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KTM Duke 390 vs Kawasaki Ninja 300 – Exclusive Shootout

Kawasaki Ninja 300 vs KTM Duke 390

Kawasaki Ninja 300 vs KTM Duke 390 – Click above for high resolution picture gallery

Shootout – KTM Duke 390 vs Kawasaki Ninja 300

Both the Duke 390 and Ninja 300 offer borderline savage performance.

Orange vs Green. A battle which isn’t that obvious because the only thing common between both these motorcycles is the showroom space which they share. The KTM Duke 390 vs Kawasaki Ninja 300 might not look like a sensible fight but believe you me, it is. On one side you have the Japanese samurai (the Ninja 300 evolves from the Ninja 250) which has dominated the entry level performance segment for 20-years on a trot. On the other side we have a product which is the result of an Indo-Austrian joint venture. The common connection between KTM and Kawasaki is Bajaj Auto, making this a sibling rivalry (in India at least). Globally the KTM Duke 390 and Kawasaki Ninja 300 fall in a similar price range and battle it out with each other but in India the price difference between both is quite a lot. Price aside, which is the better motorcycle? This is a shootout between single vs twin, naked vs faired, Austria vs Japan and so on and so forth. Let’s get rolling.

Duke 390 vs Ninja 300Ninja 300 vs Duke 390

Styling - Looks are subjective but most will agree that the Kawasaki Ninja 300 is the more attractive vehicle. Both bikes take heavy styling inspiration from their elder siblings (the Ninja 300 from the ZX-6R, ZX-10R and the Duke 390 from the Duke 690, 990). The KTM Duke 390 does end up looking a bit small considering it’s a 375cc machine. Being identical to the Duke 200 in styling removes the wow factor although the colour scheme does make it stand apart from its younger sibling. The KTM Duke 390 uses LEDs even for the indicators which shows the attention to detail. While the Duke 390 flexes all it’s muscles with the naked styling, the Ninja 300′s full faired design makes it look bigger than it actually is, with the motorcycle being longer and wider than the Duke 390, thereby appearing more substantial. Everything from the twin headlights to the unique wheels make the Kawasaki Ninja 300 the winner in the styling department and you simply can’t miss it on the roads, specially when it’s painted in Kawasaki signature candy lime green.

Duke-390 vs Ninja 300 ShootoutKawasaki Ninja 300 vs KTM Duke 390

While the KTM Duke 390 is very well put together, the exposed wiring robs away full marks in the fit and finish section. Some parts come from the Pulsar which might not be appreciated by everyone. The Kawasaki Ninja 300 is almost faultless when it comes to built quality with fit and finish levels being truly top notch in every way. There is no grab rail on the Ninja 300 but a recess is hidden below the seat, a neat touch.

Duke 390 vs Ninja 300 Comparison

Ergonomics - You sit upright on the Duke 390 piloting a wide handle bar. The bike is a comfortable tourer but the seat is hard and the mirrors are a bit small. The Ninja 300 has a dedicated steering with clip-ons. You sit lower and the foot pegs are set high. Even though the Ninja 300 has a slightly aggressive riding position, the bike is extremely comfortable. Both these motorcycles are suitable for tall and short riders alike but the Ninja 300 offers better overall ergonomics.

Duke 390 vs Ninja 300 Review

Instrument Cluster and Switch Gear - While the KTM Duke 390 employs a completely digital console, the Kawasaki Ninja 300 uses an analogue tachometer with almost everything else being digital. The Ninja’s console is bigger and is much easier to read at all speeds. The Duke displays an array of information but the tachometer is too small and when you consider redline comes in early and the 390 revs quickly you realise you can’t really see the tacho clearly when you give this KTM the beans. The Ninja 300′s console boasts of bigger fonts and the big tachometer is right in the line of vision, which makes it win in this department as well. Switch gear on both bikes is good but the Ninja edges ahead with its piano black finishing on the switches. The mirrors on the Ninja 300 are positioned more outwards than the Duke 390 and offer better rear visibility. Both bikes offer good illumination in the night but the Ninja 300′s twin headlights are better as they light up the entire road. The Ninja also comes with a daytime running light.

Duke 390 vs Ninja 300 Performance

Performance - Till now the Ninja 300 seems to be justifying its premium but does it hold a candle to the Duke 390 which not only produces more power and torque (44 PS vs 39 PS and 35 Nm vs 27 Nm) but is lighter too (by 18 kgs). This results in the Duke 390 having a higher power to weight ratio of more than 300 PS per tonne vs 226 PS per tonne on the Ninja 300. Well, we won’t spill the beans just yet but remember both bikes have the best tech in their engines from these manufacturers. Have a look at the drag race below.

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As you can see the Duke 390 is faster than the Ninja 300 right from the word go and is very quick off the line, only to be caught up post 130 km/hr, where the Kawasaki comes in its own and pulls strongly to 160 km/hr. But what this quarter mile result doesn’t show you is how quickly the Ninja 300 pulls at high speeds. Even though the Duke 390 has higher displacement, it’s only a single cylinder unit which has its flaws. The Ninja 300′s parallel twin power plant is terrifically refined and vibrations are completely missing. The Duke 390 vibrates quite a bit when you thump the starter and while it isn’t unbearable, it simply can’t match the Ninja 300 when it comes to refinement. Running a higher compression ratio than the Ninja 300, the Duke 390 tends to knock a bit when you use lower octane fuel.

Although the KTM Duke 390 has more torque, we prefer the Kawasaki Ninja 300 in the city even though it feels a bit heavy to manoeuvre in traffic. We choose the Ninja for city duties because Kawasaki has done a fantastic job of directing away heat from the rider. The air flow through the fairing dissipates heat away from the rider and the Ninja 300 doesn’t heat at all, no matter how many times you redline it. The Duke 390 heats a lot in city conditions and riding in stop go traffic can give your legs a heat massage. The higher ground clearance (by 30 mm) on the Duke 390 is a boon and one needs to be careful in the Ninja 300 over large speed-breakers.

So what is more fun? Both these motorcycles are fast, the Duke 390 boasts of faster 0-60 and 0-100 km/hr times while the Ninja 300 has a higher top speed. The Duke and the Ninja are both tall geared but the 390 has a narrow power band to play with, hence it’s faster in the city and the highway because you need to change gears less often, thereby requiring lesser throttle inputs. The KTM has a tendency to power wheelie in first gear, such is the amount of thrust it packs. The Ninja 300′s power is delivered in a linear fashion. The Kawasaki really comes alive after 6000 RPM and redlines at a stratospheric 13,000 RPM. The madness in the Duke 390 starts after 5000 RPM and redline comes in quickly at 10,500 RPM. Both engines are undoubtedly terrific but the Ninja’s motor is somewhat better and the fuelling is spot on with absolutely no jerkiness right from 2000 RPM all the way up to 13,000 RPM. The parallel twin heart sounds really pleasing to the aural senses. The Duke 390 roars but doesn’t sound anywhere as sweet as the Kwacker, which sounds like a jet fighter when on full steam.

