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Old 29th October 2014, 22:39   #3136
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by mithunvvijayan View Post
In think you need to wait till the first service. Lot of things changed after that. I will put it in a list, which you can verify

You can expect

1. A noticeable improvement in engine response.

2. Engine feels as if it breaths better.

3. Noticeable reduction in the working of the radiator fan. Even after hard riding, it switches on for a few second and turns off, when the engine is in idle.

4. Same noises. I didn't find any reduction in noises from the engine side.

5. The engine response to the throttle can be varied to the minutest degree. Earlier the throttle and the engine were not in sync.

6. Lesser vibes in the lower rpms in higher gears.
point number 1 , 2 and 5 sound like my case as well , another 600km to go . As long as it road worthy during those kilometers , I don't wish to take it to SVC , rather let it go through it all and get it done in one go .

How bad is first gear for you , for me it is not even practical enough to simply roll the bike from standstill or slow crawling , the snatching is terrible and across the entire powerband (well after 6/7k the vibes are too much so ... ).

Quote:
Originally Posted by VW2010 View Post
Are you guys even throttling. I am worried if you are approaching this bike differently. Are you holding yourself up till the first service and changing your style of riding considering the run in scare these dealers pass on to customers?

Because this is exactly what they do in the first service. Water wash and change oil. Nothing else is even touched. Nothing else for sure. There is nothing drastically changing after the first service.

Now start enjoying the bike and as Dr said, let us know after few months how your experience changes.

By the way, i love the bike in the city more than the highway. This is a pocket rocket in the city and just makes things so easy in so many places
Yes throttling has been passable if not better from me so far , stalled it just twice initially , the snatching is definitely the bike . In my case this is the throttle response -
1. 1st gear is terrible , terrible . Snatching is excessive and doesn't goes away even after engine warm up by 8/9 bars , is present up to 6k rpm and past that vibes are too much . Poses issue during tight u turns , the bike suddenly jumping forward mid turn is not nice at all .
2. 2nd gear is snatchy(not as much as 1st) below 4k rpm , usable above 4k once engine has run a couple of kilometers . Above 6k no problem. For lack of better explanation , I feel a resistance while trying to maintain a constant speed in this gear .
3. 3rd is fine and as expected , at 4 or 5k rpm , the vibes are less and more importantly response is smoother than 2nd and on another planet compared to 1st . No perceptible resistance in maintaining cruising speed be that 40 or 60 or even 80 where asides from limiter jerks , everything seems fine .
4. 4th , 5th and 6th have not used enough , 4th and 4th seemed calm and smooth when slotted in , should be great on better roads which allow for those gears.

Today I took a 10km round trip involving moving but busy traffic(a first since day of delivery , so far it has been smooth riding on this bike inside open cantonment roads ) and hence 1st/2nd gear use only and the first 3/4 kilometer the bike had a mind of its own , my hand is steady but suddenly it is jumping forward and then slowing down rapidly . I don't slip clutch unless it is essential .

I don't recall my 2 test rides showing similar behavior in 1st gear at least nothing to this extent so my guess there is something wrong in my bike , I hope it is a case of mere adjustment be that with the chain or throttle cable .

Otherwise enjoying the bike a lot, one of the reason I have not visited the SVC so far is because as it stands I can endure these and normally find myself in 3rd gear and 5-7k rpm so no problem . Also let it run another 600km and get it all sorted in one go .I hope I am not running the risk of doing any harm to the bike in another 600km If I ride in a state where something is not adjusted properly ?

Last edited by basuroy : 29th October 2014 at 22:49.
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Old 29th October 2014, 23:14   #3137
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

@At urban Nomad

I think the adjustment i am talking about is the up and down movement.

Depending on how you ride and whats comfortable i prefer the lever slightly downwards where more effort is required to pull the gear up than pushing it down. Pushing it down i always wanted to be along with gravity to make fast shifts down. And it was far comfortable to bend my ankle from stretched to up position than otherwise.

This adjustment is critical if you are wearing boots as the space required is slightly higher with boots.



@Basu

The bike has so much torque you can actually ride it without acceleration in some scenarios. Not always like a diesel car but definitely some times. Having said that the 3-4K range and sudden surge is purely a throttle response as the throttle has a mild play. Can you adjust that play and keep it play free and this will definitely avoid the jerkiness.

I had a modified cam and ensure there was no throttle play while fixing the cables. Some prefer the play but i prefer immediate response. You can adjust this play at the service centre.

