While KTM’s updated 1290 Super Duke R and 790 Duke may be the talk of the Austrian town at EICMA 2016, the newly revised 2017 390 Duke also debuted in Milan and is shaping up to be the undisputed class king in the sub-400cc category. Right off the bat, the first notable change between new and old is the updated styling, with sharper, more angular lines providing a meaner, aggressive stance. Like the rest of the Duke line, the 390 also gets the split LED headlight with LED daytime running lights, while at the back the little Duke receives a new, bolt-on subframe colored in contrast to the main steel trellis frame for a striking appearance.

2015 KTM 390 Duke First-Ride Review + Video

Other than a new ride-by-wire system, the 373cc Single doesn’t see any upgrades. This isn’t a bad thing necessarily, as the 390 Duke provides plenty of punch for the class already. The engine’s supporting cast does get an upgrade, however, as WP is updating the 43mm fork, and the front brake disc grows in size a substantial 20mm to 320mm. It’s still mated to a four-piston, radial-mount Bybre (By Brembo) caliper.

The 390 Duke didn't have any problems carving corners, but a new WP fork promises even sharper handling.

The 390 Duke didn’t have any problems carving corners, but a new WP fork promises even sharper handling.

From the saddle, the rider (and passenger) will notice revised seats and adjustable levers to help accommodate riders of various sizes. From there, the rider will be greeted by a new multifunctional, full-color TFT display – something unheard of for a motorcycle in this category.

Little Tearers Comparison: Honda CB500F Vs. KTM 390 Duke

With the optional dealer-installed KTM MY RIDE feature, you can sync to your phone via Bluetooth and control phone call and audio player information from the display. Lastly, the 390 Duke’s fuel tank has grown to 3.5 gallons (from 2.9 gallons) for longer stints between fuel stops.

2016 KTM 390 Duke Long-Term Review

  • Jon Jones

    How has reliability been with these 390’s? Any recurring problems?

    • DickRuble

      Other than leaky head, cracking wheels, and the engine shutting down when applying the clutch at speed, it’s peachy.

      http://riderzone.in/negatives-of-duke-390/

      • Jon Jones

        Any testimony from the US?

        • Kevin Duke

          We rode the sh!t our of our test bike for 2000 miles, including a trackday, and it sucked it all up without any mechanical issues. Read about it here: http://www.motorcycle.com/manufacturer/ktm/2016-ktm-390-duke-long-term-review.html

          • Jon Jones

            Thanks, Kevin. I know track miles are like dog-years as far as revealing flaws. But I also know that press bikes get a little more attention and prepping from the manufacturer than the bikes sold at dealerships. Anyone racking up serious miles on one of these?

          • krishan adhikari

            I have a duke 390 2013 model. I have completed 28,000 Km (approx 17,400 miles) across India. I have ridden it in the plains, desert and the mountains (15,000 feet). I use it to tour and very rarely ride it in the city.

            The problems faced
            1) If you ride it away from the tarmac , you get excellent feedback from the handle 🙂 a bit too much
            2) My front rim is bent and it just happened about now. The amount i have abused it , didn’t surprise me.
            3) there is a problem with the display, it has been changed twice and has not been fixed. it was changed free of cost under warranty
            4) The front suspensions left oil seal was changed about now, so it lasted 17k miles.
            5) my bike under extreme cold conditions take about 30 sec to start the first time post that it is ok. My friend had a 2014 model and it did not have this problem.
            6) The radiator fan was changed earlier (within 6 months of purchase) and post that there have been no problems

            Hope this helps.

          • Jon Jones

            Great info, thank you very much.

      • Kevin Duke

        That’s unfair, Dick. The guy from India who wrote that blog didn’t have a leaky head or cracked wheels; he just reported that some others in India have, but there is no info about how exactly these things happened. FWIW, I’ll bet I could crack a few cast aluminum sportbike wheels while riding across the roads, such as they are, in India.

        • Jon Jones

          Good points.

      • scoupdogg

        this article is 3 years old!
        all the problems were already fixed in the 2015 and then 2016 updates.
        this might be just the most tested version of the 390 engine XD

        • DickRuble

          Should we understand that the problems were not just imaginary then, as some would have it?

          • Dale

            So is it best to avoid the new 2016 KTM 690 or other KTM’s?

          • DickRuble

            we were talking just about the 390..

          • Dale

            Thanks.

          • scoupdogg

            guys, 390 was first launched in 2012 i believe, so right now its the MOST tested engine in their line, thats the best you can get it next year they decide to make a new engine.
            4 years of refinement is a good thing, but sure you can still wait for 2017 duke 390 reviews.

  • JMDonald

    It is hard to say which bike in this catagory I would have wanted in High School but if this baby Duke had been available it would have been at the top of my list. It is a peach.

    • spiff

      Or a 690.

      • scoupdogg

        now that they have shown 790… 690 is meh

        • spiff

          They didn’t show it on stage. I think Husky, in 2018, and the dirt will get the thumper. 2016 left overs will look good for a kid making some decent scratch. I think they should drop the 1090 (someone else said it, but I agree) into a Duke to join the 790 next year.

  • Craig Hoffman

    Dual sport version please. The WR250R has had its day in the sun…