Both these motorcycles use a 6-speed gearbox, offering smooth shifts but the Ninja 300 is better with slightly slicker shifts. What really sets the Ninja 300 apart is the slipper clutch which lets you downshift aggressively and comes in handy when you are riding aggressively on the twisties. Both these machines are equally frugal and will return a mileage between 25-30 km/l, which is not that a big deal as a person buying a performance bike isn’t as sensitive to mileage. However the Kawasaki has a bigger tank (6-litres bigger) which plays a vital role when you plan to ride on long journeys. The Ninja 300 also has an ECO indicator which helps you the stretch the mileage further when not in the mood for fun and games.

Ninja 300 vs Duke 390 Review

Riding Dynamics - On the hardware front, the KTM Duke 390 seems richer than the Kawasaki Ninja 300. The KTM uses a trellis frame along with upside down forks. The Ninja settles for conventional telescopic forks with a twin spar type frame. What really plays a vital difference between both bikes are the tyres. The Duke 390 uses super awesome Metzelers which offer terrific grip in both dry and wet conditions alike. The Ninja 300 doesn’t offer the same levels of grip as the Duke 390 because of the inferior tyres. The super sticky rubber aids in pushing the Duke 390 more aggressively around corners as it feels very nimble and agile compared to the Ninja 300. That said, the Ninja 300 is the more confidence inspiring bike thanks to lower suspension travel and a chassis which sits a lot lower then the Duke’s. However the difference is not a world apart and both are well accomplished in terms of dynamics in their own way. A rider can thoroughly enjoy pushing both of them through a set of twistes, with a wide grin on his face.

The Duke 390′s suspension is very stiffly sprung which makes it very difficult to ride on bad roads, you either slow down considerably or your back takes the toll. The suspension on the Ninja 300 is very well tuned and absorbs most of the bumps without transferring anything to the rider. So the Ninja 300 has better ride quality, bigger tank, hooks under seat (to tie luggage) and a more comfortable seat than the Duke, which all results in the Ninja 300 being a very good bike to tour on, without getting tired. The aerodynamic design and large front screen means wind blast is well contained at high speeds, where the Duke 390 is severely affected (too much wind blast post 130 km/hr). The Ninja 300 is the more stable bike and stays firmly planted at even 150 km/hr, which means you can hold high speeds for longer with ease.

Ninja-300 v Duke 390 HandlingNinja-300 vs Duke 390 Brakes

It’s a shame Kawasaki does not offer ABS on the Ninja 300 in India, a feature KTM offers as standard on the Duke 390. The brakes on this baby Ninja are simply not up to the mark and tend to wear out very quickly. It uses petal discs and ABS is offered in global markets. The Duke 390 uses four pot radial callipers at the front, single pot calliper at the rear, ABS and sticky tyres, all of which ensures shedding high speeds is effortless and confidence inspiring. KTM has gone the full monty and even given the Duke steel braided brake lines!

Cost of Ownership -Both these performance bikes are serviced at the same place but the Duke 390 is cheaper to live with. The KTM being heavily localised means parts are cheaper and so are the service costs. The average service cost of the Kawasaki Ninja 300 are much higher than the KTM Duke 390 (almost double) but quality of service should be more or less the same between the two.

Verdict - and the winner is… the Kawasaki Ninja 300. Who saw that coming? Yes the Duke 390 has better hardware, far better brakes and is tremendous bang for the buck but the Ninja 300 is an almost faultless bike (save for the lack of ABS and price there isn’t much going wrong with the Kwacker). The Duke 390 is a terrific product, it’s fast, nimble and surefooted but it somehow doesn’t tingle the emotional senses like the Ninja 300 manages to do. However the Kawasaki Ninja 300 costs a whooping Rs. 3.94 lakhs, while the KTM Duke 390 costs Rs. 2.07 lakhs (all prices on-road, Mumbai) and for sheer value alone, the Duke 390 wins our vote.

The Kawasaki Ninja 300 edges ahead of the KTM Duke 390 as a better engineered product but the Duke 390′s value for money quotient simply can’t be ignored. At Rs. 1.87 lakhs less than the Ninja 300, the Duke 390 is terrific value and a real pocket-rocket for Indian bikers.

Further Reading –

Kawasaki Ninja 300 Review
KTM Duke 390 Review

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{ 142 comments… add one }

  • tejas August 26, 2013, 5:59 pm

    prices of duke 390>> all merits of ninja! both are awesome…but price is essential!

  • sandy August 26, 2013, 6:08 pm

    Haaa…. the biggest fight ever, and good to know Ninja proving its engineering w.r.t KTM. The drag race is enough to show how a lesser powered and capacity Ninja was still closer to brute KTM comfortably. One would love to be on Ninja whatever be the situation say bad roads, city traffic, highway cruising, comfortable seats and forgiving suspension, option for riding economically, smoothness of twin cylinder and why not if one is spending another 1.9 lakhs. One can upgrade the tires of Ninja.
    Thanks Faisal, Mohit and teams for exposing the truth vs hype story of both these bikes, buyer should find this comparison report more helpful; because our body limits is more important then extra bucks.

    • Faisal Khan August 26, 2013, 6:50 pm

      Sandy but for the additional price, ABS should have been standard on the Ninja 300.

  • karikor August 26, 2013, 6:33 pm

    Can’t wait for the Kawasaki Ninja 300 VS KTM RC 390 Shootout !!!

    • Faisal Khan August 26, 2013, 6:49 pm

      You will have to wait at least 6 months as RC 390 not hitting our shores before 2014.

      • karikor August 27, 2013, 12:12 pm

        I hope to get to read it first here on Motorbeam.

  • Harsha B August 26, 2013, 6:55 pm

    A very well-written comparo. Agreed on the quality aspects of ninja over duke, but end of the day, ninja is simply over-priced….

    • Alron June 16, 2014, 2:54 pm

      Yes overpriced but yes you do get qualit for it. The showroom I bought the ninja from the dealer himself told me the issues and maintenance of ktm duke 390 and 200
      Either thier rear tire guard will fall of while riding or some electronical issue will come up..
      So if u buying a duke keep the 1.8 lakhs u would pay extra on the ninja for the repairs in future to the Duke.

  • dharun August 26, 2013, 7:08 pm


  • Ben August 26, 2013, 7:44 pm

    the review was a great treat, I am expecting the same with rd350 too. but one good info I got from this review that Duke looses steam to ninja after 130kmph. many may justify it with wind blast but that is not at all a matter, after all it has 4bhp extra power. according to me it should have resisted ninja till it’s top speed of 160kmph . from this I can roughly assume that rc series will also offer about same performance loosing steam after 130kmph . so ninja is a clear winner here. any way Duke is also the winner for it’s amazing torque delivery even though it failed miserably in power delivery. ktm need to work heavily on it to compete with the established japs. Duke 390 has only 25_30bhp on tap.

    • Mohit August 26, 2013, 8:32 pm

      Ben, we did have seprate drag race on a really empty 5 km track and we found that when Duke reaches 140 km/hr (which it reaches first) Ninja comes out of no where and becomes neck and neck from 140 to all the way upto 165 km/hr (Duke speedo indicated) Ninja could have gone slightly ahead since it had a lighter rider and aerodynamics but i am afraid to say both were neck and neck and both started braking at similar spot.

