2015 1290SAT Suspension Woes...

Discussion in 'KTM 1090/1190/1290' started by zupfox, Oct 6, 2019.

  1. zupfox

    zupfox n00b

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    I recently purchased a 1290 Super Adventure. Seemed like I got a good deal, now maybe not so much. I took it out for a short test ride before I bought it (on perfectly paved roads...) Well, then I brought it home. I went to adjust the preload (on center stand) to take my wife for a ride. All it does is have the one little person on the dash blink. I tried disconnecting the preload electrical connector and riding around for a while. I tried disconnecting the battery, leaving it overnight and reconnecting the battery. Those were the things I saw on the forum. Anyway, so the thing rides pretty bad on rough roads. There is oil on the rear shock damping connector. The bike only has 8500miles. KTM Customer Support told me that the shock has already been inspected and it was fine, so I can go pound sand. The "local" dealer doesn't seem to have a clue. The next closest dealer is 3hrs away. I'm thinking about taking it there and seeing if they can get the preload working. Then maybe they can be convinced to submit a claim with KTM for the rear shock. If so, I would probably keep going with the stock suspension.

    If they start going down the road of throwing parts at it, I think I would rather just try and get a manual adjustment suspension. I talked with Konflict and they said they could retrofit some SAR shocks, but they didn't jump right on how much they wanted to do it. The guy I spoke with seemed pretty concerned about all the error codes. I really like everything else except for the suspension on this bike. Well, maybe the buffeting is terrible as well. The power is fantastic. I could live with some warning messages to get the bike the way it should be. My 990SMT handles the bumps way better.

    Has anyone on here swapped the suspension out for something better on a SAT? I have read Hoss1's stuff about making the suspension better, but I'm concerned that I should spend money to move forward, not spend money to wind up with the same issue some time down the road. Seems like KTM/WP really dropped the ball on this one.
    #1
  2. bigmadstu

    bigmadstu Adventurer

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    Welcome to the forum. I agree that KTM / WP really dropped the ball on the 2015 1290 suspension. Yours clearly has a failure with the oil leak. No way KTM can say it is ok, maybe it was not leaking / had been cleaned off when they inspected it. I had no leaks on my old 2015 bike but the forks were juddery and the rear damping was crap. KTM said all was fine with the forks. "they all do that". Strange how the 2016 and 2017 bikes have different fork internal part numbers... I have a late 2016 bike now and the suspension is way better. It is possible to retro fit the updated parts but much $$$$$. I just traded the 2015 for the 2016 which had 1/3 of the mileage, full luggage and an Akrapovic.
    #2
  3. tmark1301cc

    tmark1301cc Been here awhile Supporter

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    The rear shock was subject to a recall. Case closed, KTM needs to fix it.
    #3
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  4. zupfox

    zupfox n00b

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    @bigmadstu - Thanks. The problem with this is that I have morals, unlike the person who sold the bike to me. I would let the next buyer know that the rear shock doesn't work and I can't promise the expensive suspension ECU is working after all the other parts are replaced. It looks to be $1500 to replace the shock and preload adjuster. The forks don't feel very good either and I notice no difference in them when changing the damping modes.

    @tmark1301cc - When I mentioned this to KTM Support, he told me that I was unwilling to follow the correct path and they had no obligation to cover the shock. I asked what the "correct path" was that I was so unwilling to follow. He said I needed to sweet talk the dealer diagnose the suspension issue when I was in there for the tank inspection. I told him that I wanted something that spelled out that the dealer would need to look at the shock. You would think a known issue would be handled a little better. I don't know that I want to get the tank inspected since there isn't currently an issue. I would like to wait until it has a problem so it will be fixed or replaced. I can tell you that I this will likely be my last KTM after talking to their support. For reference, I have four KTMs in my garage. 450EXC, 625SMC, 990SMT and now this 1290SAT. I was going to sell the 990, but my wife talked me into keeping it. I'm glad she did.
    #4
  5. rick danger

    rick danger The further adventures of

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    I hate these stories. :nah
    #5
  6. hoss1

    hoss1 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Wow! I feel your pain, Zupfox. The SAT is a great bike and can do so many things well. I managed to killl the preload adjuster on our '15 SAT. I got things out of sync by triggering a change of adjustment with the shock off the bike. The same thing will happen if you ask the preload motor to raise more weight than it can handle.Our dealer fixed it no problem however. As to the leak, you need a rebuild or another shock all together. Hopefully KTM will step up yet. If you are interested in some help or more detail, feel free to PM me. Odds are your suspension can be better than new for much less than the cost of a new shock.
    #6
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  7. Barekat

    Barekat Looking to get dirty Supporter

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    I agree with tmark1301cc. Report this to the transportation authority where you like because this is a safety recall.
    Details here:
    https://www.cyclevin.com/recall-alert-15-16-ktm-super-adventure-1290/

