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Old 23rd November 2014, 15:50   #3496
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Guys I am due for my first servicing this week as I have completed about 850km and will cover another 50-100 in the next few days . I want to discuss a few behaviors /changes in my bike before communicating the same to SVC .

The main issue I have a complaint about are the brakes -
Rear since day one has been disappointing , I don't know if it is just under powered (yes I do realize the rear because of smaller disc has limited stopping power ) or what because it does next to nothing even if stomp it as hard as I can when speeds are above 60 . It to me only seems useful during turns at slow speed or in combination with front - if this is how it should be , I am ok with that but since I don't have the luxury of riding someone else's 390 , I really don't know what to expect and not . The rear has also developed an annoying squeal , can that be fixed ? It is really loud now .

Front - beginning it felt good , better than what I expected . Will bring the bike to a stop from triple digit speeds and this is important - I could get a clear sensation , a feedback that I was shedding speeds fast .

Lately in the last 200kms , I had this nagging feeling my bike was not shedding speeds as fast as it used to so I decided to hit a safe road twice( yesterday and today) to check it out . My observations -
1. Front now requires more pressure as in I need to depress it more before i engage the brake - can this freeplay ( if It can be called that even though it doesn't feels free , there is resistance in the lever but brake doesnt engages initially ) be adjusted ? It is like a stop switch now , cannot control speed with it , either there is no braking or sudden resistance which arrives very late . It was not like that before .

2. I spent my first 100/200km on the same road gauging hard braking stopping distance at 40/60/80/100kmph speed . There is no noticeable difference in the slower speeds but the bike is taking now a good 10/15 meter more in triple digit speeds . Now applying both front+ rear is having the same effect as just front had during the beginning .

3. As I previously mentioned , initially I used to get a sensation i am dropping speed fast but today surprisingly it felt like the front was slipping , the bike was coasting instead of stopping with clutch pulled in and heavy 2 fingered pressure on front . The brakes were hot at this point of riding , this somehow agrees with another observation of mine , I am not sure but I feel they slip more when hot(after 15/20km riding ). Overall front only braking has deteriorated so much that engine braking is essential while shedding higher speeds , that is something that is not fine in potential emergency situations where my reaction without fail will be to engage clutch + brake .

4. As mentioned in my previous point , noticeable difference between cold brake pad braking and hot brake pad braking , I first felt this way when on a couple of medium ranged rides (50-70km one way ) , I found myself not shedding speed fast enough for the pressure I am used to apply - resulted in me taking more than one speed breaker at high speeds or panic braking at the last moment when the realization hits the bike is simply not slowing down as I expect it to .

I am for the lack of any previous experience and similar bikes as comparison tool cannot gauge how normal/abnormal this rapid ageing of the front brake is . I also don't know how easy or difficult it will be to calibrate it back to its near maximum capability , are duke bakes or disc brakes for that matter prone to ageing like this or I have a problem ? I have taken due care with my words to express the ageing , don't discount it as an exaggeration .

Last edited by basuroy : 23rd November 2014 at 15:56.
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Old 24th November 2014, 01:59   #3497
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

basuroy:
Just to acquire a useful data-point, find a road where you can ride your motorcycle at over 70 kmph and ride it for a distance of at least 2 km without using the front brake (unless you have to). Then, using the rear brake, stop as rapidly as you can, get off the motorcycle and feel the front brake disk with your hand.

It should be at ambient outside temperature or very slightly warmer.

If the disk is hot enough to burn your hand, you have found the problem.

The pads on a disk brake usually lightly rub on the disk, even when they are not applied.
This rubbing should not raise the temperature of the disk over a few degrees C.

If the pads are rubbing more than they should while your riding due to a problem, it isn't uncommon for the disk to heat well over 100 degrees C and this can reduce the braking power.

If this is happening, take your motorcycle to the dealer as soon as possible.

Last edited by ArizonaJim : 24th November 2014 at 02:00.
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Old 24th November 2014, 10:58   #3498
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by basuroy View Post
3. As I previously mentioned , initially I used to get a sensation i am dropping speed fast but today surprisingly it felt like the front was slipping , the bike was coasting instead of stopping with clutch pulled in and heavy 2 fingered pressure on front .
What do you expect when you brake that way?

Please never pull in your clutch while braking. You are in for some nasty surprises otherwise.

Last edited by ebonho : 24th November 2014 at 11:06.
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Old 24th November 2014, 12:48   #3499
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
What do you expect when you brake that way?

