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Old 7th November 2014, 21:29   #3301
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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I agree with you about not being remotely anal and thrashing the machine working for old school Bulleteers on Dukes. We are just so "seasoned" (polite word for traumatized, emotionally and financially scarred, toughened like old well tanned leather, etc. etc.) by a decade of our Bullets, that I honestly don't get what if anything can be remotely wrong with a rorty bike like the Duke.

You and I both know how blessed we feel when our 500s are running fine on a cold winter night. How horrible they feel on a hot summer afternoon. How we baby them on the highway with our butt and wrist and ears and nose, constantly alert.

The Duke's "issues" are not issues at all! They are amusing reminders that even modern high strung machines can still be raw and entertaining and involving. I would honestly hate to own a smooth silent characterless machine, like those made by some huge auto giants.
To be fair on the other side, those who never had a bullet and were riding the 150's and 220's where its just jump on, ride on and move on its definitely difficult to accept niggles on a new bike.

I can recollect my bike being in work shop on day 3 for an oil over flow via that stupid flow back logic these bikes had. And i still remember, me, finding my own ways to cut that tube and just lube the chain rather than do a reservoir effect. This is on day 3.

Day 15 the bike stalls every 20 meters. Little did you know you are learning so much about that machine as you so patiently find a shade with a coconut/sweet lime vendor, remove your ornaments including those heavy jackets on that sweet mid may tamil nadu summer afternoon, and start stripping one thing after another. Literally started with spark plug, carb, seats out, the tanks unbolted and everything only to realise after 45 minutes, "May be i should check the battery, connections or even the fuse"(which would have been a 2 minute fix) and it was indeed the battery wires. Little did i know that i learnt so much about the simplicity of the mechanics and electricals of a bullet. The design is such a lego like experience. You just got to know what to do when. And i can go on and say that i know why my bike stalls or stops and i know what fixes it. TImes there were gentle nudge while riding with my left hand on top of the battery connections to get the life back. Heck we learnt to adapt and adjust and work on the bike. And we liked it.

Point is it was a journey to understand the bike and never once i wanted the bike to be in the mechanic shop.

When we first got hold of 390, may be it stalled. And all we did was restart and moved on. It may have stalled again. Phew, i started adapting may be. May be thats why i usually when approaching a stop light or a traffic, i invariable move to either corner of the road just to avoid blocking traffic(its a habit..a good habit i guess) and when it stalled, i simply restarted and moved on. These were not even close to niggles that we are not able to understand the minds of those who never had those bikes before.

May be we are just too patient to understand the machine and work around it rather than wanting something perfect. In fact i would hate an Automatic car even in city. Call me a wuss but manual cars keeps me engaged.

Coming back to the complaints i do understand their frustration. There are whole lot of folks who like things working straight out of the box and are super pissed if it doesnt. Be it electronics or even something as simple as toy for their kid. its not easy to accept that error. Coming from a steady lets say a pulsar which is to an extent nonsense free ride like hell bike. And you get onto the 390 and these problems get on your nerves that you start feeling the amount of time the bike has to be on the work shop.

Its perfectly fine for them to express and i think i am under reacting to the issues because of the way i grew up to work with things that didnt work as it should. I just always believed i can fix it and that ego kept protecting these major issues.

When you pay 2.2L its perfectly right to expect the bike to ride, not stall and continue to perform for few years. I am picking on stalling here because i cannot fathom the other issues being issues.

My 390 stalled, it even went through a rough patch of fall and jump in acceleration above 7k rpm. I did complain i guess in this thread. But i did go after the fix. I changed few things and tried my options. I was ready to work with the bike. And i had fun. I learnt few things. I cleaned the entire chain system from front to rear sprocket and i knew i was starting the learn the bike.

I found the rattling issue to be the tank and i just cut few rubber tubes and started experimenting on placing them at different places. Funnily i had these rubber cuttings on head clusters as well. All wires inside the head clusters were simply cello taped inside. I was doing a step by step elimination of where the sound could come from.

In a gist, we should also look at the bike from angles other than coming from a bullet and i think some of the issues are real issues for those who cannot understand the effort we have taken while owning our prior bikes and how we hardly spend over 10 minutes aweek on the 390 giving us more time to ride when compared to our bulls.

The solid high way cruising speed, the effortless overtaking and unbelievable breaking just made the bike 99.99% likeable that other issues for us were less than 0.01% that we simply worked around it.

For many this is not the case. Atleast we should help them and now with your 390 i am sure you are going to help a lot of these riders on those issues which we are over seeing and its going to fun here to hear more from you.

