Shootout: BMW G 310 R vs KTM Duke 390
Shootout No. 204
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 3,79,538/- (BMW G 310 R), Rs. 2,96,575/- (KTM Duke 390)
Inspired from their big bikes, these pocket rockets do offer a lot of performance
The KTM Duke 390 was the first mad motorcycle Asia has experienced after a long time. There was a time when the Yamaha RD350’s and other similar bikes got the excitement running across youngsters. KTM got the Duke 200 and then the Duke 390 and youngsters of the current generation went berserk. Other manufacturers wanted a piece of this pie too and got into producing 300-400cc performance motorcycles. TVS-BMW collaboration happened just sometime back and the South Asia based automaker brought out the Apache RR 310. But then, BMW didn’t want to be left out and launched the G 310 R and the G 310 GS. So we got the G 310 R for a few days and we couldn’t let ourselves sit back with just a road test, here’s the shootout with the second generation KTM Duke 390.
Motor Quest: KTM launched the Duke 390 in 2013 while it was updated back in 2017 and came with a new design, like the Super Duke. While BMW launched the G 310 R in Asia by the end of 2018. This motorcycle is the most affordable BMW in Asia as well as worldwide.
Styling – With the 2017 update, the KTM Duke 390 started looking more flashy and sharp with the white and orange graphics. It resembles a lot to the latest Super Duke available in the international markets. The BMW G 310 R looks muscular and bulky when compared to the Duke. While it takes all the inspiration for the BMW S 1000 R. It has got a beefy tank, golden forks and bikini fairing panel which covers the radiator. However, when both these motorcycles stand next to each other, the Duke look aggressive and tall while the G 310 R looks subtle and mature. The Duke gets LEDs all over while the BMW gets LEDs only in the tail-light.
Both the motorcycles are sure head-turners, while the sight of the KTM is common, the BMW is a rare spot
Both the motorcycles get an exposed chassis but the one on the Duke gets powder coated colours, making it more visible. The G 310 R does duty with 5-spoke alloys while the Duke gets 10-spoke orange coloured alloys. The KTM does duty with a split-seat to make it look sportier while the BMW gets a single piece seat but it’s a step-up unit for the pillion. Overall, the Duke is taller, longer and wider and it has a little more road presence than the G 310 R. But the BMW logo does grab tons of attention on the road. Both the motorcycle get unique grab-rails too.
Instrument Cluster and Switchgear – The instrument cluster on the KTM Duke 390 has always been a complete digital unit. But after the 2017 update, the cluster has become bigger with a colourful TFT screen, it does look premium. The console provides tons of information and the rider can customise the details which need to be displayed. The customisable text which comes on the left side of the screen has a small size. In comparison, the tachometer with integrated speedometer is huge and bright and covers the other half of the screen. It does look really awesome as the colour changes when the revs go higher.
The instrument cluster on the BMW G 310 R is also a digital unit but it feels basic when compared to the one on the Duke 390. However, it displays a ton of information too, like the engine temperature, distance to empty, live and actual mileage indicator along with all the basic information. The unit is smaller in size as compared to the one on the Duke but has better visibility in bright daylight. The switchgear quality on the BMW is very good and the fit and finish levels are pretty awesome. Although the KTM gets backlit switches and a toggle switch on the left, the quality isn’t as good as the BMW.