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Old 9th December 2013, 00:08   #1
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Thumbs up The freak is here - My Duke 390

Hi All,

Note to the mods: please move the thread to appropriate section if needed & pardon me for minor grammatical mistakes.

I was a proud owner of a black pulsar 150CC DTSi (2004 model, the 1st DTSi model launched). I always wanted to upgrade to a better and leaner machine from a long time. I am 5'11'' and very very bulky (bulky is a understatement)
My search took about 2 years and a lot of waiting - to finalize my next ride and then waiting for it to come home.

I had a budget of 2L (stretchable to 2.5 max) for a bike that was about 300-350 CC and had a power of 30-35 BHP. It seemed like a perfect upgrade for me (in my mind). So I set aside a sum of money and started looking for a suitable replacement.

The bikes that I evaluated were:
1. TBTS 350 : I had ridden an old TB and was not impressed by the ride. I had read horror stories for maintaining the Royals and I wanted a lesser attention seeking bike. A friend just bought a Classic 500 and he spent more time in service station than on road. So I bid my adieu to this brand. No disrespect meant though.

2. CBR250 : If 390 was not launched I would have had this in my garage. It ticked all my checkboxes. The only issues I had with this was the price of ABS model (which is steep according to the power it generates and the CC capacity) and the dull nature of the ride, it was smooth but was very docile for a upgrade.

3. Duke 200 : My bulky frame was never attracted to this ride till I rode one. It was surprisingly very comfortable (snug-fit) and was peppy enough to be riding around in traffic. When it was launched it was about 1.2 L OTR pune and was a very sweet price. The only thing that stopped me going for it was the news about 390.

4. Ninja 300 : The best of the lot (price excluding). I waited and waited for the launch for bated breath, read all the mags, read all the blogs whilst praying for this to be launched below the outgoing 250's price. But I was proved horribly wrong. 4L OTR in Pune is a horrible price to pay for such a sweet ride. As a duty-full Indian I waved the red (Not-VFM) flag and marched away from the showroom.

After all this waiting I heard about the new KTM offering. 390 was perfect. It had the power, the styling to die for all that it needed was money to be in the slot.

I repeated my already practiced cycle of collecting information, reading stuff (ThankU TBHP for all the scoops / news) about this ride and Lo and Behold it got launched in my price range. I did a full routine of Cha-Cha and Samba before I broke the news gently to my wife of 7 years about it.

She looked once at the bike and immediately said NO... the rear seat is for show, she said. I was heartbroken. I promised her to buy a scooter for daily duties and for her and the kid before I could think about this one. So a deal was stuck. Only Duke was not good... Active and Duke were perfect for us.

So after conning her into thinking that we would book a activa soon, I booked a 390 3 days after the launch. I thought the deliveries for 390 would follow the suit of 200 and would not take the 90day max waiting period. But I was sadly mistaken. I was glued to all the 390 threads running in TBHP while hoping my ride would come in sooner. It made me wait for 4 months.

This bike is unlike anything I have ever driven. It steals your heart everytime you ride it, the acceleration blows your mind and the handling is perfect. The pricetag is cherry on the cake, perfect. Nothing comes close to the value this ride gives to your hard earned money.

I am about 45 days late in writing my ownership review, the bike is done with her 1st servicing. Done about 1K kms (wanted to do more but the Activa logs in more KMs )

Skipping the tech specs as am sure most of the people are tired of reading them.

PROs / Things that I absolutely love:
1. Brilliant VFM
2. Breeze on highway and can be ridden sanely through traffic. In 1st gear and 2nd on Pune's clogged roads.
3. Excellent ride quality. The seating position is comfortable and I have adjusted to it very well despite my bulky frame.
4. Very good fit and finish. Love the Orange on RIMs and frame.
5. A very well put together product, eye candy. M tired of people asking the price of this ride.
6. The acceleration is very very addictive, the gaps in traffic are a breeze now.

Cons / Things that I hate :
1. Anger Mgmt issues (gets very hot in traffic, took it to service center in 2 days to check if everything is okay). The hotness makes you doubt it's radiators.
2. Comes only in White and Orange shade - I kind-of likes Black shade (in 200) and wanted that option for 390. I heard its coming soon.
3. Puny Horn. Needs immediate replacement. Any suggestions?
4. Dis functional windscreen (too small to notice). I replaced it with a Fazer one (jugaad) and it looks great (to me that is)
5. Exhaust note. Although the exhaust note of 390 is more throaty than 200 but it lacks character and this would be taken care soon. Am trying to source some slip-ons.