      Rc series is a complete track focus bike and according to me it should receive a higher rev limit and change to gearing and sprocketing which will give same top speed as the Ninja

      • Ben August 26, 2013, 9:19 pm

        @mohit. I got it. but also confirm the speeds with gps. earlier faisal reported in the first ride impression that Duke lost steam above 150kmph. that’s why I made a conclusion like that. it’s a war to clinch titles so always detailed info is welcome. so Duke catches ninja up to 165kmph. that’s good sign for rc390 s brutal performance.

        • Mohit August 26, 2013, 10:38 pm

          Ben, Duke has a very accurate speedo meter, while the Ninja shows 180 km/hr it only does 168 km/hr and its proven by gps that Duke does 168 km/hr as well because its much lighter, more horse power and more torque pushing it forward to its top speed quicker too Ninja comes in because it makes only mid and top end power hence the sudden jump after all it has superior aerodynamics and sits lower by a huge margin too

    • Faisal Khan August 27, 2013, 12:20 am

      Ben, actually Duke doesn’t loose steam, the Ninja starts to pull strongly.

  • Ben August 26, 2013, 7:58 pm

    @faisal. one small suggestion, while giving your verdict on any comparo , always give two types of verdict, one excluding the price factor and the other including the price factor. it gives a wrong notion to buyers about technology and capabilities. here onwards try to follow it.

    • Faisal Khan August 26, 2013, 7:59 pm

      Ben, price no bar, Ninja is the winner, else the Duke is. Clearly mentioned in the verdict ;-)

      • Jai August 27, 2013, 8:21 am

        @ Mr BEN.

        When you compare any automobiles, Price does play a very important role . Ninja would be the best bike if you don’t consider price in to consideration, but does it helps the buyers who actually can afford 2 lks not 4lks ?. Faisal ,the comparo is superb and actually it helps the potential buyers to make right decision based on their affordability factor. Every review /comparison should have price factor . End of the day, Indians look for VALUE FOR MONEY FACTOR . Ben is actually more biased towards JAP’s bike. HATS OFF to KTM and BAJAJ for their effort to bring the most affordable POCKET ROCKETS to INDIANS. What JAP’s are doing even when they are pioneers in technology? Honda CBR250 not an value for money bike, YAMAHA thinking to make a world’s cheapest 100cc bike, Kawasaki 300, very expensive and even if I like NINJA 300, i need to sell my car to buy it.

        • Ben August 27, 2013, 6:30 pm

          @jai. from your comments, I think you don’t read any comment properly and you just like that Blabber any thing. I just suggested to give two types of verdict, no where I said not to consider price factor. according to you * pulsar 150 is the winner against r15 because of the price. *

          • Rahul August 27, 2013, 7:32 pm

            upto ur previous comment you were makin sense but here its showing that u are losing it. according to Jay *pulsar 150 is the winner against r15 because of the price. * This comment would have met any sense if Pulsar 150 offered any performance and handling/ features similar to R15. The Ninja loses the comparison because they are offering both similar performance and in some cases the Ninja is ahead but the Duke is ahead in acceleration and breaking both. Please understand the complete context before going off randomly.

          • Jai August 27, 2013, 8:12 pm

            @Ben You are the one who blabber on JAP’s bikes. Pulsar 150 and R15 are in different league. But Ninja300 and KTM 390 does falls under potential bike enthu’s who think of owning (premium) performance bike.

            Your comment ” ktm need to work heavily on it to compete with the established japs. Duke 390 has only 25_30bhp on tap” . Just correct your statement . Who is losing out in competition? Ninja or Duke 390. Ninja is the world’s best quarter liter bike but what I was telling you that ,being the best does not holds good unless it reaches the Value for money quotient.

            Duster may have the best diesel engine and aerodynamics than Ecosport but does it holds the value for money quotient like Ecosport. Ecosport has screwed the Duster sales in last two months. Now, KTM 390 and upcoming RC 390 will kick off Ninja from the Indian market very soon.

  • Nishanth August 26, 2013, 9:13 pm

    Hi Faisal,
    Is there a chance of a lower variant in Ninja about 200 cc and cheaper price will release in India?

    • Faisal Khan August 27, 2013, 12:19 am

      Nishanth, nope. They are not offering 250R in India so no way they will develop a 200cc for our market.

  • Faraz Ibrahim August 27, 2013, 1:08 am

    Duke is naked whereas ninja is faired and duke is single cylinder and again ninja is twin parallel. So do the math. It’s like unlicensed boxing. Lets give ktm a faired multicylinder and see what happens. The samurai got a new enemy in the neighbourhood

    • Faisal Khan August 27, 2013, 1:52 am

      What ever said and done, KTM can’t match Kawasaki in terms of engine smoothness, refinement and spot-on fuelling.

      • Faraz Ibrahim August 27, 2013, 4:46 pm

        That’s because single cylinder’s balancing is difficult and moreover in the duke 373.2 cc is compressed in one stroke much like a steam engine. The Kawasaki 300 has twins which means less moment and vibrations each piston makes 150cc volume. Also I think ninja has some balancing shaft to take that much power in the downstroke. Look I’m not in favour of the duke. It’s just that duke is fibre and frame nothing much. I hated 200D. Not good tactics by ktm.

        • Faisal Khan August 27, 2013, 6:43 pm

          Faraz, it helps them save costs. A twin is obviously more expensive but for the price, the Duke 390 is mouth watering.

  • NEIL August 27, 2013, 1:31 am

    I think the verdict is bull.. to say the least. Ask me why?
    You are talking about striking the right chord. Well the 390 has enough uniqueness to strike some thick chords.
    Secondly the only better thing the N300 has is an extra cylinder. But at the end of the day you want it to produce some fodder and that fodder the 390 has bucketloads.
    When would you guys stop looking at a faired machine blindly?
    The first bike I rode in my life was my father’s RD350 and that beat the balls out of a N250r
    A Ninja has a top speed indicated of around ~188 km/h and take greater speedo error than duke it comes to about a max of arnd 179~ that too with a proper fairing.
    The Duke just got tested with a VBox at 168.2 and its bare naked.
    I rode the Duke 390 yesterday. It connected to my RD350.
    Hows that for striking some chords as a biker?

    • Faisal Khan August 27, 2013, 1:49 am

      Neil dude have you ridden the Ninja 300? Do you know it redlines like a mad bike, revving all the way to 13,000 RPM. I personally love the Duke, in fact I would buy it over the Ninja any day (due to the price) but the fact is the Ninja 300 is a better bike overall.

      So don’t just go by theory, ride both back to back and trust me, you will agree with us.

      • NEIL August 27, 2013, 1:30 pm

        Not yet but have done 700 Kms rides on a 250r! I exactly know the character of the baby ninja! The old bike revved to an identical 13000 rpm but if you have the insight thats not where it makes its peak power. It makes them at roughly 11000 rpm.So its best to shift at ~11500 mark and with some more wisdom the rest of the rpm is there to play with in case ur at a corner where you cannot upshift! And please do clarify how do you think the Ninja is a better bike overall?
        Because it revs to 13000 rpm? I dont think so.
        Because it strikes the right chords with you? Well it didnt with me with the 250r, the 300 wouldnt be any different.
        You said ride it both back to back and I would agree. Why man?Please clarify!

