950 SE the biggest turd in the world???

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by summitdog, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. summitdog

    summitdog It's an Azawakh

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    193
    Location:
    San Jose, California
    This is clearly going to be a rant and I acknowledge the fact. I have not ridden my SE for almost a year and a half b/c of mechanical issues and calendaring issues b/w the mechanic and me.

    First ride since I got the bike back and it flipping dies at a stop light. Just shuts off! It is clearly an electrical issue as the starter will not even spin up and I just finished riding nearly 30 miles. I called the mechanic and he says he thinks it could be the speedo b/c he has had to replace 5 or 6 of them on the 950s. The last thing the mechanic touched was the kickstand switch b/c it went out and he has bypassed it. He says that should not be a problem b/c the speedo is not acknowledging the neutral position and the side stand switch has nothing to do with that. Then I notice that the headlight no longer is on when I turn on the switch but the speedo still has electricity. Then the mechanic says that it maybe the regulating rectifier. He has replaced at least 6 of them on this bike.

    Is the KTM that big of a turd that everything electrical is highly suspect?

    Anyone else have as many electrical problems? The bike only has 6.5K miles one it b/c it has been sitting so long.

    Rant over.

    Scotty
    #1
  2. Nowwhat

    Nowwhat I'll Go Second...

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,696
    Location:
    On the Ground Laughing
    You don't need a different bike....you need a different mechanic...

    edit: "Too easy lawyer joke deleted....."
    #2
  3. Chuckracer

    Chuckracer Jerkus Maximus

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,145
    Location:
    Lowville, NY
    Sounds like you may need a different mechanic.
    #3
  4. Harold Waikiki

    Harold Waikiki oldfatdumbbrokeoutofshape

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    Oddometer:
    537
    Location:
    Kirkland, WA
    It's an awesome machine-just get it sorted out. How old is battery? Any shorts? Make sure connections to battery and any fuse blocks are tight and not corroded. Any wires rubbing on metal and rubbed through? Stator ok?
    #4
  5. summitdog

    summitdog It's an Azawakh

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    193
    Location:
    San Jose, California
    The mechanic is the best KTM mechanic in the area. He is at a KTM dealership and the only reason that the dealership is still around is largely because of his skillset.

    Scotty
    #5
  6. charlie264

    charlie264 Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,844
    Location:
    Blighty
    Nope, 6 1/2 years no real issues electrically. Longest off the road a week waiting for new parts. Sound like your mechanic is the issue here, the SE is a stripped down Adv 950....if anything the lack of electronics make even more reliable.
    #6
  7. jeffjones

    jeffjones "offroad shit"

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    Bahama
    It could also be a hand full of "free" fixes, it should be properly diagnosed before throwing parts at it..

    fyi if you hate it so much i'll gladly come give you a few grand to take it off your hands and rid you the misery of owning it.
    #7
  8. CA Stu

    CA Stu Thanks Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Oddometer:
    50,744
    Location:
    Riverside, CA
    Sounds like you need a wiring diagram.

    If you have the OEM clutch lever, pulling it in should make the clutch safety switch override the neutral position sensor and let the starter engage.

    As far as dying suddenly, was it when you let out the clutch? Because if so, that means that the kickstand safety switch thought the stand was down and cut the ignition.

    I've owned a 950 Adventure and a Super Enduro and have had zero electrical problems beyond regular battery replacement...:dunno

    Is there an independent motorcycle shop in your area? Sometimes they are a way better bet than a dealership.

    I'm sure it is pretty simple, just needs someone who knows how to troubleshoot electrics to take a gander at it. :thumb
    #8
  9. Off Road Ryder

    Off Road Ryder Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,212
    Location:
    Kent Wa
    at least your not asking us to read your ride reports:lol3

    I quadruple the mechanic statements. he's missing something. Throwing parts at a bike is not the answer, just cost you more in time, money and aggravation.

    I had a very similar issue with my bike, came down to a frayed wire that was very intermittent, Once I found that, the planets aligned and its been 950 bliss.
    #9
  10. Black Hills

    Black Hills Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,559
    Location:
    Western South Dakota
    i'm thinking new mechanic as well. he may be very good at a lot of things, but apparently electrical is not his area of expertise.
    #10
  11. Fat50Racer

    Fat50Racer Calle Racing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2013
    Oddometer:
    14
    Location:
    Thousand Oaks, Ca
    I'm in Cali. When you're ready to sell that Turd let me know. :evil
    I love polishing Turds to a showroom shine!



