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Old 11th February 2014, 21:48   #1966
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by palitrana View Post
I have asked this question before to no avail, but I dont give up easily, especially when its my better half thats concerned.

The problem is that of the pillion seat. The seat in its stock form is hard and too small to be comfortable. Now the only option that i can think of is going to one of the numerous seat hacks across Mumbai and getting them to add some cushion. But that would only soften it up a bit.

My questions are -
1. Is there any other option than a seat hack to get a more comfortable and ergonomic pillion seat?
2. Is there a good seat maker (professional?) that anybody would recommend?
3. Any ideas on making the seat a little broader without eliminating the basic fibre structure of the seat?
I don't think there's much that has been done with respect to making the pillion seat wider on a Duke.

You could try by experimenting with your existing seats and buying two new seats if things don't work out (I'm thinking they won't be too expensive). Adding more foam and creating a concave and wider surface may help a little as far as comfort goes. I'd say nothing short of putting a backrest or raised grab rail will help creating a sense of security where pillions won't feel they're about to take off when generous amounts of throttle are used.

I've only been a pillion once on my 200 and I wasn't too happy with the experience, to put it mildly.
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Old 11th February 2014, 22:21   #1967
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by coolrain View Post

First & foremost, my Duke's firing has changed a lot. It is softer but a lot more bass. I have checked with at least 3 other bikes but still the sound was different. One bike had done about 1K kms & another was over 4K.

I could not feel any significant difference in the exhaust note, maybe 5-10% at the max. Mr. Sachin assured me that he would check for the issue in other bikes as well & update me once I am back for the next service. .
Isn't it normal for the exhaust note to change as it runs more and builds up carbon in the exhaust pipes.
On a big single, the note change will be more prominent. There is nothing wrong with the note changing .It should get better as it runs more.
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Old 11th February 2014, 22:58   #1968
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by tharian View Post
Isn't it normal for the exhaust note to change as it runs more and builds up carbon in the exhaust pipes.
On a big single, the note change will be more prominent. There is nothing wrong with the note changing .It should get better as it runs more.
Yes tharian, that's a normal phenomenon with any bike. Infact when I was in Pune, ebonho made exactly the same comment when he heard my exhaust. that is is softer / huskier with more bass and that is obviously because of carbon formation / deposits in the exhaust and my bike has done over 8000 Kms now, so obviously the exhaust note has changed.
@coolrain, riders love the more bassier exhaust note over the initial note. I have read that engine carbon deposits have a measurable effect on performance, emissions and fuel economy. Routine carbon cleaning has been shown to prevent these problems. But that is a long way off for any 390. your bike is less than 3000 Kms old, so just enjoy it.. there are some factors like excessive oil consumption in an engine compounds the carbon deposit and there are other factors too, but as I already mentioned your bike is brand new yet. If the exhaust note is extremely different from other 390s then get your engine checked. How's your bike performance otherwise? how is the mileage? do you see any white colored smoke in the exhaust? there could be so many reasons. Otherwise if it is just a slight change in exhaust note, just ignore it. all is well in dukedom
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Old 12th February 2014, 10:42   #1969
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Some start of the day humor here for @palitrana.

I Googled for "sofa on motorcycle" and this is what it gave me .....

The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread-_66368116_sofakenyareu10.jpg

P/S. @airfoil - the seats are very expensive. Each seat costs around 2K. That's pretty expensive for a single seat with a fiber base.
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Old 12th February 2014, 10:45   #1970
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Quote:
My questions are -
1. Is there any other option than a seat hack to get a more comfortable and ergonomic pillion seat?
2. Is there a good seat maker (professional?) that anybody would recommend?
3. Any ideas on making the seat a little broader without eliminating the basic fibre structure of the seat?
No two butts are alike! So there can not be a seat design to fit all. What they take in consideration while designing the seat is some percentile values and anthropometric data, combined with desired aesthetics, etc.

There are some company abroad, which do pressure mapping of the users rear, and custom make seats for a given purpose, but in india, haven't come across any such high tech setup. Its more of trial and error here. I have done many experiments on my classic 500 rider seat and pillion seat, and i can say with good confidence, the pillion seat on my C5 is one of the most comfortable around. Ofcourse its not the best looking.

I feel The duke's pillion seat can be made comfortable, and even wider, provided one is not bothered about looks. One of the approaches could be to custom made a metal plate to be fixed on the existing plastic base, and cushion it. This is just as assumption as i have not really intended to change, so have not really studied its feasibility. Gut feel is its possible.

