Almost exactly one year ago, former EiC Kevin Duke penned (typed?) his review of the 2017 KTM 390 Duke. It came as no surprise to the MO staff when Kevin arrived home from Italy raving about the refreshed and revamped 390. The crew had already tested previous models and had found themselves smitten with the small orange machine, giving it the honor of Best Lightweight/Entry-Level Motorcycle of 2015 and 2016. It would then come as no surprise that the refreshed 2017 model would clench the threepeat with the Best Lightweight/Entry-Level Motorcycle Of 2017, and at $5,299, it would also snatch up our Best Value Motorcycle Of 2017.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2017. Since then, a number of other good beginner motorcycles have hit the market, so we’ve decided to update this post with some of the newer options available for new riders. The list of is available below.
Ever see someone do something super cool, and think you’d really like to try doing it yourself? Free climbing El Capitan, bull riding, and body suspension never made my list, but gymkhana sure did. I’ve had a burning desire to ride a small motorcycle through a forest of multi-colored cones littered about a huge parking lot for years. Recently, SoCal’s own M Gymkhana and KTM gave me and fellow gymkhana-curious editor, Troy Siahaan, the opportunity. Like our ice racing expedition a few years ago, the gymkhana experience was a fun and challenging task.