Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > Motorbikes


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 4th September 2013, 15:03   #1
BHPian
 
sriramv.iyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 835
Thanked: 710 Times
Default My Tryst with Orange: KTM Duke 390

[Disclaimer: After penning this down, it doesn't appear organized at all - Definitely not TBHP quality stuff. Just wanted to share why and how I bought Duke 390 and my experiences so far with my other rides. Only read at leisure! ]

My first experience with what joy a bike can bring was with Karizma (flashback to 2004) - The first bike that I owned was 2000 Fiero that I bought as soon as I finished my college, and it was definitely a good bike.

However, Karizma took it to the next level. I still remember the feeling when I got an open road after the first service, and I opened the throttle and my jaw dropped! I have been addicted to two-wheelers since then.

I then changed over to R15, followed by CBR250R which were good bikes, but was not a quantum leap wrt my jump from Fiero to Karizma. I actually feel that the R15 was a downgrade.

I now have a CBR250R since May 2011, and a Hyosung GT650N (both Red) since March 2012. GT650N is seriously underrated. I'll probably take time off to write about it sometime!


----

Enter KTM

My first tryst with KTM was when I went to Bajaj's Chakan plant for a Business Competition (called The Pitch (Season 2)) - Rajiv Bajaj was one of the judges. I was super awed by the big bikes and by Mr. Bajaj! I had a long conversation with him one on one, and I left the place much richer in terms of perspective and a real respect for Bajaj.

My Tryst with Orange: KTM Duke 390-img_0232.jpg

Rahul Bose anchored the whole event

My Tryst with Orange: KTM Duke 390-img_0277.jpg

There were a lot of news of the new 390 launching and numerous reports of first ride etc that got me drooling. I was looking for a bike that is light, powerful and flickable - CBR250R is a very good bike, but is too gentlemanly in nature (if I can call it) - It is Toyota Corolla of bikes. It is perfect to a fault (if you can excuse the build issues) but somehow I feel it has no soul.

Also, both CBR and GT650N are HEAVY. (despite my large build) - I couldn't use the GT650N for my ride to office on a regular basis (due to heating issues, weight, super heavy clutch and hard gear shifts)

I rode one of my colleague's Duke 200 and was blown away! It felt like my age had reduced by 10 years. That was the time when 390 was announced, I had real tough time controlling myself to wait for the 390.

So, I made a booking just about it was announced, and I finally picked it up! Thanks to Popular KTM and friendly staff there!

Ready to Race - Welcome Kit
My Tryst with Orange: KTM Duke 390-390.jpg

The Owners Manual
My Tryst with Orange: KTM Duke 390-3902.jpg

Yours truly, with the ride. Popular opinion is that I can't smile at all, and I quite agree with that. What appears as a smirk below, is a hearty smile personally
My Tryst with Orange: KTM Duke 390-img_3179.jpg

Friendly staff of Popular KTM
My Tryst with Orange: KTM Duke 390-img_3182.jpg

It was just 6 kms old when I picked it up (Took a photo at a signal close by, after 7 kms total!) - It was raining
My Tryst with Orange: KTM Duke 390-img_3185.jpg

The traditional pooja at 'Sri Odakatthur Mutt - Subrahmanya Swamy temple' in Ulsoor [There is an interesting story - When I bought my Karizma in 2004, I took the bike to this temple since Sri Subrahmanya Swamy is our family deity. I suddenly thought I'll be caught in traffic and I'll do the pooja in a Maruti temple near my house since 'All Gods are same' (for my own selfish convenience). Since I had already reached ulsoor lake, I thought I'll pass by the temple and head to the Maruti temple. When I tried crossing the temple, the bike stopped abruptly in front of the gate and refused to start! I tried a few times, and then gave up. I took the bike to the temple, finished the formalities and then the bike started as if it had no problem! From then on, I make sure all my vehicles (YZF R15, CBR 250R, Hyosung GT650N, New Ford Fiesta 1.5 TDCi) get the Pooja done there. Obviously, I got the pooja for 390 done there too! - Sorry about the digression]

My Tryst with Orange: KTM Duke 390-img_3194.jpg

Last edited by sriramv.iyer : 4th September 2013 at 20:06.
sriramv.iyer is offline   (28) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 4th September 2013, 16:32   #2
BHPian
 
sriramv.iyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 835
Thanked: 710 Times
Default KTM 390 - My Perspective against the bikes I have owned / rode

I have owned / rode the following bikes in the last 14 years:

Suzuki Fiero: 2000 - 2004
Hero Honda Karizma: 2004 - 2009
Yamaha YZF R15: 2009 - 2012

