Question can you have fun with entry-level bikes, sold less than € 6,000 and developing less than 48 horses? Answer well yes! Honda CB500F and KTM Duke 390 are certainly good surprises of the new category A2 motorcycle license. Made with serious thoughts for the sake of versatility for the Honda and KTM for fun, they advertise as two cartons of 2013.
Sit at the controls of the new KTM Duke 390, I back the A6 from Lyon / Saint-Priest (seat of KTM France), to Paris. At 130 km/h, the KTM Duke 390 engine runs at slightly more than 7 000 rpm (unreadable tachometer to the key), vibration incite more rolling at a speed of about 115 km/h.
Despite the rather thin and flat saddle, I suffer not too. The times are amazing: no need to downgrade to exceed the small sedans traveling at 122 km/h regulator… and tell myself while the confrontation with the Honda CB500F announces more than interesting.
Honda CB 500 F, a very nice utility
Honda CB500F, we talked you on several occasions this year. She shone even in our great versus motorbikes A2. Backward worthy of one of the most famous utilities in the 1990s, Honda CB500F new generation is more modern line.
Honda knew how to play the pencil to draw him perfectly adjusted plastics, with an air of mini CB 1000 R. A beautiful skin which serve even to hide unsightly elements such as the diamond steel framework or the cables. On the side of ergonomics, the Honda CB500F 2013 plays to at the outset of his versatility against the KTM. It is suitable for almost all sizes saddle quite low (790 mm), triangle handlebar / seat / footrest pretty casual and narrow all … you do not feel any discomfort in his handlebars.
KTM Duke 390, a small Austrian who has the dog
By operating the two motor bikes off, it immediately captures therefore weight gap that separates them. The KTM for callback uses a 373, 2 cm3 cylinder, and admit 151.8 kg all full facts about the bikesdoctor.com scale. Either 41.2 kg lighter than the Honda CB500F, a chasm! However, the Honda – with its twin of 471 cm3 and its 193 kg all full facts verified – is far from being an anvil.
Bass (800 mm), the KTM is really small next to the Honda. In the saddle, she is just as much and, if less than 1.70 m find it super accessible, the largest have ceased to be on the passenger saddle to unfold their legs, implanted very commands at the foot fault back. Fun of philosophy, the KTM 390 Duke is also line with its wheels and its framework painted in orange. However, curious we’ve encountered have confused it with sister of 125 cm3. What does not frankly play in its favor?
They make you want to play, walk around… ride what
Forget poom poom single cylinder 80s KTM Duke 390 emits a busy tone, rocky, with very close explosions. And finally a sound similar to that of the strip 125 Duke. On this side, the Honda CB500F ‘is much more bike’, with more serious but very legal flights.
The grip actually is part of the strengths of these bikes and better reading we went on a trail of motorcycle school. Ultra light, the KTM 390 Duke encourages squarely playing in the middle of the pickets and support changes reveal an incredible pleasure to its handlebar. Other side of the coin, it requires to always play the clutch lever because of its single-cylinder bashing down.
Indenting on pure agility, the Honda CB500F makes up for by greater engine flexibility and really need to drop below the 2000 rpm to bump his twin. In addition, the Honda has softer command: clutch, touch switch, more fluid box reports, dead point easier to find. There are pieces of Swiss watch making in the Honda! Undoubtedly, it could ease the lives of some students with its excellent turning radius that can be sought at its peak thanks to its balance bluffing at a slow pace.
From 110 km/h, the KTM dominates in times
We leave on the road, with an essential motorway link. There, there is no picture. Honda CB500F dominates her rival. It is largely a matter of approval, because it vibrates less and its engine running approximately 1200 RPM appears slower never suffer from 130 kph. The comfort of the CB, including any passenger, is best. However, the expressways highlight the Austrian mono small health.
In our tests of recovery, including from 110 km/h in sixth, the KTM Duke 390 held the high sugar plum in the Honda! From this speed, the single cylinder is expressed fully, found battery on its beach of regime the more nervous. KTM Duke 390, well helped by its featherweight, proves so very energetic while the Honda is running out of steam a bit at high speed. Over the course of a test maxi ‘way Autobahn, Honda comes in contact with the KTM, but only slightly.
Below 90 km/h, the roundness of the twin Honda makes the difference: this engine enables to cross a village in sixth less than 70 km/h and leave like a flower. It riding the KTM: play selector is essential.
Ultra sound, Honda knows all (sufficiently)
We arrive at the spot of the picture ‘jump’, which has a recreational purpose. Unless it is a kind of homage to John Mc Guinness, multiple winner of the Tourist Trophy, which was due to fly to Ballaugh Bridge this year riding a Honda CBR 500 R, but had to settle its usual Fireblade. Honda, who knows all things do, adapts for the exercise. She departed on an impulse of the engine and landed almost at dish. Its suspension absorbs the stress: they are dry on the Parisian cobblestones, they held well during this compression.
On the KTM Duke 390, we find signed WP suspensions, often referenced for the affected road Austrian motorcycles. Here, they present a compelling damping, but their progression is not unusual. It feels more work springs than hydraulics. This is the case during hard braking, which suggests an unusual squealing KTM. This in no way prevents the KTM 390 Duke to be simply enjoyable on small roads. More it runs, the more it becomes exciting! There are genes of the mark: diabolical skill, precision in the placement, possibility of control exacerbated instinct.
The Honda, still very healthy, follows without being, even if our KTM of borrowing could count on the adhesion of its tires Continental Conti Attack SM. The KTM Duke 390 incite as much to attack, is due to its agility package / precision / furious engine. Stunners budding will also appreciate the ability to disconnect the ABS. Unthinkable on the Honda CB500F, Honda focusing on security first and foremost.
Appraisal: Two beautiful successes for the A2 license
More than a face-to-face meeting, these two developments illustrate a strong trend of the Decade. Meetings in Asia (Thai subsidiary for the Honda in the Indian partner Bajaj for the KTM), these two bikes have been designed for emerging markets, but they assume the roles of entry-level of large sizes for these manufacturers. Their compliance with the new A2 license constitutes a further boon to these two vintage 2013 musts.
Sold € 5590, Honda CB500F offers unsurprisingly greater versatility than KTM. More serious on the bottom as on the form, she said this to all uses and is an excellent utility sometimes wise, sometimes sports. The KTM Duke 390 is also an excellent surprise. Proposed 5 €115, it is not usurping his identity: it’s a real KTM, light, agile, punchy and fun. It will be certainly less comfortable at the daily and travel than the Honda, but from a purely recreational perspective, it is an excellent choice!
Honda CB500F 2013
KTM Duke 390 2013