2017 ktm duke 390

The Devil is in the details, or so they say. If that’s the case, then KTM must have gone through the pits of hell lớn rekiến thiết the 390 Duke.

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Changes to the brakes, suspension, dash, ergonomics, frame, engine, seat, controls, styling, lighting, & handling need to be addressed in order khổng lồ discuss why this xe đạp is so different.


The outgoing 390 Duke was introduced internationally in 2013 but we didn’t see it hit American shores until 2015. I rode that original bike for nearly three weeks straight upon its release, which resulted in a full ride nhận xét for Common Tread. KTM has pursued perfection with this new machine by sanding down & polishing all of the rough edges of that original motorcycle. If I had lớn sum up the new xe đạp in one word it would be “refined.” KTM tackled the update of this baby Beast by addressing all of the small problems plaguing the old xe đạp, one by one, until they ended up with the new 2017 KTM 390 Duke.

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KTM sanded down the rough edges on the old Duke and addressed complaints about the previous version. giaidap.info phokhổng lồ.

In order to give sầu the new xe đạp a spin, I headed lớn Turin, Italy for the international press launch. While our time with the new xe đạp was limited, we got a chance to lớn try it out in a variety of environments, including riding laps on the historic rooftop testing traông xã of the old Fiat factory, battling thành phố traffic on our way to lớn lunch, and then heading out for a quiông chồng romp through the foothills of the snowcapped Alps. KTM packed a decent ride into lớn our very truncated timeline.

For the purpose of this first ride review, I am going lớn break down the detailed changes KTM made to lớn this bike over the previous 390 Duke & what they mean for the new machine.

Updated styling

The first thing you’ll notice about the new bike is the updated style. Keep in mind that while this is seen as a beginner xe đạp here in the United States, in other countries this is a motorcycle that riders work up to lớn. KTM has both a 125 & 250 Duke for riders outside the United States to lớn start with. So KTM had to lớn create a bike that looked more lượt thích its brawny and muscular older brother, the 1290 Super Duke R, to lớn project a premium appearance over the smaller displacement models for foreign riders while setting the 390 Duke apart from any other “entry-level” machines here in the United States.

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The new upgraded headlight features six LEDs & a kiến thiết much more inline with its bigger brother. KTM pholớn by Marco Campelli.

The new lines start with a six-LED headlight, a revised frame and an all-new bolt-on sub-frame. Its exposed trellis design, painted in contrasting orange and white, shortens the wheelbase by 10 mm and the trail by 5 mm while the steering head angle remains the same. It also ushers in a change in rider ergonomics.

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The new seat is a welcome improvement over the old stock offering. KTM pholớn by Marco Campelli.

I now find myself sitting over an inch taller in the saddle, with a seat height of 32.7 inches compared to 31.5 inches of the older machine. The seat itself has also been redesigned to lớn be a bit wider at the baông xã & narrower at the front. It’s night & day more comfortable than the previous version, which felt lượt thích sitting on a 2x8.

Coupled with foot pegs and controls that are now higher và more rear phối, the new Duke’s seating position is much more aggressive sầu. The reshaped gas tank fit my knees much better than the old bike và at six feet, three inches tall, I felt much more comfortable on this xe đạp than the previous version. With that being said, I talked khổng lồ other taller riders on this launch who felt the new foot pegs were too aggressive và they felt cramped from the waist down. My personal concern would be for shorter riders, especially if they’re just starting out, who will now have an even longer reach khổng lồ find sure footing.

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My knees fit perfectly into the cutouts on the new tank. KTM photo lớn by Sebas Romero Black.

The new gas tank is made from steel & holds an extra 2.4 liters (just over half a gallon) of fuel for an extended ride range, which can be monitored using the new dash system.

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The new TFT dash alone is nearly enough lớn justify the $300 increase in price over the old xe đạp. It is controlled using buttons located on the left side of the handlebar. KTM pholớn.

The TFT dash is a huge nâng cấp over the old version found on the original 390 Duke, which I found khổng lồ be cluttered & hard to lớn read. The new dash offers riders a litany of information that is clear và easy to lớn read without looking cluttered. Riders can program the dash to lớn highlight the information they deem important và hide the readouts they don’t wish khổng lồ see. They can also link their phones và công nghệ Bluetooth không dây communicators to control phone calls và music through the control panel in the dash. Whereas the ABS kill switch was hidden on the previous dash, riders now have sầu a sophisticated drop-down screen built inkhổng lồ the display that allows them lớn choose between three different levels of ABS interference.

Improved brakes

While the new 390 Duke still utilizes the same ByBre calipers manufactured by Brembo, they now house sintered pads clamping down on a larger 3trăng tròn mm rotor at the front wheel. Combined with a revised master cylinder, braking is vastly improved over the previous version, with more bite & less fade.

