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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now that I have spent some time with the bike I thought I would do a bit of a review on it.



Parts Quality:
Hand Controls - There what you'd expect and have all the buttons although you can tell they will eventually cause you trouble.
*Start Button, already become tempermental where it requires to be pushed in a certain spot.
*High Beam, can be annoying and a little cumbersome to dip down at times with gloves on.
*Indicator-Horn-Flasher- Emergency Kill, all positioned well and have had no issues.
*Clutch, its heavy but feel is ok. It could do with some adjustment as engagement is at the very begining of the stroke.
*Accelerator, originally I had planned to change the ratio and I still might although since installing the PowerTronic it wont be as aggressive as originally planned. In standard trim its way to long and causes you to double grab for full throttle.

Digital Display - I like the display and have no problems with reading it at a quick glance. There have been some comments regarding the small RPM tree being hard to read but I figure if your busy looking at it then you shouldnt be on it.
One problem with it is the condensation that happens underneath the glass protector screen, it can make it impossible to read and is something that needs to be sorted out. It also blinds you when the sun hits it.

Foot Controls - A lot of free play in the gear selector linkage. The linkage rod seems lightweight and is something that will be replaced sooner than later.

Suspension - This is one area that really requires attention, the rear is terrible and Im reminded of replacing my shocks in my old 77 Holden ute, while the fronts become so soft after a while that you get roughly 60 to 80mm travel when you jump on the front brakes. Still undecided which way im going but theres a few ideas being thrown around.

Brakes & ABS - Im not really a fan of the braking system, the fronts are up to standard "just" but they dont perform like they should and the rear becomes so unsettled with the smallest ripples in the road that Im always asking myself why do I have the ABS on. I have sorced parts to replace the masters and rear caliper but the 80mm front is throwing me at the moment.

Wiring - Connections and wire quality is good and has a fair few connections Ive never seen before but I like. The downfall is theres a fair amount of it and its routed and mounted in some weird places. It does what its supposed to do but a quality custom loom would go a long way in cleaning the mess up and removing some weight.

Nuts and Bolts - you wont be needing a Torx kit for the 390, pretty much every nut and bolt is what you will find down your local Bolt shop. I reckon this is a good thing as I will usally be able to get out of trouble.

Seating - The seat is pretty stiff and the first day or two will leave you a little sore but if you ride all the time it will soon be forgotten. Having said that Im on the look out for the Ergo seat even thou I ride every chance I get.

Lights - Low beam can be pretty poor in the unlit areas while the high beam is pretty good. Will look at changing these in the future but are not something that needs addressing.

Tyres - So far I have been happy with the M5's except under heavy engine breaking when the rear likes to get light very fast and in the wet they can occasionally become doughy with little feedback from the front. A bit more questioning has got me thinking its road temp regarding the fronts in the wet as they handle differently at the different altitudes I travel through.

Engine:
Theres not much I can say about the mechanical side of things as everything works well and as it should, I hit the key it goes. The few issues that stand out are the loud gear changes (clunk!) and the heat which I beleive is mostly caused by the header and the exhaust canister. Both become incredibly hot and something I cannot understand is why they have the temp sensor jammed between the head and header? I will be working on a new system and am currently searching for a shop that can help me, theres one in Brisbane that seems to fit the bill.
In terms of performance it was fine for a person stepping up in class but really does need some help and $ to get the best from it if its not your first.

Servicing:
Its had the first 1000 done and thats it, currently up to 4000 now and hasnt used a drop of oil which Ive been keeping a very close eye on, will change it out now and check the quality.
Im actually impressed at how little I have to attend to it now everything is bedded in.

Fun Factor:
For me theres a lot of it but thats because its doing exactly what I wanted, I brought it for corners and although it has more potential with the right suspension it still corners and transitions really really well. I have no fear of throwing it over in the opposite direction and letting it sort itself out while I get back on the gas.
For outright speed its certainly not going to move your man (or girl) parts, if you've ridden large size bikes you know what your missing. The area that will satisfy is when your using 2,3,4 gears constantly at a rev range of 7000 and beyond. In this area its a completely different bike and one that can surprise a lot of other riders on the same road ;)

Must Do's:
Apply Threadlock to the Gear and Brake foot control bolts.
Purchase a good quality radiator guard.
Check your front chain sprocket ring is fitted correctly.
Replace your Brake Pads with better quality ones.

