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Old 18th March 2014, 14:22   #2176
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

I got my 390 this December.And I am loving every minute of the ride, however the Duke is my first bike and I am literally learning to ride on it. She is used only on weekends or short rides to the market. This has resulted in me covering only ~900 kms till date. I am aware that its got a first service schedule of 1 month/1000 kms and I opted to get it serviced once I complete 1000kms, so that I can identify all the niggles. But now I am worried if this decision is wrong. Will not getting the bike serviced in 30 days affect her in anyway?

Also, since I drive cars extensively, I use a lot of engine braking on my driving. I downshift before corners and try to complete the turn in a low gear and high RPM, this gives me better control and I dont have to use the brake in order to slow down which in turn improves efficiency. In my Polo, the puny engine doesnt resist this technique a bit and I can downshift without blipping the throttle with just some clutch play. However, doing the same thing in the duke makes the tail loose traction a lot! Being a new rider this scares me too much and I dont think this is normal. I've been reduced to cornering either too slow or at very low rpms.

I may be fundamentally wrong about this technique coz I am yet to read it used anywhere, and I made it solely based on my own thoughts.

So, how do you corner properly on a bike?? I am not referring to knee drags or super lean angles, just normal street turns.
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Old 18th March 2014, 16:31   #2177
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by ashwin1224 View Post
Will not getting the bike serviced in 30 days affect her in anyway?
First of all congrats on the 390 ashwin1224!

No, it wont do any harm if you delay it by some days. But, does'nt the manual say 1000kms or 30 days which ever occurs first? The SVC can decline your free service by saying you have crossed 30 days time frame. So just get it confirmed with the SVC. If they are okay with it, no worries.

Quote:
However, doing the same thing in the duke makes the tail loose traction a lot! Being a new rider this scares me too much and I dont think this is normal. I've been reduced to cornering either too slow or at very low rpms.

I may be fundamentally wrong about this technique coz I am yet to read it used anywhere, and I made it solely based on my own thoughts.

So, how do you corner properly on a bike?? I am not referring to knee drags or super lean angles, just normal street turns.
You are absolutely right about the engine braking. 390 has a very punchy engine braking(EB)! Just a quick EB of the 390 from say, a 7k rpm range can unsettle you off the seat or make the rear lose traction. It still scares me some times! Your theory is correct, taking the turn at a higher RPM with enough power reserve is always better. But it might be scary on the 390 till you get the hang of the EB! So, I would suggest you keep doing what you do now. Low RPM and higher gear until you get a hang of it. Once you get it, increase the RPMs with a lower gear. Also, downshifting along with braking will help to keep nasty surprises from EB away.

Also, keep constant throttle even in city turns so that EB wont unsettle you and the bike. I use constant throttle along with trailing the rear brake to make tight turns in city and parking lots.

Happy riding.
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Old 18th March 2014, 17:40   #2178
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Guys any photos of the 390 track day at BIC? Heard there were 390s with F1 grade transponders being timed at 179-181 kmph - while showing around 173-175 on the digital display. Close friend of mine (also an ex-Bulleteer) had the second fastest timing. Interestingly, 4 ex-Bulleteer friends and one time club co-riders were in the top 7-10 in the lap timings. Bullet guys do seem to take to the Dukes like proverbial ducks to water.

And they finally have bikes that can really move, and bend, and brake.

Without blowing up.

Last edited by ebonho : 18th March 2014 at 17:43.
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Old 18th March 2014, 18:28   #2179
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Guys any photos of the 390 track day at BIC?
Doc, Here is the link to the fb page where the first pics have emerged from the trackday.
https://www.facebook.com/BuddhIntern...05486242860294
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Old 19th March 2014, 11:22   #2180
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

I got my 390 about two weeks ago and this is my first post about it. Some initial observations during the 1100kms I have clocked so far.

- Absolutely no problem with starting the bike when the engine is hot.I came across this problem only on the test ride bike. Have not experienced it yet on my bike and I happily switch the engine off at traffic signals, starts easily each time.

- Engine heat is however higher than any other bike that we in India are used to, I sweat even when riding this bike without a jacket in Bangalore. I reckon in other Indian cities with hotter climates, the usage of 390 will practically be restricted only to leisure rides. Ride it wearing shorts and tandoori legs are guaranteed.

- Regardless of weather, using this bike for your daily commute is not going to be fun unless it involves open stretches with little or no traffic. There are other bikes available which are more suitable for in-city riding. You have to be able to go over 5000rpm to enjoy this bike.