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Braking performance & feel are drastically improved by the new 3trăng tròn milimet rotor, a redesigned master cylinder và new levers. KTM photo lớn by Marteo Campelli.

Some of the improved feel comes from the updated levers on this motorcycle. If you remember our original 390 đánh giá, I recommended upgrading the stochồng levers khổng lồ something that offered better feel and some cấp độ of adjustment. With this new bike, KTM has done it for you và these new levers are vastly improved over the previous iteration.

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New adjustable levers for both the brake & the clutch. Note: the lever guards are not stoông xã but rather an option from KTM"s hard parts catalog. KTM photo lớn by Marco Campelli.

As I mentioned earlier, the Bosch ABS system can now be easily configured three different ways via a drop-down menu on the TFT dash. Riders can choose amuốn “Road,” with ABS fully engaged, “Off,” which completely disables ABS, or “Super Molớn,” which disables ABS at the rear wheel while allowing it lớn remain engaged at the front wheel. This allows new riders to opt for the extra cấp độ of insurance that ABS provides while more advanced riders can disable this safeguard in order lớn treat the 390 Duke as a mini-hooligan machine.

Revised suspension

The suspenders on the original Duke were aggressively sporty lớn the point of being harsh. Whether on rough roads in less developed countries or the bombed-out, pothole-laden streets of Philly, this equaled a rough ride. Externally, the suspension looks nearly identical to the previous version, but internally everything is new.

The 43 mm WPhường. fork no longer features a “big piston” kiến thiết, opting instead for an open cartridge thiết kế with a pair of progressively wound springs. While an open cartridge thiết kế is less “tunable” than a closed cartridge set up, it works better for a wider audience. It’s also lighter and requires less maintenance.

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lưu ý the placement of the exhaust header. KTM phokhổng lồ by Marco Campelli.

The rear shoông xã is still adjustable for preload but internally the oil và gas are now separate. Officials at KTM claim this is lớn address concerns surrounding overheating và will lead to lớn a more consistent performance.I have sầu my doubts. On the previous xe đạp, the shoông chồng sat cthất bại lớn the catalytic converter, while the new shoông xã is positioned directly next to lớn the exhaust header leading inkhổng lồ the catalytic converter. I am left wondering if the position of the exhaust will heat the shoông chồng oil and affect suspension performance.

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The new suspension soaked up the bumps of the broken city street with ease. KTM photo lớn by Marteo Campelli.

My initial thoughts here are that damping is vastly improved & the new xe đạp does a better job of splitting the difference between comfort and performance. In the city, the new 390 Duke felt much more refined as it soaked up bumps, while on the tight mountain roads it remained poised, even with a 205-pound rider at the helm. I would have sầu enjoyed an opportunity lớn play around with the rear preload a bit as the rear shoông chồng felt a bit under-sprung for heavier riders, but for an entry-level machine, KTM provided riders with a much more thought-out suspension than that of the old 390.

Retuned engine

In order khổng lồ meet triệu Euro 4 emissions standards, changes were made to lớn help the new xe đạp breathe cleaner; hence the redesigned exhaust and catalytic converter. In addition khổng lồ the exhaust, the 390 Duke got a larger airbox, a retuned fuel map, and a throttle-by-wire system.

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The new engine meets triệu Euro 4 standards while improving fueling và performance. KTM pholớn by Sebas Romero Blachồng.

Normally, when we talk about emissions regulations the result is strangled performance, but here we saw the opposite effect. While peak horsepower remains the same at just under 44 ponies at 9,000 rpm, peak torque has increased from 25 foot-pounds khổng lồ 27, và it now comes on about 250 rpm sooner, at 7,000 rpm. The result is more of a mid-range “pop” that pulls strong all the way to lớn the rev-limiter. I found myself bouncing off of the rev ceiling more often than not because the little 373 cc engine gives no indication that it’s done pulling as the tachometer starts flashing red on the TFT dash, just north of 10,000 rpm.

The real story is how refined the throttle is compared lớn the old bike. One of my biggest problems with the old 390 was choppy throttle response. It had a very on/off abruptness when starting from a stop & the fueling in general was spotty. We addressed possible fixes on that original machine, but with this xe đạp, KTM did all the work for you.

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With all of the additional hardware required khổng lồ meet increasingly stringent Euro 4 emission standards, the new 390 Duke gained 22 pounds. KTM photo lớn.

The new exhaust, combined with the new steel gas tank và mounting bracket for the LED headlight, are the major factors in the 22-pound increase in weight. The new bike weighs in with a dry weight of 328 pounds compared to lớn the previous 390 Duke’s 306 pounds. When you factor in fluids, I am guessing you’ll see a curb weight of somewhere around 365 pounds, when it’s all said & done. Even with the additional weight, this is still a very light machine and the improvements to lớn the bike’s brakes và suspension hide the increased load khổng lồ the point where it’s almost unnoticeable.

