KTM Duke 390 vs Honda CB300R: Which Bike is Worth Rs 2.4 lakh?
KTM Duke 390 (left) has a new rival in town, the Honda CB300R (right)
KTM Duke 390 (left) has a new rival in town, the Honda CB300R (right)(Photo: The Quint)

KTM Duke 390 vs Honda CB300R: Which Bike is Worth Rs 2.4 lakh?

Honda has entered the ever-growing 300cc segment with the CB300R and for Rs 2.41 lakh (ex-showroom), it doesn’t come cheap. In this segment, you have intense competition brewing between brands like Bajaj, TVS and now Honda is the latest to put itself in the ring.

The king of the pack is undoubtedly Royal Enfield with its Classic 350 ruling the sales charts but it’s hard to ignore the lure of KTM’s Duke 390, which is also priced around Rs 2.44 lakh in the country.

Now, the big question worth asking is, should you pick the 300cc CB300R in this price range or go for the tried and tested Duke 390. We’ll give you all the details in this comparison to make the decision making easier.

(Photo: Shruti Mathur/The Quint)

It’s All About Style

We all know about the Duke and its power capability but there’s also the matter of its riding stance and overall design. From the word go, the Duke 390 epitomises the aggressive nature of the bike.

The upward position of the handlebar, the leaning attitude of the seating set up, there’s a reason why KTM riders are seen as racers in civilian suit. Then you’ve got the trellis frame showing of its physique and the 373cc engine. Even the front headlamp has menacing look to it and all this has endeared Duke 390 to riders in the country.

The Honda CB300R has a cafe racer styling, that minimalist with a modern twist.

The bike is being positioned as a middle-weight category (it’s actually lighter than some commuters at a kerb weight of 147 Kg). The CB300R is a naked bike with cafe-racer like styling. It features a single round headlamp that has dual LED bars within it. All lights on the bike are LED units. It definitely has a premium look and feel to it, and Honda is hoping this trait of the CB300R pulls in the buyers.

Bikers Like Power

And this is where the Duke 390 triumphs over the CB300R. Granted, Honda’s using a 300cc engine (with 286cc displacement) but Duke and its partnership with a local brand like Bajaj ensures the brand is able to offer more at a lucrative pricing.

Duke 390 packs the same 373cc unit, which is also seen running on the Dominar 400 from Bajaj. Having said that, the Duke 390 manages to pull all the punches with its 43BHP of power of 37NM of torque. These numbers are class leading, and compared to the CB300R with 30BHP and 27NM of power and torque respectively, there’s very little in terms of competition between the two.

The Honda CB300R comes with a 286cc single-cylinder engine.
The Honda CB300R comes with a 286cc single-cylinder engine.
(Photo: The Quint)

Both the bikes get 6-speed transmission, with Duke 390 able to provide itself with slipper clutch, while CB300R gets wet assist clutch only.

Also Read : KTM’s 2017 Refresh of the RC 390 & RC 200 Start From Rs 1.71 Lakh

In terms of both these naked bikes, if you’re looking for power, Duke 390 is your bae, for basic riding needs, the Honda CB300R can easily fit in.

Features Do Matter

Let’s get to the next order of business. In terms of safety, the Duke 390, for all its speed thrill, does manage to balance out with better set of discs and deploys dual-channel ABS as well. You get 17-inch front and rear wheels with 320mm and 230mm discs respectively.

The instrument cluster is fairly detailed, comprising of all the crucial and a few sundry details that would come in handy for the rider. Duke 390 weighs at 149kg and you’re relying on a 13-litre fuel tank, which at best covers 25 Km for every litre.

Duke series has been a hit for KTM in India. 
Duke series has been a hit for KTM in India. 
(Photo Courtesy: BikeDekho)

Honda CB300R for what it costs, does offer 296mm disc at the front, and 220 at the back. While it gets dual-channel ABS for the Indian market, the completely knocked down (CKD) nature of the bike means you’re paying a heftier price for the bike. But what I don’t get is, why offer only a 10-litre fuel tank? Who does it exactly serve, not sure you can take this for touring.

Let’s Talk About Riding

KTM riders, they say, have a hard time touring but you go across the country and the narrative seems quite the opposite. The riding stance, the so-called heating problem, and its lack of practical sense for day to day use. It has power but there’s very little you can do with it, especially if you’re mostly confined to city.

When it comes to the Honda CB300R, we’re not sure about its riding stance and with the power ratio on offer, who is the bike targeted at.

Disc brakes on both sides with dual-channel ABS. 
Disc brakes on both sides with dual-channel ABS. 
(Photo: Honda India)

For starters, 286cc engine isn’t exactly power packed, and considering you get a 10 litre fuel tank, this is neither a viable touring bike, nor will it work out as an option for day to day riders. We’ll reserve our riding verdict till we get to test it.

Where To Put Your Money

Spending Rs 2.41 lakh on a bike doesn’t come easy for most consumers in the country. So, it’s vital that you look at the needs, feature set and the overall proposition of the bike. Talking about the KTM Duke 390, this is a rugged, fast-paced two-wheeler for those who like the thrill of burning the rubber.

Its aggressive stance and safety features have made it a runaway hit in the country. Having said that, if you’re in a market for a regular, day to day kind of bike, then the Duke 390 won’t probably be the right fit.

Now coming to the Honda CB300R, for its price, you get a 286cc engine, with basic power figures but strangely, the bike is offered with a 10 litre fuel tank. For Rs 2.41 lakh, neither are you getting value for money in terms of mileage, which also makes it less touring-friendly.

If budget isn’t a constraint, you can even consider the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650, or spend less and look at other options like the Dominar 400 which will be launched in the 2019 version for around Rs 1.90 lakh in the coming weeks.

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