ADVrider (
-   Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc) (
-   -   Welcome new 9x0 owners! Things you need to know about your new bike... (

Geek 03-03-2012 01:42 PM

Welcome new 9x0 owners! Things you need to know about your new bike...
I would like to respectfully suggest we try and keep the "chatter" in this thread to a minimum so that it isn't overwhelming to a new 9x0 owner as they're starting to learn about their bike.

Congrats on buying a 950/990! :clap

It is an amazing machine...

Please find below a list of important issues that you should consider addressing (sooner than later) with your bike.
A little preventative maintenance will make your life easier in the long run.

Some things to know:

The HOW: This is the Hall Of Wisdom (HOW). It will take you a bit to digest it all, but the more you read the HOW, the more you'll understand your new bike.

SIDE STAND DESIGN FLAW: Your sidestand is mounted to your engine case. If you drop the bike on it, you could easily do a few thousand dollars in damage (as several members here have had happen). You should strongly consider an aftermarket relocation bracket of some sort; there are many different solutions available. More info here:

CHAIN ADJUSTERS: After riding thousands of miles under the water, through the mud, and over the ice bergs... you are going to find that your chain adjusters have seized into your swing arm. Take a few minutes, unscrew them all the way and put anti-seize on them.. put them back in and then know they aren't going to snap off on you a few years from now.
Some people also like to drill 1/8" drain holes in the bottom rear of their swingarms to allow the inevitable trapped water to drain out.

MUD GUARD CUTTING SWINGARM: Take a look at your plastic mudguard that protects your rear shock from debris from the rear tire.
See how it lightly brushes (some bike yes, some bikes no) against the swingarm on the sides? Over the next 25,000 miles that will actually grind a hole in your swingarm. Pull the mudguard off and trim 1/4" off of each side so that there is NO contact with the swingarm (remember to account for suspension compression.. so trim it further up than you think)

Again.. congratulations on purchasing one of the most capable motorcycles ever designed. By learning form the Wisdom of the Forum your bike should easily last 100,000+ miles. We hope you enjoy learning from our mistakes :D

That'll start this thread. NEXT!

Remember gents, the objective here is just the essentials a new owner needs to know. The HOW is definitely the destination they're headed for... but this will give them some stuff to chew on before they get overwhelmed.

Head2Wind 03-03-2012 01:45 PM

990/950 SWING ARM DRAIN HOLES: drill two 1/8 drain holes in bottom of swing arm legs just in forward of the welds. This way the swing arm will not retain water.

990 STARTING PROBLEMS: If the tach swings through its test sequence, 0-100-0, and when the starter button is pushed the starter motor does not turn but the tach goes through a test swing again, the battery or associated terminals are at fault. The ECU will trip out the safety latches when it senses too low of voltage, hence the no starter motor.

Geek 03-03-2012 01:54 PM

This post is under construction:

As mentioned, if your mudguard touches your swingarm, it can cut grooves over time

Trimming of the mudguard as pictured below, solves the issue.

Sorry H2W.. I was still editing.
I like the additional information you've posted "in front of the welds". :freaky
Perhaps we can locate a link to one of the posts someone made showing the procedure.. I know pics have been posted a few times about it over the past few years.

I'll replace this post with useful information.

Someone want to take the time to explain ACC1 vs ACC2?

Geek 03-03-2012 02:08 PM

Fuel Pump, Waterpump and Clutch Slave:

These items are consumables to an extent, but many folks have come up with permanent "upgrades" that solve each issue long term.

For now? Don't sweat it. Things work from the factory just fine. Despite all of those BMW riders trying to convince you that your bike is flawed, you have nothing to worry about for thousands/10s of thousands of miles. Yes, you will want to address the waterpump, fuelpump and clutch slave preemptively eventually. Due to the nature of this motorcycle and its ability to take you to far away places, you will find many owners swap these items out long before they fail (so they are a common topic around here).

Note: If you purchased a used bike that is up in miles (say 15,000?), you might want to read up on these 3 items and put them on your radar. Some bikes have gone 50,000 miles without issue. Some bikes have had issues in less than 20,000 miles.

All cost less than a set of tires to fix.

speaking of which... you have budgeted huge amounts of money for tires right? 100hp + knobbies = a love/hate relationship :D

Geek 03-03-2012 02:19 PM


Originally Posted by Head2Wind (Post 18127893)
990 STARTING PROBLEMS: If the tach swings through its test sequence, 0-100-0, and when the starter button is pushed the starter motor does not turn but the tach goes through a test swing again, the battery or associated terminals are at fault. The ECU will trip out the safety latches when it senses too low of voltage, hence the no starter motor.

