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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey you guys: Our bike has a pro Link and the Duke has a shock unit bolted straight between the swing arm and the frame. It also has the exhaust box right in front of it to radiate heat into its hydraulics. Speaking of heat, isn’t it the Duke 390 that we hear about overheating in stop-go traffic? (And here I sit in Phoenix.) So the 390 has bigger forks up front but they have to; they’re upside-down. We have a bigger tank, better gas mileage, and more miles between tires. The other bike has a harder-to-read display but with a gear indicator (nice) and more visual whiz-bangs. We pay extra for ABS (I don’t want it) but the Duke with it is more than a grand more expensive. They have a “funny” exhaust system and we have a clean, sweeping header with lots of slip-on options. The acceleration from 100+ more cc’s really takes off but we are not TU250’s either. So if it’s really that important to play-race or have the occasional onlooker think you have a Ducati, the KTM’s your bargain-toy. The Honda has so much to offer, we very experienced riders, after all our years messing with the big stuff but now going for small-bike excellence, have found our dream bike. But Honda, should you really brag it a "naked" bike with all that folded-paper looking plastic? Is your market really for riders who want a transformer or an Iron Man suit? Oh, and please Mr. You Tube and Magazine experts, stop calling it a beginner bike.
 

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The Duke is a great bike but yes it is extremely flashy and over the top. I've been riding the 300F around in town here instead of my Speed Triple (since the bike needs some KM) and I'm loving it. Super smooth engine and a lot of fun to ride. Going to take it for a short blast this weekend and see what it's like in the corners.


I will say though. It may not be a "beginners" bike necessarily, however, it is most certainly an entry level machine. That doesn't mean that it isn't fun, or cool, or worth riding, its just a simple fact. I met a guy who is riding across Canada on a 250 with his son on the back, with luggage. To each their own, I wouldn't worry so much about what other people classify the bike as.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Beer. Yeah entry-level and I get that today's riders need something easy to conquer at first. Sixty years ago there were many choices and even a "huge" BSA twin 650 was somewhat manageable. My first bike was a '56 150 Bantam and my next was a '53 Arial Square4. Kids today have exquisite (by comparison) choices but not the variety. But back to my point. There are those of us who have suckled at the breast of two wheeled power and perhaps still do. We might however decide that the best times to come are going to be on a small, light, and low-effort machine. We might also be drawn to having "enough" power (like the Honda or Duke). I wish the press (and the manufacturers) would acknowledge that there are plenty of old farts and not-so-old farts that want sub-500 mounts. We are not beginners or entry level. Cross-country touring on a 250? You bet, and it is pure adventure rediscovered. I ride a Sachs Madass and have done all I can do to the 119cc to stay with traffic. That bike, with 55mph tops and the engine screaming is too small. So what do I personally need to enhance my experience? Crank up the WR650 I suppose but that's too far the other way. My particular stable needs a 300F.
 
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