- I am 5'8" with average build, I feel a lot of pressure on the back of my shoulders when riding the 390. Leg position, back everything feels fine but I have not been able to work around to find a comfortable position for the shoulders. Perhaps it will take some time before I adjust to the bike.

- I have not seen paint chip but yes the quality is not great, I applied turtle wax on the orange rims and the cloth turned orange, I can post photos if anyone wants to see. Plastic quality is not great either, nagging vibrations and rattles are common from day one.


- I have been getting between 25-29km/l consistently during run-in. I hate the short range of the petrol tank and it is really bothersome having to refuel every 200kms. This is particularly annoying after getting used to fueling diesel cars after 6-700kms.

- Not all KTM workshops have skilled technicians who know even how to tighten the chain correctly,let alone doing any extensive repairs. You really need to get feedback on which workshops are better than others in your city. One of them made 22 turns on the chain adjustment screw on one side and only 8 on the other - totally misaligned the wheel. Then they managed to splash chain lube on my rear brakes and returned the bike with zero braking on the rear wheel - on complaining they took the brake pad - cleaned it with petrol and scrubbed it hard with metal emery paper to get rid of the lube. It took 50kms of riding before the brakes improved. Everyone in the workshop right from the technician to the manager wants to go for a nice long test ride. Another service center clocked 38kms as 'test rides' during first service.

- Not impressed with the ABS feedback on the rear brake pedal. This is the first time I am using ABS on a two wheeler but I have been using ABS in cars for about a decade but the service staff tries to tell me that it is absolutely normal to get pushback and ticking from the brake lever as soon as it is pressed. I do not think the rear brake alone can stop my bike before 100meters even at 60kmph.


- My bike came with a wobbly rear wheel which was fixed withe a lot of trial and error after a few days of riding.


- Yes the acceleration is great which is what overwhelmed me during the test rides but along with it you buy the ever present vibrations - they become more apparent once you are not overwhelmed by the acceleration (2 short rides). At 80km/h in 6th gear if you accelerate the bike shudders and produces heavy vibrations in the footpegs. Again - service staff says it is normal and if you want to accelerate stay in 5th. The big difference is that a smooth engine doesn't tire the ridereven after 100s of kms but vibrations take their toll. It reaches 100km/h easily but anything over 110 or 120 at most feels like putting too much pressure on the engine. The power and acceleration did feel great at first but the vibrations are a real bummer.
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Old 19th March 2014, 14:06   #2181
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by ff1609 View Post
I got my 390 about two weeks ago and this is my first post about it. Some initial observations during the 1100kms I have clocked so far.

- I sweat even when riding this bike without a jacket in Bangalore. I reckon in other Indian cities with hotter climates, the usage of 390 will practically be restricted only to leisure rides. Ride it wearing shorts and tandoori legs are guaranteed.
Use Engine Ice coolant if the heats gets too much. However, heat should improve after a few 1000 kms; it did for me. Wearing shorts and riding a bike is never advisable anyway - so the heat should bother you only in B2B traffic at worst.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ff1609 View Post
- Regardless of weather, using this bike for your daily commute is not going to be fun unless it involves open stretches with little or no traffic. There are other bikes available which are more suitable for in-city riding. You have to be able to go over 5000rpm to enjoy this bike.
Well I use the bike as a daily commute in traffic, bad roads and everything else that bangalore roads are.
The key is to be in the right gear. For example, it's common for people to think 6th gear at 60kmph is right based on past bike experience but it's absolutely the wrong gear on the 390. If you see yourself regularly below 5000 rpm, try going one gear lower than your usual gear. There is no reason to use 6th in the city. Even 5th is rarely paid a visit to. Use the right gears - You'll notice a sea difference in your comfort level with the bike.

