Royal Enfield recently lifted the curtains off their fastest, meanest creation, the Continental GT. The bike tries to bring back nostalgia, with Cafe Racer looks and retro styling. It sports a 535cc engine, clip on handlebars and the promise of genuine performance parts in the future. But is it anything as good as the undisputed champion of Indian bike scene, the KTM Duke 390?
It has been a few months since the KTM hooligan hit us in the guts, and even after a price hike of 7,000 bucks the bike still is extremely well priced. It has an insane amount of power, pull-your-eyes-out-of-them-sockets looks and extreme flickability. I own one of these monsters, so I speak from experience!
Since they both fall in the around 2 lac price segment, it’s a genuine question to ask: Which one is better? Who’s the King? Today we take an in-depth look on this question, who wins the Duke 390 vs Continental GT battle?
Duke 390 vs Continental GT: Performance
Let’s get right down to it, shall we? Let’s take a look at the performance figures for these bikes:
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So, errrr, well, nothing much to see here. The Duke 390 pretty much kicks Conti’s ass in every area, except the torque, which is expected. Royal Enfield “proudly” proclaims their bikes are not about performance, but pure biking experience. Well I would trade performance for some mythical experience everyday, but that’s the way they roll and people seem to love it.
Both of these offerings are feature rich and awesome for the price bracket. There are some things that one offers but the other doesn’t:
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The most important feature and the one that’s missing in the Conti is the ABS. The Duke 390 gives it as standard, which is just crazy good. There are many cosmetic improvements that are offered with the Conti, but personally I don’t mind that much. Looks are overrated anyway.
Duke 390 vs Continental GT: Living with it
Both of these bikes are expected to return sub-30Kmpl mileage figures, and that’s OK. This means they will cost almost as much as a car to run, but carry only 2 people, mostly one. As far as maintenance is concerned, the Continental GT will surely be costlier in the long run, given the tendency of Royal Enfields to be high maintenance machines.
The Continental GT gives you an optional pillion seat, but the bike looks ghastly with it, just ugly. So mostly, you would be riding it alone. The worst part would come on those long rides, where you will HAVE to put in that fugly pillion seat to accommodate your Viaterra Claw.
For the Duke 390, the downside is its heating problem. I take it to office everyday, but my legs get a bit of cooking done on the way. It does get heated quite quickly in rush hour traffic.
Overall, I think it will be easier to live with the Duke than the Conti, because of its maneuverability and pure fun.
I already own the Duke, so my choice is pretty clear. I have never been a big fan of Royal Enfields, and the Continental GT doesn’t change it much. The bike isn’t much fun to drive either, from what I have heard, with a very short powerband and overpowering vibrations. For the Duke 390 vs Continental GT contest, the Duke wins hands down.
In my opinion, the Royal Enfield Continental GT is purely for Royal Enfield enthusiasts. It holds no edge over the Duke 390 in any way, but will surely be an eye-grabber. But then if you ride only for grabbing eyes, you need to get your priorities in life straight.
RiderZone recommends the Duke 390, and not just because we have one.
Image Source: MotorBeam.com