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Duke 390: The ideal solution, the perfect fix

The Super Duke 1290R might have sat at the top of the table at the EICMA show but there were also a couple of other worthy ‘dinner guests’ at the double-tiered KTM stand. The covers were thrown off the ‘middle child’ of the Super Duke family and the 390 is not just another displacement in the vast line-up. This bike could be KTM’s most practical and affordable dose of fun this side of a set of road tyres. Read on to see why….

Agile, light, economical, cheap but breathing quality. OK, these words could be borrowed from the promotional crib sheet of a great deal of motorcycles under the EICMA roof but the 390 is a machine that has KTM staff excited because the mix has been created to fantastic effect on this occasion.

For a start the 390 looks the part. There is barely any difference between the 690 sibling and the 200 (also new) and 125 younger brothers. The bike boasts a notable 44hp and weighs just 150kg with a fuel tank. This could be the ideal commuter (and the saddle bags placed on the model fixed to the KTM stand highlight this) or the perfect ‘ride-out blast’ toy.

There is little doubting the marketability of the 390 and KTM personnel were chatting about the possible alternative role for those riders who would prefer another option to the bulky urban scooter.

Let’s take a look at the technology: The advanced four-stroke single-cylinder engine weighs only 36 kg. The DOHC four-valve engine with forged pistons and Nikasil coated cylinder conjures a lively 44 horses from the 375 cc engine capacity. The fetching tubular frame and aluminium swingarm surrounds upside-down forks and a high-quality shock absorber from WP Performance. Brembo disc brakes and the most advanced ABS (Bosch) are standard so the safety aspects and the attention to quality is right up there.

We’ll have a couple of interviews and videos up on the blog in the coming days as we delve a bit deeper into the 390 phenomenon.