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Old 22nd December 2013, 17:39   #1621
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by Bluu View Post
I've had the bike for less than a month and the bigger danger, according to my experience, are the other bikers who feel the need to race the 390. Unfortunately, this is especially true of Duke 200 riders. In my brief ownership, I have had two occasions where 200 riders have ridden very dangerously in order to keep up/pass me while I was still running the bike in.

As owners of a fast motorcycle, we need to be extra careful about road safety but I really wish others would be too.
I agree,

First is I feel it is the Ego ( all of us have it ). Some people's ego is hurt tremendously when overtaken. I have seen here in Goa, some Taxi drivers driving Innova, Wagon R etc do not even bother about 2 wheeler riders. they just whizz past and when I overtake them, they feel insulted. I have incidents when Innova, Wagon R, Indica, why even Omni drivers upping the ante and driving faster / recklessly to overtake me. I have even seen some drivers switching ON the headlight and making a dash of it. I believe it is the EGO and best thing is politely give way to them and he is happy.

Second is some people naturally ride fast ( whether they ride a Splendor or a Activa or a Pulsar) Today I was riding from Mayem Lake to Panjim and there was this guy on a splendor pro riding really fast. He zipped past me and did some splendid maneuvers in those very narrow twisty roads ( apparently it is his home run as he must reside some where close by and knows the road like the back of his hand). But one thing got me was that this guy is a fast rider and not racing per-se. I just paced behind him and let him be. These type don't race but they are naturally fast.

Third is inferiority complex. Some people feel inferior / threatened when challenged ( in this case just an over take) These are dangerous guys as they take extreme risks (even the egoistical riders) to prove a point or two. I have seen some riders like that.

Fourth are racers. They want to race. period. These guys race with anything they ride on even Activa or a Splendor or modded 100 cc bikes. Many of the guys owning bikes such as D200 or P220 are of this category. I know a couple of guys here who just race. Can't help it. they are young and that's how they are. They love speed.

So there are lots of different type of riders / drivers out there. we got to keep our senses right, take all possible precautions and ride safe.
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Old 22nd December 2013, 18:39   #1622
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

The bike has definitely knocked 5 years off my mental age. Specially in NCR, i absolutely relish overtaking the car junta which generally treats two wheeled kind as children of a lesser and poorer God.
I always try to be faster than the traffic and specially the Audi kinds and their rash manners. These guys have no qualms about rear-ending two wheelers (happened once in traffic - intentionally when I was on my220 and to my friend on a scooter) and i don't intend to become a statistic

The redeeming factor is that the bike can handle speeds, emergency braking and maneuvering with ease. I have no intention of slowing down.
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Old 22nd December 2013, 21:06   #1623
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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But I don't think I shift from 6 to 1 in one go. Must try it out!
Tried. No real issues.
Observations (unscientific)
As long as the engine rpm for the current roadspeed/ gear combination is <4000, gears just click into place. Above that rpm, click turns to clunk.
Selecting first takes slightly more effort, slightly longer (have to hold force at resistance point before gear will click in. Too much force, gear will clunk, or horror of horrors, thunk in. Too gentle, and you are in no mans land.)

Initially used the tach to work out how much to rev the engine before letting the clutch out. Holding the clutch at the friction point for a moment and feeding the throttle (like one is above to move off) works also in preventing locking the rear wheel. Don't have time for all these niceties in real world situations.

6 -> 1 feels very unnatural. Experiment over, will not be repeated!
Kept note of what I was doing when slowing down in city riding. Mostly 5 -> 3, 4 -> 2, sometimes 5 -> 2. 1 normally from 2 or 3.

Experts comments welcome.

Regards
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Old 23rd December 2013, 12:09   #1624
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Very nicely put Ashok!

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Originally Posted by ashkamath View Post
First is I feel it is the Ego ( all of us have it ). Some people's ego is hurt tremendously when overtaken. I have seen here in Goa, some Taxi drivers driving Innova, Wagon R etc do not even bother about 2 wheeler riders. they just whizz past and when I overtake them, they feel insulted. I have incidents when Innova, Wagon R, Indica, why even Omni drivers upping the ante and driving faster / recklessly to overtake me. I have even seen some drivers switching ON the headlight and making a dash of it. I believe it is the EGO and best thing is politely give way to them and he is happy.
We have the same versions in Pune. The Indica Vista BPO/IT yellow plate cabs. Good engines. Yound aggressive drivers. But personally, cars have never bothered me. They cannot keep up in the city, and with the 390, only the very fast ones driven well could do so on the highway.