3-4k is fine as long as the throttle is holding its position. The response is so fast that compared to the regular 100cc bikes the jerkiness is far heavier. The overall rotation angle of the 390 is far shorter than many bikes which means it has to delivery power within that rotation(Or take the rpm to the maximum permissible) in shorter action.

And 3-4 is killing the bike. I ride at 5K plus all the time except in first gear for i want to be around the power band if not above 7.5K rpm.

keep the RPM higher and you wont feel this and i am not blaming the style but i am saying you will evolve with this bike on your driving style.

When you are in higher gears you feel smoothness in lower RPM because the vehicle at those RPM in those gears is moving way faster than at lower gears. The lower gears will be jerky always.

In an alto you can test this. Try running the ALto in first gear for few kms and you will exactly know what i am talking about. (I picked alto just as an example).

In this bike your ideal movement of gear and rpm or my ideal movement is to keep it between idle and slightly above in non moving traffic. Once the traffic moves rip it quickly to above 8k and shift gears and repeat. If i cant do it i am staying within the minimum rpm and required RPM to move the vehicle.

There is now way i am riding in first gear at 4-5 for over 50 feet may be. And that too because there is no way to ride this bike or stroll it in second gear. Else i would stay in second gear.

The technical aspect deals with gear ration and rpm connection. The simple learning is to ride it the way you should and its a change.

And imagine i ride left gears one day and right gears the next between my 390 and bull and i know which bike does what and ride it accordingly.
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Old 29th October 2014, 23:27   #3138
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by mithunvvijayan View Post
In think you need to wait till the first service. Lot of things changed after that. I will put it in a list, which you can verify

You can expect

1. A noticeable improvement in engine response.

2. Engine feels as if it breaths better.

3. Noticeable reduction in the working of the radiator fan. Even after hard riding, it switches on for a few second and turns off, when the engine is in idle.

4. Same noises. I didn't find any reduction in noises from the engine side.

5. The engine response to the throttle can be varied to the minutest degree. Earlier the throttle and the engine were not in sync.

6. Lesser vibes in the lower rpms in higher gears.
I just referred the service manual and the main thing that is done on the engine front (as part of the first service) is the engine oil change (along with the oil filter).

I am bit curious to know how the above action transformed the behavior of your bike significantly. I understand all the unwanted metal particles gets flushed out on the first oil change, but if that alone resulted in the behavior change, I am curious to know more on that ...

Anyway, the change is on the positive side and so keep having fun with your duke.
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Old 29th October 2014, 23:41   #3139
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by mithunvvijayan View Post
Earlier, the bike was totally disconnected from me. As if all the different parts were working in coherently. The throttle caliberation was way out of whack. I have been complaining about the lack of bottom end torque. But now I realise that I was actually right. There was some problem with the initial pick up. Now it's gone. There is good bottom end torque.
I guess the SVC guys might have reduced the throttle free play that lead to these observations!
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Old 29th October 2014, 23:49   #3140
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by VW2010 View Post
@Basu

The bike has so much torque you can actually ride it without acceleration in some scenarios. Not always like a diesel car but definitely some times. Having said that the 3-4K range and sudden surge is purely a throttle response as the throttle has a mild play. Can you adjust that play and keep it play free and this will definitely avoid the jerkiness. You can adjust this play at the service centre.

3-4k is fine as long as the throttle is holding its position. The response is so fast that compared to the regular 100cc bikes the jerkiness is far heavier. The overall rotation angle of the 390 is far shorter than many bikes which means it has to delivery power within that rotation(Or take the rpm to the maximum permissible) in shorter action.

And 3-4 is killing the bike. I ride at 5K plus all the time except in first gear for i want to be around the power band if not above 7.5K rpm.

keep the RPM higher and you wont feel this and i am not blaming the style but i am saying you will evolve with this bike on your driving style.

When you are in higher gears you feel smoothness in lower RPM because the vehicle at those RPM in those gears is moving way faster than at lower gears. The lower gears will be jerky always.

In an alto you can test this. Try running the ALto in first gear for few kms and you will exactly know what i am talking about. (I picked alto just as an example).

In this bike your ideal movement of gear and rpm or my ideal movement is to keep it between idle and slightly above in non moving traffic. Once the traffic moves rip it quickly to above 8k and shift gears and repeat. If i cant do it i am staying within the minimum rpm and required RPM to move the vehicle.

There is now way i am riding in first gear at 4-5 for over 50 feet may be. And that too because there is no way to ride this bike or stroll it in second gear. Else i would stay in second gear.

The technical aspect deals with gear ration and rpm connection. The simple learning is to ride it the way you should and its a change.

