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790 Reported Clutch failures - My 12k mile examination

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

  1. Mud Bucket

    Mud Bucket 60% of the time I'm right every time

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    273
    Location:
    North Vancouver,B.C, Can
    I agree with with Rally throttle setting not needed. I used the offroad setting with ABS off and TC in the 6 to 8 zone. I just can't believe this bike is so different from previous bikes I need to change my style/technique. The clutch didn't completely fail, but I can see with gravelers and 2 track, no problem. Fully kitted out with gear for a 10 day trip and attempting difficult routes. Weight, terrain maybe a liability.
    My lower displacement WR250 with the same luggage, seams to like the beating I give on harder terrain and begs me to give it more. I see it looking at me everyday.
    My 2010 990R, I could just tippy toe one side "Tall" had over 40k+ km with not even a glint of a problem. Feet on the pegs because paddling was not a option.
    Not to compare, but I know I am not a hack and the , minimal amount of clutching I did....even though I admit doing it... like its a bad thing? I wasn't half clutching this bike and riding it like that the whole way. The adjusting arm was just done before I started so I know this was right with the required free play. I was also giving it cool down breaks.

    I love the size of the bike, lightness, ergonomics, suspension. I will love it more with out worrying about this. This exercise is a positive getting to know the bike. I know for me the new lower Gearing , new size jet and bring another clutch pack will give me comfort for my future trips.
    No-Fret, windblown101 and BHoward like this.
  2. BHoward

    BHoward Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    May 5, 2014
    Oddometer:
    682
    Location:
    Dallas, TX.
    I would like to state I agree 100% with Ronski's statement.
    I would like to add one thing.
    The 790 is a Adv bike, it's not a dirt bike or a motocross bike. It is not a 950 or 990 with the bullet proof clutch's.
    Now, it's a real good Adv bike, but it's not ment for the clutch to be slipped.
    No-Fret and windblown101 like this.
  3. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    6,731
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    Star Tannery, VA
    All very true as it turns out.

    One of the things most repeat KTM buyers love about the bikes is KTM is always pushing the performance edge and that is a two edged sword. However I would bet that the vast majority of buyers (myself included) were unprepared for a clutch that is much more sensitive to being slipped than has been seen in previous KTMs of any type. It's not like KTM put a warning in the owners manual about it.

    I put 12k miles on an 1190R and worked the heck out of that clutch too. It still looked new when I sold the bike so it's not really a dirtbike versus ADV bike thing. I would not rate the 790 clutch as flawed but it is certainly a departure from what they have produced in the past.

    Hopefully by discussing it at long length and getting feedback from various schools of thought on the subject owners and potential owners are now more aware of what "could" happen and will avoid being caught out by it.
    No-Fret, BHoward and Mud Bucket like this.
  4. Mud Bucket

    Mud Bucket 60% of the time I'm right every time

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    273
    Location:
    North Vancouver,B.C, Can

    Well said!
    I like this to be more of an educational experience. I am learning how capably or limited this bike is and I'm enjoying the journey. Next trip there will be no exit left!
    No-Fret, BHoward and windblown101 like this.
  5. BLZ2DWL

    BLZ2DWL Roustabout Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    436
    Location:
    SW VA
    Those pics, and this one from the UK forum both show a burnt clutch. Does it look like both of these have all of the friction disc tabs lined up in the same basket slots?
    790clutch2.jpg

    Yet here are two pics I've found of a clutches in good working order, with the outer friction plate lined up in alternating basket slots, as apparently installed by KTM (note yellow marking on each).
    790clutch.jpg
    790-david-bentley.jpg

    It may not be a double rainbow, but what does it all mean?
    No-Fret and Mud Bucket like this.
  6. BHoward

    BHoward Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    May 5, 2014
    Oddometer:
    682
    Location:
    Dallas, TX.
    The last KTM clutch tab goes in the alternate slot. That is how it is supposed to be.
    I say ktm because other clutch's may not, like Rekluse auto clutch's all go in the same slot.
  7. Mud Bucket

    Mud Bucket 60% of the time I'm right every time

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    273
    Location:
    North Vancouver,B.C, Can
    Not sure if this is anything but I measured the clutch springs and in the repair manual says they should be replaced if they are less than 43mm
    I measured mine and they ranged 42.3mm and the other 2 were at 42.5mm. Not sure if this is something.
    Springs are back ordered so I was thinking of installing the new plates and re-use the springs. At this point I will need to hold off as the new springs arrive in 3 to 4 weeks.
  8. AdvRonski

    AdvRonski They call me......Ronski

    Joined:
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    Finally made it to Fruita!
    I would recommend the Barnett clutch springs for the 790.
    BHoward likes this.
  9. roookie1

    roookie1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    565
    Location:
    Denmark
    Maybe the problems lies there.. Bikes delivered with soft springs, under spec from the factory. Reminds me of the soft oil check valve spring in the 2003-2004 950 adv..
    Mud Bucket likes this.
  10. ChrisB Kiwi

    ChrisB Kiwi Where does THIS go?