        • Faisal Khan August 27, 2013, 1:49 pm

          Neil, the 250R and 300 are very very different. The changes to the new 250R (same as the 300) is the biggest Kawasaki has made in recent times. So don’t judge by riding the Ninja 250R.

          Now I will tell you where each bikes are better and why the Ninja 300 is a better machine overall.

          Ninja 300 over Duke 390 –

          - better styling, looks bigger
          - more comfortable sitting position
          - one bike do all machine. you can ride in city, highways, tracks and even go touring
          - twin-cylinder engine
          - full faired, better aerodynamics, not much windlblast at high speeds, easy to hold higher speeds
          - higher top speed
          - no vibrations, extremely refined motor
          - no heating in any condition
          - slipper clutch
          - better instrument cluster, which is easy to read and it’s more fun to see a manual tacho on a sports bike
          - better pillion seat
          - better headlight
          - better engine and exhaust note

          Duke 390 over Ninja 300

          - faster acceleration (up to 130 km/hr)
          - better brakes
          - better tyres
          - ABS is standard
          - instrument cluster is loaded with information
          - better hardware (USD forks, trellis frame, steel braided brake lines, radial callipers)
          - cheaper maintenance as service costs are lower (specially labour)
          - terrific value for money (you can get a D200 + D390 for Ninja 300 money)

          Now when you factor all that, the Ninja 300 comes out as the winner. That said, I will personally buy a Duke over the Ninja because of the mouth watering price.

          • NEIL August 27, 2013, 2:37 pm

            I love the Duke’s minimalist lines I would prefer a smaller bike with bigger power. :)
            I prefer a fat free bike(D390)
            10 Kms higher top speed which is achieved by crawling and waiting does not really matter.
            Better pillion seat? Really? Does not bother me as a biker.
            I can upgrade the headlights.
            Slipper clutch on a sub 500 cc? Unless you live in MMST it does not matter.
            Cmon these are criterias?

            Though heating, a twin exhaust note and no vibrations at all which sounds extremely good are a couple of criterias that the Ninja clinches comfortably.
            But trust me now that Maniacal Acceleration is what every biker secretly worships which the duke has bucketloads.

          • Faisal Khan August 27, 2013, 3:19 pm

            Neil, for acceleration and fun, the Duke 390 is a splendid bike but overall the Ninja is better. That’s all we said, nothing more.

            Now for you pillion seat doesn’t matter but there are people to whom it does. So if we remain neutral and analyse all points, the Ninja 300 does come out on top. Don’t put your personal preferences to make a judgement. You like smaller bike but some people want a bike which looks the part. The Duke 390 just appears too small for what is produces.

          • Pravin August 27, 2013, 8:37 pm

            well said Faisal..

        • Rahul August 27, 2013, 7:38 pm

          Any one who knows that he doesn’t need to redline a bike to have the perfect shift, knows bikes very well. So the moment you said 11000 RPM is the right mark to shift I knew that you are the right type of guy. I don’t know what people in Indian reviews are always talking about redline this, redline that. The redline is not the perfect shift anyways. I have ridden the Duke 390. And I know that if you are the hardcore aggressive rider you seem like, you will not like the Ninja 250R which has some sport bike characters with some tourer type mixed. It’s a better overall bike for normal riders. However people who use the performance line (not the redline) will find the Duke better.

          • Pravin August 27, 2013, 8:39 pm

            What is a performance line!

      • NEIL August 27, 2013, 1:37 pm

        And trust me this naked has beat the ninja to 150kph what would happend when the RC390 comes in?
        It should be coffins for N300 next year.
        More power, race spec seating position, fairing, better tyres. Result? Competition not finding a place to hide!
        So exciting to be a biker in these times :)

        • Faisal Khan August 27, 2013, 1:50 pm

          Neil, let RC come and we will see what happens. Not much will change with the RC because underpinnings and engine will remain the same which means heat and vibes will be there.

          • Faraz ibrahim August 27, 2013, 4:53 pm

            This is 1st gen single by ktm. It’ will take time to refine that much power and heat not to miss vibrations from a single. Never mind ktm getting rc series but who cares when you’ve got fireblade,gsxr,r1 as the kings.

          • Faisal Khan August 27, 2013, 6:44 pm

            Faraz, RC will also use the same single-cylinder engines.

          • Faraz Ibrahim August 27, 2013, 10:11 pm

            As said earlier Faisal the RnD will make sure that these unwanted biproducts from duke will be eliminated from Austrians. Best bike for now is NINJA 650. Decent mileage no heat issues no cheap tactics no wind blast etc etc. will break both these dudes necks off the scale. Plus the sweet and melodious TRACTOR sound. Lolzzzz. Why buy a 300r take 650r from the shelf!!!!!!

          • Faisal Khan August 28, 2013, 11:40 am

            Bingo but 650 is expensive for most and also no ABS in a bike costing almost Rs. 6 lakhs!

        • Rahul August 29, 2013, 9:08 pm

          @NEIL for the performance biker the Duke has already won. And no Motorbeam or any other website can change that. The Duke has already received 1500 bookings vs. the Ninjas 300 odd bookings. Kawasaki thought they could fool Indians by selling them at high profit. They didn’t know KTM will do this to them. and the truth will be out by year end, when the sales figures are released. The truth is that, Ninja is great bike to praise on sites and forums but the Duke is a better bike to buy and ride on streets!

          • Faisal Khan August 29, 2013, 9:14 pm

            Rahul, price has played a vital role in the success of the Duke, undeniably.

          • romy March 5, 2014, 4:44 pm

            Good strategy by Bajaj to keep cheap bikers off the kwackers. Go buy your cheapass dukes and keep mowing around on your lawnmowers. Ninja rules! ride one and you will never sit on that orange toy bike anymore

          • Faisal Khan March 5, 2014, 11:26 pm

            Romy, I think you should ride a Duke 390.

    • romy March 5, 2014, 4:37 pm

      Connected to your RD, boy o boy you must be riding with your ears tightly shut, otherwise there no way you wouldnt notice the sound of that lawnmower you were riding. Make your dad proud, go buy a twin!

      • Senaritra March 24, 2014, 6:30 pm

        Faisal Khan why do we care about sells figure….Maruti sells more than Mercedes in India tht does not mean Maruti better than mercedes…….As a Ninja 300 owner personally I don want too much N300 in road as it will destroy my uniqueness…..Please compare CBr 250 sells figure with Duke 390 not wit N300 as a owner I do not want to become common on Road :) :) Also i feel CKD product are very very high in Build quality compare to Indian made product for cost reduction purpose maybe…As CBR 250 look very cheap if you compare with N300…

  • vj August 27, 2013, 2:41 am

    go home motorbeam…you are drunk…!!! :P
    whats the point in saying a bike is better if we cannot buy it because of its price…
    And I am damn sure that the fun quotient of D390 is higher than N300 anyday…
    I thought this was a performance comparison…sigh…!!!

    • Faisal Khan August 27, 2013, 9:33 am

      VJ, we should re-do it with the Hyosung GT650N which is faster than both, should we? Price is Rs. 3.8 lakhs. It’s not just performance, it’s the overall package that matters.

