In 1983, there lived a king of speed – Yamaha RD350 at the time it conquered the hearts of many bike enthusiast by its thrilling speed. Now 30-years later a head-to-head competitor was born, its none other than KTM 390 Duke. While we say the 390 Duke is an extremely powerful bike at a price of two lakh rupees, the dangers of making available a performance bike to inexperienced riders too is higher. The question being asked is whether or not riders who get on a fast bike have the maturity or control to ride it.
Three decades earlier, the RD350 claimed the lives of many Indian riders and there was a myth that RD stood for ‘Racing Death’ and ‘Road Death’. The exact reason was the absence of the front disc brakes, although an international versions did come with discs which India didn’t get due to Indian mentality in those days (and even now) that disc brakes are killers. Frankly speaking, any motorcycle with 30 bhp and 209 bhp per tonne with drum brakes and puny tyres will be called as a suicide machine for sure.
In this article, we are not specifically pointing out Yamaha RD350 or KTM 390 Duke owners but an entire Indian youth’s who now have ability to purchase higher capacity performance motorcycles.
What caught our attention to write this article is a message gaining popular in Facebook. The message reads as follows –
“Riders Please Pay Attention: Want to address the people who know the owners of the Duke 390 and want to ask them about the test ride or small ride. This bike looks tiny but it has huge amount of power.(3 times more powerful than Pulsar 150 and about twice powerful then Pulsar 220) This is not every second bike that you ride everyday, it can be properly scary if you have no idea what are you up to. If a person or even I show you the bike then Pl don’t not think that you can handle it perfectly, something like_”nthng vil happen bro_” The weight to power ratio of the Duke 390 is much high. If you ever get the bike and have no idea of handling the 44 bhp, then I request you please don’t open the throttle to full, just enjoy the ride. Please wear the Safety Gears b4 u Ride.”
For the moment, we are unsure from where the message or the wrecked picture of the 390 Duke emerged, but hope the rider is safe. KTM’s official India Facebook fanpage reads: ‘KTM – Ready to Race India’, and its true.
Refresher – KTM 390 Duke comes powered by a 373.2cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke engine which produces 43.5 PS of peak power at 9000 RPM and 35 Nm of peak torque at 7000 RPM, coupled to a 6-speed gearbox. It is expected to return an overall fuel-efficiency of around 22-25kmpl. These figures are quite good considering the fact that it is a sub-400cc performance street bike. This bike only weighs around 154kgs (145kgs without fuel), thanks to its lightweight tubular frame which allows this bike to be a speed enthusiast.