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    120
    Location:
    Brissie
    I've done 32,000km on mine, including 3 trips to the Aussie outback, climbing up big red (Australia's highest sand dune) 9 or 10 times one afternoon etc etc - in the review I pull the clutch apart purely to have a look at it....which I also did at 20,000km. Oh, on the video I assembled it quickly for the video and forgot to put only the last friction tab in the alternate slot marked with yellow paint, which I realized looked 'wrong' as I was editing the video - which I corrected before riding it. I have the Camel one finger clutch and run quite a bit of slack.
  11. kirill_k

    kirill_k n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2013
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    Moscow
    Hi.
    As far as I understand the idea behind separation of external clutch disk from the rest of the pack, it's a safety feature preventing further usage of a worn out clutch.
    Normally as friction material wears out the whole disks pack becomes thinner and thinner, and to keep clutch engagement it's pressure plate has to push disks deeper and deeper into the basket. Some clutches are engineered in a way they should loose ability to fully engage when disks pack reaches minimal safe thickness. That's why external disk's tabs are mounted into separate slots. Those slots are rather shallow thus limiting external disk's travel, so when the pack becomes thinner pressure plate cannot push external disk any deeper than the slot lets it go. When external disk reaches it's limit the clutch begins slipping and the pack gets replaced although old plates still have some friction material on them. If external disk is mounted into same slots with the others pressure plate continues to engage the clutch no matter how thin the disks have become. Eventually the disks might wear to the extent they loose thermal and mechanical stability.
    I personally doubt if external disk mislocation can speed up clutch being cooked up or worn out prematurely. But it could be quite an explanation for reported cases of clutch disks explode and terminate the engine. And if further investigation have revealed those clutches had been mounted incorrectly I totally disagree with KTM refusing to cover the damage due to clutch being a wear item. When clutch is worn it is meant just to stop working, not to blow up and destroy everything in the area.
    That's my rather limited vision of the reasons for this way of external clutch disks alignment based on some magazines read in my childhood. So if someone competent corrects me I'll be grateful.
    And sure enough I have to apologize for my English which is not native for me and so due to me being too lazy to study properly my language skills leave much to be desired.
    roookie1, Salzig, kzeb and 1 other person like this.
  12. No-Fret

    No-Fret Tanker

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    Peoples Republik of Washington
    I wonder if the new "improved" 890 clutch pack will slip right in?
  13. AdvRonski

    AdvRonski They call me......Ronski

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    Finally made it to Fruita!
    An interesting theory, but the only reason that I can see for having the last disc clocked differently is to distribute the torque load more evenly on the outer clutch basket. It will have no real effect on clutch operation, and certainly will not allow the clutch to tolerate a more wear before slippage occurs. The pressure plate will bottom out on the inner clutch hub when the clutch pack wears to it's minimum thickness, and no combination of disc positioning in the outer hub will prevent this.
    As I've said many times, every clutch failure I've read about has involved a combination of abuse and insufficient free play at the lever, and when the slippage is ignored, catastrophic damage results. It will be very interesting to see what specific clutch parts are upgraded for the 890 engine, though.
    kzeb, kirill_k, No-Fret and 1 other person like this.
  14. roookie1

    roookie1 Been here awhile

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    Jun 15, 2009
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    Denmark
    Regarding 790 890 clutch parts, the basket is the same, also 0,3 oil jet. But the pack (plates) are different.
    No-Fret likes this.
  15. kirill_k

    kirill_k n00b

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    I wonder if 890's disks will be compatible with 790.
  16. roookie1

    roookie1 Been here awhile

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    Denmark
    Inner and outer clucth hub/basket are unchanged, so yes probably
    kirill_k likes this.
  17. Mud Bucket

    Mud Bucket 60% of the time I'm right every time

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    North Vancouver,B.C, Can
    I believe the springs are the route issue with premature wearing. I'm still waiting for the factory clutch springs to arrive and I have ordered the aftermarket Barnet springs Advronski recommended. It will be interesting to compare the 2 and lastly my already below spec original springs (7k km's)
    Already projects to last the winter - Nav tower, heavier rear spring, new clutch install finalized, front suspension re-valve.
  18. RB450

    RB450 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    551
    Location:
    Kintnersville, PA
    Add my clutch to the list of failures. Clutch has maybe 1200 miles on it. Free play checkEd regularly.
  19. No-Fret

    No-Fret Tanker

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    Peoples Republik of Washington
    Any one have input on the Barnett clutch pack?
  20. AdamM001

    AdamM001 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2015
    Oddometer:
    246
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canada (+years in Texas and Norway)
    I asked this of KTM Canada “customer service” and the response was: YES.

    The only change on the 890 is the friction disks, and YES: they are compatible with the 790.

    (And in my case, NO: they don’t confirm my suggestion this is an admission of a design issue with the 790 which they are rectifying in the “new model”. While refusing to acknowledge its an issue with the 790; they claim:

    “This part has been updated and one of the reason is to better fit for the new power output of the 890 engine
    KTM as a manufacturer is updating components regularly on all the models and this part of the process improvement year after year, similar to others industries like the car sector”

    ‘...and no; we won’t be fully covering the cost of your repair’ )



    So in short: we’ve all paid for the privilege to be 890 prototype test riders! :D


    (3.5 months after failure; apparently the long awaited Belleville washer for my destroyed clutch has finally arrived, so I should have my bike back next week.. just as riding season is is wrapping up here in Canada. )



    - I also checked with dealer and 890
    friction plates are not yet available. I told them I have zero faith the OEM clutch won’t leave me stranded in the middle of nowhere again; but I guess I have no other option for now. I’ll be changing out to those plates as soon as they come available, though.
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