Dilemma. Wait for 2017 or go 690??? - KTM Duke 390 Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 06-20-2016, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
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Dilemma. Wait for 2017 or go 690???

Rumor has it that the 2017s will have a couple for features I would like such as:
  • Electronic throttle
  • Secondary counterbalance as on the 690
  • Digital instrument panel
  • Increased power
I hope the styling hasn't changed drastically as I really like the 2016 and the spy photos show some extensions that I don't care for.
The things I like about the 390 is the light weight and it has enough power for where I live in the mountains. I am in no way intimidated by the 690 as it will be about my 20th motorcycle.
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post #2 of 20 Old 06-20-2016, 01:09 PM
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Or do what I did and buy a 2016 390 now, and then I'll upgrade it in 2018 (after they fix bugs from 2017) if I like the new aesthetics.
The 690 is in another class and price point all together.
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post #3 of 20 Old 06-20-2016, 02:21 PM
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Coming from a different place... putting my body back together. (Foolish to ride now). Even if I found a 2016 at a terrific price, I'd pass. See what the 2017 looks like and then make my choice.

Every time I think about mods to the 390, I wonder if a 690 might suit me better. But I am in the place where I can just speculate without immediate consequence

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post #4 of 20 Old 06-20-2016, 02:30 PM
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5150, There have been many previous rumors/reports about future developments/innovations/changes/upgrades to the 390's. Few of them have materialized, particularly in the North American market. A pattern, however, has clearly emerged: Changes, new features or configurations announced in the mtoto press (usually Indian) are typically rolled out in Bajaj's home market, India, which serves as the developmental arena for real-world testing. If a new feature or innovation proves successful in India, then it may be extended to the advanced country markets and elsewhere in one or two years. If the innovation is judged marginal or problematic in India, it will never be seen in other markets. A sensible system. So if you read about a revised 2017 Duke, you should expect it to be introduced in India for at least a year, possibly two, before it appears on the NA market. So do not hold your breath.

Re the particular changes you mentioned:

--Ride-by-wire electronic throttle was announced last year for the 2016 model, but apparently was never implemented, even in the Indian market. Status unclear.

--Your mention of a secondary counterbalancer for the 390 is the first I have heard of such a development. Could you give us a link to the source? For years the Achilles heel of the 690 was its ferocious vibration - truly offputting.
KTM, to their credit, extensively reworked the 690 motor for 2016, including a second counterbalancer that works off a camshaft in the head. This apparently has tamed the 690's vibration to the point that it is no longer an issue. The 2016 Duke 690 has been lavishly praised by the moto press. The 390, in contrast, does produce some vibration, particularly when the engine is made to labor under a heavy load at too low an RPM. A savy 390 rider can tell by sound and vibration when to shift up or down to keep the engine in its sweet spot, the "Happy Zone" I like to call it. When kept in the Happy Zone, the 390's vibrations are so minimal in amplitude that they are hardly noticeable, and certainly not an issue. I would be very surprised if KTM fits a second counterbalancer to the 390 - it is simply not needed. The 690 needed it desperately.

--I'm not sure what you mean by describing a "digital instrument panel" as a novel feature of the 2017 Duke/RC. The 390's have all had fully digital instrument panels since their inception in 2013.

--Increased power from the already-class-leading 373 monocylinder is a possibility, but significant power gains are unlikely. The current engine is producing remarkably high output for its displacement (over 115 HP per liter) and trying to stretch the high-strung motor beyond this level could lead to reliability issues. Small tweaks, perhaps, but more likely status quo, IMO.

There may well be some evolutionary changes to the 390 for MY 2017, but we should not expect to see much of this in the NA market until 2018-19, after they have been tested and validated in India. An enlarged fuel tank and a redesign of the rider and pillion seats would be most welcome here. If you like the 2016 Duke, I suggest you buy one while they are available - the 2017 model that will be marketed in North America is unlikely to be much different.

The 690 Duke has benefitted from years of refinement and a recent redesign which has cured its most serious flaw. If the $9000+ price does not put you off, it is a great bike. But so is the 390, for a very much more inviting price.
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Cheers, Will

"If you don't know where you're going, you might wind up somewhere else."
--Yogi Berra

2015 390 Duke
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post #5 of 20 Old 06-20-2016, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diploman View Post
5150, There have been many previous rumors/reports about future developments/innovations/changes/upgrades to the 390's. Few of them have materialized, particularly in the North American market. A pattern, however, has clearly emerged: Changes, new features or configurations announced in the mtoto press (usually Indian) are typically rolled out in Bajaj's home market, India, which serves as the developmental arena for real-world testing. If a new feature or innovation proves successful in India, then it may be extended to the advanced country markets and elsewhere in one or two years. If the innovation is judged marginal or problematic in India, it will never be seen in other markets. A sensible system. So if you read about a revised 2017 Duke, you should expect it to be introduced in India for at least a year, possibly two, before it appears on the NA market. So do not hold your breath.

Re the particular changes you mentioned:

--Ride-by-wire electronic throttle was announced last year for the 2016 model, but apparently was never implemented, even in the Indian market. Status unclear.

