Last time when the biking enthusiasts in India were fluttering around over the launch of a bike was when Bajaj launched the KTM Duke 390 back in 2013. That bike rightly lived up to the hype with the features never heard before on a bike, with a performance never seen on a bike and at a price never imagined before. It set the benchmark for the best beginner small capacity performance bike in India.
Coming to the present 2017 scenario, the bike still holds its ground amongst its rivals. The ruler of the segment, however has just received a massive upgrade both performance wise and in the styling department. KTM has launched the 2017 iteration of the KTM Duke 390 along with its smaller siblings with 200 and 250cc capacity range. The launch of the 250 version was pretty surprising, considering that it was initially conceived for the South-East Asian markets. The new 250 Duke fills the void between the 200 and the 390 and falls in direct competition with the Mahindra Mojo, Benelli TNT 25, Yamaha FZ25.
Styling-wise , the bigger sibling of the lot, the KTM duke 390 looks more like the eldest sibling in the KTM Duke stable, the KTM Superduke 1290. The KTM 250 looks more like a cross between 200 and 390 with more black accents everywhere. The 200 looks very much like the older 200 series but with new graphics. The KTM duke ranges come with the traditional steel trellis frame with the engine as the stressed member. The new 390, however, has a longer wheelbase, a higher ground clearance and a taller saddle height. The highlight of the 2017 version is the new TFT colour display that has been exclusively provided for the KTM duke 390. The console can be integrated with the rider’s phone to manage calls, control music and much more. It is a first-in-segment and a first-in-India. It also features an all LED Headlight.
Engine wise, the power output stands the same at 44bhp and torque output comes to 35Nm which, considering the price bracket is a segment-leading one. The new engines are all compliant with the BS-IV emission norms. The 390 comes with a new side-slung exhaust with a new catalytic converter system to comply with the new norms. The engine is mated to a six speed gear box that comes with a slipper-clutch assist. The brake and clutch levers are now adjustable and the front disk is now bigger than before at 320mm. Catering to the user’s feedback, KTM has upgraded the fuel tank to 13.4 liters.
All these features however come at a steep premium of roughly D30,000, which brings it closer to the RC390. The KTM-Bajaj joint venture has proved to be the most successful one in the Indian Two-wheeler industry and KTM plans to expand its network beyond the current the existing ones. With unmatched performance and best-in-class features and with the widest network of support in the country, KTM has unleashed a herculean product for its competitors.