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Old 3rd May 2017, 14:16   #1
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Default Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390

Hello my fellow BHPians, I am very happy to share this ownership review here.

This is my 6th ownership review on TeamBHP (Damn, that is a lot!)

This time, it is my KTM Duke 390!

To know about the boring history of the motorcycles I have owned in past, please read the intro from my Honda CBR 250R ownership thread in this link :
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorb...-now-sold.html (My Pre-Worshipped Honda CBR250R. EDIT: Now Sold)

But since there are a lot of lazy people like me who wont click that link, I will just post the pics of my previous motorcycles.
Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390-phototastic03052017_be9506801e824dadbd86590e86c02af3.jpg

And now, presenting my 7th motorcycle, the angry little orange brat, Duke 390.
Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390-wp_20170502_13_13_47_pro-3.jpg

A great little bike to take on the corners
Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390-vlcsnap2017050718h19m52s866.png

Middle class bike lover's math:

My pre-owned Honda CBR 250R : 75,000 rupees = 3000 Rs/BHP

New Royal Enfield Classic 350: 1,50,000 rupees = 8333 Rs/BHP

New Honda Unicorn 150 : 86,000 rupees = 6142 Rs/BHP

New Bajaj Dominar 400 : 1,80,000 rupees = 5142 Rs/BHP

Pre-owned 2014 Duke 390 ABS : 1,00,000 rupees = 2273 Rs/BHP


KTM Duke 390 ABS:

Likes

1. Performance
2. Character
3. Engine note
4. Looks
5. ABS
6. Handling
7. A.S.S & Cheap service costs
8. Gearbox
9. Terrific Value for Money!

Dislikes

1. Engine heating
2. Brakes
3. Tank range
4. Pillion seat
5. Ride quality over bad roads

Last edited by PrasannaDhana : 9th May 2017 at 07:55.
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Old 3rd May 2017, 21:59   #2
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Default re: Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390

The Honda CBR 250R and the new group of wonderful friends it brought

I just loved the motorcycle to bits. It was fast, comfortable, reliable, handled and looked good. I redlined it for hours together at unmentionable speeds, and it wouldn't even complain. Wind protection was excellent too.

Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390-i.jpg

I covered 13000 km in 13 months despite the fact that i cover 2500 km a month driving one of my 4 cars to work. So you can imagine how often I chose to take the CBR on weekends.
Some more pics of the CBR:

Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390-wp_20161231_12_19_16_pro.jpg

Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390-15253444_10211766081816066_364735389580549116_n.jpg

Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390-15622471_10211960826884571_3070805170689318170_n.jpg

Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390-cbrr3.jpg

One fine evening while I was riding my CBR along with my friend in pillion, an young chap on a Classic 350 overtook and stopped me. He asked me if I was Prasanna, and I said yes.

He: "I read your ownership review of CBR 250R in Team-BHP, I am also a member with the handle 'CGB'."
Me: "Nice to meet you man, how did you identify me?"
He: "I remembered the number from the pics and Michelin pilot street radials are unique"

And so the first meet went and we exchanged numbers. He added me to official Team-BHP Chennai group, which eventually ended up in we forming another small group of very playful, sarcastic and joyful guys who are passionate about anything on wheels.

With months rolling over, we guys got to know each other a lot better, and it was obvious that we were all totally crazy about motorcycles. For instance, the collection of interesting motorcycles belonging to our group (10 members) were:

Honda CBR 250R - 1
KTM Duke 200- 2
KTM Duke 390- 4
Yamaha RX 100- 1
Yamaha R15 - 1
Kawazaki Ninja 650 - 1
Yamaha FZ1 - 1
Royal Enfield Bullet 500 - 1

That would tell you how active motorcycles discussions were.

Experiencing the orange madness of the KTM 390

I outgrew the CBR 250R pretty quick, must be 1 week since purchase or so. It was a funbike, I could throw it around corners, do everything I would do to Honda Navi. Despite being a big bike, it felt so compact (Fact: it has the same wheelbase as Duke 390) and easy to ride. 26 BHP was no where near interesting, let alone intimidating. CBR felt warm, like a mature, faster Karizma.

I loved my CBR to bits. Took it around 140 hairpin bends!!! During Kolli hills ride, and another 36 hair pin bends around Sirumalai hills.


It loved corners, I loved corners. It was fun, a lot more than any 75000 rupees i have ever spent in my life.

The itch for upgrade crept in by March 2016 (1 month since CBR 250R purchase) but I did not feed that thought as I just spent 75k on the CBR and any new bike before next year would mean that I will be thrown out from my home.

