KTM Duke 390 Forum banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
519 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Found a killer comparison between the two

There is no doubt that from a styling standpoint these two are polar opposites. But the both of them are very respectable motorcycles in a similar price range.

The RC390 has its sporty edge and the Enfield has the vintage styling and torquey motor. Which do you like? :)

You must be appalled that a professional site would be silly enough to compare two completely different motorcycles. They are made with a different purpose, appeal to different people and have been created by brands that are worlds apart. However, when two bikes are as closely priced as this, you need to see what it is that makes them different.
Royal Enfield finally launched the Continental GT last year after its reveal at the Delhi Auto Expo back in 2010. Unlike the rest of the RE range, the CGT is not a tourer or a cruiser. It is acafé racer, which means that this is more about the speedometer than odometer. Prior to the arrival of the Continental GT the big bike release was the KTM Duke 390. The reason why this is a big deal, is not only the fact that you could now get a high displacement sports bike for around Rs. 2 lakh, but also because the Duke 390 will be Royal Enfield’s biggest threat. The Duke 390 has broken the 200cc entry level sports bike barrier by leaps and bounds, while the Continental GT is a risky move for Royal Enfield, which has at least in India, been only known for the long distance, torquee cruisers/British classics.






  • Displacement: 535cc
  • Max Power: 29.1 BHP
  • Max Torque: 44 NM
Many people ask if it’s fair to compare them since not only are they in different categories, but they also have a TVS Apache between them. The fact is that their pricing does bind them as bedfellows. Both bikes come into the Rs 2 lakh bracket, give or take a few thousand depending on your location. The performance figures are not far off so, this is actually as close as a head to head needs to be. Now coming to the big question, which one should you buy?






The KTM Duke 390 is an unapologetic street bike. The strokes are short, the rev range is high and the bike is like a young greyhound on 10 cartons of Red-Bull. While most street bikes in India will manage 100kmph, the 390 does yoga at that speed. It pretty much skips speed ranges and goes from 30-60-80kmph and with ABS dual disk brakes it will stop just as fast. So the Duke will zip through traffic and is great if you’re looking to make a quick 200km breakfast run on a Sunday morning & hit 170kmph or more. The Duke 390 seems like it’s too good to be true, but despite being a complete package it does have its drawbacks.





  • The engine heats up a lot. This bike is meant for high speeds and constant start-stop movement will see your ankles getting a sauna treatment.


  • A short stroke engine gets you great 0-60 figures, but also means constant shifting. Low end torque delivery won’t be as good as the Continental GT, so gear shifts will be very frequent in city riding.


  • The 390 is a stand out motorcycle, but doesn’t stand out enough from its younger sibling the Duke 200. The bikes look almost the exact same and in fact the 390 has 90% of its parts sourced from the 200. It would take a keen eye to immediately pin point which one is the bigger Duke. The main tell sign is the “390″ decal on the fuel tank that has an almost graffiti like art work to it. Goes well with the street theme of the speedster.


  • The seats still feel like sitting on a wooden plank. Riders of the 200 will tell you that after prolonged riding, this is not a very butt-friendly bike.


  • It is too powerful. This statement may sound like a travesty, but hear me out. The problem is handling that kind of power needs experience. Not only is it a fast bike, but it’s also a very light one giving it a great power to weight ratio (Over 240 Bhp per kilogram!). The rider of this machine needs to be very aware of its mannerisms. Enter a corner too fast and the rider may just lose all grip, give it too much gas in the city and your need to constantly brake will get you frustrated and burn a lot of fuel.







Now over to the new veteran on the block. The Royal Enfield Continental GT is all about the torque. It will be fast off the mark and manage 35kmph in 4th gear if it has to. Café racers are street speedsters, but back in the 60’s the streets were a lot different. Racing was about short sprints from café to café, hence the namesake “café racer”. Contrary to the beliefs of many Royal Enfield loyalists, this is a true Royal Enfield. It is a genuine British classic as it was meant to be, but that actually creates a fair amount of disagreement.


