Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Murrysville, PA, USA. A pleasant, wooded suburb of Pittsburgh.
Eli's Duke - The Mod Thread
Now that the frenzy of the holiday season has abated, we can turn out attention to a project waiting in the wings that promises to lots of discussion and entertainment: The modding of Eli's new Duke in accordance with recommendations from forum members (and Eli's personal wishes/preferences). The holiday season has left me little time to complete the detailed modding catalog I have started, but I hope to finish and post it within the coming days.
To open the bidding, let me first note some generally-agreed-upon shortcomings of the Duke as delivered. Excellent as it is, few would disagree that, at a minimum, the stock Duke could benefit from some improvement in the following areas:
--Rear Shock Performance
Let me start with the most basic - and safety-related - mod: Braking.
The stock 390 comes from the factory with very hard, low-coefficient-of-friction pads. These are made in India, and clearly the priority in formulating the pad material was long service life, rather than top performance. As a result, Moto journalist testers have found the stock Brembo-designed ByBre brakes on both 390 variants lacking by comparison with brakes on Japanese competitors (even though the KTM 390's come standard with ABS). In addition to questionable brake pads, experience has shown that new Dukes/RC's are often delivered with a coating of oil/petroleum/contamination on the rotors, an obvious but often-overlooked issue typically not addressed by dealers during pre-delivery prep. As a result, the first few brake applications by a new 390 owner can cause the layer of rotor contamination to become embedded in the brake pads, degrading their performance even further.
The fix is simple, easy, inexpensive and effective:
--A thorough cleaning of both rotors with brake cleaning fluid.
--Changing the stock brake pads for HH-rated (ie, high coefficient-of-friction) aftermarket brake pads. Nearly all the major suppliers (Brembo, SBS, EBC, Galfer, Vesrah, Dunlop, Ferrodo and others) have by now brought high-quality HH pads to market to fit the KTM 390's. A patiently bedded-in set of HH pads on a clean rotor will vastly improve the 390's front brake in terms of initial bite, feel, lowered lever effort and overall braking power. Ideally, the owner of a new Duke/RC would change both front and rear brake pads, but given the rear brake's role as a minor auxiliary during weight-shifted hard braking, the priority is certainly on the front brake.
So my recommendation to Eli to start the modding process is: Clean the rotors and fit HH pads.
The floor is now open for all Forum members to jump in with their thoughts, comments and recommendations. Let the modding begin!
"If you don't know where you're going, you might wind up somewhere else."
2015 390 Duke
1980 Moto Guzzi V50 II (becoming a cafe racer)
1984 Moto Guzzi SP 1000
Last edited by Diploman; 01-04-2017 at 11:57 AM.