Honda CBR250R: 2011 -
Hyosung GT650N: 2012 -
KTM Duke 390: 2013 -

I actually don't remember much about Fiero. But, Karizma was a great bike. It was the best tourer for the price at that point of time. The game has moved on since then. It was not a great handler, but had a very good ride quality. (A pic of Fiero with two of my best friends, and my then room-mates)
My Tryst with Orange: KTM Duke 390-fieronandi.jpg

R15 set the bench mark in handling. Even a novice like me could ride it through sharp corners, and it provided an experience that only a proper sports bike could do. However, it is not faultless. The power delivery started at 5K RPM, which means that it was pain in the wrong area within city. You had to rev it up every time you hit a speed breaker. It truly felt underpowered in lower revvs. Not a very happy feeling after spending 1.15L on a bike! It gave close to 40 kmpl when ridden within limits!
Name:  R15.jpg
Views: 53773
Size:  97.0 KB

So, when CBR250R was announced, I was very happy! From 17 BHP - 25 BHP! The bike is good, but not a great handler. Front suspension is soft and cornering is not even close to R15. It was properly fast on open highways, and lost breath around 130 Kmph (it would continue to reach 140+ km/h but at its own pace). It was NOT fun. The FE is over 25 kmpl.
My Tryst with Orange: KTM Duke 390-img_2782.jpg

A few days after I told my friends that I have reached the limit of CBR250R, a series of events (too long and too boring) happened, and I finally got a Hyosung GT650N! Hyosung 650GTN was a QUANTUM leap in motorcycling experience for me. It does 100 kmph in about 4K RPM and speeds of 140 kmph is achieved EFFORTLESSLY! However, it is a BIG bike, and is heavy and not practical for daily use in crowded place like Bangalore. It is awesome on highways and open roads. FE is 15+ kmpl for non-extreme riding
My Tryst with Orange: KTM Duke 390-img_2672.jpg
My Tryst with Orange: KTM Duke 390-hyosung1.jpg
My Tryst with Orange: KTM Duke 390-img_3119.jpg


Pros of Duke 390 (vis a vis my other rides)
  • Duke 390 is super-light compared to CBR250R and GT650N. It is supremely flickable like the R15.
  • In my short rides, I couldn't figure this out, but I really don't think that the ride is harsh at all! I actually rode over a few potholes due to severe rains, and the ride was quite ok. I was actually consciously checking if the ride quality was ok due to reports of hard suspensions and jarring ride quality. In my limited experience, it is not true
  • Braking is good. I feel quite confident with the brakes. So far haven't found the need for ABS :-)
  • Looks awesome. The exhaust is throaty
  • No one noticed the bike that night :-) It is pretty discreet since everyone thinks it is a 200.
  • Revvs are limited to 7500 RPM till first service - They say they'll slowly increase the limiter to 8500, 9500 and 10,500 with every service! I'll be one angry guy if they don't move the limiter to 10.5K after first service! (I think the technician was wrong when he said that, though)
  • Tyres felt good. Some reviews mentioned that one has to get 'used' to Metzeler tyres. I felt home from the time I started riding it.

Cons
  • The lighting of the controls makes it looks 'Pulsar-ish' - Not to my liking
  • Engine heat: The engine heats up quite a lot! I am used to the heat from the GT650N and it is as bad as the GT650N
  • The bike is small and not substantial as the CBR / GT650N. You really don't get a 'Big Bike' feeling
  • Pillion rider should be a super-model to fit in (One of the reasons I am buying it )
  • Orange alloys seem to get dirty (or appear dirty) easier than the traditional black ones
  • The hand guard looks REALLY cheap for a KTM. I asked them to remove it before I took delivery of the bike


To summarize, I think Duke 390 is one of the BEST things to happen to Indian motorcycling history (after RD350, which I have not ridden yet).

It has amazing feature set (Most of you will know it, and can skip it!)
  • State of the art, over-square 373 cc, single cylinder engine making 43 BHP! (Maruti 800 had an engine that makes 37 BHP, for your comparison. CBR250R makes 25)
  • Metzeler Sportek M5 Tyres. These are apparently the most premium of all tyres, costing 24K a pair. (Will bite you when you replace )
  • Latest generation ABS from Bosch. I have locked the wheels in wet roads in most of my bikes (with or without bruises ). I'll update you all how this works when it triggers. For the stunt guys, there is an option to turn off ABS
  • 43 mm Upside down fork suspension tuned by WP (performance division of KTM)
  • Orange everywhere!
  • Mad engine. (not as mental as 200) - The engine never was in a hurry like 200, but I though miss the hurried nature of 200. However, the bike is properly fast.
  • Nikasil coated cylinders. This is a special silicon based alloy inside the cylinder for smoother operation on longevity. You might remember that R15 has a similar silicon based alloy (Diasil, IIRC)
  • Forged Pistons - There are apparently two ways to make pistons out of metals. Cast it - Where you melt the metal and cast it. Second, increase the temperature to make it malleable and apply pressure to get it into the right shape. The advantage of the latter is that the metallic bonds are not broken during forging (they get broken during melting). Hence forged pistons are lighter and stronger. R15 also had forged pistons
  • Trellis frame - There are multiple frames to mount the engine. KTM uses Trellis based frames on a chassis is light and stiff. (R15 uses Perimeter frame on Deltabox Chassis)

