Is "KTM Quality" a lie? | GTAMotorcycle.com

Is "KTM Quality" a lie?

regder

Well-known member
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Probably should have asked this question before I bought my 625 SMC. But damn... Couldn't imagine a more unreliable bike. It's leaking oil out of almost every orifice, can't even ride it to really realize the extent of the problems cause the countershaft seal is leaking so bad (hopefully coming in tomorrow) The more I look into it, the more I come to realize just how many problems these bikes have, and all the ones I've found so far on mine and many more are par for the course.

The LC4 motor in my bike has been around since at least '96, you would think they would have fixed these things by the time my bike was made.

Don't mind me, just venting over a stupid purchase, and kinda wish people wouldn't talk so highly about KTM.
 
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shanekingsley

Curry - so nice it burns you twice
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That sucks. Not only all of that, but I have it on good authority that they are prone to tube punctures.
Mabye if they had just sponsored Ewan and Charlie they would have made enough money to fix these long standing issues.
 

regder

Well-known member
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Mabye if they had just sponsored Ewan and Charlie they would have made enough money to fix these long standing issues.
LOL, I'm sure Charley's disappointment in not riding a KTM got etched into my subconscious somehow and made me want one.
 

corpse

Well-known member
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I dont have any problems with mine...
 

inreb

Well-known member
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The new ones coming out of India should be much better. Yes, I know a day before day before yesterday late and a rupee short.
 

Chasem

Well-known member
That sucks. Not only all of that, but I have it on good authority that they are prone to tube punctures.
Mabye if they had just sponsored Ewan and Charlie they would have made enough money to fix these long standing issues.
HA. HA. HA.
My KTM potentially saved your Strom from a catastrophic explosion. That nail could have ricocheted and caused untold damage....... You just never know.


As a KTM owner I would love to stand up and profess there are absolutely no issues with KTM bikes.... but I would be lieing. Every bike has issues.
From what I understand, the newer LC4's are a lot more reliable though. I know it's no consolation, but there not all bad.
 

mxs

Well-known member
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The pre-2008 (I believe the year they switched to the new LC4 design) are known as high maintenance bikes with a well documented sickness list. 2008 improved quite a bit.
 

DDean

Well-known member
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Ive put 5000 km on my 2010 Duke 690 and all I have needed was a new battery (original battery died). Its been reliable for me.
 

CafeRay

Well-known member
KTM built a reputation in dirt bikes, but they put their name on a broad range of bikes now, made all over the world.

I think if a manufacturer wants to price their products at the higher end of the spectrum, they should at least provide the reliability of a Japanese brand.
What has happened in the euro brands is massive corporate greed leading to poor product reliability testing and increasing out-sourcing to third parties with iffy quality control -this has seriously hurt BMW reliability.
But, sales at BMW and KTM are way up, which suggests reliability really doesn't matter when you have the right badge.
 

Krime

Well-known member
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Ive put 5000 km on my 2010 Duke 690 and all I have needed was a new battery (original battery died). Its been reliable for me.
Do you mean 50,000km? 5,000kms without problems is expected... one would hope.
 

CafeRay

Well-known member
Do you mean 50,000km? 5,000kms without problems is expected... one would hope.
You must ride a Japanese bike.

MCN did a long term test of the KTM Duke 1290:

I wrote in the paper edition of MCN that its mechanical problems had, on balance, overshadowed its moments of brilliance. Porous crankcases, warped front discs and an engine that repeatedly pumped out its coolant had left me deeply frustrated. If I’d paid almost £14,000 for the bike, I would have been apoplectic.


Then the lawyers call MCN...and:

On a brighter note, it seems that my bike isn’t typical. Only one 1290 R owner contacted MCN during the year to say he was having mechanical problems (coolant), while the forums are hardly alive with complaints about the V-twin’s lack of reliability (a lie-see below). KTM themselves were at a loss to explain why my bike’s engine pumped coolant from its expansion tank but did acknowledge that a couple of other 1290s had suffered from leaking crankcases.

...

I don’t miss the uncertainty, the wondering if it’ll behave itself on an expensive holiday or trackday. Reliability, for me, on a 14-grand motorcycle is non negotiable.

I would argue that lack of internet forum activity on this bike comes from 1. Low sales numbers and 2. Owners trying to not kill the resale value of the bike.
Also, KTM forums reveal a host of other major issues on the 1290, and LOTS of complaints about blowing oil.

http://www.superduke.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=22948&start=50

Ok, these are high performance bikes, cutting edge, etc. etc. mistakes can be made, so you fix them. But the response from KTM seems to be a page from the Ducati "vafungulo" policy of post-sales support. At least BMW issues recalls.
 
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xrljoel

Well-known member
I've got a 2012 SMT 990 with just under 20k. and have had no issues whatsoever. Last fall I bought a 2008 530EXC with 11k. I took it to Orange for certification and a good look over (it had a leaking countershaft seal but wasn't expensive to replace) and they did a leak down test. It came out a less than 5% so it was good to go.

I've had 2 other KTMs over the years and both were solid too, though my 950 went through a couple batteries.

Every manufacturer has lemons, but truthfully I'm never been stuck with one.

The 06 motor you're talking about is big, old and shaky. Seals wear out eventually. 9 years and 20k doesn't sound that bad, but to each his own.
 

regder

Well-known member
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But, sales at BMW and KTM are way up, which suggests reliability really doesn't matter when you have the right badge.
Let's call it the Harley effect, better bikes through image

You bought a lemon. Also since it's used you probably had someone abuse the bike prior to.
Fair enough.

The 06 motor you're talking about is big, old and shaky. Seals wear out eventually. 9 years and 20k doesn't sound that bad, but to each his own.
Coming from Japanese bikes that sort of perspective is appalling. I have owned two Yamaha's made in a similar time, both with way more mileage. The two have had a combined one oil leak, which was fixed by resetting the shifter shaft cover. Almost no other mechanical problems that I could think of either.
 

RockerGuy

Banned
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I've had 2 suzukis with over 70k. My present one required nothing but oil changes. My previous one had a short in the electricals due to moisture. Hardly a nightmare
 

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