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2021 KTM 390 Duke Spied Testing Preview

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A new frame is clearly visible on the test unit.
A new frame is clearly visible on the test unit. (BMH-Images/)

We’re just a month past the trove of new bikes debuted at EICMA, and already KTM is back at it getting ready for 2021. Spy shots show a KTM tester putting a new 390 Duke through its paces, and from the looks of things the updates are going to be notable.

The heavily stripped-down test unit shows a reworked frame, swingarm, and revised rear suspension configuration. It’s likely the fork will be upgraded too, to provide a complete chassis overhaul for the spirited little single.

The exhaust setup looks to be slightly different than the 2020 version as well, suggesting there may be more upgrades to the 373cc mill. It’s hard to tell whether styling will be dramatically changed, but if the rear fender remains as it is on the test unit, there’s likely some styling revisions on the horizon as well.

KTM provided plenty of news earlier in the year with new machines like the 890 Duke R and the 390 Adventure, so some attention is due to models like the 390 Duke. This particular machine has earned acclaim for its approachability as well as its capabilities in the hands of more experienced riders. It’s a great machine for new riders learning the ropes, but can also be tapped out to its max for memorable rides in the canyons for those with a few more miles under their belts. A more agile machine with better suspension, possibly better brakes and engine performance will further solidify its place among the vanguard of today’s low-displacement machines.

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