KTM embraces ‘chhapri’ image, debuts crazier Duke 390, Duke 250, Duke 125


KTM has recently unveiled its latest Duke lineup, showcasing significant enhancements, with the 390 Duke model receiving the most notable overhaul. The highlight of this update is the introduction of a brand-new 398cc single-cylinder engine for the 390 Duke, accompanied by fresh styling, cycle components, and electronics across the smaller models as well.

The 390 Duke has undergone a comprehensive transformation, including an entirely new frame, engine, suspension, and electronics. Similarly, all three models within the Duke range boast an entirely redesigned aesthetic, showcasing updated styling, all-new underpinnings, and cutting-edge electronics.

KTM Duke 390 Engine

Perhaps the most striking update is found within the heart of the 390 Duke, with its engine capacity increased to 398cc. This enhancement results in a power output of 44.8hp and 39Nm of torque, an improvement of 1.3hp and 2Nm over the previous iteration. Interestingly, the bore and stroke figures of 89mm and 64mm match those of the Triumph Speed 400. Nonetheless, KTM’s engine features unique characteristics, evident from differences in the engine cases and the positioning of the chain, which diverges from the configuration on the Triumph model.

The revamped LC4C engine finds its place within an entirely new steel trellis frame, which replaces the steel trellis sub-frame seen in the previous 390 Duke version. This updated model employs a die-cast aluminum sub-frame, resembling the design seen in the 790/890 Duke models and the 1290 Superduke R. Notable changes to the chassis extend to a newly designed curved aluminum swingarm, featuring an offset-mounted mono-shock to accommodate a larger airbox and catalytic converter.

The smaller Duke models have also received updates to comply with the latest emissions standards while also experiencing minor increases in peak power output. The 250 Duke now delivers 31.2hp and 25Nm of torque, representing a gain of 1.2hp and 1Nm compared to its predecessor. Similarly, the 125 Duke sees a slight power increase to 15hp but experiences a minor dip in torque, with 11Nm.

KTM Duke 390 Suspension

Internationally, the new Dukes are fitted with WP suspension units, offering adjustable settings for compression, rebound, and preload. However, it remains uncertain if the Indian models will feature the same level of adjustability. The wheel design for these models has also been optimized for weight reduction, inheriting features from the contemporary KTM RC lineup. Notably, brake rotors are now directly mounted onto the wheels, positioned on the right side. The commitment to minimizing weight is further exemplified by the use of forged aluminum for the foot peg hangers. The weight specification (excluding fuel) is outlined, with both the 250 and 390 Dukes weighing 165kg, and the smaller 125 Duke tipping the scales at 154kg.

While the international variants are equipped with Michelin tires, the Indian counterparts are likely to sport locally sourced MRF/Apollo rubber to manage costs, aligning with the strategy employed by the new Triumph Speed 400.

KTM Duke 390 Electronics

In terms of electronics, the 390 Duke boasts an innovative 5-inch color TFT display with three distinct riding modes: Rain, Street, and Track. Each mode offers a progressively sharper power delivery. A unique addition to this model is Launch Control, exclusively accessible in Track mode. This feature revs the engine to 7,000rpm, facilitating rapid launches. Bluetooth connectivity is present in all three models, enabling control of music playback, turn-by-turn navigation, and calls via the KTM app.

KTM Duke 390 Design

Aesthetically, the new Dukes exhibit an edgy design language, each available in two color options. The return of the underbelly exhaust to the 390 Duke model is a notable change since its last iteration in the BS4 model from 2017. The 390 Duke stands out with its LED DRL ‘eyebrow’ flanking the LED headlight, a feature not shared by the other models which feature a color-matched plastic piece.

While specifics regarding weight and fuel capacity are yet to be disclosed, the pricing for the 125 Duke, 250 Duke, and 390 Duke models currently stands at Rs 1,78,892, Rs 2,38,221, and Rs 2,97,475, respectively. Given the extensive enhancements across the range, a moderate price increase can be anticipated, unless an unexpected pricing strategy, as seen with the Speed 400, comes into play. The new KTM Duke models are anticipated to launch in India over the coming months.

What do you think of the newly launched 2024 KTM Duke 390? How do you think the matchup between the KTM Duke 390 vs Triumph Speed 400 would fare? 

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