Monday, 3 June 2019
The story of the 390 began in december 2017, idly flicking through a ‘well known internet auction site’ one horrible wet and cold friday night I spotted this 2015 model for sale at a bargain price, too cheap to be true. I fired off a mail to the seller to find out the skinny, drank some more red wine and went to bed. I’d forgotten all about it when I received a return mail telling me that although the bike was very clean it had developed an annoying fault where the bike just cut out when riding and that as he had now passed his car test he needed the funds to pay his extortionate insurance bill for his newly purchased hot hatch.
I arranged to go and kick the tyres the next day and after a long, long journey down to deepest east anglia I arrived at matey’s house where after a cup of coffee he wheeled the bike into the yard. I was impressed, it was certainly a very clean little bike and started on the button and settled down to a steady tick-over. When it was warm it revved out without hesitation, hmmm? I hand the man the keys to my van and phone and have a ride up the road, pulls well, no sign of a problem, hmmm? I turn in the road and ride past his house in the opposite direction, all fine and then as I ride over a speed bump near the local school it dies, clutch in, press the button and off we go again all fine, same again, fine until I reach the speed bump and it dies again, press the button and off we go again.
The geezer has taken it to the local yamaha dealer who told him that the ecu is donald ducked, how they come to this conclusion I don’t know but he’s desperate to sell, it’s xmas, he needs the money and I offer him a ridiculous £900 to take his pain away, ten minutes later I’m on my way home to sunny derbyshire with the little 390 in the back of the van.
Straight on the bench the same night and I strip off all the road stuff in a couple of hours, lights, indicators, fairing lowers, chain guard, hugger, mirrors, number plate hanger and stand all hit the bin, I sit having a well deserved beer and scan the ‘tinterweb for a possible solution to the cutting out problem, bingo! Apparently they suffer with dodgy kill switches, I take the switch apart and the wiring is burnt with evidence of arcing inside the switch. £8 for a replacement switch and the problem solved, result! I order the ktm ‘cup’ screen which hides the headlight aperture in the standard fairing, I make a carbon plate finish off the mess left by stripping out the number plate/rear indicator mounting/ rear light bracket and fab a carbon ‘sharks-fin’ chain run protector, the ktm 390 cup series has now finished so I picked up a set of r+g racing engine covers half price and turned up a couple of paddock stand bobbins and front fork protectors and set to lock wiring everything in sight. After a track day at darley moor to shake it down I purchased the galfer, 320mm wavy front disc and fabbed up a couple of spacers to mount the bybre [by brembo] radial caliper and added some ebc hh brake pads to get the brakes sorted. The exhaust is an arrow link/de-cat pipe and nige at nrp welded up an adaptor to allow fitment of the carbon can that I dug out of the stash and which has seen previous action on the ‘peaky blinder’ Ducati and the boxer twin bmw racer. It does need a fueling module as it’s running too lean now and nelly at cornerspeed is going to trim up the fuel for me once I’ve got it fitted by hacking the ecu. The stock ktm fasteners are garbage, touching them with a tool results in allen-heads rounding off or hex-heads losing their corners so I dug into the stainless stock and turned up some replacements for non-stress mounting points, I discovered a site that does titanium, drilled race spec fasteners for bicycles that are the same tensile strength of the motorcycle equivalent but at a third of the price so I ordered some for the exhaust mounting hanger and the brake/clutch mountings which strangely seem to come loose of their own accord.
I’m now three trackdays down and after a new set of Bridgestone s21 tyres I’m really impressed with the little bike. Corner speed is essential on a smaller capacity bike but I find I can pass bigger bikes into the turns and brake harder and later than them only to have them pass me down the straights as they ‘point and squirt’ their way around, next outing is the morini owners club a tutto gas [at full throttle in italian] and talking of italian watch this space, news about to break.......