Bajaj Dominar vs Duke 390 Comparison Review

Bajaj Bajaj Dominar aka Kratos VS400 vs KTM DUKE 390 Comparison Review

Pricing & Features:
The Bajaj Bajaj Dominor aka Kratos VS400 will be launched at a price tag of 1.75lakhs approx. When compared to the Duke 390's price of 2.2lakhs the Bajaj VS400 price looks quite lucrative. On the other hand Bajaj has done many possible things to keep the cost low by compromising on the weight of the bike. The Duke 390 is equipped with USD forks compared to telescopic forks of the Bajaj VS400 as well. The Bajaj VS400 also shares same frame from the smaller sibling of the NS200. On the other hand both bikes come fitted with dual channel ABS, hope Bajaj keeps this as standard this time. The Bajaj VS400 looks like far descendants of the Ducati Diavel in a miniature form.

Bajaj Kratos VS400: ABS, comfortable seat, large fuel tank, better fuel mileage
KTM Duke 390: ABS, Metzeler tires, slipper clutch, USD forks

Bajaj Kratos VS400: MRF tires, telescopic forks, high kerb weight, low reliability
KTM Duke 390:  small and hard seat cushion, high fuel consumption, high tire wear rate

Price, On Road, Delhi:

Bajaj VS400:  1.75 lakhs approx
KTM Duke 390:  2.2 lakhs

Performance & Tractability:
Since launch in 2013 the Duke 390 is the most radical motorcycle available in India, 0-100 on the speedo's can be achieved in about 5.2 seconds on the Duke 390. The Duke loves to be driven on high revs, but in congestion's it fails to deliver the low end tractability. The gear ratios on the 390 are two short which means the bikes needs to be pulled in the same gear for longer distance. 

We expect the the Bajaj Bajaj Dominor aka VS400 to have different gear ratio selection for better low speed tractability and cruising character. The VS400 is suppose to be a sports-tourer in contrast to the hyper active Duke 390. The VS400 will not pose the ability to accelerate from 0-100 compared to the Duke due to the taller final drive ratio and massive kerb weight. The Duke 390 is equipped with a slipper clutch, which has also reduced the clutch effort to a greater extent, we believe that the Bajaj VS400 will not be equipped with one.

Power to Weight Ratio (PS/ton): Bajaj VS400- 230, Duke 390 - 309 (difference 34%)
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): Bajaj VS400- 197, Duke 390 - 252 (difference 28%)

Power (PS@rpm): Bajaj VS400- 35@8000, Duke 390 - 43@9500
Torque (Nm@rpm): Bajaj VS400- 30@6000, Duke 390 - 35@7250
Kerb Weight (kg): Bajaj VS400- 152 approx, Duke 390 – 139

Displacement (cc): Bajaj VS400- 373.2, Duke 390 – 373.2

Handling & Ride Quality:
The Duke 390 suspension setup is meant to do high speed cornering, it provides confidence to the rider to exit the curves at highest possible speeds by maintaining the line. Said so, the Duke 390 suspension doesn't not offer great comforts to the rider, secondary ride of the motorcycle is very stiff which transmits all the small road inputs directly to the rider. On the other hand the Bajaj VS400 will be offered with high rake angle on the front, resulting increased wheel base. And one important thing Bajaj has worked upon is the seat height, it has been lowered and overall CG of the bike has been bought down. That also means increased stability at high speeds by reducing the agility of bike to a greater extent.

Tyre Size:
Front: Bajaj VS400– 110/700 17 MRF, Duke 390 - 110/700 17 Metzeler Tubeless
Rear: Bajaj VS400– 150/60 17 MRF, Duke 390 - 150/60 17 Metzeler Tubeless

Wheelbase (mm): Bajaj VS400– 1380+ approx, Duke 390 – 1367

Comfort & Ergonomics:
Long rides on the Duke 390 can be laborious, the seat cushion on the Duke is rock solid, at low speeds the engine hot air is directly thrown on to the riders knees making it extremely uncomfortable. For a pillion rider to settle on the Duke 390 can be a nightmare. However the suspension setup on the Bajaj VS400 will have better secondary ride compared to the Duke which can take you on long journeys. The Bajaj VS400 has integrated handle bar risers, lessons learnt by Bajaj. Bajaj VS400 has ample of space to sit for rider well as pillion compared to the Duke. The VS400 will be the second sports tourer after the mahindra Mojo.
KTM Duke 390 Steel trellis frame

Metzeler tires on the Duke 390 with Dual channel ABS

White powder USD forks on the Duke 390

Seat Height (mm): Bajaj Kratos VS400 - 780 approx, Duke 390 - 800

Fuel Efficiency:
Both the Duke 390 and the VS400 share approximately the same cubic capacity engine of 373.2, but as the Duke is never in a mood to relax, the bike deliver a mileage of 22-32kmpl depending on the road conditions. But the VS400 will be able to deliver a mileage of minimum 30kmpl at most of the times as Bajaj has always proven their competency in this area. The major difference will be the triple spark plugs technology on the VS400 for better fuel combustion and power output.

ARAI Mileage: Bajaj VS400 - 35 approx, Duke 390 - 28 kmpl

Fuel Cost (for usage of 40,000 km):
Bajaj VS400- 1 Lakh.
Duke 390 - 1.12 Lakh.

Reliability & After Sales Service: 
Bajaj low cost strategy has many times put the vehicle's quality on stakes, but with technology sharing from the Austrian bike maker Bajaj needs to learn a lot. We can expect niggling issues on the NS200 will be resolved on the Bajaj VS400. Bajaj has a vast network of more than 1500 touch points, on the contrary the KTM has about 250 number of service centre across India, but the mechanics and supervisors are really well trained to maintain your bikes. Talking about the reliability part Bajaj needs to improve longevity of the motor and suspension whereas the KTM's engines are well tested and have gear track record. 

Resale & Cost of Ownership:
Bajaj bikes have always suffered from low resale value due to low reliability in terms of engine parts and suspension components, Bajaj bikes fail to maintain the retained newness factor for a long duration, niggling issues are other key contributes as well. Moreover the KTM feels like a premium motorcycle even though with Bajaj's interference, but the bike is liked by the youth and most individual have desire to own one. Due to the Duke's low initial price, a resale 390 would cost around 50-100 thousand grand cheaper based on the condition.

Resale Price (after 5 - 7 years & 60,000 km):
Bajaj VS40 - 78,750 Rs.
Duke 390  - 1.07 Lakh.

Total Cost of Ownership (Price + Fuel Cost - Resale Price):
Bajaj VS40 - 1.96 Lakh
Duke 390 - 2.19 Lakh

KTM Duke 390 has been in the Indian market for more than 3 years now and has proved itself as the most adrenaline rushing motorcycle at affordable price. On the other hand we have the Bajaj Bajaj Dominor aka Kratos VS400 derived partially from the NS200 and the Duke 390's power-plant, what can we expect out of that, the VS400 is meant for hitting long roads with pleasure. But the character of the VS400 seems to carry heavy metal like the NS200. If you are in love of rapid acceleration track bike Duke 390 is the choice or else if you love conquering long journeys VS400 is the bike with better fuel efficiency and higher capacity fuel tank.

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Cleaning Brush

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