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Old 6th July 2015, 10:36   #4561
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post
I knew someone would definitely say this (though I didn't expect such an aggressive response :-) ). Since this is a safety issue that can be easily retrofitted - of course at a cost - I think it should be done. In any case Bajaj owes it to its customer an official statement on the subject.
Sudipto dada as you ride a RE you might be knowing this, during 2003-2004 RE introduced front disc brake on some of their models. This addition caught the attention of many riders who owned a RE motorcycle. Slowly the demand for retrofitting front disc brake on older RE motorcycles started catching up. Soon there were legions of riders who wanted to retrofit a front disc brake on their motorcycles from the usual drum brakes. RE saw this and soon started selling disc brake conversion kits. The OEM for disc brake assembly at that time was Pricol. Initially it costed about 6-7K and slowly the price came upto 10K. The kit consisted of the disc brake assembly, wheel centre hub, spokes, etc. Now why this little history about RE disc brake kit. I think Bajaj KTM motorcycles offering slipper clutch on the Duke 390 if not similar is close to RE offering disc brake on their motorcycles, albeit slipper clutch being somewhat more complex than a front disc brake conversion.

I am all for the slipper clutch not only for track riding but also for regular rides. I have rode my cousin's Duke 390 several times and out of those the very first time I rode it I understood the need for a slipper clutch. I was riding at around 30-35 KMPH on the second gear and suddenly I spotted an unmarked speed breaker and downshifted to first gear to reduce speed. I could feel the rear wheel locked a bit and the tyre skidded(very mild though) like it happens during hard braking on non-ABS motorcycles. I know I should have braked first and then downshifted to avoid this, but mind reflexes depend from rider to rider. After sharing my experience with my cousin, he too was of the same opinion. Having a slipper clutch in such situations is a welcome change. Bajaj KTM might have noticed the same phenomenon among riders and who knows they might have also got some feedback on this. This might have prompted them to offer slipper clutch on KTM Duke 390. If Bajaj KTM can sell this as a conversion kit for the existing Duke 390's then it would be great but it is not their obligation to do so. I as a rider would love to have this conversion kit or the conversion done at Bajaj KTM service centres while I will bear the cost of it. If Bajaj KTM manage to do so they will have a huge line of riders outside their service centres and there's money to be made while also retaining the brand loyalty among its existing customers. A win win for both .

Last edited by navin_v8 : 6th July 2015 at 10:39.
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Old 6th July 2015, 11:00   #4562
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
well then, there is a lot of even more basic buffoonery a rider can do which would result in nasty consequences.
That's really funny. I agree with most of what you say but still on this slipper clutch issue somehow my sympathies are with the older lot of buyers, particularly because of Bajaj's silence on the issue.
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Old 6th July 2015, 11:02   #4563
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Not Sudipto dada, but will take the liberty of making a few counterpoints.

Quote:
Originally Posted by navin_v8 View Post
Sudipto dada as you ride a RE you might be knowing this, during 2003-2004 RE introduced front disc brake on some of their models. This addition caught the attention of many riders who owned a RE motorcycle. Slowly the demand for retrofitting front disc brake on older RE motorcycles started catching up. Soon there were legions of riders who wanted to retrofit a front disc brake on their motorcycles from the usual drum brakes. RE saw this and soon started selling disc brake conversion kits. The OEM for disc brake assembly at that time was Pricol. Initially it costed about 6-7K and slowly the price came upto 10K. The kit consisted of the disc brake assembly, wheel centre hub, spokes, etc. Now why this little history about RE disc brake kit. I think Bajaj KTM motorcycles offering slipper clutch on the Duke 390 if not similar is close to RE offering disc brake on their motorcycles
1) Long before RE was selling Pricol kits, Alibhai Premji at Grant Road in Mumbai was selling Brembo kits. For years in fact.