Attention:
You get a lot of it, Im not talking the occasional weekly comment Im talking daily. The most common one is the same as everyone else gets "I didnt know KTM made road bikes".........If I had a dollar! :)

Overall Opinion:
Although Ive outlined a fair few areas that need attention it doesnt mean Im unhappy with the bike, its actually caused the opposite. Knowing any change I make can only improve it tends to remove any concern of touching a new bike.
I rode away with the bike for $7700, at that price your automatically making a trade off on quality but Im still trying to decide who got the better deal, KTM or me........to be honest I still feel like "I robbed them".
Oh and it destroys the Ninja 300 and CBR 500.

LAMS/ A2:
Brilliant bike for those looking to enter the road scene or trade up in class, its user friendly in standard form and has the ability to help your skills as a rider grow with it. The central balance the bike has is way ahead of its competition and the ride posture will help with control confidence as you always feel planted.
Throttle delivery is forgiving and the ABS will keep a sensible rider out of trouble, in this area its probably more forgiving than the 200 because that thing is peaky.
 

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I completely disagree with this comment:

Nuts and Bolts - you wont be needing a Torx kit for the 390, pretty much every nut and bolt is what you will find down your local Bolt shop. I reckon this is a good thing as I will usally be able to get out of trouble.

The Duke390 has a heck of a lot of special one off bolts on it IME.
 

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2 things make me smiles for hours ...

*I have no fear of throwing it over in the opposite direction and letting it sort itself out while I get back on the gas.*

*it destroys the Ninja 300 and CBR 500.*

:) :) :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I completely disagree with this comment:

Nuts and Bolts - you wont be needing a Torx kit for the 390, pretty much every nut and bolt is what you will find down your local Bolt shop. I reckon this is a good thing as I will usally be able to get out of trouble.

The Duke390 has a heck of a lot of special one off bolts on it IME.
Really? Ive been able to find dozens of replacement pieces including the the rim and swimg arm bolts. The only one Ive had trouble with was the washers for the foot controls. I also went and brought a bunch of different size spares M2, M5, M8 nuts and bolts which are universal for the bike as well.
 

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As a % I think there are a fair few specials on the D390 compared to my last two bikes (a Sportster and a TW200). Furthermore there are a lot of 'top hat' washers which are not commonly available. The foot control bolts and washers are though, as you know, the worst offenders.

In terms of reviews I think we all need to remember the term 'nerve fatigue'. Do you really think the brakes aren't that good after a month of owning the bike? Of course not, you and your body (muscles and nerves) are just used to the feel and they don't feel quite as sharp but I'm sure they are physically just as sharp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Unsure what you mean by nerve fatigue, in the 3 months Ive had the bike Ive always felt the brakes are ****. Compared to every other bike Ive owned or ridden my brake marks are much much earlier on the Duke. Halfway down the ranges I ride the fronts are becoming hot, spongy and have poor roll through so Im hoping a few changes will remove it. It will also need better anchors before I can go further into its build so it has always been marked for changed anyway.
I should mention theres nothing wrong with the brakes for everyday normal use if the bikes used as a commuter/tourer/daily rider......unless your Phil :eek: :D
 

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Unsure what you mean by nerve fatigue, in the 3 months Ive had the bike Ive always felt the brakes are ****. Compared to every other bike Ive owned or ridden my brake marks are much much earlier on the Duke. Halfway down the ranges I ride the fronts are becoming hot, spongy and have poor roll through so Im hoping a few changes will remove it. It will also need better anchors before I can go further into its build so it has always been marked for changed anyway.
I should mention theres nothing wrong with the brakes for everyday normal use if the bikes used as a commuter/tourer/daily rider......unless your Phil :eek: :D

Interesting.... I really like the brakes but I've never owned a superbike or others with dual 4/6 pot calipers etc.
 

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i am looking forward to seeing the suspension options for the Duke 390. stock suspension in these price of motorcycles never really have that great of a stock suspension. they work but you can really see that they could use some improvement.
 

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for me ... in my opinion below are short remarks

1. ride feel , still too small for a size of 176cm ... need to reposition on different road, high traffic, bad road, open highway, corner galore, mix traffic ... I just hope the powerparts seat can do some justice.

