Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Engine_Freak Analysis : Who all are in the firing line of the KTM 390 Duke ??

Ever since this January, enough has been expressed about the KTM 390 Duke. Truly a game-changer, it can be safely dubbed as a Pocket-Missile that's about to hit many contemporary models. As I am jabbing away at my keyboard, the 390 Duke has already left its silo and is cruising headlong towards its opponents. Bookings are slated to begin from tomorrow, at each and every KTM showroom across the expanse of India.
KTM 390 Duke was launched in Pune, India on 25 June, 2013
KTM 390 Duke


I put my thinking cap on, and here's a list of all the models for whom this Hooligan-of-a-Bike has sounded a death knell !!

WARNING - Going through this post might lead to an irresistible desire to facepalm yourself. PROCEED WITH CAUTION.

DISCLAIMER - Opinions are certainly not final and binding, nor do I have a vendetta against any certain model/company.

Honda twins (CBR 250R / CBR 150R)
"Aww !! Bad Boys !!!"
This is what Honda's boffins might have screamed, pointing at the deadly duo of Stefan Pierer and Rajiv Bajaj. True, the Honda CBR 250R was a commendable model that took the fight to the doorstep of Ninja's territory and forced it to bulge up. However, the urge for more spunk was quite visible on the faces of the Honda CBR 250R's owners.
Honda CBR 250R

This is where the Power-to-Weight Ratio of the 390 Duke steps in. A mere number it might be, but it has left all enthusiasts heady, and weak-kneed.

And about the CBR 150R, enough has been said. Pass light switches haven't been the cynosure since long as they did in this case.

Yamaha R15
Beautifully draped it might be, but it feels sickly and simpering when compared to the KTM 390 Duke. Sub-20 PS power figures are passé !!
Yamaha YZF R15 v2.0

Yamaha is currently on a hibernation mode, and as long as there is no concrete news about the much-vaunted, much-rumoured quarter-litre via Indonesia, there won't be much respite for Yamaha from the KTM 390 Duke's brutal onslaught.

They can just take solace from the MT-09/FZ-09, though.

Kawasaki Ninja 300
The Lady in Green....ohh, the Lady in Green !! Now, she runs a risk of being brutally molested by the Hooligan-of-the-Streets. Delhi's streets are now not the only unsafe ones.
Kawasaki Ninja 300

Frankly, we are confused. Where is Bajaj going with this move?? They risk shooting themselves in their own feet. The Kawasaki Ninja 300 can at best remain a niche product, with its stratospheric pricing and adorable styling. Just expect the 390 Duke to take a nibble at its sales figures.

Hyosung GT250R
Hyosung was already in a tight spot, up against the harsh world (where the writ of the CBR 250R and the Ninja 300 ran large) as well as the harsher import duties levied by the Indian government. Rubbing salt on to its wounds were the un-premium fairing gaps, slippery seat, malfunctioning console and the troublesome side stand.
Hyosung GT250R
Courtesy : MororBeam.com

With the 390 Duke's advent, you can very well imagine it to go to its own nook and start sulking about the Indian Government's apathy. Poor Koreans !!! Tch tch....

Suzuki Inazuma
Theatricality can help distract your foes, but it can also leave you in a muddle.
Suzuki INAZUMA

Hamamatsu in Japan houses arguably one of the quirkiest manufacturers of the world. And their yet-to-come-to-India Inazuma carries forward the mantle of quirkiness with aplomb.

Expect the 390 Duke to make short stuff of this upcoming quarter-litre from Suzuki.

Royal Enfield
This is where I probably have crossed the line, and caused a few raised eyebrows. Nevertheless, that's what I had in mind and hence, this critical positioning at the end of the article.
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500

Starved for choices, Indian enthusiasts have often turned to Royal Enfield's dubious contraptions with engine capacities in the tune of 350-500 cc. Character is what the bikes possessed in plenty, letting the owners grab instant eyeballs. But what has often not slipped out of any RE enthusiast's mouth is the literal "Pandora's box" that came alongside the Thumper.
Royal Enfield Bullet


Engine oil leaks, high speed vibrations and tappet problems were a few of them. On the contrary, the 390 Duke with its Liquid-Cooled, Fuel-Injected mill can literally stroll at three-digit speeds. Few zealots would point out to the absence of a windscreen/fairing.

But hey, did the Enfields come with windscreens on the stock trims ?? PERIOD

Chennai-based RE is one manufacturer which could be handed over a body blow by the KTM 390 Duke, thus paving way for the end of its monopoly on the Indian mid-sized market.

Mahindra Mojo
Let it appear first !!
Mahindra Mojo 300

Mojo seems hell bent on playing hide-and-seek with our eyes. Similar to the 390 Duke in terms of styling cues as apparent from the spyshots, this bike could feel it is a tad short of "Mojo" infront of the 390 Duke.


Feel free to let your opinions flow in the box below.