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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Looooooong time lurker, finally decided to join in on the fun :D


I can get a BRAND NEW Duke 390 for $5k, with ABS! If I drop $2k into that, it would be pretty amazing I would think (floating rotors, exhaust, lighter wheels, etc).

I'm not interested in the Duke 690 as its double the price, I figure I can make a much better 390 if I drop $4k into it.

Should I go this route, or just build a custom supermoto? (which wouldn't have ABS, steering lock, and probably be much more expensive).
 

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Welcome to SMJ (finally) :thumbup:

I have zero personal experience with the Duke 390 other than sitting on one at the bike show, but I have read that there are issues with the 390....
I'd do a bit more research first, but I agree that the price is awesome. Although if you're planning to drop another $4k into it, that brings it close to the 690's price tag, and you get a bunch more power.
 

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I've just come out of owning one for the last 9 months, they are GREAT bikes.

however, they're physically VERY small.

Build quality apart from the fan is excellent.

The 2 things that would stop me buying one in the US.

1. no slipper clutch on the US model, it is brilliant to have the slipper, transforms the bike
2. The 690 can be bought used with 5000 miles or so for the same price as the new 390.

Sure the warranty is good to have, along with a brand new bike... but the 690 is better.

There's a dedicated 390 forum that's as full of great information as this place. You'll get lots of answers there.

All in all.. I loved and really enjoyed my 390. But I don't regret getting my 690.
 

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Cheaply made compared to Austrian ones, weak gearbox for road use. Entry level package compared to traditional KTK's.

There's a reason it' 1/2 price of their dirt 200!

This from directly speaking to 2 owners who know other owners. They love the size, handling, fun factor, hate the construction.
 

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$5K with $2K into it totaling $7K for a 390 or a used 690 for the same price with twice the everything? - I would go 690 all day....as I did....for $7K and she needed nothing but some map reloading and tuning and it fucking screams - Rode the 390 and it was like a hyped up Moped with gears - Would be fun if all my Bros had them too but.......unless all are on the same bike, can't see it being fun in the back of the pack.

Just my .02
 

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Not to derail, but what do you do to the 690 to make it "scream"? I test rode one and thought it was a turd. My WR450 had more power. Please don't take the turd comment personally, I love the look and idea of the 690 I just found it underwhelming.

To the OP, I haven't ridden the Duke 390, but I did ride the RC390 and aside from weak suspension, I thought it was a hoot.
 

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Not to derail, but what do you do to the 690 to make it "scream"? I test rode one and thought it was a turd. My WR450 had more power. Please don't take the turd comment personally, I love the look and idea of the 690 I just found it underwhelming.

To the OP, I haven't ridden the Duke 390, but I did ride the RC390 and aside from weak suspension, I thought it was a hoot.
can't see how you can find a 390 a hoot and the 690 a turd... doesn't make sense.

The 690 is just simply a bigger brother to the 390... with a bit 'more' of everything.

The 390 is still a great toy though. I disagree with the 'cheaply made' stuff too, all the bolts are exactly the same as the Austrian bikes. OK, so there's no shock adjustment (there isn't on my 690 either) and the brakes are pseudo Brembo, but a pair of Brembo SA pads in there and the brakes are superb....

Weak gearbox ? I've not seen anything like that in all the threads on the 390 forum.. my gearbox was slick and sweet.

Admittedly though it is one of them bikes where you really need compatible riding buddies, no point riding with guys on 160mph sportsbikes.... I had a fine day out with mate on his Superduke and another on his Tiger800 though when I was on my 390... OK, so I was pinned EVERYWHERE !, but isn't that part of the fun ?
 

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Not to derail, but what do you do to the 690 to make it "scream"? .
Sorry for the thread Jack here OP - We suck

My 690 has the Open Air Box Cover, Akrap Full System, PC5 W/AT and the Akrap Map Loaded (Basic Mods) - Where the scream came into play was when I spent a whopping $55 to have it put on the Dyno and tuned - I ride with a SMC that is tuned like a raped ape (this thing is nuts) and I pull away from him.....but he also has about 60 lbs of belly on me that he has to contend with so I am guessing that equal rider weight we would be neck and neck - Only down side I have found on the 690 is the Susp when throwing it in hard - Squish Squish Squish
 

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Discussion Starter #9
To the OP, I haven't ridden the Duke 390, but I did ride the RC390 and aside from weak suspension, I thought it was a hoot.
Ok that's exactly what I'm wondering, what did you find in the 390 that you didn't in the 690? How is it more fun?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Admittedly though it is one of them bikes where you really need compatible riding buddies, no point riding with guys on 160mph sportsbikes.... I had a fine day out with mate on his Superduke and another on his Tiger800 though when I was on my 390... OK, so I was pinned EVERYWHERE !, but isn't that part of the fun ?
In your experience though, you can keep up pretty well up until 80mph or so right? I ask because in the incredibly curvy mountain roads up here in the Pacific Northwest we can't really go much faster anyway (while being safe of course).

