We recently came across a review by the Motorbeam team, which pitted the Duke 390 vs Ninja 300. As awesome the people at Motorbeam are, the verdict they came out with was quite surprising. The Duke has better performance, more features and lower cost of ownership. Still they decided that the baby Ninja was a better deal. Well, we think there is a need for second opinions here, considering what a splendid package the Duke 390 is.
So here we are, bringing you our own perspective into this clash of the mini-titans. Both of these bikes have completely changed the Indian biking scene, for the better, bringing in excitement and fun that we have been waiting from a long time! Let’s begin with the heart of the matter, the engine and specs and see what these two machines have to offer.
Duke 390 vs Ninja 300 – Engine and specs
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As you can see, the Ninja 300 is nowhere close to the Duke 390 as far as the engine and specs department is concerned. The only advantage that the baby Ninja has is its engine is a parallel twin, as opposed to the single cylinder on the Duke. That will make it smoother over the entire rev range for sure. Apart from that the Duke blows the competition away completely.
Duke 390 vs Ninja 300 – Features
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In the features department, the Duke again edges past the Ninja by a long shot. It comes with a standard ABS, which is a first on an Indian motorcycle. Add to that the fact that it uses superior Metzelers rubber against the IRC of the Kwacker, and you feel much more comfortable on the road. The Duke also uses better Trellis frame and upside down shock absorbers upfront that give it better maneuverability than the twin spar frame and conventional telescopic suspension on the Ninja. Also, the Duke offers 170mm of ground clearance, perfect for the Indian riding conditions, against the 140mm of the Ninja, which will make a huge difference when it comes to badly shaped speed breakers that we have in abundance.
The Ninja does hit back with a slipper clutch system, which makes the shifts smoother and lets you make quicker downshifts during hard driving. Also, it has a much larger fuel tank (6 liters), which will help during those long rides. All in all, the Duke wins this battle of the Duke 390 vs Ninja 300 war, comfortably.
Duke 390 vs Ninja 300 – Cost of ownership
The Duke 390 is priced phenomenally, at around 2 lacs on road. The Ninja costs almost double on road. Add to this the fact that the service cost of Duke 390 would be about half that of the Ninja 300, and you have a clear winner.
Apart from the outright cost, there comes the factor of after sale maintenance. The Ninja is a fully faired beast, as opposed to the naked beauty of the Duke. If you happen to take a fall on both of these machines, the cost on repairs would be substantially more on the Ninja than the Duke.
Duke 390 vs Ninja 300 – Verdict
In our opinion, the Duke 390 wins hands down. The only factors in favor of the Ninja are its aerodynamic body, better looks, slipper clutch and bigger fuel tank. However, the Duke is extremely easy on the wallet and much more fun to drive. If we were going to buy a bike between these two, it will be the Duke for sure. Both of them have quite a lot of aftermarket parts available, which should make the whole deal even more interesting.
If you are inclined towards the Ninja, put in just 1 lac more and go for the 650 version. There are rumors of the 250 Ninja being launched at a lower price, so that would be something to look forward to as well!
Image Source: MotorBeam.com