Please never pull in your clutch while braking. You are in for some nasty surprises otherwise.
I don't when the bike is within my control or I am simply shedding speed for a breaker or intersection . I do if a sudden emergency situation materializes because if I don't pull in clutch during hard braking where the intention is to stop as fast as I can, I will stall and lock rear which will makes matter worse and not put things within control ( I am not skilled enough to downshift 2-4 gears in the span of a few seconds either ) . When I first went to the same stretch , I braked the same way as I did recently and the stopping distance has increased by about 10m if not more . As I clearly mentioned , there is a deterioration in stopping distance following the same approach and I am more curious about that right now .
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Old 24th November 2014, 12:52   #3500
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by basuroy View Post
As I clearly mentioned , there is a deterioration in stopping distance following the same approach and I am more curious about that right now .
If the bite of the brake is noticeably lacking, ask the svc guys to bleed the system properly.
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Old 24th November 2014, 12:53   #3501
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by basuroy View Post
I don't when the bike is within my control or I am simply shedding speed for a breaker or intersection . I do if a sudden emergency situation materializes because if I don't pull in clutch during hard braking where the intention is to stop as fast as I can, I will stall and lock rear which will makes matter worse and not put things within control ( I am not skilled enough to downshift 2-4 gears in the span of a few seconds either ) . When I first went to the same stretch , I braked the same way as I did recently and the stopping distance has increased by about 10m if not more . As I clearly mentioned , there is a deterioration in stopping distance following the same approach and I am more curious about that right now .
Practise more buddy. Ride more. Don't worry so much about the bike all the time. The bike might well be worrying about you.

Saying the above as an elder brother and not being snarky or derogatory at all. Take it in the right spirit.
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Old 24th November 2014, 13:22   #3502
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Originally Posted by man_of_steel View Post
If the bite of the brake is noticeably lacking, ask the svc guys to bleed the system properly.
Thank you for the suggestion , will convey the same to him . I won't say just bite is lacking , it also arrives later and there is no progression now as in it is almost like a stop switch . Earlier I could use both engine braking and front lightly to slow down , now only engine braking as lightly applying front does nothing . More than the increased stopping distance , it is the longer depression of front brake to engage them that is bothering me to the point of being a major inconvenience . Why? winter , I have to wear gloves now and then depressing brake lever to its near maximum point is not nice .

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Practise more buddy. Ride more. Don't worry so much about the bike all the time. The bike might well be worrying about you.

Saying the above as an elder brother and not being snarky or derogatory at all. Take it in the right spirit.
Always practicing , not worrying all the time . I am asking this because it is hampering my riding now to the point of the bike lately feeling very different to the one I purchased in braking dept. specifically and as I am due for first service in a few days , I wish to educate myself with the possible causes and solutions before handing it to them to attend to it(that is assuming they don't tell me it is all in my head , I have based on interactions so far reason to feel they might say just that ) . And no , I don't think you are being snarky so no offence taken

Now on my way to get ArizonaJim his data point . Fun way to spend lunch break .
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Old 24th November 2014, 13:30   #3503
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by basuroy View Post
Always practicing , not worrying all the time . I am asking this because it is hampering my riding now to the point of the bike lately feeling very different to the one I purchased in braking dept. specifically and as I am due for first service in a few days , I wish to educate myself with the possible causes and solutions before handing it to them to attend to it(that is assuming they don't tell me it is all in my head , I have based on interactions so far reason to feel they might say just that ) . And no , I don't think you are being snarky so no offence taken

Now on my way to get ArizonaJim his data point . Fun way to spend lunch break .
See, short of some contamination of your brake fluid, a leak, or an air bubble in the line, there is no way your brakes would suddenly deteriorate lie that (how you are describing) in under 800 kilometers. Of very gently riding. My comment about you worrying needlessly (and chronically) is linked to using terms like "aging" for a bike that's hardly broken in and not even had her first service.

All I meant to say was, do not coast with your clutch pulled in. Never detach your engine power from your transmission. Its a very vital stabilizing influence on your bike, and the only thing that gives you control and the power to influence how your machine behaves.

Last edited by ebonho : 24th November 2014 at 13:34.
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Old 24th November 2014, 14:44   #3504
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArizonaJim View Post
basuroy:
Just to acquire a useful data-point, find a road where you can ride your motorcycle at over 70 kmph and ride it for a distance of at least 2 km without using the front brake (unless you have to). Then, using the rear brake, stop as rapidly as you can, get off the motorcycle and feel the front brake disk with your hand.

It should be at ambient outside temperature or very slightly warmer.

If the disk is hot enough to burn your hand, you have found the problem.
Rode for 5 kilometer without stop but not straight (frequent turns but devoid of traffic ) using only rear brake and front just once for a few seconds halfway through the ride . Average speed indicated on console was 54kmph with 25/30 kph frequent fluctuation either way.

Front was warm , not hot but not slight either . Ambient temperature outside should be around 23 cel. Didn't feel abnormal though (not that I have an accurate idea but my guess ).

Rear was scorching hot . I have previously observed after rides involving both brakes(rear only during turns , slowing down ) that the rear is always hotter than the front - suppose it is because of the smaller dia. of the rotor.

