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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm wanting something light and nimble with pretty good MPG but, with some soul that is easy to ride on asphalt and unpaved public roads. I have been thinking about a KLX-300SM or possibly a Yamaha R3 but, I keep reading reviews that keep mentioning the Duke 390.

I demoed a trade-in Husky Svartpilen 401 and was seriously disappointed. To be fair, it was a used trade-in with a "Coffee Can" brand aftermarket exhaust which was simply loud and obnoxious like my chainsaw. It was absolutely gutless in the low revs and had a very peaky powerband up high next to the rev limiter. I think this unfairly biased me against this engine on other platforms.

Riding one-up, is it stable on the interstate around vans and trucks (i.e. how much is it tossed around in turbulent winds)? Will it run 75MPH sustained without undue stress like a KLX-300SM or Yamaha R3? How is airblast on your chest (i.e. is it fatiguing for longer rides)? What is real-world MPG?

Are the front fork "clickers" from the Husky easy and cheap to add to the Duke 390? What is the auto-up/down shifter situation? Does it have enough alternator to run heated grips? How about other similar things to consider like luggage options or anything else?

I should note I am a middle-aged ATGATT experienced rider so, I have a lot of general experience on motorcycles. On my KLX-250S, I averaged a bit over 1,000 miles a month on mixed roads, generally, asphalt going to and from convenience stores and single-track off-road adventures. Where I live now has faster road speeds on average and my offroad adventures are better handled on a KTM 450 thumper. On the road, I care about handling with braking/acceleration being important for safety to avoid bad cager activities.

TIA,
Sid
 

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I get 55-60ish mpg on my 2018 model but I tend to give the bike a bit of stick lol I’ve seen people claim up to 70mpg tho

It’s absolutely fine on motorways at 80mph - it’s my first bike and I don’t feel worried about wind or getting knocked about by trucks.

The speedo only seems to overread by 1mph instead of 10% like most cars and bikes so you naturally end up going faster than a lot of traffic anyway whilst remaining in the speed limit.

It’s a naked bike so wind blast is unavoidable. I’ve fitted a barracuda screen which takes the pressure off your chest. But it’s no gold wing and motorways aren’t exactly pleasant places to be anyway lol

I’ve got heated grips on mine and a tracker fitted with no problems. These bikes like a healthy battery soo need to be on a charger if not in regular use.


The bike says “ready to race” when you start it up so it doesn’t like being pootled about at under 4000rpm 6-9000 is the sweet spot

Quick shifter is only an option on 2021 models, but can be added with a piggyback ecu on older models.

My mates 2018 svartpilen 401 doesn’t have adjustable front suspension so I’m not sure if the one you tested was a one off

The stock duke exhaust is pretty quiet

Svartpilen rides very similar to the duke, with just a higher seat and off-roady tires. So if you didn’t like that you probably won’t like the duke lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I get 55-60ish mpg on my 2018 model but I tend to give the bike a bit of stick lol I’ve seen people claim up to 70mpg tho

It’s absolutely fine on motorways at 80mph - it’s my first bike and I don’t feel worried about wind or getting knocked about by trucks.

The speedo only seems to overread by 1mph instead of 10% like most cars and bikes so you naturally end up going faster than a lot of traffic anyway whilst remaining in the speed limit.

It’s a naked bike so wind blast is unavoidable. I’ve fitted a barracuda screen which takes the pressure off your chest. But it’s no gold wing and motorways aren’t exactly pleasant places to be anyway lol

I’ve got heated grips on mine and a tracker fitted with no problems. These bikes like a healthy battery soo need to be on a charger if not in regular use.


The bike says “ready to race” when you start it up so it doesn’t like being pootled about at under 4000rpm 6-9000 is the sweet spot

Quick shifter is only an option on 2021 models, but can be added with a piggyback ecu on older models.

My mates 2018 svartpilen 401 doesn’t have adjustable front suspension so I’m not sure if the one you tested was a one off

The stock duke exhaust is pretty quiet

Svartpilen rides very similar to the duke, with just a higher seat and off-roady tires. So if you didn’t like that you probably won’t like the duke lol
The newer Husky has the front suspension clickers so, I see that being beneficial when I want to soften up the rough road harshness.

The one I rode had me hunched up with a bit of weight on my shoulders and wrists which is why I am looking at the KTM Duke. The Duke has a lower seat height which should fix that issue along with the handlebars.

Husky's 2.5 gallon gas tank won't work for me either where I live.
 

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Husky's 2.5 gallon gas tank won't work for me either where I live.
I get about 170 miles per tank before I fill up with 2.5 gallons. I'm about 40% of the total weight when I'm on the bike so I'm sure that doesn't help with the mileage.

That being said, the bike is fun to ride, handles like it's a part of you, and does well on the track (1 day of tracking, never did it before, good-bye chicken strips). The highway will zap your gas mileage as 65 mph is about 7k rpms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I get about 170 miles per tank before I fill up with 2.5 gallons. I'm about 40% of the total weight when I'm on the bike so I'm sure that doesn't help with the mileage.

That being said, the bike is fun to ride, handles like it's a part of you, and does well on the track (1 day of tracking, never did it before, good-bye chicken strips). The highway will zap your gas mileage as 65 mph is about 7k rpms.
Sounds like it is geared like the Yamaha R3 and Kawasaki KLX-300SM. With 43Hp, it could be geared taller to lower the engine speed.

With more horsepower and geared that low, I bet it is a real hot rod on the streets.
 
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