The KTM 390 Duke has long been a top contender in India's sub-400cc sportbike market. The market, however, has been disrupted by the introduction of the Triumph Speed 400. KTM used to be a synonym for low cost and high performance, but after having to comply with strict emission rules for years and resulting upgrades, the motorcycle became heavier and more expensive. While the starting price of the Austrian machine is Rs 2.97 lakhs (ex-showroom), the Triumph Speed 400 only costs Rs 2.33 lakh (Rs 2.23 lakh for the first 10,000 purchasers), making it extremely tough for the KTM, also controlled by Bajaj, to compete in the same segment. In India, KTM and Triumph motorcycles are both sold by Bajaj, so let’s look at how the Duke 390 and Speed 400 fare against each other in terms of price and performance.
KTM Duke 390 Vs Triumph Speed 400: Exterior
The KTM 390 Duke has a lightweight split-steel trellis frame, which helps keep the motorcycle's centre of gravity low. The 390 Duke's bare-bones bodywork, contoured fuel tank with sharp shrouds, and massive LED headlamp give it a sleek, aggressive appearance.
The Triumph Speed 400, on the other hand, has a very appealing design. The Speed Twin 900 and the Speed 400 are visually similar, although the latter is more up-to-date and refined. The bike's well-shaped tank, topped with a massive Triumph logo, helps it stand out, not to mention that it looks great. The motorcycle is available in Phantom Black, Caspian Blue, and Carnival Red couleurs.
KTM Duke 390 Vs Triumph Speed 400: Equipment and Features
The 390 Duke gets a colour TFT display, adjustable levers, a quick-shifter, 43mm WP USD forks, a 10-step adjustable rear mono-shock, and more and rides on 17-inch alloy wheels. The Duke 390 gets a ride-by-wire throttle and a smart display, which not only displays a wealth of data but also connects with your phone through Bluetooth, allowing you to accept or reject calls and listen to music.
The Triumph Speed 400 is equipped with semi-digital instrument clusters, a charging connector for a USB Type-C cable, a standard assist clutch, and an all-LED headlamp set as standard, in addition to the small LCD screen and an analogue speedometer. You can check your fuel level, track your mileage, and change gears using the trip computer and digital tachometer.
KTM Duke 390 Vs Triumph Speed 400: Engine and Transmission
The KTM Duke 390 is powered by a 373.2cc single-cylinder engine, which is liquid-cooled and produces 43.5bhp and 37Nm of peak torque and is mated to a 6-speed transmission. With its ride-by-wire throttle and improved engine sound, the KTM 390 Duke offers a significant upgrade over its predecessor.
The Speed 400 is powered by Triumph's latest TR-series engine. The 398cc liquid-cooled engine has a double overhead camshaft arrangement. When compared to the KTM 390 series, the Triumph's power and torque ratings are somewhat similar – 39.5bhp at 8000rpm and 37.5Nm at 6500rpm. The British motorcycle, however, reaches its peak output sooner in the rev range. The Triumph Speed 400 also features a 6-speed transmission.
KTM Duke 390 Vs Triumph Speed 400: Price
Compared to the Triumph Speed 400, which costs Rs 2.23 lakh (ex-showroom), the KTM Duke 390 is priced at Rs 2.97 lakh. The Triumph Speed 400 certainly is more affordable than the KTM Duke 390.
The forthcoming 2023 KTM 390 Duke has been spotted without any camouflage and is expected to be launched in India soon. It had a new paint scheme, updated design and features, and looked ready for mass production. With both KTM and Triumph competing in the same sub-400cc premium segment under Bajaj in the Indian market, Rajiv Bajaj made it clear during the media session at the launch of the Triumph Speed 400 that the Triumph Speed 400 is aimed at riders with a classic mindset for casual riding, while the KTM 390 is intended for riders with a more competitive spirit.
The new KTM 390 Duke is expected to cost more than the current model. It would be interesting to see how it fares in the premium category against competitors like the Honda CB300R, BMW G310 R, Triumph Speed 400, and Triumph Scrambler 400 once it’s launched in the Indian market.