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Old 06-01-2015, 12:03 PM   #1
kconville OP
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390 Duke Frustration

Looked at the 390 Duke and was a hare's breath from buying it but wanted to look into it some more.

Broken wheels, glitchy fueling, and oil leaks is what I've read about. The former being the far more serious. The general made in India thing doesn't add to my enthusiasm along with the seemingly never ending stories of unreliability that inevitably find their way into discussions of KTMs all leave me frustrated.

The Japanese just don't make anything close and it leaves me wondering why?
I can imagine a 400cc version of the CB300F, with 45hp, better brakes, and about the same weight. Sell them at $5.5K and watch them fly out the showroom door. The CB500F might be an acceptable alternative if it weighed 50lbs less, but only sort of.

Though KTM has so many models now and (a salesman told me) they are the fastest growing motorcycle company, they just don't seem ready for prime time. Broken wheels and failing fuel pumps? Really?
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Old 06-01-2015, 12:11 PM   #2
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First model year of the bike. They're using them for a racing series and selling them by buckets. I'm sure they'll get it sorted pretty soon.
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Old 06-01-2015, 12:18 PM   #3
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The R3 is a better Ninja 300, and both of them aren't bad. I skipped the 390 due to my concerns and I have been a KTM rider off road almost 20 years. If it had been Austrian built I'd own one.

The Yamaha is proving to be better than I expected. Both are direct competition to the 390 KTM bikes.
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Old 06-01-2015, 02:00 PM   #4
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Go over to the ninja 300 threads and read about their issues. Reality is these are entry level bikes at an entry level price. Especially considering that it is a new model. The r3 will be the same when more people buy it. Look at the cost of a 600 cc sport bike new. A lot of cost is just better components. Not that I'm saying it justifies a broken wheel, which I've only seen one post. Who knows how it happened. My local dealer sold out of the rc's in a month. The fact that they are made in India is irrelevant. They are mass produced for mass demand. A bike coming from Austria could have leaks just as well. Think of how many of these bikes are out there. A couple complaints shouldn't be the deciding factor. Ride the bike, buy it if it suits you and worry about warranty stuff later. My smt had warranty stuff done to it. I've heard others complain about constant leaks. But mine doesn't (knock on wood). I love my SMT
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Old 06-01-2015, 02:10 PM   #5
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I think I wrote all those negative posts in the 300 thread, and I've started to take apart the R3 already, and it's better! Still not great but better.

It does matter where they build it if they source parts and materials for it there. Seals, bearings and stock steel and aluminum can be sub grade. Everything is a crap shoot but I've held the low grade shit in my hand post failure. My Austrian built KTMs had top quality materials, bearings and seals, not the same as in a Thai built 300.

Magazine tester from India said the Ninja had higher levels of quality than their home built 390???? That and the already public failure points had me walking right past them.
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Old 06-01-2015, 02:30 PM   #6
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I'm not interested, personally, in a faired, low barred bike. The layout of the Duke and the CB300F suit me.

Here's an article that's interesting but doesn't really address US models.
http://www.motorbeam.com/2014/09/bik...-alloy-wheels/
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Old 06-01-2015, 02:37 PM   #7
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Fairings unbolt and the bars on either of them aren't low by any stretch. They are pretty much standards but look like sport bikes. They aren't sport bikes in the ergos at all.

I just lowered the R3 bars and I'm a dyed in the wool sumoto/standard guy.

I'd said the same thing you did. If the CBF was a 40 HP 350 with decent legs I'd have bought one. The r3 has thick enough O.D. fork tubes and a thicker stem with caged bearings to make a real difference. Still budget guts but at least it isn't wobbling around off the sales floor.
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Old 06-01-2015, 02:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Navin View Post
It does matter where they build it if they source parts and materials for it there. Seals, bearings and stock steel and aluminum can be sub grade. Everything is a crap shoot but I've held the low grade shit in my hand post failure. My Austrian built KTMs had top quality materials, bearings and seals, not the same as in a Thai built 300.
This has nothing to do with where it's made, but with what the manufacture specs for a bike, car, boat, seaplane, etc... And what kind of quality control they implement. If a manufacture doesn't know the grade of every single part going on it's product, then they're doing it wrong.
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Old 06-01-2015, 02:56 PM   #9
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Ok.
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Old 06-01-2015, 03:55 PM   #10
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Dkizerian is correct. Manufacturers write the spec and hold suppliers to it. If the Indian made bikes are of inferior quality it is NOT because they are made in India or contain Indian made components. It's because KTM has a poor spec or poor supplier quality control processes.