    Your mechanic may be awesome at many things (motor builds,drivetrains, carburation) but Electrical may not be his strong point.
    Besides dealer Mechanics generally love to replace parts. More $ for them. His employer!

    You need to find someone who truely likes to fix bikes and not replace parts. I lucky to have a family member that is the amazing at resolving electrical issues.
    #11
  12. spencergt66

    spencergt66 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    872
    Location:
    Lake Stevens WA
    At a dealer? Really not saying much... On an SE electrical issues are pretty much limited to the Battery or the regulator and the occasional FP Never had an issue with the one I had
    #12
  13. bigkuri

    bigkuri Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Oddometer:
    958
    Location:
    London, but am a Kiwi
    He replaced 6 regulator rectifiers? Ouch, not exactly cheap.

    The big thing is you usually hear them when they start to go.

    You can try to move it away from the heat, did that to mine as preventative...

    Love the SE electrics compared with other bikes they are simple. Start going over them yourself - good learning curve and ask loads of questions. Could be something as simple as a dirty fuse connection fixed with dielectric grease.

    [​IMG]
    #13
  14. charlie264

    charlie264 Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,844
    Location:
    Blighty
    :nod
    #14
  15. SE Steve

    SE Steve Super Noob

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    301
    Location:
    So Cal
    I replaced the regulator on my bike at about 7k. If you replace the battery and the bike fires up check the volts for a few minutes my bike would show working fine but after it started to warm up it would put out 18 volts and fry the battery 3 to be exact. Also my fuel pump went out after crashing in the middle of no were. Replaced it with a vacuum pump and rebuilt stock pump with a doctor bean kit so now I have a back up. There not perfect. But are a hell of a lot of fun.
    #15
  16. dzrtracin

    dzrtracin ride'n 2 live

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,123
    Location:
    the garage
    Lets start from the beginning, what happened that it went to the KTM mechanic in the first place? You said mechanical issues, if the issues you talk about now were not there prior to the KTM mechanic repairing the mechanical issues you need to back track. Its not uncommon for something else to wrong after repairing the initial problem, read about it all the time. The eyes are the most powerful tool god gave us. Good luck with the repair:1drink

    RIDE ON!
    #16
  17. renogeorge

    renogeorge Let's ride!!

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,189
    Location:
    Reno
    You need to acquire a digital meter do some BASIC mechanical work:

    Charge the battery, take it off the charger, let it sit for an hour and check voltage. if it's not at least 12.6 volts, battery is bad and nbothing else electrical will perform correctly. Check battery cables for clean and tightness.

    Then start the bike, let it idle and check voltage at the battery. If it's not at least 13.4 volts, you have a regulator or stator problem. Rev it up and note change in voltage. Should stay close to 13.2-13.6 volts.

    With no more info than you have provided, I would be betting on a bad battery and/or loose cables. If it is a speedo (?) or regulator problem at such low miles, I will buy you a beer.

    70,000+ miles on a 950 and 990 with no electrical problems. You need a new mechanic!!!!
    #17
  18. Kendrick

    Kendrick Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    124
    Location:
    Behind the Orange Curtain
    Decent amount of guys on this board with SE's. I would suspect if your issues were more commonplace we'd have heard about it by now (especially in regards to overall reliability). Doesn't seem to be the case. Don't throw out the baby with the bath water....with some minor sorting of known issues (fuel pump, VR, etc..), I think they're pretty stout actually. Get it sorted and flog it!
    #18
  19. DELTATANGO

    DELTATANGO Motorcyclist and Dog Walk

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    Oddometer:
    14,376
    Location:
    Alabama
    check batt terminals
    #19
  20. CA Stu

    CA Stu Thanks Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Oddometer:
    50,744
    Location:
    Riverside, CA
    Good grief that's good advice. Well done. :thumb
    Start with the simplest stuff.

    I once saved a guy's trip by checking his battery cables. He was ready to start cutting into his wiring harness and all kinds of crap, two tuns of a screwdriver and his bike was A-OK. Never met the guy before, turns out it was VegasGSA, at Salvation Mountain.

    [​IMG]

    And not to go into nanny mode, but asking the poor guy to sell his bike when he just needs a little help? :brow

    Come on, men.
    The guy had the gumption to ask for help, the least we can do is try and help him a bit.
    #20