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KTM 390 Duke: Long Term Review
Long Term

KTM 390 Duke: Long Term Review

Our correspondent upgraded from a Yamaha RX-Z to a 2017 390 Duke. Read on to know more

Sudipto Chaudhury

I am, above all, a dreamer. I modified my first bike, a used ’97 Yamaha RXZ, on a shoe-string budget , while I was still in college.

As time passed, I realised my stink wheels weren’t fast enough to match modern bikes. So I scrimped and saved enough for a ‘17 KTM 390 Duke. But soon after acquiring it, I had to change cities for work and couldn’t take it along.

Two years later, I’m finally home and able to put some serious miles on the Katoomer.

Despite the daunting (for little old me) power output, the combo of ABS, slipper clutch and grippy Metzeler tyres makes it a truly forgiving bike. The loud horn and electric orange paint mean I am seen (and heard) clearly while zipping through traffic. And I love the weekend getaways!

But it’s not all roses, you know. The seat is hard as a slab, making long rides a pain in the… yes there. Next, despite all the R&D from KTM, the engine still overheats easily. Also, being from the first batch of 390s, it has electric issues galore, with error messages like ‘ECU failure’ and ‘ABS failure’ randomly showing up on the TFT instrument screen.

Lastly, the ugly rear number plate holder, resembling a mosquito’s proboscis, plays hob with the mass-centralised design so painstakingly achieved by KTM. Nothing a tail tidy can’t fix though.

Overall, I’m still taking it easy on the throttle and the various dents to my ego made by smaller bikes overtaking me aren’t helping. More saddle time for me then!

Odo reading: 6030km

Price when new: Rs 2.43 lakh

Km clocked this month: 400km

Fuel efficiency: 34kmpl

Repairs: Nil

Cost incurred: Nil

Running total: Rs 910