And imagine i ride left gears one day and right gears the next between my 390 and bull and i know which bike does what and ride it accordingly.
Yes I have experienced that when returning to my home many times , taking my hand of throttle keeps the bike moving , idle is set just shy of 2k so it should move when hot(it knocks though ).

The surge or snatching better explains it is not throttle response , at first I assumed so and also felt my own hand was not steady enough but now I am firmly of the opinion that my hand is steady and it still snatches terribly in first gear and even in 2nd (where I also feel resistance trying to hold a speed even at higher rpms say 7k). And while I have experienced relatively rough first gear application in all vehicles be it car or bike , this is something else that merely cannot be played down to just gear ratio . I do stay a gear lower than I can ride at , speeds of 50-60 which i most often find myself doing in the straights within cantt. are also comfortable in 4th but always stay in 3rd . Shift to 4th only to play the gear sometimes . I will ask the SVC guy to tinker with the throttle play , the rear brake too needs some adjustment I feel .

Another oddity I have noticed in relation to first gear is downshifting , I am trying to get the hang of blipping(so far no success , any tips ) the throttle while shifting down as I always strive to keep clutch usage at minimum , 4th to 3rd , 3rd to 2nd is fine - engine braking is within reason . However 2nd to 1st even at the measly speed of 20kmph results in a massive jerk , is that normal ? Not an issue as slipping the clutch mitigates that but just curious .

I also always maintain 5+ , but certain traffic situations brings it down to 3/4k . Otherwise no reason why anyone will ride there even if performance was smooth , 7k+ is too loud to be run at within cantt. . As it is they have stopped me a few times as a precaution and requested me ride carefully , another man assumed I was a stunter , this bike is giving the wrong impression to everyone :(

Ps: I also ride left and right , standard 350 owner too though the poor thing has not been started for 6 days now . I actually learnt to ride motorcycle on an army bullet , last year when I purchased my first bike , the bullet 350 was a no brainer . I could ride it well and it is fun . I could have made a better purchase than I did though , the engine is not in the best state and the bike is old too - 86 model (I am '89 born ). As an outcome of this ownership , I am used to frequent niggles and temperamental behavior not to mention periods of immense fun ruined by infuriating issues . My bar is not set at Honda or yamaha level , even with my relatively low expectation in the finesse dept. m so far the duke has somewhat disappointed .

Last edited by basuroy : 29th October 2014 at 23:57.
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Old 29th October 2014, 23:58   #3141
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Quote:
Another oddity I have noticed in relation to first gear is downshifting , I am trying to get the hang of blipping(so far no success , any tips ) the throttle while shifting down as I always strive to keep clutch usage at minimum , 4th to 3rd , 3rd to 2nd is fine - engine braking is within reason . However 2nd to 1st even at the measly speed of 20kmph results in a massive jerk , is that normal ? Not an issue as slipping the clutch mitigates that but just curious

Blip up and never down. Secondly i change gears when its absolutely neccessary and not it advance. In your case 2nd to 1st is absolutely when the speed is way below 14kmph (I am getting the speed right because i felt 15 was not jerky in 2nd gear). At 20 you can stroll in 2nd gear.

and in fact i cut the gear only when i need to accelerate meaning, if i am slowing down and i know i am going to be really slow below that 14, i wait till i hit the lowest speed and shift down. Unless i want to get more RPM for no reason i am not going lower and if you are shifting at 20 keep the clutch engaged till the rpm is below 5k to avoid this jerkiness.

If its snatching at 1st and 2nd, check fuel filter and cleanliness of the fuel. Sometimes the supply is intermittent due to clogged filter and that filter is like 35 bucks and a simple DIY.

Last edited by VW2010 : 30th October 2014 at 00:00.
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Old 30th October 2014, 01:26   #3142
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by VW2010 View Post
Blip up and never down. Secondly i change gears when its absolutely neccessary and not it advance. In your case 2nd to 1st is absolutely when the speed is way below 14kmph (I am getting the speed right because i felt 15 was not jerky in 2nd gear). At 20 you can stroll in 2nd gear.

and in fact i cut the gear only when i need to accelerate meaning, if i am slowing down and i know i am going to be really slow below that 14, i wait till i hit the lowest speed and shift down. Unless i want to get more RPM for no reason i am not going lower and if you are shifting at 20 keep the clutch engaged till the rpm is below 5k to avoid this jerkiness.

If its snatching at 1st and 2nd, check fuel filter and cleanliness of the fuel. Sometimes the supply is intermittent due to clogged filter and that filter is like 35 bucks and a simple DIY.
Will keep those tips in mind from now on .