After that I rode about another 10km using front and the temp. was not high at all .
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Old 24th November 2014, 16:10   #3505
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

IBW Chai Pakora Ride

Had not gotten the opportunity to do a decent ride on my new 390 after getting her home from Kolhapur, and this event presented the perfect opportunity. Being the FB dinosaur I am, I had no idea about it happening till Aman (coolrain) here pinged me on Whatsapp and asked me if I was going. Similarly, Garry, a 650 rider friend of mine from Greaseballs (the 5 city mixed bike riders' club) did the same. So my mind was made up. Tried to rope in some others as well, but for a variety of reasons, they could not make it.

In the end, I ended up riding with the LORDS, Aman's group of riders. Fantastic group of guys. Great fun. Good riders. Especially Moiz, the young guy on the green ZX14R who took off once we cleared the outskirts, with me hot (as hot as a bike 1000 cc in arrears can be .....) on his tail.

Arunabh (//M here) on his DS500 and Ranjan on his ZX6R were two other Team BHPians who also rode along, meeting up at the rally point at Phoenix at 7 a.m first, and then along the way to Vithal Kamats, that was the destination point. Ranjan rode back with us as well.

Some photos of us assembled with our bikes at Phoenix .....

The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread-img20141123wa0001.jpg

The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread-img20141123wa0002.jpg

The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread-img20141123wa0003.jpg

Got a chance to properly push the 390 is broad daylight and decent roads (albeit with traffic) this time. The ZX and I soon pulled quite a distance ahead, and after some time, when we slowed down for a town and stopped for the others to catch up, another rider Dhruv on his Bonnie caught up. The Bonnie had the free flow pipe package (for 26K) and I must admit I did not like the sound too much. Plus they were popping a lot of deceleration. The Arrows are 60+ apparently.

Saw decent speeds, though at no point did I push the 390 beyond what I had done on the test 390. Some other time. She's got just 3000 kms on the clock now, 2500 of which have not been done by me, so i'm breaking her in to my riding first. The ZX sounded absolutely mental with the twin Yoshis and I found myself screaming into my helmet like a kid every time he got a open stretch and screamed/wailed/blasted past me as if I was standing still. hair raising stuff!

On the way back, we were joined by another rider on his Honda CB1000, and his 12 year old son riding pillion. Brave brave kid! We made good time, and wer totally into the ride when we realised that we had again lost the others.

This is a photo on one of the stops for the rest to regroup (brave bacchoo is the one taking the photos) .......

The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread-201411230002.jpeg

The low fuel light came on shockingly at 160 kms fom tankful, so yeah Lepp, if you're reading this buddy, I'm well in the same boat as you! Average speeds most of the way on the display were in the 105-110 kmph, and most of the time I saw the real time mileage showing 5+ liters per 100 kms, some stretches 4 .....

Good fun! Have become a LOT more confident with her now. Will keep you guys updated.

Last edited by ebonho : 24th November 2014 at 16:12.
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Old 24th November 2014, 16:47   #3506
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by basuroy View Post
Rear since day one has been disappointing , I don't know if it is just under powered (yes I do realize the rear because of smaller disc has limited stopping power ) or what because it does next to nothing even if stomp it as hard as I can when speeds are above 60 . It to me only seems useful during turns at slow speed or in combination with front - if this is how it should be , I am ok with that but since I don't have the luxury of riding someone else's 390 , I really don't know what to expect and not . The rear has also developed an annoying squeal , can that be fixed ? It is really loud now .
Take the case of any agile looking street/super bikes (the ones that boast about near 50-50 weight distribution between front and rear) and you will notice that the back brake has almost no power in stopping the bike above 20 kmph! The rotor size is not the culprit here and there is a reason why the rear brake is made less powerful.

Coming to the physics: During braking or even rolling off the throttle, the center of gravity (CG) will be shifted further forward than the actual CG of the stationary bike and hence the weight including the rider weight is shifted to the front tyre through the shocks. in this situation the rear tyre has barely any weight on them and the contact patch will be so small that it will not be able to produce enough braking force. And for a bike, majority of the braking is done by the front wheel and hence the rear brakes are made intentionally weak to prevent unexpected lockups.

This is the same reason why you may find the rear brakes of scooters and cruiser bikes better than other bikes as their weight is more rear tyre biased.

Last edited by man_of_steel : 24th November 2014 at 17:03.
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Old 24th November 2014, 17:55   #3507
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Had a good 4 days trip to Valparai and Munnar. My first longish ride on the 390 after 12k kms on the odo.
First day into the ride and i think my fuel sensor went kaput. Even on full tank it showed low fuel warning throughout. That was a bummer as i could not keep track of other data from the console. (has anyone faced similar issue? how much it takes to get it replaced? is is readily available?)

