The sub-500cc segment wasn’t much recognised in India and had just a handful of models on sale until recent years. The likes of KTM, Benelli and the indigenous manufacturer Bajaj Auto are making this segment both popular and populous.
KTM, the Austrian motorcycle maker, has been doing exceedingly well in the Indian market with just two major product line – the Duke and RC. In fact, the KTM RC 390 is one of the best available fully faired sports motorcycles in the segment and is way more powerful than the likes of the Kawasaki Ninja and the Yamaha R3.
However, the new entrant to the zone, the Bajaj Dominar 400, has been gaining popularity for all the right reasons. It is powerful and has an abundant amount of torque on offer. But is it as good as the RC 390? Let’s find out.
The only reason the KTM RC390 and the Bajaj Dominar 400 can be compared is that they are almost equally popular and are powered by a similar engine. Apart from this, they are poles apart in their styling. In one hand, the KTM motorcycle is a fully faired sports motorcycle with an aggressive lean on ergonomics and clip-on handlebars, the Dominar is more like a naked tourer with an upright stance that does not put much pressure on your wrist.
The KTM RC 390 and the Bajaj Dominar 400 are powered by a similar engine under the hood. However, the same engine is tuned-in differently to produce a different set of power figures in order to suit their type. For example, the 373.3 cc liquid cooled, fuel injected engine makes 44 bhp of maximum power and 36 Nm of maximum torque on KTM, while on the Dominar, it makes 34.5 bhp of maximum power and 35 Nm of torque.
The transmission duties are done by a 6-speed gearbox unit on the RC 390, while on the Dominar, the engine is mated to a slipper clutch.
The KTM RC 390 is no less than a beast of a kind and much more powerful than any motorcycle in the segment. It is even more powerful than the BMW G310R, which is the latest entrant in the segment and is jointly developed by TVS and BMW Motorrad. On the other hand, the Bajaj Dominar 400 is a beast of a kind and could well be the perfect alternative to the expensive KTM 390 Duke and the Royal Enfield Classic 500.
On a comparison scale, the Bajaj Dominar is always the better option to choose as it is more than a lakh cheaper than the RC. Moreover, it offers dual-channel ABS as an option, which is not offered in the KTM motorcycle. The ABS version of Dominaris priced at Rs. 1.55 lakhs while the only variant of the KTM RC is priced at Rs. 2.35 lakhs.