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Old 28th October 2014, 23:53   #1
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Default KTM RC390 - Initial Ownership Experience

Got my Blade couple of weeks back!! Had posted initial impressions on another site and did not want to copy paste hence the delay in posting here. However, here my impressions from a mileage of around 250 kms spread over packed city traffic, fairly open roads and straight-as-an-arrow highways. (A humble picture gallery with some smartphone pics at the end of post )

1. The bike is made for going fast and should be good at it considering the pedigree of KTM.

The problem however, is while riding slow. Anything below 3000 rpm is a total turn-off. Even till 4000 rpm things are hardly in place. It is only after 4000 rpm that the true character shines.

2. While being ridden from showroom and till about 200 kms, the vibrations were too damn high. In words of Jeremy Clarkson: "If I were a girl, I would have been really happy!!". They were present almost throughout the rev-range.

Good thing again is that these have reduced by good amount now and I hope things improve further. Honestly, my benchmark is a 5 year old Discover!!!

3. If taking-off is fantastic, throwing anchors is equally good. There is oodles of braking power. But again, initial bite does not feel like a big bike and significant braking force is available only when pulling on the lever. This was the front brake. Rear is a different story altogether. Panic a bit, press the lever slightly more and wheel nearly locks up!! And that's when ABS saves the day!! I have experienced this only once but it was in a mildly panicking situation and so I guess it is indeed a life saver.

4. Grip levels from tyres are fantastic and everyone has written so much about it. I, being a newbie probably haven't tested even 25% of the potential.

5. Riding position is ultra committed! Initial couple rides left me with sore wrists, sore back and sore neck. Watched how to ride a bike like this and things feel far better now. Did about 100 kms with 3-4 breaks and everything was fine post-ride.

6. Rider seat is comfortable enough for me. It is firm but seems to provide good support. I have sat on seats which are soft and plush on touch but bum ends up sore after some time. Pillion seat is suitable only for those who are at least as sexy as the bike!!

7. Engine heat!! Many a keyboard have worked overtime for this issue here but RC brings some good news! Temperature remains in check with fan kicking in when ridden slow (<20 kmph) in city. The best part is that all the heat is directed away from legs such that hardly any heat is felt (Of course, there is enough heat to remind you of the horses lurking between your legs).

8. Mirrors are like lottery. Me being 5 foot 4 inch, right mirror is spot on while left one shows only the skies! And there is only horizontal adjust. My brother bring 6 foot has found both mirrors useless. The good part though is that mirrors are vibe-free at all speeds.

Adding some more thoughts/impressions/observations which I had missed out previously:

9. Plastic plastic everywhere!! It is actually quite embarrassing when someone asks the price and then inspects the bike. Fairing is plastic, tank is plastic, rear panels plastic. To make matters worse, the tank has matt finish which I feel will attract tons of scratches.

10. This is literally a pocket rocket! I have very limited space in the garage and Discover would just fit in that space. My plan was to move Discover and use the same place for Blade. This is something I was really skeptical about. But to my surprise, Blade actually fits neatly in there. This trait shines brightly on roads as well where negotiating tight spaces is quite a breeze. Of course, the flickability does not compare with the commuters but it is commendable indeed.

KTM RC390 - Initial Ownership Experience-img_20141025_105740_hdr_2.jpg

KTM RC390 - Initial Ownership Experience-img_20141025_104008_2.jpg

KTM RC390 - Initial Ownership Experience-img_20141025_104300_2.jpg

KTM RC390 - Initial Ownership Experience-img_20141025_110112_hdr_2.jpg

KTM RC390 - Initial Ownership Experience-img_20141025_121458_hdr_2.jpg

KTM RC390 - Initial Ownership Experience-img_20141025_104201_2.jpg

KTM RC390 - Initial Ownership Experience-img_20141025_120554_hdr_2.jpg

KTM RC390 - Initial Ownership Experience-img_20141025_103924_2.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 2nd November 2014 at 10:56.
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Old 29th October 2014, 05:00   #2
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Default re: KTM RC390 - Initial Ownership Experience

Hearty congrats man.
So the RC ownership thread is finally up
Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts. I am sure this thread will serve as a good platform to discuss, review and help not only the owners but also the aspiring owners.

Ride safe.
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Old 29th October 2014, 08:03   #3
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Default re: KTM RC390 - Initial Ownership Experience

Congrats on the ride mate! Those are some pretty good initial observations & clicks. Wish you many happy miles with the bike. Do keep the thread updated with your ownership experience as you pile on the miles.

