Let’s start this article with a question: Will you buy a new naked superbike at exactly 50% off?


Very recently KTM India has launched the Duke 390 in India. As I write this article a lot of people have already booked the bike and a lot of others are caught up in a dilemma. Some people are debating and comparing this bike with the Ninja 300. Some people are thinking whether to go for the RC 390, which is slated to launch next year.

I think enough has been said about the performance of this machine. Internationally this bike is placed in between the Ninja 300 and the Honda CB 500F (Naked version of the CBR 500R). The bike is closer to the performance of the CB 500F as though less in power it is also about 30 kg lighter, making it more agile and giving it the commendable power to weight ratio of 300 BHP/ ton.


Only in Top speed the CB 500F should beat the Duke. Now it is a known fact the CB 400F is on it’s way to India next year. A re-bored job of the 500F, this bike will have lesser power and the same extra bulk of 30kg, making it less of a performer. In my opinion the looks are also more commuter like in the CB 400F and doesn’t have the cutting edge design of the Duke. But I will let you decide that.

But performance wise, if you are a naked street fighter lover, there is nothing better coming your way. The Honda when it comes should be costlier and I think Honda India might want to consider bringing CB500F to compete with the Duke in the Indian market.

But the reason I write today is not to give you all these clichéd information which you probably get through all the sources anyways. I write only to give you one amazing fact about the Duke that all other bike information sites, seem to have overlooked. There was an article only on BikeAdvice highlighting the price of Duke in Singapore (Read Here).


I have already claimed a 50% off on a new superbike but for those who are not ready to believe me here is a table that I have made for you…


Duke 390 vs Ninja 300 vs Honda CB500F
Bike Name India (price in INR) US (Price in USD) Price in UK(GBP) Singapore
Duke 390 1,80,000 NA* 4,500
INR 4,06,972.23
INR 5,25,000
Ninja 300 3,50,000 $4,799/
INR 2,88,000
INR 4,34,013
Honda CB500F 3,50,000 (expected) $5,499/
INR 3,30,000
INR 4,20,537

*People in the US are expecting it to be placed very close to the Ninja 300, slightly less than the Ninja or very close to it. Here is one such forum of Ninja 300 forums where they have discussed it:

Ninja Forums

(Many of them are thinking of getting the Duke 390 when it gets released in the US)

In the above table lets’ take the UK and India markets. In UK the Ninja is the costliest, at around Rupees 4, 34,013. It is only marginally over the Honda by 13.5 K and from the KTM only about 27K.


Now we look back to India. Here the KTM has an unfair advantage. The price difference here is a staggering 170 K (that is 1, 70,000). If you go on to compare the on road prices they are just half. The 390 being offered in most places at Rupees 2 lakhs and the Ninja at 4 lakhs. So by performance the Duke was always ahead by price it is just half! If you look at all the international pricing this difference almost seems unbelievable, especially to us unfortunate Indians who have always had to pay 60- 110% import duties to own European or Japanese bikes!

So this article is not a gimmick you really are getting a world class bike at 50% discount. Now you will start thinking that this bike will have poor quality and it’s made for India. But it’s not! Let’s break down the secret of the pricing:


Reasons for Duke 390’s Lower Price

  1. Made in India and exported to 75 markets. Same spec bike to be sold worldwide. As this is made in India, there are no customs duties on this vehicle. It’s not even a CKD. It is made here. That means all the money you pay is for the bike and not for the excise department to get richer.
  2. Platform sharing: The 390 Duke shares platform with Pulsar, the Duke 200 and Duke 125, parts and platform sharing makes production cost much lower and affects final price.
  3. Marketing strategy: Stefan Pierer (CEO, KTM) in his interview to CNBC TV 18 clearly said that India is a very price sensitive market. KTM feels the pulse of the nation and Rajiv Bajaj also knows how we love a bargain on everything!
  4. ‘Introductory price’: by this they mean that the CBR can now get blown away. This price is so little that ABS version of the CBR is already feeling the heat. They just want to capture the entire market share before another bike from their own stable, the Pulsar 375 shows up!

All these factors combined have given us the 390 at ‘shocker of a price’ of 1.8 lakhs (ex-showroom).

So now that I have proven my point the only question is, are you going to get the 390 Duke?


*Sales Manager of KTM Kolkata

I can very well see that you are still here, thinking whether to get the test drive. (Yes, most showrooms have already got the test drive bikes)

Well looks like you are not moving…. well let me prod you a bit further.

