Thread: So Disappointed
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:45 PM   #45
let's keep going...
geometrician's Avatar
Joined: May 2008
Location: West-By-God Virginia
Oddometer: 1,034
KTM, dealerships, TSBs

Sorry to hear about your bike. It's well worth the time & frustration if you have an ounce of adventure in your veins!

KTM North America is actually a bunch of really good people- they do "Goodwill Warranty" work more often than not once they hear the story & it is reasonable. There are bad customers too- a friend finally had Kawasaki NA swap an abused 2010 KLR650 for a 650 Versus just to end his 5-year warranty. He was just that loud (and hard on stuff) that they rebuilt his engine a couple of times and even given him a complete engine once. KTM NA doesn't suffer fools, as the old saying goes. They'll also have a serious discussion with the dealership if a problem exists.

A good KTM service manager will plug your bikes VIN into the KTM NA corporate web interface as he takes your bike in & can provide you with data on your bike- when it was made, when it was sold, where, and to whom. Any open (uncompleted) TSB's that are applicable to your bike should show up on the history. It's a good way to let the customer know you're looking out for them, and helps develop a good relationship on both ends- cause your trying to help the guy ride & his mount happy. The ownership list isn't kept up to date on all bikes unless someone along the way updates the owner information, which is one way KTM NA can keep track of bikes and (where applicable) mail or email any safety issues that (might) pertain to your bike. Saftey recalls are handled through a combination of KTM, DOT & the US government. TSB's don't warrant a certified letter to your house.

The Technical Service Bulletins which are the factorys way of letting dealerships know that certain bikes need updates or changes that have been noted by KTM Austria either from warranty/field experience or factory technicians rigorous testing. CPModem has them available through the HOW, and there are a lot over the years. The service manager should thouroughly search the database to make sure your bike doesn't have any outstanding. Some of the older TSBs that are uncompleted don't show up so it takes a bit of research. When the dealer starts a claim on your bike if they enter the VIN & then the TSB recall number the computer will immediately kick back any aren't valid or have already been paid on by KTM NA. I have definitely worked on bikes where other KTM NA dealerships did not do the work but the customer was told it was- hopefully that isn't the case but people are people. Again, KTM NA welcomes cutomer input on relevant issues- they want us to have fun riding their bikes!

The dealer only gets paid for TSBs when the proper computer work is completed. In some cases the TSB was performed and the service manager/technician didn't log work performed- in which case the dealership paid for the work & your history is dubious at best. Many TSB parts are sent to dealerships as regular (superceded perhaps) inventory so the mechanic simply pulls it & does the job. Like warranty work (in general, all manufacturers) the time alotted a job is for a clean, unmodified bike that you are familiar with. A mechanic that is "learning" on your bike or encountering rusted/stripped fasteners is going to take longer and the chance of something being overlooked, a hose or electrical wire pinched increases. But the dealer by no means makes a bunch money on TSBs or the parts. Some TSBs are so fast you can do them in a few minutes once you're familiar with them.

any TSB parts are either to be kept with the bikes VIN information for a certain number of years or sent back to KTM NAfor verification for reimbursal and in some cases examined at KTM NA or sent back to the KTM Austrian factory.

Next time you go into any KTM dealership provide them with the last 6 numbers of your VIN and they can look your bike up for you!
'06 KTM 950 Adv 'S'
'03 KTM 250 EXC
'87 KLR650 - <200K miles "Like the Energizer Bunny, just keeps going & going..."
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