Regarding the heat not reaching the legs, it could be the fairing that is also aiding this. Nevertheless its good to know that its a non-issue on the bike.
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Old 29th October 2014, 08:11   #4
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Default re: KTM RC390 - Initial Ownership Experience

Thanks for the review and congrats on the purchase.

Few questions to you :-

1) When I checked out the RC, I felt the front suspension has almost zero travel (As professional reviews say this is track oriented setup). I sat on the bike and tried in vain for 2-3 mins trying to make it swing (Duke390 front swings well). Rear is awesome. So in terms on ride quality, do you feel RC is a pain, atleast the front half?

2) You said 5' 4". I am 5' 6" but both my legs could not be fully planted on the road on the RC. Are you ok with this?

3) How is the wind blast at high speeds? Does the fairing do well?

4) Kitna dethi hey ?

Last edited by moralfibre : 30th October 2014 at 08:43. Reason: Avoid high speed references on the forum.
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Old 29th October 2014, 09:38   #5
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Default re: KTM RC390 - Initial Ownership Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by sam_sant2005 View Post
Thanks for the review and congrats on the purchase.

Few questions to you :-

1) When I checked out the RC, I felt the front suspension has almost zero travel (As professional reviews say this is track oriented setup). I sat on the bike and tried in vain for 2-3 mins trying to make it swing (Duke390 front swings well). Rear is awesome. So in terms on ride quality, do you feel RC is a pain, atleast the front half?

2) You said 5' 4". I am 5' 6" but both my legs could not be fully planted on the road on the RC. Are you ok with this?

3) How is the wind blast at high speeds? Does the fairing do well?

4) Kitna dethi hey ?
1. I feel front suspension is nicely sorted out. Even for cities and Indian city roads, there is no worry. Only that one has to forget flying over bumps!! As for the rear, going fast on roads which have undulations, at time bike felt like bouncing all over. I would rather wish for some more stiffness there.

As for the ride quality then, I would say RC is pretty good. But I would prefer riding on highways instead of city traffic due to obvious reasons.

2. I was initially very apprehensive about this. So much so that I wore woodlands while going to take delivery. Few rides later, I feel comfortable even while wearing sneakers. Also, low weight (compared to similar bikes in the class) and fantastic mass centralisation means that RC actually feels quite light to move around. I think at 5' 6", there should not be any problem.

3. Wind blast was something I had experienced for the first time and it was literally a blast!! But once tucked in a bit, front fairing does an excellent job. Even without tucking, fairing deflects enough wind.

4. You don't get to ask such questions to a 375cc bike!! Console shows 30-34 km/l. Haven't tested tank to tank. But I reckon it would be in the range of 28-32.

Last edited by moralfibre : 30th October 2014 at 08:43. Reason: Avoid high speed references.
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Old 29th October 2014, 09:58   #6
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Default re: KTM RC390 - Initial Ownership Experience

Congrats for getting your new RC390. You seem to be the first team-bhp guy posting the ownership report. Vow ... You are a Newbie as well (like me) and welcome to the forum.

Take your time and once you cross few more kms, post some more reviews as well. Most of the reviews are suggesting to get into the tracks on getting RC390. RC390 deserves to be driven on a track once in a while at least.

While I will wait for few more comments from you, I have one immediate question for you. How does the bike manage on big speed breakers ? Hope it does not scrap ..

Wish you happy and safe driving.
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Old 29th October 2014, 10:23   #7
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Default re: KTM RC390 - Initial Ownership Experience

Congrats on the RC man! Nicely wirtten initial observations as well!

Waiting for more ownership impressions from your side.

One question. How are the headlamps performing at night?

Ride safe!
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Old 29th October 2014, 12:57   #8
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Default re: KTM RC390 - Initial Ownership Experience

Congrats on the purchase bro !! I was early waiting for a review on the RC series. Expectations were very high and dam happy that KTM lived up to them. Many more miles to cover and i am sure you will enjoy every bit of it.

Just one question :- how low is the bike? Any problems while going over a breaker or a pothole ?
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Old 29th October 2014, 13:34   #9
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Default re: KTM RC390 - Initial Ownership Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by ksameer1234 View Post
Pillion seat is suitable only for those who are at least as sexy as the bike!!
Love your style bro! All the best ......

Congrats on your new bike. Run her well.
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Old 29th October 2014, 17:42   #10
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Default re: KTM RC390 - Initial Ownership Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by shan_ned View Post
How does the bike manage on big speed breakers ? Hope it does not scrap ..
Quote:
Originally Posted by unni nambiar View Post
how low is the bike? Any problems while going over a breaker or a pothole ?
There is one common thumb rule here while going over speed bumps. Taller the bump, slower you go. And slow means crawl. I have ridden over bumps twice with a pillion weighing ~85 kg at speed ~ 15 kmph and scrapped both times. Riding solo, it does not scrap. However, the bike claims to have 178 mm clearance. I even measured the same. But the bike will scrap if going fast over bumps.