It was during the month of February 2017, something beautiful happened. We were chatting in our group about Duke 390, and one of the friends, who goes by the handle Nitninja aka Niranjan, offered me to swap his Duke 390 with my CBR for a couple of days so that I can know the Duke better.

I was so excited, we had a small meet up and exchanged the bikes.

His Duke 390 was 2016 Duke 390, with rubber mounted engine, slipper clutch. He also had a remapped Powertronics piggyback ECU, gel seat and a very functional visor. I couldn't have asked for a better bike to know the Duke 390.

That's me on the duke 390, all 6'2, 120 kg of me. Duke did not feel cramped at all!
Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390-nininj.jpg

I fell in love with the looks of the Duke 390, the exposed trellis frame, big tyres, thick forks, and all that orange madness splashed with the generosity of King Karnan!

After a wash, BHPian nitninja's Duke 390
Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390-17103735_10212726417783865_320749841762442419_n.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 9th May 2017 at 07:26.
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Old 5th May 2017, 17:40   #3
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Default re: Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390

Ride impressions of Nitninja's Duke 390, i will save it up for the ride impressions of my Duke 390 in the review that follows.

Bottomline: I fell in love with the KTM Duke 390, in more ways than one, to a point that I decided it is going to be my next bike.

As my luck would have it, one month later, CGB aka Gautham posted in our group "Guys, I am selling my Duke 390, 2014 November, immaculate condition, 1.2 lakh"

I suddenly got interested. After some days when I expressed it to him, he was happy to give it to me for 1 lakh, as he felt I would take care of it passionately (knowing how obsessed i was with my CBR),and also that he gets to see his bike when he visits Trichy.

Next step was selling the CBR, and OLX came to my rescue. I sold my CBR 250R for 65k bucks. And it was just another 35k for my next sweetheart, the darling, the orange bundle of joy- KTM Duke 390!!

Last ride in my beautiful, lovely Honda CBR 250R:



I took the delivery of Duke 390 on 22nd April 2017 with 41900 km on odo, and as I write, I have completed another 1000 km since I purchased it.

The best part about the bike is, though it had done around 42000 km, we all knew CGB's sedate riding style, it meant that the bike had been made running in for almost 2.5 years and 42k km

There were no issues with the bike, and he got it serviced, with almost new brake pads and a new chain sprocket set.

Before I go to the actual review, some pics of my lovely bike.

Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390-homepic.jpg

Widest in segment 150 section rear tyre, Michelin Pilot street radials in mine:

Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390-reartyre.jpg

When you turn 30, you can either sober down with an Honda Unicorn or go full rage on an orange KTM

Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390-30ssober.jpg

With fellow BHPian Vignesh N/A's Duke 200 aka SSB

Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390-nad200.jpg

Same dimensions, but clever differentiation via color scheme:
Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390-nad2002.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 9th May 2017 at 07:24.
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Old 5th May 2017, 18:13   #4
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Default re: Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390

Heart vs Mind, Mind is a monkey:

The time between selling away the CBR and buying the Duke 390, my mind played games with my peace. It told me "Prassy, why dont you look at new bikes, FZ25 and Dominar 400?"

Come on, FZ25 was slower than the CBR and I would never go for it. But Dominar made sense, and so, I did a test ride.

Verdict: Big bike, easy to handle, surprisingly chuckable for a 180 kg bike, faster and more comfortable than the CBR, no engine heating, nice exhaust note.

I almost bought the bike. I had 1 lakh for the bike, Dominar costed 1.75 lakh on road. I asked for EMI options at Bajaj dealer and this is what I got.

A half sheet of EMI calculation info:

Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390-emi.jpg

After the test ride,

Mind :"Prassy, you buy bikes just for having fun and to seek cheap thrills, why waste 1.8 lakhs on a new bike when you have already wasted 11 lakhs on 2 new hatchbacks 6 months ago?"

Yes, I bought a Celerio ZXI(O) and a Kwid RXT(O) 1.0 L last year, and have not used them both for even 5000 km.

Heart: "Prassy, Do you think Dominar is worth parting ways with the CBR? It feels just like the CBR except that it is slightly quicker. Just remember Niranjan's 390, 0-100 in 5.5s"

I decided it is going to be CBG's Duke 390 for me!

Ok, now into the review:

KTM Duke 390 ABS

Things I absolutely love:

1. Performance

You may have a 650cc or a 600 supersport, heck, even a liter class, the Duke 390 has so much character that you wont feel bored on it. Honestly, to ride a Duke 390 at its limits, it takes serious serious skill.

