5 reaons why buying a Duke 390 was one of the best decisions of my life

1. Reliable
Whenever someone asks me ‘How’s the bike?’, my first response to them is not the speed or the performance of the bike but one word, that it is fucking reliable. Trust me when I say this, you can take this bike out for a long ride on any given day without having a slightest worry or doubt about its performance on a long ride or whether it leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere. For me, this peace of mind is what matters the most when I ride. So far my longest ride has been a 1700km over 3 days. It had mix of terrain and I never faced a single problem with the bike and its performance, not even a clutch cable breaking. I wasn’t even carrying the basic spares but that’s how much I trust this bike. I am yet to take it to Leh and that will be a different review altogether but so far over the 27000km I have ridden on this over last 1.5 years over all kinds of roads and terrains, this bike has performed way beyond my expectations.

2. All round performer
If you are riding it in the city, you will love it for the quick acceleration punch it gives required for quick overtakes in the city traffic. Or its ability to maneuver across the traffic because of its light weight and superb handling. The gear-box is six speed but for city riding you will never cross 4th gear (unless you ride in low rpms like me). Feels good to leave everyone behind at every traffic signal halt :P

Now talking about highway riding and touring on this bike. No doubt the seat is hard and it’s not the ‘most’ comfortable seat for touring, but I have noticed that over these 1.5 years of owing the bike the seat has taken the shape of my but and I feel that too soft a seat is not good for your back and a seat little hard like this one keeps you in alert mode over long rides and doesn’t make you fall asleep. I won’t deny that there were slight cramps in my thighs after the long rides but I guess that’s the case with most of the bikes- please correct me if I am wrong. Talking about the riding position, it is slightly aggressive and your feet rests slightly behind the regular position but over the time I have got comfortable with this riding position and I can’t deny I like it this way. Makes it easier for me to stand on the foot pegs too.

You can easily cruise on this bike throughout the day at the speeds of 110/130kmph which are according to me is a safe range for touring on Indian roads. Although it can still reach a maximum of 170kmph but why push it to the limits when the job is getting done in much less load on the engine. Find a patch of smooth roads and you can easily cover at least 70-80 km in an hour.

Have taken this bike for lot of off-roading as well and it has performed superbly. Durable and rugged performance. It’s not a very heavy bike so you can easily lift it in case you fall.

3. Low maintenance cost
As I mentioned above the bike is very reliable, this means less problems with the bike. This doesn’t mean you don’t pay attention to it and skip the regular services. That will be silly and do not expect any bike to perform if you ignore its regular service visits. But looking at the other general problems which other riders face on their bikes, I can say that I haven’t faced such small problems so far like breaking of clutch/throttle cable, breaking of chain, oil leak, wheel locking etc. and so I never spent money to fix these problems on my bike which are very common otherwise. You will however spend money on changing the tyres very soon because the Metzelers which come as a stock tyres with this bike wear out very soon. They are just wonderful tyres and there is no doubt about it but a new set of Metzelers will cost around 16,000-17,000 Rs. which is very expensive. Many of the Duke 390 riders shift Michelin tyres and they are very close to Metzelers in performance and are much cheaper. Anyways going back to the point, daily riding on Duke 390 is free from majority of common problems.

4. It's a headturner
It’s not a beautiful gorgeous and best looking bike but you will still find people asking about the bike and giving a second look to your bike. May be it’s the looks of the bike (same as Duke 200?) or may be the sound of the bike, I don’t know. I am just happy with the attention I get in the traffic :P

5. Value for money
I was all set to buy Duke 200 when Duke 390 was just about to be launched. I was expecting it to be around Rs. 2.7-2.8 lakh on road price and that was far out of my budget. But I was shocked to see that Bajaj launched the bike at a much lower price and I paid Rs. 2.03 lakh on road in Chennai. You find it expensive ? I will say the for the whole package of features of the bike along with the world class engine performance, this bike is a steal and a GREAT value for money. This bike is a clear winner in terms of value for money when you compare it with other brands in this class.

All I can say is that I am very happy with this bike. Ofcourse nothing is perfect in this world if you want to know some of the negatives associated with this bike, head to RiderZone by our star moto writer Mr. Akhil Kalsh and click here to read the article. I am just mentioning him just because I love all his articles and I'm a fan :P
Nevertheless, whatever motorcycle YOU buy or are riding, RIDE SAFE! 
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  1. KTMs are top machines. They lost market after 2007 when most of the models had this overheat and seizure problems. Recalls and services went on until next 2 or 3 years, half of the user base had given up by then.

  2. Nice read and well written..It perfectly 'synced' with my 'one year ownership' of my ktm duke 390 which clocked 28000 kms odo..its totally 'glitch free' so far..

    1. Sorry for replying late. Glad you liked it! Do follow on Twitter and Facebook.