KTM 990 Adventure Baja Ignition Wiring Harness Bad Installation - Check Your Bikes!!

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by NeptuneTriton, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. NeptuneTriton

    NeptuneTriton Been here awhile

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    DON'T GET STRANDED IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, CHECK YOUR BIKES!


    Hello All! I wanted to post this summary and a video review of what I believe is a common problem with the 990 Adventure Series. I did a search and found multiple other riders experiencing something very similar and I think I've found the root cause.

    I just experienced the exact same thing on my new 990 Baja. It has about 1,200 miles on it and it kept dying out randomly. At first I thought it was my kickstand safety switch or clutch safety switch acting up, but after some investigation they appeared to be fine.

    I then noticed it seemed to happen depending on handlebar position. As I moved the bar from right to left, just past the center line, the bike would die out. So I knew it had to be something to do with the wiring by the bars. After some more investigation, I found it to be the ignition wiring harness.

    The black plastic cosmetic cover on the right side of the bike, just behind the steering head bearing, has no provision to allow the ignition wire to move freely. It needs to be trimmed to allow the ignition wire harness to move freely and not get pinched against the frame. Adding to that, it was fastened so tightly that it was pressing the ignition harness against the frame of the bike. Because the harness could not move with the handlebars, it would flex in two points over and over and over again....leading to breakage in the wiring. This would immediately kill the engine. I'm lucky I found this while I was close to home and not out on a trail somewhere!! KTM needs to address this issue ASAP as I see a lot of other posts about the same thing.


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    #1
  2. NeptuneTriton

    NeptuneTriton Been here awhile

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    I made a video about it and uploaded it to YouTube for further clarification. Hopefully this will help anyone else experiencing the same problem find a solution quickly:

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2q6ym8ZdC-Q" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2q6ym8ZdC-Q




    While I was at the dealer yesterday submitting the warranty claim, I decided to check the new 990 Baja they had sitting on the showroom floor. Sure enough, same problem. The black plastic cover was pinching the ignition harness against the frame as well...so it's just a matter of time before the same thing happens to that bike as well.
    #2
  3. NeptuneTriton

    NeptuneTriton Been here awhile

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    Last but not least, in my research, I found some other people having the same issues. Some think it's because they've installed risers, other because of how the wiring is made, but I honestly think most of them are caused by the ignition harness getting pinched from the factory.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=934940

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=750127

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=264688

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=537448

    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=942420

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=315746

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=926540
    #3
  4. Night Falcon

    Night Falcon Adventure NZL

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    I am a big KTM fan but I have to say the wiring on some of their bikes is below par. :gerg
    #4
  5. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    NTSB should know about this .. they could force a recall since this easily could be a safety issue having your engine die pulling out into fast traffic.
    #5
  6. NeptuneTriton

    NeptuneTriton Been here awhile

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    And another guy just had this problem...on a 990 SMT. So it appears the issue isn't isolated to the 990 ADV lineup.

    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=956481

    I agree that KTM needs to address this and maybe issue a recall. My bike died on me in rush hour traffic this week which is dangerous.

    Maybe we should make this a sticky to see how many others are out there? Or at least make sure people know to check this in addition to the usual "my bike is cutting out" suspect list of kickstand and clutch safety switches gone awry.
    #6
  7. Rodknee

    Rodknee the post is mightier than the sword...

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    thanks for the post Neptune, although i did not have any issues with my bike, i will check my bike before talking it out again. Thank you sir! :freaky
    #7
  8. DirtyADV

    DirtyADV Long timer

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    Saw it as an issue also on my brand new 990R while adding some wiring for heated grips and some extra lights, trimmed some plastic away on the lower front part similar to how the other side is opened to allow the wiring on that side to pass easily:

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    /Johan
    #8
  9. Apple Jam

    Apple Jam Forest Flyer

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    Yep. It got me, too, exactly as you describe. Wire was broken inside the still good insulation for me. It looked just fine, and was a bitch to track down until I got my meter out to check continuity.
    #9
  10. Knobbiethrower

    Knobbiethrower ADV in ADK

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    Just checked mine,it's in the same condition as pictured. Currently on the to do list to get fixed.
    #10
  11. JohnnyWaffles

    JohnnyWaffles Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the pictures and detailed description, seriously. I've been tracking everyone elses similar issues and I'm thrilled this is now documented and easily preventable. It's disappointing on KTM's part, especially since I have the last model year and it's still an issue.
    #11
  12. tacosupreme

    tacosupreme Been here awhile

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    Just checked my 2012 dakar. Mine still worked, no problems yet but there was bare wire showing and it wouldn't have lasted long. So far, my new bike came from the dealer with smashed 02 sensor wires under the crash bars, an oil leak on the front cam chain tensioner, fuel line with a hole in it, and faulty ignition wires. Let's hope that's it. :huh EDIT: I just repaired the wires, heat shrink and wire loom on the entire length, and threw away the covers.
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    #12
  13. Duas Rodas

    Duas Rodas Been here awhile

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    I like to thank the original poster. Thanks Neptune :D
    Most likely I would eventually ended up stranded somewhere because of this :huh Just a matter of time...

    Here is what mine looks like.
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    I too am disapointed with KTM's wire routing issues!
    The bike is now on it's third Wheel Speed Sensor!!!! The original and first replacement were broken due to the wire being pulled when the handled bars were moved through from lock to lock. Bad routing and real stupid use of zip-ties was the culprid (twice) :norton
    The bike only has about 9,000km I think (both times I was on multi day trips and lost track of the mileage), so it's kind of ridiculous, isn't it? :puke1

    I have to find some pictures now...and start another thread on an alarming fuel line incident...

    Oh yeah, I still love the "Burra Branca".:ricky She's fun...
    #13
  14. GJ990

    GJ990 Been here awhile

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    Just checked mine. Same problem, can I just remove the black plastic thingy?
    #14
  15. speedy 1

    speedy 1 Wizard

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    Thanks for the heads up
    Looks like my bike will need some attention
    #15
  16. armourbl

    armourbl Adventure Life

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    Went straight to the garage and cut away some plastic. Thanks for the heads up.

    ben
    #16
  17. armourbl

    armourbl Adventure Life

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    There is a matching plastic thingy on the other side. They are joined together in the middle. If you remove one you need to remove the other. It looks to me that these are kind of simple water dams or something of the sort. With them removed you can see that snorkel/pre-filter would get more fresh air. Tempting for sure to remove them.

    ben
    #17
  18. Mr Head

    Mr Head PowerPoint ADV

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    I did the same thing. Mine had just started to bother the outside sheath.
    I guess the Austrians are every bit as stupid as the Germans.:lol3

    #18
  19. MKJ

    MKJ Married w/ Children

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    Love my 990R. Too bad KTM is too arrogant to recall this flaw.
    #19
  20. GJ990

    GJ990 Been here awhile

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    Well I fixed it and then decided to fix the other well known "design flaw" you would think KTM could have addressed by themselves.
    Wiring Harness:
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    Mud guard cutting the swing arm:
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    Fixed:
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    Thanks to the OP for the heads-up on the harness. Much appreciated and another endorsement of the good folks on this forum.
    #20