maintenance on a 990 adv

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by turnitonagain, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. turnitonagain

    turnitonagain Been here awhile

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    I'm considering a KTM 990 ADV for a cross canada run 2-up. I hear all of these things about KTM's being very fussy, and more difficult to maintain, I just want to hear from a KTM rider's perspective what the REALITY is, and their personal overall opinion of the machine. I am green to the adv motorcycle segment so, any insight will be helpful.
    #1
  2. crofrog

    crofrog Long timer

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    They aren't the easiest thing to work on but they aren't hard either. I think it'll depend on how comfortable you are at working on your own bike.
    #2
  3. grinns

    grinns Semper Fi

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    Worth the trouble, but probably not the best bike two up.
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  4. bikepsych

    bikepsych Been here awhile

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    Compared to most Japanese bikes the maintenance takes significantly more time. But what you get in terms of a high performance bike is well worth it. Not sure I'd call it "fussy." I beat the heck out of my bike and it rewards with a ton of power and plenty of grins! :D
    #4
  5. Desperate

    Desperate Adventurer

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    Yes maintenance is fiidly, but with the oil change every 7,500 km and valves, coolant every 15,000 km there is a lot of riding between maintenance intervals so whether it is 1 hr or 4 hrs to do the oil change does it really matter compared to the enjoyment.

    The most important is to do the first time in the comfort of your own garage to get your head around it and become familiar with the bike and list the tools that you should take with you if you think that you will need to do again in the field.

    People have added a valve to the oil tank but I think it makes it more vulnerable.
    #5
  6. xcflyn

    xcflyn Long timer

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    You will get good at changing tires :D
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  7. Katoom119

    Katoom119 Mmmm....Orange Kool-aid

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    Many people have taken long trips 2 up on them; I'm heading to Alaska next year with my wife. These were built by KTM, and KTM builds race ready bikes, so you have to TAKE CARE of it. You can't ride it ragged and park it like a Japanese bike.

    That being said it is incredibly easy to do general maintenance on and with the OC here we can talk you through just about all of it.
    #7
  8. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    If you dont take care of a DR, and especially a KLR, they will leave you walking home as well. You need to look after any bike. The routine work on the KTM Adventure is just more of a PITA because of all the shit you have to take off to get to it. The SE is quite a bit easier because of that IMO.

    As far a toughness, the 990 is one tough bike. I've thrashed mine pretty hard and even zip tied it together and rode it 500 miles home after I got hit by a truck in Baja. Its not fragile, thats for sure.
    #8
  9. two trackin fool

    two trackin fool Long timer

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    Ok guys I went and did all the paper work at the stealership on Saturday to buy a 2010 :evil .

    I should here from the finance dept today if all is well I plan to pick up this Saturday :clap .

    I keep looking for negetive input about his bike ! So far unable :huh ? Don't get me wrong like I say the plan is set , But is this bike really this good ??

    Is there any thing I need to know about as far as Expence to be ready for or that I need to leave the dealer ship with ?

    Should I buy the warrenty ??

    I plan for this bike to not be sold a way .
    I am getting off a KLR . And I am a mechanic doing maintance is not a problem .

    Just Curious Thanks :freaky
    #9
  10. Bob_Wilson

    Bob_Wilson Adventurer

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    Let me give you some positives. :D

    My wife and I have just completed UK - Ushuaia (Argentina) - Deadhorse (Alaska) - New York - UK. 53,000 miles and nine months.

    We were two up with camping gear. Seven sets of tyres, three sets of brake pads, one set of fork seals and serviced every 4,500 miles. The bike performed amazingly and the only thing that broke was my GPS mount, once on the Carretera Austral (Chile) and the other time on the Dalton Highway (Alaska)

    Much of South America was gravel and sometimes worse. I had the seat re-worked before we left the UK and we sometimes did 450 mile days no problem.

