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Old 16th June 2015, 19:34   #4471
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Nasirkaka - could you keep me\us posted on the coolant issue? I've been having the exact same problem for a couple thousand kilometers now, and the service centre has been unable to diagnose it despite repeat visits.
Yeah, never had any coolant issue for the first year. Started only after the 4th service. Will keep and eye on the level now, and will update.
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I have a similar issue. Let's say a drop of about 5mm in coolant level within a 1.5-2 months. I am also unable to diagnose the location of the leak and I am sure that the coolant is not mixing with the engine oil either. I have extra coolant and will top up on a monthly basis.
my case, its almost 10 mm in a months time (approx 1000kms of riding). Let see how it behaves after cleaning and replacing the coolant. will post.

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How do you check to rule that out?
The old engine oil colour was visually looked at and the mech concluded that there is no coolant mixing. No proper test. it looked like normal used engine oil and i guess with the amount of coolant lost in last few months, am sure it would have shown in the engine oil. Not completely sure though.
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Old 16th June 2015, 19:37   #4472
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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A 390 moves faster than eye can see and Beretta bullet can fly.
- Old Jungle Saying
And there is a reason to ride it at the right RPM to have that power band in hand. Specially when in traffic. The 390 at above 5K RPM is a sweet ride waiting for your inputs. I love riding it at the upper 6K/7k Rpm where the bike rhymes right and rides right.

Lugging this engine is a strict no-no and thats the biggest change you have to learn from a bullet.

The bike is awesome to ride between 6k to 10K rpm for sure. 7.5 and above means you are just enjoying every second of the bike.
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Old 16th June 2015, 21:58   #4473
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
How do you check to rule that out?
Like nasirkaka mentioned, no color change for the oil and it looks normal through the window. So I am assuming here that the coolant is not mixing with the oil. I mean if there was coolant there it should have shown by atleast a slight color change right?

Oh and forgot to mention, there were traces of coolant while pressure washing the bellypan once.

Last edited by man_of_steel : 16th June 2015 at 22:26.
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Old 17th June 2015, 00:02   #4474
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Not owning a Duke 390, some of this is speculation about the coolant loss.

All of the sealed cooling systems I know of have a coolant reservoir which serves as a container to supply or receive the engine coolant as it expands or contracts with its thermal cycles.

These coolant tanks are always vented to the atmosphere via a small hole, usually in the lid or cap.

As the engine heats up, some coolant flows into this container, driving out some of the air in it. As the engine cools down,some coolant flows back into the engines water jacket, drawing fresh air into the container.
This happens every time the engine heats up or cools down.

Because the coolant is about 50% water, it is only natural for a small amount of the water to evaporate into the fresh air that has been drawn into the reservoir. This will happen to a larger degree when the weather is hot.
Not only does the heat of the day cause the engine to run at higher temperatures but the increased heat increases the amount of evaporation that occurs.

This may explain why the coolant is disappearing.

By the way, this same evaporation happens in all automobiles so it's a good idea to check the coolant level often during the hot summer.
If the level is low, add distilled water only to the reservoir.
The minerals in regular water will often plug up the radiator core and cause the aluminum engine components in contact with it to corrode.

Last edited by ArizonaJim : 17th June 2015 at 00:05.
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Old 17th June 2015, 15:14   #4475
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArizonaJim View Post

These coolant tanks are always vented to the atmosphere via a small hole, usually in the lid or cap.

As the engine heats up, some coolant flows into this container, driving out some of the air in it. As the engine cools down,some coolant flows back into the engines water jacket, drawing fresh air into the container.
This happens every time the engine heats up or cools down.

Because the coolant is about 50% water, it is only natural for a small amount of the water to evaporate into the fresh air that has been drawn into the reservoir. This will happen to a larger degree when the weather is hot.
Not only does the heat of the day cause the engine to run at higher temperatures but the increased heat increases the amount of evaporation that occurs.

This may explain why the coolant is disappearing.
I have a practical experience, I had ridden 700 kms straight in sweltering heat, almost non stop. And the coolant level went down below the low bar. I got it topped up and I was concerned. After that, I started checking the levels before every ride, for a while. And it hasnt dropped since then. Guess extreme heat, combined with continous riding, evaporates the water present in the mixture.
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Old 17th June 2015, 16:41   #4476
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Anyone used Michelin pilot street 110/70 - 17 for the front Tyre? Can you please comment on the grip levels in wet, dry and gravel?
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Old 21st June 2015, 09:45   #4477
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by Urban_Nomad View Post
So like I mentioned earlier; you haven't experienced riding the 390 in delhi's summer. Thanks for confirming. Safe to say then that The whole engine heat + delhi heat comment is based on your "cyber knowledge" and not actual experience