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Originally Posted by ff1609 View Post
- I feel a lot of pressure on the back of my shoulders when riding the 390.
Try holding the tank with your knees. Your shoulders pain cause you are balancing and turning the bike using your arms only.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ff1609 View Post
- Not all KTM workshops have skilled technicians who know even how to tighten the chain correctly,let alone doing any extensive repairs.
Agree completely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ff1609 View Post
the service staff tries to tell me that it is absolutely normal to get pushback and ticking from the brake lever as soon as it is pressed.
That is not normal - you should see a pushback only when ABS kicks in on some rare occasion. Please have your ABS module thoroughly checked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ff1609 View Post
At 80km/h in 6th gear if you accelerate the bike shudders and produces heavy vibrations in the footpegs. Again - service staff says it is normal and if you want to accelerate stay in 5th. It reaches 100km/h easily but anything over 110 or 120 at most feels like putting too much pressure on the engine. The power and acceleration did feel great at first but the vibrations are a real bummer.
Well the service staff are right in this case - why insist on a higher gear when there is a simple solution available?! Please stay on 5th at 80kmph. The 6th is only after you attain your cruising speed. Mine cruises well north of 110-120kmph with zero vibes. On your quoted example, your issue is upshifting too early. Any 390 will vibe out if you go on too high a gear and then go WOT.
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Old 19th March 2014, 18:21   #2182
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niranjanrvce View Post
Wearing shorts and riding a bike is never advisable anyway
Advisable or not is a different matter but most of us are not going to wear riding pants for in-city riding. Nevertheless the idea was to communicate that it does get really hot - something you as a 390 owner are obviously aware of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by niranjanrvce View Post
Well I use the bike as a daily commute in traffic, bad roads and everything else that bangalore roads are.
Yes a lot of people do use it for their daily commute just out of their sheer love of riding but you'd agree it isn't particularly fun sitting on an oven in city traffic. The bike is best enjoyed where you can actually go fast and not in typical city traffic - unless one enjoys racing with the smoking RX100s who really take it personally when another 2 wheeler overtakes them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by niranjanrvce View Post
The key is to be in the right gear. For example, it's common for people to think 6th gear at 60kmph is right based on past bike experience but it's absolutely the wrong gear on the 390. If you see yourself regularly below 5000 rpm, try going one gear lower than your usual gear. There is no reason to use 6th in the city. Even 5th is rarely paid a visit to. Use the right gears - You'll notice a sea difference in your comfort level with the bike.
I agree, SOME people might think that the best way to ride is to shift up ASAP, which would work if you want to ride an 80km/liter bike but certainly not with this one. At 60, you wouldn't find me anywhere over 4th gear. So far I was trying to stick to the whole run-in thing and was shifting gears too soon, no reason to do that any longer!

Quote:
Originally Posted by niranjanrvce View Post
Try holding the tank with your knees. Your shoulders pain cause you are balancing and turning the bike using your arms only.
I made a conscious effort to do it but you're right I didn't do it for long enough. Let me try and see if it helps. I have not used a two wheeler since early college times ( Suzuki Fiero year 2000 times) so I am assuming this is just a result of getting too used to cars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwin1224 View Post
I am aware that its got a first service schedule of 1 month/1000 kms and I opted to get it serviced once I complete 1000kms, so that I can identify all the niggles. But now I am worried if this decision is wrong. Will not getting the bike serviced in 30 days affect her in anyway?
Technically speaking there is nothing wrong with waiting for service until you cover 1000kms, but manufacturers usually insist on getting the vehicle serviced by the end of the stipulated time even if you have not driven enough. You would be lucky if they only cancel first service; I'm afraid manufacturers treat warranty as void if you do not follow their prescribed service schedule.

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Originally Posted by miles_hungry View Post
I have booked a black duke 390 last week and have been promised a delivery within 2 months. I wanted to know a few things before the bike arrives, duke 390 owners kindly enlighten me.
Just curious - what part of the country are you in? I bought mine in Bangalore earlier this month and dealers had stock waiting to be sold - no waiting!

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Originally Posted by miles_hungry View Post
1) I have read in many places that in the 2014 model duke 390s, some of the issues have been resolved, I wanted to know whether since mine will be the black one, does it mean that it will be obviously a 2014 model since it is recently launched or no I need to check the VIN no.
The only change that I know of, is that the cooling system has been modified slightly - this happened at the end of 2013. Black is 2014 but does not hurt to check anyway.

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Originally Posted by miles_hungry View Post
2) I also want to know whether the hand guards come as standard or do I need to purchase them separately? I am asking this as the demo bikes didn't have any. Also in many d390 pictures, some are having white hand guards in black duke 390, doesn't black d390 come with matching black hand guards?
On 390, white Bajaj knuckle guards come as standard regardless of your bike's colour. KTM sells its orange knuckle guards as 'powerparts' for around 7k a pair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by miles_hungry View Post
3) Lastly, the d390 had lots of vibrations as compared to the d200. The bike had just run 710 kms, will the vibrations recede after running in?
Test drive bikes may have more vibrations because they are not run in and most people ride them hard. Vibrations will dampen a little bit but they will not go away - they are characteristic of the bike. If you'd rather have a butter smooth engine - Ninja is definitely worth consideration!

