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Old 26th November 2014, 22:06   #76
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Default Re: My KTM RC 390 - Review and Ownership Experience

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Originally Posted by Ricci View Post
OT :
I saw some pictures of RC390s taken in Sunday 23 Nov, at Duke's resort , Lonavala, I think they're removed from this thread. Were you with the group of riders of 2 Hayabusas, a yellow CBR600RR, a Ninja 650 and 2 Dukes ?
Nope - My bike was in Service center following a minor crash - Will probably go riding this weekend! (Btw, which thread were the pics in?)



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Originally Posted by basuroy View Post
I agree with you , what I meant to say was during cruising , it is best to maintain the rpm above 5/6k as sustained speed at say 4k rpm will be a boring and in lower gears a snatchy experience . The acceleration is very good down below but from mid and then after 7k it is brutal , sometimes when I find myself on an open stretch and alone , I drop a gear and go WOT for that sudden jump in exhaust note
I always keep the engine in the boil So, my experience in lower revvs is limited. But, the pulling power for Duke is much better than many bikes that I know in lower revvs.

Quote:
The commuting comments from me is biased because I already don't enjoy riding motorcycle in very heavy traffic (and here 70%+ roads don't have divider and 2 lane which means safe overtaking is almost non existent ) . Just to elaborate regarding this particular bike , I feel the major issue I will face and that too during summer is engine heat(it is cold here now and so this is not a problem ) , also in really slow traffic like where it is near impossible to exceed 30kmph , the low rpm snatching in 1st and 2nd gear can be a botheration . I have of course ridden it through hectic traffic , didn't face any issues. The traffic itself is the issue here .
Oops - Didn't know traffic can be that bad in your area. It is pretty nasty here as well. Duke on open roads is way more fun than Duke on crowded roads

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Originally Posted by ru153 View Post
@ Sriram & Basuroy:

Thanks for the prompt response and the practicality. I guess, i will have similar approach to my daily commute in the intial few days, in order to get a hang of the bike (if i get one for myself).

Let me take the test ride and then post an update to you guys.
Sure - Please keep us posted - Looking forward to your new ride!

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Originally Posted by Urban_Nomad View Post
Totally agree with Basu here. Anything below 4.5 k is lethargic. "Cruising range" would be between 5 - 7 k RPM. And after that is WOOHOOO

And I think 5 - 6 k would be the mid range on a bike that redlines at 10.5. Anything lower than that would be the low range, no?

And before I forget - Congos on the bike bud.

Thanks @Urban_Nomad - Duke pulls pretty much well from most gears, but it may not be that fun in 6th gear at lower revvs (which is REALLY tall)

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You are probably the only dude who owns both the versions of the 390
Obelix would tap his head and say "You are Crazy" to me
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Old 27th November 2014, 00:03   #77
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Angry Re: My KTM RC 390 - Review and Ownership Experience

Congrats on the buy Sriram and may I add, that was an amazing review.
I have been an owner of an RC390 myself for about 10 days,in which I have done close to 600 km and I agree with pretty much all of what you have written regarding the bike. That said, here are my two cents -

Disclaimer - I consider myself a car person and this is the first bike I have ever owned, or for that matter, ridden for more than 50 km! Based on my lack of experience, I wont talk much regarding the Ride and handling of the bike except to say that Its nice and planted, comfortable, easy to flick around and feels light. However I feel qualified enough to comment on the Build Quality, Issues and some observations regarding the Rc390 as I have spent a decent amount of time with it. So here goes -

Background - I get obsessed. About lots of things actually. Computers, phones, music systems etc etc. And this is how it goes -
-Get Obsessed
-Spend at least a few weeks researching about the product
-Decide a budget
-Pick the best in the market within the budget
-Decide your budget is too low and go buy something just a little beyond the initial target.
Well, 3-4 years ago, I convinced myself that I NEEDED a bike (Had been doing just fine with my i20 and XUV). But I didn't want to settle for a 150cc motorcycle. I wasn't looking for practicality and mileage. I was looking for FUN. This was the time KTM was planning to launch their bikes here in India. Well, I tried out the Duke 200 but didn't like the look and found it too cramped (I am 6'1"). Same story with Pulsar 200ns and D390. At the time I wasn't considering the Ninja 300 because it was outside my budget. When the Rc390 was launched, I was confused between the Ninja 300, Gt250R, Honda 250, RE500 Classic and the Rc390. Why I chose the R390 is a topic for another discussion, but I did. After having Ridden it for a few days, Here are my observations -