--Your mention of a secondary counterbalancer for the 390 is the first I have heard of such a development. Could you give us a link to the source? For years the Achilles heel of the 690 was its ferocious vibration - truly offputting.
KTM, to their credit, extensively reworked the 690 motor for 2016, including a second counterbalancer that works off a camshaft in the head. This apparently has tamed the 690's vibration to the point that it is no longer an issue. The 2016 Duke 690 has been lavishly praised by the moto press. The 390, in contrast, does produce some vibration, particularly when the engine is made to labor under a heavy load at too low an RPM. A savy 390 rider can tell by sound and vibration when to shift up or down to keep the engine in its sweet spot, the "Happy Zone" I like to call it. When kept in the Happy Zone, the 390's vibrations are so minimal in amplitude that they are hardly noticeable, and certainly not an issue. I would be very surprised if KTM fits a second counterbalancer to the 390 - it is simply not needed. The 690 needed it desperately.

--I'm not sure what you mean by describing a "digital instrument panel" as a novel feature of the 2017 Duke/RC. The 390's have all had fully digital instrument panels since their inception in 2013.

--Increased power from the already-class-leading 373 monocylinder is a possibility, but significant power gains are unlikely. The current engine is producing remarkably high output for its displacement (over 115 HP per liter) and trying to stretch the high-strung motor beyond this level could lead to reliability issues. Small tweaks, perhaps, but more likely status quo, IMO.

There may well be some evolutionary changes to the 390 for MY 2017, but we should not expect to see much of this in the NA market until 2018-19, after they have been tested and validated in India. An enlarged fuel tank and a redesign of the rider and pillion seats would be most welcome here. If you like the 2016 Duke, I suggest you buy one while they are available - the 2017 model that will be marketed in North America is unlikely to be much different.

The 690 Duke has benefitted from years of refinement and a recent redesign which has cured its most serious flaw. If the $9000+ price does not put you off, it is a great bike. But so is the 390, for a very much more inviting price.
All great points, great input. And again I mention all the things I described are rumors. Here is a couple of links. They mention a lot of other changes but the ones I mentioned are all I care about.
2017 KTM Duke 390 Spotted Undisguised; Reveals Major Changes - News
2017 KTM 390 Duke Spy Shot Shows Interesting Changes
Part of my problem is summer is slipping away and I am getting a bit anxious. The price of a 390 is very attractive but the 690 is within my budget. But because of the tight roads where I live the 390 would be just as good or perhaps even better. Its an awesome little bike. I am also looking at the Ducati Scrambler.
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post #6 of 20 Old 06-20-2016, 11:41 PM
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Personally, I don't want any "Ride by Wire" crap on my motorcycles. Ever. Period. At all. That alone is good reason for me to hang onto my 15.

The engine is plenty smooth as is.

The only way they're going to reliably increase HP, is going to increase displacement.

Just give me a good analog tach. Digi speedo is fine. I like the gear indicator. <Comes in handy since the tach that is on it is worthless.

You could probably find a very decent used 990 Super Duke for less than you'll pay for a 690. Then you'll REALLY have something!
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Last edited by Sniper; 06-20-2016 at 11:43 PM.
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post #7 of 20 Old 06-21-2016, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5150dude View Post
Rumor has it that the 2017s will have a couple for features I would like such as:
  • Electronic throttle
  • Secondary counterbalance as on the 690
  • Digital instrument panel
  • Increased power
I hope the styling hasn't changed drastically as I really like the 2016 and the spy photos show some extensions that I don't care for.
The things I like about the 390 is the light weight and it has enough power for where I live in the mountains. I am in no way intimidated by the 690 as it will be about my 20th motorcycle.
Was just wondering why an electronic throttle is a particularly desirable feature ?

As stated, the 390 doesn't need another counterbalancer and adding one would likely sap a little bit of power from the engine, so to add a counterbalancer and increase power would be a neat trick indeed on this little 373cc engine.

Not really sure why you don't just get yourself a 2016 390 Duke now?

You know, that's the one with the styling you really like
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Less is more - You can only use 150hp .001% of the time, but you can use 150kg 100% of the time ...........


2015 390 Duke / 2001 KTM 640 Duke2 / 1994 DR350 (in bits)
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post #8 of 20 Old 06-22-2016, 02:44 PM
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"My Understanding" Traction control and other interventions need it. That's what I read anyway.

...age is always advancing and I am fairly sure it's up to no good.

- Jim Butcher
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post #9 of 20 Old 06-22-2016, 03:12 PM
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ABS is great, and very functional. But seriously, how much traction control do you need on a 43 HP bike?
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Cheers, Will

"If you don't know where you're going, you might wind up somewhere else."
--Yogi Berra

2015 390 Duke
1980 Moto Guzzi V50 II (becoming a cafe racer)
1984 Moto Guzzi SP 1000
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post #10 of 20 Old 06-22-2016, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Diploman View Post
ABS is great, and very functional. But seriously, how much traction control do you need on a 43 HP bike?
Lol...

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