Last but not the least,
I got this lens new for over 800 USD. https://www.flickr.com/photos/127627...2/15320132020/

This is what happened to the lens in a weeks usage. The mechanical mind always takes over, and after a couple of days of effort i completely understood the mechanism and simply fixed it. I did raise an issue with the seller and the lens is on the way for return and replacement but i did fix it. I can fix it ego is what making us ignore some of the issues the other riders are facing.

This is just my take.
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Old 7th November 2014, 21:46   #3302
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Could be (hope its not though). My test bike had the soft squishy front brakes with too much bitepoint-travel from day 1 almost though.
In the last 1 Year, I have had to completely bleed and refill brake fluid twice. Also, small bleed and top up at every service. It does get spongy sometimes, especially after inexperienced techs work on it. However, the last full bleed and refill has been holding good for about 3 months now with no noticeable initial bite difference. I have so far ascertained this problem to earlier reports of the master cylinder not being big enough for this setup.
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Old 7th November 2014, 22:15   #3303
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by Silverflash View Post
The bike I test rode had wonderful brakes. IT was one of the things I loved so much about it. But it seemed newish, so maybe that was why?
The brakes are indeed very good and more importantly confidence inspiring (especially for newbies like me) on this bike especially the front and coming from a rickety enfield with just rear drum , this is something else !

Tell me something about disc brakes though , what exactly does a user means when he describes the feedback as spongy ? I can get a rough idea from the word itself (just like "initial bite" which is suggestive too) but is just a feel or it also means less than optimum braking ?

Also is it possible to notice ABS kicking in (as in physical feedback at the lever) over the vibrations etc ? I have read that when ABS is engaged , one can feel the lever pulsating but either I am failing to detect that or not going strong enough .

Quote:
Originally Posted by mithunvvijayan View Post
Got the bike back. They have changed the stepper motor as well as the temperature sensor. Asked me to take a test ride. There were two bars in the temperature guage. The bike didn't stall in the usual conditions. They said that they are not closing the job card. They asked me to check for the problem during cold start. If I am satisfied, only then will they close the job card. Very hopeful.
Good news and that was sufficiently quick on their end too
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Old 7th November 2014, 22:36   #3304
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Originally Posted by basuroy View Post
Also is it possible to notice ABS kicking in (as in physical feedback at the lever) over the vibrations etc ? I have read that when ABS is engaged , one can feel the lever pulsating but either I am failing to detect that or not going strong en
Are you "pumping" the brakes by any chance during a sudden brake? That might be a reason why you haven't felt it as yet. ABS brakes should not be "pumped".
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Old 7th November 2014, 23:05   #3305
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by basuroy View Post
The brakes are indeed very good and more importantly confidence inspiring (especially for newbies like me) on this bike especially the front and coming from a rickety enfield with just rear drum , this is something else !

Tell me something about disc brakes though , what exactly does a user means when he describes the feedback as spongy ? I can get a rough idea from the word itself (just like "initial bite" which is suggestive too) but is just a feel or it also means less than optimum braking ?

Also is it possible to notice ABS kicking in (as in physical feedback at the lever) over the vibrations etc ? I have read that when ABS is engaged , one can feel the lever pulsating but either I am failing to detect that or not going strong enough .
I'll attempt to explain in everyday terminology. When brakes are described as spongy, we're trying to equate the feel of applying the brake lever with how a sponge compresses under pressure.

Take the front brake lever, for instance. In general, when you begin to apply it, you'll reach a point when you encounter firm resistance, which is the point at which the brake "bites". Any further pressure at this point has the danger of making your brake bite too hard, thereby locking the wheel completely and causing it to skid. Good braking is about learning to feel when and how hard you reach that point, and adjusting pressure accordingly. ABS is an electronic system that kicks in when you overshoot that point, and compensates by adjusting the braking force until the wheel rotates again.

When brakes are spongy, you'll notice a larger window of pressure around that "bite" point. You'll feel the resistance, but the brakes will have a little more give in them, and your input does not translate as precisely into stopping force as you would like. Imagine a little piece of sponge being wedged between two surfaces trying to make contact - as they get closer, they squeeze down on the sponge, and the contact doesn't feel precise.

This means that you are not as certain of where that point is which will give you the best/optimum mix of stopping force and traction.

The test bike I rode had nice, precise bite to the brakes, allowing me to apply pressure progressively until I reached it. Doc's bike seems to have had a problem with this - why, I'm not sure.

I hope that helped.
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Old 7th November 2014, 23:56   #3306
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by Silverflash View Post

This means that you are not as certain of where that point is which will give you the best/optimum mix of stopping force and traction.

The test bike I rode had nice, precise bite to the brakes, allowing me to apply pressure progressively until I reached it. Doc's bike seems to have had a problem with this - why, I'm not sure.