2) Any Bulleteer would know that most of the braking on drum braked Bullets is done with the rear brake, with the front brake being a yellow-underpant last resort. In such a scenario, there was no comparison between the performance and safety offered by disc brakes versus the older drum brakes, both the smaller single leading shoe versions and the latest 7" twin leading shoe avatars (which I have on Doppie, and which when well tuned after hours of effort and patience, does offer decent bite and anchor force - still not close to a disc though).

3) You me and Sudipto dada all know how many Bullets Royal Enfield was selling at the time and how big the knowledgeable performance minded well informed community of riders there really was across the country. Compared to the KTM clan and number of bikes sold today.

4) There is a big difference between making a disc brake kit available for sale from a vendor, to be fitted by riders on their own (there was no company-level callback for retrofit) and Bajaj being expected to provide a engine kit to be installed by their company authorized outlets.

5) Any half decent roadside hole in the wall mechanic with a rudimentary jig (sometimes even without) can retrofit a disc brake kit to a Bullet. Such is not the case for a slipper clutch on a KTM. It would have to be done at authorized trained service points. Which as all KTM guys know, are already bursting at the seams with work load and falling levels of attention and quality of basic service and troubleshooting.

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albeit slipper clutch being somewhat more complex than a front disc brake conversion.
You can say that again. The "somewhat" being an understatement of some significance depending on who you are - owner, manufacturer, mechanic or casual commentator.

Quote:
I know I should have braked first and then downshifted to avoid this, but mind reflexes depend from rider to rider.
You are right. Not the bike's fault. Or that of the normal clutch. How often does any rider go below 2nd while on the move on a 1 down 5 (or 4) up box? There is huge transmission shock between 2 and 1. Its not seamless like 6 to 2. 1st is for getting off and where necessary puttering around at 5-10 kmph traffic snarl speeds.

You are also right that a slipper clutch would have prevented that small jig at the back. As would have anticipation, throttle control, braking, and down shifting to the correct lower gear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post
That's really funny. I agree with most of what you say but still on this slipper clutch issue somehow my sympathies are with the older lot of buyers, particularly because of Bajaj's silence on the issue.
I am an older lot buyer and if I want it on my bike (I do) I'll get it on my bike. But I will not question Bajaj's ethics for not automatically doing it for me, either free of cost, or even as a paid-for official recall retrofit.

I am sorry, but this is the second time you've mentioned Bajaj's silence. How has Bajaj been silent?

Have they not mentioned that the new lot Dukes have a Slipper and Assist clutch assembly? Are these not clearly shown in their parts catalog (as has been posted here - hence available and not hidden)?

What more should we expect? An official statement of regret of their inability to offer the same to old Duke owners from 2013 forward?

P.S. Sudipto, I'm playing the Devil's Advocate here. Like you and Navin and Mithun and Mehuel and others, I too would like the retrofit to be an easy regular process through KTM authorized centers and by KTM trained technicians.

But I know close first hand what the situation is at these service outlets with the massive explosion in KTM ownership.

Its simply the ethics part of your message that I object to. As I do the allusion to Bajaj being less than transparent about the same. And my arguments are structured on those lines.

Peace.

Last edited by ebonho : 6th July 2015 at 11:22.
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Old 6th July 2015, 12:20   #4564
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Not Sudipto dada, but will take the liberty of making a few counterpoints.
I too would like to counter the counterpoints.

Quote:
1) Long before RE was selling Pricol kits, Alibhai Premji at Grant Road in Mumbai was selling Brembo kits. For years in fact.
I am aware of this as I am born and brought up in Bombay. I should have mentioned about mass produced kits widely available all over India over the counter resellers. I myself came across such a flat disc conversion example on a RE Machismo CI 350 late 90's model while on a hunt for buying a used RE. Those brakes if not similar looked close to the flat disc brakes offered in Zundapp/RE Fury 175cc motorcycle. But the point of discussion is not this at the moment on this thread, it was just an comparative example.

