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Discussion Starter #6
So I was told today: "You know your Duke is a street bike, right?'
My answer was: "You know your Africa Twin is not a dirt bike, right?"


At the grocery store, parked up front. Guy looks at me, heading inside. Guy comes up to me, asks if this is a Ducati. I said no, KTM. A What? A KTM, Austrian manufacturer, 18x Paris Dakar rally winner... Just shakes his head, wanders off, murmuring: Sounds like a Ducati...

(Special thanks go to Remus Slip-on exhaust and 1FNGR airbox lid)




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Ι don't think KTM will make a bad 390 adventure bike. After all its a prototype the production will be ok.

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Ι don't think KTM will make a bad 390 adventure bike. After all its a prototype the production will be ok.

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I have faith you will be right. They have a good finger on the pulse. Look what they did with the Duke. At it's heart it was an Indian bike. The quality control, handling, power delivery, styling all come up to what we expect from KTM. I expect the 390 Adventure will too.
 

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The quality control, ... all come up to what we expect from KTM.

In my experience of working on the bike I would have to disagree with this. Although perhaps it’s true of the 2019 bikes given a suggestion on here recently that KTM have moved valve check to second service because of improved quality control.
 

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So I just did 830 kms of mostly off-road riding with my Duke. Pretty much the only mod was a set of Continental TKC80 tires and a homemade skid plate. This was a moderate run, no logs, no hill climbs, no deep mud, no rock sliding. There was up to 4" of mud, 18" of water, soft sand, roller rocks, sharp rocks and surprising bottom bashing rocks. There were epic deep pot-holes and flooded trails.

My trail buddies were KLR 650, CRF250R, and many others of the same sort. They are superior dirt bikes but I finished and far from last (it was not a race). The Duke can do limited off-road and certainly adventure sport riding.

When combining rugged trail, washouts, potholes and speed, it bottomed out often. It bottoms out HARD. The tires aired down to 25psi performed flawless an swallowed up a lot of rock hits without complaint. I was checking them often. Deep (4"-6) puddles at speed (70+kph) hit hard and significantly slow the bike like hard braking, due to the tire small diameter and large width. A blast of water hits the inside of the right leg hard enough to knock it off the peg. Standing on the pegs is darned near imposible due to ergonomics and the impact of hitting water and obstacles. Gotta lean forward and stand all you can to save your spine.
 

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I’d recommend a change of handlebars if trail riding is your thing. The slightly wider and straighter Magura bars on mine assist with standing (but that’s going to be a body shape thing anyway) and offer better leverage.

Suspension is always going to be a compromise with stock and the cast wheels will always be an issue too.

Funny thing is that we treat trail riding on these as unusual, but in this bikes home market there are more dirt roads than paved and the bikes cope perfectly well.
 

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The ergonomics are terrible for standing, especially for a 5'1" heavy old guy.



Torrential downpour. Soaked to the skin but Merino wool worked when wet. Bottoms of feet are bruised from trying to lift butt on the bumps and jumps. An inch or 2 on bar would not help with standing. Need the height in seat also. It is a low bike, hard to get the height.


TKC80s performed wonderfully, even with studs. They will not last a 3700 kms trip to Labrador however due to soft compound. Need a different back tire.
 

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I like TKCs but they don’t last very long on the back of my 1200. I’m 5’10” and I can stand on my 390 but I’m not sure I’d want to for overly long or with the stock handlebars. But it’s the price for using an inappropriate bike. Body shape and limb length make a massive difference to what fits and what doesn’t.
 

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I like TKCs but they don’t last very long on the back of my 1200. I’m 5’10” and I can stand on my 390 but I’m not sure I’d want to for overly long or with the stock handlebars. But it’s the price for using an inappropriate bike. Body shape and limb length make a massive difference to what fits and what doesn’t.
Incidentally, I am 5'11", not 5'1", otherwise the ergonomics might work.



Quickly made skidplate. The panniers failed on this trip. Relied on the fabric and it failed under the weight of 5L of fuel. Let's see how these fare. 4x M6 bolts and fender washers into a backing plate.

The whole point is the 390 is a wonderful exploring bike. Ride 2000 kms and then explore a bit of back country. Not to use it as my prime dirtbike. I don't want to upset the street manners too much.
 

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I am really impressed with your off-road adventure on your 390 Duke.
Nice to see the bike performing well in places that most bikes would struggle to work.
 

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Is there any new news regarding a release of a 390 Adventure bike? I keep seeing rumors online that they will have it showcased at a European bike show in Nov 2019, and that they are starting manufacturing in India, but that’s it. My Duke was written off in a hit and run when it was parked a few weeks ago and I’m considering waiting to buy a new one if this bike is being released in 2020.
 
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