390 Duke or Yamaha YZF-R3 Decision - KTM Duke 390 Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 04-01-2015, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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390 Duke or Yamaha YZF-R3 Decision

Well, was all stoked to go Duke until I discovered Yamaha's new YZF-R3.
Which has me wondering considerably....I bought an FZ09 last summer and love it, best $8K I've ever spent on a bike hands down.
I love the Duke's hooligan personality and know that KTM builds them 'right'.
BUT....this purchase is going to be for a pre-season bike that will get slimy AND be ridden in colder temps so the YZ fairing makes some sense. Performance numbers on paper puts it close to the Duke, certainly zippier than a CB300F or CBR300R AND the Ninja. Love to hear what you guys have to say !


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post #2 of 24 Old 04-01-2015, 10:49 AM
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I think the only advantage as you mentioned is not going to be all that much of an advantage......the fairings wont really block all that much cold & will actually block the lovely feeling of a warm motor warming the insides of your legs, I dont really think it will block all that much cold air being such a small bike

The disadvantages, Well fairings for starters, if it happens to fall over even off the stand you are up for lots of dollars not to mention the hassle if you want to do the smallest things like changing spark plugs etc, The extra (20Kg+) weight added as you know affects handling braking acceleration

The other major factor to me would be the riding position, What sort of distance per day / ride would you be doing? The R3 looks to be a little bit more of an aggressive riding position but not like the larger sports bikes

I think the R3 is a great LOOKING bike especially for the younger learner riders that want to look & feel as though they are riding an R1 or similar, I dont think that feeling would last long though for most, The 390 Duke will always outperform it in many ways especially with the power to weight advantage

I think you have answered your question yourself simply by joining this forum?
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post #3 of 24 Old 04-01-2015, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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I hear what you're saying about the fairing ,Oz. She is a bit porkier than the Duke for sure but IMO it's total stunner looks-wise. If I didn't already own a FZ09 I'd be all over it. I have concerns about the Dukes distance capabilities, which is really my only issue with it. I won't be doing much (if any) freeway riding BUT 55-70 mph on back roads with some distance will be what I do with it. Not sure how well or how long a single cylinder bike will hold up to that. Oh, and it will need to have enough juice to heat a vest/gloves also.


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post #4 of 24 Old 04-01-2015, 11:37 AM
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Plenty of single cylinder dirtbikes (CRF450X is a top contender) do long distance desert racing with ease in much harsher conditions, We did a 240K ride the other day & my partner not long off her learner license had no trouble, We could have easily broken it up into 4 trips that length & done 1000K's in a day

Long term I dont think it will matter how it is ridden, A friend recently sold his 390 Duke with 9500K's on it & he mostly did highway K's, He has upgraded his license & is going to a bigger bike, He really wanted to keep it but needed to cash it in to upgrade
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post #5 of 24 Old 04-01-2015, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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I've been big-bike focused for so long thinking 'small' is something I haven't done recently (until the Duke and YZF hit the news). I need to remind myself that it won't be my only bike so whatever limitations it might have won't be a daily challenge to overcome. I also forget about the 'dirt' side of the sport since I never participated directly. You make a powerful case for the Duke and I appreciate the experienced feedback, Oz.


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post #6 of 24 Old 04-01-2015, 06:37 PM
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Get the Duke, add Power Parts Handguards, Heated Grips, Wind Shield & Outlet Kit and you're good to go.

Please note these links are from an Australian site:
ALU HANDGUARD | $219.99
HEATED GRIPS CPL. | $160.00
WIND SHIELD | $44.99
OUTLET KIT | $44.99

Most all the available options, may differ in the US:
390 Duke Power Parts Page 1
390 Duke Power Parts Page 2

Honda CBR400RR --> Suzuki Raider 150R --> Suzuki DR200SE --> KTM D390 with sauce

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post #7 of 24 Old 04-01-2015, 07:02 PM
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I had a KLR 250 and road it from Calgary to Los Angeles and back again. pretty much at the top of the rev range the whole time. Road 19 hours on one run back stopping for fuel and food. Thing was stellar and thats only a 1 lunger too, plus dynoed at a whopping 22.4Hp. I think the Duke will be fine.
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post #8 of 24 Old 04-01-2015, 07:45 PM
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Like OZ said, look at almost any Dakar Rally bike & it'll be a single cylinder. A couple of other things that swayed me to the Duke were 1).. It looks like no other bike on the road (except it's bigger brothers). 2).. An old saying I kept repeating to myself when I was off-road racing "parts left out don't cost anything and don't break".

I reckon simplicity has to count for something.

Regards,

Phil.

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post #9 of 24 Old 04-01-2015, 09:28 PM
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Bit of a loaded question to ask on a Duke specific forum.......
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post #10 of 24 Old 04-01-2015, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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Excellent points one and all. I guess Yamaha will just have to settle for selling me a FZ last year and call it good LOL. A Duke with weatherization options will make a fine spring bike to battle mud season with for years to come. I also enjoy having 'uncommon' bikes and have no doubt the Duke will get some attention. Thanks for all the input folks !


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