Quote:
2) Any Bulleteer would know that most of the braking on drum braked Bullets is done with the rear brake, with the front brake being a yellow-underpant last resort. In such a scenario, there was no comparison between the performance and safety offered by disc brakes versus the older drum brakes, both the smaller single leading shoe versions and the latest 7" twin leading shoe avatars (which I have on Doppie, and which when well tuned after hours of effort and patience, does offer decent bite and anchor force - still not close to a disc though).
Not really and not for all Bulleteers, up until disc brakes were offered RE motorcycles had only drum brakes to begin with. As the front drum brake didn't have enough bite, the rear one had to used extensively as experienced by me on my Standard CI's, this phenomenon prompted riders to resort to rear drum brake for braking for cutting speed. RE offered a front disc for a reason(a good one at that) and riders like me and many others wanted to get it retrofitted on our bikes for assured braking while cutting speed. But the point of discussion is not this at the moment on this thread.

Quote:
3) You me and Sudipto dada all know how many Bullets Royal Enfield was selling at the time and how big the knowledgeable performance minded well informed community of riders there really was across the country. Compared to the KTM clan and number of bikes sold today.
I see no point here unless you are referring to old school riders with new ones. If yes then KTM clan do have the internet forums (like our wonderful TeamBHP) and sites to refer to and share their experience with which helps each other while also building relationships. But the point of discussion is not this at the moment on this thread.

Quote:
4) There is a big difference between making a disc brake kit available for sale from a vendor, to be fitted by riders on their own (there was no company-level callback for retrofit) and Bajaj being expected to provide a engine kit to be installed by their company authorized outlets.
I never said that Bajaj is being expected to provide a engine kit to be installed by their company authorized outlets. You need to read the fine print, I remember what I said and I quote "If Bajaj KTM can sell this as a conversion kit for the existing Duke 390's then it would be great but it is not their obligation to do so. I as a rider would love to have this conversion kit or the conversion done at Bajaj KTM service centres while I will bear the cost of it." I hope this makes it clear.

Quote:
5) Any half decent roadside hole in the wall mechanic with a rudimentary jig (sometimes even without) can retrofit a disc brake kit to a Bullet.
For you maybe, but not for me. No. I will either take it to the authorized service centre or a well known mechanic. Disc brake or any brake is a life saving part and I would not like to get it fitted at a roadside hole in the wall mechanic.

Quote:
Such is not the case for a slipper clutch on a KTM. It would have to be done at authorized trained service points. Which as all KTM guys know, are already bursting at the seams with work load and falling levels of attention and quality of basic service and troubleshooting.
That is what I have exactly mentioned above about getting it fitted through the authorized service centre and I quote again, "I as a rider would love to have this conversion kit or the conversion done at Bajaj KTM service centres." Also Rising numbers of motorcycles is no reason for not maintaining the quality, atleast in this era. Afterall Bajaj KTM is not going to do it for free and why should they. They can offer it to the willing customers at a price and yes there's money to be made looking at the hordes of KTM riders ready to switch, including my cousin brother and his friend.

Quote:
You can say that again. The "somewhat" being an understatement of some significance depending on who you are - owner, manufacturer, mechanic or casual commentator.
Depends on what you are perceiving. I am talking here in terms of manufacturer as long as it is a bolt on kit with some modifications. And Yes the owners are ready to pay for it, then why not. I as an owner am not sure if I can carry this out with our backyard mechanics or a hole in the wall mechanics.

Quote:
You are right. Not the bike's fault. Or that of the normal clutch. How often does any rider go below 2nd while on the move on a 1 down 5 (or 4) up box? There is huge transmission shock between 2 and 1. Its not seamless like 6 to 2. 1st is for getting off and where necessary puttering around at 5-10 kmph traffic snarl speeds.
That altogether depends on the riding situation and the road ahead. Not everyone gets it right first time and that's the exact reason why manufacturers offer such components in this case the slipper clutch. There are riders who still make do with drum brakes on their motorcycles but for some other riders we need the disc brake.

