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Displacement diet

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Joined: 18 Dec 2014
Posts: 593
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:07 pm    Post subject: Displacement diet Reply with quote

The new sub-500 cc offerings have my attention. Well engineered, decent performance and attractive pricing all pointing to me wanting one. Wouldn't use it for long or even medium distance, mainly honing skills in the canyons and on the track.

So far I have test ridden the KTM 390 Duke, Honda CB500F and the Kawasaki Ninja 400. CB500F is a very good starter bike but its a bit too "mature" for what I am looking for.

Frankly, after watching and reading a number of reviews I was expecting more out of the 390 Duke but it left me unimpressed. I even did 2 test rides on the Duke to make sure I wasn't missing something.

Out of all 3 tested, I liked the N400 the best by far. Dealer also had a Z400 on the showroom floor that he wasn't too keen on allowing my 4th test ride of the day, nor was I really pushing for it.

So it appears that the N/Z 400 will more likely be the next bike of choice for me. I am leaning towards the Z400 because it will get crash cages bolted on as soon as I get it, the fairings on the N400 tend to get in the way. There is are several Z400's at a dealer nearby, may just go over for a test...
1991 Bimota YB10
2001 MV F4
2007 Aprilia Bol dOr
2010 Ducati Streetfighter 1098 S
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Joined: 29 Apr 2015
Posts: 60
Location: Orono, MN

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Enticing category with lots of over production. Got close to pulling the pin on a leftover 2018 RC390 last week. They are available for $3200. Leftover 2019 N400s are available for $3700. The fly in the ointment are they still aren't light enough.
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Joined: 03 Apr 2010
Posts: 6451

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been getting into my tinkers recently also...small cc things....What with my renewed interest in 2-strokes....Cagiva Supercity125 from 1999....which at 34bhp...and topping out at 100mph...with 17inch rims....decent suspension...and brembo discs and calipers front and rear it stops well...the rear caliper is the same as fitted to DB2/3/4 Vdue, SB6/7/8 YB11 etc etc...And prior to that and still in the stable are unrestricted DT125R from 1999...which is a full on Big Boys toy size wise...and I have the KDX220 also which is road registered...evidently we are quite free and easy for registering 2-strokes in the UK...unlike the US....but thats the rub with tinker 4=strokes....not enough power for what still is a heavy chassis as it still has to have all the road going gear of a big bike....but with emissions and safety bolt ons etc etc....its probably a bit sluggish...the KDX220 doesnt even have a battery fitted...or starter motor....alloy swinging arm...alloy rims..alloy fork legs....light as owt....I didn't "get" small capacity CC bike fun that everyone was on about....thinking...that was many years ago...I'm bigger now and I have big bikes....then I tried the DT125R I bought for my son....Hhmmm..."Oh...Now I get it...this is fun...but without possible impending death at every corner or loss of license...Now....I get it".....and added 2 further after that... An absolute doddle to work on and strip down in minutes....light and agile....but yeh...thats 2-strokes...just a shame you've strangled them out of existence in the US....As they were the original answer to small light powerful bikes instead of small capacity 4-strokes with their relatively heavier engines
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Joined: 05 May 2009
Posts: 68
Location: Norway

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought a secondhand 1998 KTM Sting 125 for my daughter when she was 16 (2003), it was later ridden by her younger brother. They used it a lot, and liked it a lot. I was quite impressed with it, too. It was a decent bike with a smallish engine. Although it had only 15 hp (Yamaha DTR) engine, it performed pretty well. And the handling was good. Compared to contemporary 125cc bikes, it fared pretty well. Brembo brakes, WP suspension etc. It was kind of a 125cc version of the Duke 1. We sold it to a guy that bought it for his niece. He was so happy with it that he bought the Duke 125 for himself as soon as it appeared on the market. However, it didn't match the Sting in his view.

So if the Duke 390 is unimpressing, I really don't understand what KTM have been doing the last 20 years. The Dukes are usually OK bikes. I have a few mates riding them, although they are the Mattighofen-built bigger ones. The India-built smaller KTMs have a kind of "cheap" feeling to me.

I have seen the RC390 as an option if I should ever buy a modern street bike. With some of the "factory racing" options it think it would be quite fun.
bb1, Mille S2, Guzzi / Watsonian, Morini Corsaro 125, EC200 etc
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