New MT-15 vs Used KTM 390 Duke: Which One To Buy?
Put off by the premium pricing of the MT-15? If so, why not look at the used motorcycle market for a better bike?
Two-wheeler enthusiasts were pretty stoked to see the Yamaha MT-15 finally step foot into India. However, its premium price tag of Rs 1.36 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) turned out to be an absolute bummer. Don’t get us wrong, the bike has potential, but a price tag that’s north of the earlier speculated price of 1.2 lakh is a little too hard to digest, especially considering it’s a 150cc bike. Also, if your only criteria for owning an MT-15 is performance with reasonably comfortable ergonomics for your daily runs, then there are plenty of other options to look at in the Indian two-wheeler market. You can read about it here.
Another alternative would be the used bike market, which seems to be a gold mine for enthusiasts on a budget. Case in point, the first-gen KTM 390 Duke. It not only offers a lot more performance compared to the MT-15 but in most cases, it’s also easier on the pocket. Dial in the fact that the bike gets dual-channel ABS, a slipper clutch (2015 models and later), an instrument console with a host of information and much more, and the KTM 390 Duke seems like a cracker of a deal. To add to this, the first-gen KTM 390 Duke is priced between Rs 80,000 to 1.5 lakh in the used two-wheeler market. That’s still more affordable than the MT-15 which gets an on-road price of Rs 1.64 lakh. Additionally, if one has the flexibility to spend a wee bit more in the used market - say 1.7 lakh to 1.8 lakh - there's a newer, better bike available: the early 2017 Duke (second-gen model). On the contrary, a brand new KTM 390 Duke is on the pricier side at Rs 2.43 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
Coming to the crux of the matter, the KTM 390 Duke trumps the Yamaha MT-15 when it comes to power output, no contest. It draws power from a 373.2cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine that generates 44PS at 9,500rpm and 35Nm at 7250rpm. Its Japanese rival here uses a 155cc liquid-cooled, 4-valve, single-cylinder mill that puts out 19.3PS and 14.7Nm. Both these engines employ a six-speed transmission. That said, the power on the 390 Duke might be a bit intimidating for newer riders and takes some time to get used to.
Besides, the KTM 390 Duke is positioned as a premium sub-400cc naked sports bike. And unlike the Yamaha MT-15, it doesn’t cut corners to keep costs in check. What you see is what you get. To elaborate, aside from the aforementioned features the bike gets premium upside-down forks and a monoshock from WP, stickier Metzeler Sportec tyres measuring in at 110/70R-17 up front and 150/60R-17 at the rear, and the unconventional slather of orange which comes with every KTM.
Anchoring the bike is a large 300mm disc brake paired to a four-piston caliper up front and a 230mm disc brake at the rear. Furthermore, over the years KTM has updated the 390 Duke with better fork seals and softer suspension, a redesigned radiator fan for better heat dissipation, more padding on the seat and softer palm grips. So we would suggest you try your level best to pick up a later model which comes with all these features.
Also Read: Family Feud: Yamaha MT-15 Vs FZ25
The Yamaha MT-15, on the other hand, gets conventional telescopic forks, a box section swingarm, 100/80-17 front and 140/70-17 rear MRF tyres, single-channel ABS, black wheels with rim tapes, a slipper clutch and a full-digital instrument console. On the design front, the bike draws inspirations from its elder sibling, the MT-09. Its Deltabox frame carried over from the R15 V3.0 offers the same sharp handling. In terms of braking, the MT-15 gets a 282mm disc at the front and a 220mm rear disc.
That said, there are a couple of benefits to owning a brand new bike. For instance, the price of the bike covers 5-years insurance (1 year zero depreciation, 4 years third party), a standard and extended warranty of 2 years and 1 year respectively. And since it’s brand spanking new, the MT-15 will run a lot smoother and cleaner than used bikes. You also have the added benefit of being the very first owner.
On the flipside, a used bike is likely to dig a hole into your pockets if it isn’t well maintained as it will require repairs. Considering it’s the first-gen KTM 390 Duke, it will be over the company warranty period, which means you would have to shell out from your own pocket if anything major goes wrong. But if you do manage to crack a good deal where the bike is relatively low on mileage, you could have a winner at hand. To put things into perspective, there are 3-year-old bikes in the current second-hand market with odo readings as low as 9,000km.
All said and done, if you still prefer the new MT-15, by all means, go for it. Although, if you feel a second-hand KTM 390 Duke makes for a value-for-money proposition and you have the skill to harness the power, get the 390 Duke. But it depends on how hard you're willing to work to find yourself a good deal.