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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,
My name is Anh Bui and I'm from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

I have been riding motorbikes for nearly 20 years and the KTM Duke 390 is my latest motorbike, after I sold my faithful but boring Honda CBR150R, hoping for a totally new riding experience. I got my KTM Duke 390 around 3 weeks ago from a local motorbike importer. The bike is the domestic Indian version.

Frankly, the initial impression was somewhat disappointing.

First of, the heat! Upgrading from riding a Honda CBR150R, the Duke 390 engine feel like burning charcoal in my thigh and leg. Before I bought it, I already read a lot of remarks on the internet about the engine heat, but the reality, to me, was quite devastating.
Second, the jerkiness when riding in low speed. It feel like the engine was trying to rebel against the rider. Not to mention the jerkiness when shifting gears.
Third, the high foot peg and the very stiff front-seat. After 1.5 hours of continuous riding, I already felt the itchy sensation in my butt. The front-seat in my Honda CBR150R was ways more comfortable than this seat.
I must confess, the initial negative impressions made me regret my buying decision, at least for a certain moment.

But then I thought "Hey, have I tried hard enough?" There must be something about this motorbike that makes everyone LOVE it, despite all negative things. And I just found out about it today, after I finished the break-in period of 500 km and brought it in for the first service interval. For the first oil change, I used the most expensive engine oil currently available in my city, the Motul 300V 15W50. And boy oh boy, it transforms my Duke 390 to a completely different beast. The engine is now smoooooth with less vibration. The gear-shifting is now much better than before. Even riding in low-speed, all the jerkiness is gone! The engine heat, while still there, is not as severe as the initial impression. Maybe it's just the placebo effect, I don't know. But I'm going to change the default coolant to Engine Ice coolant. I heard it works better and can reduce a few degrees Celsius. For the stiff seats and high foot peg issue, I already ordered the KTM Ergo front-pillion seats from Australia and it's now on the way back to Vietnam. I just couldn't wait to get my hand on it. With softer material and higher seating position, I hope it can enhance my riding experience.

So, what is the magic of this KTM Duke 390 that everyone love? I think we all know the answer to that question, it's the FUN of riding. After the first oil change, I rode for about 3 hours non-stop and I just couldn't stop smiling. The combination of agile chassis and superb engine make this bike an absolute fun motorbike to ride on.

Now I'm looking forward for a few performance and aesthetic upgrades. My initial list would be Akrapovic Exhaust slip-on, K&N air-filter, 160/60 rear tire... and I will be very happy to share with you all.
 

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Enjoyed the read!
I think the three points you mentioned are the ones any new Duke owner ponders/worries about.
Do share the experience after the modifications.
 

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The heat - could not stop myself from commenting.
Rode to work today and on getting down just felt like I came out of a steam sauna bath :D
Terrible..
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Thanks everyone for the greetings! I'm glad to be a part of the community :)

Now, here's some updates. I just got the Akrapovic exhaust installed yesterday!!!
The mod shop offered me 2 choices: the Yoshimura exhaust or the Akrapovic exhaust. Both are slip-on type with link pipe but without the catalytic converter. The Akrapovic is slightly more expensive. They were nice enough to give me a try out of both! Sweet ^^

We all know the original exhaust on the Duke 390 is, admittedly, quite pathetic. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but to comply with the law, the manufacturer has to put a lot of work to restrain the exhaustion. The result, it sounds puny.

So when I first heard my Duke 390 with the custom exhaust, I was blown away!
With the DB Killer off, both of them were much louder than the original exhaust. I couldn't believe it's the sound coming from a single-cylinder engine motorbike. It's not just loud, but powerful. And when you rev, sweet Jesus, it screams!!!

After the try-out on both, I decided to go for the Akrapovic. The reason being I felt it's more tame than the Yoshimura. Mind you that this is the slip-on custom version, not the full-system Akrapovic which has the catalytic converter and they need to remap the ECU.

Ok, enough talks. Here's some photos:

The Yoshimura exhaust



The Akrapovic exhaust, being installed



Tada...



Closed-up



The link pipes:



Hope you guys enjoy it!
 

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Yes the stock sound is horrible, specially at low RPMs. That's the only reason to have an aftermarket exhaust IMO. I don't want to be seen as a killjoy but I went through this on my former bike and I finally came out to think I'll hardly have one in the future. Why?

- The power gain is not noticeable unless you spend a few hundreds more on a fuel controller and an air filter. Again you will hardly squeeze 4 or 5 ponies more.
- They look nice but they're like a scratch magnet and the cost - benefit ratio for repairing it is ridiculous then you finally resign to live with them.
- It lowers the resale value and makes it more difficult to sell the bike. When I tried to sell the bike I had to remove the pipe and sell it apart.

I'm not trying to make you feel bad. I just thought you may be aware of the drawbacks of having a pipe. Looks really good anyway.
 