Speaking of fuel filter , you might have a point there . I don't trust the quality of fuel they filled her up with during delivery(around 1 ltrs) and I also had to fill up 2ltr from another bunk that is frequented by commercial drivers . Since then I have only filled with premium grade petrol from a company owned and run Indian oil bunk , reputation is bullet proof . What I noticed right out of the bunk the first time was the engine ran noticeably smoother but the initial poor/suspect quality might have partially clogged the filter .
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Old 30th October 2014, 09:25   #3143
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by VW2010 View Post
Blip up and never down.
I am sorry, are you saying one shouldnt blip the throttle on downshifting?
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Old 30th October 2014, 10:14   #3144
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by basuroy View Post
point number 1 , 2 and 5 sound like my case as well , another 600km to go . As long as it road worthy during those kilometers , I don't wish to take it to SVC , rather let it go through it all and get it done in one go .

How bad is first gear for you , for me it is not even practical enough to simply roll the bike from standstill or slow crawling , the snatching is terrible and across the entire powerband (well after 6/7k the vibes are too much so ... ).
First Gear has not been a problem for me even before the first service. As manofsteel pointed out, I think most of it boils down to throttle play, or something to do with the throttle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shan_ned View Post
I just referred the service manual and the main thing that is done on the engine front (as part of the first service) is the engine oil change (along with the oil filter).

I am bit curious to know how the above action transformed the behavior of your bike significantly. I understand all the unwanted metal particles gets flushed out on the first oil change, but if that alone resulted in the behavior change, I am curious to know more on that ...

Anyway, the change is on the positive side and so keep having fun with your duke.
I don't know what happened, may be the throttle play was adjusted. But one thing is for sure. My stalling problem has completely vanished.

Quote:
Originally Posted by man_of_steel View Post
I guess the SVC guys might have reduced the throttle free play that lead to these observations!
I think so. Except for the stalling problem getting resolved. Anyways I am enjoying the bike now.
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Old 30th October 2014, 11:09   #3145
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by VW2010 View Post
Blip up and never down.
That's contrary to all the words of wisdom we hear usually. Typo?
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Old 30th October 2014, 11:37   #3146
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by Urban_Nomad View Post
Hey Doc. Just my POV and what I define as a tourer:

- Should have ample space for 2 up riding
- Should have a neutral riding posture
- Should do 100 kph, with a pillion, and "reasonable" amount of luggage all day long without vibes
- With a pillion and luggage, should not struggle on mountains
- Have a neutral suspension : not too soft nor too "race bred" harsh
- Preferred : ABS

My picks, in no particular order, would be:


1) Comfortable all-day ergonomics
2) Great/fantastic headlight
3) Strong/rugged/tough/virtually unbreakable/indestructible
4) Reliable (on a multi-day tour, when touring solo, I would put this to the top of any list) - meaning whatever is on the bike, however basic it may be, should work as it is meant to work, everytime, all the time, regardless of usage or conditions
5) As a corollary to reliability, tubeless tyres
6) Good tank range (I would ideally like something that is more than 400-450 kms, closer to 500 would be great); a big reserve (ample warning, safety margin)
7) Power! (no need to elaborate on this, more is always better)
8) Efficiency (fuel, oil, other consumables and lubes, maintenance needs)


P.S. And yes, the foot lever position of the Dukes (200 and 390) are definitely adjustable. Surprized you did not know this. One of the earliest things I needed to do to my Baby Duke in the very early days, before I could start comfortably start covering/operating my rear brake (gear lever was not as much of an issue, though I adjusted it equidistant as well to maintain ergonomic symmetry).

Quote:
Originally Posted by man_of_steel View Post
I guess the SVC guys might have reduced the throttle free play that lead to these observations!
Exactly my thoughts.

For some reason, the throttles of almost all new 390s are poorly tuned and troublesome (with a distinct throttle response lag that's damn putting off).

Other small adjustments that are invariably done in any service by a good experienced hand (vs someone just going through the motions to complete his quota for the day) are clutch and chain play adjustments.

The above three make a huge difference in the way your Duke feels, shifts, and moves.

Last edited by ebonho : 30th October 2014 at 11:48.
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Old 30th October 2014, 12:08   #3147
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Exactly my thoughts.

For some reason, the throttles of almost all new 390s are poorly tuned and troublesome (with a distinct throttle response lag that's damn putting off).

Other small adjustments that are invariably done in any service by a good experienced hand (vs someone just going through the motions to complete his quota for the day) are clutch and chain play adjustments.