Last edited by GTO : 20th March 2014 at 15:48. Reason: Please use the EDIT or MULTI-QUOTE functions, instead of typing one post right after another
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Old 19th March 2014, 18:58   #2183
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by ff1609 View Post
Just curious - what part of the country are you in? I bought mine in Bangalore earlier this month and dealers had stock waiting to be sold - no waiting!
Thanks for the reply, I am from guwahati. Here dukes have very less demand, even the duke 200 has waiting. Booking amount is 10k for d200 and 30k for d390
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Old 19th March 2014, 19:23   #2184
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by miles_hungry View Post
Thanks for the reply, I am from guwahati. Here dukes have very less demand, even the duke 200 has waiting. Booking amount is 10k for d200 and 30k for d390
Cool, hope you get your bike soon, enjoy!
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Old 19th March 2014, 21:18   #2185
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A friend had a fall on his D200 today. He was doing around 60kmph when he entered a bumpy bangalore underpass near vv puram. This unsettled the bike's front end and started wobbling and flung him off the bike. He is known for minor accidents among our group, so I am sure the duke could have been tamed with same rear braking, etc.

Now he wants to go in for D390 handlebar and knuckle guard on his D200. Is it advisable to do so ? Doesn't the longer handle bar cause more oscillation when it's unsettled ?( due to increased length from fixed point and increasing the coupling forces as we'll . I am not really that good in physics , so correct me if I am wrong :-P)
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Old 19th March 2014, 23:27   #2186
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by Akhilash95 View Post
A friend had a fall on his D200 today. He was doing around 60kmph when he entered a bumpy bangalore underpass near vv puram. This unsettled the bike's front end and started wobbling and flung him off the bike. He is known for minor accidents among our group, so I am sure the duke could have been tamed with same rear braking, etc.

Now he wants to go in for D390 handlebar and knuckle guard on his D200. Is it advisable to do so ? Doesn't the longer handle bar cause more oscillation when it's unsettled ?( due to increased length from fixed point and increasing the coupling forces as we'll . I am not really that good in physics , so correct me if I am wrong :-P)
Tank slapper is the word. Yes, he can go for the 390 handlebar and knuckle guard. And wider handlebar will not be a cause for a tank slapper and a shorter handlebar will not be a replacement for proper rider skills.
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Old 20th March 2014, 11:34   #2187
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Here is the link for the KTM 390 Tour https://www.dropbox.com/s/na97lbtpgw...ge%20tour.pptx
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Old 20th March 2014, 18:43   #2188
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

@ebonho: Here is one more set of the BIC orange track day pics for you
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=1&theater
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Old 21st March 2014, 17:25   #2189
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Cornering report card (cont.):

Besides cornering; I will also put down a few generic lines on "living with the 390" (having covered over 700 kms now).

In traffic - She does not like it; I do not like it ..... period! Dense traffic is not where she wants to be. Severe heat up is something I have not yet experienced but constant modulation of throttle (for me) is not great. The bike feels choppy and its probably because I am not very smooth with the throttle operation. Not squarely blaming the tools but the throttle seems to have quite a bit of play. Its an exercise to find the point where the power delivery begins after the play. Basically; I feel if I can get the play set right; I will be able to play much better than I am playing right now



With a pillion - Took the Mrs. for a spin (40 km roundtrip). After a while; she started complaining of back pain. Every time I braked; her weight came crashing down on me; and I would promptly transfer them onto the handlebars. She loved it every time I gunned it though and like a child would go "YAAAAYYYYYYYYY". By the end of the ride; she was smiling but was quick to mention - We'll take the bullet for a long distance ride; whenever we plan one.

Now she is not a big girl; vertically or horizontally. But with her at the back; I could not sit as far back as I wanted. She could not have gone any further back than where she was. This is not a bike for 2 up riding.

Comfort - A lot has been said about the 390's stiff ride and seating. I dont see it; sorry. The seat is sooooo comfy. I honestly feel more comfortable in the 390's saddle than the bullet. The rear suspension seems quite soft; the front is a bit hard though. In fact; with a pillion it almost feels like the bike is flexing backwards on hard acceleration.

Now the cornering report card:

I am not hanging off and stay put in the saddle. Have not scraped pegs yet but seem to be getting better at managing lean angles. I really need to practice throttle control though. Cracking open the throttle causes a bit of a jerk which trust me; takes a chunk of your attention away from the corner. Not good.

