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Old 2nd February 2015, 20:03   #3811
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Review - Sofarider gel seat

Recently got this for the Mrs who likes riding pillion iwth me on the 390, but the seating situation means she can bear no more than 10 minutes on the bike: http://shop.redlineplus.in/1-rider-c...rb_double_slab

I ordered the "Superb double slab" with the "fixed strap on" option. Cost me a shade under Rs. 4300 shipped. For a local pick up in Pune, should cost you Rs 4000

I was hoping to post the ride impressions from the missus, but work got into the way of the ride we had planned yesterday. Anyhow, I took it for a spin today and here's a quick review. Mind you, I have ridden with the seat on for less than 50 kms, so take everything I say with a pinch of salt:

Customer service:-

Positives:
The contact point and owner of Redlineplus is a friendly chap named Aditya. Being a rider himself, he doesnt take long to understand your needs and works around the same. Not at all pushy and knowledgeable. Mails were responded to promptly. He clarified timelines at the get go (the double slab needs to be made on order) and more or less maintained them

Could be better:
I am nitpicking here, but I never got the "auto generated" shipment tracking mailer that I was supposed to. A guffaw no doubt at the end of his vendor, but as stated earlier, timelines were maintained so no biggie

Construction quality

Positives:
The seat seems well made and does not look cheap. It surely does not add to the looks of your bike but hey, as long as you are on it no one will be seeing it anyway. All stiching and threads were in place. The seat material is grippy and wont see you sliding about

Could be better:
Everything on the seat is "single stitched. I would have preferred double stitching. This makes me wonder how long the seams would hold. In fact, whilst tugging and pulling on the straps for a snug fit, I could see the bottom right part of the strap is just about starting to come off where it joins the seat. The stitching IMO should be sturdier. Lets see how it stands the test of time

Fitting the seat:-

Positives:
Now depending on what you ride, YMMV. The 390 does not have the largest of seats up front but I was able to securely tie up the strap on unit. The seat fits well on the rider saddle and is not flailing about

Could be better:
- Whichever way you look at it, the installation will be a little fussy the first time you try it. Even more so when you will try to strap it to the tiny rear seat on the 390. Its by no means intutive and involves a learning curve. It took me about 20 minutes and 4 tries to get a "good" (not perfect) fit on the bike
- There is a Youtube video that describes how to go about it but unless you ride a Ninja 650, you will need to figure it out yourself. Maybe some additional videos with some other popular models (Dukes, Ninja 300, Hyosung, even Pulsars) might be helpful
- Also, some custom strap solutions / positioning (maybe at a small cost) based on a bike its intended for might be even better
- I am a bit skeptical leaving the gel seat affixed on the bike after I've parked it. There is a quick strap on / off option available that I wanted to order, but Aditya mentioned that it wont work well with the Duke and will move about

Ride experience:-

Positives
- Based on the short ride I had, I must say I am impressed. I am a little over 6 feet in my boots and always wear strap on knee guards under my riding pants / denims. This meant my knees would always foul with the tank shroud everytime I wanted to change gears or use the rear brake. With this strap on seat, I sit another inch higher and it has freed up some room for me. I therefore feel better connected to the bike. Who knew another inch could make such a difference (Thats what she said)
- I can still easily flat foot the bike and no issues with regards to handling even during spirited riding. Did not feel weird at all
- The seat did not move around even under hard braking. Great!
- Its comfortable

Could be better:
- The shape of the seat is almost like a rectangle. A little less width up front would be better to lock in the knees against the tank. Not that the current design is a big bother, but a more streamlined design would be better
- The gel is soft. too soft IMO. While its comfy (on short rides at least), I would like some more stiffness / rigidity from the seat for better support. I love the support Duke's stock seat offers. The only thing that troubles me is the knee fouling against the tank.
- It sits on the seat like a slab. Dont care much about the looks but when you sit on it, the "excess" from the sides just sort of hangs around owing to no support. Not sure if this will impact structural integrity in the long run
- Overall, I believe custom options based on seat style and stiffer material should be offered for a better experience
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Again, please note that these are my observations based on today's riding only and may change as I log more miles on it. Hopefully I will be able to take the Missus out for a ride this weekend and post her observations here

Hope this helped

Last edited by Urban_Nomad : 2nd February 2015 at 20:10.
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Old 2nd February 2015, 20:09   #3812
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by VijayAnand1 View Post
Is this how you take a photo barcalad. Kiddin.

