If you're hankering for a great-handling, lightweight, attainable, fully-faired or naked thumper, KTM has finally seen fit to bring both the RC 390 and 390 Duke to the U.S. And it's about time.
KTM isn't what it used to be – one of those rare times that's a good thing. Known primarily in the past as the purveyors of two-stroke singles and enduros, KTM has been kicking ass with the 1290 Super Duke R and 1190 Adventure. But for many of us, they're too damn big, too damn powerful, or two damn expensive. The 690 Duke was a step in the right direction, but these 390s could be just right.
The pair have been on sale across Europe and parts of Asia since 2013, but the recent resurgence of smaller 300cc bikes (see: Yamaha R3, CBR 300, Ninja 300) in the states have finally made the RC 390 and 390 Duke feasible.
Both bikes are powered by a water-cooled 373cc DOHC single mounted inside a tubular steel trellis frame, with the engine putting out 44 horsepower at 9,500 RPM and 26 lb-ft of twist at 7,250 RPM. Up front, a pair of WP upside forks hold a 300mm disc with Brembo four-pot calipers, while the rear WP monoshock links to a cast aluminum swingarm. The wheelbase is a squat 53.8 inches, with aluminum wheels at each end, and dry curb weight of 306 pounds for the naked Duke and 324 pounds for the fully-faired RC
LED lighting and ABS brakes are standard, and sales begin this spring, with the RC 390 coming in at $5,499 and the 390 Duke at $4,999.