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Old 24th July 2013, 17:45   #316
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

With all the condensed reviews(across the world and India) and test ride reports , does any one still need a ACTUAL ride reports to decide upon ! .

If manufactures can be so effective in arm-twisting to hold back the reports ,one can only judge how fair the reports would be at the final place .

Last edited by black12rr : 24th July 2013 at 17:48.
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Old 24th July 2013, 18:05   #317
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

I rode the KTM 390 last month while I was in Pune and this was a few weeks prior to the official launch. I was asked to not post a review till the launch, hence my silence.

But here is my take:

I finished work and headed back to the hotel in Pune. I was scheduled to meet a friend who resides in Pune.

A short while later, he rides up to the hotel in a KTM with orange wheels, orange chassis but with 200 decals.

I had my doubts - Metzeller tires on a 200? Orange wheel and chassis?

I immediately proceeded to check the engine for any giveaway's on the cubic capacity information but there was none.

Took her for a spin on the highway for around 10-12 kms and boy, it accelerates like mad.

Definitely faster than my Ninja 250R and completely brutal in acceleration. I hit 130 (in third IIRC) but did not go further since the roads were not completely empty.

My impressions after the short ride:

1. Brakes are not as good as the ninja - spongy and almost no feedback. But comes with ABS, so a good thing.

2. Heat from the engine in traffic (stop & go) will toast your calves and the underside of your thighs. The ninja is a lot cooler since the heat from the engine is directed away from the rider's legs by the radiator fans and the fairing.

3. 6th gear is useless, even for cruising. You WILL have to downshift to overtake another vehicle while in the ninja, you are in the right power band and all you have to do is wring the throttle and it will accelerate smoothly. You will also search for the non-existent 7th gear on the ninja due to the amount of torque, power and final drive ratio. So if you roll off the gas on the 390 (throttle not completely closed) and get back on the throttle, the engine will knock since the 6th gear is very tall. You will have to downshift to fifth.

4. Headlight was pathetic - as it is the case with most vehicles from the factory but a better bulb like the Nightbreaker+ or the Xtreme Vision will improve the lighting

5. I have no idea how well it corners or performs on bad roads since i rode on the highway for around 10 kms.

So the quintessential question.

Will I buy it?

Nope.

I was considering it before the ride but it failed to strike a chord in my heart.

I was comparing it to my ninja, a beautiful package - well made in all respects and it's hard to find another bike that matches up to it or takes the bar higher.

Only thing i loved on the bike was the absolutely brutal acceleration but i will tire of this in a few months so don't see a point in buying this one just for the acceleration.

Tires are sticky and nice though.

P.S. My friend has been testing the bike for the past few months. FE is similar to the ninja 250R and the top whack is also similar. The 390 does a top whack of 170 on the speedo as per my friend (speedo indicated).

Disclaimer - The bike I rode was a pre-production vehicle undergoing extensive testing. Many issues identified during the test phase have been sorted out in the actual production vehicle.

Last edited by n_aditya : 25th July 2013 at 09:17. Reason: added disclaimer
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Old 24th July 2013, 18:17   #318
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by n_aditya View Post
I was comparing it to my ninja, a beautiful package - well made in all respects and it's hard to find another bike that matches up to it or takes the bar higher.
+100 to that, Ninja 250/300 is entirely different package and i feel it is for the more serious riders who want to spend their time in the track/circuits.

KTM feels more of the urban hooligan bike and seems to be a good jack of all. And boy it is a good Jack afterall.

Making a choice between the 2 is dicey and think KTM might be slightly ahead but Indians have always had a lust for 'Fairing Bikes' la Dhoom Bike.
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Old 24th July 2013, 18:25   #319
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Making a choice between the 2 is dicey and think KTM might be slightly ahead but Indians have always had a lust for 'Fairing Bikes' la Dhoom Bike.
Don't get me wrong, the 390 is a good bike. Sounds a lot better than the 200. Not tinny like the auto rickshaw but has a nice angry growl to it. The bike i rode had 6000 odd kms clocked - tested in all sorts of terrain and weather but was not having any irritating vibes.

Compared to the ninja, it did lack the refinement and smoothness.

The 390 is a hooligan no doubt. I had a wide grin on my face and wanted to thrash it a bit more but my friend had to get back.

So yes, the ninja 250 and the 390 are completely different bikes. Not in the fairing department alone but in the character itself.

To answer a question most might want to ask:

Does it power wheelie?

No, it won't. The front wheel will bounce a few mm off the ground and if you really want to pop one, you have to ride the clutch, revv it and let go. It won't power wheelie like the bigger bikes do.
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Old 24th July 2013, 18:47   #320
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by n_aditya View Post
1. Brakes are not as good as the ninja - spongy and almost no feedback. But comes with ABS, so a good thing.
Good to hear this. I have now seen umpteen reviews and no one was mentioning it so I started doubting my friend who test rode one of the test mules in pune.
Any thoughts on the ride quality ?

P.S: Have booked it and will buy it. I need to feel younger
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Old 24th July 2013, 19:13   #321
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Good to hear this. I have now seen umpteen reviews and no one was mentioning it so I started doubting my friend who test rode one of the test mules in pune.