The above three make a huge difference in the way your Duke feels, shifts, and moves.
Maybe it is deliberately done during the rum in period, to avoid quick spurts of acceleration?

Anyways I can vouch for the KTM Kochi service guys. They are very knowledgeable and were very confident of solving all the problems of my bike and they did it too.

Meanwhile this is the oil they are using for Duke 390

MOTUL 10W50 4T 7100 MA2
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Old 30th October 2014, 12:12   #3148
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Maybe it is deliberately done during the rum in period, to avoid quick spurts of acceleration?
If you went through my report on the test 390 that I field tested before it was launched in India, I had mentioned that there was an in-built two-stage kink built into the 390's throttle (which is different from that of the 200) done to prevent over-enthusiatic guys (puppies, squids, etc.) from whacking the entire throttle open in one fluid movement.
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Old 30th October 2014, 13:21   #3149
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

@Doc: I think you are right in that case. Also, what me and my friend (who also owns a 390) have observed is that there is a short cut-off at exactly 10.5K RPM when you try to throttle furiously like you just want to take-off in a single gear.

Also to mention, it was after a long time that I came back into the forum and enjoyed and surprised seeing the thread so active! Just to add to some of the discussions that went through the last couple of pages and also my experience are the following:

1. We (3-390 owners) did a south india coastal circuit of 3K kms and never felt that 390 is any less than a tourer (this in comparison with us same guys doing the Ladakh circuit on the bulls and as doc and others have put it, the 390 is less fatigue and peace of mind before you call it a day).

2. Its been a year and 11K on the ODO for me and I have never once face a stalling issue (neither did with my earlier 200). Also, I have never been specific on the fuel quality, in the sense that, I just made sure I fill up in a well maintained fuel station on those highways. In the city, its always been either shell (next to my office) or the ones where I have always been filling.

3. As mentioned above, fuel quality has never played any role yet in my daily and couple of highway rides. But yes, the fuel filter that was replaced after the second service, needed some few odd kms to get primed properly, until which there was short cut-offs and edgy throttle response experienced.

4. Here in bangalore, in my daily commute to office 30kms up and down, I have hardly gone beyond the 3rd gear. Thats the amount of torque and speed available! The only gripe I have compared to the 200 is the 2nd gear in the city. For me the 390 has more engine braking in the 2nd gear (damn I miss the 200 in the city!).

5. After hearing the bent rim stories, there have been instances where I have hit pot holes at considerable speed, which made me immediately pull to the side and check for damages. None so far (touchwood)

6. After 11K on the ODO, a couple of days back, I noticed that there is a small amount of oil leakage on the right side of the engine head cover. Now this is a serious issue to me and will update once I get it rectified at SVC this saturday. Anybody else experienced this leakage or heard of?

P.S: I was out of touch with tbhp while I was owning the 200 and until today. Just to give pointers to someone wondering over 200 vs 390 and why 390 for me after 200 (I had written-off 390 when KTM gave an exclusive test ride of 390 here in bangalore)

1. Test rode 390 again when my friend got his 390 delivered and that assured me back on the bike that is KTM

2. Form my small build and weight (57kgs), I wanted a little more weight on the bike itself for highways and also a bike that FEELS relaxed at highway speeds (200 made me feel that I am actually speeding).

3. And yes 390 needed a little getting used in the city, but definitely miss the ease and spirit of the 200 within the city (I still prefer the way 200 sounds).
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Old 30th October 2014, 13:26   #3150
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
If you went through my report on the test 390 that I field tested before it was launched in India, I had mentioned that there was an in-built two-stage kink built into the 390's throttle (which is different from that of the 200) done to prevent over-enthusiatic guys (puppies, squids, etc.) from whacking the entire throttle open in one fluid movement.
Yeah. And Doc I have been checking the radiator fan after the hard runs. It does come on and never goes off. I switch the bike off after waiting for 10-15 sec max.

Quote:
Originally Posted by catchvinny View Post
Its been a year and 11K on the ODO for me and I have never once face a stalling issue (neither did with my earlier 200). Also, I have never been specific on the fuel quality, in the sense that, I just made sure I fill up in a well maintained fuel station on those highways. In the city, its always been either shell (next to my office) or the ones where I have always been filling.

And yes 390 needed a little getting used in the city, but definitely miss the ease and spirit of the 200 within the city (I still prefer the way 200 sounds).
Glad to hear that you haven't encountered any stalling issues so far. My brother owns a 200, love the "canny" sound. I can identify a 200 even without seeing it, just from it's sound.

Last edited by mithunvvijayan : 30th October 2014 at 13:33. Reason: To avoid posts in succesion
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