Riding the new 390 Duke

Thumbing the one-hit starter, the new bike easily cranked to lớn life in front of the original Fiat tự động factory in Turin, Italy. The building that was once trang chủ lớn one of Europe’s most iconic automotive brands now houses a khách sạn, offices, and a shopping mall. But the historic rooftop traông chồng remains intact.

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Riding the bricks of the famous banked corner on top of the historic Fiat factory. KTM photo lớn by Sebas Romero Blaông xã.

We rode up the spiraled ramp leading to the asphalternative text paved straightaway on the eastern side of the roof. From there we got khổng lồ try our hvà riding the 390 Duke on the famous banked turn done in brick, which was surprisingly grippy, but also bumpy. It reminded me of some of the old cobblestone streets here in Philadelphia and it provided us our first opportunity lớn see how the revised suspension handled real-world street surfaces.

Through the city, the KTM was light & nimble and the revised fueling made stop-and-go driving a breeze. My biggest complaint was with the radiator tín đồ, which I felt was running continuously. Its droning buzz was loud enough lớn mask the engine and exhaust note when stopped at traffic lights.

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Riding through the Alps for the first time, I appreciated the new suspension. giaidap.info phokhổng lồ.

Out of the đô thị & climbing through the foothills of the Alps, the engine seemed to lớn pull stronger in the middle of the rev range than I rethành viên on the old 390. It was more spirited và fun. The suspension, which proved more refined in town, remained competent và sporty on the twisted alpine roads. For an entry-màn chơi machine, it was quite impressive sầu in the way it performed, especially compared lớn the harshness of the previous xe đạp.

The slipper clutch, introduced in 2015, remains in this new bike and it made for seamless downshifts. I was still able to get the rear wheel to slide a bit during aggressive downshifts but it is a welcomed feature on such a small machine.

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At six feet, three inches tall, I fit better on this 390 Duke than its predecessor. KTM photo lớn by Sebas Romero Blaông xã.

The redesigned ergonomics worked better for me than the previous version. Like I mentioned earlier, I like riding smaller bikes and this new 390 Duke was much more inviting than the previous version. My knees fit the recesses of the tank perfectly và the taller seat height had me sitting with a bit more weight carried on the handlebars. Even though they received some complaints from other taller riders, I liked the new position of the foot pegs.

Coming baông xã into lớn town, everyone was getting more comfortable with the bikes, riding wheelies và slamming out stoppies in an effort khổng lồ demo the performance of that new front brake thiết lập. By the time we made it baông xã to lớn the khách sạn, it was hard khổng lồ find a rider who wasn’t smiling. That"s due in no small part to the new seat, which didn’t leave us in tears after an all-day ride.

Final thoughts

KTM has raised the MSRPhường of this xe đạp $300 in the United States, from $4,999 khổng lồ $5,299. But stop and think for a second about what you’re getting for that extra coin. Better brakes, suspension, fueling, & power delivery, a TFT dash that is normally reserved for high-dollar machines, an LED headlight, adjustable levers, more torque, & a facelift lớn bring it more in line with its beastly older brother, the Super Duke R.

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With everything KTM has piled onlớn this xe đạp, it more than justifies the $300 bump in price. KTM photo lớn by Marteo Campelli.

In my opinion, this more than justifies the $300 price bump. If you spent $300 modifying the old 390 Duke, you wouldn"t get much further than a new mix of levers.

That’s not to lớn say I don’t have sầu my reservations about this new bike. In addition khổng lồ my concerns surrounding the new seat height and rear shoông chồng placement, I am interested to see if the radiator fan problems prevalent on the older 390s have been addressed on this bike. There were many reports of failed radiator fans on the previous Model. It seems lượt thích that tín đồ is running continually now. It’s almost as if the engineers have tried to overcompensate by having the bạn kiông xã on even earlier in the temperature range, but I’m unclear as to lớn how that would prevent potential người failure.

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I wish I would have had more time to spkết thúc riding this xe đạp. KTM photo lớn by Marteo Campelli.

All things considered, I think KTM knocked it out of the park with the new 390 Duke. They literally addressed all of the rough edges found on the previous bike và gave sầu us a bike that is simultaneously better for beginner riders và more fun for experienced ones.

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When I wrapped on the nhận xét of the original xe đạp, I was ready to lớn be done with it và move on to something else. When this ride came khổng lồ an over, I found myself wishing I had more time with it. Whether you’re looking for aggressively styled entry-cấp độ motorcycle, a city commuter, or a fun, lightweight corner carver, this new 390 Duke ups the ante for what you can expect from a sub-400 cc machine.


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