2011 Ktm 990 adventure overheating issues

Discussion in 'Dakar champion (950/990)' started by Routs, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. Routs

    Routs Adventurer

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    Question to the forum!
    For the last 6 months my bike has been getting little use due to it abnormally running hot. For this model 6 bars on the gauge is normal operating temp. It has always gone up to 9 bars in traffic and slow riding which is when the fans kick in. This has always managed to drop the temp and then the fan would cycle on and off as expected.
    On a recent trip away I found that I had to keep the bike above 80km/hr to stop temp rising to 7 bars. After returning, I rode it in traffic and the temp climbed until the fan kicked in and then kept going until temp gauge started flashing and I had to shut it down. Now even at around 29 degree Celsius ambient temp the bike is running at 7 bars on gauge even at 100 km/hr and can not handle slow riding.
    I have tried everything, flushed and rebuilt water pump, new thermostat and radiator cap, flushed radiator. Nothing changed, still it's like the radiator is not big enough for bike.
    I have resorted to second fan and lower temp thermo switch and running engine ice. It controls it but now fans run continually at speeds up to about 70 km/Hr and bike still runs at 7 bars at highway speed, fans even come on at highway speed.
    Every time I drain the coolant to try something new I burp the thing as manual says, I've even tried laying it on side to get more air out but I can only ever get about 1.8 litres in it, that's with overflow tank as well. Book says it should take 2.1 litres. Has anyone actually measured how much coolant they are getting in their 990 adventure? Because I can not get another drop in mine!
    #1
  2. Peanuts

    Peanuts Long timer

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    I get the last bit of air out by having the bike on the centre stand, removing the radiator cap, standing on the radiator cap side of the bike and lifting the bike by the handlebars until it balances on the rear wheel and left leg of the centre stand.

    It also may be worth replacing the radiator cap and checking the surface on the radiator is clean and undamaged so the cap gets a good seal.
    #2
  3. zeropoint

    zeropoint Been here awhile

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    I have had similar problems with my 2011 since new. I fitted the 2nd fan and lower temp thermostatic fan switch in preparation for a hot trip to southern europe. My bike would only run at 6 bars at highway speed. Anything less in hot ambient temps and the gauge would start to climb towards 9 or 10 bars. In steep mountain twisties or off road the fans would both be on pretty much all the time. I also noticed that I the level in the coolant expansion tank would drop ever so slowly. Thankfully I've never actually overheated though. Pretty sure I would with only the single fan though.

    I actually removed the lower temp fan switch as I couldn't bear the hot air being blown at me all the time. Dealer checked the system for leaks and I told them to triple check it was thoroughly burped. Replaced the Rad cap but haven't had a chance to check in hot conditions since. Here in the UK where it rarely gets hot I haven't had any problems but once the temp goes over 30 degrees C I have to keep an eye on it.

    When I get it out again I'm going to stick engine ice in there and burp it myself and see where I get to.....
    #3
  4. Katoom72

    Katoom72 Been here awhile

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    Something ain't right. My fan only has to kick in when im standing still in hot weather and it goes on and off so the temp stays stable.

    You have a pressure or a flow problem.

    Did you flush the system and engine with a waterhose?
    #4
  5. Black Hills

    Black Hills Long timer

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    I had the same problem until I bled the system using the bolt at the water pump.
    #5
  6. Routs

    Routs Adventurer

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    Hey Zeropoint, sounds as if yours is doing something similar. The bike worked fine though up to about 9000km, has 12000km on it now.
    I'm also thinking of changing back to stock thermo switch as the bike is just that bit too hot to let the fans switch off with the after market one.
    I have no leaks in system, the overflow tank does its job and gains a slight amount of fluid when hot and loses it again when it cools.
    The hole cooling system is clean as is the bike and radiator and I have fitted a new rad cap as said in earlier post. Have even checked both new and old thermostat in a pot of water on the stove. Both open at around 75 degree C.

    I have flushed the engine/ system with hose. Have even disconnected radiator top and bottom hoses and ran hose through system while bike was running. Water comes out spotless! Then flushed with coolant to get all water out then put new coolant in and buttoned back up. Still runs the same. Can only ever get max of about 1.8 litres in the system though. I always have water pump top bleeder out until it fills. Then do it up and keep filling until it comes out radiator bleeder. I squeeze the hoses to get air out of them and I have even tried filling with 100 ml increments to avoid air locks.

    I agree with Katoom72, seems like a flow problem as what you describe is how the bike used to work. But fluid flows through radiator once up to temp and thermostat opens as I have checked with cap off radiator. I took radiator to get professionally cleaned and flow tested by rad shop. But I have my doubts weather they did much except tell me what I wanted to hear so they could take my money.
    Not sure what else to do except take all after market bits off and take bike to ktm dealer and say sought this shit out.
    #6
  7. Quij95

    Quij95 Adventurer Supporter

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    Just a guess, but how does the pump impeller look. That is a common problem with dirt bikes.
    #7
  8. Zuber

    Zuber Zoob Supporter

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    Try pulling the grill guard off the radiator. It will improve the slow speed temps.
    #8
  9. ICERIDER

    ICERIDER Adventure Rider

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    I would do the factory burp as advised, although I nomally just do a Peanuts type of burp myself. Remove the rear wheel and get the front up. Open everything you can see, and end up with the bike tilted to the left before you top it off.

    If it is full of coolant and burped like you say it is, that eliminates that.

