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The 300+ cc segment motorcycles are what leaves the 'mileage' factor behind to take on the 'performance' focused initiative. One such motorcycle that took performance and value for money to the next level is the KTM Duke 390.
Now, the updated version of the Duke 390 was showcased at EICMA, and the motorcycle, along with the updated Duke 200 is expected to make the Indian debut soon. A potent competitor to the KTM Duke 390 is the soon to be launched BMW G310R, another street bike that will be made in India in collaboration with TVS.
Performance being a key factor and pricing being an important aspect, how will the two fair against each other, in terms of performance, design, and most importantly, pricing? Let's find out.
The first thing a person would say looking at the KTM Duke is that the motorcycle has put on weight. The Duke 390 is equipped with only the most needed panels and plastics, but the bigger fuel tank makes the motorcycle look bulkier compared to the present one. The overall design language looks sharp, with the tank side panels being a prominent feature.
Another noticeable difference with the 2017 model of the Duke 390 is that it loses its underbelly exhaust for a newly designed side mounted can to comply with latest emission norms.
The BMW G310R keeps design elements to a minimum as well. The G310R has more curves compared to the KTM's sharp lines and the big fuel tank goes well with the small headlight surrounded by a bikini fairing. Overall, the BMW G310R is a street bike from every angle, and a good looker too.
Engine And Gearbox
The KTM Duke 390 is powered by a 375cc, single-cylinder liquid-cooled engine, the same unit that does its duty currently. The engine will produce 44bhp and 35Nm of peak torque, mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox.
The BMW G310R comes with a 313cc, single-cylinder liquid-cooled engine that makes 34bhp and 28Nm of peak torque. Like the KTM, the BMW G310R too comes paired to a 6-speed gearbox. BMW claims a mileage of 36km/l from its entry-level motorcycle, while KTM claims a mileage of 25km/l.
'Features'is one area which KTM has focusedwith the Duke 390. While features such as the suspension set up, brakes, and ABS remain the same, there have been upgrades. The suspension is lighter compared to the current generation motorcycle, while the front brake rotor is now 20mm bigger in diameter.
New features aboard the KTM Duke are adjustable brake and clutch levers, a TFT instrument console that has smartphone connectivity, and a bigger 13-litre fuel tank. Other standard features include standard dual channel ABS and a slipper clutch.
Speaking about the BMW G310R, the German motorcycle comes with upside down front forks, mono shock at the rear, disc brakes at both ends with optional ABS, adjustable seat height, fully digital instrument cluster, 17-inch wheels, and a 11-litre fuel tank.
The updated KTM Duke 390 is expected to be priced slightly higher than the current generation motorcycle that retails approximately for Rs 2.25 lakh on-road (Delhi). The BMW G310R, on the other hand, could be priced around Rs 2.5 lakh ex-showroom, but we will not vouch for that. Bookings for the BMW G310R have already started and we expect it to get a good response from the market.
Duke or the BMW? German engineering or Austrian performance? Similar questions are worrying potential buyers. On paper, and in reality, the KTM Duke 390 is definitely powerful. The motorcycle has proven to be the best performance motorcycle money can buy in India. But make no mistake, BMW Motorrad products are worth every bit of money as well.
So now, it is purely left upto which brand you would like to own, unless you want performance at an affordable price, which will be a KTM Duke 390.
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