Eli's Duke - The Mod Thread - Page 2 - KTM Duke 390 Forum
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post #11 of 15 Old 01-06-2017, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by 640 View Post
At the risk of being seen to not enter into the spirit of what could be a very interesting thread, I am inclined to think that seeing how Yves ( @Trimapa ) has already modded his bike way beyond the level that many of us will ever get to, then the one and only mod I would REALLY like to see is the one he has not yet fitted...... No, not an exhaust (yawn !) a Topbox , or even carbon wheels (though that would be good) but a Turbo of course !

Or a Supercharger, I'm not fussy.

Sorry if this makes me sound ungrateful.
Alan , I hear you coming from a mile away No way !! For the moment I will leave my little Duke as it is .. I found some other victims to mod and improve : Just bought a Husqvarna 250 Enduro bike and a KTM 85 off road for my son . I wanted to go back to my first " love affair " off road bikes - Furthermore my son being 13 will be allowed to ride a 50 cc scooter or road bike as from next year , I wanted him to learn to ride , brake and make mistakes on " safer " dirt tracks before hitting the asphalt jungle . Ok , that argument did help to get another 2 bikes in the garage without " her indoors " going bizerk .
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Last edited by Trimapa; 01-06-2017 at 05:08 AM.
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post #12 of 15 Old 01-08-2017, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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John's seat makeover by Sargent is extremely professional, well-done and comfort-enhancing. I test-sat it briefly when John and I had a rendezvous with our Dukes last summer. Highly recommendable for those who want more comfort and don't mind spending a bit of change!

For myself, the seating priority was to eliminate the pointy nose of the pillion seat which poked me constantly in the backside and was a non-stop aggravation. What kind of perverted ideas about human anatomy reside in the minds of the Kiska designers who conceived that little instrument of torture? Luis (LNICK) posted a photo showing the the nice mod he made with the help of a professional upholsterer to address the pillion-prow issue. Being a hard-core DIY'er, I decided to undertake a seat reconfiguration at home. I bought a 3/4" pad of seat foam (adhesive on one side), and some seat-covering vinyl. I took off my KTM Ergo seat and with an electric carving knife carefully cut off the offending pointed prow on the pillion seat, leaving a smooth, unpointed "bumstop". Then I cut one thickness of seat foam to sit atop the Ergo seat, carefully shaping it to mate with the newly-reshaped pillion seat. When all was to my satisfaction, I covered the Ergo seat-with-foam pad in seat vinyl (a learning experience), reinstalled the seat, and covered the whole reconfigured area with a black sheepskin cover. While not nearly as sleek looking as John's or Luis' custom seats, for me it was a giant leap forward in comfort to have my backside no longer plagued by the pillion point. I consider my seat mod very successful but I would not recommend it to others unless you are very confident of your DIY capabilities (or foolhardy). The sheepskin cover looks a bit rustic, but it is extremely comfortable.

Custom seats such as John's, Luis' or mine are probably the extreme end of the improved-comfort spectrum, and certainly not for everyone. Most owners are happy with another very popular mod which fixes the very hard, plywood/cardboard feeling stock seat: The KTM ergo seat. I propose this as another basic mod Eli should make to his Duke. Would like to hear the thoughts of others on this suggestion.

Cheers, Will

"If you don't know where you're going, you might wind up somewhere else."
--Yogi Berra

2015 390 Duke
1980 Moto Guzzi V50 II (becoming a cafe racer)
1984 Moto Guzzi SP 1000
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post #13 of 15 Old 01-09-2017, 03:25 AM
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Mandatory rear shock upgrade for the Duke 390 imho . Many options available . Most cost effective being the R6 conversion .
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post #14 of 15 Old 01-10-2017, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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I have to second Trimapa's recommendation for a rear shock upgrade of the Duke. Although many owners do use the bike successfully with the OEM rear shock, I concur with Trimapa that such an upgrade is indeed "mandatory" if the owner wants to exploit the full capabilities of the Duke's marvelously agile chassis. The OEM shock, a classic "cost-cutter special", is simply not up to the level of performance offered by the rest of the chassis. When cold, the shock's damping is extremely harsh in compression; When the shock heats up from proximity to the exhaust cannister, the rebound damping practically disappears. The One-Size-Fits-All progressive rate spring (which is really not a proper weight match for any rider) is devilishly difficult to access in order to adjust preload. All in all, the OEM shock/spring is just not a worthy complement to the brilliant chassis.

The most cost-effective shock upgrade for the Duke is a Japanese shock adopted from an early-generation Yamaha R6. The following thread from the RC Forum details the research and experimentation by RC390 tuner Matt Schreiner of Formula 390 that resulted in what has since become a popular and economical suspension upgrade.

Shock Swap with 99-02 R6

Matt recommends that the R6 donor shock be upgraded with a straight-rate spring matched to the rider's weight, as well as a threaded preload adjuster. A number of Duke owners, (eg., Mikebet et al) have found that the R6 shock can be successfully utilized with the original yellow spring and ramp adjuster from Yamaha, making this the ultimate inexpensive upgrade. Straight or modified, the R6 conversion has proven extremely popular and effective. A huge upgrade over OEM. I was an early adopter, and I continue to be nothing but pleased with the R6 shock. Others please comment.

For those who want the latest and best technology, there are a number of current-production shocks from leading suspension makers that will fit the Duke/RC. Among the new shocks available are Ohlins, JRi, Penske, Wilbers, Nitro, YSS, M-Shock, K-Tech, Elka, and others. A plethora of choices. Comments from Duke owners who have fitted new aftermarket shocks are welcome.

(Front fork upgrades will be addressed in a separate post.)

Cheers, Will

"If you don't know where you're going, you might wind up somewhere else."
--Yogi Berra

2015 390 Duke
1980 Moto Guzzi V50 II (becoming a cafe racer)
1984 Moto Guzzi SP 1000
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post #15 of 15 Old 01-11-2017, 03:35 AM
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The pillion grab handle design is such that it's virtually impossible to use Bungee straps or any other kind of strap to hold anything in position, something which I found very frustrating as I often pop into the supermarket to buy a small quantity of goods and then can't fasten them effectively to the pillion seat.

I solved this very simply and cheaply by drilling an tapping M6 into the handles- there is plenty of material to do this, and then fastened some stainless P clips to the 'grab rails' with cap head bolts. Result is very neat, and I can now fasten all kinds of things onto the bike securely.

will post some photos soon.
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