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Old 28th October 2014, 11:59   #3076
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Bro, what are you saying?

390s are riding the length and breadth of the country on regular highway pump fuel.

390s are riding to Ladakh, often using the fuel by the wayside sold in bottles and from drums and jerry cans.

And the 390 is not built for touring? Why?

Its got an engine, its got two wheels, it can tour. How far depends on the rider. How fast depends on the machine.

Sorry for sounding too dismissive. What I was trying to say was, when compared to regular tourers and cruisers, 390 in it's stock condition is not the first choice for touring.

Of course you can go for touring in a 390, especially with its taller sixth gear. But then don't you think that there are limitations also?. What with the, hard suspension, hard seats, low tank capacity, low bottom torque short stroke engine, soft compound costly tyres which can be easily worn out while off roading etc etc. And those who are in a habit of going for long tours ( more than 500kms) which will include slight off roading also, do modify their bikes for all these limitations.

I also mentioned in my earlier posts about carrying fuel in a bottle. But isn't it an additional chore, when compared to a guy who has a tourer/ cruiser? And most of the cruisers are tuned for low power/high torque in a larger capacity engine.

I think duke 390 is a best compromise bike for between a sports/track bike and a tourer. But people who buy 390 for touring purpose only will find the bike a little short of their expectations.
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Old 28th October 2014, 12:16   #3077
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by mithunvvijayan View Post
Sorry for sounding too dismissive. What I was trying to say was, when compared to regular tourers and cruisers, 390 in it's stock condition is not the first choice for touring.

Of course you can go for touring in a 390, especially with its taller sixth gear. But then don't you think that there are limitations also?. What with the, hard suspension, hard seats, low tank capacity, low bottom torque short stroke engine, soft compound costly tyres which can be easily worn out while off roading etc etc. And those who are in a habit of going for long tours ( more than 500kms) which will include slight off roading also, do modify their bikes for all these limitations.

I also mentioned in my earlier posts about carrying fuel in a bottle. But isn't it an additional chore, when compared to a guy who has a tourer/ cruiser? And most of the cruisers are tuned for low power/high torque in a larger capacity engine.

I think duke 390 is a best compromise bike for between a sports/track bike and a tourer. But people who buy 390 for touring purpose only will find the bike a little short of their expectations.
As you said, guys who want to use only for touring purpose will find a little short of their expectations. Please count me in that small minority group who wish to use D390 only for touring. Though I am aware of the short comings is using D390 for touring, I am still okay to stick with it for other reasons.

So that is why I am querying on how others manage to use D390 for touring (especially on the fuelpart). Thanks to ashkamath for sharing his thoughts on that and I hope other guys too will share their thoughts as well.
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Old 28th October 2014, 12:23   #3078
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

I still do not get what you are saying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mithunvvijayan View Post
Sorry for sounding too dismissive. What I was trying to say was, when compared to regular tourers and cruisers, 390 in it's stock condition is not the first choice for touring.
What pray is a regular tourer and/or cruiser? Let's speak India here please, and not global theory.

Quote:
Of course you can go for touring in a 390, especially with its taller sixth gear. But then don't you think that there are limitations also.
No I do not actually. In around the 2 lac mark, I do not see a better Indian bike for touring. Do you?

Quote:
hard suspension
The suspension is spot on. Better than the 200's was. And that in itself was brilliant and the best I had ridden on.

Quote:
hard seats
The rider seat is better for long distance riding in terms of feel and grip and bum comfort compared to those on any of my 3 Bullets. I have written in detail about it in the past. Either on my baby duke thread or here. Can't recall now.

Quote:
low tank capacity
A legitimate gripe. Possibly the only real one this bike could improve on.

Quote:
low bottom torque short stroke engine
Again, I just do not get what you are saying with all these technical words. I can only tell you what happens on the road.

The 390 outpulls any other bike remotely close in class to it in terms of either engine specs or price bands here in India. Fact.

And so does the 200, lower down the speed band.

I've ridden both, the 390 is a no brainer, but I will tell you that the 200 outclimbs extensively modded (pipes, filters, carbs, cams, the works) 500 cc Bullets, which in STOCK form, ON PAPER, have oodles more TORQUE. Check the specs.

And it outclimbs these modded Bullets pretty easily.

Which is why lets leave the theory and the like for the books (and the forums). Lets talk what happens on the road.

Quote:
soft compound costly tyres which can be easily worn out while off roading etc etc.
Buy cheaper off road tyres and keep switching. Don't blame the company for giving you a bike like the 390in two lac rupees - and that too shod with tyres that cost a tenth of that price.

Its not a limitation. Its something you need to say a THANK YOU for.

