KTM Duke 390 Forum banner
1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
169 Posts
Hi All
I got my 390 in Jan 2014 and as of now clocked about 4200kms.
So I thought it would be nice to keep posting about the experience and fellow users could update as well.




Long post, so might be pretty depressingly boring to some!

Running-in
I dont believe in babying the bike during running in and usually be somewhat gentle with stints of RPM bursts. So this is how I did it and on covering 320kms got the engine oil changed to Motul 15W50 7100 fully synthetic oil. The magnetic drain filter did have good amount of metal shavings.

The first free service was done at 1200kms and a change of engine oil, oil filter, cleaning up of the air filter and brake pads were done.

Engine
Initially, I felt that there is intolerable amount of heat with the short inter-city commute, especially with fender to fender traffic. But now, after 4k kms, I think the heat level has slightly gone down but sometimes still gives me of wearing a just ironed out trousers. :D
Adjusting to the gearing was another challenge I faced. Am not used to
the short gearing the KTM has since my RE allowed me liesurly shifts without the need for high rev shifts.
But after I got used to this, am actually enjoying the racy nature of the engine. However, puttering in 1st is a pain since there is not a great amount of torque available and the heat builds up pretty fast.
I usually shift into second on reaching 20kmph and 3rd at 30kmph.

Electricals
The LED brake and turn signal lamps are good - very bright and lower power consumption as well, add to it the long life of the bulbs hence avoiding the usual chore of replacing the incandescent bulbs often.
Headlamp - well this one is a bit of a disappointment to me. The 60/55W lamp doesnt inspire much confidence for speed runs in the night. I could only dare speeds of 110kmph without being scared of rear ending onto the vehicles ahead of me.
The digital console is pretty neat, wish they had a big analog tachometer though!
It does not have any faults unlike a few others who reported of wrong readings and the meter dying down while riding. However, since the past couple of weeks, I notice that if the gear shift is not precise, the indicator on the console assumes the vehicle is in neutral and hence speedometer displays 0, even when on the move.
The gear linkage needs adjustment, perhaps.

Brakes
ABS - good.
Am I happy after all these kilometers? NO.
Reason being the front brake(I rely mostly on the front) has lost most of the bite and I would have to pull in the lever so hard that the lever almost touches my gloved finger on the throttle.
Not good at all.
Rear brake is still going strong but am not really keen on using more of it.
So I am getting to think if I need to bleed the front brake and see if that improves. But again, I did hear this from a lot of 390 owners and frankly do not understand how the brakes would lose the bite so early.

Fuel efficiency
During the run out of the showroom, I read the FE to be 18kmpl.
Now, the city commute gets me about 24-27kmpl and the freeway runs yeild about 30-32kmpl.
I dint buy this bike for FE anyway!

Issues
The engine head gasket had to replaced at 3k kms since the stock one started weeping oil.
Now, yesterday, I see that the area around the spark plug cap on the engine head cover has oil smeared all over.
The mechanic says its nothing major - I am pissed off.
Oil filter cover usually starts a slight oil weep after running hard and long.
Chain slap - actually annoying. Even minor irregularities on the road cause the chain to hit against the swingarm and the chain is not really slack.

Modifications done
- Changed the horrible handlebar grips - got a set of Givi grips. Its so perfect and I never got an aching palm after this change.
- Fabricated a luggage rack that also seconds as a grab rail for me to move the bike around with the engine off.
- Installed adjustable levers but the service center folks told me to switch to stock levers or the clutch would go bust and the front disc master cylinders can get jammed on hard braking. Not sure what to make of these comments.
- Replaced the rear view mirrors from another bike since with the jacket on, the mirrors mostly served the purpose of letting me see my own arms :p

Mods planned
- Got a cigarette lighter socket and have to install this next to the speedo.
- Handle bar raise - absolutely not able to find any solutions for this.
- LED fog lamps

The maximum speed I have done until now is 163kmph(am slightly on the heavier side, 86kg).
On an overall note, the Katoom is so much fun and gets me thrilled whenever I step out for a ride.
Touring gets a new perspective with faster speeds and safer brakes. I am happy and sincerely pray the quality holds up in the long run.