Ownership experience:
I have clocked about 1300 KMS on my Duke and here are the few very prominent things I have noticed:
1. Like the VFM nature of the ride the servicing cost is low too... 1790 for the 1st servicing. The service center staff is knowledgeable and very cooperative. They know their stuff well. I went to them to get a tankpad and minor stuff installed. they did it without minimum fuss.
2. This is a strange beast quiet opposite in nature to my Pulsar. This is more relaxed when driven with a ample throttle and at higher speed than on low speeds. Kills you almost with heat if you are stuck in traffic.
3. Fuel efficiency is in the range of 23KMPL (in traffic) to 38KMPL(6th gear - 90kmph on highways). This is a perfect number for a 375CC machine.
4. The seating position is upright, I found it much better than CBR250 and R15 where you have to lean forward. I personally hated the seating position of the enfields. They gave me lowerback pains. This is perfect even for a heavy body like me. The only thing I feel is for a slightly longer ride Duke can give you sore butt (mildly).
5. Gear level needs a lot of pressing, it can make your hand pain in traffic due to frequent usage. Found no work around for this.

All and all I would rate this as 4.5/5 ... taking .5 for the heating issue. This has truly made me forget my TJET for a while.

Things added / removed:
1. Removed the saree-guard / front number plate.
2. Fitted a windscreen, OEM was too puny
3. THH motocross helmet in full KTM colors, after a long search.
4. Some stickers - long hours at a local sticker shop.
5. Tankpad (Keiti) - Orange.

Am posting a few pics of my babe (to be christened "FREAK" soon)

Additional Note:
To Bajaj, I respect all you guys are doing for Indian motorcycling scene. But please make people special when they are buying a special motorcycle from your portfolio. I am sure you guys have lots of things to do. A simple congratulatory note, a small garland, a few gestures here and there would be more appreciated than "Here is the key, get out of my showroom" attitude. The booking / delivery experience is nothing to write home about.

I hear 690 is on its way here... Am looking fwd to that too.
Attached Thumbnails
The freak is here - My Duke 390-100_8138-768x1024.jpg  

The freak is here - My Duke 390-100_8139-768x1024.jpg  

The freak is here - My Duke 390-100_8140-1024x768.jpg  

The freak is here - My Duke 390-100_8143-768x1024.jpg  

The freak is here - My Duke 390-100_8142-768x1024.jpg  

The freak is here - My Duke 390-100_8144-768x1024.jpg  

The freak is here - My Duke 390-100_8146-768x1024.jpg  


Last edited by GTO : 20th December 2013 at 18:18. Reason: Only 2 smileys / post, buddy
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Old 9th December 2013, 11:33   #2
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Default Re: The FREAK is here - My Duke 390

'Bazinga'.. Damn, I always read ur handle Dr. Sheldon Cooper's voice!

Anyways. Congrats on the amazing piece of machine! Iam sure you are having a blast. I have also installed the Fazer windscreen and tested it for around 250 kms in this weekend on highways. Its a really good and cost effective solution. Adequate protection to torso till 130kmph Ive tested. But I've observed that the top portion flutters in crosswinds and the handlebar becomes unstable. I am planning to add a support to the top of the windscreen soon. Dont want to spend a bomb on the MRA screens!
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Old 9th December 2013, 12:19   #3
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Default Re: The FREAK is here - My Duke 390

Quote:
Originally Posted by man_of_steel View Post
'Bazinga'.. Damn, I always read ur handle Dr. Sheldon Cooper's voice!

Anyways. Congrats on the amazing piece of machine! Iam sure you are having a blast. I have also installed the Fazer windscreen and tested it for around 250 kms in this weekend on highways. Its a really good and cost effective solution. Adequate protection to torso till 130kmph Ive tested. But I've observed that the top portion flutters in crosswinds and the handlebar becomes unstable. I am planning to add a support to the top of the windscreen soon. Dont want to spend a bomb on the MRA screens!
Thanks Mate..
Fazer's is a straight fit. Looks good too...
I was also planning to add some support to the windshield, let me know about your jugaad
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Old 9th December 2013, 12:23   #4
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Default Re: The FREAK is here - My Duke 390

Congratulations mate!

I knew that you loved bikes, but never thought you would buy one DUKE 390. What you have is one hell of a machine. Enjoy!!
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Old 9th December 2013, 14:26   #5
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Default Re: The FREAK is here - My Duke 390

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Originally Posted by gemi_kk View Post
Congratulations mate!

I knew that you loved bikes, but never thought you would buy one DUKE 390. What you have is one hell of a machine. Enjoy!!
Thanks mate
I made up my mind to buy a N300, but the money came in between... and 390 was a perfect choice.
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Old 9th December 2013, 15:45   #6
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Default Re: The FREAK is here - My Duke 390

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bazinga View Post
Thanks mate
I made up my mind to buy a N300, but the money came in between... and 390 was a perfect choice.
For the money you have spent, you have got the best machine in premium motorcycles. This 390 is the only bike which gives the best bang for buck.