PROS -

-Looks-Call me a poser if you must but damn it if I have bought a bike, I better look good on it! I really liked the styling of the Rc390 though wasn't too sure about the front end initially. The first time I laid eyes on it at a KTM showroom, I fell in love with the bike, front end included. Delivery date was a long way to go but every once in a while I used to drop by to look at it. Well, until one day when I saw a ninja 300 parked right next to the RC. Ever since, I have refused to acknowledge the ninja's existence and am much more content a person. That said, there is nothing quite like the RC on the road and it stands out. More than once I have returned to find a stranger sitting on my bike with a huge grin, getting his picture taken.

-Performance-This motorcycle is FAST!!! At picks up like crazy and is very eager to rev. Still in run in period, so am keeping RPMs below 7000. So technically I am only using the Low and Mid range, but have never been wanting for power. Have found a number of riders pull up next to me at a traffic light with their R15s, pulsars AND splenders and rev their engines in a challenging manner. Humoring these guys is a dangerous idea as our traffic and road conditions are hardly safe for drag races and therefore, its best to avoid these childish acts. (Its VERY easy to outrun then, by a large margin. All the while keeping revs below 7000 )

-Comfort-As Sriram said, the rider seat is HARD. But somehow I have gotten used to it. And no, its hardly in the same class as commuter bikes. I mean, its comfortable for ME. I consider myself to be a fit guy and am fairly tall at 6'1".And this bike is much more comfy than the dukes.Shorter riders might have a problem, but I reckon this is going to be more comfortable for taller riders than the KTM dukes. I must mention though, it takes a while to get used to the riding position. I had sore palms and lower back for first few days. But I have figured out the correct posture and am much more comfy now (Hold the tank with your thighs, helps)

-Equipment-The console tells you everything you need to know. Time, distance to service, distance to empty, mileage, etc etc. ABS, which trust me, is very useful. Felt it work more than once (Though that probably says more about my incompetence). Good tires with lots of grip and a very good, sporty suspension.

Cons -

Build Quality-Its pretty bad! I would have gladly paid another 20-30k for a better built bike. My major issue with the bike is with the rattling sounds that it constantly makes. Its downright embarrassing when you proudly show your new bike to someone and they ask - why is it making that weird noise!!! I have spent some time in the garage running the bike at different rpms trying to figure out the source of these rattles and have isolated two - The MID (Its a little loose and causes noise at idling and higher rpms as well). The battery cover (This is a plate of cheap plastic in a slightly different shade of black than the tank cover. It has plastic locks to fit it in, no screws. On my bike this does not fit properly and makes a rattling noise because it touches the fuel tank cover). I took the bike to the service center and showed it to the mechanic who fiddled around with it for a while and helplessly told me that these are common issues and there was nothing he could do because there were no screws to tighten and every RC had the same problems. All he said I could do, was to speak to the head engineer who would forward the complaint to the company so that some mods could be made. for now, I think we are on our own. Lets see.

-Vibrations-Its a large capacity single cylinder with a short stroke and high RPM. This is to be expected but still wanted to put it out there. Vibrations have reduced considerably since day 1 and am hoping it gets better after first service.

-Sound-Its a good thing this bike is fast. As much as its thrilling to ride, I just want to get home and switch it off. The sound this bike makes is pretty nasty and doesn't quite evoque the sense of power. Sounds more like a small generator or a lawn mower or a moped or, if I am being generous, a small capacity motocross bike. It does sound a little better at higher revs though.

Other random observations -
-Lights are nice and bright with good throw.
-Clutch is heavy. Hopefully I will get used to it with time.
-Pillion seat isn't as uncomfortable as it looks.
-Engine runs pretty hot but doesn't though heat at the rider.
-Range is pretty low. I generally refuel after every 150-170kms.
-The palm grips could have been more comfortable.

