Confused between the new Himalayan 450 and the latest KTM 390 Duke

Royal Enfield has used high-quality engine components but the Duke already has a tried and tested engine.

BHPian iron.head recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Confused between the Himalayan 450 and the 2024 KTM 390 Duke.

Some may rightfully say that the two bikes are not comparable but IMHO the 390 Duke can do better with just a different set of tires + I do not see myself touring a lot on either of these motorcycles.

I know that a sum of specs does not define the riding experience or the motorcycle but here are some takeaways:

Pros and Cons of the RE Himalayan 450:

  • High quality engine components and overall seems to be well built.
  • Seems to have a forged piston, a nikasil-coated cylinder, and a counterbalanced crank.
  • Usually with REs the third or fourth year in the production of a model usually has lesser niggles.
  • Kerb weight is too high (196kg). Will not be as fun to ride as any of the 390s.

Pros and Cons of the KTM 390 Duke:

  • Tried and tested engine. Years of refinement and derived from the legendary KTM LC4 690 engine. Better electronic aids etc.
  • Much better kerb weight of 164 kg. Such a weight difference usually makes a motorcycle 10 times more fun to ride!
  • Probably won't survive a crash or rough riding as well as a purpose-built ADV bike will do.
  • Higher price.

390 Adventure comes at a much higher price so it is out of consideration. Though it too has a great kerb weight.

Here's what BHPian Motard_Blr had to say about the matter:

An analogy to this trying to decide between buying running shoes and trekking shoes.

If you only expect to go walking and wear them casually, buy whichever makes you feel better or is more appealing.

But if you really intend to run regularly or go trekking regularly, buy the shoes that are made for that situation.

Keep in mind that the Himalayan is 100% new and it will surely have plenty of teething niggles.

The Duke 390 is more an evolution of the previous engine so the current teething issues should be solved soon.

I'm in the same situation and I'd love to have both bikes but good sense must prevail and I must choose one.

Here's what BHPian iron.head replied:

Happy to find a mate in a similar situation!

I have mentioned this previously as well and my apologies for the broken record but I find it imperative to say this again: weight makes one hell of a difference.

To add to this, I, fortunately, own the legendary Suzuki DR650 (2019), a 2017 GSX-R600 (never ever selling these two) and used to own a 2018 KTM 690 Duke (built to cost, low-quality motorcycle IMHO, cheap suspension) and have hence experienced riding a naked, a supersport, and an ADV/Dual Sport in the city/off-road/track.

As a daily driver, the most fun I have had is on my GSX-R (next-gen RC390 maybe!) but between the 690 Duke (read: a naked motorcycle) and the DR650, I would choose the DR hands down any day of the year!

However, the DR is much lighter than the Himalayan 650! For city use, an RC390 doesn't make much sense anyway and if the Himalayan can somehow shed a few kilos (10-15 might I say) it will almost be a no-brainer!

To save weight here in the West, the first thing a lot of riders take off is the catalytic converter and second comes the lithium ion battery. Not sure of the possibilities with the Himalayan but if at all I am inclined to cut off the CC and put a straight pipe there!

PS: A nice video on the engine details of the Himalayan 450 and the lead engine designer is this gentleman.

Here's what BHPian AulusGabinius had to say about the matter:

On the topic of shedding weight, the old Himalayan is 199 kgs and the Scram 411 is 185, so if we're going to get a Scram 450, that could very well be the case. I took a rental Scram on a morning ride, and other than the lack of highway ability, I would have bought one there and then. The new Himalayan is 196, so I think I could make a guess as to the weight reduction at the moment:

  • Those big tank guards could easily be 3 kilos in total - 193.
  • The whole headstock would go as well for a lighter, fork-mounted setup, along with a smaller or no windshield - 191 kgs or so.
  • Smaller front wheel - 188 kgs, perhaps?
  • Non-adjustable seat - 187 kgs?
  • Non-Showa suspension with less travel, 190 on the rear rather than 200 - Could it go down to 185?

Add to that not having a beak and maybe no top-case mount, I think 185 could definitely be achieved.

Here's what BHPian aviator1101 had to say about the matter:

Can the two actually be compared?

I do not know from where this inference has been drawn, Sir. After the 411 debacle, RE seems to have got their act together and quality is something, not many people have complained of since the 650 twins were launched.

My humble request is to at least test ride a bike to understand its characteristics, pros and cons. Don't just go by the specifications and make opinions. Not a single reviewer till now has complained of the 450 being lousy or difficult to handle because of weight.

The OG Himalayan 411 to Scram 411 was a 14 kgs reduction. Why not a similar discount in the case of the 450? Plus, the Scram 450 (or whatever it is christened subsequently) mules have been spotted with alloy wheels. That will also save on some weight.

As an owner, we may do two small things to further reduce actual weight.

  • Fill the tank only upto 15 litres, mark it and make it a point to repeat the same every time. Saves a good 2 kilos.
  • Remove the saree guard and save another 1.5 to 2 kgs.

So, with 14 kgs reduced at the manufacturer's end and 4 kgs at the user end, the Scram 450 may be expected to weigh (or be made to weigh) around 178 kgs.

That makes it 39.47 BHP hauling just 178 kgs.

Taking the imagination a little further:

GKU posted a power-to-weight ratio chart the other day. As per that comparison, with a BHP/kg ratio of 0.2217, it will be at par with the Speed 400 and just behind the KTM 390s.

A pocket rocket from RE, no?

But the Scram 450, going by rumours and predictions by motoring pundits, will be launched after another 6 months. By then, all initial niggles on the 450 platform are expected to be sorted out by RE.

So, all those people who are apprehensive about joining the gang of beta testers by buying the first lot of Himalayan 450, it's a win-win situation for them.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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