As for potholes, bike does really well. Trust me, the suspension is not that bad. Just that riding position is of leaning over.

Quote:
Originally Posted by man_of_steel View Post
Congrats on the RC man! How are the headlamps performing at night?
Thanks bro! Headlamps are really bright! However, mine are pointed a bit high. I have to get them corrected. But the brightness is fantastic and high beam is like icing on cake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shan_ned View Post
Most of the reviews are suggesting to get into the tracks on getting RC390.
RC hates traffic and cluttered roads. It is meant to be on track. Not taking RC to track is like using Katana to chop vegetables.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Congrats on the bike!
I've temporarily moved your thread to the Assembly Line Section (More Information about this sub-forum (The "Assembly Line" Forum section)).
Thanks Sir! Sorry for not being aware of posting rules. I'll update with more observations!

Last edited by ksameer1234 : 29th October 2014 at 17:47.
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Old 2nd November 2014, 14:49   #11
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Default Re: KTM RC390 - Initial Ownership Experience

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Motorbikes Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 3rd November 2014, 14:07   #12
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Default Re: KTM RC390 - Initial Ownership Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by ksameer1234 View Post
4. You don't get to ask such questions to a 375cc bike!! Console shows 30-34 km/l. Haven't tested tank to tank. But I reckon it would be in the range of 28-32.
IMO, that is an awesome figure for a 375cc bike. Even my CBR 250 does not give me that much. It gives me anything between 25 to 28 kmpl.
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Old 3rd November 2014, 15:37   #13
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Default Re: KTM RC390 - Initial Ownership Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by sam_sant2005 View Post
Few questions to you :-

1) When I checked out the RC, I felt the front suspension has almost zero travel (As professional reviews say this is track oriented setup). I sat on the bike and tried in vain for 2-3 mins trying to make it swing (Duke390 front swings well). Rear is awesome. So in terms on ride quality, do you feel RC is a pain, atleast the front half?
@ksameer1234: i have another question. Have you tried any cornering( lean angle) on it yet? How do you find the rear suspension?
I visited the showroom yesterday. Test bike wasnt available, i just asked if i could sit on the dispaly bike to get a feel of things. Salesman happily obliged and first thing i tried was to press the front suspension, and as sam-sant said, the didnt budge. Sales guy was almost worried to a point that he finally decided to ask, what the hell i was doing.
None the less, i loved the front ones, but the rear didnt respond that well, they were too spongy. Have you felt the need to adjust the rear shocker yet?
It will help with the bouncing rear that you mentioned and also take care of the speed bump issue with pillions.
Try finding the perfect trade off by going one step up on the setting.
and please do let us know how it behaves.
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Old 3rd November 2014, 16:41   #14
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Default Re: KTM RC390 - Initial Ownership Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by mehuel View Post
@ksameer1234: i have another question. Have you tried any cornering( lean angle) on it yet? How do you find the rear suspension?
I visited the showroom yesterday. Test bike wasnt available, i just asked if i could sit on the dispaly bike to get a feel of things. Salesman happily obliged and first thing i tried was to press the front suspension, and as sam-sant said, the didnt budge. Sales guy was almost worried to a point that he finally decided to ask, what the hell i was doing.
None the less, i loved the front ones, but the rear didnt respond that well, they were too spongy. Have you felt the need to adjust the rear shocker yet?
It will help with the bouncing rear that you mentioned and also take care of the speed bump issue with pillions.
Try finding the perfect trade off by going one step up on the setting.
and please do let us know how it behaves.
No significant cornering yet on the bike so won't be able to comment. As for the front suspension, trust me it is good. It may not dive like other bikes when pressed but works nicely on the road. I do think that I should firm up the rear a bit. But will resist the temptation for sometime. Want the bike to remain at stock settings initially.
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Old 3rd November 2014, 16:46   #15
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Default Re: KTM RC390 - Initial Ownership Experience

I have been waiting for this thread to come up, I am really confused, should I go for the RC390 or wait some time for a bigger 600, I own a 5 year old P220 and somehow I feel RC390 wont be a deserving upgrade, stand alone it is just epic, but for someone upgrading from a a motorcycle as capable as the P220, it becomes a confusion (and Yes, I am an absolute corner carving fan )
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