Even blipping is not perfect. Although better than from when I started; I often over or under-rev the bike. Coming down from 6th; all the way to 3rd is mostly fine (not 100% though). 3rd to 2nd is where I get it wrong most often.

I am getting a hang of where my "sweet spot" in the seat is as well. But the gear lever position I feel is not ideal. My foot often fouls with the lever as opposed to smoothly sliding under it. This causes me to move my entire left leg to get in position (as opposed to just slightly moving the lower leg to reach the lever) and I lose my grip on the tank. I need to then adjust my seating position (as I would have moved a bit) and grip the tank all over again. Imagine doing this every time you change gears. Very tiresome.

I think this (gear lever position) can be adjusted. Another task for the service folks to do.

I am hoping that these little tweaks (throttle play adjustment, suspension stiffening and gear lever adjustment) will go a long way in improving my stability & comfort level on the bike.

No post of mine on this thread is complete without a set of questions; so here goes:

- How do you hold the throttle? I am used to of riding with my index and middle fingers resting on the brake lever. However; a few rider forums (including some MSF guys) suggested holding the throttle with all 5 fingers; just as you would a tennis raquet. I tried this today and immediately felt a lot better about my throttle control. I am afraid though that in case of a panic braking situation I will chop the throttle and instinctively grab the brake. My cornering may not be all there but I can safely say that my braking is quite consistent. Comments?

- How do I see the level at which the suspension is set up? The manual speaks about how to soften / stiffen suspension but nothing on how to check the level its currently at. Also; I was thinking level "5" (in case its too soft) to be a good setting for riding solo. Suggestions?

- Using the rear brake to "guide" the bike into corners. In case someone can - as step by step how to would be awesome please (with beginer practice drills if any)

- I am still getting used to the tyres. Whilst leaning; there comes a "tipping point" when the bike leans further much quicker than one may have intended. Anyone face this? I am guessing this is owing to the rounded profile of the tyre; something I am not used to. Anyone else experienced this?

- I have done all my riding thus far in the city. Going fwd; most of my riding would continue to be in the city. About 90% of the time; I am going arrow straight. Whatever 10% corners remain; I cannot charge them all owing to road as well as traffic conditions. How are we "breaking in" the tyres; so that they do not form a "flat spot" in the center? FYI - A solo trip to the mountains is on the cards real soon (Delhi - Shimla only. Baby steps. Good highway; superb / wide mountain roads)

Look forward to hearing from you peeps. Ciao!

Quote:
Originally Posted by man_of_steel View Post
You should not be loose on the handle bar while braking in a straight line
I am a bit confused here. On braking the weight moves to the front tyre. Harder the braking; harder the load. But harder the braking; harder the tendancy for you to slide into the tank. To stop that; you exert force on handlebards that transmit the same down to the tyres. Would this not be the recipe for a grand wipeout?

Last edited by Urban_Nomad : 21st March 2014 at 17:37.
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Old 21st March 2014, 22:44   #2190
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban_Nomad View Post
Cornering report card (cont.):

- How do you hold the throttle? .................... quite consistent. Comments?


- Using the rear brake to "guide" the bike into corners. In case someone can - as step by step how to would be awesome please (with beginer practice drills if any)

- I am still getting used to the tyres. Whilst leaning; there comes a "tipping point" when the bike leans further much quicker than one may have intended. Anyone face this? I am guessing this is owing to the rounded profile of the tyre; something I am not used to. Anyone else experienced this?


I am a bit confused here. On braking the weight moves to the front tyre. Harder the braking; harder the load. But harder the braking; harder the tendancy for you to slide into the tank. To stop that; you exert force on handlebards that transmit the same down to the tyres. Would this not be the recipe for a grand wipeout?
Two fingers on the brake lever is always better

Get on the front brakes and curb off as much speed as possible while remaining perpendicular until you approach the corner and then start leaning the bike while easing off the front brakes. If you find yourself running wide then slowly press the rear brakes until the bike corrects the line. Its mostly done as a precautionary measure or in racing circumstances. I would'nt advise altering your riding style to ride this way...doesn't make you a better rider.

When you find the bike tippping fast try easing into the throttle mid -corner and she will exit the turn gracefully.

Oh and it is in fact better to stay loose on the bars and not put too much weight on the front. Stay central to the bike's mass and you can eliminate most of the instability.

Most sport oriented suspensions are set-up to work best when the throttle is open. I've noticed that getting on the throttle as early into the corner really stabilizes the bike and keeps it well mannered.

Cheers..
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