950 Question....

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by 4corners14, Apr 26, 2013.

  1. 4corners14

    4corners14 Been here awhile

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    My brother is looking to buy a big KTM, I can answer 990 questions, but I don't know much about the 950's.
    Can someone describe to me the difference between the 2005, 2005.5 and the 2006? I see posts about the 2005.5 and I don't know the relevance. Is one better than the other? Why? :huh
    #1
  2. 75monza

    75monza Been here awhile

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  3. Zuber

    Zuber Zoob

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    Frame, wheels, suspension, controls, accessories, all the same between the Adventures.

    The engines are very similar. The carbs are reliable, but don't get the best mileage.

    The 2005.5-2006 are the best years for quality and recalls.

    Read the HOW for way too much info.
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  4. Orangecicle

    Orangecicle On a "Quest"

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    2004s had some unique issues. If you are looking at an '04, then read up about the issues in the HOW. You can run the VIN at a KTM dealer, and the outstanding TSB issues will come right up. As mentioned, all of the issues were pretty well sorted in the later 950s. Same goes for the 990s.
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  5. Katoom72

    Katoom72 Been here awhile

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    Most issues are easy to fix. If it looks good and the price is good, buy!
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  6. Head2Wind

    Head2Wind MotorcycleMayhem

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    It has been my experience with the early bikes (04) the KTM VIN lookup tool has some failures. Specifically when it comes to the head nuts. Its always good to verify with someone that knows the difference between the early and post TSB head nuts. If the cross tank TSB "fix" has not been performed, then DO NOT allow them to do it! They fail and leak.

    The early bikes tend to make more gear noise.


    I rode my early 04 through all terrain, ran great and was reliable after taking care of some of the usual suspects.
    #6
  7. Orangecicle

    Orangecicle On a "Quest"

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    Here's a shot of one of the head nuts that has undergone the TSB. You can see the washer under the nut, and the bolt is slightly recessed into the nut:

    [​IMG]
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  8. Head2Wind

    Head2Wind MotorcycleMayhem

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    I would also offer that if you find a early bike that has the NON-TSB nuts, that it should not be a deal breaker. Maybe could be a negotiation point. Replacing the nuts is rather easy to do while performing a valve check/adjust. Process does require a offset wrench to tourqe one of the nuts that is obscured by the head. Parts are about $50 or less and adds about 45 min to a full valve adjust. If going in just to replace head nuts, shop time should be about 3-4 hours if the tech really knows the bikes, should be slightly less than a valve check/adjust.
    #8
  9. gefr

    gefr Life is a trip

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    I can't find the revised nut photo. Sorry.
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  10. Head2Wind

    Head2Wind MotorcycleMayhem

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    Sorry gefr, but you are wrong. That picture is the new revision.

    #10
  11. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

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    Just to confuse us all with 950 trivia...

    European '03 is US '04 and this was the first production run. As rumors have it the early S models were built separately and were released halfway through the first year. '04 S was actually an '04 1/2 and had the newer head nuts while other years of the standard continued to use the old headnuts. Add a year in difference between European and US on standard 950's... The S models varied between 1/2 yr. and I'm not sure if/ when the S models were integrated into the mass production "assembly" line.

    There were very minor changes to the motors throughout the carb'd years. The Pyndon thread is amazing at explaining the evolution... as he completely upgraded an 04 motor as far as possible with the factory internal updates. He regularly raced his 950 and put 90,000 miles to date on it. His thread is extremely long and thorough and worth the time for those inquisitive about the evolution of the 950.

    I used to know exactly what the changes were, but haven't exercised that part of my mind lately.

    In general, KTM has focused on slight changes in the LC8 to smooth out the vibration of the motor. Tensioners, bearings and balancer changes were made even into the 990. Most, if not all of these changes were backward compatible, but as Pyndon detailed, not absolutely mandatory to keep the bike dependable long term.

    The TSB's address specific concerns and are a separate conversation. This is all available on the HOW site. Nothing of the TSB's are deal breakers as other inmates have already mentioned.

    The major ( and accepted) weakness of the LC8 design is heat blanketing the motor. Evidence of this heat build up is known to blow the clutch slave seal and the voltage regulator/ rectifier ( more previlent in the SE, but also experienced in the Adv). Adding water along with the heat increases the negative effects... Including starter relay, fuel pump points, ignition switch contacts, upper fuse block ( early 950's upper fuse block is exposed at the back and is located above the front wheel). A splash guard was later added to the fuse block as a protection remedy.

    Adding an aftermarket second radiator fan, lower temp. thermostat switch and polyethylene coolant offers mild remedies for cooling the internal temps. KTM also changed the radiator grill design on later models to increase airflow which is also a backward compatible upgrade. It's recommended to coat any partially exposed electrical connections to reduce moisture penetration, therefore reducing reactions to heat and inducing corrosion. Some of the aftermarket skidplates expose the VR/R to better air circulation on the Adv's lower right side.

    Early S models had a slightly heavier steering lock tab, probably due to the taller suspension? This does create an issue when adding some aftermarket upper triple clamp/ stabilizer kits.

    KTM's mounting the side stand to the case has been a cause for concern when indercarriage impacts to the sidestand crack the engine case.. but there are plenty of aftermarket remedies here.

    The carbs rely less on electronics which can be great for dependability but are less economical. The throttle control of the carbs could be explained as a "curve" response rather then the "stepped linear" of the early EFI's.

    Rear wheels were slightly narrower on the earlier models and went wider somewhere in the next couple years. This was probably to facilitate a wide street stance.

    Suspension preferences become very subjective but the bike's weight warrants the taller "S" style options for handling weightless situations... at the sacrifice of a tighter turning radius and lean angle for high speed blacktop cornering. There were different suspension heights for the various years of the 950 S models... all the way through the R models of the 990. The consensus of these variations being KTM trying to interpret what best fit the market preferences. The original Rally 950's had 15% more suspension then any production bike released in S or R trim (Meoni's specs).

    Hope this adds some food for thought.
    #11