    I Also have a BMW 1200 GSA and bought the KTM because I thought it was more suited to this journey (two up riding). I was right.
    #10
  11. turnitonagain

    turnitonagain Been here awhile

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    I'm not a very good mechanic, or am comfortable doing maintenance on my bike. Unfortunately, I don't have that skill, I enjoy to ride the machine! My journey will take me through some remote stretches of Canada, and I want to make sure that the machine I chose is not only capable, but reliable to get me, my passenger, and gear across and back without being stuck in the middle of nowhere. Many people are giving me mixed messages about the 990 ADV, saying "It's not a good bike for the journey 2-UP Especially!" "Parts, are difficult to find" "Maintenance, is tough to perform on these especailly on the road, AND not just anybody can work on KTM's" "You need to baby it, because its such a HI-PO machine, you can't ride it the way you ride any other bike"

    With all of these things being said, I'm not sure what to make of the KTM? I love and respect what it can do, but are all of these said things true? Is it the right machine for my XC journey 2-up. Is it 100% dirt biased? That's why I pose these questions to the KTM OWNERS and RIDERS to help me figure out if this machine is the weapon of choice for my battle.

    Thanks
    #11
  12. rotten

    rotten LOST AGAIN

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    IMHO if you need to ask you have already answered the question. There are may bikes to chose from and you are unlikely to get responses in this forum that will chase you away from the KTM. When it comes down to it and you really want the 990 (Who doesn't its a great bike) buy it and learn along the way or plan your trip with planned stops at KTM dealers along the way. It is also true that you can't ride it like other bikes but so much harder, the normal putt through the woods or highway would drive most KTM owners insane with the burning need to destroy the rear tire. Plenty of folks have ridden these bikes RTW passing some of the most hostile environments in the world. Just make sure you buy the bike that makes you comfortable and speaks to you when you get on the saddle. Yamaha Super Tenere for instance has scheduled maintenance for valve adjustments in the 26K mile range and shaft drive so you don't have to worry about the chain (everything has a minus shafts too). all in all get what calls to you everything else will be the journey.

    Good Luck!
    #12
  13. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    I've ridden my 2007 990 2 up quite a bit. It works. Is it comfortable 2 up for long days? Not really IMO. But my feeling is that 2 up on a bike kinda sucks no matter what.

    Before I took off on a 50,000 mile 2 year journey, I had "experts" telling me that it was not the right bike, it would break down all the time and I would be sorry that I ever bought it.

    I had already ridden the bike about 10,000 miles, mostly off pavement and off road. I loved the bike so I took it anyway and my real life experience couldnt have been further from the advice of the "expert" peanut gallery, mostly guys that adventure ride to Starbucks on a GS.

    I was prepared for the known issues: Water pump, fuel filters, clutch slave, some various electrical parts that need to be cleaned occasionally, etc. I was familiar with the bike, its issues and prepared to do all my own work.

    Every bike has issues. The biggest PITA on the KTM is doing the water pump change when you dont have a nice work space. But, using a CJ Designs water pump shaft will considerably lengthen the change interval. I always carried a WP kit and fuel filter kit in the glove box. I tended to go through rear brakes pretty fast in the mountians so I carried a spare set when I could find them. There are brakes for a Honda, cant remember what model, but with a little grinding they would fit the rear of the 990. Chains of course need to be changed and the 525 is not always easy to find depending on what part of the world you are in. But, chain life is pretty long, so you can prepare and plan when you will need one, and change it before it gets too far gone. Plan, prepare, adapt, improvise. Always best done in that order.

    I looked over the bike and the end of each day. Touched every fastener I could get to, daily. That only takes a bit of time and gives you the opportunity to really look over the bike and catch things that might be going wrong. I changed oil and air filters as often as I could. I changed wheel bearing and steering stem bearings before they became an issue, bled brakes, etc, etc. Never had any issue that I was not expecting, or an issue not caused myself by unnecessarily thrashing the shit out of the bike or crashing into stuff.

    IMO its a very solid bike for extended world travel. I was very happy with the bike.