There is NO reason whatsoever to miss this bike (with all due respect, 390 wins hands down in a comparo with Ninja 300, and yes, Motorbeam's comparo of Duke 390 and Ninja 300 is wrong in being biased towards 300)

I only hope that the heating issue is not a big one. Otherwise, this is a the best thing to happen to us in India! Hail Bajaj! Hail KTM!

I'll take more pics and post them once I get back to Bangalore!

My Tryst with Orange: KTM Duke 390-ktm-instructions.jpg

Last edited by sriramv.iyer : 4th September 2013 at 20:04.
sriramv.iyer is offline   (40) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 5th September 2013, 11:26   #3
Senior - BHPian
 
VW2010's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: electricity
Posts: 2,566
Thanked: 2,040 Times
Default Re: My Tryst with Orange: KTM Duke 390

Very nicely written considering you hardly had time to first spend on the bike yesterday and spend on the web writing this.

The experience over the years and hyosung in the stable just adds more credibility to the comments you make about 390

I am not sure if 390 would change the biking scene because given an option between CBR250 and 390 most of my friends are picking 250 for the looks.

The 390 RC will definitely change the scenario if properly designed and properly priced.
VW2010 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th September 2013, 11:43   #4
Senior - BHPian
 
black12rr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Ridin earth now
Posts: 1,259
Thanked: 272 Times
Default Re: My Tryst with Orange: KTM Duke 390

Congrats for the bike . You seemed to have enjoyed biking over the years . . Ride safe . Will catch up some time .
black12rr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th September 2013, 11:51   #5
Senior - BHPian
 
n_aditya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Namma Bengaluru
Posts: 5,206
Thanked: 2,742 Times
Default Re: My Tryst with Orange: KTM Duke 390

Congrats on being the first 390 owner from this part of the country.

I loved the brutal acceleration on this hooligan-of-a-bike. Accelerates like mad and I'm sure pretty soon, you'll be wanting the service guys to remove the revvlimiter cutoff for you.

I'm thinking of picking up a nice commuter bike in the near future and toying with the 200 for now. Or might wait a bit and buy a 390 depending on ownership reviews. Still undecided and in no hurry.

Wishing you many happy and safe miles and years with this one. Do share your updates with this machine as often as you can.
n_aditya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th September 2013, 12:24   #6
BHPian
 
the VTEC guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Pune
Posts: 563
Thanked: 138 Times
Default Re: My Tryst with Orange: KTM Duke 390

Congratulations on the bike! Nice quick review and insight of the bikes you have owned till now. Waiting for mine to be delivered. Ride safe.
the VTEC guy is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 5th September 2013, 12:31   #7
BHPian
 
sriramv.iyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 835
Thanked: 710 Times
Default Re: My Tryst with Orange: KTM Duke 390

Quote:
Originally Posted by VW2010 View Post
Very nicely written considering you hardly had time to first spend on the bike yesterday and spend on the web writing this.

The experience over the years and hyosung in the stable just adds more credibility to the comments you make about 390

I am not sure if 390 would change the biking scene because given an option between CBR250 and 390 most of my friends are picking 250 for the looks.

The 390 RC will definitely change the scenario if properly designed and properly priced.
Thanks! I missed writing about most of my bikes due to lack of time, and the interest slowly dying down :-) This time I wanted to share my experience with 390 and regularly update! I want to reduce my garage to two bikes - Duke 390 and one sports (note decided yet).

Quote:
Originally Posted by black12rr View Post
Congrats for the bike . You seemed to have enjoyed biking over the years . . Ride safe . Will catch up some time .
Thanks! Love every minute on the two wheeler!

Quote:
Originally Posted by n_aditya View Post
Congrats on being the first 390 owner from this part of the country.

I loved the brutal acceleration on this hooligan-of-a-bike. Accelerates like mad and I'm sure pretty soon, you'll be wanting the service guys to remove the revvlimiter cutoff for you.

I'm thinking of picking up a nice commuter bike in the near future and toying with the 200 for now. Or might wait a bit and buy a 390 depending on ownership reviews. Still undecided and in no hurry.

