The KTM Duke 390 and the RC390 are easily the most performance-focused motorcycles in the Indian premium bike segment. Both the motorcycles get the same 373.2cc single-cylinder engine. However, there’s a significant difference in the performance of the two Austrian siblings. Here’s a KTM Duke 390 vs RC390 drag race that highlights this disparity –
As you can see in the video above, the Duke 390 enjoys a clear advantage over its fully-faired sibling. In all the three rounds of drag racing, the Duke 390 has emerged out as the clear winner. These races were conducted on a closed road devoid of any sort of traffic.
Hence, the two motorcyclists were able to extract the most out of their machines. To make sure that the results are fair enough, the two riders have even exchanged the motorcycles between themselves to give an equal chance to both the models. However, the Duke 390 is clearly a bike length or two ahead of the RC390.
It can be made out from the above video that the two motorcycles are pretty closely matched in terms of initial acceleration. However, the Duke 390 seems to enjoy a slightly stronger mid-range and top-end performance. Much of the difference in performance is owing to two factors – weight and torque. The 2017 KTM Duke 390 offers slightly more grunt than its fully-faired sibling.
Compared to the RC’s 36 Nm, the Duke 390 outputs 37 Nm. Also, the Duke 390 doesn’t have to carry the additional weight of a fairing and its metal frame, which gives it a weight advantage of almost 8 kilograms. This helps it enjoy a higher power-to-weight ratio in spite of the fact that both the motorcycles offer a maximum power of 43.5 PS at 9,000 RPM.
These two differences help the Duke 390 enjoy an upper hand over the RC390 in terms of performance. In terms of straight-line acceleration, the Duke 390 clearly outclasses the RC390. Priced at Rs 2.44 lakh (on-road, New Delhi), the Duke 390 is Rs 5,000 cheaper than the RC390. Yet it offers more in terms of outright performance. It also offers some more features.