    I was thinking first of all that something was not right with your temperature indication, but if you say the fans are working overtime and actually dumping heat, then yes the engine is actually producing excessive heat and it is being circulated correctly through the rad.

    If you look into the rad when it's hot (don't get scalded) you should see the flow as you increase revs. And as you say it is dumping a lot of heat then it could be that the cooling system is doing it's job and the problem is elsewhere. i.e. the engine is producing excessive heat for some reason.

    Is your oil the correct grade/clean/filter clean/correct level?
    Are you running the correct fuel/correct fuel grade map?
    Are your valves adjusted correctly?
    Correct spark plugs? (what do they look like?)
    Is the engine running smoothly or hunting?

    I'd go through all these first before going to the dealer.
    #9
  10. mario848

    mario848 Adventurer

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    this^
    #10
  11. Routs

    Routs Adventurer

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    I have thought about temp sensor as well but my thoughts were that the thermostat is opening when the gauge hits six bars which is normal and the fans were coming on at nine bars with original thermo switch, which is normal. These two things happen independently of temp gauge sensor so it must be ok.
    Oil is as per the manual, filters were fine on last change which wasn't long ago. I always run premium fuel. I got a second dealer to check the map the other day and he said it is the correct one for the akro pipes. Bike runs smoothly and I checked the valves at about 7000km out of interest and two of them were out of tolerance on the tight side. So I set back in tolerance. I am still running original plugs but bike starts and runs smooth as. Can valves being out of tolerance affect the temperature?

    And I have taken rad guard off for a run down the tar, no different!
    #11
  12. Routs

    Routs Adventurer

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    When I pulled the water pump cover off I found that the impeller had scuffed the inside of the water pump cover. Thinking this can't be normal and I had found the problem. I ordered new parts to rebuild the water pump only to find the new parts were no different to the ones I had taken out. There was no movement in the original impeller shaft, so bearings had not collapsed. I rebuilt it anyway. Funny thing was the ktm dealer had the same opinion as me. So much for there expert knowledge. I think the tolerance must just be so fine that the impeller fins slightly scuff the inside of cover ever so lightly. Other than that it was all perfect.
    #12
  13. ICERIDER

    ICERIDER Adventure Rider

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    I was thinking of the rad guard too, but if it makes no difference...

    Yes the valves could produce excessive heat if they were too tight, or if the timing was miles out, but if all is good then that is ruled out. Anything to require higher throttle settings. How is your fuel consumption?

    It's hard to think what would produce so much more heat without showing up as damage in some form. As a long shot could an oil jet be not functioning properly somewhere inside and not carrying heat to the oil?

    I don't have much experience running in 30+ temps but I guess somewhere around that the bike will reach it's upper design temp where everything is approaching max tilt. But it shouldn't require shutting down with flashing red light etc.
    #13
  14. Routs

    Routs Adventurer

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    Fuel consumption is same as it always has been, I get close to 300km on a full tank using reserve depending on position of right hand.
    If it's an oil jet I would have no way of knowing until something went bang I would presume. But I have done about 3000km just testing different things since realising there was a definite problem. So would have thought something would have broke if it was an oil jet.
    Anything below 30 degrees C in Australia is a cool day. But as I have said for the first 7000 to 8000 km the bike seemed to operate as you would expect.
    It did start using oil 200ml/1000km after about 6000km though which really annoyed me but ktm Australia said that was well within limits and would not do anything. Bike still runs great, no smoke, no oil in air box and no leaks. Not sure if the two could be connected.
    #14
  15. KMC1

    KMC1 There is no spoon.

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    Have you read your plugs? It sounds like you may have a bad sensor which changed the mapping at some point. It doesn't make sense it would run great for thousands of K and then suddenly develop this? The motor should run if anything. Slightly cooler as it gets broken in.
    Have you put different pipes or mapping on it? Have you checked the mapping with Tune?
    #15
  16. Quij95

    Quij95 Adventurer Supporter

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    A bad radiator cap can cause overheating. It maintains pressure in the cooling system keeping the boiling point down. Was that was checked when the radiator was checked.
    Update. I read your original post again and see you have replaced everything. Sorry.
    #16
  17. renogeorge

    renogeorge Let's ride!!

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    If you mentioned coolant blowing out the overflow when it is hot, I missed it. If you are getting these temp readings without coolant blowing out, I would question the gauge and temp sending unit.

    Good luck
    #17
  18. Quij95

    Quij95 Adventurer Supporter

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    What are you using for coolant? I'm not an expert on the subject but I do know that the more water to antifreeze used, will cool more efficiently. I live in the southern US and mix 70% distiller water to 30% Propylene glycol (engine ice or searra antifreeze).I don't use water wetter because it is for racing engines where the rules don't allow antifreeze on asphalt tracks. It's only purpose is to break water surface tension, and is easier to clean off the track. It's a useless product when mixed with antifreeze which does the same thing.
    #18
  19. Routs

    Routs Adventurer

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    Not sure what you mean by "read your plugs"?
    How would I know if there was a bad sensor? Wouldn't it come up as a fault at the dealer on their diagnostics? And how would I correct the map if it has changed?
    I put a set of akro pipes on it at about 1000km and got a dealer to change the map to suit soon after. Bike ran fine for about the next 6000km.
    I don't have the TuneECU and don't know how to use it either.
    #19
  20. Routs

    Routs Adventurer

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    I have always used the recommended motorex and it has always worked. Now the problems have started I have tried substituting it with engine ice. But still runs hot.
    #20