Any thoughts on the ride quality ?
Congratulations on your booking. It is definitely a mad bike Hope you have invested in a good set of riding gears. Buy the best you can afford. There is no compromise for safety. Gear is cheaper than hospital bills

Back to your post, the brakes could be better. I was surprised that there was no bite even with the steel braided lines. The bike does slow down and the forks do dip but no feel. That is what disappointed me. Lack of feel and the sharp bite.

I can't comment on the ride quality since i rode on the highway and the roads were good. But my friend did say that the tires do not grip all that well in the wet (compared to a bone dry road) or while off roading since they are soft compounds.
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Old 24th July 2013, 19:45   #322
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by n_aditya View Post
So yes, the ninja 250 and the 390 are completely different bikes. Not in the fairing department alone but in the character itself.
Thanks for the review Adi.

Your feedback seems consistent with what I heard from other folks about the top end being a little below expectations not in terms of outright speed but in-gear ride-ability.
I am a little disappointed about the braking. Even on the 200, it felt like the brakes became less 'bitey' with time and one expects better feel from braided lines.
I am also surprised the M5 sportecs weren't great in wet - the other reviews seemed to say so. In any case, I hope they are a big leap over the current MRF rev-z in wet. The MRFs are plain scary.

But brutal acceleration and top notch handling for the VFM price is still an unbeatable value - have booked the 390 and hopefully will get to enjoy both these characters for sometime before the ninja gets replaced too
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Old 24th July 2013, 20:25   #323
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Thanks for that ride review Aditya. Put a lot of rumors to rest, that post did

That said, the one man who's responses are most sought after is the one whose posts are most conspicuous with their absence !

Doc, where art thou? - ebonho
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Old 24th July 2013, 21:26   #324
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

I will not compare a KTM 390 to a Ninja 250. Both are radically different motorcycles. The Kawasaki costs quite a bit more than the KTM too.

If touring is your priority, you are way better off with a Honda CBR or any one of the Ninja's. I think a Karizma ZMR will be better and far more comfortable tourer than the KTM.

We have read about a lot of folks touring on their KTM. Sure you can but you will be a lot more comfortable riding a Honda, Kawasaki or even the Hero ZMR. All these bikes are very accommodating as well. You can carry luggage as well as a pillion in decent comfort. Forget a pillion, luggage ain't happening on the KTM.

Look at your requirements before plonking your money on the KTM. The power sounds exciting and that is about it.
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Old 24th July 2013, 23:36   #325
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
If touring is your priority, you are way better off with a Honda CBR or any one of the Ninja's. I think a Karizma ZMR will be better and far more comfortable tourer than the KTM.
How ? Don't you think you have to bend quite a lot more on CBR & Ninja than the KTM which can be a pain for touring ? Can you explain the basis of comfort factor you refering to while comparing these 3 bikes ?
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Old 25th July 2013, 00:25   #326
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Well, i found the braking to be good enough. During my test ride i had a heavy pillion and i did brake hard from triple digit speed few times. In fact the braking was quite predictable when i took it for a spin the second time. I thought the brakes were good enough. But then again i am not comparing it to a Ninja 250 as i haven't ridden one long enough.
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Old 25th July 2013, 08:05   #327
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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How ? Can you explain the basis of comfort factor you refering to while comparing these 3 bikes ?
Sitting up right on the KTM is not going to be comfortable at speeds above 100. The wind blast alone will tire you. I have not sampled the 390 on the road but it is identical to the 200. Having ridden the 200 a good bit, it isn't really built for touring. Lets leave aside the taller gearing on the 390. The riding posture does not encourage touring. It is more a street bike. The seating does not allow much flex and this is something you need if you are touring. I am not saying you can't tour on the KTM, it will be far more comfortable on the Honda for sure. I may have got it wrong with the smaller Ninja's. I was thinking of the 650 which should not be compared here. I still feel the smaller Ninja's will be better on the highway. You are not bending to the extent of uncomfortable on the CBR. After the Enfields, the Honda is the most comfortable touring motorcycle in its segment. This is my personal take.
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Old 25th July 2013, 09:21   #328
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
Sitting up right on the KTM is not going to be comfortable at speeds above 100. The wind blast alone will tire you.
I fully agree with Sandeep.

It is the wind blast that will tire the rider. Adding an aftermarket windscreen should help in keeping the rider comfortable at triple digit speeds.
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Old 25th July 2013, 09:43   #329
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mik View Post
Good to hear this. I have now seen umpteen reviews and no one was mentioning it so I started doubting my friend who test rode one of the test mules in pune.
Any thoughts on the ride quality ?

P.S: Have booked it and will buy it. I need to feel younger
Tried to PM you on "another"Bhp forum regarding this, but no luck. Please make some space in your inbox. For some reason, I am unable to PM you here.
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Old 25th July 2013, 23:14   #330
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by n_aditya View Post
But my friend did say that the tires do not grip all that well in the wet (compared to a bone dry road)

Not true according to me. I rode the 390 in heavy rains and did plenty of high speed cornering. The grip is more than first rate. The test bike I rode had a fantastic brake too. Just my experience.
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