2. clutching ... long throw as day one ... now abit heavy but finger move less (upgrade that I've done and new jack from Magura in on the way .. hopefuly with a barrel of 9.5mm will do justice to RCS19)

3. front braking ... front is good now with new rotors from powerparts and bigger pump... the stock cannot do justice to my hooligan behavior ... maybe adequate for normal user ... as I love to do late braking 1 finger on brake .. balance controlling the throttle..

4. rear braking .. with ABS ... it kicks back and I feel it's too hard and non as responsive as a car ABS ... no idea how bigger bike wit ABS feels ... tried disable it twice and It skidded and slide like no business ... I think the rear is too light ... that's why they fit in ABS .. might disable it in the future and learn to enjoy the skidding and slides ...

5. front suspension ... I have down the fork 2inch .. this weekend will try to raise a few mm as it has finally runs in .... too soft !!! and the powerparts slim headmask is knocking my front fender ... making a hole now ! I'm looking for changing the silicone oil weight or springs ... anyone ? my KTM main office here don't have any solution ...

6. rear suspension ... I have tuneup the stock to max hardness ... still bumpy as ****... looks like the damper is really bad ... springy !!! i'll show how it destroy 2 reg plate of mine ... I'm saving some moo for custom rear shocks from Nitron .... and I'm planning to raise 2" ride height on the rear ...

7. rpm cut ... fixed with powerTRONICS but yet to understand how the software works ....

above are just from my humble opinion ... I trash this D390 as if it was stolen ... so my opinion might distraught some of you ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I agree with everything you outlined, thanks for adding ;) might change the title to 390 Review thread?

Snoppy in Europe had is suspension done the first week he had it, replaced the front internals with YSS springs and oil and also put a YSS rear shock and spring in. He was unsure about the front details but they relate to the riders weight and style anyway. I have the rear shock number around somewhere.

With the front brakes, sintered pads-master cylinder-brake bleed is what Im going to do first. Later I will do the Caliper/Rotor and change all the lines over to HEL.
Rear, sintered pads-master cylinder-brake bleed is what Im going to do first. Later I will do the Caliper/Rotor.
 

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For those of you like me who just ride around town.... you can pretty much ignore the above mods by Dan/Phil. I've been riding for 30 years and the bike is fine in stock form - it's far better than anything I rode in the 80's and 90's and you'll have to pay another 50% or more to get a better ride stock with more power.
 

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i agree with Dan1 and AOD ...

what Dan1 outlined was the safest way to upgrade, i went in the wrong way.. i have to admit, but again ... i know my own habits n ride style ... so either way i will end up replacing all that subject to my punishment ... hehehe

rule of thumb ... if it works for you ... be happy with it ... don't waste your moonies ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
For those of you like me who just ride around town.... you can pretty much ignore the above mods by Dan/Phil. I've been riding for 30 years and the bike is fine in stock form - it's far better than anything I rode in the 80's and 90's and you'll have to pay another 50% or more to get a better ride stock with more power.
He's right, I just cant help myself ;)
 

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Just came across this owner review (buried in the "news" section). I'm guessing that like me, many will not have seen it before, it's well worth a read.
 
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For some weeks now, I try to post in few threads of this forum. I can't, I just get this:

slink21, you do not have permission to access this page. This could be due to one of several reasons:

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I don't know where else to post this (I tried the off-topic discussion in the lounge area but I couldn't post there also), but I really want to be an active member of this forum but the forum resists.
I cannot even edit my account settings from the Control panel.


If you can help me i would be gratfull.
 

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For some weeks now, I try to post in few threads of this forum. I can't, I just get this:

slink21, you do not have permission to access this page. This could be due to one of several reasons:

  1. Your user account may not have sufficient privileges to access this page. Are you trying to edit someone else's post, access administrative features or some other privileged system?
  2. If you are trying to post, the administrator may have disabled your account, or it may be awaiting activation.
I don't know where else to post this (I tried the off-topic discussion in the lounge area but I couldn't post there also), but I really want to be an active member of this forum but the forum resists.
I cannot even edit my account settings from the Control panel.


If you can help me i would be gratfull.
you need 15 posts... just post up short replies until you get 15, then you'll be unlocked.
 
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