Will post a few pics once I get back home ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
817 Posts
Nice write up Sid ;) looking forward to others input.

Brakes: Bled mine twice and both times the fronts gone long on the lever, its the master cylinder. It can't hold pressure as it should, Im making a bold statement but I wouldnt be surprised if we see a recall oneday for piston replacement.

Gear Indicator: Mine does it as well if Im not sure footed with the gear change.

Lever Comment: Is bull$hit, I changed mine the same day I got it and have never had an issue other than the poor vertical fitting. Needed shims to make it nice and firm so no floppy levers.

Engine Gear Change: Up to 40-50km 3rd 50-70 4th 70-90 5th above and beyond 90 6th and it all goes out the window when Im flogging it, change when I see the 2nd rev limiter flash :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
You can easily raise the handlebar mounts. Use longer bolts and some spacers (8mm holes x length you want). Mine are lifted 25mm.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
169 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Nice write up Sid ;) looking forward to others input.

Brakes: Bled mine twice and both times the fronts gone long on the lever, its the master cylinder. It can't hold pressure as it should, Im making a bold statement but I wouldnt be surprised if we see a recall oneday for piston replacement.

Gear Indicator: Mine does it as well if Im not sure footed with the gear change.

Lever Comment: Is bull$hit, I changed mine the same day I got it and have never had an issue other than the poor vertical fitting. Needed shims to make it nice and firm so no floppy levers.

Engine Gear Change: Up to 40-50km 3rd 50-70 4th 70-90 5th above and beyond 90 6th and it all goes out the window when Im flogging it, change when I see the 2nd rev limiter flash :D
Yeah, I too think the master cylinder is not capable enough.
I really wish KTM takes heed of our comments and work on this. I dont think none of us would ever compromise on brakes.
Nevertheless, am gonna try a brake bleed soon and see it helps. Otherwise might push for a replacement under warranty.

Lever- the clutch lever especially fits very loosely and I too insert couple of washers.

These days even am shifting gears with that happy flash indicator :p

You can easily raise the handlebar mounts. Use longer bolts and some spacers (8mm holes x length you want). Mine are lifted 25mm.
Replied on the dedicated thread about this mate. Please post pictures if you got any.

Awesome write up, thanks a lot of going into detail like that.
Great write up @Sid!
Thanks a ton HazardousDuke, DustyDan :)


Update..
I forgot to mention earlier that the monoshock gave up at 2k kms and started weeping oil. Had this replaced under warranty. All of the 2k was done on good tarred freeways and cant imagine what might happen if I took the Duke to the offroad stretches.

Not sure if the international markets get the mudflap for the front fender.
Mine fell off at around 900kms and had to get a new one installed - again under warranty. Thanks to the awesome vibrations!

The plastic panel making the underbody of tail lamp section was replaced with the new one(less rigid plastic). There were lot of cases of tail lamp sections breaking off at the bend. This was a KTM issue, free of cost.

While I had previously bought a Rynox non magnetic tank bag, ordered their saddle bags as well. Plan is on for a 4 day ride in the end of this month.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
169 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update..
Just back from a 1300km ride. Today did 500kms stretch with about 100kms in the hills. The Duke rode like a gem throughout. Absolutely no issues whatsoever. My ride is about 400kms short of the second service now.

Rode mostly in the 120kmph range and the ride was perfect with hardly any vibes at the handlebar.

Some observations:
1. Had about 20kms of riding in the rain. On stopping, noticed that the most of the parts near the monoshock had been coated with slush and dirt. So might want to think of a solution to completely cover the topside of the rear wheel.

2. Windshield - there is no other go. Need to have this for sustained speeds in the 120s or higher.

3. 'Stand and ride' on the dirt stretch is the best thing to do(esp. with this bike). Less tiring.

