Yamaha is getting ready to launch bigger displacement motorcycles in India, and amongst them are the R3 and the MT-03, the naked street fighter. The MT-03 when launched will aim squarely at the KTM 390 Duke in India, which has been dominating the segment for a long time.
Now, with the launch of the MT-03, buyers have an alternate, however, for Yamaha, is the motorcycle capable of dethroning the 390 Duke? Here’s a detailed comparison between the soon-to-launch Yamaha MT-03 and the segment leader, the KTM 390 Duke.
Underpinnings and design
Starting with the Yamaha MT-03, the motorcycle is built on a diamond-type tubular frame, which is light and strong. The MT uses a long asymmetrical swingarm to offer better handling. In terms of bodywork, the MT-03 draws inspiration from its larger siblings in the MT lineup with a sculpted tank flanked by air intakes, a sleek headlight design, and an aggressive overall design.
Moving on to the KTM 390 Duke, the motorcycle is built around a lightweight split-steel trellis frame, keeping the centre of gravity closer to the weight. Similar to the MT-03, the 390 Duke features minimal bodywork with a sculpted fuel tank with angular shrouds and a large LED headlight, giving the 390 Duke an extremely sporty design.
Equipment and features
The Yamaha MT-03 rides on 17-inch wheels, gets a 37mm USD fork up front, a monoshock at the rear, disc brakes at both ends with ABS, LED lighting all around, and a fully-digital LCD instrument cluster. The rear suspension gets pre-load and damping adjustment while the front gets none. The Yamaha MT-03 does not get riding modes as well.
On the 390 Duke, the naked street fighter also rides on 17-inch alloy wheels, while getting larger 43mm WP USD forks, a 10-step adjustable rear monoshock, a colour TFT display, dual channel ABS with radially-mounted brake callipers, adjustable levers, quickshifter, and more. Between the both, the KTN 390 Duke is better equipped.
While both motorcycles feature largely similar design language and equipment, they differ a lot in terms of engine specifications. The Yamaha MT-03 uses a liquid-cooled twin-cylinder unit while the KTM uses a single-cylinder setup.
|Displacement||321cc, parallel-twin||373cc, single|
Which one should you choose?
Both motorcycles offer good performance and are absolutely fun to ride, be it in a city, on highways, or attacking a set of twisties. However, it comes down to price — the KTM 390 Duke is priced at Rs 2.96 lakh ex-showroom, while Yamaha has not revealed price details yet. If Yamaha can match the pricing, the Yamaha will be a great alternative to the Duke, but in terms of value-for-money, the Duke is the segment leader, period.