390, the 40bhp(43 to be exact) bike! it’s almost like history repeating with advance technology to make our head spin!!!!
The laws of nature says i need to talk about a bike, it’s apt to say a bomb, rewind to the 80s RD Picture from my friend- Shankar reddy- Thank you for sharing the picture.
welcome to the RD350, simple, detailed classic, no non sense looks with 30.5bhp 2 stroke it’s almost like a bomb explosion of power on 2 wheels, Yamaha launched the bike in the 80s by licensing from rajdoot, when the market wasn’t ready but those who bought were ever ready to ride it and loved spending rest of their life with it, RD350 is like an RDX on 2 wheels, nothing blast the combustion like it does in RD, it still has cult following with local RD groups, despite shortcoming, read engine heating, brakes,tires and high fuel consumption but the bike didn’t loose its shine, just that sound is enough to cause jitters in your spine!
if you take a walk around the market there are people actually hunting for this bike to purchase, A dismantled RD quoted for 80k to a lakh, people are ready to buy and restore, while i am writing this, I found a sparingly used rd350 was sold for 2.5 lakh i would get a new KTM390 at that price but i can’t get a 2 stroke!
The power is so that, It might rewire your brain and change you as a person, It might make you selfish, It will make you live for yourself, which is brutal and to extent not safe! But if you are in control, it can change you for the good you might just want to live for it and do good just to live with it! Imagine all this in the 80s where there were no mobile phones, no fancy bikes,cars and traffic was less too! So it was kind of dangerous those days to own one unless you know when to slow down when you are on high! It’s like the song
we can never get back those 2 stroke days, except for the few who already own one and been maintaining wellWhen you were young and your heart was an open book
You used to say live and let live
(You know you did, You know you did, You know you did)
But if this ever-changing world in which we live in
Makes you give in and cry
Say live and let die
Live and let die
Live and let die
Live and let die
RD is one such bike, if Yamaha re-launches it as RD "classic”, people will just buy for that name!!
let’s get back to the present- the gift from KTM-Bajaj for those who loved 2 strokes! When I said history repeating it is ‘cos after 30+ years we are blessed to experience KTM-390 which comes with advance technology and beats RD in 5sec mark.
KTM 390 looks : well it is almost true that there is no difference between 200 and 390 in terms of looks but the KTM made sure that it does make a difference
so it added orange powder coated trellis, wheels and cover for the gear and clutch lever, striking a difference with that racing orange and big 390 stickers does make you feel that the power of bike transferred that orange color to the bike!!! who knows it might paint the city orange!! standing out in crowd, and will make heads turn, even if they don’t see 'cos of the sound coming from that smart exhaust.
yes i do agree KTM should have come with smart and subtle changes in design if not completely new design. the 200 frame can take the load of this meaty 390 engine. So KTM bolted it but when you read about performance then you won’t care about these i will not key in much about looks and seating as except the above mentioned, there isn’t much difference from 200.
Performance : 390 is all about performance and how, it is a 375 cc 43 bhp with 139kg on 2 wheels, the power is almost of a small car, so imagine that on light weight 2 wheels the moment you engage the first gear and release the clutch you would know that this is brutal machine, the gear shift is true to KTM pedigree slick, adding the rhythm to power So there is a need to be cautious, you need to understand how fast it is 0-100 in 5 secs and when you hit that speed in 5 sec you see things vanishing fast, you should have enough time for braking, especially in Indian context if suddenly something comes on your way. Brutal it is!
KTM is known for rev happy engine, it never gets tired, like it’s on some steroids to perform a rock show on 10 stages back to back.
The first gear goes till 40kph and you can cruise on 6th until 20kmp no frequent gear changing in traffic, before people try to know which bike it is you are gone! It did happen to me in traffic people stared at me by slowing down out of curiosity and that’s when you drop the gear and vanish!