V
Dude, I took it the right way and planned to upload it the very same way I had clicked it. I don't what on earth happened with the forum server that it decided to rotate both of my photos by 90 degrees.
Now, since the photos are of a Duke's radiator and not that of a supermodel, I decided to leave it as it is, without giving it a second shot, as it fulfills the primary motive of having a look at the rear part of the fan.
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Old 2nd February 2015, 20:26   #3813
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Post Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by barcalad View Post
Dude, I took it the right way and planned to upload it the very same way I had clicked it. I don't what on earth happened with the forum server that it decided to rotate both of my photos by 90 degrees.
Now, since the photos are of a Duke's radiator and not that of a supermodel, I decided to leave it as it is, without giving it a second shot, as it fulfills the primary motive of having a look at the rear part of the fan.
Where is the fan? . Chill pill, it was really hard to discern the fan in the first place, perhaps next time.

Cheers!
V
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Old 2nd February 2015, 21:35   #3814
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Originally Posted by barcalad View Post
I've attached the photos. Not sure if they're the new one or the old one, but they certainly do the job for me!
The difference is in the fan itself. Like Vijayanand said, if you see the blades, you have got the old fan, or else the new one. I will try to post pics of the new fan some time later.
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Old 2nd February 2015, 23:19   #3815
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by VijayAnand1 View Post
Where is the fan? . Chill pill, it was really hard to discern the fan in the first place, perhaps next time.

Cheers!
V
Perhaps. I'd rather see the photo user mithunvvijayan would upload, so that I can comprehend which part he was actually talking about.
Godspeed!
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Old 2nd February 2015, 23:27   #3816
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by Urban_Nomad View Post
Review - Sofarider gel seat

- Also, some custom strap solutions / positioning (maybe at a small cost) based on a bike its intended for might be even better
- I am a bit skeptical leaving the gel seat affixed on the bike after I've parked it. There is a quick strap on / off option available that I wanted to order, but Aditya mentioned that it wont work well with the Duke and will move about.
- The shape of the seat is almost like a rectangle. A little less width up front would be better to lock in the knees against the tank. Not that the current design is a big bother, but a more streamlined design would be better
- The gel is soft. too soft IMO. While its comfy (on short rides at least), I would like some more stiffness / rigidity from the seat for better support. I love the support Duke's stock seat offers. The only thing that troubles me is the knee fouling against the tank.
- It sits on the seat like a slab. Dont care much about the looks but when you sit on it, the "excess" from the sides just sort of hangs around owing to no support. Not sure if this will impact structural integrity in the long run
- Overall, I believe custom options based on seat style and stiffer material should be offered for a better experience
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dear Urban_Nomad,

The gel seat does sound promising. I hope you get a lot of mileage out of it. Went through the link and looks like the construction material is quite good too.

I wanted to suggest you try wearing cycling shorts under your riding pants/denims for the following reasons:
- good quality padded shorts (pearl izumi is my favored brand here) have a 3D chamois pad which is meant for providing both cushioning and support to the bottom.
- the shorts are well tailored to any bike you ride as long as they fit you properly.
- no need to worry about loose ends of the added seat.
- the shorts are typically made with a quality wicking material which keeps moisture and resulting discomfort away.
Cycling shorts are typically made for protecting a bicycle rider from a significantly greater abuse than what a typical motorcycle rider would experience atop his/her ride. Usually long lasting sturdy construction as well.

I tried it out on my Sunday ride for the first time and came back very impressed. Have now recommended my wife to use these on her horse rides too. If you are not averse to the idea, give it a shot - very little chance of disappointment I would think.
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Old 2nd February 2015, 23:36   #3817
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by AnkurS View Post
try wearing cycling shorts under your riding pants/denims
Thanks, great tip! I plan to ride down to Decathlon this weekend with the wife. Will definitely be making the purchase and post comments next week

Do you know any good brands that Decathlon houses? Any one in particular I should be homing in on (besides the one you suggested. How much do they cost btw)? And would they raise my seated height?