4. Fuel meter has a mind of its own. Remaining kms in Trip F cannot be relied upon. I now refill after a max of 20kms into Trip F.

5. The first gear has too much power for the off road bits and the second just wont do in some cases. Throttle/RPM variation would be the key in such stretches.

Odometer reading: 5600kms
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
Update..
Just back from a 1300km ride. Today did 500kms stretch with about 100kms in the hills. The Duke rode like a gem throughout. Absolutely no issues whatsoever. My ride is about 400kms short of the second service now.

Rode mostly in the 120kmph range and the ride was perfect with hardly any vibes at the handlebar.

Some observations:
1. Had about 20kms of riding in the rain. On stopping, noticed that the most of the parts near the monoshock had been coated with slush and dirt. So might want to think of a solution to completely cover the topside of the rear wheel.

2. Windshield - there is no other go. Need to have this for sustained speeds in the 120s or higher.

3. 'Stand and ride' on the dirt stretch is the best thing to do(esp. with this bike). Less tiring.

4. Fuel meter has a mind of its own. Remaining kms in Trip F cannot be relied upon. I now refill after a max of 20kms into Trip F.

5. The first gear has too much power for the off road bits and the second just wont do in some cases. Throttle/RPM variation would be the key in such stretches.

Odometer reading: 5600kms
Good report. I wish I had time for such a trip.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
169 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Update..

Completed 6490kms.
Went for the second free service(it was still expensive!) at 6300kms.

Notable changes: The service center replaced the front sprocket and the securing plate on top it. The explanation was that this plate has a better design but no idea why the sprocket was changed. This is happening with all the bikes, as and when they visit the service centers.

Air filter, fuel filter and spark plugs were replaced.
1.5ltr of Motul 7100 used. Interestingly, Motul 300V has been listed as not-to-be-used oil and the technician said that engines might have a premature failure. I really dont understand the logic. :mad:

O-rings on the top of the cylinder head were replaced as I complained of oil seepage around the spark plug.

My speedometer sometimes shows 0 when running. Somewhat erratic and there is no pattern. Again, was told that this could be because of the battery terminals and that the newer lot of bikes come with a different seat design to avoid the battery terminals getting crunched.

I now have the shift indicators at 8500 for RPM1 and 11500 for RPM2 :D:D

The ride seems smoother and better.
However, there is no improvement with the heat factor, legs still getting the roast treatment!

That's all for now gentlemen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Nice Review man!
I'm From Brazil, KTM will start to sell bikes here in BR again at 2015, and i probably will buy a Duke 390, and this kind of reviews and problems that you reported are something nice to take care if i really buy a Duke 390...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
169 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Nice Review man!
I'm From Brazil, KTM will start to sell bikes here in BR again at 2015, and i probably will buy a Duke 390, and this kind of reviews and problems that you reported are something nice to take care if i really buy a Duke 390...
Thanks mate! I think by the time it releases in BR, the bike will be just near to a niggle free state and you would not have any of the issues we are talking about :)
I still love this maniac machine though :p
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
169 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Update...
Back here after ages. Work life got maniacal and just back to Bangalore.

The Katoom has now done 8300kms. It still manages to get a smile when I twist the throttle. Was so childishly happy to lay hands on the bike after a gap of a month and a half!

During the recent stay in Melbourne, ordered a euro beam 10W CREE fog lamp along with a handlebar mount switch and a dual USB charger socket.
All the items are pretty impressive. It was only last weekend that I hooked up the fog lamp with the accessories socket and did a good 300kms ride. What do I think? FANTASTIC. I could confidently cruise at speeds around 100-110kmph which was otherwise scary with the stock headlamp. $110 very well spent! Yet to connect the USB socket though.
Wonder what is the max current that could be drawn out of the accessories outlet? My guess is about 2-3Amps meaning approx 40W power.

