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Old 29th October 2013, 20:53   #1021
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by nasirkaka View Post
* Its difficult to find neutral. keeps shifting to either 1 or 2. is it normal? will it improve after some kms.
* the riding posture is so different from my C5. esp the footpeg position. will have to get used to it.
* the gears and overall engine felt a bit harsh and clunky compared to the test ride bike. hoping it will improve with time.
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Originally Posted by man_of_steel View Post
My 2 cents on the difficulty in finding neutral. I have experienced (still do..) this on my friend's D200 every time I ride it (mostly back to back after riding my TBTS). I always looks like an absolute idiot trying to slot it into neutral! I suspect it is due to the fact that REs have lot more play or throw in the gear lever compared to THE d200. Iam sure you will be able to find the neutral quickly when you spend more time on it.

Please do post the pics.
Nasirkaka, I will have to agree with man_of_steel. Even I had a hard time with finding neutral on a friend's 200. I attribute it mostly to coming from a C5 myself. However, once I got the 390, I found finding neutral much easier than on the 200. But I do believe that getting used to the footpeg position will ease its operation.

Also the fact that you mention the engine is running hot may attribute to the clunkiness of the gearbox.

The bike at low RPMS definitely smoothens up after first service, but that could also be due to the chain being tightened. May be in a better position to comment after another 500 KM.
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Old 29th October 2013, 22:19   #1022
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Guys can anyone of you share the measurements for a paddock stand. I want to fabricate mine for my Duke.

Regards
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Old 29th October 2013, 22:38   #1023
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

I have taken the delivery on 20.10.13 but still not registered. I wanted registration at Rajajinagar RTO and the KTM guys says it will get delayed since RTO guys are upgrading their software to facilitate online registration or whatever. However they got me a TR no and I am running with that.

My observations so far are here.
* Exhilarating acceleration!
* Braking is excellent. Rear brake lever play is so less and feedback is not so good. But front brake is very good.
* Engine breaking is mind boggling. Sometimes when I just release the accelerator, bike slows down so fast break is not even required.
*Managed to use ABS a couple of times and the bike stopped so surely, it is confidence inspiring.
* Starting - no problem at all. Single, albeit longer press of starter button does it.
* Riding posture is good.
* Gear shifting - good. I could not go to sixth gear at all since the show room guys have advised against crossing 60kmph till 1K. I don't know whether 60kmph limit is still relevant since RPM limit of 7500 is already put in. Any way I don't want to take any chance and sticking to it.
* Finding the neutral is as mysterious as on day one.. Does anybody have any knowledge of slotting in to neutral without trial & error, please share it.
*Lots of heating. If run in 3/4/5 & above 3000rpm then it takes a little longer for it to heat up. In b2b traffic, it heats almost immediately.
* Engine noise in lower gears is so loud. Almost every head on the road turns to look at the bike. Awe ? Irritation ? May be a mix of both ! A couple of guys have asked me whether the bike runs on diesel !
* Plenty of OOHs & AAHs from colleagues. Many have asked me which make ? KTM is unheard of by majority.
* Vibrations - plenty. But it is much quieter in 5th gear and ~60kmph speed.
*Idling is fixed at 1500rpm by service guys due to which when the speed comes down in traffic, either gear has to be shifted low(more heating) or Half clutch is required. Else the engine will stall.
Planned to drive long in the prev week end but could not due to some other engagements. This week also likely to be out of station. Have to try next week end.
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Old 29th October 2013, 23:08   #1024
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

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Originally Posted by MavericK46 View Post

- Rear wheel does lock in a panic brake scenario.
Today found a long stretch of sandy road going downhill and decided to test the effectiveness of the ABS. So braked hard just using the rear brake after speeding up to 60 kmph and result was not much impressive. The rear managed to skid two times for a distance of about 15 cms and the road was completely sandy with no tarmac. The bike corrected itself after the skid. The ABS light also came up indicating ABS has been turned off and the light went off after a few seconds and the ABS was back on. Don't know what happened exactly.

