Excellent Power, Value For Money But Overheats | KTM Duke 390 User Review by Nikhil Joshi

ktm duke 390 review nikhil joshi

About Me

Hello Riders & Ridernis, I am Nikhil Joshi from Mumbai, 25 years old, working with an advertising firm and passionate about riding bikes and touring. I am one of the proud members of the bike riding group DARK, Devil Angels Riders Klub with Mr. Samit Wadhawan, the admin of the group.

Earlier, riding for me was just as normal as everyone else. Later, I realized that I am not riding but just moving my body from place to place without the soul. Now, riding to me means safety, skill, respect, brotherhood, fun and DARK.

Previously, I owned a Hero Honda Splendor, Yamaha RX 100 and Bajaj Avenger 200 cruiser bike. Although all belong to different categories, I preferred Bajaj Avenger the most; as it is one of the most comfortable bikes to ride in city and on highways too. Decent average was like a cherry on the top.

Well, I've had many exciting ride experience, every since I started riding with TEAM DARK. Our anniversary ride ‘Beat The Heat’ was one of the best experiences with Duke 390. With majority of bikes being over 650 CC, I never felt left behind or out of power. 170 kmph was the decent speed to keep up with them. Second best experience was my solo ride from Kolhapur to Thane (exact 390 kms parking to parking), which I completed in 4 hours and 20 minutes fully geared, average speed being 92 kmph.

ktm duke 390 review nikhil joshi

Why the KTM Duke 390

One of the reasons to go for Duke 390 was to get an upgrade. Bajaj Avenger was not that fast enough to go on rides. Second reason was excitement. Hopping on to a sports bike which is double the power as compared to Bajaj Avenger was very exciting.

About my KTM Duke 390

The 390’s tubular steel frame layout is identical to that of the smaller siblings, the 125 and 200 Duke. The 390 wears cycle parts that are mostly made in India by subsidiaries of European specialists. The 43mm forks and rear shock are by an offshoot of WP, KTM’s own suspension firm. Brakes are single discs at each end from Bybre, linked to Brembo. Wheels are similar aluminium castings with 17-inch diameters, shod with Metzelers instead of the smaller models’ Indian-made tyres.

Handling is very rider-friendly, characterized by a wonderfully agile yet stable feel. The Duke’s light weight, reasonably sporty geometry and wide handlebars mean it can be flicked into bends with ease. Yet its steering is very neutral, so the bike simply goes where it’s aimed. Suspension is fairly firm, so bigger bumps are felt though the seat, but both ends are well enough damped to keep control. This bike has an edge in grip over the smaller Dukes thanks to its excellent Metzeler Sportec M5 rubber.

ktm duke 390 review nikhil joshi

With Duke 390, riding experience has always been best for me in city and on highways too. One of the best experiences was when we were riding back from Ganpatipule to Mumbai, KTM Duke 390 gave a very impressive mileage of 36 - 38 kmpl on NH-17.

Duke 390 being user-friendly & road-friendly and is pocket-friendly too. Regular servicing will always ensure your ride to be as good as new. I make it a point that my bike is always serviced in due time to avoid unnecessary problems. Normal servicing which includes, engine-oil change, oil filter change, air filter change, will cost somewhere near about Rs. 2,000-2,400 (including labor).

Top 3 reasons to BUY the Duke 390
  1. Power - Surely number 1 for me in the list
  2. Light weight - Always preferred a bike which is not heavy as it would not suit my body structure
  3. Value for Money - Looking at the other competitors in the market, KTM Duke 390 is sure a value for money deal

ktm duke 390 review nikhil joshi

Top 3 reasons NOT TO BUY the Duke 390
  1. Low on fuel capacity - 10.5L of fuel capacity is a problem during long rides and touring. Make sure you always carry some liters of petrol with you, if you are planning for a ride on a new road where you don't exactly know where the next fuel station is 
  2. Overheating - This is the second major issue that I face everyday with KTM Duke 390. It heats up really quickly when you ride in city or stuck in slow moving traffic.
  3. Late starting when engine is heated - Yes this happens after the engine heats up. You may have to give ignition a couple of times before you can get back on road again.

Some riding tips from my side

With riding, safety comes hand-in-hand. Proper gears which include a well fitted helmet, a jacket, perfect sized gloves and shoes are some of the must have protectors, while you ride. No matter what people will think about you. 

Maximum use of indicators, hand signals and equal attention on the rear view mirrors ensures safety at all times. Regular servicing and maintenance with company recommended spares and lubricants will always keep your bike in mint condition.

ktm duke 390 review nikhil joshi

ktm duke 390 review nikhil joshi

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About Vivek Manjarekar

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