• 2017 will run hot on the 300cc category: KTM Duke 390 VS Kawasaki Ninja 300 Vs Yamaha YZF-R3

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Buckle up because it is going to be a wild ride.2017 will see the launch of the brand new KTM Duke 390 that is said to wipe out the competition. The Yamaha YZF R3 was released in 2016 and it made the rest of the 300cc line-up shake by winning the coveted Bike of the year for 2016 and it threatened the rule of the RC 390 as well because of its all-round package. Then there was the Kawasaki Ninja 300 which although it was trumped by the other two in many categories it has earned the reputation of being a reliable, well built, and refined offering in this class.

All the three motorcycles have had a condescending effect on the Indian 2 wheeler market and they got in the fresh breed of entry level fully flaired performance motorcycles to blaze the much needed thrilling experience to enthusiasts and purists. Now with speculations running high of the Duke 390 Facelift, it will definitely try to bring havoc in the sales of its competition and make motorcyclist get into a realm of more content and less bitter. Let’s find out how by getting upto date with the spied and speculated information gathered from our automotive media sorcerers around the globe.

KTM Duke 390

The Australian company decided to give the already successful KTM Duke 390 a revamp and what we’ve noticed is that the naked version is up for a spotlight rather than the full faired RC edition. It is expected to make its global debut at the Milan Motorcycle Show in Italy this month and post its debut, will make way into the Indian market in 2017.

It gets styling cues from the 1290 SuperDuke featuring a split multi-beam headlight and high-mounted LED blinkers. The new gen Duke will have a larger tank build, redesigned handlebars, redesigned fenders that extend to cover the USD forks, exposed trellis sub-frame and smaller rear section. Apart from this, the rest of the design elements like the Michelin pilot tyres, clear lens indicators, adjustable handlebar levers, black-coloured rear view mirrors, split seats and LED tail light will be carried forward from the existing model.The new instrument panel will allow for smartphone integration, show GPS data and change its colour as the rev count goes higher.

Power source is also believed to be carried over from the previous generation which will share this feature in the upcoming Bajaj Pulsar CS400 but will of course carry a differently tuned engine. The same 373.2cc, single cylinder, liquid-cooled engine might churn out an impressive 44bhp – 49 bhp and 35 Nm torque. Thanks to the new tech that includes a drive-by-wire system, a slipper clutch,ECU update, improved cooling system, a second balancer shaft to the engine’s cylinder head to reduce vibration and an aluminium side mounted exhaust to match Euro IV standards playing their part.

What will make the KTM apart will be the option of having riding modes. We expect at least three riding modes on offer – Track, City and Sport which can be selected with switches on the handlebar. It will also come with larger disc brakes up front with dual channel ABS along with 17-inch alloy wheels anddual-function forks – one for damping and the other for handling the rebound. All this will make the Duke a better handling machine.

How will the revamped Duke 390 compare with the Yamaha YZF-R3 and the Kawasaki Ninja 300?

Yamaha YZF-R3

Having won the coveted Bike of the Year 2016, this entry level premium from Japan had got the entire biking community reeling with joy. Designed with speed and agility in mind, the sharp beautiful and tough motorbike rewards even the rider with its top notch performance and handing. It runs on a 321 cc, 2-cylinder, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valves engine with fuel injection and returns 41.4 bhp at 10750 rpm with 29.6 Nm at 9000 rpm. Yamaha spent a considerable amount of time making the R3 comfortable and accessible yet still sporty. Yamaha has raised the bar in the entry sports class with the exciting new R3 priced at ₹3.6 – 4 lakhs.

Kawasaki Ninja 300

Launched in 2013, the Kawasaki Ninja 300 replaced the worthy Ninja 250R with an extra cylinder and few more cubes. The fully faired bike has the styling cues from its bigger brother ZX-10R with its front cowl housing twin headlamps and a digital-analogue instrument panel. It runs with 296cc parallel twin engine and produces 37bhp of power and 27 Nm of torque. It is paired to a 6 speed gearbox with slipper clutch.The engine has been tuned for excellent readability and offers ample low and mid-range performance. The suspension and chassis is well sorted out enabling dynamic handling characteristics which makes you want to twist your throttle again and again. Is available for ₹ 3.5 lakhs.

Battle of the specs

Quick specs:

Make Model Yamaha YZF-R3 Kawasaki Ninja 300 KTM Duke 390 Facelift
Year 2016 2016 2017
Engine 2-cylinder, liquid-cooled. 4-stroke, DOHC 4-valves parallel twin engine, liquid-cooled, DOHC single cylinder, liquid-cooled
Displacement 321cc 296cc 373.2cc
Power 41.4bhp 37bhp 44-45bhp (Est.)
TOP SPEED 180 kmph 160 kmph 170 kmph

Overall Dimensions:

Make Model Yamaha YZF-R3 Kawasaki Ninja 300 KTM Duke 390 Facelift
Overall Length 2091 mm 2014 mm 2002 mm
Overall width 719 mm 715 mm 873 mm
Oveall height 1135 mm 1110 mm 1274 mm
Wheelbase 1379 mm 1405 mm 1367 mm
Seat height 780 mm 785 mm 800 mm
Wet weight 167 kg 175 kg 164 kg

Engine Specification:

Make Model Yamaha YZF-R3 Kawasaki Ninja 300 KTM Duke 390 Facelift
Capacity cc 321 296 373.2
Bore/stroke mm 68/44.1 62/49 89/60
Output bhp ‎41.4 Bhp @ 10750 rpm 39 bhp @ 11,000 rpm 44-49 bhp (Est)
Torque ‎29.6 Nm @ 9000 rpm 27 Nm @ 10,000 rpm 35-36 Nm (Est)

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