And the user manual says something like if the speed of both wheels differs much, then the ABS will be turned off automatically. Its mentioned on page 93 in the user manual.(PDF)

Last edited by junaid12345678 : 29th October 2013 at 23:18.
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Old 29th October 2013, 23:55   #1025
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

It is advised to put OFF the ABS when off-roading or going through gravel, sand, slush, etc. The rear brake ABS kicks in very too) easily o the 390. The front I have never ever pushed to the point of kicking in.
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Old 30th October 2013, 00:57   #1026
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Most motorcycle ABS systems only works on the front brake. The only exception would be on a braking system where one lever operates both front and rear brakes simultaneously.

I know the riders in India have a habit of using the rear brake as the primary stopping method on their motorcycles.
I guess it comes from a fear of locking up the front wheel and dumping the bike.

The ABS on the KTM works on the front brake only. After all, the front brake on any motorcycle will provide over 80 percent of the stopping power on any motorcycle and the only danger is the possibility of locking up the wheel. With ABS, that fear is no longer an issue.

As for using hard front wheel braking on loose or wet roadways, if the ABS kicks in, yes, the braking force will be reduced at the front brake to prevent the tyre from skidding but under most circumstances that is a much better option than having the bike loose control and dump the rider (and the bike) onto the tarmac. Even with the brake force reduced under these adverse conditions, the front brake will still stop the motorcycle faster than just using the rear brake.

My advice?

Leave the ABS on at all times.

Always use the front brake as the primary stopping method.
The rear brake is really only good for under 20 percent of the braking anyway.
In fact, road racers only use the rear brake to keep the back of the bike from swinging around during heavy braking.
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Old 30th October 2013, 01:41   #1027
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Jim Indians use more of the rear brakes for a reason. You should see our roads and the stuff on what passes for the "surface" to appreciate why no old time Indian rider will ever get out of the habit of covering his rear brake.

Also I did not get the part about the ABS working on the front brake only in the KTM. On the 390 its on both brakes, and they are not linked.

Last edited by ebonho : 30th October 2013 at 01:43.
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Old 30th October 2013, 03:10   #1028
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Jim Indians use more of the rear brakes for a reason. You should see our roads and the stuff on what passes for the "surface" to appreciate why no old time Indian rider will ever get out of the habit of covering his rear brake.

Also I did not get the part about the ABS working on the front brake only in the KTM. On the 390 its on both brakes, and they are not linked.

I completely agree to to your point. Indians are more used to riding motorcycles with narrow hard compound tires. They ride slowly but still manages to fall using the wrong braking technique. They learn from the age of bicycle riding- whatever happens, rear first. Any bike can be stopped in right time by applying brakes properly. And when it comes to disc brakes, they are termed as 'killers'. People often stay away from bikes having disc brakes though the scenario is changing. I once witnessed a guy falling from a Honda Unicorn at a mere speed of 50kmph when a stray animal crossed the path. All he did was slam the rear as hard as he can and the rear slide away while just front brake was enough to stop the bike way before it reaches the animal. Here people often have the impression that bikes are always unsafe but its only enthusiasts like us know the truth.

Yes, the Duke 390 has separate sensors for both wheels and ABS works for both the wheels individually, means it is not a combined system. So both wheels shouldn't lock up irrespective of the brakes applied whether its front or rear.
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Old 30th October 2013, 07:11   #1029
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by junaid12345678 View Post
Today found a long stretch of sandy road going downhill and decided to test the effectiveness of the ABS. So braked hard just using the rear brake after speeding up to 60 kmph and result was not much impressive. The rear managed to skid two times for a distance of about 15 cms and the road was completely sandy with no tarmac. The bike corrected itself after the skid. The ABS light also came up indicating ABS has been turned off and the light went off after a few seconds and the ABS was back on. Don't know what happened exactly.

