KTM Duke 390: A Closer Look

We have focused our crosshairs on the much awaited hooligan Duke 390. Here we bring to you some tid-bits about the mean-machine, and some behind-the-stage scenes from the assembly line.


Creating a motorcycle with an international viewpoint in hand is akin to walking a tightrope. Lots of requests and requirements have to be accommodated. Different customers, different laws and regulations are some of the pre-requisites that give rise to many aspects of a bike which can be very demanding to fulfill. But KTM seems to have done the job well, and it’s Duke 390 might roll out in India very soon.

It is quite similar to the smaller siblings Duke 125 and Duke 200. The distinguishing features are the absence of a rear tyre hugger and a newer paint scheme with more hue-and-cry on the tank flaps region. Even the frame is identical to that of the smaller Dukes, and it conveys the typical KTM “Tongue-in-Cheek” attitude! But KTM has clarified that it’s sturdier to handle the nearly 90% bump in power as compared to the Duke 200.

The engine is the one unit of Duke 390 that’s as different from that of the smaller Dukes as chalk is from cheese. We had presented this in another post of ours, and had stressed upon the fact that it’s not just a bore-and-stroke job of the smaller engines (Here are the details). The engine is bulkier than the smaller ones, but comparatively it is shorter-stroked. This does ensure that the series of bars that denote rpm move rightwards very quickly, and the rider gets the maximum adrenaline rush in every ride!

As informed by us earlier, it is a very modern design with forged pistons and Nikasil coating. The cylinder housing is made up of high pressure cast-aluminium. Even the rocker arms are made up of aluminium, and are DLC coated. DLC stands for Diamond-Like-Carbon, and is a coating to minimise friction and wear. The oil circuit on the Duke 390 is similar to that of the 1190 RC8, equipped with two pumps, one for building up the pressure and the other one for evacuation.


Those Matighöfen guys gave taken their time and tried to please everybody. The seating position along with the footpegs convey a somewhat sporty posture, and KTM says it will be a one-size-fits-all type of position. They feel it will suit both tall as well as short riders. Quite a bit of technology has gone into this bike, and the handlebars are a testimony to that. They have been shaped by “hydroforming”, the process that’s made use of by Audi for creating body panels for it’s R8. You might think it’s made of aluminium, but it’s actually a stainless steel tube that’s been filled with water and then pumped up to high pressure. It thus undergoes expansion to it’s required dimensions, and is also bent to the required shape.

One fine detail that KTM has put in all the Dukes is the illuminated switchgear. It’s heard that KTM accommodated this as it was a special request from Bajaj Auto. Those switches on the Duke 200 are many-a-rider’s envy at night-time, and Duke 390 will also flaunt them. Duke 390 is expected to be launched in India in another couple of months (or three) and at an attractive price tag.

Also Read: India Bound KTM Duke 390 – New Details Revealed


Source: KTM Blog