KTM 390 Duke vs Kawasaki Z400

The modern-day roadsters come with some traits of sportbikes which makes them extremely powerful in the streets. Today, two of the best on the market are KTM 390 Duke (top speed 113 mph) and Kawasaki Z400 (top speed 91 mph). And in this comparison of KTM 390 Duke vs. Kawasaki Z400, we will see which one of them is better.

Motorbike manufacturers are equipping their models with new and improved features for the convenience of riders. Plus, the blurring lines between the naked bikes and superbikes allow the riders to explore more options. This article will explore which two bikes have what to offer and which one you should choose for any particular reason.

These bikes are all about powerful engines and speeds but do you get any comfort options in these naked bikes? We will find out at the end of this post, so keep reading.

Industry History

KTM

KTM hails from Austria and is one of the top motorcycles and automobile manufacturers in the world. This company relies on durability and performance, and the bikes that it produces are significant in handling and maneuverability. You might not have heard much about this company, but KTM is right up there in the top tier of global manufacturers when it comes to quality.

Kawasaki

Kawasaki was the first international brand in the North American market. And it didn’t take much time to become one of the top brands when it comes to motorcycle manufacturing. Kawasaki is known for equipping its bikes with extremely powerful engines. These bikes are highly reliable, and the company uses the best industry practices and quality control to build them.

KTM 390 Duke vs. Kawasaki Z400 – An Overview

The Duke 2021

The Duke is one of the best machines to ride if you look for some excellent performance while cornering. There are not many bikes out there that can deliver such a power-packed performance on corners. That’s precisely why they call it “the corner rocket”. It is equipped with advanced ABS technology, which will improve your braking system and with that, you are always in control of your ride.

The Z400 2021

This roadster by Kawasaki is equipped with a powerful engine that allows you to ride at a brisk pace. It also means that this bike comes with an incredible stopping power with its own ABS system. The Z400 is all about an exceptional riding experience with great speeds. If you are looking for a bike that you will use on the highways, this is a perfect choice.

Comparison Chart

FeaturesKTM 390 Duke 2021Kawasaki Z400 2021
Fuel and vehicle typePetrol naked bikePetro naked bike
Fuel tank capacity3.5 gallons3.7 gallons
Displacement373cc399cc
Engine typeLiquid-cooled, single-cylinder 4-strokeLiquid-cooled, 2-cylinder 4-stroke DOHC
Maximum power43.5 HP @ 9500 RPM45 HP @ 10,000 RPM
Maximum torque26 lb-ft @ 7000 RPM28 lb-ft @ 8,000 RPM
Seating type and capacityDual stepped, 2Dual stepped, 2
Seat height32.3 inches30.9 inches
Weight306 lbs~370 lbs
Gear transmission6-speed wet clutch6-speed constant mesh
Front and rear suspension4.3-inch telescopic fork and 5.1-inch mono-shock4.7-inch telescopic fork and 5.1-inch swingarm
Front and rear brakesDisc brakes at both ends with ABS (12.6-inch and 9.1-inch disc diameter)Disc brakes at both ends with ABS (12.2-inch and 8.66-inch diameter)
Front and rear tire size110/70-17 and 150/60-17110/70-17M/C and 150/60-17M/C
Wheelbase53.4 inches53.9 inches

Engine

Engine of Kawasaki Z400 and KTM Duke

Let’s begin our discussion on this comparison of KTM 390 Duke vs. Kawasaki Z400. Both these bikes are very different from one another. The Z400 is geared more towards riding on the highways and has that cruiser traits in it. The Duke is packed with speed and power, and of course, it’s lighter as well, and we will talk about it in a bit.

The Duke features a single-cylinder 4-stroke liquid-cooled engine that is all about generating quick speeds as soon as you twist the throttle. It is all about unleashing the beast that the 390 Duke is. It can zip along at top speeds of up to 113 miles an hour.

Plus, it gives you quite an edge when it comes to cornering. So if you are looking to ride a bike in the streets and it needs to have plenty of power to get ahead of those cafe racers in no time. On the other hand, the Z400 is better suited for a ride on the highway. It can run at a top speed of 93 miles an hour, so it’s a fast bike.

But it’s not going to do that much if you compare it with the Duke. The primary reason behind that is it’s a pretty heavy bike. The Z400 is more than 65 pounds heavier than the Duke, and this is where it slows down a bit despite having a pretty powerful liquid-cooled 2-cylinder 4-stroke engine.

We will tie it between the two because the Duke is made for the streets while the Z400 is better suited for the highways. So, they both have their advantages in certain conditions. 

Weight

Now let’s talk about the weight of these machines in this comparison of KTM 390 Duke vs. Kawasaki Z400. We have already mentioned the fact that the Z400 is around 65 pounds heavier than the Duke.

The KTM 390 weighs around 306 lbs, while the Kawasaki Z400 weighs over 370 lbs. This is the primary reason why the Z400 is slower despite having a powerful engine. It also means that skinny riders are going to find the Z400 a bit more difficult to handle.

However, handling the Duke will be slightly easier because it’s somewhat smaller in dimensions as well. Due to the lightweight design of the Duke, this bike is much easier when it comes to handling and maneuvering. The Duke is one of the best in terms of speedy cornering. So essentially, it is built to race on the streets.