And the user manual says something like if the speed of both wheels differs much, then the ABS will be turned off automatically. Its mentioned on page 93 in the user manual.(PDF)
If you were traveling at 60kmph, and the skids were only around 15 cm, then the ABS kicked in in 1/100th of a second. Which is impressive.

I don't understand why the ABS should go off by itself when the wheel speeds differ, for that is when the ABS is supposed to kick in...

Last edited by Rollin' Thunda : 30th October 2013 at 07:13.
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Old 30th October 2013, 10:24   #1030
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by junaid12345678 View Post
I completely agree to to your point. Indians are more used to riding motorcycles with narrow hard compound tires. They ride slowly but still manages to fall using the wrong braking technique. They learn from the age of bicycle riding- whatever happens, rear first. Any bike can be stopped in right time by applying brakes properly. And when it comes to disc brakes, they are termed as 'killers'. People often stay away from bikes having disc brakes though the scenario is changing. I once witnessed a guy falling from a Honda Unicorn at a mere speed of 50kmph when a stray animal crossed the path. All he did was slam the rear as hard as he can and the rear slide away while just front brake was enough to stop the bike way before it reaches the animal. Here people often have the impression that bikes are always unsafe but its only enthusiasts like us know the truth.

Yes, the Duke 390 has separate sensors for both wheels and ABS works for both the wheels individually, means it is not a combined system. So both wheels shouldn't lock up irrespective of the brakes applied whether its front or rear.
You are right "junaid12345678". Generally, the fear of touching the front bike starts with bicycles and scooters. Innumerable people have fallen after applying the front bake of chetak. It got drilled in to our psyche to manage with rear brake and not to apply the front brake. This itself took sometime for the people to overcome. Still in panic situation people (myself included) tend to use only rear and with the braking efficiency of rear being low will get into trouble as the bike continues to move.
Now coming to the disc brakes, the disc brakes will lock the wheel sans ABS. If only front brake is applied, the front wheel locks suddenly resulting in drastic reduction of bike speed but the rider owing to his momentum is likely to get thrown off the bike. This can happen even at ordinary speeds like 40/50kmph. This can be prevented only if the rider is very alert and hangs on to the bike strongly. This is what gave bad name to disc brakes. But ABS remedies this situation. Infact ABS is one main reason for my choosing D390.
The tyres whether hard or soft compund has minimal contribution, IMHO.
About 390, i believe both brakes are equipped with ABS individually and i did not see anything contradictory in the manual also.
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Old 30th October 2013, 10:53   #1031
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Bottom line is that front brakes are great when you have clean surface with good traction and grip.

Front brakes are deadly when you have gravel and debris and sand and various other forms of substances that litter our roads, anywhere and everywhere, without warning.

When you can see the surface, you are still cool, and can adapt accordingly. But what do you do in the dark?

So with cumulative years of riding in such conditions, one learns to trust his rear brake more, where one can slide and drift with control and still not go down, and learns (with painful experience) to be very wary about the front brake where beyond a point there will be a sudden and catastrophic washout, with zero warning and zero control.

I am an old school rider, and have never bought into the front brake only theory, and wil invariably always cover my rear brake. If not for anything but the added stabilization of the back end under heavy front end twist and direction change, fine and modulated and smooth scrubbing of speed, and of course, when going off the road or on less than perfect roads.

On my 200, I have already changed my rear brake pads once. The front ones are still going strong. On my 500, the front drums are there as additional anchors for straight line stopping from high speeds. The rear does most everything else.

Not trying to say that this is the one and only correct way. But it works for me. And from what I have read and heard and seen, there are a ton of very good (even top) riders who use a lot of rear brake as well.