A windscreen also has been added though its not much of a help with speeds above 120kmph. So for now, merely cosmetic and to some extent, protects the speedo console.

The RPM1 and RPM2 have been set at 8500 and 10500RPM respectively - I rarely see the rev limit light flashing these days.
The engine idles well at 1500RPM and still has the shudders and jerks within 4k revs. I have resigned and accepted this behaviour now and consider it as a feature. The katoom runs beautifully, responds well for the throttle twists.
Gear box has gotten bit clunky now. Noisy shifts from 1st to 2nd, unless am really conscious about the shift and hold the clutch in for an extra second during the shift.
Valvetrain noise has increased too. While its a widely known saying in the biker world that loud valves saves engines, I do want to have the clearances checked soon.

The best FE I managed is 38kms/litre. This, is with a sane and constant speed of 80kmph in 6th. Before someone wonders why in god's name did I try something like this - almost ran out of fuel and with no fuel stations in sight, I decided to extract maximum mileage while the speedo's fuel meter displayed 0kms more :D

The engine head still weeps around the top gasket surface. Not a considerable amount but just stains.
I seriously need to find a add-on cushion for the seats. Such a pain in the down-there(quite literally) after long riding hours.
Overall, am still grinning :p

There is a short 600kms ride coming up in the mid of August, so will post an update then..

Cheers for now gentlemen..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Update..



The ride seems smoother and better.
However, there is no improvement with the heat factor, legs still getting the roast treatment!

That's all for now gentlemen.
Try engine ice coolant. I have been using it for past 2k kms and you can feel the difference. The temperature bar is 1 down than it used to be at peak traffic and hot indian summers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
802 Posts
Hi All


Brakes
ABS - good.
Am I happy after all these kilometers? NO.
Reason being the front brake(I rely mostly on the front) has lost most of the bite and I would have to pull in the lever so hard that the lever almost touches my gloved finger on the throttle.
Not good at all.
Rear brake is still going strong but am not really keen on using more of it.
So I am getting to think if I need to bleed the front brake and see if that improves. But again, I did hear this from a lot of 390 owners and frankly do not understand how the brakes would lose the bite so early.
.

Brakes: Bled mine twice and both times the fronts gone long on the lever, its the master cylinder. It can't hold pressure as it should, Im making a bold statement but I wouldnt be surprised if we see a recall oneday for piston replacement.


Lever Comment: Is bull$hit, I changed mine the same day I got it and have never had an issue other than the poor vertical fitting. Needed shims to make it nice and firm so no floppy levers.

Just curious to find out this report from a 390 user in India. Now I myself have contemplated using these adjustable levers, but for some reason kept procrastinating. But then this pops up. This is in contradiction to what the KTM folks have warned about in question to Sid's query.

2014-07-28_2340.png

Cheers!
VJ
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
169 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Just curious to find out this report from a 390 user in India. Now I myself have contemplated using these adjustable levers, but for some reason kept procrastinating. But then this pops up. This is in contradiction to what the KTM folks have warned about in question to Sid's query.

View attachment 2369

Cheers!
VJ
Blackthorn, yes, I have been told by the service center folks to not to use the adjustables. Although I dont buy their story, I did have my front brake jammed up twice when i had them installed for about a month.

The usual calculated braking actually gets better but it's during the panic braking that the lever jams the pistons. I had to wait on the side of the road for about 30min to let it cool down.

I think, the lever might not be entirely a proper fit. Wasted bucks :mad:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
802 Posts
Blackthorn, yes, I have been told by the service center folks to not to use the adjustables. Although I dont buy their story, I did have my front brake jammed up twice when i had them installed for about a month.

The usual calculated braking actually gets better but it's during the panic braking that the lever jams the pistons. I had to wait on the side of the road for about 30min to let it cool down.

I think, the lever might not be entirely a proper fit. Wasted bucks :mad:
I understand the sentiment Sid. Now I really wonder how KTM levers fare when compared to the aftermarket ones.

Cheers!
VJ
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top