Parts source for older 80-90's KTM ?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by IronSpadeCycles, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. IronSpadeCycles

    IronSpadeCycles Button Pusher

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    243
    Location:
    Houston TX
    In 1995 I bought a used 1981 KTM 390 EXC. The bike was a great trails and forest machine and since I was living in Denver at the time it was a fun bike to take up into the hills on the weekends. It was a workhorse and never let me down, but sadly was stolen from my apt storage unit just weeks before I moved into a home with a garage. The local KTM dealer at the time was a small mom and pop shop that really took care of their clientel and I could easily get parts for my bike at a reasonable price. Then a larger shop, Fay Meyers Honda, secured the rights to sell KTM exclusively in CO and absorbed the small mom and pop's entire stock of NOS and new parts for the older bikes and immediately marked everything way up 200% or more from the other shops pricing. I was distraught about losing the bike to an asshat with a habit but the fact that my local parts supplier had all but dried up I replaced the bike with a Honda XR600R and all was right with the world.

    Fast forward 14 years and its 2010 and I've moved back to TX where I'm originally from. As I was getting ready to ride my 2001 XR400R across the country for a month a deal that seemed too good to pass up came up on CL for a 1990 KTM 350 GS in great shape. It hadn't been ridden for several years but the bike was right down the street from my cousin's house in Austin and and had a box full of spare parts with it. I had him buy it for $500 and off I left for my trip.

    When I returned from 5200 miles in 29 days, I figured it was time to see just what I had bought for the money. I drove up to Austin in my truck and loaded the bike and about $2K worth of spare parts that came with it and headed back to my shop. I spent about 4 hours cleaning the carb, draining the 5.0 gallon enduro/desert tank, replacing the filter and with a gallon of new premix she fired right up. I took her out for an eye opening ride only to realize I had no brakes, the lever and pedal had no pressure. I almost collected a barbed wire fence but I was able to down shift and skid to slowdown. I got the bike back to my shop, drained the carb and it has sat dormant ever since. I just have too many bikes to ride before this one and honestly I've been having second thoughts about spending too much time in the saddle if parts for these older KTM's are so hard to find. I think it still has plenty of life left, but parts break under the best of situations, I'd hate to have something substantial, and un-replaceable for that matter, break while riding.

    I'd almost like to find some key internal engine parts, buy them in advance and sit on them, ride the bike till they wear out, replace and sell the bike then. But is it too late? Are these parts all gone? I've been looking for some internal engine parts like the water pump impeller, gaskets, seals, piston kits, bearings, etc.... and it seems like they just don't exist anymore.

    Does anyone have any leads on older KTM models parts?

    Thanks for your help in advance. Talk soon. Travis
    #1
  2. tacosupreme

    tacosupreme Been here awhile

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    #2
  3. IronSpadeCycles

    IronSpadeCycles Button Pusher

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    243
    Location:
    Houston TX
    Taco, thanks for looking for that for me, but alas this is the 2stroke 350cc enduro model. I think most external chassis parts are available from various suppliers but the internal engine parts are all almost impossible to find. I purchased the KTM service manuals via an online source but the manuals are more like a parts list from KTM, if the numbers still jive I can probably search the new KTM data base but who knows if they ever undated after the bankruptcy restructuring in the 90's. Clymer never made a service manual for any of the early KTM's and other than a few reprinted copies, I've never even seen a real Shop service manual for these early year models.

    I think with a bit of searching I should be able to find bearings and maybe even seals but a piston kit, clutch plates, cables, gaskets, air filters, water pump impeller, etc... may be the tough items to find. I'm almost certain this is a chrome lined cylinder so really just a new set of rings is needed and then the top end will be an expensive fix if the cylinder wears out.

    I like the bike, and I will take care of it as I'm in my 40s and I have a collection of many motorcycles, all of which get love most of the time, I'm just thinking ahead, if I'm going to enjoy it, I want to make sure I can find the parts to maintain it too. Thanks again for your help.

    Talk soon, Travis
    #3
  4. MZRider

    MZRider Neo-Luddite

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
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    783
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    Western MD