These features are not there in the Z400 because it’s bulkier and bigger than the Duke. It’s not going to be as comfortable as the Duke in handling and cornering. Hence, the winner of this round is the Duke

Suspension and brakes

Suspension of KTM 390 Duke and Kawasaki Z400

Next up in this comparison of KTM 390 Duke vs. Kawasaki Z400 is suspension and brakes. This one will be a slightly trickier round between the two because they both are equipped with pretty powerful systems when we talk about brakes and suspension.

The KTM 390 Duke features a 4.3-inch telescopic fork on the front end and a 5.1-inch mono-shock on the rear end. It means the suspension system on the Duke is pretty powerful and ensures exceptional ride comfort in various road conditions.

On the other hand, the Kawasaki Z400 comes with a 4.7-inch telescopic fork on the front end and a 5.1-inch swingarm on the rear end. It means the front-end fork system is bigger on the Z400 than the Duke’s, so you can expect better riding comfort.

Additionally, the swingarm system on the rear end of the Z400 performs better than the mono-shock system on the Duke because Duke’s system is designed more for speed and less for comfort.

Speaking of speed, the Duke has a pretty incredible pick-up speed because it is lighter, so it needs better-stopping power. Thankfully, KTM has equipped it with disc brakes at both ends with ABS, where the front disc diameter is 12.6-inch, and the rear disc diameter is a 9.1-inch disc.

Disc brakes with ABS are also on the Z400, but they are comparatively smaller as the front disc has a 12.2-inch diameter and the rear disc has an 8.66-inch diameter. So, the Duke has a better stopping power because it is speedier, while the Z400 has better suspension and is much more comfortable to ride and another tie for us.

Ergonomics

Ergonomics of KTM 390 Duke and Kawasaki Z400

It’s time to talk about the ride comfort and ergonomics in this comparison of KTM 390 Duke vs. Kawasaki Z400. We have already established that the Duke is much better in terms of speed, while the Z400 is the right choice if you are looking for ride comfort.

The Duke comes with a height of 32.3 inches which is pretty comfortable if your height is slightly on the taller side. On the other hand, the Z400 has a lower seat design with a height of 30.9 inches. It means that this bike is much suitable for shorter riders as well.

The Z400 also has a broader wheelbase because of its bulkier size. But your overall sitting position on this bike remains comfortable. It means this bike is suitable for longer routes.

On the other hand, the Duke is also comfortable to ride, but it is geared more towards speed than comfort. Therefore, you will feel that you are in a more aggressive style while sitting on your Duke. So, in terms of comfort, this round goes to the Z400.

Looks and aesthetics

Looks and aesthetics of KTM 390 Duke and Kawasaki Z400

Judging a bike on its looks and aesthetics is a highly subjective matter. The fittings and colors might be favorite for some if you are looking for something different. But if you like a slightly compact streetfighter bike that is extremely easy to handle thanks to its lightweight design, you need to go with the Duke.

The orange streaks on this bike look exceptionally great as you will have that sporty-looking bike with matching performance. On the other hand, the Z400 is a much bigger bike that also has that streetfighter look, and you also get two different color options, including teal and red.

Both these bikes look great, and making a choice based on the looks is pretty difficult. But one thing is for sure that both these bikes have modern naked bike looks, and if you are looking for style, they both will work fine.

Pricing

There is not much difference between the two in terms of price as well. But if you are looking to save a few hundred dollars, you need to go for the Z400. This is much better commuting that you can also use for speeding.

The Duke, on the other hand, is just made for fun; you can use it for commuting and running errands as well because it’s built for the streets. But you will be missing out on power and speed when you do that.

So, if you are looking to have some funds and zip along at quick speeds, you will have to pay a little more. Plus, the Duke also comes with different electronic systems, including complete Supermoto control, and you can also connect your smartphone with your bike. The Z400 only features some engine management controls.

KTM 390 Duke vs. Kawasaki Z400 – The Similarities

Fuel and vehicle type

Both these bikes run on petrol, and they both are naked bikes. So, the feel of the ride and the purpose is similar. But the Duke is geared more towards riding the streets with speed, while the Z400 is designed for riding the highways with more comfort for longer distances.

Gearing system

Both the machines come with a 6-speed manual transmission system. The only difference is that the Duke features a wet clutch system, while the Z400 features a constant mesh system. Both the systems work great in their perspective.

Seating

Both these machines also come with a dual-stepped seating design. You can comfortably carry a passenger with you on your journey. The seating is much more comfortable on the Z400 as compared to the Duke.

KTM 390 Duke vs. Kawasaki Z400 – Pros & Cons

KTM 390 Duke

Pros

  • Built for speed.
  • Exceptional cornering.
  • Very comfortable to handle.

Cons

  • Not for longer rides.

Kawasaki Z400

Pros

  • Built for longer rides.
  • Reliable engine performance.
  • Comfortable to ride.

Cons

  • Heavier and a bit challenging to handle.

Conclusion

The winner of this comparison of KTM 390 Duke vs. Kawasaki Z400 is the Duke of its power-packed performance and speed. This bike is built for speed, and it is going to perform exceptionally well on the streets. However, the Z400 is a better performer on the highways as it is more comfortable to ride on long distances.

If you are looking for a bike built for speed, you need to go for the Duke, but if you are looking for a more geared bike towards riding comfort and can run as well, you can go for the Z400.

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