Royal Enfield depends on its loyalists and brand heritage to rake in sales. The majority of their loyalists are long distance riders who need their saddle bags, tank bags and ladakh carriers to feel complete. The Continental GT however is not the ideal choice for this, which is where the problem arises. The café racer has an identity of its own, but faces problems while trying to identify with buyers. It isn’t entirely a sporty-racer and isn’t a long distance cruiser either. The riding position isn’t as wrist heavy as the CBR 250r, but isn’t as relaxed as the rest of the Royal Enfield range. With 44nm of torque, this ride doesn’t need a flexible rev range and you will find yourself mainly between 2000-4500 rpm.

The Continental GT is however, a motorcycle that will stand out. Bright red/yellow colouroptions, a look that has been restricted to modifications until now and the fact that India has never seen Royal Enfield in such a unique manner means every buyer will get attention and a lot of it. This is a bike that can perform really well and will handle curvy ghats the best. City riding will be great as its riding position isn’t too hunched, low rev torque delivery equates to minimal shifting and the seat is fairly comfortable. Here are some things to look out for.


  • With a 13.5-litre fuel tank, this isn’t ideal Royal Enfield for long distance riding . The 535cc engine will manage 30kmpl at best in real world conditions and less if you plan on gunning it on the open roads. The company claimed top speed is 140kmph, so it can manage a little above that.


  • It is meant to be a single seater. The Duke 390’s pillion seat is nothing to write home about, but the Continental GT doesn’t have one at all (it is an optional extra). While this may be desirable to some, it could be the opposite for others.


  • It is a Royal Enfield at the end of the day so it won’t be easy on the pocket. These bikes are still hand-crafted and with that comes human error. So don’t be surprised if your clutch cable needs changing after a few months or your brake liner needs work done, because it won’t be as easy to live with as the Duke 390.


  • Spare parts are often a hassle with Royal Enfields especially when it comes to engine components. With the C.GT using a few different components as compared to the rest of the RE range, spares may run a little bit on the expensive side.


  • Royal Enfields have been downsized since the Classic arrived. They ride lower and have asmaller profile, so if you are the stereotyped Bullet-man the Continental GT may not suit your personality as well as you would have liked.




To sum up, if you want a ruthless, bloodthirsty performer that will pop a wheelie if you sneeze, go for the KTM Duke 390. If you want a earth munching torque traveller that stands out, is composed and classy while going through the paces, the Royal Enfield Continental GTis for you.






 

·
Registered
Joined
·
178 Posts
The two are very different styles of bike, so I think that would have a big impact on which one each individual opts for.

I am look for something a bit more on the sporty side. I think the Continental GT is great just not really what I am looking for.

Also, does Royal Enfield even sell cars in North America? I hear about them often but have never actually seen one, or come across a dealer or show room of theirs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
532 Posts
the problem with the Enfield is that while beautifully styled and tugging at all the right heart strings it makes little sense outside of a weekend play thing. Nobody wants to commute with a hunched over cafe position. It handles pretty soft from what I've heard and its pretty punchless when compared with the Duke 390...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
519 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The two are very different styles of bike, so I think that would have a big impact on which one each individual opts for.

I am look for something a bit more on the sporty side. I think the Continental GT is great just not really what I am looking for.

Also, does Royal Enfield even sell cars in North America? I hear about them often but have never actually seen one, or come across a dealer or show room of theirs.
you mean motorcycles?

not much support in NA for Enfield but they are around. I think the lack of parts support and knowledgeable technicians is the challenge.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
208 Posts
I didn't realize that Honda made bikes like that. It looks great though.

Its kind of a funny comparison for me in Canada though. both bikes and brands are barely ever seen around here. I just think I have much more of a chance of getting my hands on the KTM than the RE.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,086 Posts
I didn't realize that Honda made bikes like that. It looks great though.

Its kind of a funny comparison for me in Canada though. both bikes and brands are barely ever seen around here. I just think I have much more of a chance of getting my hands on the KTM than the RE.
they've been making bikes for a long time so seeing them do this is sort of natural of them. i think they started out making bikes then made cars.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top