Quote:
Second is some people naturally ride fast ( whether they ride a Splendor or a Activa or a Pulsar) Today I was riding from Mayem Lake to Panjim and there was this guy on a splendor pro riding really fast. He zipped past me and did some splendid maneuvers in those very narrow twisty roads ( apparently it is his home run as he must reside some where close by and knows the road like the back of his hand). But one thing got me was that this guy is a fast rider and not racing per-se. I just paced behind him and let him be. These type don't race but they are naturally fast.
Perfectly put. Every rider has an inherent natural speed. Making him ride slower only ensures he makes a lot more judgment mistakes.

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Fourth are racers. They want to race. period. These guys race with anything they ride on even Activa or a Splendor or modded 100 cc bikes. Many of the guys owning bikes such as D200 or P220 are of this category. I know a couple of guys here who just race. Can't help it. they are young and that's how they are. They love speed.
Again very true. The difference between the naturaly fast guys and the racers is how they react to you and what triggers them. A naturally fast guy will almost always be fast. The racer wil lose interest if you are either not fast or let him go. He will start scanning for the next race. And at every traffic light he will quickly check out every guy in the first and second row to determine who is going to blast off the light.

He lives traffic light to traffic light, and will often abandon his normal route and keep racing a willing fellow racer just so that the race does not end till a proper verdict is mutually decided in the unspoken way most racers have.

The ones who are not good, or the insecure/ego-driven kinds you mentioned earlier, will jump you by ambush, just get ahead where it least matters and everyone is crawling anyways, and then very perceptibly ease off to make you believe he's done what he wanted to and is now letting you go. Not realising that most seasoned racers have already gauged them and their level of skll/speed/machine, and know that he cannot sustain that lead beyond the next 100 meters .....

Last edited by ebonho : 23rd December 2013 at 12:11.
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Old 23rd December 2013, 12:32   #1625
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
The ones who are not good, or the insecure/ego-driven kinds you mentioned earlier, will jump you by ambush, just get ahead where it least matters and everyone is crawling anyways, and then very perceptibly ease off to make you believe he's done what he wanted to and is now letting you go. Not realising that most seasoned racers have already gauged them and their level of skll/speed/machine, and know that he cannot sustain that lead beyond the next 100 meters .....
Well said Doc ! I have a pretty good share of such riders who will put everything at stake to over take (in doing so, I hear those engine straining to their brink and anymore the engine could just fall apart ) and then after a 100 mtrs let me pass.

But what troubles me is the amount of risk some riders take to overtake. Yesterday I was riding from Panjim to Vasco, the traffic was pretty heavy ( due to Christmas n NY) and in a clear stretch I was doing about 70-80 and overtook a MH registered P220 (not intentional but in course of ride). The guy was in a Bermuda / colorful T shirt and slippers ( apparently a tourist and presumably not much aware of the road conditions at Goa). And at a very heavy traffic point at the blind left curve with a downward gradient, he over took me and a couple of other cars in front and nearly rammed into a Omni coming from opposite and I could see from my position, he sliding past the narrow 2 feet gap between our lane vehicles and opposite vehicles. It was almost like his handle could touch other vehicles. What surprised me was that I know these roads like the back of my hand, I know where the danger lurks, where the unseen crossings are there and where bikes and pedestrians cross the road suddenly and unexpectedly, where there is a sudden hump or a blind curve or where the road becomes so narrow that even 2 heavy vehicles cannot pass easily and so I was naturally careful and very alert.

But a guy without any idea of the dangers lurking and riding recklessly was scary. My principle is if I am in an unknown territory, I would naturally be extremely careful and in an unknown heavy traffic road, I am better off riding defensively.
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Old 23rd December 2013, 13:09   #1626
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Guys I wanted to ask, what change has this bike bought in you as a person? and what is the single most factor in this bike that you would say liked / appreciated most?
The 390 have absolutely amazing acceleration. But the thing I just love the most about the bike is the Brake-Tyre combo. I simply have'nt experienced anything like that before. Although the brakes lacks the intial bite seriously, the feel after that is super progressive. You just have to get used to it, then it is so confidence inspiring.

If you see a gap in the traffic and think you have to be there, Lo! The engine ensures you are there already. And if you think that you have to brake suddenly, The brakes-Metz combo ensures that it will stop 'where you wish'. And I have gained a whole new level of confidence due to this.

And I have taken a personal vouch to reserve the red-lining for weekends. Although it is addictive, there is no need of that in the city and a bit dangerous too (It is not so on a 200!). In highways, I just love the look of the car drivers when they see such a small and 'wierd' looking bike out accelerates them, and the sound it makes while charging to the redline!

Completed a 800kms ride this weekend. I found the bike very comfortable except a mandatory butt-break after 200 kms(Used to be 300 kms on RE). But it is not a problem as you will definitely have to stop for fuel afer this. But all in all, I found I was less fatigued than my Royal Enfield after the ride.