Here's the link - http://www.decathlon.in/cycling/cyclist-wear/shorts

Would appreciate your comments. Thanks again
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Old 3rd February 2015, 00:09   #3818
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban_Nomad View Post
Do you know any good brands that Decathlon houses? Any one in particular I should be homing in on (besides the one you suggested. How much do they cost btw)? And would they raise my seated height?

Here's the link - http://www.decathlon.in/cycling/cyclist-wear/shorts
Decathlon sells their own products under different brand names for different sports. So as far as cycling shorts are concerned, they would be of pretty similar quality across different brands within the decathlon umbrella.

Unfortunately, seat height will remain unchanged mate. That's a definite downside with this option.

I have a PI attack and a PI Elite pair, cost me ~5k and ~6.5k to my doorstep from Amazon. Definite value for money for me (I use them for cycling primarily )

Do check your PM - feel free to ask any other Qs. Hope you find the best option.
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Old 3rd February 2015, 00:49   #3819
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Post Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by barcalad View Post
Perhaps. I'd rather see the photo user mithunvvijayan would upload, so that I can comprehend which part he was actually talking about.
Godspeed!
So the infamous radiator shroud!

The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread-p_20141019_171434.jpg

So this is the radiator shroud that's being installed on the new motorcycles. This picture is of a Duke 200, from another forum.

Cheers!
V
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Old 3rd February 2015, 01:43   #3820
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by ashkamath View Post
I go for normal speed ( reckon that is 93RON against the normal 91RON).

I stay at Goa. I have a BP speed bunk near my place at Vasco and the other BP bunk that I trust is at Porvorim which is about 30-35 Kms from my place. So when the bunk near my place has no stock of speed, I ride to the other bunk on reserve fuel, hence many times I guess I am running on fumes.

For no specific reason I have always favored Bharat Petroleum (BP) bunks and least preferred is Hindustan petroleum (HP) bunks. that's just a personal preference bereft of any facts or figures

I rarely use normal petrol, and am only on speed. so I really cant comment on the visual / audible difference in ride performance / quality.
Ashok Sir. Overall in Goa almost all fuel pumps stock good fuel. And since the day I have got my bike I have always filled it up with normal fuel. Not faced any issue till date because of fuel quality. Even during ride to Kolhapur/Belgaum filled normal fuel from local pumps.
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Old 3rd February 2015, 07:54   #3821
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban_Nomad View Post
Thanks, great tip! I plan to ride down to Decathlon this weekend with the wife. Will definitely be making the purchase and post comments next week

Do you know any good brands that Decathlon houses? Any one in particular I should be homing in on (besides the one you suggested. How much do they cost btw)? And would they raise my seated height?
Btwin cycling shorts are good. I've been using them for long rides quite a lot. Costs around 1200 bucks and available at Decathlon.

The seated height will not be affected.
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Old 3rd February 2015, 09:58   #3822
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by VijayAnand1 View Post
So this is the radiator shroud that's being installed on the new motorcycles.
Must be, because in my bike I can see the fins clearly. So how is this shroud useful?
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Old 3rd February 2015, 11:08   #3823
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VijayAnand1 View Post
So the infamous radiator shroud!

Attachment 1335692

So this is the radiator shroud that's being installed on the new motorcycles. This picture is of a Duke 200, from another forum.

Cheers!
V
Now barcalad can confirm if he got the new fan or not. :-)
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Old 3rd February 2015, 13:47   #3824
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by VijayAnand1 View Post
So the infamous radiator shroud
Never seen something like this. How does the fan manage to get/push air through those radiator fins?
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Old 3rd February 2015, 17:25   #3825
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Originally Posted by Added_flavor View Post
Must be, because in my bike I can see the fins clearly. So how is this shroud useful?
According to KTM guys, the old system switches the fan on in such a way that the flow of air is towards the front side, when the bike is at a speed below 10 kph, and would reverse the flow towards the engine side when the bike picks up speed.

This causes hot air to flow towards our thighs and below knees.

In order to direct the hot air flow away from the riders body, the hot air is directed downwards through the shroud, as per the new system.

And according to KTM guys, inorder to retrofit the new fan assembly, the wiring harness also has to be replaced.
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