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Rs. 2,94,269 (Ex-Showroom)


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Thiruvananthapuram India
Wild horse tamed but still wild
Jun 10, 2022 01:15 AM 311 Views

Leg Room:

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Never even in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I would own a KTM 390 Duke. I am a proud owner of the Duke since November 2020. After owning a Pulsar 200NS 2012 model for 8 years, I wanted to buy a new motorcyle. My NS was showing its age as problems cropped up every now and then. Finally, I put an ad in OLX and sold it off.

After much deliberation and shortlisting a few bikes, I honed in on the KTM 390 Duke. At Rs 3, 42, 000 OTR in Thrissur in November 2020, it was expensive. My folks and all of my well wishers advised that I should be buying a small car. Never the less, without heeding to their words, I went ahead and bought the bike by securing a loan. The BS3 version was truly a wild horse. But the BS6 version, is a tamed wild horse. Considerably improved and significantly advanced than the previous generations.

KTM definitely takes customer feedback very seriously. The BS6 version has a much more refined engine( compared to the BS3 version). Armed with a host of advanced features, it certainly is the dream bike of most youngsters. The 390 Duke(as a matter of fact, any Duke) is head turner. This bike has a mighty road presence. Some people especially older people hate it.

I certainly do not want to go through the features and specs of the bike as its already well known. Its a super fun bike, riding it literally makes me forget all my tensions and worries. I always will be totally refreshed after every ride.

From my personal experience, one must consider a lot of things before buying a Duke. The price has gone up considerably within a short span of time. Not to mention the price of petrol. Labor charges for service and repair are exorbitant. A simple job like chain adjustment/tightening alone cost around Rs 118 including GST. If you or your parents have a deep pocket, there is nothing to worry about.

The only fault(or flaw) that I have found with the BS6 version is the low ground clearance. The exhaust pipe which is routed underneath the engine along with the guard that protects the pipe has significantly reduced the ground clearance. You have to be extra careful to not scrape the bottom while going over a hump. Forget off-roading on this bike. The chain wears out quickly because of the high torque. It must be tightened constantly to ensure optimal power delivery to the rear wheel and also if you really want to enjoy the power and quick acceleration.

My bike came with MRF tyres, which was truly an injustice from KTM's part. These tyres are not suitable for the 390 Duke. At the time, Bajaj could not source Metzelers from China(probably because of supply chain disruptions due to Covid 19), so they simply decided to use MRFs. They could had have at least gone for Apollo Alpha H1.

The BS6 Duke is essentially not high on maintenance, but certain things like the chain, the USD forks need to be attended to regularly. Since this is a high revving, high performance bike, proper care must be given. The TFT display and the indicators fog up during the monsoon season or when humidity is high. A ride in the hot sun can make it go away.

KTM service centres I have visited were extremely good. The 390 is meant for speed. Riding the bike in stop-and-go traffic or on badly tarred roads can be a pain as the engine jerks a lot at low rpms.

The 390 is definitely not a beginners bike. If you really want to own/ride one, please gain some experience on a smaller cc motorcycle and then upgrade to the 390 Duke. The 390 Duke does not tolerate inexperienced riders.

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KTM Duke 390 2019