In the next 3 months, KTM will make its next big splash in the Indian motorcycle market by unleashing the Duke 390 sports motorcycle, a bike that comes with a 45 Bhp power output and a 150 kilogram kerb weight. These figures mean that the Duke 390’s power to weight ratio will be the highest ever amongst all motorcycles built in India. Like the Duke 200, the Duke 390 will come with heavy localization and will be manufactured at Bajaj Auto’s Chakan plant for both the Indian and export markets. Meanwhile, here are a bunch of new details emerging about the Duke 390’s engine in particular.
KTM’s engine designer Peter Gorbach, straight from KTM’s headquarters at Mattighofen in Austria has revealed previously unknown details about the Duke 390’s 373cc single cylinder engine.
* The Duke 390’s powerful engine is ideal for longer distances, where the extra power and torque makes overtaking an easier task compared to say the Duke 125/200, both of which are suited more for city riding.
* The Duke 390’s engine will also allow the motorcycle to be faster than the 200. This is the first official word about the Duke 390 being faster than the Duke 200, although this is something that many motorcyclists have already taken for granted, what with the 45 Bhp-35 Nm power and torque figures of the Duke 390.
* The Duke 390’s engine is a completely different unit when compared to the Duke 125/200, the latter which share the same base albeit with different bores. However, the Duke 390’s engine architecture is similar to the Duke 125/200’s engines.
* The Duke 390 features a bigger crankshaft, a bigger clutch and a gearbox designed to cope with the higher power and torque figures.
* The piston of the Duke 390 is a forged item while the cylinder is also a different item when compared to the Duke 125/200. The cylinder valves and springs have been uprated on the Duke 390. However, the Duke 390’s engine shares the finger followers for the camshaft with the Duke 200’s engine.
* These changes on the Duke 390 makes the engine more expensive to build than the engines of the Duke 125/200.
* The chassis, exhaust muffler and airbox of the Duke 390 remains unchanged from that of the Duke 200.
From the above points, it is clear that the only major change on the Duke 390 is the new engine and the associated tweaks that’ve gone along with it to get the motorcycle working as it ideally should. Due to mass production, the cost of the Duke 390’s engine is expected to be only marginally more expensive than that of the Duke 125/200. So, Bajaj Auto could choose to deliver a killer price for the Duke 390 when it launches this motorcycle in India by April 2013. Watch this space.