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Thread: KTM RC 390 Ownership Experience

  1. #1
    Addicted ksameer's Avatar
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    Default KTM RC 390 Ownership Experience

    Finally after all the frantic activities throughout the day, got to lay hands on my Blade!! (The name is kind of unimaginative but I was thinking of several names and this just stuck! So I guess this is what I wanted!!)

    Sorry to inform you but there aren't many pictures to be found here. So many people have posted such great pictures that I couldn't get a single good photograph which could add some value. This is the one obligatory pic during delivery.

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    The Prologue

    Booking was made on 15th September at KTM Raipur. Now even the booking part was interesting as I had never ridden a Duke. I went to the showroom on 13 Sep but RC had not reached for display. Nevertheless, I just ogled at Dukes and had a short test-ride of Duke 390. Again, this test-ride was not from the prospect of evaluating but just because I had some time at hand and there was a Duke 390 for test-ride. I knew that there weren't many inferences that I could draw from this ride but one thing that blew me was the power. Considering my history of coming from Discover 135 and having ridden bigger (relatively) bikes like 220, ZMR occasionally, Duke pasted a wide grin on my face!! So the deal was done and booking was made without seeing RC in person.

    And then the wait!! This was actually less of a trouble as I had actually been traveling since 15 Sep and only returned home yesterday! And yesterday is when I got that much awaited call from showroom that the bike is ready for delivery!

    The Story

    Today morning I reached the dealership full of excitement. It being a Sunday, the dealer was in a hurry and there was hardly any fan-fare. The only piece of information I got while taking the delivery was about the gear-pattern. But then I had previously spent nearly an hour talking about the bike and all the do's and don'ts so I don't have qualms.

    With the things settled, Blade finally rolled out of the showroom and I got to swing my leg across. (A small clarification here! While I was in Delhi, I had visited CP KTM once and they had KTM RC200 on display, but no ride. I sat on bike and had checked the ergonomics so today was not a surprise). Next stop was fuel station and this is where the first shock hit me. Opened the fuel cap and saw that there is some metal thing which simply won't let the nozzle enter. The guy at the station had to bend the metal to insert the nozzle and make it rest on the cap. The result of all this is in the pic below. Any guidance from fellow Duke owners on this would be really helpful.
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    From there on, the journey began. Showroom is nearly 50-odd kms from my home and the road is proper highway for nearly 40 kms. Rest 10 kms are Indian city roads. The traffic on the highway was thin to moderate. There were places when I crawled in second gear for a few hundred meters and there were some really empty stretches. Here are a few observations from the 50-km ride today.

    1. Blade accelerates effortlessly. Period. So much so, that I had to recalibrate my driving, for overtakes which I think twice before making are now done on the blink! However, there is a caveat here. Blade totallyhates anything less that 3000 rpm. Nothing feels right below that. Now, the bike idles at 2000 and its just 1000 rpm more but I found myself doing around 3000 rpm in third or fourth gear most of the time which made everything feel completely out of place. Between 3000 and 4000 is where Blade just about accepts you as a rider. But the intentions are loud and clear with urge to go north (or should I say right ) on the rev-counter.

    Past 4000, Blade actually starts waking up and takes notice. Past 6000 is where action begin but that is also the limit to not cross during the initial ton. However, I am sort of convinced by Motoman so did some really short bursts to 8000. This is where Blade starts talking and is the happiest!

    2. Blade is light and nimble. But not particularly flickable. Some clarification here again. I am 5 feet 4 with a build appropriate of that height. Last time I strode RC200 with just flip-flops and my toes just reached ground. Needless to say, I was a bit worried as this did not augur well for daily usage. But today I borrowed woodlands from my brother (him being full 6 feet, I have no clue why he wears them ) and now I can comfortably rest both my feet on ground (not really, since feet wont rest on ground fully but there is no problem whatsoever in bringing bike to halt or dragging it while seated).

    So moving on at various speeds, there wasn't any trouble in changing directions. And Blade due to fantastic mass centralization doesn't feel anywhere as heavy as it is. (Comparatively, I rode new ZMR briefly and it actually felt bulky). But there was an instance where some piece of wood was on the road and I saw it only when it was close. From instinct, I flicked the handlebar and all that happened was that Blade moved ever so slightly to just avoid the wood piece. Now this is to be expected, and I don't think it is wise to expect commuter-class flick-ability here.

    3. Blade is hot. But doesn't heat-up all that much. So I had read how much Dukes heat up and how KTM has worked to deflect the heat away. The end result is that heat is there but only as a reminder of the number of horse between your legs. This, on an overcast day with around 28 C and speed around 30-40 kmph. Things will heat up surely in summer and traffic but I hope it whould be under control.

    4. Blade wants commitment. And a dedicated one at that. I am someone who would rather not call himself fighting fit. The riding position is certainly leaning forward which means palms do bear some weight and so I was constantly easing the grip periodically to get over that. Also, either the back will bear the brunt or the palms and its actually a choice between rock and a hard place. But then I probably represent one extreme of the rider group in terms of dimensions so it should hopefully be easier for others. Oh, and taking a break and stretching the back straight after 30 mins or so of riding feels heavenly!!! (Blade now motivates me to get fitter) Also, the foot-pegs are high (coming from a proper-commuter) so it actually feels like a squatting posture!! Blade will, hence certainly not be my preferred choice for that quick ice-cream post-dinner!!!