44 BHP, 35 Nm of torque
0-100 kmph in 5.7s
It gets to 120 kmph before you hit the red line at the 4th gear, keeps pulling effortlessly to speeds that cannot be mentioned here.


I have been on RC 390 before, the RC was so involving that I felt the power was not intimidating (in the city) even when I redlined it in first 2 gears(it gets to 80 kmph at 2nd gear redline). But Duke 390 was completely different.

Seating position is like me waiting for idlis at my dining table, and suddenly someone lit up a rocket underneath

I mean, the position is relaxed, and during initial days in the city, when ever I wide opened the throttle like I did in my CBR 250R, the duke did scare me a little. No such issues on the highway though.It took me a couple of days to get used to frantic acceleration in the city traffic. It literally pushes me back whenever I open the throttle! Lovely, Oh lovely!

On highways, to be ahead of traffic, CBR 250R needed to be pushed. No such thing with the Duke 390. As i told earlier, I get to the speed limit of 120 kmph in around 8 seconds from standstill, just within 4 gears. Riding on the highway, you can just be ahead of all cars, all the time.

Come on, 145 BHP Abarth Punto gets to 100 kmph when you would already be doing 120 kmph!

2. Character - Exhaust note & Power delivery

For some people, the Duke 390 is a bully, a brawler, a hooligan, unrefined, vibey, uncomfortable motorcycle with a voice of an autorickshaw. For those people, Yamaha R3 and Ninja 300 makes more sense.

I love, absolutely love, truly madly deeply love the character that the Duke 390 has. Specially the first version, pre-slipper clutch edition. It is raw, sounds angry, and goes like one angry cheetah!

Crank the engine, it roars and idles with a bassy "grrr". That is the kind of exhaust note that makes me twist the throttle more and more. It is like the bike screaming at me "Prassy, don't be a sissy, lets take on some twisties"

Power delivery is frantic and jerky, oh what a lovely refreshing change from the linear, "I am dead till 7000 rpm" Japanese motors! It snarls, purrs, jumps and leaps, at times stalls when you don't give throttle input at slow speeds. Mid range is the strongest, and you will love to be in 5000-9000 rpm band often!

All in all, it has a deep powerful character that connects with me so well that I would label the 390 the best bike in its segment I have ridden, better than the gentle R3 and the committed RC390 (just my opinion though).

Last edited by Aditya : 9th May 2017 at 07:19.
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Old 5th May 2017, 19:01   #5
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Default re: Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390

3. Looks

Its orange, Its naked, Its flashy and it turns heads!

We all know how great this bike looks. And the pics are the proof!

Pics from countryside:
Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390-backbw.jpg

Gets attention wherever it is parked:
Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390-side.jpg

Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390-backorange.jpg

4. Handling

Like a hot knife into butter, it is seamless and easy to handle. At 139 kg, I can literally lift and throw this bike into parking

It handles sharp, Michelin Pilot street radials are 90% as good as Metzelers at 60% price!

The bike can take corners like a boss! High speed stability is brilliant!

You wanna powerslide? Just have the handle slightly bent and give the throttle a mild whip, and see the harmony of the rear wheel sliding like a belly dancer's hip!

Just a few corners around random villages..



5. ABS

What a boon!I happened to face a few situations where I had to brake over mud/swampy gravel, I would carefully plan and move on the CBR (mine was non ABS), but on the Duke, it is so effortless that I just don't have to worry about panic braking/grave mud wet surface braking at all. ABS kicks in nicely and it is non-intrusive.

6. MID Console

The console puts all my 4 cars to shame! it is so detailed that i wonder if it is all that necessary. Look at what I got in my 390's MID :

1. 2 trip meters
2. 1 clock
3. Temperature gauge
4. Fuel gauge
5. Tachometer
6. Gear indicator
7. ABS indicator
8. Side stand indicator
9. Low fuel warning indicator light and display
10. Distance to empty
11. Average fuel consumption L/100 km
12. Average speed
13. Trip time
14. Next service due km
15. Average fuel efficiency km/l

Woah! It is nice to have all info thrown at you.

7. Gear box:

The first gear alone engages with a noticeable clunk, other gears are smooth and slick to use. Clutch is light and easy to use. No false neutrals or missed gears at all.