Quote:
You are also right that a slipper clutch would have prevented that small jig at the back. As would have anticipation, throttle control, braking, and down shifting to the correct lower gear.
LIke I said earlier mind reflexes differs from riders to riders. One can't expect every rider to ride as he does, that is the reason why manufacturers have also started offering traction control for their motorcycles. The best of the riders need this little assistance. There is a reason why manufacturers are offering slipper clutch on their street bikes, super bikes and other sports bikes, else everyone would still be riding with old tech dependent on their brains to calculate everything. In one place we say that ABS is a life saving feature and in another place we say if we ride properly by the book then ABS will be rendered useless. I say it again it depends from rider to rider and their reflexes while millions of different situations they come across while riding.

Quote:
P.S. Sudipto, I'm playing the Devil's Advocate here. Like you and Navin and Mithun and Mehuel and others, I too would like the retrofit to be an easy regular process through KTM authorized centers and by KTM trained technicians.

But I know close first hand what the situation is at these service outlets with the massive explosion in KTM ownership.
So you would get it fitted as I can perceive from your posts. Let us know your experience as and when you plan to do it. Looking forward to it.

Last edited by navin_v8 : 6th July 2015 at 12:23.
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Old 6th July 2015, 19:02   #4565
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Another update on the foot peg discussion - These things are slippery ......
too DAMN SLIPPERY when wet even a little bit. And I dont think its the boots to be blamed. Was wearing my Sidi motocross boots that I believe have soles designed to grip better in slushy / muddy conditions. Have experienced similar slippage with my other touring style A-stars boots as well

Be careful whenever you are riding in the rains peeps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post
my sympathies are with the older lot of buyers, particularly because of Bajaj's silence on the issue.
No sympathies needed sir. At least not for this older lot buyer. I am actually happy that my bike came without a slipper clutch. Becuase of this; I have been able to learn the invaluable skill of blipping the throttle whilst downshifting which BTW is a whole lot of fun as well

I remember my recent track day at the BIC. After the long straight comes a pretty sharp right and you go hard on your brakes; with a grin and a prayer. Downshifting and blipping from 160 + KMPH gear after gear, the bike screaming louder each time you do .... words cant describe the sheer joy of it

Havent experienced the new clutch and the lightness of it but to me its a non issue. I have probably become used to the 390's clutch; but I barely pull it in 10% whilst changing gears. Even slipping the clutch does not require you to pull in greater than 40% of the total travel. Try it - The clutch's "bite point" is when you have let it out around 60%. Before that, the bike is essentially coasting

PS - Mods : I hope you allow the mention of high speeds in this post. It was in a controlled environment and not on public roads. Thanks!

Last edited by Urban_Nomad : 6th July 2015 at 19:04.
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Old 6th July 2015, 21:04   #4566
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

While the slipper clutch has indeed become the newest USP of the D390, I personally feel it's becoming too boisterous an affair. IMO, it's USP still and will remain it's VFM, sheer power and legendary tyres. Regardless, how often will you find yourself taking a corner at 3 digit speeds?

Moreover, paying 10 grand to get my engine opened up and all that, well, it's just too much to deal with. Initially, the excitement of getting a slipper clutch will surely shadow the risk of getting the crank opened and stuff, but it might create long term issues. Might create issues with overall dynamics and adaptability as well.

As the old bearded mechanic by my house used to say - "Once I 'open' the engine, I become your new best friend".
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Old 6th July 2015, 22:15   #4567
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barcalad View Post
While the slipper clutch has indeed become the newest USP of the D390, I personally feel it's becoming too boisterous an affair. IMO, it's USP still and will remain it's VFM, sheer power and legendary tyres. Regardless, how often will you find yourself taking a corner at 3 digit speeds?

Moreover, paying 10 grand to get my engine opened up and all that, well, it's just too much to deal with. Initially, the excitement of getting a slipper clutch will surely shadow the risk of getting the crank opened and stuff, but it might create long term issues. Might create issues with overall dynamics and adaptability as well.