I hope that helped.
Definitely helped , thorough explanation that is
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Old 8th November 2014, 01:01   #3307
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
So I went over to Kolhapur to pick up her new stablemate,

As special thanks [SNIPPED] to Anurag (Insearch) for showing me what an old fart(!) on a 390 could do on the road against bigger bikes and thumping the final nail into the too long open casket.
Congrats Doc, I was expecting this to happen once the news of the 690 giving way to a 790 twin was out, given your penchant for thumpers. I was expecting you'd buy a new one though.

PS: Is that AGV the old, now discontinued Pacific ? I have a dark tinted visor left over, in case you're interested.
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Old 8th November 2014, 08:58   #3308
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
So friends, am back to the KTM fold I departed not so long ago. And the urge has never died, and in fact, participating on these threads has only proven to be a constant goad towards getting myself Duked again. In the intervening period, thank you for your consideration!
Congrats Ebonho! Hoping to see you join us for a ride sometime on the 390.
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Old 8th November 2014, 09:22   #3309
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A STUDY IN ORANGE

A case study on a stalling problem, that happens on cold conditions, which goes away when engine heats up.

Problem: My bike used to stall when brought to standstill, when either the gear is in neutral or the clutch is engaged. This happens after cold starting, and before the engine gets fully warmed up. At least 6 bars should be displayed in the temp gauge, before the problem goes away.

Solution: After many visits to the service station, and various inputs from my friends, brothers and team bhp members, the issue has finally been sorted out, with the replacement of the engine temp sensor and the stepper motor.

Acknowledgement:

I thank my friend Mr Kurian Arimboor, who works in Bajaj R n D, who pointed the problem towards the temp sensor, and also the service guys at KTM Vytilla, Cochin who were the most cooperative.

I thank VW2010, ebonho and manofsteel who inspite of my technical rants and naivite comments, beared with me and gave suggestions ( most of which pointed towards fueling issue) which helped solve the issue.

I also thank sandeepmohan, adrian for their suggestions and a few others who showed concern.

Sidenote: I have been accused of my riding style, was asked to sell my bike and buy a CBR 250!!!. Nonetheless, I have gleaned much more from this forum than I had imagined possible.

TEAM BHP ROCKS!!!
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Old 8th November 2014, 12:59   #3310
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

@ebonho : Doc, happy to see that you are united with your dream girl and may you and your girls (doppy and what did you name your new one?) live happily in polygamy
regards adrian
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Old 8th November 2014, 13:18   #3311
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by shan_ned View Post
Doc, can I ask you a politically incorrect question ? You can choose not to answer if it is going to create a war like situation between the KTM and Ninja group Assuming all the things (price, build quality, after sales support, etc.,) being same, which one will you choose between D390 and N250/300 if the only criteria is pure/raw performance ?
Nothing politically incorrect about the question at all. I have never hidden the fact that I think the Ninja is a lovely bike. I have ridden a Ninja like 3 times in my life (3 different Ninjas), for a grand total of under 30-40 kms maybe. That was enough to convince me about what the bike was and what it could do.

So if your question is Ninja 250 vs Duke 390, asuming all things being same as hypothesized by you, I would pick the Duke.

With the 300 vs the 390, I would pick the 300.

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Originally Posted by theexperthand View Post
Congrats on the bike, Doc. It is nice to have you back and with a bike at hand, we can bug you more for answers to our queries
Anoop the last 4 months, its not like I did not have a bike or had stopped riding. The Bullet is still a bike, when you remove all the surrounding fluff around it of tradition, heritage, history, character, soul, brotherhood, sisterhood, etc.

Quote:
Any plans to graft that exhaust you mentioned earlier? The one you found so impressive.

--Anoop
Nope, none whatsoever. If after some time I feel the urge to have some more, and more importantly, if I feel I have been able to max out what she already has with my current level of skills and am getting bored or not being pushed enough, only then would I look to my biker friend from Australia getting down some tried and tested tuning bits. Till then I plan to enjoy her for what she is. An almost brand new, unexplored, untouched bit of kit.

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Originally Posted by zulfi hansi View Post
Most of the other 390s available are in the price range of 1.65-1.85 L which have run about 5000-8000 kms. The New 390 is 2.16L OTR.
There is nothing to stop anyone from quoting anything on OLX/Quikr etc. Bottom line is, what is the final price deals actually close at?

Well, I won't comment on Bangalore or out of Maharashtra bikes, because I never considered them in my search. But Maharashtra I believe I can speak for, considering that I recently deleted 44 contact numbers from my cell phone - the total of potential sellers I had been in conversations with for either Ninja 250s or Ninja 650s or Duke 390s (the three bikes I had been looking at to replace Baby Duke).

