790 Reported Clutch failures - My 12k mile examination

Discussion in 'Parallel World (790/890)' started by windblown101, Nov 10, 2019.

  1. No-Fret

    No-Fret Tanker

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    Hello,

    Rode my 790S from WA state to the Hells Canyon area of Oregon. Rode off-road trails, gravel and some mud. Riding 30 miles up to Hat Top mountain I did not use the clutch except for an occasional downshift/upshift from 2nd to 1st. I stayed in 2nd for the most part and let MTC do the work. The bike was awesome.

    Coming back down seemed ok even on the steep downgrades. As I paused to wait for someone to catch up I smelled the strange clutch smell. I then rode the last 1/2 mile down to the meet up point. I let the bike cool down while we ate. The smell no longer there I checked the clutch cable play and it seemed fine.

    Any ideas on why I would get that smell if I hardly used the clutch and clutch adjustment seems correct?
    BHoward likes this.
  2. BHoward

    BHoward Been here awhile Supporter

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    Clutch and brake burning smell very similar. Only throwing this out there because you said going downhill is when you got the smell.
    Looking back, do you think it could have been the brake, maybe boot hitting the rear pedal?
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  3. No-Fret

    No-Fret Tanker

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    Thanks for the response.

    Yes, I did turn off rear ABS and locked it up a few times going down hill. That makes sense now. The down hills were pretty steep.
    SoilSampleDave likes this.
  4. SoilSampleDave

    SoilSampleDave Dr. Zaius was right!

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    Downshift more too.
  5. No-Fret

    No-Fret Tanker

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    Thanks, I did as well...mostly 2nd to 1st.
  6. SoilSampleDave

    SoilSampleDave Dr. Zaius was right!

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    Now that is steep!
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  7. No-Fret

    No-Fret Tanker

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    It was and my tires were not exactly trail ready.
  8. SEK_Nick

    SEK_Nick Been here awhile

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    Met a guy yesterday with a 2020 790 Rally. Clutch failed at 835 miles for him, he said it wouldn't engage, engine would just spin like the lever was pulled in, even after stopping to adjust the cable twice. At first, adjusting the cable helped, but after two adjustments it just wouldn't engage at all.

    Caused him to miss Dell City to Ruidoso leg of NMBDR!
    Orfeas likes this.
  9. Orfeas

    Orfeas Been here awhile

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    Duh, the forum's verdict is that the 790 clutch is great, and those who toasted their clutch were 1. misusing the clutch 2. riding the bike in wrong trails or 3. they had the TC set wrong. :hide:jack
  10. TimC63

    TimC63 BDR Addict Supporter

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    I see a masterfully baited hook - HAHAHAAAAA! Fire Dept standing by...
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  11. AdamM001

    AdamM001 Been here awhile

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    +1 clutch failure.

    2019 790 R.
    Just under 6k km (3728 miles).
    First proper off-road day on the bike.
    Rode the THROTTLE like hell (as I do with my 950 S); putting it through its paces.. loved the ride ability, fwiw.

    Going up a medium hill climb in deep woods (NOT feathering the clutch; Rally mode/rally throttle/TC4), not very fast and picking my lines up through some washouts low in 2nd.
    Came to a fallen branch at chest height; stopped to push it over my head and behind me, then started to slowly clutch out to get it moving in the slightly muddy trail - revs spiking with no movement. Thought it must be rear wheel spinning on mud or a root. Looked back and tried again- nope.. no wheel spin, shit: it’s the clutch.

    Shut it down and waited 30 min to let it cool. Turned it downhill and tried taking off: no bueno.
    Checked free play: all good.

    Disassembled clutch cover; and with some inspiration: added washers behind the clutch springs to increase spring force at pressure plate.
    Babied it down the hill and tested awhile on flat road: all fixed!

    Continued riding hard/high speed on open hardpack for several hours. No issues.
    All the sudden; on a slow, downhill logging road, started losing friction. (Revs spiking with no throttle increase. Checked free play; all good.
    Total loss of drive soon followed; as did an 80 km tow from another brand new 790!

    Called dealer today to have them see if KTM mothership will cover this - or claim as a “wear item” (at 6k km?!).
    Will wait to see what happens when the bike gets trucked back to town for me and I get it in to them late this week....
    Would prefer to inspect and service myself, but curious to see if KTM will stand by this.

    Will keep the group updated
    Oeths, No-Fret, nibby and 3 others like this.
  12. TrailTrauma

    TrailTrauma Nemophilist

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    Is there any chance with all this talk of hills and the 790 clutch failing, that the attitude of the bike is contributing by starving the clutch of oil pressure? Or does it not care what angle it's on ... that the clutch lube system will maintain it's oil pressure regardless?

    Are we missing something else in the equation? I feel we are, but I'm no mechanic. Hell I never took a single shop in high school :lol2
    Mud Bucket likes this.
  13. SoilSampleDave

    SoilSampleDave Dr. Zaius was right!

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    I’m trying to be as proactive as possible by using a 0.5mm oil jet and keeping the oil filled to the top of the sight glass (as Rottweiler suggests). To be clear, Rotty only suggests the higher oil level.
  14. Velociraptor

    Velociraptor TrackBum Super Supporter

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    I have done so much pro active stuff on my bike to avoid failures. Best if I never add up the cost! I went with the Torq Drive Clutch pack, but my OEM clutch looked like new at around 3,000 miles. I do a lot of off road but not much technical so not much clutch slipping. I also have the quick shifter so I use the clutch even less. The OEM clutch plates did not look dry so I think my oil jet was not plugged. I went with .5mm anyway. I replaced the OEM suspension with Touratech stuff. My OEM rear shock had not failed yet and it got abused a lot off road. No issues with my brakes but had the rear brake line recall done anyway. I haven't noticed any oil leaks but I don't pay super close attention either. Often I ride the bike then park it dirty or spray off the big dirt if it's really bad. Had the bike over a year now. Fingers crossed! I had some electrical gremlins but they were all either related to aftermarket parts or my fault.
  15. AdvRonski

    AdvRonski They call me......Ronski

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    I understand the frustration people have when this happens, but until someone posts some video proof that the clutch lever free play is indeed adequate while this is occurring, I remain convinced that there is not enough free play, leading to these failures.
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  16. 1coolbanana

    1coolbanana Long timer

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    And insufficient oil :-)
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  17. mickd

    mickd crash test dummie

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    i am starting to think its TC related,do we know of any failures when not using the TC ?
    nibby likes this.
  18. Toddv

    Toddv Long timer

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    I don't see how unless it's actually losing oil pressure which should turn the warning light on.
  19. Toddv

    Toddv Long timer

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    Agreed, clutches don't just burn up without slippage... It may be less detectable for some reason but it's got yo be happening.
  20. Toddv

    Toddv Long timer

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    TC has no direct connection to the clutch so unless someone is using the clutch while the TC is limiting RPMs and trying to overide the TC they are unrelated.