My commute is very similar to yours while you were in delhi. I travel from Dwarka to noida sez on the expressway. I ride everyday. And I ride in (almost) complete riding gear. Full face helmet, leather gloves, a mesh jacket, jeans (I know) and proper riding boots. I'm alive and well. Furthermore, I'm no young flower waiting to blossom. I just turned a raggedy 34 years old on the 5th of June

Human body is a thing of wonder. It really evolves to the conditions you may subject it to. Speaking of heat, the body has an excellent cooling system. Drink lots of water, eat right and you'll do just fine

On general well being, it's people who are unable to bear these temperatures should (and usually do) see a doctor

Anyhow, bottom line is that the engine heat of the 390 is not really a factor. At least to me



Since engine heat is an issue, I recommend the splendor plus. Thanda Thanda, cool cool

One doesn't need 'cyber knowledge' to understand that Delhi summers are hot and sitting on an oven like engine would only be more uncomfortable.

Fair enough if some of you are willing to deal with the heat for the fun of commuting on this bike every day, its what you choose to do!

Thank you for the primer on human body and its ability to deal with various temperatures, I don't really need it though because when in NCR, I prefer to drive and not ride - for a variety of reasons. There is nothing shameful about it if I choose to keep my commute more comfortable in a car and separate from fun rides.
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Old 21st June 2015, 14:28   #4478
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by sagarpadaki View Post
Can you please comment on the grip levels in wet, dry and gravel?
I've found it to be very satisfying in dry and gravel conditions. Holds corners exceedingly well. Personally, much better than the Metz, particularly in gravel.
I've ridden it on a rivulet-road for 26 kms and found it to be holding its whisky at every instance. Incredibly satisfied by it. Must buy.
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Old 22nd June 2015, 17:33   #4479
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

A quote from a friend of mine in Mumbai who owns a Benelli TNT300.

"For those who are travelling to & from Vashi/Sanpada/Panvel/Pune a word of caution:
Massive pothole on the Sanpada station overbridge (Towards Mumbai side, middle lane on Mumbai-Pune highway). At least 10-12 cars (4-5 happened in front of me) affected with punctures/rim bend & unfortunately mine was the only motorcycle & worst affected, rear alloy cracked! Speed was around 60-70kmph. Thanks to DSK's RSA I was picked up. All the road tax gone in waste or in someone else' pocket. While I was waiting for the pickup, someone put a barricade around it."

Looks like the Duke is not the only bike being affected by cracked alloys. The bike is now in SVC for the alloy replacement.
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Old 22nd June 2015, 19:37   #4480
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by ff1609 View Post
Thank you for the primer on human body and its ability to deal with various temperatures, I don't really need it though because when in NCR, I prefer to drive and not ride - for a variety of reasons. There is nothing shameful about it if I choose to keep my commute more comfortable in a car and separate from fun rides.
Hey - Never meant that there was anything shameful about how you; or anyone for that matter chooses to commute mate. To each his own. For example; I am absolutely dreading this horrible horrible humidity that has set in since yesterday and I have pools of sweat in each orifice by the end of each ride. Not fun! It may be 33 degrees now but I will happily take 40+ degrees of dry heat vs. this sticky crappy weather. I might therefore reconsider riding to work everyday till this humidity subsides. Dont know if this brings down my macho quotient or ups my pansiness

I merely pointed out that if one could ride in whatever temperature; the Duke is not a deal breaker. 45 degrees doesnt get any cooler on say; a pulsar, and its not like you are on top of a lava pit with the Duke either

There are many opinions that are floating around the 390's engine heat; most of those are by uninformed people that regurgitate opinions they may have read on some internet forums. There is no "heating problem"; as many tend to call it. Engine heat is a part of the performance motorcycle equation and is not a deal breaker by any stretch of the imagination

Hope this clarifies. Take care

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Old 23rd June 2015, 16:36   #4481
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Hey guys an update on this forum after quite some time. Well this is about one of the biggest question associated with the ownership of KTM Duke/RC390. What tyre to opt as metzelers cost quite a penny and dont last long (grips insanely well).

As I couldnt afford one myself I decided to opt for the latest and the closest possible replacement for the Metzelers, the Michelin Pilot Street Radial in the stock size 150/60-R17 for the Duke & RC 200/390. Now that I've spend more than a 1000kms since the time I got the tyre with combo of dry and wet along with straight patches and cornering action. Here is a short take on the tyre (rear replaced only) in my perspective.

The tyre performs fantastic in dry. One shall hardly miss the absence of Metzeler. may be 10-20% one might miss as the Metzelers are grippy from the word go. These take a little time to heat up. But once heated they bite the tarmac to give you a super grip.