If possible, there is a seat maker called IMRAN somewhere close to andheri flyover. You could get in touch with him, discuss your requirement, and explore the possibilities.
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Old 12th February 2014, 11:24   #1971
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Like @airfoil, and most riders for that matter who hate riding pillion behind anyone, the other day I had the opportunity of sitting pillion behind my friend on his new 390. Man that was not a nice experience. Landed up crushing him with my thighs in an effort to get some grip (am sure most guys would agree here - hugging another guy rider, no matter what mortal danger/risk you find yourself in, is just not done). The hands were holding the grabrails in a death grip. But even with that, one momentary lapse of concentration, a wring of the throttle, and I find myself thrown back with my feet near the rider ears. Not nice. I agree. More than the seat, if you plan to do a lot of riding with a pillion, you need to figure out a solution for a proper (sturdy) backrest first and foremost. Even if the pillion is a girl and had no problem in hugging you tightly (sometimes that can get tiring for both the rider as well as the pillion - who would like to simply sit upright comfortably and take in the sights).

Last edited by ebonho : 12th February 2014 at 11:34.
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Old 12th February 2014, 12:13   #1972
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Like @airfoil, and most riders for that matter who hate riding pillion behind anyone, the other day I had the opportunity of sitting pillion behind my friend on his new 390. Man that was not a nice experience. Landed up crushing him with my thighs in an effort to get some grip (am sure most guys would agree here - hugging another guy rider, no matter what mortal danger/risk you find yourself in, is just not done). The hands were holding the grabrails in a death grip. But even with that, one momentary lapse of concentration, a wring of the throttle, and I find myself thrown back with my feet near the rider ears. Not nice. I agree. More than the seat, if you plan to do a lot of riding with a pillion, you need to figure out a solution for a proper (sturdy) backrest first and foremost. Even if the pillion is a girl and had no problem in hugging you tightly (sometimes that can get tiring for both the rider as well as the pillion - who would like to simply sit upright comfortably and take in the sights).
Similar experience Doc. But I was the rider here and a friend of mine was the pillion. That bugger was not convinced when I said the duke is full of pure excitement and don't judge by the malnutritioned looks of it. So I gave him a taste of the 390's both acceleration and brakes. And he was hanging on to me through out the whole 200 kms covered over that weekend. Atlast he was left with a huge smile on his face and muscle pain on his back. I was left with a pain on my forearms and triceps due to the weight of him and his camera bag on me during acceleration and braking drill. Overall, apart from the exhilarating ride, it was not a pleasant experience for me or my friend. The best way, if you ask me, for making the pillion comfortable is to really go easy on the throttle. Also, the strong engine braking needs to be kept on check and the ride should be as smooth as possible. Thats what I do when a pillion who does'nt keep complaining about the Duke is with me . I have found this smooth ride theory of mine extremely effective.

And to add to it, the grab rails are not at all effective. It sits along the side of the pillion seat whereas ideal placement should be such that it extends bit more after the rear seat, like the RTR and CBR, such that the pillion's bottom, grabrail and head triangle will have a longer base. Even if you hold on the the grabrail of the Dukes you will tend to fall off during acceleration.

Last edited by man_of_steel : 12th February 2014 at 12:24.
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Old 12th February 2014, 12:30   #1973
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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
Similar experience Doc. But I was the rider here and a friend of mine was the pillion. That bugger was not convinced when I said the duke is full of pure excitement and don't judge by the malnutritioned looks of it. So I gave him a taste of the 390's both acceleration and brakes. And he was hanging on to me through out the whole 200 kms covered over that weekend. Atlast he was left with a huge smile on his face and muscle pain on his back. I was left with a pain on my forearms and triceps due to the weight of him and his camera bag on me during acceleration and braking drill. Overall, apart from the exhilarating ride, it was not a pleasant experience for me or my friend. The best way, if you ask me, for making the pillion comfortable is to really go easy on the throttle. Also, the strong engine braking needs to be kept on check and the ride should be as smooth as possible. Thats what I do when a pillion who does'nt keep complaining about the Duke is with me . I have found this smooth ride theory of mine extremely effective.

And to add to it, the grab rails are not at all effective. It sits along the side of the pillion seat whereas ideal placement should be such that it extends bit more after the rear seat, like the RTR and CBR, such that the pillion's bottom, grabrail and head triangle will have a longer base. Even if you hold on the the grabrail of the Dukes you will tend to fall off during acceleration.
Ouch is all I can say man, when I read of two guys hugging each other for 200 kms.

All you need is a good sturdy backrest bro. That will solve everything. It will also give some extra space at the back for the pillion's bums to slide (over the short overhang after the seat which houses the tail light).
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Old 12th February 2014, 12:46   #1974
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Some start of the day humor here for @palitrana.

I Googled for "sofa on motorcycle" and this is what it gave me .....

