KTM RFS Stator/HID questions

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by JustDSM, May 20, 2013.

  1. JustDSM

    JustDSM Adventurer

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    I've just picked up my '07 KTM 450 EXC and after some research and fiddling around I have come up with some questions I'm hoping you can help me with. I'm pretty new to this stuff so be somewhat gentle :)

    So here's the scoop. My '07 EXC has a few modifications that the previous owner informed me of, and one of the ones that causes me some eye-brow lifting now that I'm educating myself on KTM's is the stator, and the DC conversion he mentioned. The bike is currently equipped with a Trail-Tech 100w stator and a "DC conversion". I had initially thought this was a wattage upgrade over stock being uninformed, but after reading the service manual and seeing KTM list the specs of the stock stator at 150w, why would anyone 1) spend the money on a Trail-Tech stator and 2) for 1/3 less wattage? The bike came with the stock headlight installed but he gave me a Trail-Tech X2 HID light as part of the deal.

    The other night I wanted to check out the HID light so I simply unclipped the rubber fork clamps and disconnected the connector and simply replaced the stock light with my X2 HID (which uses the OEM connector) for a plug-n-play installation. I flick my light switch to low and some flickering of the light occurs and then it comes on but randomly blinks and cuts out. I flick it to Hi, and the low beam goes out for a little while and some more flickering persists with no real stable output of the light.

    I'm really at a loss as to understanding what may be happening here. I am wondering if there is some fault with my X2 (why he didn't have it installed) that is causing this flickering. I pulled it a part and wonder if the ballasts are bad.. Anyhow, could it be part of the stator/DC conversion causing this? I'm really not sure what I should be looking at or checking. Any tips/ideas on what to poke with my DVM to help isolate the problem? The stock headlight runs just fine..

    Thanks for the help guys!

    Justin

    PS: Here's some pics of what might help, but mostly won't.. :)

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    #1
  2. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    I don't know the Trail Tech system, but I've used several HID lights. Did you have the Ignitor and Ballast installed in the correct order with your headlight? All should plug together, then plug into headlight. The 12V power should light it up. HID always flickers at first ... then jumps up to full brightness after about 30 seconds or so ... no flicker if working correctly.

    HID is typically about 3 times brighter than a stock H-4 Halogen bulb ... and it draws LESS current. That is why I installed HID on two of my bikes.
    HUGE improvement over stock lighting ... and my HID draws 20W less than my stock 55W H-4 bulb.

    Not sure the reason for the Trail Tech 100W Stator. Perhaps it's smaller or lighter weight? Some sort of race piece?

    If you do Adventure riding or travel on your bike ... then I would go back to the stock Stator and get back your 50 Watts. You'll need it. But KEEP the HID ... you'll love it. You might even have enough juice left to run Heated Grips (about 35 Watts).

    If you're a racer and ride daytime only ... then doesn't matter. You won't need a headlight often.

    Why not call up the PO and ASK about the system? Perhaps he would know how it all works?
    Good luck!
    #2
  3. clapped_r6

    clapped_r6 The Spoad Warrior

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    stock is an ac/dc split system, 10w or so dc for charging, and the rest for a/c lighting. it's not 150w, more like 85w or so.
    d/c conversion is popular, since some things need d/c to work (like HID (iirc) and LED lighting)

    grab a multimeter and start fishing around. join ktmtalk, good resource for nuts and bolts info (or just lurk and search in the RFS section, whatever q you have has probably been answered 205 times)

    my money is on the hid ballasts going bad, or a bad connection / wire somewhere on the headlight.
    #3
  4. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

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    +1.

    Did you try with the bike running, ideally with the engine revving higher? HID ballasts need a lot of power when they are igniting the bulb, stock wiring is fairly thin gauge so you are probably getting some voltage drop from the battery, too.

    Hook the light up directly to a strong battery, e.g. from a car to check if everything is ok first. Trailtech HID systems are not known for their reliability, unlike the stators. But their customer service is good, so you should be able to get it replaced if that's the problem.