Quote:
And those who are in a habit of going for long tours ( more than 500kms) which will include slight off roading also, do modify their bikes for all these limitations.
What I said above.

Quote:
I also mentioned in my earlier posts about carrying fuel in a bottle.
Which is different from carrying fuel because you are not sure about the quality of the fuel you will get on the road. One is carrying some extra to tide over distances (if needed) to the next pump. The other is as an alternative to what is available at the next pump. There is a difference in what you said.

Quote:
But isn't it an additional chore, when compared to a guy who has a tourer/ cruiser? And most of the cruisers are tuned for low power/high torque in a larger capacity engine.
Again, what is this tourer/cruiser you keep talking about? Which bike are you referring to? Please calrify.

Quote:
I think duke 390 is a best compromise bike for between a sports/track bike and a tourer. But people who buy 390 for touring purpose only will find the bike a little short of their expectations.
Not at all. I don't think there is a more bang for buck bike in this price to ride around the country on. Fast. Reliably. Cheaply. Safely (except for the rim issue). And having FUN.

There are other bikes. But none can do most of what the 390 does, near as well as it does it.

I look at bikes as bikes. Just bikes. A 2 wheeled motorized form of locomotion. And see what one can do for me versus the other. The terminology, category, class, etc. pigeon holing I really have no time for, nor does it mean anything to me. Because a bike will do what you can make it do, within the envelope of what it can or cannot do.

In my mind, in no particular order, these are the only things the 390 does not do well, in terms of being a machine you ride out of your city for long to very long distances on:

1) It is not a bike you can ride two up on in any degree of human comfort

2) It does not have a very good light - for the kind of speeds it can do

3) It has a very limited tank range

4) There is always the rim issue at the back of your mind which keeps you from REALLY (!) enjoying your ride

Incidentaly, the Bullet does ALL of the above 4 much better than the 390.

Last edited by ebonho : 28th October 2014 at 12:41.
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Old 28th October 2014, 12:49   #3079
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by mithunvvijayan View Post
....What I was trying to say was, when compared to regular tourers and cruisers, 390 in it's stock condition is not the first choice for touring.

Of course you can go for touring in a 390, especially with its taller sixth gear. But then don't you think that there are limitations also?. What with the, hard suspension, hard seats, low tank capacity, low bottom torque short stroke engine, soft compound costly tyres which can be easily worn out while off roading etc etc. And those who are in a habit of going for long tours ( more than 500kms) which will include slight off roading also, do modify their bikes for all these limitations.
We are spoilt by the choices pre-conceptions or prejudiced classifications. What you have mentioned before is exactly why so many categories of motorcycles exists in the first place! If it is comfort and tank range you were looking for, you should have settled in for a CBR250 or a Thunderbird! But the rest in the lot who love the 390(or any other bike for that matter) for its character will never feel these limitations as limitations at all! Contrary to the popular belief, you can tour on ANY bike. It all depends on your perspective.

Read about Dennis Matson(AntiHero) who rode a 1199 Panigale S from one coast of US of A to another. Its an inspiring read. And he is currently doing a Round the World trip on the Panigale!

He has given the answer for the question (of why the Panigale instead of an adventure bike) from bottom of his heart in one of his posts.

Quote:
I did 1,036 miles in one day on the Panigale, so it can’t be that bad of a touring bike now, can it? That sentiment of ‘why that bike?’ was expressed quite a bit during my trip, though, and a lot of people I met in gas stations or on the side of the road didn’t believe how far I’d come on it until they saw my license plate. I think the issue wasn’t with my choice to ride the bike I love — it’s that our lives have become so comfortable and cozy that what we consider challenges today probably wouldn’t even classify as inconveniences a generation or two ago. Show up for a ride with Steve McQueen in 1972 complaining about the switch for your heated grips only having three settings and you’re going to catch a boot to the hairy gumballs. Our ability to adapt is greatly underestimated, which is why I think so many people end up choosing what seems to make sense instead of the going with bike they lust after. I knew the Panigale would test me, but that was part of the allure. Coping with demanding situations and overcoming adversity produces a tremendous feeling of private, personal power that luxury and security can never provide—isn’t this, the internal satisfaction that comes from doing things our own way (despite the added difficulty), one of the reasons why we ride motorcycles?
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=808437

Sorry for the OT.
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Old 28th October 2014, 12:59   #3080
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
I still do not get what you are saying.
What pray is a regular tourer and/or cruiser? Let's speak India here please, and not global theory.