Conclusions -

Buyer's Remorse - A little bit. Its like this -
I am hardly an apple fan boy but no one can deny the fact that using a macbook pro gives you a certain kind of satisfaction that you have a quality product that is very well built. It may not be as powerful on paper as other laptops in the market but you hardly use all that power in the real world.

Rc390 is not a Macbook pro. Its a wipro.

I think the Ninja 300 is a bit too expensive, especially as it does not have ABS and good set of tires. So I dont know what else I could have bought instead. What I do know is that I would have been much happier paying a little extra for the RC if they gave me better build quality because only once in a fortnight would I ever use the bike to even 75% of its potential, but I have to listen to all the rattles and have my ass vibrate every time I ride the bike. For someone who is looking for pure power though, there is nothing like the RC390.

A thought - I have read that the indian made RC390s are being sold all over the world and that too at a price equal to or a little higher than that of the Ninja 300 and the Crb 300. Do you think the Rcs that are being sold to us in india are different than those sold abroad. Because I doubt other markets would stand for such build quality at that price. I asked a bajaj mechanic this question and he told me that the bikes sold in india use different parts. (Engine and main parts are the same, plastics mostly different).
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Old 27th November 2014, 10:30   #78
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Default Re: My KTM RC 390 - Review and Ownership Experience

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Originally Posted by Karan_rc390 View Post
Congrats on the buy Sriram and may I add, that was an amazing review.
Thanks a lot, Karan!

Quote:
I have been an owner of an RC390 myself for about 10 days,in which I have done close to 600 km and I agree with pretty much all of what you have written regarding the bike. That said, here are my two cents -
A big congrats to you! It is a terrific bike!

Quote:

PROS -

-Looks-Call me a poser if you must but damn it if I have bought a bike, I better look good on it! I really liked the styling of the Rc390 though wasn't too sure about the front end initially. The first time I laid eyes on it at a KTM showroom, I fell in love with the bike, front end included. Delivery date was a long way to go but every once in a while I used to drop by to look at it. Well, until one day when I saw a ninja 300 parked right next to the RC. Ever since, I have refused to acknowledge the ninja's existence and am much more content a person. That said, there is nothing quite like the RC on the road and it stands out. More than once I have returned to find a stranger sitting on my bike with a huge grin, getting his picture taken.
Ha ha ha - Poser value is definitely one of the critical criteria in selecting a bike, for me too! RC390 is a great looking bike (as long as you don't put a Ninja next to it! Thankfully, I haven't found anyone (Posing is fine, but playing with clutch is not!

Quote:
-Performance-This motorcycle is FAST!!! At picks up like crazy and is very eager to rev. Still in run in period, so am keeping RPMs below 7000. So technically I am only using the Low and Mid range, but have never been wanting for power. Have found a number of riders pull up next to me at a traffic light with their R15s, pulsars AND splenders and rev their engines in a challenging manner. Humoring these guys is a dangerous idea as our traffic and road conditions are hardly safe for drag races and therefore, its best to avoid these childish acts. (Its VERY easy to outrun then, by a large margin. All the while keeping revs below 7000 )
Though shalt keep your patience till you run in!

RC390 is a winner here - even if a Ninja stands next to you (unless it is some kind of Rossi in a Ninja 300. No bike in India can keep up with a Duke or RC390 (in its class)

Quote:
-Comfort-As Sriram said, the rider seat is HARD. But somehow I have gotten used to it. And no, its hardly in the same class as commuter bikes. I mean, its comfortable for ME. I consider myself to be a fit guy and am fairly tall at 6'1".And this bike is much more comfy than the dukes.Shorter riders might have a problem, but I reckon this is going to be more comfortable for taller riders than the KTM dukes. I must mention though, it takes a while to get used to the riding position. I had sore palms and lower back for first few days. But I have figured out the correct posture and am much more comfy now (Hold the tank with your thighs, helps)
Seat is very hard, but I find RC390 more comfortable than Duke 390 for my rides (and I can't explain why at all).