Let me give you a representation of my final consideration set of bikes, in descending order of final expectations/deal closures (this is after a few rounds of phone negotiations - so possibly the lowest you can get them before you actually meet them face to face and they actually smell/see your money waving under their nose .....):

JUL 14, 750 kms, 1.75
FEB 14, 3500 kms, 1.75 (CLOSED)
JUL 14, 3000 kms, 1.65
JUL 14, 700 kms, 1.65
NOV 13, 600 kms, 1.65 (CLOSED)
MAR 14, 2300 kms, 1.60
APR 14, 2500 kms, 1.60 (CLOSED)
MAY 14, 5700 kms, 1.55
MAR 14, 8200 kms, 1.45
OCT 13, 4700 kms, 1.45
MAY 14, 7000 kms, 1.40 (CLOSED)
APR 14, 6000 kms, 1.40
OCT 13, 4500 kms, 1.40 (CLOSED)
FEB 14, 9000 kms, 1.35
DEC 13, 8500 kms, 1.35

Hope this helps give you a real life feel for the market. I know potential sellers are going to kill me for this, but what the hell, this is the same market that had virtually DESTROYED the resale of the 200 when I was a seller, so what goes around, comes around!

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Originally Posted by Ricci View Post
Congrats Doc, I was expecting this to happen once the news of the 690 giving way to a 790 twin was out, given your penchant for thumpers.
Thanks Ricci. You are spot on. That was the straw.

Quote:
I was expecting you'd buy a new one though.
I got an almost untouched, unmoested, hardly run one. The next best thing. Point to be noted, except for my Pulsar 180, my Classic 500 and my Baby Duke, none of the 8 bikes I have owned to date have been new ones. And the two I have been most attached to, and which served me longest, Simone (my KB 100 RTZ) and Doppie (my Std 500), both came to me used.

Quote:
PS: Is that AGV the old, now discontinued Pacific ? I have a dark tinted visor left over, in case you're interested.
I am very interested. I know its the equivalent of looking a gift horse in the mouth buddy, but would you perchance also be having a clear one somewhere, even used? They have just disappeared from the market.

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Originally Posted by TheCelestial View Post
Congrats Ebonho! Hoping to see you join us for a ride sometime on the 390.
Thanks buddy. Please let me know and if it works out I would be delighted to join. Am PMing you my contact number.
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Old 8th November 2014, 15:05   #3312
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Originally Posted by basuroy View Post
Good news and that was sufficiently quick on their end too
They had earlier said they would change the stepper motor only. But they changed the temp sensor also, just incase. The impressive thing is they haven't closed the job card yet. Only when I am fully satisfied, will they do it
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Old 8th November 2014, 21:14   #3313
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Sorry for going OT guys.

A local shop is offering GP Corsa and Cobra slip ons for 7k and 8k respectively. Most of the places Ive seen these online sell them for around 20k-30k I think this shop is clearing stock or something hence the low price. I think these maybe originals however I am not sure.

My querry however is, are these worth the upgrade? I love the sound track of the 390 in its stock avatar but looking at youtube videos of these exhausts on ninjas I fell in love with them too. I wish to keep my 390 as reliable as I can coz I do take her on long trips. I dont want to wreck her systems just because of my lust for aural pleasure. And do these exhausts make any noticeable difference to driving characteristics and power delivery?
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Old 8th November 2014, 21:46   #3314
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Had my first cross Nagpur trip today evening. Rode from one end to the other with no particular places to visit or persons to meet.
I am an unfortunate fellow whose daily commute is like 2kms to the office and back only, so wanted to test the duke in the city traffic conditions properly.
The evening traffic was more than what I expected, but I found the duke pretty livable in the city. The heat from the engine was not particularly bothersome, but cannot be ignored either.
The best part about the trip was the red signals I came across. I would be like disengage clutch, throttle, engage clutch, blip and disengage clutch once the light turns green. And by the time I stop at the next signal, all fellow travellers of all possible age groups would be oogling the bike..
And I find the engine braking quite handy in predicated stops. I think I will be setting some record for the max life of D390 brake pads
I am a small guy at 5'4" and I weigh a light 60kg. On top of that I have these tiny hands. I always maintain my clutch adjusted to engage at minimum travel so that I get to play with it easily. But the 390's clutch is proving to be a stretch for my fingers. I could feel pain in various muscles on my left arm 30 km into the ride. I think I need some adjustable levers which can shorten the travel required.
What do you people suggest?

Last edited by sharanvenu : 8th November 2014 at 21:50.
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Old 8th November 2014, 23:30   #3315
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by sharanvenu View Post
I think I need some adjustable levers which can shorten the travel required.
What do you people suggest?
I think shorty levers are in order. There are loads of CNC levers available online that could help you. And I personally love the visual appeal of CNC levers.
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