The KTM 390 Duke is easily one of the best single-cylinder motorcycles you can buy today thanks to its class-leading value for money, in terms of performance. To put things into perspective, the naked sports or streetfighter motorcycle can easily give tough competition to the entry-level twin-cylinder sports bikes such as the Yamaha YZF-R3 and Kawasaki Ninja 300. Now, the 2021 KTM 390 Duke has been spied testing on European roads.
Starting off with the most evident changes, the next-generation KTM 390 Duke comes with an all-new steel trellis frame, which houses a revised swingarm and reworked rear mono suspension unit to improve the motorcycle’s overall dynamics, or in KTM terms, ‘agility’. The test mule you see here is still a long way ahead of production and for the same reason, we can expect the final product to bring more improvements to the chassis.
The stripped-down avatar proves it difficult to comment on possible visual enhancements, but changes on the looks department can be surely expected. Being an all-new generation and not just a facelift, the engine might undergo some upgrades as well.
In its current format, the KTM 390 Duke comes powered by 373cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder that generates 43bhp and 37Nm of torque. This is mated to a 6-speed transmission. KTM India is yet to launch the BS6-compliant version of the 390 Duke ahead of the stipulated deadline of 1 April, 2020. There are rumours that the BS6 version will not come with a drop in output, but with slightly bigger displacement to avoid such a possibility.
The India-spec KTM 390 Duke shares its assembly line in Bajaj’s Chakan facility with the Dominar 400. The current-generation BS6-compliant Bajaj Dominar employs the same 373cc engine, but makes 39bhp and 35Nm of torque. With the India-launch of the next-generation KTM 390 Duke fairly into the future, we can expect the next-generation Bajaj Dominar to borrow some of its internal components.
For now, all eyes are on the KTM 390 Adventure. The off-road sibling of the 390 Duke was officially unveiled to the Indian market at India Bike Week 2019. Reports suggest that KTM India will launch the 390 Adventure later this month, at an ex-showroom price starting from around Rs 3 lakh.
The current-generation BS4 KTM 390 Duke retails at around Rs 2.50 lakh ex-showroom. The figure is expected to rise by at least Rs 15,000 for the BS6 version and even more for the next generation you see here. In the coming months, there will be more clarity on what the new-generation KTM 390 Duke has to offer.