a new design as well. The 390 Duke has sharper lines and a meaner visage and looks larger than the previous 390 Duke.
The Kawasaki Z250 has a design inspired by the bigger Kawasaki Z800. The Benelli TNT 300i meanwhile carries a few the Benelli TNT 600i's lines, especially in profile. With the advent of the new 390 Duke, the competition does look dated now.
The new KTM 390 Duke comes with a split type trellis frame. The Benelli TNT 300i gets a hybrid-trellis frame while the Kawasaki Z250 sports a conventional diamond type frame. The 2017 KTM 390 Duke gets an upgraded 43mm open cartridge upside down front forks and rear monoshock damper from WP (White Power) suspension. For braking, it sports a larger 320mm front disc clamped with really mounted ByBre callipers and a 230mm rear disc. ABS is standard. The 390 Duke comes shod with highly-grippy Metzeler Sportec M5 radials. The bike gets a 110 section front and 150 section rear tyres.
The Benelli TNT 300i features 41mm upside down forks upfront and a monoshock damper at the rear. The TNT 300i is the only bike here that comes with a dual-disc setup at the front. It gets 260mm dual petal discs and a 240mm rear disc. The TNT 300i comes with MRF 110 section front and 150 section rear tyres as standard though it does offer wider Pirelli Angel GT tyres as an option.
The Kawasaki Z250 comes shod with 37mm telescopic forks upfront and a monoshock damper at the rear. It gets a single 290mm front disc and 220mm rear disc. It has 110 section front and 140 section rear IRC Road Winner tyres.
Of the trio, it is the 390 Duke that comes with high-spec cycle parts. It is also the only bike to get ABS as standard.
Engine and Performance:
The KTM 390 Duke carries forward the same 373.3cc single as the earlier 390 Duke but has been updated for BS-IV norms. The liquid-cooled motor still develops 43.5PS but torque is up by 2Nm and is now 37Nm. It is interesting that the competition comes with parallel-twin motors while the KTM makes do with a single-cylinder motor.
The Kawasaki Z250 comes with a 249cc liquid-cooled twin that makes 32PS and 21Nm of torque. The Benelli TNT 300i gets a 300cc liquid-cooled twin that outputs 38.2PS and 26.5Nm. The 390 Duke delivers the highest power and torque figures here at relatively low rpm levels. It also gets ride-by-wire and slipper clutch as standard which both the Z250 and TNT 300i miss out on. The 390 Duke's single cylinder motor, however, can not match the soundtrack of the twin-cylinder motors. The TNT 300i is the best sounding bike here.
The 390 Duke always had an upper hand in the segment when it came to features and the new 390 Duke takes the game forward. Chief updates include an all-LED headlamp, a colour TFT instrument console and KTM MY RIDE app. Compared to these, the Kawasaki feel dated and are in need of an update.
The earlier 390 Duke was a great VFM proposition and undercut the competition by close to a lakh rupees. The recent price hike reduces the price gap to Rs 75,000. the new 390 Duke retails for Rs 2.26 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The Benelli TNT 300i is priced at Rs 3.03 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) while the Kawasaki Z250 sells for Rs 3.11 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). With the performance, design and features on offer, the 390Duke was and remains the best value-for-money sportsbike under Rs 5 lakh.