Even though it's obvious that the KTM 390 Duke has a bigger engine than the KTM 200 Duke, ZigWheels finds out what really sets it apart from its smaller sibling
The KTM 390 Duke is undoubtedly one of the most highly anticipated launches in our country this year in the performance bike segment. With the speculated launch date drawing closer, excitement among Indian motorcycle enthusiasts is reaching fever pitch. Still, there are several doubts being raised on whether it really makes sense to buy the KTM 390 when a cheaper alternative in terms of it smaller sibling, the KTM 200, is available. Also Read:KTM 390 Duke pictures, specifications out - UPDATED!
One of the foremost debates revolve around the way the 390 is styled – it looks exactly the same as the 200 despite the fact that it would be offered in a different paint scheme and has been beefed up marginally in terms of size. But that’s where the similarities end. To crank off this debate, let us start with the engine. The 390 will be powered by a newly developed 375cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled mill capable of pumping close to 45PS of power and 35Nm of torque. These are numbers which an average two-wheeler enthusiast in our country has never experienced in a budget which makes the 390 Duke all the more desirable.
It is not just the power of the new bike that impresses but the manner in which the boffins at KTM have packaged the bike so beautifully. For any motorcycle or car, the basic mantra for performance is power-to-weight ratio and this is a department where the 390 shines. The new engine weighs a mere 39kg whereas the whole bike tips the scale at just 139kg (dry weight) which transforms to an impressive 340PS/Ton. The KTM 200, on the other hand, has a power-to-weight ratio of 200PS/Ton and those who have ridden this bike swear by its performance so one can well imagine how much of a bump up in performance and rideability the 390 would have.
To make a powerful bike is one thing; translating all that power on to the road another. The engineers at KTM have ensured that all the power is utilised not only in straight lines but in sharp corners as well, for which they have equipped the 390 with an ultra-light trellis frame, die-cast aluminium swingarm and WP Suspension so the rider can harness the full power making the 390 a fun bike to ride. Apart from this for better handling, the 390 Duke is also fitted with superior performing Metzeler Sportec M5 tyres which are renowned for the grip they provide on wet and damp roads. Keeping in mind the new bike’s performance advantage over the 200, KTM has armed the 390 with Brembo-developed disc brakes and disengageable 9MB ABS by Bosch as standard.
Price of the KTM 390 Duke hasn’t been announced yet but we expect it to be around the Rs 2 lakh mark when it launches by end of May 2013. If Bajaj is able to price it around that mark, then the 390 will blow away competition as its nearest rival, the CBR 250 ABS, is short on power whereas the newly launched Ninja 300 carries a steep Rs 3.5 lakh price tag (ex-showroom, Delhi). Though it can be argued that the 200 is priced at Rs 1.33 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), one must not forget how much more the 390 is offering in terms of performance, rideability and features. So all the performance-starved bikers keep your cheque books ready for the KTM 390 Duke. Also Read:KTM 390 Duke pictures, specifications out - UPDATED!