Octane for KTM LC4 Adventure

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Doc_Busa, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. Doc_Busa

    Doc_Busa Been here awhile

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    Hey guys, I spent last night reading the owner's manual on the '03 KTM Adv. I saw the "95 Octane required" warning... I did the search here and saw a post that our 91-92 Octane is the same as Europes 95. Great. However, I intend to do a lot of Mexico riding and sometime I am buying gas out of old water bottles... I tried carrying octane boost the last time, and one can burst in my bag making a terrible mess...

    So, any definitive words on true minimal octane to avoid detonation/preignition? I certainly know what CAN happen as I had the turbo busa eat pistons going lean... TWICE!

    Thanks
    #1
  2. Mack

    Mack Gone, but never forgotten. RIP, Mack...

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    So far nothing I have run in Mexico has given my 2002 ADV that least bit of a problem, but between octane booster and the swichable map on your 03, it should not be an issue. (The octane boost was available at most of the Pemex stations.) A dash switch might be a nice mod for your switchable ignition map??
    #2
  3. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul Super Moderator

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    I have an '01 Adv, and AFAIK, there's no switchability for the ignition advance on that model, but that's on an antique system with no TPS.

    I also dunno if there was a compression increase in the '03+ motors.

    But, I have rejetted my '01 as it was painfully lean from the factory. Since, I have ridden nearly 3,000 miles in Mexico on their Magna grade (~87 octane I think) and have detected no preignition or detonation issues at all.

    YMMV.
    #3
  4. Doc_Busa

    Doc_Busa Been here awhile

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    Switchable map? I did not notice mention of this in the owners manual...??? :huh Are you sure?
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  5. kurtw

    kurtw Child of the Wind

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    Can someone in the know tell us what years have the switchable ignition and exactly where the plug is? I think my '03 has it. But after a few half-assed attempts to find it while doing other maintainence, I'm still not certain I know where it's at... :ear
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  6. Mack

    Mack Gone, but never forgotten. RIP, Mack...

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    Well, my LC4's are all pre 2003, so I don't have first hand experience, but your 2003 should have come with a Kokusan 4k5 ignition with TPS, and KTM made a big deal about this, and it's ability to run low octane fuel using the alternate ignition map Though I can't see that you would ever need to do so.
    #6
  7. Gaz

    Gaz Slow Man

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    The brown black cable/connector under the RHS sidecover, when joined, activates the 95 oct plus curve, pull apart for 80-94 oct ('03)

    Gaz
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  8. overlandr

    overlandr Dystopist

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    Its 03 and presumably 04. Have a good look on this forum with google and you'll find it - its been covered in detail. Otherwise, errm, Creeper?.... :wink:
    #8
  9. CountPacMan

    CountPacMan Been here awhile

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    ok, a few corrections to my original post have been made(thanks everyone for pointing out my errors!) - namely to the 2002-2004 models with which I got the connection backwards. As I said, I have a 2000 and am more familiar with that, so that original info was correct.

    The 2003(and maybe 2002 and 2001? somebody with a 2001 should check on this for me) through current models have a CDI with two ignition curves. The default is for 95 RON and the other is for 80 RON. In Mexico, where you said you were going, the octane is measured in RON (Research Octane Number) as it is in most of the world. In the USA we use (RON+MON)/2 so this is the average of RON and MON(Motor Octane Number). These numbers vary about 10 so a RON of 95 is about the same as a MON of around 85. So in the USA an octane rating of 91 is equivalent to 95 RON.

    Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the CDI just sends signal to spark a little earlier when switched to the 80 RON mode preventing pre-ignition when using low octane fuel. On the 2003 - current models, KTM used the new Kokusan CDI, KTM part number 584.39.031.500. I think they used this for all electric-start KTMs from 2003 - current regardless of model.

    How to guide for the 2003 - 2004 LC4 Adventure:

    Turn OFF your bike all the way - no lights, no instruments, etc...

    Remove the right side plastic panel(opposite the exhaust!) and you will see a black box straped with a thick black rubber band. This is the CDI. There is a mess of wires heading out of this thing to the wiring harness. Find a black and brown wire connected with a nifty socket thingy(keep digging through the wires until you find it! Sometimes they are tucked well out of the way.) When they are connected like this, this triggers the 95 octane setting (default). Now DISCONNECT the wires by disconnecting the socket thingy. This just breaks a circuit and will tell the CDI that you are not in Kansas anymore and to take it easy on the engine - 80 RON mode! Tuck the wires back together out of the way(make sure that the DISCONNECT you made stays DISCONNECTED), put the plastic panel back on, start the bike, and go for a ride. You should feel a slight difference - it feels a bit lacking in power especially on the top end, but its nothing drastic. When on the 80 RON mode your fuel economy will suffer a bit as well. You can go back and forth between these two settings all you want. It won't hurt anything - just don't switch it when the bike is on! Supposedly you can fry the CDI that way, so it's probably better to play it safe.

