TVS Apache RTR 310 vs KTM Duke 390: Compared
Article by Drivio | 20th Sep 23
On paper, the new KTM 390 Duke wins the battle against its TVS counterpart
- The KTM 390 Duke has a larger engine and much more power and torque
- Both streetfighters have very futuristic styling that really stands out in the segment
- In terms of hardware, both pack adjustable suspension, but you’ll have to pay more for the Apache’s
Now is a great time to consider buying a 300-400cc naked motorcycle in India. KTM and TVS have recently introduced their top-of-the-line streetfighter bikes for 2024, namely the KTM 390 Duke and the TVS Apache RTR 310. And if you’re confused between the two, here’s what each one packs:
TVS Apache RTR 310 vs KTM 390 Duke: Design & Features
In terms of technology, the Apache RTR 310 boasts a 5-inch TFT instrument console that offers connectivity options for your smartphone, helmet communication device, and GoPro. It also provides features such as music control, voice assistance, incoming call alerts, SMS notifications, and the ability to store up to three important documents like your registration certificate and driving license. Additionally, it includes turn-by-turn navigation with What3words integration.
A standout feature of this bike is its climate-controlled seats, which can both heat and cool for added comfort. TVS offers three customizable kit options for the Apache RTR 310:
- Dynamic Kit (Rs 18,000): This kit includes adjustable front and rear suspension, a Tyre pressure monitoring system, and a brass-coated chain.
- Dynamic Pro Kit (Rs 22,000): The Dynamic Pro Kit takes it up a notch with features like Race Tuned Dynamic Stability Control, cornering ABS, cornering traction control, wheelie control, slope-dependent control, rear lift-off control, cornering cruise control, and, of course, the climate-controlled seat.
- Colour Kit (Rs 10,000): If you're interested in adding a touch of style, this kit offers the Sepang Blue colour option, inspired by TVS' 40-year racing heritage, along with the blue, white, and red colour option.
One of the key talking points revolves around what's right in front of you – the design. KTM's designs have always sparked personal preferences, and this new Duke carries on that legacy. Taking cues from the Super Duke, it showcases larger and more defined tank extensions and an unconventional headlight arrangement. To be frank, it's much more appealing in person than it appears in photos. In our limited time with the motorcycle, we found ourselves appreciating the design more and more.
TVS Apache RTR 310 vs KTM 390 Duke: Engines
|Specifications||TVS Apache RTR 310||2024 KTM 390 Duke|
|Engine||312cc engine||399cc engine|
With the Dynamic Kit installed, our bike provided us with the opportunity to test the RTR 310 equipped with adjustable suspension at both ends, along with a TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System) and a brass-coated chain. While we'll reserve our final judgment on ride quality for now due to the well-maintained roads in Thailand, it's worth noting that the bike handled minor rough patches quite competently. It maintained its composure but did hint at a touch of underlying firmness, which led to a somewhat jittery and active ride on an uneven stretch of concrete road.
KTM has gone beyond surface-level improvements; they've made significant alterations to the heart of this motorcycle, beginning with the engine. The big news here is the increase in displacement, moving from 373cc to 399cc. This change has led to a notable increase in power and torque, with a gain of 2.5PS and 2Nm, resulting in figures of 46PS and 39Nm. What's particularly thrilling is that these peak numbers now come into play earlier in the rev range, making the bike's performance even more readily accessible.
TVS Apache RTR 310 vs KTM 390 Duke: Suspension, Tyres & Brakes
|Specifications||TVS Apache RTR 310||2024 KTM 390 Duke|
|Front suspension||Inverted Fork||Inverted Fork|
|Front brake||Disc Brake||Disc Brake|
|Rear brake||Disc Brake||Disc Brake|
In terms of handling, the new TVS RTR embodies the brand's signature characteristics—it's lightweight, intuitive, predictable, and easy to handle. This makes it an excellent choice for a road sport bike, and it excels when tackling winding roads on weekend rides.
We also had the opportunity to take it for a spin on the track, and while it did provide a decent amount of enjoyment, it's not the type of bike that thrives under extreme pressure. The Michelin Road 5 tyres offer impressive grip, but you may eventually reach the limits of cornering clearance, especially if you're a taller rider who needs to make significant movements on the bike.
When it comes to handling, the new 390 Duke stays true to the iconic and enjoyable-to-ride nature that Dukes are renowned for. It exudes a sense of naturalness and ease of control, establishing a seamless link between the rider and the bike. Your legs find a comfortable grip, and the riding position feels intuitively right. The bike responds swiftly to steering commands while maintaining a reassuring level of stability, even during spirited cornering maneuvers.
TVS Apache RTR 310 vs KTM 390 Duke: Dimensions
|Dimensions||TVS Apache RTR 310||2024 KTM 390 Duke|
|Fuel tank capacity||11-litres||15-litres|
When it comes to performance, the engine delivers power in a well-balanced manner. It's responsive at lower revs, progressively building into a satisfying mid-range, and maintaining strong performance all the way to the top end. The shorter gearing adds to its agility, making it feel nimble in city traffic. TVS has fine-tuned the engine mapping, intake, and exhaust, resulting in a slight boost in power and torque. Notably, the exhaust now produces a deeper and more pleasing sound compared to the RR310, which had a somewhat harsher note.
While preserving its outstanding handling characteristics, the new Duke has made significant strides in ride quality, particularly when tackling our often challenging road conditions. Some might even describe it as approaching a plush feel. It impressively smooths out sharp bumps and addresses smaller imperfections while maintaining its overall composure.
TVS Apache RTR 310 vs KTM 390 Duke: Price
|Price||TVS Apache RTR 310||2024 KTM 390 Duke|
|Ex-showroom Delhi||Rs 2.43 lakh onwards||Rs 3,10,520|
TVS might have priced the Apache at a much more affordable price, but that’s the base variant. If you want to slap on the adjustable suspension and other kits to make it a sweeter deal, it’ll take the Apache’s price a lot closer to the 390 Duke’s.
Now while both bikes sound quite promising, one obviously stands out, and that’s the 2024 KTM 390 Duke. The earlier versions of the KTM 390 Duke, particularly the first two generations, were undeniably impressive, but they sometimes felt a bit one-dimensional and rough around the edges. The second generation made strides in improving these aspects, and the latest 2024 KTM 390 Duke manages to keep the beloved Duke characteristics while significantly smoothing out those rough edges.
This 2024 model still offers the thrilling experience that Duke enthusiasts love, with a touch of hooliganism, perfect for those who enjoy aggressive riding. But it also brings substantial improvements in terms of ride quality, making it more forgiving at low speeds and low RPMs. The seat height is now more accessible, and the ground clearance has increased from 151mm to 183mm, making it better suited for various terrains, which many 390 Duke riders appreciate.
TVS is expanding its reach with the Apache RTR 310, targeting a wider audience with its 310cc platform. It takes some of the elements we admired in the RR310 and introduces a slew of new features. However, it does carry over some inherent limitations. After seven years, it seems that TVS and BMW might need to consider upgrading this engine, as it's starting to fall behind the competition in terms of power and refinement. If you were eyeing this bike for long-distance rides and versatile use, it does come with certain restrictions in that regard.