My thoughts, esp in comparison to the C5 on which i have done most of my touring.

* i loved its ability to munch miles. 390 is a capable tourer, good braking/handling and quick acceleration greatly improves on the distance covered by time. For eg, usually it takes me 3+ hrs to cover Salem to Bangalore, on 390 i did it 2:30 hrs.
* Offers less of wind blast compared to the C5, it could be cos of the larger visor which i have installed.
* less vibrations at higher speeds, resulting in less fatigue. ALso, the light weight is a boon and it shows by the end of the days ride.
* surefooted-ness of the bike is confidence inspiring. could lean-in more, over take, and execute certain moves with much more confidence, then i would on the C5.
* W.R.T riding posture i was very relaxed waist upwards, however, the rear-set footrest started giving me cramps and knee pain, especially towards the second half of the the days ride. had to take small breaks every 50kms to stretch.
*Seat felt a bit narrower, and harder, but it was not as bad as i had expected. could be worked over with a gel pad etc.
* most of the roads on this ride were of good quality, so hard suspension did not really cause much issue.
* chain slap noise, was an irritant. adjusted and lubed chain mid way and it was better. Wanted to replaced the chain set before the ride, but could not manage time.
* small tank, especially with a busted fuel sensor was an added mental load.

Lastly, the luggage rack which i had made (with 5mm plate brackets) were very useful and rock stable. on this ride, i used the cramster stallion saddle bag, and it stated at its place without moving an inch. Infact much better then when i use the same bag on the C5.

between the C5 and the 390 for touring, both have their pros and cons but i guess 390 is more fun if i had a trip coming, more often then not, i would go reaching out for the 390's keys.

But hey, C5 is more photogenic.

here are some bike pics from the ride
Attached Thumbnails
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The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread-dsc_0944.jpg  


Last edited by nasirkaka : 24th November 2014 at 17:57.
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Old 24th November 2014, 18:04   #3508
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by man_of_steel View Post
Take the case of any agile looking street/super bikes (the ones that boast about near 50-50 weight distribution between front and rear) and you will notice that the back brake has almost no power in stopping the bike above 20 kmph! The rotor size is not the culprit here and there is a reason why the rear brake is made less powerful.

Coming to the physics: During braking or even rolling off the throttle, the center of gravity (CG) will be shifted further forward than the actual CG of the stationary bike and hence the weight including the rider weight is shifted to the front tyre through the shocks. in this situation the rear tyre has barely any weight on them and the contact patch will be so small that it will not be able to produce enough braking force. And for a bike, majority of the braking is done by the front wheel and hence the rear brakes are made intentionally weak to prevent unexpected lockups.

This is the same reason why you may find the rear brakes of scooters and cruiser bikes better than other bikes as their weight is more rear tyre biased.
Thank you and that is good enough for me(and yep I have noticed how the supersports have 2 gigantic rotors up front and a tiny one at back , I was aware of the physics but not the extent ) , I wanted to confirm this is the way it is supposed to be . Planning to get the rear brake lowering mod done explained a few pages back because right now , the high peg position means I have to consciously focus on it instead of the feet movement being a subconscious action as it should be .

What braking/speed control technique do you follow during turns(slow traffic turn - 20-40kmph and high speed sweeping turns above 80 ) ? Do you use a combination of brake(and which) or rely on the engine braking by modulating the throttle ?
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Old 24th November 2014, 18:05   #3509
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Had a good 4 days trip to Valparai and Munnar. My first longish ride on the 390 after 12k kms on the odo.
Fantastic photos ! Thanks for sharing.

The original Metzelers are still lasting at 12K kms? No scary moments in the twisties?
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Old 24th November 2014, 18:15   #3510
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by basuroy View Post
What braking/speed control technique do you follow during turns(slow traffic turn - 20-40kmph and high speed sweeping turns above 80 ) ? Do you use a combination of brake(and which) or rely on the engine braking by modulating the throttle ?
Half clutch and dragging rear brakes while keeping the revs up either in 1st of 2nd gear for those tight traffic turns. And for sweeping turns above 80, I always like to take the near safest line possible to avoid any sort of mid corner braking or correction. But in case I need a correction, I will slightly roll off the throttle and lean more. You can even lightly tap the rear brake to correct the line but never use front brake while leaned over.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Fantastic photos ! Thanks for sharing.

The original Metzelers are still lasting at 12K kms? No scary moments in the twisties?
+1. Awesome pics nasirkaka. And Doc, my metz is still holding up okay at 13700Kms although TWI is out and I am guessing it might last for only another 200-250kms of city use. But starting to experience wheel spin while cracking open the throttle. Since the tread on the tire shoulders are more or less intact, grip while leaned in is not compromised.

Last edited by man_of_steel : 24th November 2014 at 18:22.
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