Wishing you many happy and safe miles and years with this one. Do share your updates with this machine as often as you can.
Ha ha ha - It is truly a mental bike. Waiting to spend more time. R15 was my first initiation to high revving, and I never turned back. Been a big fan of you and your rides in Ninja! 200 is really a fun bike. 390 should be fun too!
sriramv.iyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th September 2013, 13:51   #8
Senior - BHPian
 
ebonho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Pune
Posts: 3,942
Thanked: 3,178 Times
Default Re: My Tryst with Orange: KTM Duke 390

Congratulations on the bike mate! The first 390 on Team BHP Do put in more photographs and a good ride review.
ebonho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th September 2013, 15:18   #9
BHPian
 
invincible7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Delhi NCR
Posts: 643
Thanked: 131 Times
Default Re: My Tryst with Orange: KTM Duke 390

Congratulations Mr. Iyer for being the first lucky one to own this beast.

Loved the way you have jotted your experience and journey of owing different bike.

Best of luck and do ride safely as you try to explore the beast more in coming days, also do share your feedback on the bike as you move along this journey.
invincible7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th September 2013, 15:43   #10
BHPian
 
Pretorian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Secunderabad
Posts: 83
Thanked: 29 Times
Default Re: My Tryst with Orange: KTM Duke 390

Firstly, Congratulations

You've ridden it all which makes your review a worthy subscribe, please continue this thread as an ownership review with a touch of comparative riding experiences.
Pretorian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th September 2013, 17:00   #11
Senior - BHPian
 
aks_karthik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Chennai
Posts: 1,863
Thanked: 215 Times
Default Re: My Tryst with Orange: KTM Duke 390

Congrats Sriram,

I am also waiting for my KTM 390. Hope will get it delivered by next week.

Enjoy and Ride Safe
aks_karthik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th September 2013, 17:53   #12
Senior - BHPian
 
ku69rd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 2,293
Thanked: 1,226 Times
Default Re: My Tryst with Orange: KTM Duke 390

Quote:
Originally Posted by n_aditya View Post

I'm thinking of picking up a nice commuter bike in the near future and toying with the 200 for now. Or might wait a bit and buy a 390 depending on ownership reviews.
Adiya Sir,
Will watch out your space for further progress Yes after your fiero I think you very sorely miss a commuter bike. But am not quite sure how practical it can get to be along with your complete family.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sriramv.iyer View Post
I have owned / rode the following bikes in the last 14 years:
Congratulations mate, wish you much more miles of happiness. A bit surprised with the Hyosung, any reason why you overlooked the Ninja 650 for the GT? Apologies for going OT.

Are you planning to replace the knuckle guards with acerbis?
ku69rd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th September 2013, 18:32   #13
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Mpower's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 10,432
Thanked: 1,682 Times
Default Re: My Tryst with Orange: KTM Duke 390

Congrats on picking up everyday man's superbike.

Surely in Indian traffic conditions a 390 will be faster than a Hayabusa!

Also amazing that you have owned pretty much all the iconic bikes to hit the Indian market

Do you still have the others?
Mpower is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 5th September 2013, 18:59   #14
Senior - BHPian
 
r_nairtvm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Dubai/TRV/BLR
Posts: 1,718
Thanked: 1,526 Times
Default Re: My Tryst with Orange: KTM Duke 390

Sri Ram

Congratulations of the 390 and wish you many many trouble free miles (or kilometers) ahead.

You had mentioned that you haven't got astride a RD 350 yet and in that its really a plus point, as you would in your own space astride 390 with a clear mind and no need to reason/justify either way.

Will be watching this thread with interest as who knows I may be in the market for a reliable tourer in India (specially from the POV of service). As some one correctly said for me its "too many roads to travel and so less time".

Enjoy the ride and please take time out to put some feed-back here.

Best Regards & Ride Safe

Ram
r_nairtvm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th September 2013, 19:32   #15
BHPian
 
niranjanrvce's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 315
Thanked: 329 Times
Default Re: My Tryst with Orange: KTM Duke 390

Congrats Sriram!

This is a fantastic addition to your garage. Maybe you can go in detail on the engine/handling/highway/city comparison between the 390 and the GT650N? Once you have had the chance to exploit the 390 fully ofcourse.

PS: Seeing an ownership thread already makes the wait for delivery pretty much unbearable!
niranjanrvce is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Duke of Ram - My Orange Flame, KTM Duke 390. EDIT : Sold! hillram Motorbikes 65 13th May 2016 07:21
India made KTM Duke 390 & RC 390 to be sold in the USA Tushar Motorbikes 1 7th January 2015 13:59
My Orange Hooligan comes home: The KTM Duke 390 Added_flavor Motorbikes 96 28th November 2014 09:29
Two Orange Wheels : My KTM Duke 390 Psycho Motorbikes 53 8th August 2014 15:16
Orange soul, Black venom - KTM Duke 390 miles_hungry Motorbikes 13 8th April 2014 19:25


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 02:48.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks