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KTM Duke 390 | Gassit Garage | Long Term

The LAMS-approved KTM 390 Duke impressed Youngy when he attended the world launch, and it looks like a lot of bike for your buck, but what’s it like to live with?

Design mob KISKA has done a brilliant job with the 2017 390 Duke. Its long, sharp lines with KTM’s signature split LED headlight create an optical illusion the bike is larger than it is.

Also new for 2017 is a TFT dash, and our test bike has also been fitted with the KTM My Ride system, which allows easy Bluetooth connection of a smartphone. It took me less than two minutes to connect my phone and master the controls. No sooner had I headed off than the TFT dash alerted me of an incoming call and I had the choice of answering or rejecting it using the button on the left-hand switchblock. The other option fitted is an Akrapovic silencer.

The seat height of 830mm is 30mm higher than the previous 390. Its tapered design felt plush during the first few shorts rides, but once I began venturing into triple figures things became a little uncomfortable. Long-term owners say the seat just needs to be broken in and that after I’ve logged 4000km it will be a butt-hugging wonder.

Logging onto the 390 Duke Owners Facebook page connected me with 390 Duke riders from right around the world. These pages are a great place to pinpoint any issues a model may have and proves no bike is free from sin, check out the Online Chatter breakout below.

I’ve clocked up 1000km on the 373.2cc single. The gearbox is super-slick and the slipper clutch provides a light lever, requiring just a single-finger effort. The EFI fuelling is smooth, and the ByBre brakes are spot on. The ABS can be disengaged, and there’s a Super Moto mode that disconnects ABS to the rear wheel only. I’m not sure how many riders will find these features useful, but it’s a nice touch.

The non-adjustable (except for rear preload) WP suspension is on the soft side, as you would expect, but it doesn’t wallow around. Even when working under my 90kg weight, the bike settles into corners quickly, giving the Metzeler Sportec M5 tyres a solid grip into the tarmac.

The only issue to report so far is a TFT dash that blacked out mid-ride. I stopped and reset the ignition, and it came back to life! There’s been no repeat performance so far.

As well as my daily commute, I have some two-up time planned for my next report. You can also keep up to date with our Living With adventures at amcn.com.au and our Facebook page.

Some 2017 390 Duke owners have reported an intermittent low oil pressure warning displaying on the TFT screen. Our test bike has not experienced this problem, but we decided to ask KTM Australia about it.

“In the cases reported, nearly all have been caused by a faulty sensor,” KTM said.

“Customers with issues of oil pressure warning displays should contact an authorised dealer so the cause of the issue can be checked, such as the oil pressure sensor.”

As for the issue reported above of the dash blacking out mid-ride, KTM said: “The TFT display issue is generally rectified with a software update.”

KTMduke 390