2017 KTM 390 Duke: First Ride Review

The new-for-2017 KTM 390 Duke promises to take the game forward with radical changes in design, chassis parts and features. The 390 Duke was always a sharp and mean looking motorcycle, but this is something else. The bike looks like a concept bike that has come to life. A nifty feature is MyRide which allows you to connect your smartphone to the screen via Bluetooth. You can control your phone's music functions while on the move. The new seats are both wider and longer and with the new, more compact fuel tank, you sit forward. The new riding position is sportier and more accommodating than before. The changes have added weight and the new 390 Duke is heavier by 5 kilos. What has changed significantly is the nature of the engine at low revs. It is now easier to ride the new bike in 3rd gear at speeds as low as 30kmph. There is an immediacy and more surge in power when you open the throttle. The mid-range feels even stronger thanks to ride-by-wire system. In terms of handling, the new 390 Duke feels more agile and sharper than before. It is a lot more flickable than before and easier to switch directions. The new 390 Duke is a more civilised version of the earlier 390 which in itself has evolved quite a bit since the first KTM's hit our shores. It does, however, retain that frantic demeanour, that typical KTM flavour veiled under layers of civility.
  • by Kartikeya
  • March 11, 2017
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