790 Reported Clutch failures - My 12k mile examination

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

  1. justinope

    justinope Long timer

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    I totally understand and I really wish I had a concrete answer for you. According to what my dealer / KTM told me- they checked out the bike, found the clutch plates scorched / material rock hard and the only "defect" in KTM's list of things they gave the dealer to check for warranty purposes was the oil jet measured 0.2 vs 0.3mm. This "defect" was determined by KTM NA's tech team to be a non-issue due to the admitted very small difference, but couldn't that just be a factory defect that actually caused issues over time? KTM's tech said "it either flows or doesn't flow" which sounds kinda BS to me given oil jets in the 950/990's and mods people did with those. Then that was it, my issue was determined to be "user error" and I was un-warranty-able. Which couldn't be a more infuriating to be told about a bike that is supposed to be a rugged world beater when I only rode it back and forth to work / did some 2 track fire road style exploring on. Didn't use the clutch to bang through some gnarly rock gardens or anything, just used it to get it going and to slow it down. They couldn't point to any specific thing I did wrong- my free play was correct, everything was setup totally fine, etc per their checks.

    My question to both rep's I spoke to at KTM NA about the possibility of defective parts went completely unanswered. They responded very snarkily "how would a defective set of discs change anything?" to which I responded "well I'm no expert but if the tolerances weren't correct or if there was a bad batch of material couldn't that cause problems?" KTM answered "thats very unlikely or we'd have seen more issues" which is fair but I'd say its dangerous of them to assume their factories are 100% perfect and that is something that could never happen. I'm honestly grasping at straws at this point because I know I was not the cause of this issue but they were totally done talking to me. They turned unpleasant / impatient with me really quickly just because I suggested there could be something else wrong other than what they checked.

    Probably the worst part in my eyes is that despite me being extremely pleasant with them the first 3 calls I had with them and explaining how consistent of a customer I've been with them, they still couldn't find it in themselves to do some type of "good will" repair when my bike in the first batch to make it to the USA. Some middle ground like- "While we really don't think we are at fault for anything that has gone wrong, we definitely can understand your situaton as fellow riders and will cover this repair as a one-time courtesy to a long-time KTM customer." That way theres no guessing, no calling me a "shit rider" when I've been abuse-induced-problem free with all of my other bikes for 9 years of riding now, etc. I wouldn't be pissed at them for a lifetime, they wouldn't hate me and I wouldn't have to share such a negative experience on here and with potential owners over the phone at my workplace, turning them away from the brand. But instead they wouldn't even cover the diagnostic fee and I was 100% on my own for the fix.
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  2. SoilSampleDave

    SoilSampleDave Dr. Zaius was right!

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    I’d certainly be angry if I were you. I’m in a different business, but I have warranted lots of things for customers for goodwill, after explaining that it wasn’t really a warranty.
    justinope likes this.
  3. wjohnb

    wjohnb Adventurer

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    One of the negative things about using a cable operated clutch is that the "self adjusting" inherent feature of the hydraulically operated system disappears, now relying on the rider to maintain the required free play and ensuring no unintended slippage.
  4. CaseyB

    CaseyB Adventually Supporter

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    KTM doesn’t hate you. I just asked them.
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  5. Bigcitylight

    Bigcitylight Adventurer

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    Okay so I have 200km on my new 790r. I’m pretty spooked about the clutch problems I’ve read.

    Two observations I’ve had with my bike that kinda concern me are.

    1. When I engage the clutch in neutral there is a significant noise difference than when it Is disengaged, it sounds like a worn throw out bearing.

    2. My quick shifter is a bit clunky, especially at low to mid RPMs. It takes a bit of work to change gears. I’ve read in some of the clutch failures that they were in fact using the quick shifter. I wonder if theirs was sticky as well?

    it would be great to see if there was some sort of commonality to the issues so others can catch it before engine failure .

    I plan to keep free play at the end of the lever, and I’ll get the service department to check my oil jet on my first service at 1000km. Also plan on keeping an eye on excess engine heat and letting the traction control do its magic as opposed to riding the clutch and raising the rpm.

    Are there any other suggestions to avoid these problems? Does everyone else hear the difference between an engaged and disengaged clutch while in neutral? Is the quick shifter inherently clunky? Or am I overthinking all this?
  6. [Art]

    [Art] Been here awhile

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    The quickshifter being clunky at low rpm is normal. It’s smoother the higher rpm you switch at. At 6500 it starts to be excellent…

    And yes, you are probably completely overthinking this :)
  7. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    @Bigcitylight

    Quickshifters work best under high load and high rpm which is also where a fast shift can be useful. I wouldn't recomend using it at lower rpms and light loads.