    KTMNA replaced the rear shock on my SAT outside of warranty.
    #7
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  8. rick danger

    rick danger The further adventures of

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    Seems like a good idea with a KTM to buy a model in its 3rd or 4th year . Quite a few issues I missed out on with my '17. A left over '19 sas might be a good choice next year.
    #8
  9. bigmadstu

    bigmadstu Adventurer

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    Yes, I know what you mean about morals. I traded the bike at the KTM dealer who was fully aware of my issues with the bike. I felt I couldn't sell it private or trade it to another dealer.
    #9
  10. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

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    Engine needs to be running to adjust pre-load.
    #10
  11. zupfox

    zupfox n00b

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    @bigmadstu I definitely wasn't trying to insinuate that you were one of those guys. After re-reading my comments I am concerned I phrased it that way. Thanks for doing the right thing with trading your bike.

    @slartidbartfast Yeah, the bike was running. Before I even started my online investigations I figured it ought to be running just to power up the servo or stepper motor or whatever is in there. I even brought my multimeter into the troubleshooting to make sure battery voltage was up to over 14V. Turns out whatever the drive is has a 5V signal running to it. I sure hope they aren't running that for power. I haven't grabbed the oscilloscope from work to look further into the signals on the 4 wires to the preload adjuster. It does know that the plug is disconnected though and shouldn't try to adjust the preload disconnected.

    If nothing works out with KTM replacing the preload adjuster (which I doubt it will), and they do replace the shock, I will replace the preload adjuster on my own. I will hope the preload adjuster is just what @hoss1 talked about being out of sync. The old preload adjuster will then go on the healing bench for a full autopsy. It seems as though the tabs on the plastic are only there to hold it on while the epoxy sets up. It may just need a few minutes in the oven to coerce it into giving up its secrets. I work on positioning systems for a living. The idea of this getting out of sync and not having any homing capabilities boggles the mind! I am typically moving saws or fences to 0.001" or better accuracy. Sometimes I even design/build control systems that move a 400Ton brake to within 0.001" accuracy. All of these units can be calibrated, diagnosed, and homed by the operator. At least allow a user on this to go through a procedure to recalibrate the suspension. I don't expect anything as advanced and complex as what I do, but needing a dealer for every little thing just isn't a reasonable option for me. I'm having the same problem with picking out a new car. I have less and less time to do my own work on my car, but I want to know that I can. Driving an old Accord with 315,000miles, I don't need the dealer for anything and I only use a mechanic when I don't have the time. I'm just an electrical engineer who wants more mechanical vehicles if they aren't going to allow us to get a copy of the diagnostic software.

    @Barekat I think you helped make a decision you likely didn't know about. I was planning to go to New Hampshire to a dealership there with more experience. I may want to stick with the Maine dealer for legal purposes. I will check out that website you referenced and think this all the way through before making a move.
    #11
  12. obrianmcc

    obrianmcc Long timer

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    KTM NA stepping up to take care of one of their customers ... NOT!

    I'm not a fan of this trend of dynamic suspension ... neither is my suspension guy. Yeah, for that guy who digs tech and wants to adjust on the fly, sure ... it's cool, but there are way too many issues reported across brand lines, not just KTM. When shit breaks it' a serious PIA and can be expensive to fix.
    #12
  13. bigmadstu

    bigmadstu Adventurer

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    No worries mate, I didn't think you were insinuating. Stu
    #13
  14. Barekat

    Barekat Looking to get dirty Supporter

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    @zupfox here is a little video of the electric preload adjuster for the shock:


    There was a software glitch that was fixed in subsequent releases that addressed the preload getting stuck on a specific setting.
    #14
  15. SRTie4k

    SRTie4k Northeast Explorer

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    What dealership in NH are you planning on going to?
    #15
  16. zupfox

    zupfox n00b

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    I was planning on going to Freedom Cycle. I haven't called yet though.
    #16
  17. SRTie4k

    SRTie4k Northeast Explorer

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    That's where I bought my bike and where I have gotten it serviced since purchase. They are alright, although as with most KTM dealers I've been to, they don't know how to do certain things such as flashing the bike's CPU's. They can do the simple stuff pretty quickly and competently, though.
    #17
  18. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

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    Someone posted the price list for individual components of the rear suspension system. If I remember correctly, the damper portion, the electronic preload portion and the spring are all available separately. The cost to replace an individual component is still not "cheap" but is much more bearable than replacing the entire shock. Sorry but I can't find that information right now.

    EDIT I found the following:
    P/N: 15000O01,
    Description: PA cpl. KTM EDS, KTM
    Price: $346.07
    #18
  19. Barekat

    Barekat Looking to get dirty Supporter

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  20. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

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    #20