As the old bearded mechanic by my house used to say - "Once I 'open' the engine, I become your new best friend".
Come on bro. Don't be such a sceptic Agreed that the actual use of a slipper clutch is on a track and all. But I find the stock clutch quite rigid in packed traffic. And I had a thorough study of the parts manual along with the service chief at KTM Kochi. We don't need to do anything on the output shaft, let alone crank, because they are identical. We need to remove the clutch plate- cover assy and replace it with the new one. Since the design of the outer cover along with some nuts and washers are different, they also need to be replaced.
And where else is the sense of fun, other than extending the capabilities of our bikes. And Rs 10K on a 2.2 L bike is not even 5% of the cost.
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Old 6th July 2015, 22:30   #4568
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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But I find the stock clutch quite rigid in packed traffic. And I had a thorough study of the parts manual along with the service chief at KTM Kochi.
Agreed, mate. To each his own!

Me, on the other hand, well am not exactly a follower of retrofitting and stuff. Perhaps your thread might change my mind. Really looking forward to it!
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Old 7th July 2015, 12:22   #4569
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

I think breaking of levers is the 'in thing' for Duke now - after reading the stories of breaking foot pegs, I got a taste of it today - albeit in a different manner.

While riding to office, my gear lever graced a jutting stone ( I was doing around 10-15 kmph) and the gear lever broke off clean.

More details and picture here - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorb...ml#post3747588 (The Duke of Direwolves - Lisbeth, my KTM Duke 200)
(didn't want to clutter the 390 thread, even though I think these parts will be shared across D 200 and D390)

--Anoop
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Old 7th July 2015, 12:29   #4570
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Another update on the foot peg discussion - These things are slippery ......
too DAMN SLIPPERY when wet even a little bit. And I dont think its the boots to be blamed. Was wearing my Sidi motocross boots that I believe have soles designed to grip better in slushy / muddy conditions. Have experienced similar slippage with my other touring style A-stars boots as well

Be careful whenever you are riding in the rains peeps
Thank you for mentioning this. I picked up a TBG boots a couple of months back and I found it to be extremely slippery when wet. I was thinking that the boot sole is the culprit here. . Woodlands did not have this problem, may be due to its blocky sole design!

I have had my share of heart in the mouth moments when I stood on the pegs while going over potholes!
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Old 7th July 2015, 15:21   #4571
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Thank you for mentioning this. I picked up a TBG boots a couple of months back and I found it to be extremely slippery when wet. I was thinking that the boot sole is the culprit here. . Woodlands did not have this problem, may be due to its blocky sole design!

I have had my share of heart in the mouth moments when I stood on the pegs while going over potholes!
Oh yes! The boots are not to be blamed. To give you an example of how wet we are talking here:

I was pulling out of my parking lot, which has a bit of a slope. At the bottom of the slope was a big and very unavoidable puddle of water from the rains that blessed Delhi yesterday morning. I reversed the bike out and my right foot was momentarily in the puddle ... we are talking miliseconds. I was wearing my Sidi MX boots

Right outside my colony gates is a bad patch of road which I like to run through standing on the pegs. Balls of my feet on the pegs, I tried standing up. My right foot basically slid out from under me and the big heel stopped my foot form basically going off the peg entirely

In another instance; while heading back home from work I encountered some waterlogging on the street. I was wearing my A-stars ridge boots. There was a bit of a splash and my boots did get a little wet. Next up was a sharp left hander I really love. I opened the throttle, shifted my weight left and right before the turn, my foot slipped right off the peg. BIM moment!!!