    If the light checks out fine, then I'd look at battery condition and check voltage drop next.
    #4
  5. JustDSM

    JustDSM Adventurer

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    Good tips.

    I did fire the bike up, but I was working at an hour that did not allow for revving the bike :1drinkI'll check that first.. I also noticed the thin gauge wiring. I'll see what kind of voltage drop I'm seeing if for nothing else just to know.

    Thanks for sharing, I'll give these items a look-see and see what I come up with. I'll report my findings when I have something meaningful.
    #5
  6. ruppster

    ruppster Been here awhile

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    I just looked that HID unit up and it has 2-35W bulbs. You are going to have to have some RPM to run that. If it was a homebrew DC conversion, I would find a how-to and be sure it was done properly.
    #6
  7. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

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    With the stock KTM wiring high and low are not switched on at the same time, although I don't know how Justin's bike is set up.
    #7
  8. JustDSM

    JustDSM Adventurer

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    I've been super swamped with work lately, but I've got some time off this weekend that I intend to spend in the garage poking and prodding on my KTM. I need to get in touch with Trail Tech to find out if the upper or lower lamp is the 40w. I noticed that I have a 30w ballast and a 40w ballast and when I removed them for inspection I didn't notice the difference so no notes were made to identify which went where :huh Or by chance anyone following this know?

    But my bike is currently wired to have distinct high and low beams (not sure if low stays illuminated with high, but I believe it does) and my switch also has a "off" where both lamps are not illuminated. He told me that the lighting switch was aftermarket. You can see it in the pictures above.

    Thanks for the continued help. I will have some data this weekend for the voltage drop. I can't seem to get a break this week..
    #8
  9. JustDSM

    JustDSM Adventurer

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    Got a hold of Trail-Tech and they confirmed the lower bulb requires the 40watt ballast. I correctly reassembled it and tested the light independently from the bike (directly to my trucks battery) and the light operates as it should. The bulbs take a moment to warm up and illuminate to their full intensity.

    I didn't have time to poke and prod around like I wanted, but I did re-fit the X2 HID light back onto the bike and fired the bike up.. This timing I was able to rev it up a bit to eliminate low RPM and therefor stator output as a culprit. The light "worked" but is pretty fickle and not at all what I'd consider reliable. Which strikes me as odd, as the stock headlight with a inefficient H4 Halogen bulb is rock solid and dependable.

    More to follow..
    #9
  10. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junkie

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    I suspect there is something that's adding a load to the system (reducing the stator's output) enough at idle or the stator isn't putting out as it should. I've seen the X2 HID work reliably off the TT stator on an RFS.
    #10
  11. MKJ

    MKJ Married w/ Children

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    Don't discount the fact that the Trail Tech light is junk. I had multiple failures and am anticipating more. Mine will turn on without the motor running. Yours should too if installed correctly. If your battery is fully charged and it is still flickering, you probably have a faulty ballast (or two). I would get the Baja Designs Squadron. I have one of each on two different bikes.

    I just looked at your switch. You may have to do some extra work if you are using that switch. A diode might be needed to turn on the lights together (HI).
    #11
  12. JustDSM

    JustDSM Adventurer

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    Ok.. Some new data

    With the bike off, just sitting there I'm seeing 13.07volts at the battery.

    With the bike idling I'm seeing 14.4volts at the battery after slowly creeping up from 12.something from starting.

    Unplugging the headlight and probing the connector, I get 0.2ohm resistance on the ground. That's from the headlight plug to the battery negative terminal.

    With the headlight also unplugged I'm seeing 14.4v at the headlight plug with the bike running and the low/high beam switched on. That's using the ground and headlight + lead on the headlight harness.

    With the bike running the battery voltage drops to 12.68v at the battery (stock headlight, high or low did not change)

    With the bike running the voltage at the headlight plug, with the lamp on, is 10.8volts. Again, stock headlight.

    Seems like the stock headlight alone is pulling a ton of current. Does it sound like the previous owner did a "hack job" on the DC conversion modification?
    #12
  13. JustDSM

    JustDSM Adventurer

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    Here's my battery. Is this appropriate?

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    #13