      • pravin August 28, 2013, 3:05 pm

        Absolutely.. For all Duke supporters.. Drive a Hyosung GT650N n it will leave the Duke far behind in performance.. It also boasts the same kind of hardware like inverted forks..

        For sheer engineering n quality of product Ninja is superior is what motor beam claims.. N they are correct..

  • Nishanth August 27, 2013, 9:54 am

    Please upload the top speed run video of duke 390 :-)

  • Zack August 27, 2013, 12:04 pm

    Guys what is the actual top end of both the Ninja and the Duke? Any vbox or gps readings which you can share? And the verdict is good but you could have added more fun on the duke and better comfort on the ninja, thats why overall ninja is a better bike in different scenarios.

    • Faisal Khan August 27, 2013, 12:17 pm

      Zack, we have mentioned those points in the review but in the verdict we kept it clean. We could have gone ahead and justified why the Ninja being expensive is worth the extra bucks – better brand recall, full fairing, parallel-twin engine, slipper clutch, etc.

      Top speed of Duke 390 is 170ish, while the Ninja 300 does 190ish (all speedo indicated).

  • Arunkumar August 27, 2013, 12:41 pm

    I went in for Ninja 300 over DUke 390, even after I still own a Duke 200. The reason is simple, Duke has its shortcomings mechanically. Its a sweet handler but I could not connect to the power delivery, its like it rushes through the RPM counter which is good as well as bad. power delivery is too restless on highways and over a long distance its kind of tiring to be on the bike. It is also not having much stability and I believe Duke 390 would have reduced these problems but not completely. Single cylinder shows up some vibrations and Ninja has very minute tingles on foot peg in some RPM bands, otherwise its a stress free riding. Ninja hides its weight around corners and u can shift ur weight much easier on Ninja compared to Duke. Its tough to fall into corners on Duke than Ninja.

    For cities, I am commuting with N300 and found it good, though u cant dip in and out as Duke and that extra weight shows. Thats the reason I am still not selling my Duke 200. It will be still for my city commuting. But Duke 390 would be a bit too much for my congested city, so the upgrade to 390 doesnt make sense to me.

    • Faisal Khan August 27, 2013, 1:14 pm

      Arunkumar, your observations match ours. Both bikes are awesome, but the Ninja justifies the higher price by being superior in many ways.

    • kk August 27, 2013, 3:23 pm

      @arunkumar what mechanical issues are u facing with the duke 200 ?…..
      if u are talking about its power delivery then that is the nature of the bike….it is aggressive and stressed..
      but if u are talking about something else then… share it….

      • Arunkumar August 27, 2013, 5:12 pm

        Agree its the mechanical nature of the bike, I wont call it aggressive but its actually tapping the maximum from a single cylinder by using a higher compression, shorter gearing etc. KTM played around a single cylinder in all possible ways to make it look as an hooligan. they are successful but I cant rule out that the engine looks over-stressed (or some one may call it aggressive?, its their choice).

        • kk August 27, 2013, 6:03 pm

          Rightly said i have read somewhere about this ….they have tried to take out more power out of a 200 cc mill but taller gearing would have sufficed but i don’t think they’ll ever give it taller gearing…….but some say that sprocketing does take care of the situation upto a certain extent…….

          • Faisal Khan August 27, 2013, 6:49 pm

            Kk, it’s simple. They wanted to make the Duke an insane bike in terms of acceleration. You can boost top speed but then you loose out on the fun aspect.

        • Faisal Khan August 27, 2013, 6:46 pm

          Arun, not really stressed as they have put redline early to tackle wear and tear.

  • Mack August 27, 2013, 1:11 pm

    What about comparision with crap CBR 250 ?????????????? does it come closer to in any aspect ?

    • Faisal Khan August 27, 2013, 1:13 pm

      Mack, we did compare the CBR250R with the Duke 200. The CBR250R doesn’t even come close to the Ninja 300 and Duke 390 in any way, so it’s pointless including it in this shootout.

      • pravin August 28, 2013, 3:10 pm

        I totally disagree that the CBR is a crap!! It is still a better tourer than the Duke390 n my choice on highway..

        • Faisal Khan August 28, 2013, 3:12 pm

          Pravin, for the price, the CBR250R falls way short. The Duke with a front visor is quite good for highway duties.

        • Rahul August 29, 2013, 9:11 pm

          Performance line is that short sweet spot where you have to shift the gear upwards (upshift) to get maximum acceleration from the bike.
          And you haven’t toured with the Duke 390 neither have I. But unless you have toured with both the CBR 250R and the Duke 390 you can’t call CBR a better tourer.
          You may choose to tour on a 100cc bike. That is a personal choice, that doesn’t make the bike the best.

  • Rohit Jain August 27, 2013, 4:09 pm

    Excellent comparo … I must appreciate the efforts your entire team has put in to come up with this fabulous write up … I respect both the bikes and feel that they are leaders in their own segments … I think there is only one winner here and that is “We Indians” who now have better access to performance oriented bikes thanks to Bajaj and other manufacturers who could guage our hunger for more power and quality !

    • Faisal Khan August 27, 2013, 4:11 pm

      Thanks Rohit, I am glad you like what we do ;-)

      Yes Bajaj Auto has really done something for Indian bike enthusiasts, now hopefully Honda, Yamaha and Hero also move on this path.

      • Rohit Jain August 27, 2013, 4:41 pm

        Honda tired it with CBR250R but has failed in my perspective. And I say this being an ex-owner of CBR250R 2012 model. They got the wrong vendors and corrupt quality check officials. Once Honda was synonymous with the term “quality” but no more for me atleast. Anyways I moved on and have booked the KTM 390 Duke 4 days before it launched. I am eagerly waiting for it be delivered. The chakan strike has helped Bajaj save some pennies in this slump season for auto industry but the fall guy KTM has lost few impatient Indian customers to other subpar brands. I hope the domestic delivery situation improves in september and wish to see the N300 v/s D390 played out on every Indian highway ;-)

        • Faisal Khan August 27, 2013, 4:46 pm

          Rohit, Honda is trying to cash in on their brand name, which is sad. KTM is winning customers by offering the best bit at the least possible price. The hardware on the Duke 390 is totally unheard off at this price point.

          How many kms did you put on the CBR250R?

          • Rohit Jain August 27, 2013, 4:59 pm

            When I say Honda I mean HMSI (their Indian subsidary) which is messing up. I owned the CBR250R for 13 months and clocked 13000km with a good mix of touring and commuting. I must admit the bike is flawless on highways and returns a good kmpl figures but the major drawback is inferior quality of spare parts which keep on malfunctioning and more so if used heavily for city commutes thanks to the quality of roads we ride on. Apart from these I came to know that majority of CBR250Rs had their engines opened for some job or other. Be it shims or the overhead roller in my case which went kaput on 11th month of its purchase. Although I had good rapport with the SVC thanks to our online community but several visits to the SVC for petty things made me lose confidence. I always wanted a bike which I can spend more time on road rather than SVC/garage. Hence I finally decided to move on and sell it before the resale prices go for a toss and then booked D390 :-)

          • Faisal Khan August 27, 2013, 6:45 pm

            Rohit, thanks for sharing. It would be awesome if you could write a good ownership report on your CBR250R. You can get in touch with me using the contact tab in the navigation bar. Awaiting your email.