No I do not actually. In around the 2 lac mark, I do not see a better Indian bike for touring. Do you?
I agree with you there isn't any regular tourer in this price bracket. But I think that includes 390 also.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
The suspension is spot on. Better than the 200's was. And that in itself was brilliant and the best I had ridden on.

The rider seat is better for long distance riding in terms of feel and grip and bum comfort compared to those on any of my 3 Bullets. I have written in detail about it in the past. Either on my baby duke thread or here. Can't recall now.
I beg to disagree. There are much better seats available in bikes such as classic 500 ( I have ridden about 5000 kms on it, before I sold it off), Avenger ( my cousin's bike etc. Even my activa has better seats. Duke's seats are purpose built for fast riding, and not for touring. There are people in this forum who have put additional paddings to get some extra comfort.

And You should remember that I also have a 390. My butt starts to complain after a ride of 100kms. And I have seen many in this forum mention about butt pain during long rides.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Again, I just do not get what you are saying with all these technical words. I can only tell you what happens on the road.
As I have gone through many of your posts, I understand that you have much experience in bike riding than may of us. And I had wished that some of my requests and doubts had been answered by you or other seniors.
I agree that I have been using a lot of technical terms and arguments in the previous posts. But have strained to reduce it over the time. And I am not surprised that it is an irritant But I hope atleast a few among us should discuss the technical aspects also. Not that I am the best qualified among us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
The 390 outpulls any other bike remotely close in class to it in terms of either engine specs or price bands here in India. Fact.

And so does the 200, lower down the speed band.

I've ridden both, the 390 is a no brainer, but I will tell you that the 200 outclimbs extensively modded (pipes, filters, carbs, cams, the works) 500 cc Bullets, which in STOCK form, ON PAPER, have oodles more TORQUE. Check the specs.

And it outclimbs these modded Bullets pretty easily.

Which is why lets leave the theory and the like for the books (and the forums). Lets talk what happens on the road.
Again if we keep theory to books only, then I think there wouldn't be any variety. And for sheer practical experience, you guys are more than enough to guide us newbies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Buy cheaper off road tyres and keep switching. Don't blame the company for giving you a bike like the 390in two lac rupees - and that too shod with tyres that cost a tenth of that price.

Its not a limitation. Its something you need to say a THANK YOU for.
Oh I have been quite thankful. Thats why I have bought one. But the question is if the 390 is built for cruiser purposes. I think it is not. But you can modify it to any extent. That's my opinion.
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Old 28th October 2014, 13:00   #3081
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by pisthpeeps View Post
Would you guys recommend duke 390 if its just for daily commute inside city (Chennai) ? The daily commute is during non peak hours. I have two route options 1. Can be through city roads for 19 kms one way.
2. Can take a mix of city(8 kms) and 6 lane tolled highway(20kms) for 28 kms one way.

I don't see me doing long weekend trips on 390. For my above needs would you recommend 390? Or 200 will suffice? 390 tempts me for its abs, tyres and slightly lower seat height when compared to 200.
I would suggest the Duke 200. The 390 is a great bike but if it is just daily in city commuting in Madras, the D200 should give you more than enough thrills and keep you very happy. There have been several interesting discussion on the forum on the D200 vs D390 from owners which should help you decide.
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Old 28th October 2014, 13:10   #3082
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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
We are spoilt by the choices pre-conceptions or prejudiced classifications. What you have mentioned before is exactly why so many categories of motorcycles exists in the first place! If it is comfort and tank range you were looking for, you should have settled in for a CBR250 or a Thunderbird! But the rest in the lot who love the 390(or any other bike for that matter) for its character will never feel these limitations as limitations at all! Contrary to the popular belief, you can tour on ANY bike. It all depends on your perspective.

Read about Dennis Matson(AntiHero) who rode a 1199 Panigale S from one coast of US of A to another. Its an inspiring read. And he is currently doing a Round the World trip on the Panigale!

He has given the answer for the question (of why the Panigale instead of an adventure bike) from bottom of his heart in one of his posts.



http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=808437

Sorry for the OT.
MODS sorry for posting continuously. I saw the post by manofsteel only after my earlier post was submitted. I don't know how to combine my earlier post with the new one.

As you can see in my earlier post I was just trying to say that 390 is not built for extensive touring. But I didn't say that you cant go anywhere in any vehicle if your heart is set for it. And why should I have bought a CBR 250???

I had owned Mahindra Major 4x4. I had traveled in it to many places along with my family (16000 kms to be precise). Even with its leaf spring suspension, and many other shortfalls. If I was a guy who was particular about comfort then I wouldn't have done it.
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Old 28th October 2014, 13:14   #3083
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by mithunvvijayan View Post
..And why should I have bought a CBR 250???
Because, going by your earlier posts, it seemed that you wanted the 390 to be more comfortable! Sorry if I misunderstood or missed out anything!