The bottom line. I have accepted the shortcomings of the bike and has learned to with it. But the grin that the bike puts on my face is Priceless!
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Old 23rd December 2013, 13:17   #1627
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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I was a very sedate rider earlier ( as much sedate a Honda Activa would permit) , but now I have become an optimistic rider ( I dare not say aggressive rider). This bike could make a person aggressive/ confident/ disdainful to other riders / rash / arrogant / happy / contented / careless / and much more. As for me (I will be extremely honest with you guys) I have started a very faint hint of disdain with which I overtake other bikes / cars as if squatting a fly aside (with proper care and caution of course). I don't mean that I am a rash rider. that is why I chose the word optimistic rider. I feel the ride is becoming an expression of me and an extension of me that was deep hidden in the recess of my mind and heart and now I am exposing my true self.
I always aspired for fast bikes but could never afford them. we all have seen this breed of fast riders on any kind of bike, zipping across the traffic, popping wheelies, and riding to the point of recklessness, and potential threat to others. I do admit somewhere i have wanted a part of those riding skills. Not really to ride like there is no tomorrow, but to have those skills and use them at proper place. For eg, i want to drift, but i dont have the skills. i want to do wheelies, but i dont know how to execute it perfectly and in command.
Somewhere along the line, i managed to buy a 350 AVL machismo. toured extensively on that, but always found it lacking in terms of power. Jumped on to C5 when it was launched, again disappointed with power. Now this 390. coming back to your point, i have always wanted reserve power, not necessarily to display, but just to possess. i think i have been an opportunistic (defensive?) rider. I had a crash once on my 350, when i was riding to ooty from bangalore along with my wife, partially cos of not so strong brakes for the momentum the bike generates with all the weight. That incident is made me a cautious rider. After having a baby, i think i have become more defensive, and try and ride as safe as possible, avoiding sticky situations. After getting hold the 390, although i try and ride sedate, but at times, the bike pushed me to break my own mould, and jump out. I think the handling, brakes, tyres, support that well. What i mean to say is, on a similar given situation, on my C5, i will decide not to go ahead with a particular maneuver, while on the 390, i may go ahead. So yes, the bike is changed me as a rider, i am yet to decide whether that change is for good or otherwise. In the meanwhile, i have started wearing my padded riding jacket and golves in city as well, which i use to avoid on the bull.
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Old 23rd December 2013, 13:51   #1628
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

A couple of small issues popped up during this weekend ride. I was quite aggressive on the bike on the highways. And while stopping for a break I noticed 2 things

1. The coolant has spilled from the reservoir cap and has splashed onto the tank. Only by a small quantity. I cleaned the spilled coolant, tightened the cap and again upon reaching the destination, there was a bit more coolant spilled. I opened the cap, cleaned it and put it back again and didnt have any further spill on the return leg (Not completely sure as the bike is full of dirt now). The coolant level when the engine is hot was in the MAX mark. Can this be the reason for the spill?

2. This is a bit worrying. There are traces of oil from on the cylinder housing. The place of the oil stain/leak is just behind the region of the bend pipe where it is slightly dented for routing through the trellis. I noticed it after having a couple of hours of hard riding on the highway. Although oil is not dripping and level has not come down, it bothers me. In my opinion, no other bikes apart from REs are qualified to have these oil stain marks on their engines! I will try to take a pic and post it in the evening. And I can take the bike to SVC only next week as I will be out of town for the weekend.

Any body had experienced these niggles? Especially the second one?

Last edited by man_of_steel : 23rd December 2013 at 14:15.
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Old 23rd December 2013, 15:03   #1629
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by man_of_steel View Post
1. The coolant has spilled from the reservoir cap and has splashed onto the tank. Only by a small quantity. I cleaned the spilled coolant, tightened the cap and again upon reaching the destination, there was a bit more coolant spilled. I opened the cap, cleaned it and put it back again and didnt have any further spill on the return leg (Not completely sure as the bike is full of dirt now). The coolant level when the engine is hot was in the MAX mark. Can this be the reason for the spill?
Had this issue from the day I bought the bike. Over a period of 500 kms, the coolant went from being at the 'MAX' mark to the 'MIN' mark. The problem here is the shoddily finished coolant compensating tank opening. On my bike, the cap is round whereas the tank opening is oval. That is why the coolant used to seep through the cap and splatter on the fuel tank. Brought it to the attention of the service center during my first service but due to the holidays, postponed the issue. Applied a bit of Teflon tape in the cap and around the threads at the opening and tightened it. It has not leaked a bit since the past 1000 kms since the service.
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Old 23rd December 2013, 15:33   #1630
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by man_of_steel View Post
1. The coolant has spilled from the reservoir cap and has splashed onto the tank. Only by a small quantity. I cleaned the spilled coolant, tightened the cap and again upon reaching the destination, there was a bit more coolant spilled. I opened the cap, cleaned it and put it back again and didnt have any further spill on the return leg (Not completely sure as the bike is full of dirt now). The coolant level when the engine is hot was in the MAX mark. Can this be the reason for the spill?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freewheelin_KD View Post
Had this issue from the day I bought the bike. Over a period of 500 kms, the coolant went from being at the 'MAX' mark to the 'MIN' mark. The problem here is the shoddily finished coolant compensating tank opening. On my bike, the cap is round whereas the tank opening is oval. That is why the coolant used to seep through the cap and splatter on the fuel tank. Brought it to the attention of the service center during my first service but due to the holidays, postponed the issue. Applied a bit of Teflon tape in the cap and around the threads at the opening and tightened it. It has not leaked a bit since the past 1000 kms since the service.
Like all expected radiator systems, there is a coolant pressure release point. the coolant when cold should be mid way between Min and Max because it expands when the engine gets hot.