    How to guide for the 1997 - 2002 LC4 Adventure:

    I have a 2000 Adventure, so I'm more familiar with this. The CDI that came with it is the earlier Kokusan that wasn't switchable, KTM part # 584.39.031.200. Here there are two options: order the new 584.39.031.500 or order the Europe ONLY 584.39.031.300. The difference between the two is the wiring harness connecters. The 584.39.031.500 that we can order in the USA from any dealer should work on 1997 - 2002 models just fine, but you'll have a fun time installing the thing since you need to know which wires to splice into on the wiring harness as the connecters don't match. I'm not an electrician so I ordered the 584.39.031.300 from KTM Sommer in Germany. It looks EXACTLY like the 584.39.031.200, having the same wiring harness connectors, but has two additional wires coming out of it. One is RED/black and the other BLACK/red. This CDI comes with NO instructions whatsoever, so I had to talk to the guys at KTM Sommer to figure out that when these two wires are CONNECTED - 95 RON and DIS-connected - 80 RON. YES, you make a LOOP for the 95 RON. These wires will not be connected to the wiring harness!

    In the pic you can see my CDI and a blue wire holder coming out of it, then a bunch of wires coming out of it. The red and red/black wires make a loop connection for 95 RON. Disconnect for 80. Ignore the mess of red/black wires in the top-left corner - those are for my alarm:

    [​IMG]

    And now for the fun:

    It works. When riding through Siberia last summer I had to use 80 ocatane a few times. No problem when switched to the low octane mode. I actually ran 92 octane most of the way through Russia and kept the CDI on the 95 octane mode. Doesn't ping if you don't push it hard. Pings like crazy on 80 RON though if you don't switch it.

    Mongolia was a bigger test as outside of the bigger towns there is only 72 or 76 (claimed) octane. It looks very much like diesel - very oily. Once the pump attenant started pumping (human powered - no electricity) and I didn't notice it actually WAS diesel until a couple liters had gone down the tank! Mixed it with some nice 72 RON and all was well. The switched CDI handled it great.

    And the not so fun:

    CDI fried of its own accord in Vladivostok grounding me for 3 weeks while I waited replacement. I don't know if 584.39.031.300 is less reliable than the previous 584.39.031.200 or the later 584.39.031.500, but I think I must mention it. I replaced it with another 584.39.031.300 and it has been trouble free ever since (20,000 km).

    Hope this helps someone. I sure had a lot of questions when I first went down this CDI path and I really had to struggle to find the answers.
    #9
  10. Doc_Busa

    Doc_Busa Been here awhile

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    EXCELLENT POST! :thumb Where did you post the pictures from that trip, it sounds amazing.

    Thanks so much!!!
    #10
  11. Mack

    Mack Gone, but never forgotten. RIP, Mack...

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    CountPacMan, Lot's of good info, much appreciated. By any chance did you wire yours up with an external switch. ( Based on the feedback I have gotten from RTW guys, it sounds like it might be a good idea to put a switch guard over it, as I'm told kids end up flipping switches when the bike is unattended.)

    I had not thought about Fuel in Russia and the Far East, I knew the African stuff was an issue, so it made a lot of sense for the Euro spec ADV's. As far as I know I have yet to hear anyone in South and Central America complain, that is unless they had secondary problems with how their LC4 mounts were running. (I have been following this, as I plan to hop up my bike, and as the HP rises, I'm concerned that fuel quality might then become a problem.)

    Thanks Again, Mack
    #11
  12. overlandr

    overlandr Dystopist

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    Believe that the 80 octane setting retards the ignition ie its later than 95 ron setting - hence the reason why power is down. :ear
    #12
  13. Mack

    Mack Gone, but never forgotten. RIP, Mack...

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    I wonder if the Sommer KTM box accepts TPS input, as my 2002 has a FCR equiped with TPS?
    #13
  14. AusieRob

    AusieRob Just Gas It!!

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    Oh hail thee CountPacMan :bow
    You pain has enlighten us all

    Thanks for the write up..

    This should be added to the list of all things KTM to keep :deal
    #14
  15. inte

    inte neophyte serendipity

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    Man this thread has some amazing information!! I have an '03 Adventure that was Larry Rosseler's bike for a Dirt Rider photo op (March '03) - other than some suspension & exhaust upgrades it's stock.

    Until this thread I had heard of the ignition mapping ability, but had no idea how to do it ... never messed with it.

    FWIW - I always run regular in the states & whatever I can get in Mexico - did a 4-day stint down there & the bike didn't seem to run any different at all. It seems the fuel (gasoline) quality can be a little random - a later trip that I wasn't on had a bad load of fuel that fouled up the carbs of several XR400s - disassembly/inspection revealed what looked like sand in the float bowls... octane booster wouldn't help that much I imagine.
    #15
  16. Steelhead

    Steelhead It's all good

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    Now thats some great info. :thumb :thumb

    I'm soon heading down to Mexico for a month and may need this info.
    Thanks for taking the time to post this.
    #16
  17. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    Rock on PacMan! :super

    Do you have a website with those adventures on it? Or maybe posting some here? :ear
    #17
  18. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    creeper is at vrago's LC4 Tech Daze all weekend. You probably won't hear from him, or vrago, or PASSMORE, or boejangles... I can't go - poor me.
    #18
  19. PASSMORE

    PASSMORE Just the last name...

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    You whinning sissy la la, titsy baby, candy ass, rooty poop.

    Love ya lots, see ya later... sorry you couldn't make it. We're having lots LOTS of fun here.

    Bye Wanker,
    Creep
    #19
  20. Gaz

    Gaz Slow Man

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    CountPacMan, I think you have it wrong. When the wires are connected it is the 95 octane curve. Reading it directly from the KTM technical bulletin in front of me.
    #20