My thinking between my decision really comes from a financial decision. For my budget of around $8k I can either
- buy a 390 and out a turbo in it (Same hp as 690, 25lbs less, and unique)
- buy a 690
- make a supermoto from scratch (wr450 perhaps). It would need to have fuel injection for me to consider this option so I'm looking at least $4k just for the bike alone.
 

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You'll keep up OK on it mate yeah, it's only things like overtaking from a slower speed to fast one etc that's a bit tricky as it lacks grunt, revs well and high though.

That sort of road I think it would be ideal

Can you demo one?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You'll keep up OK on it mate yeah, it's only things like overtaking from a slower speed to fast one etc that's a bit tricky as it lacks grunt, revs well and high though.

That sort of road I think it would be ideal

Can you demo one?
Just went into a dealership and they said I could demo the one they have in stock anytime, as long as the weather cooperates. And this is Seattle, in winter... so we will see when the skies clear up it could be a while lol.

Either way though, I think I am going to wait and see if I can pick a used one up for less than $5k, which should give me a good bit (~$2k) to play around with the turbo or whatever else.
 

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Huh, you mean that there are KTMs not made in Austria?

did not know that

So who makes the 390?
India. Some/lots of the bits are made in Austria and then shipped to India for completion, so saying they're not made in Austria is a little misleading

However some things like the Bybre (By Brembo) are made in India under licence from Brembo for example. With decent pads in they work really well.. as standard they're a bit rubbish.
 

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Just went into a dealership and they said I could demo the one they have in stock anytime, as long as the weather cooperates. And this is Seattle, in winter... so we will see when the skies clear up it could be a while lol.

Either way though, I think I am going to wait and see if I can pick a used one up for less than $5k, which should give me a good bit (~$2k) to play around with the turbo or whatever else.
If you're looking for more power, "there's no replacement for displacement." Go for the bigger bike if you want to have a bike that keeps up with your riding friends easily.

If you want to make a rolling money pit with a small bike and a turbo kit, well, if it was me, i'd rather put all that turbo cash into a brand new engine, rather than tacking on a turbo on an used engine. No point in building up a grenade.

I'd look for an used bigger Duke personally, keep it stock initially, and then upgrade selectively. But ride them both first.
 

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Ok that's exactly what I'm wondering, what did you find in the 390 that you didn't in the 690? How is it more fun?
The 690 I test rode didn't feel like it had any bottom or mid-range, once the engine spun up it had power, but instead of a thumper it felt like a small displacement 4 cyl. engine. I expected a torque monster that would lift the front at will, but it just wasn't there. I assumed it must be choked off with EPA stuff, but wasn't sure. The power just wasn't where I expected it and it just didn't have that torquey thumper feel. I was expecting a big motard and got a small street bike.

The Rc390 felt lighter and the motor spun up a lot quicker. It didn't have a ton of bottom, but decent mid-range, and the motor really revs. The sport bike riding position, while not the most comfortable, just carved through the corners even while pogo sticking around on the weak suspension (I weigh 220lbs). Carving through the corners throwing the bike side to side while wringing it's neck was just a hoot. I was expecting a small displacement light track bike and that's exactly what I got.

In other words it was probably more about my expectations before the ride. In the end I wouldn't trade my motard for either of them. It has all the power where I want it, it's lighter, and handles curves like a chubby chaser let loose at fat camp.

these are just my amateur opinions and there was a year between the two rides. The only way you can know for sure is to get out and ride both. I didn't pay attention to where you are, but if we are close you are welcome to ride my WR450 any time.
 

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The 690 I test rode didn't feel like it had any bottom or mid-range, once the engine spun up it had power, but instead of a thumper it felt like a small displacement 4 cyl. engine. I expected a torque monster that would lift the front at will, but it just wasn't there.
It is true - if you are coming from a 'real' dirt bike, then you are likely to be surprised/disappointed by the way the 690 runs (or doesn't).
My 450 XCF would absolutely KILL my 690 thru the first few gears.
Where the 690 really comes into its own is once it is up to speed and pounding out the twisties.
That is where it has to compete, and where it is built to run. That is where it in-turn kills the real (converted) dirt bikes.

Flog a 450 at speed, and then flog a 690 - then you will appreciate the difference.
 
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