Things that others may not like but I dont care:

Engine heat:

Duke 390 is a hot bike, literally! As long as you are on the highway or in fast moving city traffic, you wont feel the heat. But once you are in slow moving/Bumper to bumper traffic, the duke heats up. You can feel it beyond your shoes, and the temp bar plays with you at the top level except topmost 3 bars. And the fan kicks in often, and it is loud. Loud enough that a lady on an Activa, tried moving away from the duke, scared by the fan's kicking in sound.

Wind protection :

The naked Duke has wind blast that you can feel at high speeds. While that is well over the speed limit, you find yourselves doing that speed unknowingly. CBR provided excellent wind protection. Adding a visor to the Duke,in my opinion, spoils the looks. I am giving it a miss.

Pillion seat :

Pillion seat is small, and tapers as it goes up. There isnt much room for the pillion. And with the way the duke 390 pushes you back with its power delivery, you better be having a careful pillion.

Brakes :

300 mm Brembo brakes may be the largest (until Dominar/new duke launch), but it lacks bite. It is spongy and not confidence inspiring. For the pace the duke manages to go at,it needs much better brakes, much! But then it is a matter of getting accustomed to. It is mostly 4 finger braking on the 390.

Ride quality over bad roads:

As much as helpful the stiff suspension setup is, when it comes to handling, it is a set back when you are riding over bad roads. You can feel each and every undulation, and it worsens if you have a pillion.

Beyond all the small short comings, once I get on the saddle, crank the lovely motor and open the throttle, there is that unstoppable wild naughty grin that the Duke pastes on my face. Oh boy, that, can overshadow all the above negatives of the duke 390.

Other miscellaneous info:

Fuel efficiency:

That is something I wouldn't care. My CBR gave me 25-27 kmpl as I always pushed the bike. Duke 390 can surprise you with fuel efficiency figures as low as 16 kmpl when it is pushed real hard (like unmentionable high speed cruising continuously at 9000+ rpm) and as high as 36 kmpl when ridden like a Buddhist monk.

For me, I regularly get 20-22 kmpl, and I am happy about that!

Tank range :

It is a small 10 liter tank. For someone who has my riding style, it lasts 180-200 km before you need a refill. That isn't a lot if you intend cruising on the Duke 390. Cruising, which the duke does surprisingly well. No aches even during long rides.

Spares and Service costs :

Spares and service are pretty cheap for 300cc segment. I mean, the cheapest. An oil change, filter change and a wash would cost you 1700 bucks, which is very reasonable compared to 3000 bucks (labour alone) for Ninja 300. Spares are readily available too.

Conclusion :

I think this is the best 1 lakh rupees I have ever spent in my life. I am so totally happy with the Duke 390 that I believe I will hold her for a long long time.

I take this opportunity to convey my thanks to Niranjan (@nitninja), Gautham (CGB) and Vivek (VW2010). If not for you guys, I would not have met the beautiful little brat, KTM Duke 390!

Thank you for reading my ownership review.

Last edited by Aditya : 9th May 2017 at 07:23.
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Old 9th May 2017, 08:25   #6
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Default re: Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Motorbikes Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 9th May 2017, 10:11   #7
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Default Re: Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390

Nice review, Prasanna. I hope to upgrade to D390 very soon and the very same people will be held responsible for spoiling me too.

It was surprising how a 43K machine can still do "censored speeds" without much drama.

SSB aka "Slow Shit Box" as it is fondly called.
Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390-img20170430wa0004.jpg
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Old 9th May 2017, 10:23   #8
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Default Re: Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390

Let me be the first one to congratulate you on the Duke! Fantastic review and I can relate to most of the feedback you have posted - especially on the comfort part. I had ridden the Duke way back in 2015 and that too for a few kms and I found it pretty uncomfortable - the seating position and the sudden deceleration which would throw you onto the handlebar - couple that with the bike shutting down.

But its just a matter of getting used to the position and changing your riding style a bit and it can really transform into a very comfortable motorcycle.

What mods do you have in mind for your Duke? I was thinking of a windshield - but yes as you mentioned it looks weird (almost like this)
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Old 9th May 2017, 10:46   #9
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Default Re: Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390

Quote:
Originally Posted by v12 View Post
I was thinking of a windshield....
Fazer V2.0 Windshield is a direct fit. Atleast partially. Duke's windshield has four mounting holes of which lower 2 holes are a direct match to Fazer's windshield pitch. All you have to do is match the upper two holes using a soldering iron as I did.
VW2010 advised me to go for CBR250R's windshield. But couldn't source one.
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Old 9th May 2017, 10:47   #10
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Default Re: Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390

Nice review prasanna, shows your commitment and love towards riding. 42k kms is just a number, this engine can last a lifetime and even more if maintained properly. What does SSB stand for ?

