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Displacement diet
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Tirefriar



Joined: 18 Dec 2014
Posts: 630
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...
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1991 Bimota YB10
2001 MV F4
2010 Ducati Streetfighter 1098 S
2015 KTM RC390
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Ray916MN



Joined: 29 Apr 2015
Posts: 71
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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2bims



Joined: 03 Apr 2010
Posts: 6945

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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Anders



Joined: 05 May 2009
Posts: 73
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.
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Anders
bb1, Mille S2, Guzzi / Watsonian, Morini Corsaro 125, EC200, RD350YPVS etc
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Tirefriar



Joined: 18 Dec 2014
Posts: 630
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Further research has me solidly moving away from KTM in part due to overheating/head gasket issues as well as cost of maintenance.

I’ve put my Aprilia RSV1000 track/street bike up for sale as wifey will not go for another “I’ll buy this one now and sell that one later, just not sure when” routine.

Although there are still few n/z 400 Kawis in dealers’ stock, there doesn’t seem to be room for much negotiating. Not uncommon to see these advertised for as low as $3500 but when it comes to out the door price it magically almost doubles. In Los Angeles county tax is 9.5% plus registration is another few hundred. Local dealers shift their upfront profit away from sales price into fees: administration, set up, destination. Think I’ll just sit back and wait for left overs in the new year...
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Tirefriar



Joined: 18 Dec 2014
Posts: 630
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2bims wrote:
...evidently we are quite free and easy for registering 2-strokes in the UK...unlike the US....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


Steve, I completely agree. The tree huggers won that battle... However, don’t despair young man as there’s hope: https://ggretrofitz.com/blogs/news/2-stroke-yamaha-r3

Although Commiefornia Dept of motor vehicles does not yet require smog inspections for bikes, they do require engine number to be listed on the owner title. Hence, upon purchase every bike must be inspected to match engine number to the one listed on the title. Of course, if there’s a will there’s a way....
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2015 KTM RC390
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Tirefriar



Joined: 18 Dec 2014
Posts: 630
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ray916MN wrote:
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.


If weight is the sole consideration, then the KTM 390 is the clear winner weighing in at about 338 lbs. Z400 is punching at 366 lbs.

There are good deals to be had for MT07 and Z650 but they are 403 and 406 lbs respectively and are in a different league performance wise but not that much more in terms of the price.
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2015 KTM RC390
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Tirefriar



Joined: 18 Dec 2014
Posts: 630
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a side note, I will have access to a DRZ400 for mostly asphalt riding. I am intrigued...DRZ400 sm could be a contedah....
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djk



Joined: 20 Sep 2011
Posts: 141
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a DRZ400SM that i use for around town riding and to get to work and it is great for that, not so good for motorway/highway riding though, just not enough top end to be comfortable. I have owned for about 5 years/24000km and it has been mostly trouble free, starter motor needed replacing and that is about it. They really are great little bikes and are a lot of fun.
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2bims



Joined: 03 Apr 2010
Posts: 6945

PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tirefriar wrote:
As a side note, I will have access to a DRZ400 for mostly asphalt riding. I am intrigued...DRZ400 sm could be a contedah....


I run around town and commuting on a KDX220R.....beats everything away from the traffic lights due to off road gearing....tops 65mph...but for city traffic thats great....narrow bike...high bars...long travel suspension for bumps in road and speed bumps...easy to get thru traffic...and its that "In your face" that cars move out of my way in case they think I'm an acid thrower.....its a real hooligan bike...ridden by an aged man...but bike gear and helmet disguises all that...and if I ever had an off...its pick it up and ride off...as its designed to be thrown around
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Tirefriar



Joined: 18 Dec 2014
Posts: 630
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had a chance to ride the DRZ400 sm on the asphalt track. It was an interesting experience but I don't think I have learned to appreciate that bike just yet. May take another track day or so... Have to pull the trigger soon than later, most likely will be a variation of the Kawi 400.
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Evilchicken0



Joined: 12 May 2010
Posts: 2984
Location: London

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want something small capacity then maybe an older FZR400 ??? The Cali SAC model was the Japanese 3en2 model which has an exup
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2bims



Joined: 03 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Might as well get a YB7 instead from Japan....I think theyre cheaper than the prices of the baby Jap 400's nowadays...a few NC30's went for $10K at auction in Vegas....for a VFR400 baby blade...ridiculous...
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Tirefriar



Joined: 18 Dec 2014
Posts: 630
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Evilchicken0 wrote:
If you want something small capacity then maybe an older FZR400 ??? The Cali SAC model was the Japanese 3en2 model which has an exup


I want something I can thrash. Whatever I get will definitely get crash cages mounted. I would not be able to bring myself to take a nice rare bike and put it though the paces.

Amazing but the local Kawi dealer who has 2 left over 2019 Z400 bikes sitting on the floor will not allow test rides... Instead they are suggesting I wait for a Kawi sponsored test ride day that should take place in.....June, may be July.
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2010 Ducati Streetfighter 1098 S
2015 KTM RC390
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Evilchicken0



Joined: 12 May 2010
Posts: 2984
Location: London

PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2bims wrote:
Might as well get a YB7 instead from Japan....I think theyre cheaper than the prices of the baby Jap 400's nowadays...a few NC30's went for $10K at auction in Vegas....for a VFR400 baby blade...ridiculous...


If you're going to import do it from the UK and look for a FZR400RR 4DX the official Yam import.

A VFR400 NC30 isn't a Baby Blade, blades dont have V4 motors Wink you mean the CBR400 NC29 - not the best 400 Wink Wink Laughing
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