I am sure woodlands would provide better grip coz of the lugs in the soles. My Cats are pretty similar. But the one time I rode my 390 in them, they were "catching" everywhere on the pegs and moving my feet around was rather painful

These pegs should have been better. I tense up with the slightest of water splashing on these pegs. I really do wonder if we can retrofit the Impulse's pegs on the Dukes. I would remove the rubber padding on top. That serrated top should provide exceptional grip. Not sure if its possible though
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Old 7th July 2015, 17:27   #4572
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ebonho - Sorry for the delayed response, as I didn't log in earlier. Actually I have no response, except to say that I agree with many things that you say and agree to disagree with a few. :-)

Regarding broken parts, the other day at the workshop I saw a presentation from KTM, a training manual kind of thing meant for the service team where many of our common complaints are discussed and they are advised on how to deal with them. I mean what to tell customers when they raise issues like "broken rim" or "heat wave" around the engine.

At first glance the answers would look convincing but then they give rise to some other unanswered questions too. For example, regarding the heat they say the answer is the engine develops a lot of power which causes heat. Question is, is it the same case with other bikes that develop similar power?

The answer to rim problem (I am happy that at least they acknowledge that lot of customers are facing the issue) is the bike must have hit the edge of the ditch with the edge of the wheel rim at around 50kmph or more speed. OK. If that is the case, then why is this not a commonly reported issue with any other motorcycle? The manual also mentions that the broken rim is covered by insurance.

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Originally Posted by Urban_Nomad View Post
Oh yes! The boots are not to be blamed. To give you an example of how wet we are talking here:
The other day I rode for close to an hour in absolute blinding rain. I did not for once felt like any of the levers or pegs slipping. But then I just wear my Asics for riding. Request mods to please merge this with my previous response, as I didn't see this post from Urban_Nomad while posting the previous comment.

Last edited by Technocrat : 10th July 2015 at 21:27. Reason: back to back posts merged, thanks
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Old 7th July 2015, 17:38   #4573
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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ebonho - Sorry for the delayed response, as I didn't log in earlier. Actually I have no response, except to say that I agree with many things that you say and agree to disagree with a few. :-)
I appreciate and reciprocate the sentiment completely Sudipto.

It would be a really boring place if all of us agreed with each other all the time here.

I've never operated like that. Not as a pre-schooler (from what my mom tells me). Not in school. Definitely not in college (oh man ....). And again not at work, regardless of where in the move up the pecking order I was at the time.

Cheers.

P.S. Yes, not on forums as well.

Last edited by ebonho : 7th July 2015 at 17:41.
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Old 7th July 2015, 17:45   #4574
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Question is, is it the same case with other bikes that develop similar power?
Sorry to jump in between. If the engine produces the same power from this 373cc, then it will produce more or less the same heat. But there are many variables included like the engine oil capacity, size of radiator, radiator fan, material of engine construction etc etc..

Quote:
If that is the case, then why is this not a commonly reported issue with any other motorcycle? The manual also mentions that the broken rim is covered by insurance.
Even I have asked them the same question and answer I got was far from something convincing.

Last edited by man_of_steel : 7th July 2015 at 17:50.
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Old 7th July 2015, 17:53   #4575
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Default Re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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The other day I rode for close to an hour in absolute blinding rain. I did not for once felt like any of the levers or pegs slipping. But then I just wear my Asics for riding
Dada - If I may say so; running shoes / sneakers are an absolute no no if you are riding distances exceeding your nukkad waala grocer. I recommend investing in proper riding boots

I was reading comments from a gentleman in the States who worked in an ER. Per him; besides a helmet the most important piece of protective gear one must wear are riding boots with good ankle protection. Ankle injuries can be life altering

Your Asics may feel comfy and actually have better grip on account of the soft sole that would literally wrap itself around the pegs and allow your feet to flex as well. But it offers absolutely zero protection in case of a get off

Try this - Hold your Asics shoe from either ends and wring it; like you would a piece of cloth to force water out of it. See that flex; how the shoe literally turns over itself?

Now ..... Imagine your foot inside it

Motorcycle boots will involve a learning curve and will take you some time to get used to them. Once you break them in though; you will feel naked in anything less

Take care and ride safe!
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KTM Duke 390 - 375cc, 45 PS, 150 kg djay99 Motorbikes 620 25th June 2013 12:45


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