          • Mack August 27, 2013, 5:12 pm

            Faisal, you must compare CBR 250 with Duke 390 since both are offered almost in same price. We must know where that crap cbr stands??? Honda has realized that fooling Indian will not be so easy. And those poor cbr owners running here and there with their drilled ass and left no option other burning there ass. honda are cashing something on the brand name due to which people now hate Honda. They are now in fearing that why launching activa at much cheaper price. They are busy in making some HEAT technology to give 2-3 kmpl more and making 100cc to challenge bajaj and hero.

          • Faisal Khan August 27, 2013, 6:45 pm

            Mack, comparing CBR250R is a insult to the Duke 390 so we will keep the CBR250R away from it. We did compare it with the D200 and it lost there too.

          • Senaritra April 10, 2014, 8:23 pm

            @Faisal khan how come Duke 390 beat Ninja 300 in race track …I mean one having 17.5 ltr fule tank one is 11 litre…so just imagine ….how many pits needs to do for Duke 390 hehe it will lost in pits only..and race always done in same tyres :)

          • Faisal Khan April 10, 2014, 8:31 pm

            A race is never more than 150 kms and one full tank on full throttle is good enough for at last 180 kms.

  • Rohit Jain August 27, 2013, 5:22 pm

    @Mack … Lets not make this thread a Honda bashing place and deprive other readers of its real content. I am sorry for bringing Honda into this discussion but I did it to give a background. Anyways lets hope Duke 390 and Ninja 300 both aspire the riders in us to push more into the corners and come out with a big grin !

    • Faisal Khan August 27, 2013, 6:46 pm

      Rohit and also some politician turns bikers and works towards making the roads.

      • Rohit Jain August 27, 2013, 7:43 pm

        Sorry I did not get what you mean to say !

        • Mack August 28, 2013, 2:12 pm

          Why not to compare honda ? after all those japani tel is challenging Indians ! and that too with crap products and higher price. Look at the bike trigger. it seems like some designer was forced to design this bike with a bar stoke in his ass. that bike lookes even ugly than much better unicorn. japani tel ki hawabaji is now over. now all indians are ready with products to launch. I personally observed suzuki ns yamaha make much better products than what hondo does.

  • Ben August 27, 2013, 10:08 pm

    @rahul @jai. not all the readers of a review are going to book the bike, some may use the review as their guide for buying while others may use it to enrich their knowledge on each bike’s capabilities. factors like performance, dynamics etc directly relate with the bike’s capabilities but price is an external factor which is essential only for buyers. so it is good to give two types of verdict, with price and without price. but you two are just targeting me, not my comments. as you are bajaj or ktm fans you don’t want any truth to be revealed. finally I don’t comment anything without any reference, only after knowing the opinions given on the review I will comment. there are also some engineering aspects of an engine which can be assumed roughly with some output parameters such speed, torque, thrust. there is no wrong in assumption before the arrival of the product.

  • Ben August 27, 2013, 11:11 pm

    @rohit @jai. you two claim that pulsar 150 and r15 are different league. I am asking, does pulsar is marketed as a commuter and r15 as a performance bike, does both have different cubic capacity, does both have huge difference in Max power and torque, does both have different cylinder configuration, absolutely no. yet when they are pitted against each other pulsar offers enough performance at half the price of r15 and will be the clear winner when price factor is included. but will any of the true bikers accept this verdict in favour of pulsar just because of price and enough performance. it is the same with ninja and Duke. at least pulsar and r15 had many similarities for comparison but Duke and ninja are totally different in all of the above aspects like engine displacement, power, torque, engine configuration etc yet you want Duke to be the winner because of price.

    • pravin August 28, 2013, 3:14 pm

      Well said..

  • yilavar August 28, 2013, 12:06 pm

    @Faisal Khan,
    Your untiring patience and enthusiasm in responding to your readers’ comments are fabulous! And, it clearly shows us the extent of your respect towards your readers. Keep it up!

    • Faisal Khan August 28, 2013, 12:13 pm

      Thanks Yilavar, appreciate the warm comments ;-)

      • Mack August 28, 2013, 2:20 pm

        Faisal Pls compare in this format to realise the VFM product

        Acceleration 0-60,0-100
        Roll on 60-100 in 4 or 5th gear
        Price on road ABS
        Product Duke 390\CBR250\Ninja300\Hyusung250
        which is the best & worst. thanks

  • ToRqUe August 30, 2013, 2:51 pm

    well clearly it seems most readers here are immature fanboys….
    IF U HAVE THE MONEY GET THE NINJA coz thers no point in investing in a D390 if u can afford the ninja
    IF U DONT HAVE THE MONEY GET THE D390 coz thers no point in investing 4L in N300then complaining later wen u have to pay close to 5K for each service

    its As simple as that……… :/
    go figure it out & get a life
    there are better things in life than D390 winning in a verdict!!

  • Kyle August 31, 2013, 8:32 pm

    I second that. A good article after which I bought a Ninja 300. Could have bought 2 390′s sigh :( but my neice said “Uncle, a Ninja is a Ninja. How can you forget” To be honest everyone rides a bike or drives a car but some like a Punto while some will swear by the Merc. As simple as that.

  • Sushant September 7, 2013, 11:53 am

    Very good review….even i have booked ninja 300… off-course Ninja is Ninja….the name itself is enough….

  • atul September 13, 2013, 10:40 pm

    @. Faisal, can you please elaborate that why the laying forward riding position of Ninja is more comfortable then the upright position of Duke? I am looking for a reliable and affordable cruiser bike but there is no one going to launch it in near future :(

    • Faisal Khan September 14, 2013, 1:11 am

      Atul, it’s because of the ride quality which is very pliant and not stiff. Also power delivery is linear.

  • rakesh September 15, 2013, 1:00 pm

    I m booking a D390 in a few days….wud like to know whether the chain makes a unpleasant sounds at high speeds and gets loose frequently?

    • Faisal Khan September 16, 2013, 2:08 am

      Rakesh, yep around 500 kms or so.

  • Harish Kotian September 17, 2013, 2:49 pm

    Thanks for such a prudent comparison, after reading your review, I cancelled Duke 390 which i booked few days ago and straight away went for the Ninja 300.
    I felt very restless when i test rode the Duke 390,I could feel the vibration,lot of noise,some pressure in my hands after driving for a very short distance.power was good.I owned an R -15 which was lot more comfortable and smooth.
    I hope Ninja 300 does well for me as per my requirement.

    • Sandeep October 23, 2013, 10:31 pm

      Yeah Harish. Me too. I took the test drive of a Duke 200 and Duke 390 on two different days. I thought the Duke 200 was mental. Crazy bike and really upped my expectation for the 390. When I got to finally ride the 390, it was a confusing reaction for some reasons. The bike failed to start so many times and once at the traffic light which was embarrassing. And it took me a bit to get used to the gearing in traffic and the engine was knocking ( blame it on me as I didn’t shift fast enough ) and fun wise in my short test ride, I thought the 200 was amazing. But then I would say lot of us have this feeling when we get to drive a lower capacity bike ( 100 125 or 150 after getting used to engines with high compression ratio), because you feel totally in control !

