A motorcycle that’s user-friendly enough for newer riders to feel confident, but still performance-minded enough to keep experienced riders entertained, will do that.
KTM looks like its trying to keep the 390 Duke at the front of the category too, the manufacturer having announced that the 2017 version will get a new fork, bigger brakes, larger tank, and more-aggressive styling.
No word on exactly how the fork varies from the previous unit. It’s still a 43mm WP Suspension piece—same as before—and KTM only says that it’s an “open-cartridge” fork that delivers “excellent response and stability.”
For 2017, the Duke gets a new LED headlight.
This, along with a new trellis frame with bolt-on subframe has changed geometry up a bit, the 2017 Duke having a 10mm shorter wheelbase and slightly less rake.
A redesigned seat sits atop that new subframe, and just slightly higher than the old one (32.7 inches versus 31.5 inches, total).
The tank was enlarged from 2.9 to 3.5 gal. for better range, and the front brake disc has grown some 20mm, to 320mm.
Like its bigger brother, the Duke gets an LED headlight and full-color TFT display.
Courtesy of KTM
A new side-mounted exhaust system is claimed to increase cornering clearance. That frame is new, as is the seat, which sits a little higher than the seat on the previous-generation 390 Duke.
The bad news? The 390 gained what looks to be an additional 22 pounds in the move to a fully Euro 4 compliant powerplant. Which, yeah, now it makes sense why that bigger brake is there (and maybe why the geometry was tweaked a bit too)...
It’ll be interesting to see how all that changes the agility of the 390 Duke, and general around-town prowess. My hope is that the new fork and bigger brake is enough to offset the added weight.