    A bit of clutch noise when the bike is running in neutral is not unusual on a lot of bikes. I can hear it on my 790 if I'm listening for it. Some make more noise than others. In my experiance any noise heard once a concern arises tends to sound louder and more intrusive until the ears learn to disregard it. If it's truly loud then ask your dealer to look into it.

    I think its early in the game to get overly concerned. Id recomend pulling the clutch cover to have a peek around 10k miles (whatever that works out to in km) and if you're keeping an eye on freeplay and there is a sudden change dont just adjust it and ignore it. Pull the clutch cover and have a look.

    There are several examples now of bikes with higher mileage with zero issues. No reason to be more than vigilant.
    No-Fret likes this.
  8. SoilSampleDave

    SoilSampleDave Dr. Zaius was right!

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    As others have already said, both normal.
  9. Bigcitylight

    Bigcitylight Adventurer

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    Perfect, thanks everyone, resuming enjoyment.
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  10. gsuks

    gsuks Long timer

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    I disagree,

    for every other brand what you state is correct.

    a ktm Q.S. should change smoothly at any rpm (that's how they are designed
    if its not smooth it hasn't been calibrated correctly.
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  11. gsuks

    gsuks Long timer

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    also an edit

    it will get a lot smoother when it has a few more km's
    on odo
    the gearbox will be run in more and also the Q.S will be used to the rider
    and the used to the Q.S.

    (on my 1290saS I didn't have the Q.S activated until the first service,
    and at first I thought it was a bit rough.
    my tech recalibrated it,
    after that it was great to use at any throttle position or any rpm on up and down shift.)
  12. SoilSampleDave

    SoilSampleDave Dr. Zaius was right!

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    Did they do it under warranty? Mine is clunky when loafing around, perfect at WFO.
  13. gsuks

    gsuks Long timer

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    quite a while ago,
    but they probably did
    they weren't difficult with things like that.
  14. mickd

    mickd crash test dummie

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    Mine is clunky when loafing around,but smooth as silk when in high rev's
  15. justinope

    justinope Long timer

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    Quick update- my bike has been running super sweet with the new pack installed. As much as it sucks for me / how much I feel like KTM screwed me over- it looks like I was simply plagued by a bad clutch pack. I say this because the bike feels TOTALLY different now than it ever has before. It has more power everywhere, noticeably smoother, etc etc etc. Pretty sure it was out of tolerance or slipping or whatever out of the box..
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  16. Thumper Dumper

    Thumper Dumper Been here awhile

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    You have certainly had a shitty deal with your 790 and I feel your pain.
    Are you going to keep it to sell? Hope you have many miles of trouble free riding either way.
    justinope likes this.
  17. SoilSampleDave

    SoilSampleDave Dr. Zaius was right!

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    They probably snuck a 15T countershaft sprocket on it when you weren’t looking. Everything you are describing is pretty much what I felt after doing that.
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  18. TrailTrauma

    TrailTrauma Nemophilist

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    Nice to get all that behind you! Stay on top of freeplay..
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  19. justinope

    justinope Long timer

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    Yeah definitely! I always have checked it and was kinda pissed the dealer gave it back to me with not much at all in the lever. Took care of both before riding it again though! :)

    HMM maybe haha, I'll have to check

    Thanks man, appreciate it! I actually did list it for sale but over the past weeks of riding it I'm thinking it might actually be the perfect machine for me... so it will likely stay after all.

    On another note, it's been hard to readjust to not lugging the bike in gears 2-6 after riding my other bikes for 2 months. My right hand totally forgot if you give it less than like 3-4k revs it gets jerky / has the chain slap noise / feel. I was used to it before, but I'm having to re-learn that habit again since none of my other bikes are as rev-happy as this one lol. Again I feel like I'm experiencing a new bike post clutch change and even though it had all these characteristics before it was way more "dulled out"
    Thumper Dumper likes this.
  20. SoilSampleDave

    SoilSampleDave Dr. Zaius was right!

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    Well, maybe they didn’t slip the 15 on after all. I’m serious, don’t even think of selling it until you try it. Low rpm roll on is much smoother.