KTM 390 Duke (2013 - present)

In the post-recession era, one zillion horsepower at prices that few people can afford is not the winning formula anymore
Manufacturer
Category
Price
£4500
Available from
2013
Rollicking new engine in a proven chassis package; funky looks
Needs a remap to be A2 compliant; £150 more gets you a CBR500R
Neatly fills the gap between the 200 and 690 Dukes

User Reviews

Add your review!

Timbo87's picture
Submitted by Timbo87 on Thu, 17/10/2013 - 22:16

Overall Review

Ride position is upright with pegs set slightly back; the shape of the tank fairing such that you can wedge yourself in so there's no fear of budging or bouncing out the seat on country lanes (a problem I've had with some of my other bikes). The seat is comfortable as long as you're not in it for more than an hour or so with a height low enough for the average sized guy to get both feet flat on the ground and still have room to wiggle a bit (I'm 5' 8.5"). Weighing in at less than 150kg wet it's a breeze to move about. The big single cylinder means that the engine is a little juddery at low revs but once you get over 30mph/4000rpm it smooths out and over 40 it's just a lot of fun. The engine is powerful enough for anything daily life is likely to throw at it and accelerating from 30-60 in 3rd leaves me with a grin like the cheshire cat It can easily pull away at 70 although you might want to invest in a windscreen if you're doing lots of high speed. It does tend to run quite hot and you can often feel the heat against your legs when the fan kicks in. The shocks are sporty but are reasonably capable of soaking up the bumps. Brakes are easily applied with one finger and stopping is pin sharp. The looks are the same as the 125 and 200 duke but the paint job is slightly different. Personally I think they're onto a good thing and prefer this look to the 690. Build quality seems ok but I'm no expert. It's not exploded yet :P

Strengths

Sweet looking bike, great acceleration and braking for such a small bike. Excellent handling out on the road or in the city. Small size fits anywhere. Beautiful looks, cheap to run. All the powerparts you could want. Comfortable riding position and did I mention its looks?

Weaknesses

Range of less than 150 miles. Juddery at low revs. Throttle is a bit spikey. Dashboard display is less than intuitive. Engine gets hot between your legs (good in winter but I imagine it'll be uncomfortable if we get another 30deg summer).

Rating Breakdown
Engine
Brakes
Handling
Comfort
Build Quality
Click for more details
Submitted by busker (not verified) on Thu, 16/01/2014 - 01:01

Overall Review

The duke 390 from my new riders perspective has nailed it for commuting. The engine has freed up nicely during the first 1000km and is now begging for some country trips. I can't wait to oblige.

Strengths

For me as a new rider it was easy to get going and ride the duke 390 smoothly. There is certainly enough power but the wide throttle response has made it easy to control. The suspension is solid but speed humps are comfortable to manage at speed either standing on the pegs or with just a little lift of the derriere. 200km per tank is easy without dipping too far into the reserve. The rear wheel ABS activates as promised and is noticeable only as a gentle shudder. I haven't activated the front yet.

Weaknesses

Cross winds still spook me a bit on multi lane roads. This would presumably be worse at expressway speeds but I have no comment on that. Yet. There is a bit of a nasal resonance in the exhaust note.

Rating Breakdown
Engine
Brakes
Handling
Comfort
Build Quality
Click for more details
Submitted by busker (not verified) on Sat, 17/01/2015 - 09:37

Overall Review

Just get one, or at least ride one before you buy anything else around the same capacity.

Strengths

I oz we call this a learner bike and you can get on one when you are 17. It is light and narrow so filtering through the traffic is easy. Taking the bike for a weekend run is just a joy. I have been gently pushing the limits of my skills with braking and cornering and basically just tearing about- safely. Clutchless changes are a breeze and changing down whilst one finger braking and holding slight throttle is just a few gentle taps to smoothly rub off all the speed you need to.

Weaknesses

All is sweet now but I did have three separate mechanicals issues that had to be fixed by the dealer. (intermittent ignition cut out, failure of idle mechanism and brake pedal fell off.)

Rating Breakdown
Engine
Brakes
Handling
Comfort
Build Quality
Click for more details
Please login or create an account to post your review!

Latest Videos

Review
Feature
Feature