Quote:

Cons -

Build Quality-Its pretty bad! I would have gladly paid another 20-30k for a better built bike. My major issue with the bike is with the rattling sounds that it constantly makes. Its downright embarrassing when you proudly show your new bike to someone and they ask - why is it making that weird noise!!! I have spent some time in the garage running the bike at different rpms trying to figure out the source of these rattles and have isolated two - The MID (Its a little loose and causes noise at idling and higher rpms as well). The battery cover (This is a plate of cheap plastic in a slightly different shade of black than the tank cover. It has plastic locks to fit it in, no screws. On my bike this does not fit properly and makes a rattling noise because it touches the fuel tank cover)
I want to share a very good news. Last night, I picked up the bike after first service, and I dont find ANY rattle at all. May be too early celebrate, but I couldn't identify any rattle during my morning ride to office.

Quote:
-Vibrations-Its a large capacity single cylinder with a short stroke and high RPM. This is to be expected but still wanted to put it out there. Vibrations have reduced considerably since day 1 and am hoping it gets better after first service.
I think we need to wait till we hit 2K kms till engine is smooth. Duke @6K kms is pretty smooth

Quote:
-Sound-Its a good thing this bike is fast. As much as its thrilling to ride, I just want to get home and switch it off. The sound this bike makes is pretty nasty and doesn't quite evoque the sense of power. Sounds more like a small generator or a lawn mower or a moped or, if I am being generous, a small capacity motocross bike. It does sound a little better at higher revs though.
The RC390 doesn't even sound as decent as D390 - This is indeed true

Quote:
Conclusions -

Buyer's Remorse - A little bit. Its like this -
I am hardly an apple fan boy but no one can deny the fact that using a macbook pro gives you a certain kind of satisfaction that you have a quality product that is very well built. It may not be as powerful on paper as other laptops in the market but you hardly use all that power in the real world.

Rc390 is not a Macbook pro. Its a wipro.
- Man, you are incredibly funny. I have probably every product Apple releases - The quality of a MBP RD against any other top end laptop cannot be matched.

Quote:
I think the Ninja 300 is a bit too expensive, especially as it does not have ABS and good set of tires. So I dont know what else I could have bought instead. What I do know is that I would have been much happier paying a little extra for the RC if they gave me better build quality because only once in a fortnight would I ever use the bike to even 75% of its potential,
but I have to listen to all the rattles and have my ass vibrate every time I ride the bike. For someone who is looking for pure power though, there is nothing like the RC390.
I share the EXACT same line of thought. However, given that rattles are almost gone, I am pretty happy. Can't compare it to the sweet top end of N300 or the high-revving inline-twin. But, RC390 can now hold its head high.

Quote:
A thought - I have read that the indian made RC390s are being sold all over the world and that too at a price equal to or a little higher than that of the Ninja 300 and the Crb 300. Do you think the Rcs that are being sold to us in india are different than those sold abroad. Because I doubt other markets would stand for such build quality at that price. I asked a bajaj mechanic this question and he told me that the bikes sold in india use different parts. (Engine and main parts are the same, plastics mostly different).
You must be my long lost twin (unlikely since you call yourself pretty fit!) - This thought has been in my head forever (not exactly - but ever since I picked up RC390). This won't sell to finicky Europeans and Americans.

Btw, Karan - Please start your thread! Simply loved the way you write!
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Old 27th November 2014, 13:41   #79
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Default Re: My KTM RC 390 - Review and Ownership Experience

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I want to share a very good news. Last night, I picked up the bike after first service, and I dont find ANY rattle at all. May be too early celebrate, but I couldn't identify any rattle during my morning ride to office.
Now thats REALLY good news!! That bike of yours now has two people keeping their fingers crossed hoping the rattles don't return! Do keep us posted regarding the issue! I'll also get back to you about this after the first service!

Quote:
Btw, Karan - Please start your thread! Simply loved the way you write!
Thanks a lot Sriram! Means a lot. I have been a long time reader of Tea Bhp but *embarrassed* never did contribute. That was my first post and I am hoping to write again (And take your advice and start a thread) after the bike's first service if I find a substantial difference!