Last edited by man_of_steel : 28th October 2014 at 13:17.
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Old 28th October 2014, 13:18   #3084
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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
Because, going by your earlier posts, it seemed that you wanted the 390 to be more comfortable! Sorry if I misunderstood!
I wished that my stalling problem was sorted out. And definitely would like to have more comfortable seats. But I don't want to change the character of riding, so I have't modified it.

Any ways my first service is due next week. Hope that the stalling issue will be sorted out.
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Old 28th October 2014, 13:21   #3085
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

On the topic of touring , I personally find the thunderbird in this budget most adequate for the job given one is purchasing a bike mainly for weekend trips . Of course any bike can be used for touring , even a unicorn is a nice calm bike to ride within 1L . There are limitations and advantages to every bike , I purchased the duke because I rarely ride for more than 100km , mostly within city or small joy rides . Even then I find the tank to be a limitation but that is something I was aware of and accept , the tires which are very good are another because as nice as they are , UP road dictates one be cautious because nothing ruins a ride like a puncture . Pillion comfort is another factor , touring for me will be with a single partner and I doubt any girl will be willing to endure the torture for more than 30mins , the intimate 2 up ergonomics is anyways better enjoyed with constant speed modulation as is the case in cities or hills . I do plan to take my bike to nainital when weather permits , about 150km from here and I have a feeling this bike will be massive fun on the curves .

And while it is true that people have toured on this bike and in the process filled up from potentially bad petrol pumps in the habit of adulteration , I myself take fuel quality very seriously . It may not have any immediate implication but given the number of 390's which after dredging through 400+ xbhp and t-bhp pages I have seen facing issues , I would prefer to take every possible precaution on my part and no.1 is not filling up the bike with adulterated petrol . Again a relatively simple and low compression engine like the thunderbird should be more tolerant to this .
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Old 28th October 2014, 13:35   #3086
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by mithunvvijayan View Post
I agree with you there isn't any regular tourer in this price bracket.
That's not what I said, nor what I asked.

I asked you "what is a tourer?" Can you answer that for me?

Quote:
I beg to disagree. There are much better seats available in bikes such as classic 500 ( I have ridden about 5000 kms on it, before I sold it off),
Wow! You've picked possibly the worst seat in the RE stable as an example of a comfortable seat. Yes, I owned a C5 too, rode it for 3000 uninspiring kms before jumping at the first good offer that came my way, and me and my biker buddy from Australia (also a veteran biker, who owns a number of big superbikes back home in Melbourne) were unanimous that this was a horrendous seat, which was neither comfortable nore gave you any feel or control for hard riding.

When I was comparing the 390's seat to that of Bullets, I was speaking about the proper stepped saddles that have been duty on Bullets for decades now, and which have always been considered to be the most Indian bum-friendly saddles traditionally.

The seat of the Dukes is better. I have no doubt about it.

Quote:
Avenger ( my cousin's bike etc. Even my activa has better seats.
Seriously?

Quote:
Duke's seats are purpose built for fast riding, and not for touring. There are people in this forum who have put additional paddings to get some extra comfort.
Quote:
And You should remember that I also have a 390. My butt starts to complain after a ride of 100kms. And I have seen many in this forum mention about butt pain during long rides.
Bums are individual and unique and no two bums are alike, but for every 390 rider that has found it necessary to pad his stock seat, I will show you 100 if not a thousand who have not. Simply go to any KTM service center and see how many Dukes come in with padded seats. Don't take my word for it.

Quote:
I agree that I have been using a lot of technical terms and arguments in the previous posts. But have strained to reduce it over the time. And I am not surprised that it is an irritant But I hope atleast a few among us should discuss the technical aspects also. Not that I am the best qualified among us.
Quote:
Again if we keep theory to books only, then I think there wouldn't be any variety. And for sheer practical experience, you guys are more than enough to guide us newbies.
It is neither an irritant nor is anyone asking you not to get technical. Only pointing out that theory and practice / reality need not always agree.

Case in point being the torque discussion. The holy grail of Harley and Bullet boys. Till they get outpulled and outclimbed that is ......

Quote:
Oh I have been quite thankful.
Not when you list the Metzeler provided OE as a drawback.

Quote:
But the question is if the 390 is built for cruiser purposes.
Quote:
I think it is not.
What is a cruiser? You need to first help me with that.

By definition to "cruise" is to "travel smoothly at a moderate or economical speed."

That's around 130 or thereabouts for a 390. You can do that all day.
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Old 28th October 2014, 14:11   #3087
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Hi Doc,

I like to get few questions answered by you. Others also can send their answers.