I would add: DO NOT TOUCH THE THROTTLE WHILE STARTING THE BIKE. The bike has hydraulic cam chain tensioners. If you blip the throttle when you are starting it and the chain tensioners haven't not come up to pressure, you'll get a huge clacking noise causing all BMW owners within earshot to make fun of you

950 Owners: OVERCHOKING Many 950s only need 1/3 or less choke to start.. even in the cold. If you have the choke open wide and the bike is not starting, trying starting it with 20% choke (or less) and working up from there. Again, resist the urge to give it some throttle.

viola-tor 03-03-2012 02:24 PM

Great thread idea Geek! :clap

Water Pump shaft issue. Lots of n00bs ask about known issues, and that's one we're all aware of and budget for/live with. The impeller shaft is made of a mysterious metal that changes between model years (hinting that KTM is aware of the problem but is not acknowledging it publicly). Over time the seal carves a groove in the shaft that allows the passage of coolant and oil, which is not a good thing. Symptoms are a wavy paper oil filter (pics on down the page here) and/or greyish "gunk" in the coolant overflow bottle and radiator cap. CJ Designs sells a heavy duty kit, and KTMtwins sells an OEM kit with everything ya need. I replace every 20,000 miles or so, but I hear the newer bikes have a stronger material (or maybe they are just newer? :D).

is typically between 30-40 with variation depending on bike and rider, so don't panic if you don't get 50 mpg, and celebrate heartily if you do. 20's probably needs some attention...

TIRES tires are a personal choice, but here are some popular options in order of full on dirt rubber down to real street rubber for the KTM's 21" front and 18" rear wheel sizes:

Terraflex rear (aggressive, not recommended for much street use)
Dunlop 908 rear
Dunlop 606 front
Pirelli MT21 front
TKC 80s front and rear
Kenda Big Block front and rear

50/50 Pavement/Dirt -
Mefo Super Explorers
Hedenau (sp?) K60 scout

70/30 Pavement/Dirt -
Pirelli Scorpion

Pavement/Sport Touring -
Continental Trail Attack
Avon Road Riders (is that the name?)

I'll be happy to nuke this post to keep the thread clean, just let me know.

Geek 03-03-2012 02:28 PM


Did you forget to turn your key off?
The battery is located behind the front wheel (bottom front of the bike) in a little box (inside the skid plate).
When you unscrew the front battery door it will swing down and hang from two wire straps.
This is where you connect the jumper cables (although there are other ways to do it as you'll learn in the HOW).

Geek 03-03-2012 02:43 PM


Especially if you have a dirt riding background....
Heavy bike + very soft front suspension(i.e. easily bottoms out) + soft metal front wheel = Broken front wheel if you aren't careful.

Just be forewarned that an obstacle you wouldn't notice on a dirtbike could leave you stranded on your 9x0. Once you get to know what your suspension's limits are, you won't have a problem. Just keep it in mind when going fast offroad. There are many aftermarket options available ranging from stiff rims to different fork valving for you to consider if you find you need it.

Another consideration: Heavy Bike + Offroad + Low Tire Pressure = PINCH FLATS.
If you have a dirt background, you will find you need more air in your tubes than you are used to.

If you get a flat: You can USE THE SIDESTAND TO BREAK THE BEAD.
Those big beefy rear tires can be a real struggle to get loose doing a trail side flat repair...

Here's Viola-tor fixing his 2nd flat in two miles somewhere in the middle of Wyoming (or were we in Montana?). :D
As you can see in the photo, the bike is on the center stand. You then line your tire up with the side stand and lean your bike toward the tire to press with the stand and pop the bead off.

Works really well :thumb

Geek 03-03-2012 02:53 PM


If you get into sticky mud your front tire can pack up and lock without warning. It is the reason so many of us have put high fenders on our bikes. Just keep it in mind the first time you are riding in the sticky stuff (it caught me off guard the first time it happened to me.. :eek1 )

950 Owners: THIS MEANS YOU.
990 Owners: You have a little more clearance. When your buddy on the 950 falls down you should start to take notice that you are next :D

TIP: 950 owners: You have a "crossover" brake line that is very close to the tire (suspended on the fender). If you get into a bind (pun!) and need to be able to move the bike without the front fender the brake line will be an issue (you literally won't be able to turn the front wheel as the mud will catch the brake line and rip it off).
In an emergency, some inmates have had success with removing the right brake caliper (two bolts) and moving it up and over and actually hanging it on the left side of the wheel to get them out of the mud... (you always have 2 dozen zip ties with you right?) as soon as you are out of the mud.. put it back before you hurt yourself!.
Disclaimer: This is NOT a safe thing to do (hence why I said in an "emergency").
If you try this and fall down and scratch your fuel tanks.. it's your own fault.

brents347 03-03-2012 03:31 PM

Paper oil filters are your friend!