@Vignesh Upgrading to 390 is the best thing you can do now, take advantage of the depreciation.Why do you even need a windshield for a bike that slow ?

Last edited by nitninja : 9th May 2017 at 11:00.
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Old 9th May 2017, 11:10   #11
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Default Re: Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390

Quote:
Originally Posted by nitninja View Post

@Vignesh Upgrading to 390 is the best thing you can do now, take advantage of the depreciation.Why do you even need a windshield for a bike that slow ?
I remember reading somewhere about engine seizure and piston flying off from Duke. Apparently someone got hurt. Hence the windshield.
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Old 9th May 2017, 11:28   #12
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Default Re: Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vignesh_N/A View Post
I remember reading somewhere about engine seizure and piston flying off from Duke. Apparently someone got hurt. Hence the windshield.
Careful, it's a wind-shield and not a piston-shield! Morover piston being heavy, will break the windshield and might still hit you in a place where you would least expect !

@prassy Are you thinking of fixing any after market foot pegs ? Plenty of options are available, which would bring the foot pegs forward, giving you a comfortable seating position.
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Old 9th May 2017, 11:47   #13
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Default Re: Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390

Quote:
Originally Posted by nitninja View Post

@prassy Are you thinking of fixing any after market foot pegs ? Plenty of options are available, which would bring the foot pegs forward, giving you a comfortable seating position.
Like those on HDs? Big plates to rest your feet?
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Old 9th May 2017, 12:02   #14
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Default Re: Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrasannaDhana View Post
Seating position is like me waiting for idlis at my dining table, and suddenly someone lit up a rocket underneath
You have me in splits, cant stop laughing sitting in the office with people looking at me like a moron.

Nice balanced review. Thanks for sharing. If possible can you please test ride a Dominar-400 and post the comparative review since it also comes with the same engine although at a different state of tune?
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Old 9th May 2017, 12:35   #15
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Default Re: Rs. 2273 per BHP! Prassy's pre-worshipped KTM Duke 390

Quote:
If possible can you please test ride a Dominar-400 and post the comparative review since it also comes with the same engine although at a different state of tune?
Check out his youtube channel and subscribe. We get one review almost every month. Dominor 400 is very capable. Looks macho, rides well and has a nice holler.

But both bikes are meant for different purpose. The 390 is pure and pure rider’s joy. Dominor is set to address one of the reason I know married folks think a lot about buying the 390. Pillion seat. But we also have sychos who put their partner through torture by riding to goa from neyveli on a 390. I call it torture purely because 390 rear seat should be removed and a cowl should be added.

Dominor on the other hand is not docile, but lacks the outright power and fear that 390 delivers. But don’t get me wrong the Dominor is 85% of what 390 can do at far less price.

Prassy, what you have is the right 390 I will buy. The new ones or the slipper clutch 2014/15 ones IMHO have lost the rawness of that original 390. Jerky, on the throttle power, ready to jump at anything you remotely think, dive into the smallest space available in front of you and yet give you that one unique feeling of heart muscles actually reaching out to your skin to deliver its beats. If you have not felt that you are still babying it for that 2013 390 will give you enough moments to feel your heart muscles.

Great review and good luck riding it. Ride it hard. Safe is in the hands of god for I know people standing as pedestrians getting wiped off for no reasons of their own. So ride hard and enjoy every KM you can.

And most negatives I have read on 390 in forums are by folks who have always posted that they took a short ride on the 390. These folks will exactly have the same negatives for a liter class or anything that can deliver raw power. Dont blame them, for Honda and kawa have spoiled them with fantastic machines that dont spew power like a volcano but more like a controlled water tap.

Some feedback on the cons you have posted:-

Heat - I ride a 500 and when i picked the 390 i felt home. Never understood why people were complaining of heat for i am just used to it. Then i realized that many come from pulsar and other 220cc bikes at max and heat was hardly a problem. You will get used to it for the heat is not going anywhere. Also the time of your purchase even a cycle feels hot after riding and stopping at a signal thanks to the wonderful summer weather. Do post back during hot season (this is hottest season). The bike heats up and I even have seen engine cut off in Chennai traffic.

Brakes: - Its 42K old. The bike brakes gets squishy by 9k kms. Brake bleeding, changing calipers and pads are the only things I would advise. Caliper and disc for your bikes age but regular change is the pads and bleeding. These brakes for some reason sucks air into its lines.
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