Now about wet. As I stay in Goa I'm prone the super lashing torrential rains. so I rode in varied wet conditions. Road lashed with heavy rain and water puddles. Roads wet just after rain. Damp road and road with shiny wet surface.

Did hard acceleration, hard and immediate braking, did a high speed run and average speed ride on the road surfaces mentioned above. Just done over 1000kms and tyre seems planted. Didn't skid or experienced overspin. Except on the white marked lines on the road and had a slight but very manageable skid under hard braking. I feel its very worth the price paid.

And by far the best tyre combo in budget for me is Metzeler front and Michelin rear. Works well for me.

And on a honest note (well I may be wrong and expert comments are most welcome) The above combo is lighter on the wallet by almost 4K. But i would recommend that combo to all (for the ones who cant afford to change the rear Metz wearing out in 7K-8K KMS)

The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread-11215111_10206664401989455_1878332769529291715_n.jpg
The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread-11269276_10206639020474933_2963135220068542873_n.jpg

Another addition to my bike is the NGK Laser Iridium spark plug. Opted for this as iridiums are known for better life and better spark. Was recommended to opt for it by many. Got it from eBay USA for 14$ ~ 900INR (Got it shipped with a friend travelling back to India). The same seller had option of shipping it to India with total cost bumping up to around 27$ ~ 1600INR.
The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread-10410406_10206604759138421_8215411188804263688_n.jpg

Any queries and questions are as welcome. Hope this was of help
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Old 23rd June 2015, 18:44   #4482
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by akshayhonda View Post
The tyre performs fantastic in dry. One shall hardly miss the absence of Metzeler. may be 10-20% one might miss as the Metzelers are grippy from the word go. These take a little time to heat up. But once heated they bite the tarmac to give you a super grip.
I am nearing 8000mark on the 140/70-17 Pilot Street 2. Overall the tire is worth the price I paid. Good levels of grip and no slipping on hard acceleration. But you can notice the difference from the Metz while riding on the edge of the tire while cornering or accelerating hard out of the corner. The 150 section might feel better here (When I changed the tire 150 was not in the market) but I think the grip while cornering hot is definitely a step below the Metz. But for everyday usage Pilot Street 2 is the way to go! But when it was time to replace the front tire, I wanted every bit of available traction from the front and decided to stay with the Metz itself.

Quote:
Another addition to my bike is the NGK Laser Iridium spark plug. Opted for this as iridiums are known for better life and better spark. Was recommended to opt for it by many. Got it from eBay USA for 14$ ~ 900INR (Got it shipped with a friend travelling back to India). The same seller had option of shipping it to India with total cost bumping up to around 27$ ~ 1600INR.
Can you please mention any change you observed post installation of the iridium plug (if any)?
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Old 23rd June 2015, 19:56   #4483
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by man_of_steel View Post
But when it was time to replace the front tire, I wanted every bit of available traction from the front and decided to stay with the Metz itself.

Can you please mention any change you observed post installation of the iridium plug (if any)?
Yes, thats true. Front end Metz is must for the rock solid grip when entering corners.

And about the plugs didn't feel any difference.
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Old 23rd June 2015, 20:15   #4484
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Another update. Just replaced the rear bolt locks on my bikes sprocket to that of self locking nuts. The newer Duke/RC 390's are already coming with the same.

Mine is a Sept 2014 model and comes with the semi-circular 'C' metal strips that assist in bolt locking on the sprocket. The bolts I used on my bike are the ones from the Honda Activa. The total cost is a 150INR including labor. I suggest this mod as must have as the bolts gets lose too soon due to vibes.

The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread-10509625_10206699562228439_8460220867813674736_n.jpg
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Old 24th June 2015, 11:47   #4485
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

I hahve installed the 110/70-17 Michelin Pilot street as the rear tyre of my Pulsar 180.Purchased them for 4K. Have changed the direction of rotation on the suggestion of many online forums on using the front radial tyre at the rear. Have completed around 250 kms and i aboslutely love the grip these offer. These are the best tyres i could lay upon within my budget and are more than sufficient for the puny 16BHP power laid down by the pulsar . Dry grip is excellent and wet grip is assuring .Have half centimeter of chicken strips on the left and 1.5 cms on the right thanks to the excellent grip these offer when cornering. Am one happy camper.Could not have asked for more.


Incidently , these tyres are much costlier in the US and Europe. Direct currency conversion puts them on par with the metz when it comes to pricing. However they would not sell if they are priced at that level. People would definitely opt for the Metz. Michelin have got the pricing bang on!
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