Did they manage to do anything with the rear view mirrors?? Cuz I see the sky on the right and the road surface on the left!!
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Old 28th November 2014, 12:28   #80
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Default Re: My KTM RC 390 - Review and Ownership Experience

Thanks for the review Sriram; this seems to have blossomed into a lovely ownership thread now. I am still a couple of years away from owning of these performance bikes, and honestly would have wanted a Triumph Daytona, but the scary thread on Triumph India detuning its bikes and misrepresenting facts (whether deliberately or not) has left a bad taste in the mouth for prospective owners. I guess I am more okay to live with the niggles of a raw KTM than owning a detuned polished Triumph which I would be overpaying for. So Rang de Basanti (colour me orange) is the likely way forward for me.
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Old 29th November 2014, 10:30   #81
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Default Re: My KTM RC 390 - Review and Ownership Experience

Hey Sriram. Wanted to know your opinion about something. Recently, I met a guy who was trying to convince me that the bike with the stock filter is like an asthma patient and that a K&N filter would make a world of difference. Have you had any experience with these filters? If it gives me better performance and helps keep the engine cleaner, I don't mind spending for it. But I have a few concerns -
1. What about the warranty?
2. Does it actually make any difference. If its providing more airflow, does it compromise on filtering?
3. Would it not change the Fuel to air ratio and make the engine run leaner?? I assume a remap of the ECU would be required.
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Old 29th November 2014, 19:16   #82
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Default Re: My KTM RC 390 - Review and Ownership Experience

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Originally Posted by Karan_rc390 View Post
Recently, I met a guy who was trying to convince me that the bike with the stock filter is like an asthma patient and that a K&N filter would make a world of difference.
1. What about the warranty?
2. Does it actually make any difference. If its providing more airflow, does it compromise on filtering?
3. Would it not change the Fuel to air ratio and make the engine run leaner?? I assume a remap of the ECU would be required.
Not a KTM owner, so no certain idea on the warranty, but being India, you know the dealer/company will use the tiniest mod to deny warranty claims.

As for the filter - a K&N does increase flow but filters less. The very act of filtration is restrictive, so along with more air, you are likely to get more minute particles. I remember reading someplace that K&N puts this as disclaimer /fine print. I don't think K&N has any magic new tech foam that flows better while keeping dust out.

Long story short - OEM filter is safer for the engine. Esp if it's a paper element but Bajaj usually has foam. That extra air the K&N or similar filters flow make the bike sound louder but don't really make much more power. I don't know if the 390's EFI is closed-loop or open-loop. If closed-loop, the EFI system can sense increased flow and calibrate for more fuel to be injected. Even so, gains will be pretty low, unless your OE filter was clogged enough to reduce performance, when you fit the new and compare.
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Old 1st December 2014, 14:25   #83
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Default Re: My KTM RC 390 - Review and Ownership Experience

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Originally Posted by nishsingh View Post
Thanks for the review Sriram; this seems to have blossomed into a lovely ownership thread now. I am still a couple of years away from owning of these performance bikes, and honestly would have wanted a Triumph Daytona, but the scary thread on Triumph India detuning its bikes and misrepresenting facts (whether deliberately or not) has left a bad taste in the mouth for prospective owners. I guess I am more okay to live with the niggles of a raw KTM than owning a detuned polished Triumph which I would be overpaying for. So Rang de Basanti (colour me orange) is the likely way forward for me.
Thanks @nishsingh! KTM is intentionally unpolished in engine space (raw and brutal), and after the first service the niggles have been sorted out pretty well. So, you should join the orange club soon! I was really looking forward to owning a Triumph, but this episode has left such a bad taste.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karan_rc390 View Post
Hey Sriram. Wanted to know your opinion about something. Recently, I met a guy who was trying to convince me that the bike with the stock filter is like an asthma patient and that a K&N filter would make a world of difference. Have you had any experience with these filters? If it gives me better performance and helps keep the engine cleaner, I don't mind spending for it. But I have a few concerns -
K&N does change the exhaust note of the bike (for the better) - But, I have no experience with them. I am planning to have them on Duke after the two year warranty period is done.

Quote:
1. What about the warranty?
Definitely nulls the warranty - 100%

Quote:
2. Does it actually make any difference. If its providing more airflow, does it compromise on filtering?
@Ricci has given a detailed answer for this - But, it usually makes sense to change the Air Filter, move to FFE and also change the engine maps. Changing just one part doesn't give a lot of improvement.

Quote:
3. Would it not change the Fuel to air ratio and make the engine run leaner?? I assume a remap of the ECU would be required.
Exactly!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricci View Post
Not a KTM owner, so no certain idea on the warranty, but being India, you know the dealer/company will use the tiniest mod to deny warranty claims.
+1

Quote:
As for the filter - a K&N does increase flow but filters less. [...]

