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KTM Duke 390 vs KTM RC 390


The sub-500cc motorcycle segment in India isn’t as popular as we see in other countries. Yet, there are companies that have worked on making the under-populated segment their forte and have succeeded in this pursuit. Out of the many, KTM, a giant Austrian brand, has become immensely popular with just two motorcycles.

The KTM Duke 390 is an attractive naked motorcycle that has managed to outshine many sports bikes like the Yamaha R3 and the Kawasaki Ninja 300. The 390 Duke, along with its 200cc version, is the best-selling KTM motorcycle in India.

But when it comes to fully-faired sports motorcycles, the Duke isn’t the most suitable choice due to its styling. For such instances, KTM offers a fully-faired bike as well, called the RC 390. It is considered to be the most powerful motorcycle in the sub-500cc segment and has reigned the sales chart since its inception.

But choosing one among the KTM 390 Duke and the RC 390 can be a sweet dilemma more often than not. Read on to find out which one you should consider buying and why.

The aesthetics

The KTM 390 Duke is a naked motorcycle with an upright stance. It is built on a strong and lightweight chassis with the ride-by-wire styling. The new generation model gets bigger tank cowl and a completely redesigned headlamp cluster.

The KTM RC 390, on the contrary, could be termed as the faired version of the naked sibling. It gets the same chassis. The motorcycle is way more different than its competitors than you could imagine, starting from the dual projector headlamp zone to the pillion seat, which looks no less than a seat cowl. The fuel tank is big, providing the perfect center-of-gravity. The seating stance and the clip-on handlebars make cornering at high speeds, a delight.

The power source

The two motorcycles are powered by the same engine under the hood. However, the KTM 390 Duke is marginally more powerful and offers a maximum power of 44.9 bhp right at the throttle, whereas, the RC 390 manages an inferior 42.3 bhp.

But the story does not end here. The presence of enticing features like an electronic fuel injection and a better aerodynamic on the RC make up for the losses at the engine.

So which one should you choose?

The two KTM motorcycles, 390 Duke and RC390, are entirely different, except the 373.2 cc, liquid cooled engine. The Duke is more of a grand tourer than a sporty motorcycle due to its upright stance and naked design. For the enthusiasts who love racing, the RC 390, with all its aerodynamics and fairing, is the apt choice.

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