1 year with my KTM 390 Duke: Review, Rides & Upgrades

I love the Duke's character of being a good all-rounder; it can take you to places at speed but can also take you around in the city with no fuss at all.

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Citrus came home on the 5th of March 2022. To celebrate one year of its presence in my life, I got the bike washed and wanted to do a small photo kinda thing with a balloon and a cupcake. The result didn't come out as I wanted to but at least I celebrated what I wanted to. I posted this thread exactly on my birthday because I kinda wanted to gift myself with the existence of this thread. This photo celebration thing happened before I posted this thread.

And since I finished one year, I wanted to give Citrus a slight makeover (but I failed miserably in doing so). I always wanted to get the plastic shrouds wrapped in gloss black, so that the only colours visible on the bike will be orange and white. Along with this, I also wanted to install bar end mirrors. I loved the official KTM bar ends, but those were not available in India. Add to it the price of the mirrors was just too high. So I ordered similarly shaped budget bar ends from Amazon. I used them for a day and realised how much of a bad idea it was to install them on the bike. They were plain mirrors, and not convex ones that vehicles use so visibility was zero. I returned them after using them for a day. The only positive about these mirrors is that the bike looks sexy with them.

After this, I did a solo weekend ride to the Maharashtra border. I wasn't doing any record nor was my intention to do so but it somehow turned out to be one of my quickest rides ever. I covered 360km in 4 hours, and cut short my travel time by 1 hour(indicated in Google Maps). I really enjoyed the ride, solo rides really do help in rediscovering yourself.

I got the bike serviced after this and then another disaster took place. I found a radium shop guy close to my house who agreed to wrap the bike. I negotiated and the price in the end was 1800/-. But the very next day I realised how much of a disaster the guy did. There were scratches on the tank and one body panel because the guy was careless with his blade. I should've gone to him the very next day because of the damage that he did to my bike but me being me (extreme introvert; meet me in person and you will realise how I struggle to talk to new people) just left it as is. The paint quality of the tank is anyway cheap, so someday after it gets completely scratched, I will get it repainted. Credit where it's due, I loved the way the bike looked with this wrap. In the future, I will try to get it professionally wrapped with better quality material and of course skilled workforce.

There was one errand which turned out to be a 140km trip within the city. I love the Duke's character of being a good allrounder; it can take you to places at speed but can also take you around in the city with no fuss at all. Some pictures which I captured in the middle of this errand:

I have been contemplating getting my bike's tyres changed for quite some time now. The only reason I held on to them was that they had a lot of life left in them. But they were leaking air on multiple occasions. One fine day I placed an order for new tyres on Torqueblock. I wanted(was craving) Michelin Road 5s but the fact that I could get two pairs of Apollo Alpha H1s for one pair of Michelin's just did not make sense to me. So the options I had were Apollo Alpha H1, Michelin Pilot Street and some other Ceat model. Metzeler's were also on the pricier side so I gave them a pass. I wanted to play it safe, so skipped the Ceats despite having very good experiences with my Activa and my erstwhile Pep+ tyres. Michelin Pilot Street didn't really have good reviews, so I went ahead with Apollo. The set cost me around 10.6k if I am not wrong, and installation and alignment cost another 2 grand bringing the total to 12.6k. Not cheap IMO but it is expected for a bike of this size and capacity.

I always wanted to do a burnout and take some good pictures to preserve them, and they came out to be excellent. I am posting them here, but mods please feel free to delete them if it violates forum guidelines. I did the burnout in the safest way possible, on a road with minimal traffic movement. Did not cause any ruckus, so I hope I did a safe job.

I took my bike to dynamicryderz to get the tyres installed. Although a bit pricey, I was satisfied with the work done. And coming to the Apollo, there is a literal day and night difference in the way the bike rides and feels. I have covered 100km since the installation of the new tyres and although it is too early to judge, I could make out quite a few differences. The bike feels squishier over bumps, the brakes much better, the front feels much heavier, grip levels have for sure increased in corners and somehow gearshifts have also become smoother. I am assuming the guy who installed the tyres tinkered around with the chain adjustment nuts while removing the rear wheel. Overall, I am tremendously satisfied and felt like I was living under a rock with MRFs all these days.

I am quite satisfied with Torqueblock. Tyres were fresh, one was manufactured in 03/23 and the other was manufactured in 04/23. I received the tyres within 3-4 days, and the price that these guys offered was the best price, as some other guys who I asked quoted 3-4k more. I would wholeheartedly recommend Torqueblock

So that's it for this pretty long update post.

Also, I urge every biker to ride safely. We never know what might happen, so it is better to ride within one's limits. This applies to me as well. The reason I'm saying this is because of the recent accident/accidents that took place. Every time an accident like this happens, the biking community as a whole is blamed for some or the other reason. Nevertheless, it is always safe to ride within one's limits. If not ATGATT, a helmet all the time is the least I expect from people reading this.

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