Last edited by ebonho : 30th October 2013 at 11:08.
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Old 30th October 2013, 11:26   #1032
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Bottom line is that front brakes are great when you have clean surface with good traction and grip.
+1 to that
Doc,
You have inputted your years of experiences in those simple words. I believe very strongly in using the rear in conjunction with the front. My usage is slightly split up 60:40 with 60 for the front and 40 the rear. However in dire times, it has always been the rear which has helped me get away. A gentle tap on the rear is good enough to make the bike upright and a slight swagger should see the bike steering to your desired direction.

However these days, riders take a front brake only approach which keeps me wondering. I cannot imagine myself braking in mid-corner and locking up my front wheel
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Old 30th October 2013, 11:39   #1033
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Most of the bikers in India are not aware of stuff like tyre compound, correct air pressure. These two have a profound impact on the braking ability of the bike irrespective of surfaces.

Most of the people over-fill the air pressure. And when you brake even a bit hard then the tyre will to skid badly. I have seen people filling 36 PSI on their rear tyres where as the actual pressure is near 40 PSI because of faulty guage etc!

Now coming to tyres, soft compound tyres provide superior grip and hold the line when braking. They also have lesser tendency to lock up compared to hard compound tyres.But people want tyres that last the life time of the bike. I have seen people asking for tyres that last for 40-50K kms without caring about the grip or quality.

Now consider the fact that 80% of the riders have this mentality. No wonder people are scared to use front brake by spreading horror stories of skidding when they don't even get the basics right !

Last edited by sagarpadaki : 30th October 2013 at 11:40.
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Old 30th October 2013, 12:09   #1034
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

+1 to that.

I have been using a bullet for the last 10 years and using both the brakes has been the way to go for me too. Not only do I feel more confident braking with both the brakes, but also from what I have experienced over these years is that the bike generally more often than not tries to stop in a straight line.
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Old 30th October 2013, 12:11   #1035
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Default re: The KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience Thread

Quote:
Congrats on the 390 nasirkaka.. Is your C5 staying?

My 2 cents on the difficulty in finding neutral. I have experienced (still do..) this on my friend's D200 every time I ride it (mostly back to back after riding my TBTS). I always looks like an absolute idiot trying to slot it into neutral! I suspect it is due to the fact that REs have lot more play or throw in the gear lever compared to THE d200. Iam sure you will be able to find the neutral quickly when you spend more time on it.
Thanks. Yes the C5 is staying as of now, unless they launch the continental GT at a mouth watering price (doubt that!)
Riding 390 will require some learning and unlearning, i guess. For finding the neutral, what works better is a slight tap on the lever, rather then a constant pressure in which case it slips to either 1 or 2.

Quote:
Nasirkaka, I will have to agree with man_of_steel. Even I had a hard time with finding neutral on a friend's 200. I attribute it mostly to coming from a C5 myself. However, once I got the 390, I found finding neutral much easier than on the 200. But I do believe that getting used to the footpeg position will ease its operation.

Also the fact that you mention the engine is running hot may attribute to the clunkiness of the gearbox.

The bike at low RPMS definitely smoothens up after first service, but that could also be due to the chain being tightened. May be in a better position to comment after another 500 KM.
Finding neutral today was a bit easier, i think. Still keep hunting for the footpeg. May take a while to get familiar. Whats the correct way to check the chain tension? can it be done on side stand or we need the paddock?

My riding depends a lot on the RVM, and 390's RVM are not that well positioned. Also, the LHS one is sort of stuck and difficult to move to a desired position. the RHS one is a bit loose and easily changes its position, if mildly touched. May have to look at alternatives.

The horn is pretty weak, and will be difficult to run on the same till the warranty period. Hope there is some jugaad coming up.

Is it OK to run the bike in traffic at 10-20kmpl in 2nd gear, with slight clutch usage? will that be stressing any engine part? i am ok with a slightly shortened life of clutch plates. Running at slow speed in 1st gear is a bit jerky so far. Or again, may be the bulls have spoilt us.

Last edited by nasirkaka : 30th October 2013 at 12:25.
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