While the Germans are gearing up to enter India with the G310 R, the KTM 390 Duke sits on its throne, unabashed. To be launched on 18 July, the BMW is nearly two years late. Nevertheless is it capable of shaking its biggest rival?
Being streetfighter motorcycles, the BMW G310 R and the KTM 390 Duke sport sculpted tanks, raked out headlamps and an upright riding position. However, the Austrian is more likely to grab eyeballs with its unique design borrowed from the 1290 Super Duke. The BMW’s headlamp however, looks plain-jane alongside the KTM’s LED split-headlamps.
The KTM 390 Duke uses a larger, more powerful engine. Its 373cc single produces an impressive 43bhp and 37Nm of torque. It is mated to a six-speed transmission with a slipper clutch. The BMW G310 R is powered by a 313cc, single cylinder engine that produces 34bhp and 27Nm. This unit is also mated to a six-speed gearbox, although missing out on a slipper clutch.
The BMW G310 R gets an LCD instrument cluster that displays basic information such as speed, odometer and tachometer along with a clock and gear position indicator. It is also equipped with a dual-channel ABS unit. While we have seen bigger BMW motorcycles boast of a long list of creature comforts, it is not the case with the G 310 R.
The KTM 390 Duke on the other hand, boasts of an exhaustive list of features. It gets a Bluetooth-enabled colour TFT instrument console, along with a ‘supermoto mode’, which turns off ABS to the rear wheel, a ride-by-wire throttle system and dual channel ABS as standard.
Both bikes use a similar suspension setup featuring inverted forks up front and a preload adjustable rear monoshock. While the KTM uses 43mm forks, the BMW is equipped with 41mm units. The kit for the G310 R comes from KYB while the Duke uses WP parts.
Stopping power on the G310 R comes from a 300mm front disc and a 240mm disc at the rear. The KTM 390 Duke though, gets a larger 320mm front disc and a smaller 230mm rear disc.
The KTM 390 Duke has always been a value for money proposition, getting its competitors sweaty under their collar ever since it was launched in 2013. The bike retails at Rs 2.40 lakhs. The BMW G310 R on the other hand, is about the renowned badge on its radiator cowl. It is expected to be priced around Rs 3.5 lakhs; a premium of nearly a lakh rupees over the KTM, which would also guarantee a whole lot of exclusivity.