Photos by: KTM, Evans Brasfield
While KTM’s updated 1290 Super Duke R and 790 Duke may be the talk of the Austrian town at EICMA 2016, the newly revised 2017 390 Duke also debuted in Milan and is shaping up to be the undisputed class king in the sub-400cc category. Right off the bat, the first notable change between new and old is the updated styling, with sharper, more angular lines providing a meaner, aggressive stance. Like the rest of the Duke line, the 390 also gets the split LED headlight with LED daytime running lights, while at the back the little Duke receives a new, bolt-on subframe colored in contrast to the main steel trellis frame for a striking appearance.
2015 KTM 390 Duke First-Ride Review + Video
Other than a new ride-by-wire system, the 373cc Single doesn’t see any upgrades. This isn’t a bad thing necessarily, as the 390 Duke provides plenty of punch for the class already. The engine’s supporting cast does get an upgrade, however, as WP is updating the 43mm fork, and the front brake disc grows in size a substantial 20mm to 320mm. It’s still mated to a four-piston, radial-mount Bybre (By Brembo) caliper.
From the saddle, the rider (and passenger) will notice revised seats and adjustable levers to help accommodate riders of various sizes. From there, the rider will be greeted by a new multifunctional, full-color TFT display – something unheard of for a motorcycle in this category.
Little Tearers Comparison: Honda CB500F Vs. KTM 390 Duke
With the optional dealer-installed KTM MY RIDE feature, you can sync to your phone via Bluetooth and control phone call and audio player information from the display. Lastly, the 390 Duke’s fuel tank has grown to 3.5 gallons (from 2.9 gallons) for longer stints between fuel stops.
2016 KTM 390 Duke Long-Term Review