      Anyways the 390 is what I set out to buy and I changed my booking to a green baby ninja. I drove an r15 for 40k kms and absolutely loved it. Screw the money. Bike’s coming next week. Anyways to each his own! I would want both of then ideally.

  • raj September 19, 2013, 11:31 pm

    i hav the budget of 1 lakh which bike should i buy. i need good average as well as looks. plz rply

  • Vitaly September 21, 2013, 6:30 pm

    @Faisal Khan
    Thanks a lot for the review. Here in Russia these bikes are of the same price. It was a very hard choice for me, since there’s no way to test ride them. Your verdict has made a decision obvious.

  • Saikat September 22, 2013, 11:12 am

    Frankly speaking, neither do I know a lot about bikes nor have I ridden different bikes for long distances so please do forgive my mistakes. But, I have something to say about the “vibrations” and “aggressive acceleration” of the Duke.

    The point is that KTM was originally a brand which makes off-roading dirt bikes and acceleration and suspension are two important components of such bikes. We also know that dirt bikes scream a lot … don’t they ? So, when such a brand is designing a high powered bike for the common roads (or highways), will they make it completely silent with a linear acceleration ?? I think the answer should be a NO here…. This can be the justification for the complaints regarding the vibrations and stuff. People who are a little fun loving, aggressive and “loud” (people who love bikes like the Yamaha RX100) should not only accept but love this inheritance from KTM to the Duke. Moreover, KTM is a beginner in this business comparatively yet its putting ? and ! marks to its competitors and bike enthusiasts ! Deserve some encouragement !

    Coming to the Ninja, it was never meant for such people mentioned above. So such people should not compare it with the Duke (because their hearts will not agree despite the performance). For people of the “Yamaha R15 type” the Ninja should obviously be a dream (calling it a dream for both performance and price tag). I would still frown a little at the Ninja for not packing in the ABS as standard.
    Indian roads (with dogs and holes) + ABS may be equal to a saved life !

    Both the Ninja 300 and the Duke 390 are masterpieces in their own angles. . . “Beauty depends on the eyes of the viewer” !

    • Faisal Khan September 27, 2013, 12:44 am

      Saikat, the Duke vibrates not because KTM is a off-road motorcycle company but because it uses a single-cylinder engine. However you put it very well, beauty does lie in the eyes of the beholder.

      • Saikat October 2, 2013, 6:35 am

        hmmm…. Thanks !

  • nazveel patel September 24, 2013, 5:38 am

    its all about the the rider who prove the bike perfomance and i can bet this ninja pararel twin will give smoke to duke 390…………..and with a turbo charger it can beat a a duke 690……………. proud to have a ninja zx 10 turbocharged and duke 690

    • Faisal Khan September 25, 2013, 12:35 am

      Nazveel, a turbocharged Duke 390 can beat quite a few bigger bikes.

      • Saikat September 25, 2013, 11:12 pm

        What do you say about my comment ? @Faisal

  • sai October 14, 2013, 11:44 pm

    I am new to
    One aspect in this camparo really bugs me.
    Can we compare two bikes just because they have simlar power n torque figures??
    I mean ninja is a sport n tourer bike designed to behave as one.
    And the duke is a teenage rowdism packed in 373 cc engine block.
    Not being judgmental.but its not fair to compare two things which are built for differnt purposes.
    Ninja is for a sport n comfort
    Duke gives you thrills evry time u twist d band up.
    Think about guys.
    Correct me if i am wrong.
    I own a duke 390 and i also have q friend who has 300.
    So i am pretty gud wit both d machines.

    • Faisal Khan October 14, 2013, 11:55 pm

      Sai, globally both these bikes are compared as they are priced similarly.

    • sai October 15, 2013, 6:43 pm

      Not globally.i am talking about the price difference in india between both the machines.
      Here in bangalore duke 390 is 2.13l on road n ninja 300 is 4.14l on road.kwasker is double the price here.n more over its in a diffrent league of parallel twin.
      Your website has excellent reviews about all bikes and cars.but i found this a little off your routine.
      Thank you.

      • Faisal Khan October 15, 2013, 6:45 pm

        Thanks Sai but we were inundated with queries of 390 vs 300, so we had to do it because of popular demand. Then readers also wanted Duke 390 vs RD350, we did that too. Hope you have read it ;-)

  • sai October 15, 2013, 8:10 pm

    Oh..well then sometimes people like u have to keep up with the hype rather than true nature of skilled bikers n enthusiasts..personally i liked the review.the way the whole thing was put up.
    Keep up the gud work guyz.

  • Richdad October 21, 2013, 12:45 am

    Duke 390 is good option, I mean it you can keep it as everyday performance bike i.e use it for going out to office and for usual daily task like getting ration. If one really want a peformance bike we have the Ninja 650 which is far more quicker, agile and looker than the N300.

    So a good garage would be D390 + N650r. I am going for D390 right now and will be N650r in couple of years. I have 7years of biking experience and my latest bike is Pulsar 200ns which I will sell out to get the D390.

  • Ram October 29, 2013, 12:03 am

    I don’t believe with the above video.
    Some one really know how to change the gears, please post a new video.
    The person riding the duke don’t even know when to change the gears.
    I’m seeing some funny comments on youtube too…

    • Faisal Khan October 29, 2013, 12:16 am

      Ram, do you think the on-board video is the only time we drag raced the bikes?

      • Saikat November 5, 2013, 8:02 am

        @Faisal Any chance that the prices of the 390 Duke would go down in 2014 or after the launch of RC 390 ? I’m sure I’ll not buy the bike before 2014. I know the bike is extremely low priced as compared to its specs but still “Dad is yelling at me” you know so I’m just asking. . . Please do reply soon !

        • Faisal Khan November 5, 2013, 8:52 am

          Down? They will go up by Rs. 20,000/- in the next few months.

          • Saikat November 6, 2013, 1:29 pm

            I’ll buy it on January 2014. Which month are the prices going to increase ? Any idea ? I’m really worried since even a 10,000 rupees difference is a lot for me.

          • Faisal Khan November 11, 2013, 12:39 am

            Saikat, price will increase from next year for sure.

  • Ram October 29, 2013, 9:33 pm

    I don’t know. Please update with the perfect shot.

  • Arun October 30, 2013, 1:38 am

    Next Scary Bitch on town man. N300 give way to papa RC 390 :)

  • sahin rehman November 6, 2013, 8:59 am

    hi guys , after a lot of surfing on net , here is the conclusion,,acceleration figure- DUKE / NINJA 0-60kph 2.2s 2.39s 0-100kph 5.2s 5.3s and duke is faster up to 145+ kph approx ,,,so let me tell you Indian road is not meant for the full fared Kawasaki , its need something harder i.e duke , and cost of ninja300 is almost twice the duke390, so friend duke is wallet friendly, and remember the price of petrol. So go 4 duke or cbr 500r ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,or friend wait for the beast to arrive i.e pulsar 375ns , nothing will come in the way,, for the so have a good day,,,,,,,,,,,

  • Sanjay November 8, 2013, 7:06 am

    @Faisal excellent review
    I have decided to buy a ninja after drooling on it for the past few months .The duke 390 looks almost the same as its younger sibling 200 except for its improved graphics,ninja in turn looks breathtakingly awesome with its new dual headlamps, windscreen, wheels and numerous other styling elements inspired by Ninja flagship models. I own a cbr150R and the most prominent disappointment i have is its average acceleration, i thought that the 390 would leave the 300 in dust in a drag race due to its way higher displacement , but i was rather surprised to see ninja tailing it so closely . The ninja roars like a super bike unlike duke which sounded ok.
    The main thing which is giving me second thoughts are its brakes, WILL IT BE THAT BAD ????. WILL THE TIRES LOCK UNDER HARD BREAKING (120km -50 km) .Kindly reply

    • Faisal Khan November 11, 2013, 1:09 am

      Sanjay, brakes aren’t bad but the aren’t great either. Plus pads wear quickly too.