Attachment 1207278

P/S. @airfoil - the seats are very expensive. Each seat costs around 2K. That's pretty expensive for a single seat with a fiber base.
A rival for Honda Gold Wing from India. Not PS-ed is it?
regards adrian
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Old 12th February 2014, 12:49   #1975
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Ouch is all I can say man, when I read of two guys hugging each other for 200 kms.

All you need is a good sturdy backrest bro. That will solve everything. It will also give some extra space at the back for the pillion's bums to slide (over the short overhang after the seat which houses the tail light).
Believe me, it was much worse than the OUCH word!

Yes, back rest will work too. Infact IIRC I have seen some GIVI kind of tail boxes with a rubber pad which acted as a pillion backrest. That was a good touch as it was higher than conventional backrests.

But still, wont the pillion's back be banging against the backrest given the hyperactive nature of the bike? I was okay with even the new TB's tiny backrest while on move on smooth roads as it accelerated and braked slow. But on pothole ridden roads, that thing tends to dig into the lower back spine when we bang against it. Similar experience with the old TB's back rest too. But it was a bit more comfortable.

Last edited by man_of_steel : 12th February 2014 at 12:53.
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Old 12th February 2014, 12:52   #1976
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Thanks @tharian & @ashkamath. Now I can ride easy. BTW, the shifting of the Rev Limiter to 9K has worked wonders!

On my last ride to Lonavla this Sunday, I downshifted to the fifth gear just to build up some speed. Within seconds the bike just transformed into a Beast!! It was as if the bike woke up from sleep. The exhaust note began sounding more like a 'superbike'. Vehicles, people a few meters in front of me could hear it & started giving way. I actually prefer my bikes to have a loud exhaust note for safety purpose, not shrill or annoying but sweet. The speeds reached triple digits easily & kept climbing but I slowed down. I was enjoying the fun but was getting scared too. My average speeds during such rides are around 70-80 kms per hour.

It was a wonderful experience. Now I cant imagine what will happen once the Rev limits are completely removed!! Feels I have really made a very good choice by opting for the 390.
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Old 12th February 2014, 13:23   #1977
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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
But still, wont the pillion's back be banging against the backrest given the hyperactive nature of the bike? I was okay with even the new TB's tiny backrest while on move on smooth roads as it accelerated and braked slow. But on pothole ridden roads, that thing tends to dig into the lower back spine when we bang against it. Similar experience with the old TB's back rest too. But it was a bit more comfortable.
Good point. A poorly designed backrest can make the back of the pillion sore. The simple metal ones like the standard Bullets are the best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coolrain View Post
It was a wonderful experience. Now I cant imagine what will happen once the Rev limits are completely removed!! Feels I have really made a very good choice by opting for the 390.
@coolrain, there is no rev limit on you bike even now. Just the one in your head and from there your right hand.
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Old 12th February 2014, 13:30   #1978
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Guys, go for the pizza box solution!

After installing my Givi, my wife & kids are quite relaxed on the pillion as they are not hanging on for dear life. The box provides a nice backrest & backstop.

Much more pleasurable riding two-up all around!
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Old 13th February 2014, 10:51   #1979
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Windscreen support:

for a while, i have been wanting to make a windscreen support for the fazer screen, for added support and stability. Only could make it yesterday and installed it this morning.
Its a simple solution, 1.2mm MS sheet, bent at two places with holes for mounting, coated orange. the bracket connected the two OEM holes on the fazer windscreen, to the bolt which fastens the console and headlamp assembly. The clamp is attached to the windscreen with M4 black allen bolts (merges with the windscreen colour), with a spring washer in between, to minimize chances of loosening.

Verdict: tested it this morning. much much sturdier then before. No vibes/ shakes, feels solid. some pics from phone cam:
Attached Images
     

Last edited by nasirkaka : 13th February 2014 at 11:13.
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Old 13th February 2014, 11:26   #1980
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by nasirkaka View Post
Windscreen support:

for a while, i have been wanting to make a windscreen support for the fazer screen, for added support and stability. Only could make it yesterday and installed it this morning.
Its a simple solution, 1.2mm MS sheet, bent at two places with holes for mounting, coated orange. the bracket connected the two OEM holes on the fazer windscreen, to the bolt which fastens the console and headlamp assembly. The clamp is attached to the windscreen with M4 black allen bolts (merges with the windscreen colour), with a spring washer in between, to minimize chances of loosening.

Verdict: tested it this morning. much much sturdier then before. No vibes/ shakes, feels solid. some pics from phone cam:
AHA! Thats more like it! Looks good. The support is a must for the Fazer's screen. During my last ride, the force of the wind pushing against the screen at triple digit speed managed to strip off the entire 4 mounting threads. Currently back to stock screen after replacing the 4 threads.

Nasirkaka, a noobish question. How can we calculate the angles for bending the MS sheet?
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