    Whatever you throw at it, or crash into, this bike can handle it.

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    #13
  14. turnitonagain

    turnitonagain Been here awhile

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    Well, I'm coming from a Harley Davidson and I'm assuming the ride and the manner of riding is totally different. I'm not looking to be doing 180KM/hr on the trip, but most of the route is blacktop, with the exception of the Dempster, and a few fire roads in the route. I'm just looking to ride the motorcycle and get across the country in the most suitable machine for the job (I know there are TONS of other capable machines) it's just that the KTM 990 has such an amazing pedigree that I wanted to explore more and more about it.
    #14
  15. crofrog

    crofrog Long timer

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    Better than you can even imagine.

    HA! Your mind will be blown after getting off a bike that's as much of a turd as a KLR.
    #15
  16. crofrog

    crofrog Long timer

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    Regardless of what bike you choose venturing into remote area's with out knowing how to work on your own stuff is an exercise in hope.
    #16
  17. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    :thumb
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  18. turnitonagain

    turnitonagain Been here awhile

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    I agree with this statement wholeheartedly!
    #18
  19. turnitonagain

    turnitonagain Been here awhile

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    All in all, From the KTM Riders, Owners, perspective how would you rank your 990 ADV in all honesty, and what are it's strengths and weaknesses that a new buyer should be aware of.

    thanks
    #19
  20. Katoom119

    Katoom119 Mmmm....Orange Kool-aid

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    Strengths: everything. You cannot kill this bike. It will allow you to go much further with less skill than any other brand of bike. Everything is of a higher quality and therefore works better, allowing you to focus more on riding the terrain than worrying about hurting the bike.

    Weaknesses: the only real one in my mind is the water pump, but it's an every 10,000 - 20,000 mile issue. Everything else just comes down to does the bike feel comfortable to you when you ride it.

    If you're coming from a Harley I'm assuming that every scheduled maintenance work was done by a Harley dealership. I'm not trying to be an ass, far from it. I'm just trying to determine what level of skill you have to work on a bike and most Harley owners I've encountered just take it to a dealership to be serviced.

    If you can change the oil in anything then you can do most of the work on the bike. If you have good attention to detail then I daresay you can probably do 90% of the work on the bike. I was pretty comfortable only changing the oil in the bike and that's because when I grew up riding KTM dirt bikes that's all I had to do. Thanks to the OC, I've learned far more about my bike than I ever thought I could and when I find someone to show me how to check the valves I'll never take my bike back to the dealer again. There is a wealth of information about the bike here and if you are mechanically inclined at all and can pay attention, you can work on this bike, easily.

    Maintenance wise you just have to be aware of what can happen, like Crashmaster said. Yes this is a high performance machine and yes you have to take care of it, but it's sort of like the difference between a Ford and a Ferrari. Both are reliable, both require work. With a Japanese brand bike you can get away with a bit more in my experience. Go further between oil changes before it starts shifting poorly, run the air filter dirtier, things like that. The KTM, being built more as a race ready bike, doesn't allow as much leeway. You can still beat on it, yes, but if you run it like a Jap bike you'll see a slight decrease in performance. Again, personal experience, and no one ever said I knew what I was talking about.

    As far as babying the bike that's just the wrong idea. This bike was designed to withstand the Paris-Dakar Rally and unless you try to take it on a motocross track or ride it in a manner that's just stupid, you won't hurt it. Remember, it's a 500 pound monster, not a motocross bike. There are a lot of people here that can do things with them that I never would even attempt but they are far, far superior riders than I.

    Would I buy one for what you're trying to do? Yes, in a heart beat. They are easy to work on, they perform flawlessly when maintained, but just realize that there may be times where you're doing the work yourself. If you're traveling you may not find a KTM dealer in every town like you will a Japanese brand or maybe even a BMW. That being said, in your case, I would go out and look at the BMW 1200 GS, the Triumph Explorer, and the Yamaha Super Tenere before buying one so that you have a frame of reference to which you can compare everything.
    #20