Its been a difficult change from riding my Royal Enfield (RE) Electra 5S to KTM Duke 390 the naked entry level racer bike. My RE was purchased in March 2006, since then I have been tripping on it everywhere. As I used the bike for routine commuting as well as long tours, it had become an inseparable part of my life, she is now as well.
The bike taught me a lot of things, gave me a kind of character and molded my attitude towards life. As a stock bike with the cast iron engine, it was not great on performance and I started getting bored. I wanted the bike to go faster!!! Well there are a lot of things happened since then. I typed some 500 words and realized this is not the place for RE.
So, at present time, I own one RE Electra 5S, a 1981 old RE standard and KTM Duke 390. Yes its an odd combination to have in the parking. Apart from this, the reason I started writing is because of my latest addition in my parking lot, the “KTM Duke 390.”
The new KTM Duke 390 is a nice bike, with all the new sophisticated electrical work, fuel injection, liquid cooled engine, fancy tires, all in all it was a huge leap of upgrade for me from RE. The RE made me fall in love with it as i could do any modifications on it and could fine tune the mechanical components to get optimum performance and efficiency. What I’m trying to say is that getting used to the new sophisticated bike from the old school mechanical bike was bit of a disappointment. As before I would lovingly spend my weekends or at times even week days on my RE for routine maintenance works, the KTM had noting to be work on, the machine was perfect. Only the chain needed to be taken care of, tightening and lubrication.
I submitted the cheque of approx 2.10 lacks on 8th April 2015 and requested delivery to be on 15th April 2015. While I placed the order I also specified that I want the registration number on the bike to have a total of 9. This did not happen due to miscommunication between the KTM buggers and the RTO representative. When I placed the order I was promised the KTM riding glove which I didn’t get till date.These were minor hurdles from the purchase time. But one of the worst experience was yet to come
I had just completed 500km and was on my way back after completing a patient from consultation during the rush hour. As the bike has a radiator, the fan came on loyally on increase of temperature. After a few seconds the sound of the radiator cooling fan just got distorted, the bike started heating up. The temperature indicator showed the temperature as high and after some time the console said high engine temperature and the bike shut down. Stuck in middle of the road during rush hour was extremely embarrassing. I managed to get the bike on the side of the road and called the KTM workshop. The mechanic said that its the issue of the radiator cooling fan. While I was going through all this, I was wondering if I made a mistake by buying the bike? Later when the bike cooled down the heating up turning off of the engine continued, i managed to reach home. The mechanic on the phone said he will come and collect the bike, which he did and took it to the workshop. As the bike was in warranty, the radiator cooling fan was replaced. On discussing with the mechanic, he said that the bikes of ‘F’ serial number had defective radiator cooling fan. This made me think are these people stupid? KTM is a well known international brand and why do they have such people and collaboration with Bajaj company in India? I got a new fan and has not given me any problem since then.
Things went on and the bike was doing great. Was getting to know the things the bike can do and cannot do. I would say that the bike is an impressive piece of work. Quick, responsive, agile, nimble, the list just goes on.
One of the weekend had planned a camp out at a remote place with other fellow riders. Here i face the third problem. The side stand of the bike had become loose. Fortunately had RE riders, borrowed a spanned and tried to tighten the nuts. Did my best but could do half a job. On my return, dropped in the KTM workshop and told them about the problem. The mechanic unscrewed the swing-arm mounting, the side stand came out, he tightened the stand and then the swing-arm. Who puts side stand mount on the swing-arm joint.
These were the problems in general that I faced in the first 1000Km on the bike. My body also took some time to get used to KTM because of the posture change. I also had to get used to the performance of the engine and power delivery as well as the power band which is amazing.
The ride continues..