If you see coolant spilling onto the tank, then it can mean only 1 of two things:

1.> The coolant level is too much owing to it spilling out when it expands as the engine gets really hot. Make sure it's mid way between Min and Max.

2.> Your engine is overheating or you are riding it too hard and the coolant is expanding more than expected levels leading to the spill. If you are not being too hard, then engine is overheating. Get it checked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by man_of_steel View Post
2. This is a bit worrying. There are traces of oil from on the cylinder housing. The place of the oil stain/leak is just behind the region of the bend pipe where it is slightly dented for routing through the trellis. I noticed it after having a couple of hours of hard riding on the highway. Although oil is not dripping and level has not come down, it bothers me. In my opinion, no other bikes apart from REs are qualified to have these oil stain marks on their engines! I will try to take a pic and post it in the evening. And I can take the bike to SVC only next week as I will be out of town for the weekend.
This is not normal. I hope you were easy on the egine till 1K or that you didn't change engine oil after the first few hundred Ks?

Get it checked ASAP. A picture will help understand this better.

Last edited by Cyrus_the_virus : 23rd December 2013 at 15:35.
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Old 23rd December 2013, 15:45   #1631
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by Cyrus_the_virus View Post
1.> The coolant level is too much owing to it spilling out when it expands as the engine gets really hot. Make sure it's mid way between Min and Max.

2.> Your engine is overheating or you are riding it too hard and the coolant is expanding more than expected levels leading to the spill. If you are not being too hard, then engine is overheating. Get it checked.
The level when cold is above the midway point. Regarding the second point, I was doing short bursts of rapid accelerations (Nothing that the 390's engine coud'nt handle) And I redlined it only twice, else I was cruising at triple digits. And the temp bar was 3 bars below the max throughout. So i guess it cant be the second point.

Quote:
This is not normal. I hope you were easy on the egine till 1K or that you didn't change engine oil after the first few hundred Ks?

Get it checked ASAP. A picture will help understand this better.
Will try to take the pic in the evening. Run in was fine. And I changed the oil only at 9xx kms.
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Old 23rd December 2013, 15:48   #1632
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Metzeler price for a set is 18K for India as per the guys at the service center.

Ouch!
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Old 23rd December 2013, 16:46   #1633
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Metzeler price for a set is 18K for India as per the guys at the service center.

Ouch!
Doc, I think that is par with the international price rather than a India price. Average cost of one Metzeler is around USD 125-150 in most of the markets. In the days of "globalisation" I don't think they would venture to mark the India prices much higher than the global prices.

These are my thoughts

Best Regards & Ride Safe

Ram
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Old 23rd December 2013, 16:57   #1634
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

@Doc

You also mentioned sometime back the MRF was not really a good alternative.

The METZ seems to handle the torque better than the MRF?

Except wet tracks the MRF should hold good if not better.
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Old 23rd December 2013, 17:25   #1635
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Doc, I think that is par with the international price rather than a India price. Average cost of one Metzeler is around USD 125-150 in most of the markets. In the days of "globalisation" I don't think they would venture to mark the India prices much higher than the global prices.

These are my thoughts

Best Regards & Ride Safe

Ram
Yup agree Ram. Just a culture shock for me bro. The same tyres from the open market cost around 22-23 K, so at least Bajaj has manage a 5K reduction for its customers.

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@Doc

You also mentioned sometime back the MRF was not really a good alternative.

The METZ seems to handle the torque better than the MRF?

Except wet tracks the MRF should hold good if not better.
Thats not what I've heard from one of the testers who is also pretty aggressive on the throttle and tried the MRF Revz on his test bike once the Metzelers wore out (at around 10,000 kms).

The 390 ate up the MRF within a little over just 3-4000 kms. And even during such time, never gave anywhere close to the degree of grip and confidence of the Metzelers.
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