But what would I know. I only have over two decades in manufacturing quality, including ensuring quality in third-world manufacturing locations. I've written supplier specs, supplier control plans, implemented incoming inspection and on sight inspection, issued and followed up on SCARs on four continents in industries including vehicle manufacturing. Some of those suppliers were even in India.

If the 390 is of poor quality (which is far from proven) it is a problem in Austria, not India.
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Old 06-01-2015, 04:19 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Paebr332 View Post
Dkizerian is correct. Manufacturers write the spec and hold suppliers to it. If the Indian made bikes are of inferior quality it is NOT because they are made in India or contain Indian made components. It's because KTM has a poor spec or poor supplier quality control processes.

But what would I know. I only have over two decades in manufacturing quality, including ensuring quality in third-world manufacturing locations. I've written supplier specs, supplier control plans, implemented incoming inspection and on sight inspection, issued and followed up on SCARs on four continents in industries including vehicle manufacturing. Some of those suppliers were even in India.

If the 390 is of poor quality (which is far from proven) it is a problem in Austria, not India.
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Old 06-01-2015, 04:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kconville View Post
Looked at the 390 Duke and was a hare's breath from buying it but wanted to look into it some more.

Broken wheels, glitchy fueling, and oil leaks is what I've read about. The former being the far more serious. The general made in India thing doesn't add to my enthusiasm along with the seemingly never ending stories of unreliability that inevitably find their way into discussions of KTMs all leave me frustrated.

The Japanese just don't make anything close and it leaves me wondering why?
I can imagine a 400cc version of the CB300F, with 45hp, better brakes, and about the same weight. Sell them at $5.5K and watch them fly out the showroom door. The CB500F might be an acceptable alternative if it weighed 50lbs less, but only sort of.

Though KTM has so many models now and (a salesman told me) they are the fastest growing motorcycle company, they just don't seem ready for prime time. Broken wheels and failing fuel pumps? Really?
Let me tell you about the cb500f - it will kick the KTM's ass every day and twice on sunday. It's handsome - if not sexy - and it's a fine fine motorcycle - with a super sweet engine. Forget the 50 pounds, the thing is a frisky puppy just asking to have it's neck ringed. I think i mixed a metaphor and killed a puppy - sorry - but this is a great bike.
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Old 06-01-2015, 04:45 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by roma258 View Post
First model year of the bike. They're using them for a racing series and selling them by buckets. I'm sure they'll get it sorted pretty soon.
Actually, they've been selling them for a couple years in India. I think the broken wheels are past history, however there are complaints about failing radiator fans and some quality issues. But really, most of the complaints come from new riders. They tend to whine. A lot.
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Old 06-01-2015, 04:46 PM   #14
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I was gonna say you lost me at 'broken wheels', but really it was 'KTM'.
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Old 06-01-2015, 05:45 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by appliance57 View Post
Let me tell you about the cb500f - it will kick the KTM's ass every day and twice on sunday. It's handsome - if not sexy - and it's a fine fine motorcycle - with a super sweet engine. Forget the 50 pounds, the thing is a frisky puppy just asking to have it's neck ringed. I think i mixed a metaphor and killed a puppy - sorry - but this is a great bike.
I have the X, but I agree w/you almost 100%. I'd still like to lose the 50#, or most of it, and add premium components. Do that and I'd pay (pretty) big money for it. Sweet bike, as is; could be totally awesome.

Pardon the jack. Back to the 390.
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