  • Ram November 8, 2013, 10:47 am

    OMG. RC390 looks well with led. Cant wait for n300 vs rc390.

  • RS November 19, 2013, 6:42 pm

    Good review. But not a technically sound one. Both bikes are very well at what they do. The Ninja- an allrounder, Duke390- angry naked. Both are very well engineered in every field. But the ninja is a bit down on suspension, brakes and yeah tires, they are not bad but more oriented towards the new rider, bcoz for Kawasaki it is still a learner’s bike, then a performance bike. Its engine is sweet, smooth, refined and has less vibrations(mind you there is some vibrations but well muted). The Ktm duke 390 is very smooth, but since it revs more fast than the Ninja, so its crankshaft is a little bit lighter, the negative is that, more vibrations are sensed when it revs. Don’t be sad about its a single, a parallel twin produces roughly the same vibrations as the single, but in the Ninja it is counterbalanced for smoothnes. The duke’s motor is also counter balanced, has Nikasil treatment for hard cylinder surface, and forged pistons-means more thermal stress can be easily handled by it or simply high performance oriented, and that is why Ktm, has used forced lubrication. Both the bikes are very good at what they do. The Ninja has a higher top speed bcoz it is more aerodynamic, has less drag which help the motor to pull a bit higher top speed. The duke is naked so, more drag, a bit less top speed. But the good news is the Rc390 has been unveiled, with 10kmph more top end, more stiff frame, sharp steering, bit more stiff damping, result- handler’s delight(saving to buy it, if it comes out really that good, bcoz my personal priority is more corner speed than outright power). The biggest flaw of the Ninja is the price, bcoz very less will be able to afford. Hope that Kawasaki manufactures it here, so that many can enjoy this sweet machine. Last, Ktm has blown the competition, affordable, high performance and efficient to maintain bikes for us. At least many can afford it, what else can you ask man!. And yeah, man the Rc390 looks sexy!!. The design will really grow on you.

  • Arun November 25, 2013, 6:02 pm

    Liked the review and better still, loved going through each and every comment :P. It seems Faisal had to review the two bikes (that in my opinion are poles apart) due to popular demand. Qudos for the guy’s patience in responding to every comment in polite manner even for some undeserving posts. I’m waiting for a comparo between the 300, Yamaha R250 and the RC390. Would love to see what KTM would do to a single cylinder to make it more track focused. Personally I feel the duke, both 200 and 390, are great city bikes which are optimal for point to point riding and I disagree with the 300 being a more preferred city bike. This is coming from a guy who probably owns the 1st white Ninja 300 to be delivered in Mumbai.
    I cannot comment on the duke’s suspension or any other points as I have never ridden it but since I could see very few negatives on the 300, I would like to share few of my own:
    1) The tyres do not inspire confidence especially in wet conditions. The rear tyre slipped on more than one occasion on concrete roads. On tar roads the issue was insignificant.
    2) Brake pads wear out in 3.5 to 4K kms and replacing one costs 1800 Rs
    3) Finishing is below par with uneven gaps and the fairing popping out either on the right (in my case) or left
    4) Exhaust rusting
    5) Foot pegs and hooks getting scrapped as if I have used a filer over them
    6) The suspensions are stiff (to enable better cornering) and one can feel every bump on the road.

    Even with all the above issues, the bike is a dream to ride on the highways (and good enough for the city), is a superb performer and I would still go for it over the 390 as I prefer a track bike to naked city ride. Personally I never liked the current 650 (ER6F) and was hoping the ZX6R would be launched.
    I wouldn’t compare the prices as the 300 is imported in CKD units which increases the price due to taxation so a comparison on this aspect is again a moot point for the sake of comparison. I would suggest guys who wish to ride a track tool to go for the Ninja or if they prefer a city bike, go for the 390 or the 200. I personally waited for 3 years to save enough for a track tool with more power rather than opt for a city bike or for the matter, the underpowered (my opinion) R15.

    • Faisal Khan November 25, 2013, 6:17 pm

      Thanks Arun for the compliments ;-)

      The Ninja 300 is hard to beat with only the pricing going against it. The RC is no match for the Ninja as the Kawasaki is in a league of its own but when it comes to sheer value, the KTM always wins.

      How many kms has your Ninja done?

  • NaveenN December 19, 2013, 12:49 pm

    Where to get that Ninja 300 frame slider kit ??

  • Mustafa January 1, 2014, 4:48 pm

    @Faisal khan u hv mentioned the service cost is nearly twice for the ninja 300 when compared to the duke 390….can u pls mention the price. ….coz m finalizing on to the ninja 300…pls reply asap

    • Faisal Khan January 3, 2014, 7:09 am

      Yes that’s true as KTM bikes share parts with the Pulsar. Brake pads of Ninja cost almost 5 times that of the 390.

  • shahul February 16, 2014, 11:57 pm

    team motobeam… can u come with a comparo between
    suzuki inazuma and ninja 300

    imo..both are heavily priced twin cylinder japanese bikes and deserve a comparo…

    • Faisal Khan February 17, 2014, 9:18 am

      Yes and no. The Inazuma is a loot, the Ninja 300 is twice the performance.

  • azfar February 25, 2014, 3:43 pm

    Is there any plan of kawasaki launching ninja 300 with abs.

  • Karthikeyan March 28, 2014, 11:42 am

    Why am i not able to find the review of Ninja 650R ?
    Please help with the link if it is reviewed.

  • Tanveer April 15, 2014, 10:52 pm

    if ninja had similar pricing it had sold 10 times of duke, now which is better bike ??

    • Faisal Khan April 15, 2014, 11:48 pm

      Even second big bike would be a Ninja.

  • Dud's April 16, 2014, 12:21 pm

    these machines are not made for those who wants comfort…these are for hard boys…Duke 390 is a real winner. (y)

  • james April 28, 2014, 11:29 pm

    seriously if u are a serious rider u dnt really need to b bother by the shits ya’ll dumbass has mentioned.come shillong w’ll teach u hw to race in beautifull hilly zik zak..dnt compare both bikes are best by their own..bring it down to race track..dats all

  • Puneet May 11, 2014, 9:30 pm

    How about a comparison between Duke 390 and Street 750 Harley. Similar top speed and acceleration and both naked with modern engines.

  • sambhav singh July 22, 2014, 1:16 am

    Duke is suuuuuuperrrrrrbbbbb


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