Clutch operation - fueling and oil - KTM Duke 390 Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-27-2019, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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Clutch operation - fueling and oil

I notice on my 2018 390 (4700km) the clutch feels like it is "pulsating" when it is cold and I feather it to pull away in 1st. - : The bike is started up in the morning and allows to idle for about a minute. I then get on and put it in 1st. The normal "clunk" is heard. I then take the revs to about 2500 and slightly let the clutch out (feathering). I now feel the clutch slightly engaging and letting go, engaging and letting go.... As soon as I have enough speed the clutch is released fully and then feels OK... Yours doing this too?


I also feel the the bike is not super smooth low down (1st & 2nd) when riding in slow traffic. I assume this has got to do with the fueling and is normal?


When the bike is hot the oil level just seems too low for me.... When held upright it is showing the oil but it is difficult to see when it is 100% upright. I want to add 100ml or so... what type of oil will do? I have a can of new Castrol GTX 15W 40 mineral oil - will this be OK for topping up a little?


Regards!
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-27-2019, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by J W C View Post
I also feel the the bike is not super smooth low down (1st & 2nd) when riding in slow traffic. I assume this has got to do with the fueling and is normal?

Yes, it is a common state these bikes are in, from new. It is mostly due to mapping for emissions standards. However, I believe some of it is inherent to it being a thumper. I've heard the newer 390's have been smoothed out a bit, but I've never been on one of the older bikes to compare to. My 2018 is not that bad. And, I've certainly ridden worse low speed performers. It seems most often owners add a piggy-back to their ECU as a first step to combating factory leaning.
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2018 390 Duke

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post #3 of 11 Old 08-27-2019, 04:51 PM
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Your best bet is to fit the RBE module which transformed my 2018 Duke 390 for £140.

It makes the fuel mixture slightly richer (apparently) and it’s much smoother at low RPM in 1/2/3

Before, mine would lurch badly at low speeds, unless l used the clutch all the time.

With regards to the “pulsating” from the clutch, no, mine doesn’t do that.
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-27-2019, 05:48 PM
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Be careful about how much oil you add; overfilling is much worse for the engine than being under the max line.

Also itís not best practice to mix different grades and brands of oils, so try to find out what oil was used in the last service if you can. Recommended is either 10w40 or 15w50. The original dealer used 10w40 in mine, but my local dealer uses 15w50, so mine will change to that at my next service.

When the bike is hot, it needs to rest for a minute before you measure the oil level. It helps to rock the bike side to side, and the bike has to be perfectly upright while you measure. Itís not easy if you donít have a front wheel chock or someone to sit on the bike, i just try to check the level at the balance point of the bike. As long as its a good amount over minimum itís fine!


My duke seems to have become a lot smoother in 1st and 2nd now itís on 2500 miles. I dunno if itís due to the bike bedding in or me getting smoother with the throttle. Itís not super duper smooth but it hasnít kangarooíd for ages like it used to when I first got the bike

I havenít noticed any clutch pulsating, but i donít really feather much when setting off. Iíll try to remember to check when Iím next out on it.
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post #5 of 11 Old 08-27-2019, 09:52 PM
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Mine is a 2019 with very low km, haven't reached 1000km yet. The clutch doesn't pulsate at all but just like yours, it's not the friendliest at low speed. Feels like being on a horse edging to take off, having to pull tight on its harness!
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Cheers!
David
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-28-2019, 05:49 AM
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Make sure you do not top-up mineral oils with synthetic oils v/v and make sure the oil is a motorcycle oil rather than a car oil.
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As long as you are happy with what you ride.
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-30-2019, 12:39 AM
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The service manual states Motorex formula 4T semi-synthetic 15/50 oil is the preferred oil
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post #8 of 11 Old 08-31-2019, 11:18 PM
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My dealer used Motel 300v 15w50 at first service, said this was the best to use in it.Thats what I plan to use from now on.
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post #9 of 11 Old 09-01-2019, 01:31 AM
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I am not aware of the brand Motel oil.
As long as it is a motorcycle oil as they are especially designed to be able to cope with the wet clutch debris that cars, in general, don't have.
Also check if this is a mineral, semi or full synthetic oil in case you need to top it up and your Motel oil is not available.

As long as you are happy with what you ride.
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post #10 of 11 Old 09-01-2019, 02:47 AM
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LOL. A Peter 390 probably meant Motul.
Just because a dealer says something doesn’t make it true or fact.

Case in point: the dealer in Oregon I purchased my bike from (service guy actually) told me to put full synthetic in the bike. I asked him if he was sure as it seemed so strange to me to break in an engine with full synthetic oils. Seems too slippery to seat the ring(s).
Anyhow, after returning home this week, I read that the owners manual as well as the service manual states that semi-synthetic oil is preferred. Makes me wonder what they filled it with? It won’t be in long as I don’t run the initial oil to 600 miles. More like 200
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