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Thanks everyone for the greetings! I'm glad to be a part of the community :)

Now, here's some updates. I just got the Akrapovic exhaust installed yesterday!!!
The mod shop offered me 2 choices: the Yoshimura exhaust or the Akrapovic exhaust. Both are slip-on type with link pipe but without the catalytic converter. The Akrapovic is slightly more expensive. They were nice enough to give me a try out of both! Sweet ^^

We all know the original exhaust on the Duke 390 is, admittedly, quite pathetic. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but to comply with the law, the manufacturer has to put a lot of work to restrain the exhaustion. The result, it sounds puny.

So when I first heard my Duke 390 with the custom exhaust, I was blown away!
With the DB Killer off, both of them were much louder than the original exhaust. I couldn't believe it's the sound coming from a single-cylinder engine motorbike. It's not just loud, but powerful. And when you rev, sweet Jesus, it screams!!!

After the try-out on both, I decided to go for the Akrapovic. The reason being I felt it's more tame than the Yoshimura. Mind you that this is the slip-on custom version, not the full-system Akrapovic which has the catalytic converter and they need to remap the ECU.
Hi Caynam, Congrats on the Akra. Since you got to compare both the exhausts, can you provide any details on the ride with the Yoshimura.

How is the power post the Akra install. Is there any reason you would not need to remap the ECU to compensate for the exhaust change

Thanks and apologies for so many questions :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yes the stock sound is horrible, specially at low RPMs. That's the only reason to have an aftermarket exhaust IMO. I don't want to be seen as a killjoy but I went through this on my former bike and I finally came out to think I'll hardly have one in the future. Why?

- The power gain is not noticeable unless you spend a few hundreds more on a fuel controller and an air filter. Again you will hardly squeeze 4 or 5 ponies more.
- They look nice but they're like a scratch magnet and the cost - benefit ratio for repairing it is ridiculous then you finally resign to live with them.
- It lowers the resale value and makes it more difficult to sell the bike. When I tried to sell the bike I had to remove the pipe and sell it apart.

I'm not trying to make you feel bad. I just thought you may be aware of the drawbacks of having a pipe. Looks really good anyway.
Well I agree with most of your points above and I think they're very relevant. Installing a custom exhaust doesn't necessary mean gaining more power. And who needs more power on the Duke 390 anyway?! it's more than enough already! So the decision is purely an self-indulgent one :) Much like when you buy an action figure. You buy it because you want to look at it, you want to touch it, you want to show it off to your friends. It doesn't really mean you can do anything practical with it.
For the Akrapovic exhaust I got, I like the sound of it. It makes me feel more exciting when riding the bike. And for some people, it is all that matters, don't you agree? :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi Caynam, Congrats on the Akra. Since you got to compare both the exhausts, can you provide any details on the ride with the Yoshimura.

How is the power post the Akra install. Is there any reason you would not need to remap the ECU to compensate for the exhaust change

Thanks and apologies for so many questions :)
No worries man, I'm happy to answer :)
Ok, for the Yoshimura exhaust, I had the chance to hear it out, but not actually riding with it per-se. Thus I can not give you any detail on the ride.
However, you can click on the youtube link below to hear the sound of it when idle and when reeving.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_NWAnfTK7I

Please listen to it from your headphone to fully appreciate it because the sound's quality from the mobile phone's speaker just doesn't do justice at all.

As for the Akrapovic, I would love to do a ECU remap on my Duke 390. However, I still haven't be able to do that. The reason being, there's no such service from where I live. :(

If you have any queries, please let me know and I'm ready to help.

Cheers,
 

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No worries man, I'm happy to answer :)
Ok, for the Yoshimura exhaust, I had the chance to hear it out, but not actually riding with it per-se. Thus I can not give you any detail on the ride.
However, you can click on the youtube link below to hear the sound of it when idle and when reeving.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_NWAnfTK7I

Please listen to it from your headphone to fully appreciate it because the sound's quality from the mobile phone's speaker just doesn't do justice at all.

As for the Akrapovic, I would love to do a ECU remap on my Duke 390. However, I still haven't be able to do that. The reason being, there's no such service from where I live. :(

If you have any queries, please let me know and I'm ready to help.

Cheers,
Thanks for the reply. Cant view the video as its private.
 

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Dude .. that is not an Akrapovic ... sad to say .. that might be a COPY of Akrapovic.
It does not look like Akrapovic for D125 or D200 and definitely not D390
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Dude .. that is not an Akrapovic ... sad to say .. that might be a COPY of Akrapovic.
It does not look like Akrapovic for D125 or D200 and definitely not D390
Confirmed man! Hahaha. It's a copy indeed. Just got it checked, turned out the mod shop used the copy version and so that's why it's half as expensive. They will return the money if I want to. I aint even mad you know ^^

Maybe I should try out the Yoshimura one :))
 

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get the original unit ... it makes a different in low and high rev ... anyway .. nothin' matches the duke but Akrapovic ... yes ... im biased... hahaha ...
 
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