    5. Blade is comfortable. But don't expect pampering. Overall ride quality was good enough on a mix of roads. Bumps such as those where two road surfaces meet and one is higher than other by couple of inches do make their presence felt. Riding over potholes, bottoms are safe so long as they are carefully negotiated. Forget about flying over potholes. And seat feels just adequate. This isn't an off-roader, something that should always be on top of the mind.

    On the mirrors: Surprisingly, right mirror is near perfect for me. With natural riding posture, it shows a great and very useful view. And the vibrations on mirrors are definitely not a concern. I got a good view at complete spread of speeds. And then there is left-side mirror!! All they show me is the sky! My brother (6 feet tall) rode the bike and to him, one mirror showed the tarmac and other showed the sky. I guess I should consider myself half-lucky here.

    The Epilogue

    I reached home after nearly an hour of riding with breaks for temple, fuel etc. On retrospection, I wonder if this is a daily-use bike. Anything less that 4000 rpm feels rough and 6th gear cog is expected to shine like new even after a year. I slotted into sixth only because I wanted to. There is absolutely so reason to do it otherwise. Which means that a lot of power is unusable. For me, I had always intended to keep Blade for weekend getaways and occasional city rides while Discover would remain the daily commuter. But if I were to pick from useability perspective and deliberated on the decision, RC200 would have been a strong contender.

    But now Blade is mine. Of course, Blade delivers on my expectations but also hand over a list of expectations. Today, this journey begins and will definitely be one that will shape the course of the future!
    Last edited by B7ACKTHORN; 10-12-2014 at 08:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator B7ACKTHORN's Avatar
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    Default Re: KTM RC 390 Ownership Experience

    Ownership Thread Approved.

    Cheers!
    VJ
    Once upon a time, a guy asked a girl 'Will you marry me?'
    The girl said, 'NO!'


    And the guy lived happily ever after and rode motorcycles and watched sport on a big screen TV, went fishing and surfing, and played golf a lot, and drank beer and scotch and had tons of money in the bank and left the toilet seat up and farted whenever he wanted.


    THE END

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    Default Re: KTM RC 390 Ownership Experience

    Congratulations Ride safe. And some more photos please ..

    Sent from my PI39100 using Tapatalk

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    Default KTM RC 390 Ownership Experience

    Wow!!!! Congo and nice write up there .WARNING!! Never ever take photograph of fuel tank with the fuel cap open... Ride safe


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
    Last edited by siddharthsure; 10-13-2014 at 12:32 AM.
    cool20bud and ABikerAtHeart like this.
    Its better to sweat than bleed!! "AGATT "

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: KTM RC 390 Ownership Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by siddharthsure View Post
    WARNING!! Never ever take photograph of fuel tank with the fuel cap open... Ride safe


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
    Thanks for that! I only wanted to highlight the bent metal inside the lid and hence took a photo. Also, the pic was taken after bike had been parked at home for a few hours.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: KTM RC 390 Ownership Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by ksameer View Post
    Thanks for that! I only wanted to highlight the bent metal inside the lid and hence took a photo. Also, the pic was taken after bike had been parked at home for a few hours.
    I am not sure, but bending that might affect the locking mechanism ? Did you notice any rattle ? Just a thought, is that a fixed piece or was it supposed to be removed at delivery ?..check with the svc.
    And I think the nozzle used at the petrol bunk was the older kind which has a larger diameter. Usually the nozzles these days are thinner in dia and easily fit even through lets say a plastic soft drink bottles' opening.
    You shoudln't have got it bent .. anyway damage done.
    Now, if that thingy is supposed to be there as part of the petrol tank and if there is a problem fitting in the nozzle.. all you have to do is use a funnel that has this flexible pipe attached to it (mostly you would have seen this being used while filling up the auto's).. that way the pipe can be squeezed in to the tank and petrol filled in thru the funnel.
    The real glory is being knocked to your knees and then coming back. That's real glory. That's the essence of it.

  7. #7
    Addicted ksameer's Avatar
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    Default Re: KTM RC 390 Ownership Experience

    The bend does not seem to affect the lock as it is deeper down. Whether the piece was supposed to be removed during PDI is something I will need to check. As for the nozzle at bunk the diameter is just right for it to go in but the nozzle needs to be rested on the edge of the fuel cap before delivery starts. It is this resting that is not possible without bending the metal. As for those newer thin dia nozzles, I haven't seen them anywhere so I guess this older tech is what I'll have to live with.

    However, now the things are perfectly fine as I went to another bunk and now the nozzle goes in and rests easily. Only problem being that since the metal is bent on right side, I'll have to make sure nozzle is inserted from Left and never from Right.

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    Rusted BiKeLovER's Avatar
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    Default Re: KTM RC 390 Ownership Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by ksameer View Post
    RC200 would have been a strong contender. .
    I totally agree with you I am as same height as you are but when took test ride of both RC390 and RC200...

    I found RC200 little bit practical to handle with that weight and our height

    I found RC200 more flicable with our height. would have cancelled my booking and went ahead with Duke 200 if I was not able to test ride RC200
    Last edited by BiKeLovER; 10-13-2014 at 12:33 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: KTM RC 390 Ownership Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by BiKeLovER View Post
    I found RC200 little bit practical to handle with that weight and our height
    I haven't ridden RC200 but RC390 isn't particularly nimble. But the relatively small price difference and ABS make RC390 very tempting. And while making such an investment decision, bang for buck becomes a big factor clouding the logic.

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    Default Re: KTM RC 390 Ownership Experience

    Oh! Finally the thread is on, congrats for RC390
    KTM RC390 - Current
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    An IT Engineer by profession and a rider by soul.


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