The engine keeps screaming "PUSH ME" "REV ME" "come on" "lets fly" oh yes! oh yes!! and i bet you, get on to this bike and drive slow, you can never do that, even a 60 year old man gets on to it he can’t drive it slow, it will be like a Viagra to him! i also bet you, like i mentioned earlier you won’t remember that it looks like 200, you just want to drive this on and on and never want to get your butt off from it! imagine there is a fire in your back, what you do, you just run!!! so be much focused when you are drive 390 it might blow you off literally if you be loose. Engine Picture source : KTM
Engine : DOHC engine, DLC-coated cam followers and NiCaSil cylinder coating, resulting in Low acquisition and maintenance costs plus low fuel consumption by making you high with that power
what happened with us : my friend who is shooting the video, wanted to shoot some shots and requested to drive slow i said yes but then i couldn’t! they gave up telling me! its Madness! Craziness and all other synonyms, remember i had bet you can never ride this slowly.
comfort : suspension is stiff to support the handling and do justice to the power, but surprisingly it is not on harsh side like many had complaints with 200, i did drive the 390 on bad roads and believe me it wasn’t bad at all - the bike and my butt.
Handling/Tires/ABS : because the 200 frame can take the load of 390, it has same light weight strong trielles(powder coated) and upside down WP suspension, so the handling is not only as good as 200 but it ups the antenna of excitement ‘cos of the 390 power! To sing along there is metzeler tires,
i felt this rubber made a lot of difference it sticked to the road like a gum, it takes very good effort if you want to detach the tire from road, giving much needed confidence for this 40bhp bike and remember that rubber is German so it doesn’t come cheap, ABS from Bosch as standard feature supports in wet surfaces.
Brakes : To stop all the power you have in your right fist there are 2 disc brakes front with 300mm and rear 200mm.
The big question Price : we Indians want more for less!! in one line this is a prize for us, we should be glad that ktm-bajaj bought this to india.
KTM always wins at price to the power, it did with 390 as well, with on road of 2.5lak it is like by default on discount!!! there were jokes floating on internet that- you just bought CBR 250 and KTM 390 launched!! i think this comes for the tie up with Bajaj who is known for value for money pricing, so when KTM- performance meets- value for money you have the duke!!
KTM truly changed everything about biking by making the most advance technology, powerful street fighter bikes affordable to human kind which translates into love, care, respect and safety in humans, because you will know what is falling in love is all about! while other side there are chances to become opposite,
might end up saying live and let die and you might jump like those guys in the video,so we caution, request you dont go mental! stay nice and good to experience more good things which will arrive! Thank god and nature we are alive to experience it!
oh yes, I did forgot to mention the fuel consumption but seriously do you really care?
This day 21st June 2014, the world motorcycle day! we salute and bow for both bikes RD350 that created a history and KTM 390 creating a history of future!!
RD350 Picture source : RD350 Club
Thanks to aditya who assited me for the shoot!
TECHNICAL DETAILS(Source KTM)Thank you :
Vinod and Neeraj from KTM India
Prassana and Ramesh from KTM Begumpet Hyderabad
ENGINE : Design 1-cylinder 4-stroke engine, water-cooled
Displacement 373.2 cm³
Bore 89 mm
Stroke 60 mm
Performance 32 kW (43 hp)
Starting aid Electric starter
Transmission 6 speed, claw shifted
Engine lubrication Forced oil lubrication with 2 Eaton pumps
Cooling system Liquid cooling system, continuous circulation of cooling liquid with water pump
Clutch Wet multi-disc clutch / mechanically operated
Ignition system Contactless, controlled, fully electronic ignition system with digital ignition timing adjustment
Frame Tubular space frame made from steel, powder-coated
Fork WP Suspension Up Side Down
Shock absorber WP Monoshock
Suspension travel Front 150 mm
Suspension travel Rear 150 mm
Brake system Front Disc brake with four-pot brake caliper
Brake system Rear Disc brake with one-pot brake caliper, floating brake discs
Brake discs - diameter Front 300 mm
Brake discs - diameter Rear 230 mm
Chain 5/8 x 1/4” X Ring
Steering head angle 65°
Wheel base 1,367±15 mm
Ground clearance (unloaded) 170 mm
Seat height (unloaded) 800 mm
Total fuel tank capacity approx. 11 l
Unleaded premium fuel (95 RON)
Weight without fuel approx. 139 kg