And an important diagnostic tool. If you ever pull the oil filter during an oil change and find the filter pleats to be 'wavey' rather than straight you are heading towards a water pump failure like Geek mentioned a few posts up. Scoots reusable filters are nice but the forward knowledge of a water pump failure before it fills the tranny with water is priceless.

Great thread Geek!

Geek 03-03-2012 03:37 PM

To follow up on what Brent said (despite him using Honda red instead of KTM orange :patch :rofl)...

This is normally what your oil filter will look like during an oil change:

If your oil filter has waves in it, it is a sign that your water pump needs rebuilding (meaning the seal around the shaft that drives the water pump impeller is leaking and allowing coolant into your oil). The earlier bikes had a different seal and shaft that wore more quickly.. the new bikes have better materials. The new materials do fit in every 950/990 so if you have to replace them, make sure you get the new stuff!
Old seal: brown. New seal: grey
Old shafts: silver New shafts: dark grey/black

There are people with 50,000 miles on their original water pump seal. Some guys were unlucky with earlier bikes and have had them fail in under 10,000 miles.

This is the way your oil filter will look if it has been contaminated with coolant:

...and here is why you need to fix the problem ASAP: Water will cause the oil filter to collapse and starve the engine for oil!

IF you find your filter Wavy but have no choice but to keep riding, REMOVE THE FILTER all together. You are better off not filtering the oil while you get back to civilization than risking a filter collapse and starving the engine for oil

I don't have the energy.. someone want to step up and explain the various tips to make changing the oil easier? ... and to explain why the fuel tanks won't go back on the bike afterward? :rofl

goatdog 03-03-2012 03:47 PM


Originally Posted by Geek (Post 18128294)

950 Owners: THIS MEANS YOU.
990 Owners: You have a little more clearance. When your buddy on the 950 falls down you should start to take notice that you are next :D

That made me chuckle.

Yellow Pig 03-03-2012 08:13 PM

Here is a classic example of the right brake caliper bungied to the left side crash bars in order to get out of the mud.

Needless to say that the high fender kit and the dual brake lines were installed a few days after I got home.

MP5 03-03-2012 08:48 PM

Great thread guys. Super idea, even for someone who has now had both a 990 and now a 950 SE. I am constantly in the H.O.W "peruzing" its contents. I also am not shy on PM'ing many OC guys with lots of questions :deal. Thanks, btw, to all you guys.

I just ordered my water pump complete kit, my slave kit, peg extensions, tool pouch, oil filters and spark plug wrench from CJ. Mineral oil and HP Coolant and 5.1 DOT Brake Fluid is on the way aswell.

I've also been on the phone with Kenny at Alternate Cycle a few times regarding jetting and, tires, bars and hours of just shootin the shite about our bikes. (The guy loves talking KTM 990/950...Don't worry Kenny, you'll get my business too buddy lol). Both CJ and Ken, and all of the OC in general have been a phenomenal help to me over the past 5 years with both my bikes.

I may not be a complete NOOB on here....but these threads are an awesome tool for me too

Thanks Geek....Lovin my new bike btw. Feel sorry for Dan for selling it........nah, not really :D

Maintenance time....

TheMuffinMan 03-04-2012 01:37 AM

The easiest™ way to get the clutch oil jet out (after loosening it with a flathead screwdriver) is to grab a q-tip, dose it in a little axle grease and pluck the jet out of the cavity. Clean it out with some .1mm or similar sized guitar string. IMO it should be checked once a month to prevent premature clutch wear.

Two bolts on the upper fairing pieces (the ones with the turn signals) are longer than others and go in the topmost holes toward the handlebars.

The two bolts that hold the fuseblock in are different (more threads threads per unit area) then the rest of the glovebox bolts.

The stock right mirror mount point is on the fr. brake master cylinder. When you tip over there's a high possibility of it breaking; you have been warned.

Times are GMT -7.   It's 05:15 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2015