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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this topic has been beaten to death. But I just thought I'd throw my two cents out there for any one looking into this topic.

I rode the RC390 before I bought my R3. That already tells you where this ends up.

First off the RC390 is a gorgeous bike. The orange trellis frame really does make the bike pop. The single cylinder in the RC390 made an awesome sound. KTM surely knows how to make a thumper. The bike had a fair amount of off the line torque and made good power. However, the suspension felt extremely uncommunicative to me. I knew the bike had grip and traction as all modern bikes do for the test ride I was doing. But I could never develop the confidence to really push it. I think this is problem with all bikes using WP suspension. They are either too stiff or too soft. Also, the KTM had the classic thumper vibration. Although no where as bad as my 690 SMC, you could still feel the vibrations in the pegs. Also, I hate the cluster on the RC390. All the information was there, but I think my Gameboy from 1989 had better readability. Finally the transmission on the KTM was typical KTM - clunkly. KTM really has a lot to make up when compared to its rivals. At the end of my test ride, I felt the RC390 was just a really high powered scooter with a clunky manual transmission.

In comparison, I felt the suspension on the R3 was much more communicative. The bike has notably less horsepower, but feels faster since you are able to carry that speed thanks to the suspension. IMO, The R3 has just enough power to get you into trouble but only if you are asking for it. And for all the complaints about the OEM tires, I feel they are fine except in wet conditions or if you are on track. The twin cylinder is also infinitely smoother. I can be at the rev limiter and the only way I'll notice is by sound, whereas you feel the KTM even when just cruising. Transmssion on the R3 is butter, I think it might be the smoothest transmission I've experienced. Finally the cluster just tops it all off - easy to read with tons of information.

I really wanted to like the KTM. But at the end of the day, the R3 just seemed to be a better all around package.
 

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Back when I was shopping I got this impression from most of the reviews. The numerous reports of stuff coming apart and blowing out convinced me. The local KTM dealer won't even stock the RC390 until it's redesigned, as they have been a warranty nightmare.

That said, I am looking forward to the complete overhaul of this model rumored for 2017.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There's a thread on Reddit containing lots of feedback on the RC390s. The most shocking thing I saw was that in stock form, the RC390's rear tire will kick water up that pools near the airbox. People were drilling holes in this area to ensure adequate drainage.

That's a design fail right there.
 

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I test rode an RC390 before I bought my R3 and I can honestly say that it is the most uncomfortable bike that I have ever ridden (and by a very large margin too). After 30 minutes I couldn't wait to return it back to the showroom. There's no way I could have used it for touring.

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I test rode an RC390 before I bought my R3 and I can honestly say that it is the most uncomfortable bike that I have ever ridden (and by a very large margin too). After 30 minutes I couldn't wait to return it back to the showroom. There's no way I could have used it for touring.

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What other bikes are you comparing it to? People say some SS bikes are uncomfy by I have had 600SS bikes as dailies before with no issue.
 

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Gonna send this to my buddy that's stuck between the two. Ultimately I hope he gets what is best for him, but can't help but be biased about such an amazing bike!
 

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I can honestly say that it is the most uncomfortable bike that I have ever ridden (and by a very large margin too). After 30 minutes I couldn't wait to return it back to the showroom.
I felt the exact same way after test riding a new Yamaha R6.
:laugh:
 

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What other bikes are you comparing it to? People say some SS bikes are up comfy by I have had 600SS bikes as dailies before with no issue.
I've owned and ridden lots of bikes over the years, from 50cc scooters through to 1000cc sport tourers. I've never really owned outright sports bikes though, other than an RGV250 and a VFR400 back in the day. Nor have I really ridden cruisers, except for the odd bike rental. I typically ride sports tourers and smaller commuter type bikes.

At the end of the day what one person finds comfortable is another person's worst nightmare. Ideally, I'd recommend that they ride all the potential bikes and see which one works best for them.

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