Here is part of my test drive of the 390 in full HD video. Notice the insane acceleration at 1:05 of the video when the 390 just zooms away and the Duke 200 (cameraman on board) is just left behind.

Rahul Mazumder

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  • Kiran Bharadwaj


    The pricing question did make me think of the quality, but logically i also believed that KTM being a internationally known, they wouldn’t compromise on the quality, your break up on the pricing in India has cleared the doubt.

  • Quality yes, value for money yes but lets not forget – Ninja 300 and CBR500 are both twin cylinder bikes, makes a huge difference.

    • Rahul

      Huge difference in what? In acceleration the Ninja 300 loses. In top speed they are placed very close to each other. In power delivery the Duke has the power everywhere in the band. The bike is also lighter. I think people are over estimating the two cylinders, sure you can put 4 cylinders in a bike but still on real world tests if it can’t work as effectively as a single cylinder bike, then is it really worth it? Especially, if it’s double the price and less performing?

      • Mukesh

        Yes, u r right Rahul. But Ninja has “Slipper clutch”, better handling and excellent (10/10) braking.
        I haven’t tested Duke 390 but surely it would be an overheating machine with this kind of specs.
        Of course the price diff is too much and hence both are equally poised.

  • Rahul

    Agreed that the slipper clutch is there handling on both these machines are good and I still don’t know if I will put the Ninja ahead of the Duke. As the lighter weight makes turning the duke really really easy. (having test ridden the bike). Also the braking department on the Ninja lacks ABS which is standard on the Duke. So I won’t give it 10/10. In my view the only advantage it has is the aerodynamic fairing and the slipper clutch. The disadvantage, less power, more weight, lower power to weight ratio, no ABS, double the price, hardly seems equally poised…
    Already more than 1000 duke 390 booked in India and still not even half of that many Ninja sold.

  • Reeto

    Nice article. Makes a lot of sense to go for the Duke 390 as compared to the Ninja 300. The Duke is surely a better bet in terms of outright acceleration as well as robustness needed for Indian roads. It will be easier to navigate the Duke through traffic or potholed roads as compared to the Ninja. Frankly in India, 0-100 kmph matters more than top speed.

    The manner in which roads across the country are suffering damage (read potholes) due to incessant rains, it is necessary to consider the bike’s suspension travel and rigidity of its frame for tackling potholes. The Duke is a clear winner in this department too.

    • Rahul

      Honestly you are right. The handling on the 390 is very easy. Though one problem is will face in the traffic is the engine heating. But that is a problem with all powerful bikes. If you have seen the video, I have taken the bike over a few potholes and the suspension felt just right! (not too stiff neither too bouncy). The ABS is one other feature required for highway speeds and sudden braking, ABS unit is really doing it’s job!

  • Edd

    I can vouch for its quality. I ride a D200, its my first and only bike. I had never ridden a 2 wheeler or any vehicle before. I learned riding by myself with no one to teach me. The bike has fallen around 4 times and it still keeps going. The stability of this bike is amazing. I have had experience wherein any other bike would have taken me to hospital, but this bike just seems to handle every situation you throw at it. It is a world class bike.

    • Rahul

      The Duke 390 will be my third bike, and 10 years down the line from my first bike. As you are a new rider, slowly you will progress to the higher speed limits. Do buy a good DOT certified helmet, and a CE approved armour jacket and leg protection. Ride safe, the D200 is a pretty fast bike. And it loves to corner!

    • Gabs

      @Edd, why are you trying to fool everyone here?
      First you say:
      “I ride a D200, its my first and only bike. I had never ridden a 2 wheeler or any vehicle before.”

      Then you say:
      “The stability of this bike is amazing. I have had experience wherein any other bike would have taken me to hospital,”

      If you’ve not ridden any other bike ever, how the hell do you know that all other bikes are far behind this one and are eagerly waiting to take you to hospital (if you ever ride them)?

      I know that “The stability of this bike is amazing” just as you say. And tell you what, there are many other bikes on Indian roads that will make you amaze at their stability if you ever ride them (obviously without thinking about hospital).

      No doubt, Dukes are in general very good bikes (irrespective of their CC) and I do like these bikes. But I think you’re going a bit too far praising them. But I do understand it’s your first bike and a rather new one so it bounds to happen. I still remember when I bought my first one. I wasn’t very different from you then.

  • Rathish

    Really it is very interesting to read the comments more than the review itself.. . So every one does keep writing .