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The new KTM Duke 390 was launched in India in February 2017, just months after its global debut at the EICMA 2016.
The Austrian bike maker was quick to toot its own horn about the various upgrades that its new flagship motorcycle for India came with including the revised BS-IV compliant engine, TFT infotainment display and the radical styling upgrade including the split headlamp up front.
However, as time has passed, reports have started to filter in that KTM's boasts may have done while wearing rose-tinted glasses.
While some reports deal with minor issues, the same cannot be said about 4 time National Champion (Indian National Karting, Asian Zone National Karting, Formula LGB & Race Star Cup) Deepak Paul Chinnappa who purchased the new Duke 390 in June 2017 from Langford KTM in Bangalore.
Mr Chinnappa also owns an example of the previous generation of the KTM Duke 390.
Problem Duke - The List of Issues Faced
- Model - 2017 KTM Duke 390
- Date of Purchase - 23, June 2017
- Distance Covered - 5,700 kilometres
- Third Free Service - 10/02/2018
- Problems Faced - Headlight Stays On Without Key In Ignition, TFT Display Goes Blank Or Restarts, Fuel Leakage, Bike Refuses To Start Due To Low Battery
Click the video below to see all the problems that plague Deepak Chinnappa's KTM Duke 390.
The problems, Mr Chinnappa states, started occurring in November 2017, a few months after the new Duke 390 was recalled.
The recall in question saw the KTM Duke 390 get a firmware upgrade to fix an issue with the motorcycle's headlight.
However, Mr Chinnappa claims, that a few months after the firmware was flashed, the headlight refused to turn off despite the fact that the key had been removed from the ignition.
The owner states that he bought this up with the service centre technicians, when he took his Duke 390 for its free services at the KTM service centre in Kasturba Road, Bangalore.
Chinnappa stated that he was asked to provide proof of there being something wrong with the headlight by the KTM service centre technicians.
However, after talking and convincing them about the issue, they upgraded the bike's firmware, but the issue with the headlight was never fixed.
The final free service for Mr Chinnappa's Duke 390 was undertaken three Saturdays ago on the 10th of February 2018. However, the new firmware flash did not fix the issue with the headlight.
Another issue with the faulty KTM Duke 390 is the TFT display that displays all of the bike's vital stats to the rider on the move.
The problems started with the TFT at around the same time as the headlight issue.
The TFT apparently has a mind of its own. It sometimes goes blank and doesn't come back to life until the key has been removed and then put back into the ignition.
Another issue with the TFT display is the fact it reboots from time to time.
Once it restarts after rebooting itself without warning the odo, trip meter, and fuel meter go back to the reading from when the bike was started, leaving no real indication about the actual fuel consumption, or the distance covered among other bits of info.
However, things went from bad to worse for Mr. Chinnappa after he got his bike back from the service centre following the third service.
Last Friday, 13 days after getting his bike back from the service centre, the Duke 390 started spewing fuel as he rode it to his place of work in Electronic City.
Mr Chinnappa told DriveSpark, "I was riding to work when the fuel filter came loose and fuel spilt all over my leg, the engine and exhaust. Luckily, it was quite early in the morning and the engine and exhaust weren't very hot, so no fire broke out. I killed the engine and coasted to a halt. I then got off the bike and waited till it cooled off."
Once the Duke 390 finally cooled down, Mr Chinnapa turned the kill switch back on only to realise that the bike was still squirting fuel out onto the engine and the pavement.
Realising he had a big problem on his hands, he called up the KTM service centre on Kasturba Road, to get them to help him with the latest problem plaguing his disastrous Duke.
However, he was told to contact E City KTM dealership in Electronic city.
The E City KTM dealership informed Mr Chinnappa that he would have to pay for his bike to be towed and for all the work that would need to be done to get it running again.
Mr Chinnappa refused considering it had been less than two weeks since the bike had been serviced for the third time. He called up the manager of the KTM Kasturba Road service centre who then sent 2 mechanics to fix the issue free of cost.
It was when the mechanics were fixing the latest issue with his bike, caused by a coupler coming off the fuel filter, that Mr Chinnappa was informed that the last firmware flash done on his bike was to fix the TFT monitor and not the headlight.
A day later, the headlight issue reared its ugly head up again deciding to stay on for the whole night, draining the battery fully and now the bike refuses to start properly.
Mr Chinnappa is still awaiting a response from the KTM Kasturba Road service centre manager as he tries to get his Duke 390 going yet again.
DriveSpark's Thoughts On The KTM Duke 390's Problems
Four-time national champion Deepak Chinnappa's case is not an isolated one.
There have been many reports on social media regarding the issues faced by numerous owners of the new Duke 390 that was launched in February 2017.
Many owners are also complaining about the fact the new bike's performance when compared to its predecessor.
The KTM Duke 390 retails at Rs 2.36 lakh ex-showroom (Bangalore), which translates to around Rs 2.8 lakh by the time all the taxes have been paid.
With such a hefty price tag being levelled to own a Duke 390, DriveSpark thinks that it is high time KTM India reaches out to its customers like Mr Chinnappa and resolves the numerous issues with the bike.
If you too are facing issues with your new KTM Duke 390, we would ask you to reach out to us by commenting below.