Long story short - OEM filter is safer for the engine. Esp if it's a paper element but Bajaj usually has foam. That extra air the K&N or similar filters flow make the bike sound louder but don't really make much more power. .
Thanks for the detailed info, @Ricci!
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Old 1st December 2014, 19:49   #84
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Default Re: My KTM RC 390 - Review and Ownership Experience

Sriram has your ASC fitted those Akropovic exhausts for anyone on their RC 390 ? If yes how much do they charge with the engine remap ?
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Old 14th December 2014, 09:26   #85
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It looks like you've disappeared for a while now? Can we have some updates? How's the bike doing? I'm still confused about my purchase, hence glued to your thread.

TIA
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Old 14th December 2014, 17:05   #86
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Default Re: My KTM RC 390 - Review and Ownership Experience

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Originally Posted by Karan_rc390 View Post
Recently, I met a guy who was trying to convince me that the bike with the stock filter is like an asthma patient and that a K&N filter would make a world of difference. Have you had any experience with these filters? If it gives me better performance and helps keep the engine cleaner, I don't mind spending for it. But I have a few concerns -
1. What about the warranty?
2. Does it actually make any difference. If its providing more airflow, does it compromise on filtering?
3. Would it not change the Fuel to air ratio and make the engine run leaner?? I assume a remap of the ECU would be required.
It's best to avoid the K&N on the 390 if it's still in warranty for the following reasons.

(1) The 390 uses a narrow band sensor (as opposed to the much more expensive wide band sensor in bigger bikes), so the ECU will not be able to compensate for the change in air intake. So while you may get a better roar, it's more like all show and no go. A remap should solve this, but I don't know much about that.

(2) Like it has been already mentioned, unwanted dirt will end up inside the engine. One of the guys who ride in our group had his 390 seize after the K&N. Warranty was off, obviously.

As an aside, does your friend have enough saddle hours on the 390?

Last edited by anilp : 14th December 2014 at 17:08.
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Old 15th December 2014, 10:21   #87
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Originally Posted by stanjohn123 View Post
Sriram has your ASC fitted those Akropovic exhausts for anyone on their RC 390 ? If yes how much do they charge with the engine remap ?
Sorry @stanjohn - Missed your reply. I have been traveling a lot and hence not able to ride in the past couple of weeks.

I'll check with the KTM guys on this and revert.

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Originally Posted by Astonite View Post
It looks like you've disappeared for a while now? Can we have some updates? How's the bike doing? I'm still confused about my purchase, hence glued to your thread.

TIA
@Astonite - Sorry for going missing. I crossed 1000 kms (and finished my first service too @750 kms). Post first service, the extraneous noises have disappeared (almost). The bike is really getting into its elements. I'll post an update tonight / tomorrow.

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Originally Posted by anilp View Post
It's best to avoid the K&N on the 390 if it's still in warranty for the following reasons.

[...]
Anil, Thanks! Didn't know about the side-effects of K&N in D390 / RC390. I am pretty sure there is no remap done while installing a K&N from regular shops.
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Old 18th December 2014, 17:47   #88
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Default Re: My KTM RC 390 - Review and Ownership Experience

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Originally Posted by sriramv.iyer View Post
Sorry @stanjohn - Missed your reply. I have been traveling a lot and hence not able to ride in the past couple of weeks.

I'll check with the KTM guys on this and revert.
No issues , take your time. I did see a video online of an Austrian/German motorcyclist with the exhaust and it sounds good on the RC 390. So hopefully our ASC does this mod for their customers here.
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Old 21st December 2014, 10:20   #89
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Originally Posted by stanjohn123 View Post
Sriram has your ASC fitted those Akropovic exhausts for anyone on their RC 390 ? If yes how much do they charge with the engine remap ?
Last time I checked, they do fix it since it is available as a accessory around the globe. Not sure of the pricing though.
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Old 21st December 2014, 11:07   #90
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These would be done by the service centre if it is within the legality of the region. Else they can reject it. The mods carried out by any service network should be within the specs provided by the ARAI certificate.
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