The sub-500 cc segment has seen a lot of progress in India and with the introduction of the Bajaj Dominar 400, KTM's Duke 390 may just have a hard time keeping up. We do a full blown specification comparison of the Austrian underdog with the new Indian bike maker's largest capacity motorcycle.
After Bajaj announced the name of the Dominar 400 in an official statement, it was clear that the Indian bike maker will borrow the engine from KTM's Duke 390/ RC 390 range. That said, it will have a different state of tune and generate 35 hp of power since the company is going to market the Dominar 400 as a 'sports cruiser'. The same engine does duty in the KTM Duke 390, however, it generates 43 hp of power and with the Austrian brand's theory of 'Ready to Race', the Duke 390 will surely be more agile compared to the sub-500 cc motorcycle from Bajaj.
Clearly, the Bajaj Dominar 400 will focus more on everyday riding or cruising than all-out track racing. Like the KTM Duke 390, the Indian bike's 373cc motor is paired to a 6-speed gearbox.
The Bajaj Dominar 400 may have borrowed its engine (which is expected to be tuned differently) from the KTM Duke 390, but the rest of the motorcycle is different in terms of the design. In order to keep the rider more upright than the KTM Duke 390, the Bajaj Dominar has a wide handlebar and has a lower seat height for a more comfortable and ergonomic position. That said, the KTM Duke 390's riding position isn't bad and a rider can do long hauls easily.
The existing model of KTM Duke 390 is also going to be replaced with a much better looking 2017 Duke 390 that was revealed at the 2016 EICMA (Esposizione Internazionale Ciclo MotoCiclo) motorcycle show.
Since Bajaj is borrowing the KTM Duke 390's powertrain, it has also carried forward some of the technology, particularly safety. The Bajaj Dominar 400 gets switchable ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) on the higher version.
Other features on the sub-500 cc motorcycle from the Indian motorcycle manufacturer include a digital instrument cluster, LED headlamp with integrated daytime running lmaps, LED tail lamps with LED turn indicators and more.
Although the 2016 KTM Duke 390 was priced at Rs 1.96 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi, the 2017 model which was showcased at the 2016 EICMA motorcycle show would cross Rs 2 lakh, ex-showroom. On the contrary, the Bajaj Dominar 400 is priced at Rs 1.36 lakh for disc brake variant and Rs 1.50 lakh for the ABS version.
While KTM has always used the tagline 'Ready to Race' and its aggressive price tag as a successful product, Bajaj's focus to enter the sub-500 cc space with the Dominar 400 would just be a start of a new range of motorcycles which may put Bajaj in the mind of.