The KTM Duke 390 is a popular series of single-cylinder motorcycles produced by Austrian cycle giant, KTM and manufactured in southern Asia and South America.
It runs on a 373.2cc 4-stroke engine and is well regarded as one of the best options for first-time motorcycle riders.
This article answers the questions: “How long does a KTM Duke 390 last?”…
Does KTM Duke 390 Last Long?
The KTM Duke 390 can and will last up to 100,000 miles if you maintain it properly and avoid overtaxing the engine and drivetrain. The KTM Duke 390 has been known to suffer from certain issues such as engine overheating caused by blown fuses in the engine fan, but these are easily fixed.
As long as maintenance issues are addressed immediately, there’s no reason the KTM Duke 390 can’t serve you happily for a long time.
Is The KTM Duke 390 Reliable?
On the whole, the KTM Duke 390 is a very reliable bike, but it’s not without any issues at all.
Even after a long period of use, most of the key components will still be in very good condition.
One problem area that has existed with the KTM Duke 390 is engine overheating.
Some users have reported even within the first 1,000 miles of use that the bike issued warning signals that the engine was overheating.
This is caused by a faulty 10A fuse on the radiator fan.
The fuse can easily be replaced and no serious damage needs to come to the Duke 390 bike. It’s more of a potential nuisance than a serious problem.
One other minor problem was recorded with the clock on the bike, which apparently although digital manages to lose time and has to be reset.
Some owners have said they had to reset the clock multiple times because it was displaying the incorrect time.
Finally, one other issue on the bike is rust.
There are several users who report that despite taking care of the bike well, they have experienced corrosion on the front brake disc, the lower end of the fork tubes, and other hardware.
The issue of corrosion seems to be most prominent with owners who live in coastal locations.
Besides these issues, the mechanical parts, as well as the chain, the handlebars, the digital odometer and instrument display, the tires, the airbox, and even the paint, graphics, and decals all remain in great condition over time and the bike goes on reliably.
Does the KTM Duke 390 Last Longer Than Its Competitors?
Although the KTM Duke 390 is a fine bike and well-manufactured, there’s nothing to suggest that it lasts especially longer than any of its competitors.
If well maintained, it will last just as long as similar-sized bikes such as the Kawasaki Ninja 300.
Some users claim that other brands such as Honda and Yamaha will last longer because they are less susceptible to rust and typically will last longer even with less maintenance.
You can get many good years of riding on the Duke 390, however, as long as you safeguard against its vulnerabilities.
The two biggest mechanical vulnerabilities are overheating of the engine due to blown fuses, and corrosion on the lower parts of the suspension, as well as on the brake discs.
Beware of these problems and the KTM Duke 390 is sure to last a very pleasing length of time.
What Typically Breaks First In A KTM Duke 390?
Typically, the first thing that will actually break is the 10A fuse that covers the radiator fan.
When this does break, it causes the engine to quickly overheat when traveling at speeds greater than 60mph.
This is obviously very problematic because even the best motorcycle coolants are not enough to prevent the potential overheating.
If riders experience the engine overheating, they need to have the 10A fuse replaced as soon as possible.
Besides the radiator fan fuse, KTM Duke 390 owners should be careful of rust on the brakes, suspension forks, and other exposed hardware.
It can be controlled, and the hardware can be protected, but it needs care and attention throughout the bike ownership period.
One more issue that has arisen in some KTM Duke 390s is in the transmission, specifically the gear shifting.
Some riders have experienced hard shifting or at least a lack of smoothness in shifting gears.
This is more often caused by human error rather than the bike.
Riders who shift too hard or too clumsily tend to cause damage such as a loose clutch cable, and then continue to have problems when they resecure the clutch cable too tightly.
How Long Does The Gearbox Last?
The KTM Duke 390 makes use of a wet-clutch 6-speed transmission system paired with an X-ring chain.
The gearbox, when used and maintained properly, should be able to deliver 20,000 miles of riding at the very least.
At the higher end, the gearbox should be fine for as many as 60,000 miles.
If you reach the 60,000-mile point on your Duke 390 and haven’t even changed the gearbox, then you’ll need to get it inspected and possibly replaced.
A small number of owners have discussed sometimes having issues with gear shifting, which has been determined most often to be caused by a loose clutch cable.
Very often, the gearbox issues on the KTM Duke 390 are caused by riders improperly shifting gears too much over a period of time.
This can cause the clutch cable to loosen to the point where it becomes very hard or even impossible to properly change gears.
Equally, when repairing this very issue, there is a tendency to tighten the clutch cable back into place far too tightly.
This usually means the gear shifting problem stays, and you can even add damage to your clutch plates as you try to shift gears.
What Are The Biggest Common Problems In A KTM Duke 390?
The biggest common problems in a KTM Duke 390 are as follows:
- Engine overheating
- Clutch cable coming too loose causing hard gear shifting
- Corrosion on the suspension forks and brake discs
- Instrument clock losing time
The engine heating problem only happens in the 10A fuse that protects the radiator fan blows.
The fuse is easily replaceable, and even when seeking a professional mechanic to help with this problem, it won’t be an expensive issue to fix.
The clutch cable coming loose is most often a consequence of the rider not being able to shift gears in the proper way.
It can be common on the KTM Duke 390 because this bike is so often used as a first bike.
New riders sometimes struggle with the gear shifting on a motorcycle and it causes problems.
When it’s repaired it can also cause problems if the cable is reset too tightly.
The issue of corrosion is more serious if and when it happens, and seems to be more likely for those who live by the coast.
Those living in drier, inland areas have not typically reported any issue with corrosion.
The best thing to do is to take steps to protect your exposed components from moisture and salt in the air, and regularly clean the bike, in particular, to wash off the salt and other chemical residues that cause corrosion.
What Is The Best Year To Buy A Used One?
The ideal model year for purchasing a used KTM Duke 390 is either 2018 or 2019.
This may seem counterintuitive because you might assume that buying a newer bike means we have to bear more depreciation.
The thing is, though, that purchasing a 2018 or 2019 model means not only a cheaper price but like-new quality and many of the updated features that came in the 2018 model year.
For example, in 2018, they added a deflector plate on the left side of the chassis, as well as daytime running lights and the ability to meet Euro IV emissions standards.
When you consider just depreciation, however, then an ideal solution would be to find an older Duke 390 model, for example from 2013-2015, whose depreciation is starting to plateau.
The typical motorcycle depreciation pattern starts to flatten at 10 years. Therefore, buying models from 2013-2015 will ensure the least amount of post-purchase depreciation for you.
The difficulty in this, however, is finding:
- A KTM Duke 390 with low-enough mileage to make the purchase worthwhile
- A KTM Duke 390 that has been properly maintained for that entire period by all of its owners
How Much Is A New KTM Duke 390?
The base price of the KTM Duke 390 brand-new in 2021 is just $5,599.
The official website gives the MSRP as $5,699 plus $450 in freight charges.
In your first year or two with your new KTM Duke 390, you can expect to spend a further $900-1000 on basic maintenance and care.
- Possible replacement fuses for the radiator fan
- Sprocket kit
- Air filter
How Much Does It Depreciate?
Your KTM Duke 390 will depreciate about 20 percent in the first 2 years, and will then continue depreciating about 10 percent per year in the following years to 5 years old.
After that, depreciation will slow until it reaches 10 years old, at which point it will only depreciate by 2-3 percent per year.
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