I have couple of questions on the new windscreen. Is it of any help on that bike? I think, it breaks if you hit triple digit speeds, because of its height and there being no support in middle for such a huge windscreen. Is it OEM or from KTM powerparts or Desi ?
How is the lighting on this bike? Any thoughts /plans on getting Angel eyes?

forgot to mention. Nice stickering mate.
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Old 9th December 2013, 16:38   #7
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Default Re: The FREAK is here - My Duke 390

Quote:
Originally Posted by gemi_kk View Post
For the money you have spent, you have got the best machine in premium motorcycles. This 390 is the only bike which gives the best bang for buck.

I have couple of questions on the new windscreen. Is it of any help on that bike? I think, it breaks if you hit triple digit speeds, because of its height and there being no support in middle for such a huge windscreen. Is it OEM or from KTM powerparts or Desi ?
How is the lighting on this bike? Any thoughts /plans on getting Angel eyes?

forgot to mention. Nice stickering mate.
Agree on the VFM part. Bang for every buck you spend
The windscreen is from Yamaha Fazer. Cost is about 220 bucks. Fits pretty neat of you get the 4 requisite holes drilled. I seriously cannot think of paying 6-9K or more for a windscreen.

It gets supported pretty nice by the 4 OEM screws and looks the part. I have tried taking the bike to 100kmph a few times and the windscreen was perfectly in position without any rattle and issues. A sustained ride would tell me more about the durability. I could sense no tension / stress on it on my ride.

At this moment the stock bulb is just fine. Angel eyes would come in as soon as the warranty is done and dusted with.

I am looking for a suitable exhaust. Will keep the thread updated.

OT: Powerparts are insanely costly. The slightly larger windscreen is 2.5K
Tankpad : 3K
OilCap pad : 2.5K
New sticker set : 6K
Fork protecter : 2K

Cant these things be made in India. I am sure if the bike can be made here, these small items can definitely be made here
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Old 9th December 2013, 17:17   #8
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Default Re: The FREAK is here - My Duke 390

Congratulations buddy!
No other bike can match this bike in the maneuverability department.
I understand your point when it comes to imagine yourself in a KTM as I also belong to the same league (Read bulky):-)
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Old 20th December 2013, 18:19   #9
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Default Re: The freak is here - My Duke 390

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Motorbikes. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 8th January 2014, 19:03   #10
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Default Re: The freak is here - My Duke 390

Bought a saddle bag for the freak..
Link : http://www.dirtsack.in/products/spee...ts/saddle-bags

Will post the pics with the bag mounted soon. Meanwhile did a small trip to Lavasa last weekend. Spotted hordes of Dukes on the way. More 200s than 390s.
Looks like a popular holiday destination for the Dukes

Total round trip : 140 KMs
Average : About 30KMPL
Had a beautiful lunch at American Diner. Must visit place for all food lovers, love the diner seating and the food. Try out the stuffed omelets.

Some pics attached.

The freak is here - My Duke 390-duke4.jpg

The freak is here - My Duke 390-duke5.jpg

The freak is here - My Duke 390-duke6.jpg
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Old 9th January 2014, 14:29   #11
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Default Re: The freak is here - My Duke 390

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bazinga View Post
Meanwhile did a small trip to Lavasa last weekend
Done quite a number of rides up the small hills leading to Lavasa 6 years ago. It is awesome. Though I lived at the other end of Pune (Viman Nagar), a ride to Lavasa was one easy excuse to get out of my house.

From the little back ground that I can see from your snap, lots has progressed. When I used to visit, the place was still under construction. They would not let me in. The facility had one operational restaurant. Finally got an expat from work to make the required phone calls to tour the facility.
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Old 14th February 2014, 14:31   #12
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Default Re: The freak is here - My Duke 390

Quote:
Total round trip : 140 KMs
Average : About 30KMPL
That is so slow riding for many of us for the speed at which we ride we hardly get anything over 22-24. 30kmpl and if you were doing over 80kmph average(Average guys) then you have one keeper of a bike.

Any average above 80 one hardly gets around 24kmpl.

My city runs give me around 28-29 but highways always been below 24 and that almost always above 100kmph most of the time.
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Old 15th February 2014, 16:49   #13
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Default Re: The freak is here - My Duke 390

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That is so slow riding for many of us for the speed at which we ride we hardly get anything over 22-24. 30kmpl and if you were doing over 80kmph average(Average guys) then you have one keeper of a bike.

Any average above 80 one hardly gets around 24kmpl.

My city runs give me around 28-29 but highways always been below 24 and that almost always above 100kmph most of the time.
I get about 26-28 in city, extreme bumper to bumper the freak still managed 22KMPL. Highways are better for me. I am comfortable at 80 with her except for some random bursts to 120 and back, she rewards me with 30.

Max I have seen is 35KMPL with short shifting and average of 65-70kmph, just for a purely academic study
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