- For me, the only limitation with D390 for touring is the tank capacity. I would be very much concerned for touring especially in routes which have either fewer petrol pumps or pumps with unknown fuel quality. I think few owners have enough confidence in the way D390 handles fuel of different quality. At the same time, the rest are concerned about long term impact. You being an experienced rider on the Dukes, what is your say about the concern people have ? Any good practice followed to overcome this limitation ? My heart says to go with D390 even though it has the fuel tank capacity limitation, but I am ready to live with it and see if something can be done to minimize the impact.
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Old 28th October 2014, 14:19   #3088
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by pisthpeeps View Post
Would you guys recommend duke 390 if its just for daily commute inside city (Chennai) ? The daily commute is during non peak hours. I have two route options......390 tempts me for its abs, tyres and slightly lower seat height when compared to 200.
I have used my 390 for a 30km round trip everyday for 3 months, while I was interning and my office used to be around the central part of Bangalore. I never experienced any issue with it for daily commuting, except that the engine heat did get to my nerves at times, and not forget the stares it attracted. However, if you're mileage conscious, then it's safer to put your money on the 200.
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Old 28th October 2014, 14:39   #3089
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Quote:
Incidentaly, the Bullet does ALL of the above 4 much better than the 390.


I guess it all depends on personal preference which varies greatly with each individual depending on his expectation from the motorcycle, age, riding style, immediate geography, fitness, endurance, stamina, etc etc.

Take my example:
I have done a few single day's ride (morning to evening, approx 400-600 kms) around Bangalore on my 390.
Now a days, i prefer to do these kind of rides on my C5 over the 390.

and Issues like low tank capacity, cracking rims, etc are not even there in my thoughts.

Most of these rides are around Bangalore, and 75% of the roads are typical country roads with broken patches, pot holes, mud roads, no roads etc. So the speeds are usually between 20-60 kmph. 390 is edgy and jerky at lower speeds, and those massive engine breaking adds to the fatigue. By the end of the day, i am tired of shifting gears, tired of the cramps resulting from the foot rest position, tired of feeling every undulation on the road on to my body through those shocks. 390 does not give me enough scope to move around the seat, and even i find the seat lacking on cushioning. ALso, the high frequency vibrations resulting from various parts + some more sounds like chain-slap etc, keeps buggin me. i am not at ease.

The C5 in these situations fairs much much better. slot it in 3rd, and it glides over patchy roads. comfortable posture, no irritating sounds/ vibes (@ speeds less than 90kmph), and in spite the extra weight, i feel less fatigue by the end of the day.

Now, if i was to ride from Bangalore to chitradurg, which is about 200 kms one way, and comprises of super excellent 3X3 lane highway, i would enjoy the 390 much more over C5.
same holds true for ghats, depending on the terrain. I would love the 390 riding from bandipur to wayanad (good ghat roads) , but would dread doing chickamangalur to bababudangiri (non existant ghat roads). Would prefer the C5 on these roads.

If i was asked to choose one bike for TOURING between these two within India, i would go with the C5.

Disclaimer: the above are purely my thoughts, and i also think i am getting old

Last edited by nasirkaka : 28th October 2014 at 14:50.
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Old 28th October 2014, 14:44   #3090
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by shan_ned View Post
Hi Doc,

I like to get few questions answered by you. Others also can send their answers.

- For me, the only limitation with D390 for touring is the tank capacity. I would be very much concerned for touring especially in routes which have either fewer petrol pumps or pumps with unknown fuel quality. I think few owners have enough confidence in the way D390 handles fuel of different quality. At the same time, the rest are concerned about long term impact. You being an experienced rider on the Dukes, what is your say about the concern people have ? Any good practice followed to overcome this limitation ? My heart says to go with D390 even though it has the fuel tank capacity limitation, but I am ready to live with it and see if something can be done to minimize the impact.
The easiest thing to do for Ladakh is fashion carriers that can carry 5 liter jerry cans on each side. Shell outlets sell doodhwalla looking ones in metal. Their earlier rectangular design ones were much better. At least you did not look like a fancy doodhwalla doing the milk rounds with those ....

Alternatively, you can get custom made fuel cells (metal) that you can carry on your pillion seat if you are not touring 2 up. Would keep the weight more centralized and not too high up either.

Here are two 10 liter ones a dear friend sent me from Dubai. (waiting for dear friend to call me ..... )

The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread-img20140926wa0001.jpg
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KTM Duke 390 - 375cc, 45 PS, 150 kg djay99 Motorbikes 620 25th June 2013 12:45


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