Existential crisis

Discussion in 'Dakar champion (950/990)' started by srelegante, Aug 3, 2020.

  1. srelegante

    srelegante srelegante Supporter

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    So I am the proud owner of a 2010 990R Adventure. I traded my Super Tenere for it, as no one seems to want those and I could not give it away, although it was set up perfectly.

    We took 240 mile ride yesterday and the bike runs fantastically. I had a 2008 990 that I really enjoyed, but it had the quirks that the earlier models had and I sent it down the road.

    Yesterday, however, the bike did not inspire confidence. I had the tire pressure too high, the sag not set properly and the front TKC 80 is worn. I felt like a racehorse on a skating rink.

    Q: Being the frugal fellow I am, I really thought going this direction vs ponying up for a 790R would be the way to go. However, I am beginning to think there is no substitute for the technological marvels that are rider's aids as traction control and ABS.

    My insurance will go up by 100% with the 790R, but I am also beginning to see that as a price of admission to protect my soon to be 50 YO body.

    In the short term, I will set the bike up properly and take it up the MABDR as see how we bond.

    Can any fellow inmates relate or add insight? 990R.jpg
    #1
  2. jstyles

    jstyles Been here awhile

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    Wrong section for me... But. I've got a 1290S, I use it as a long leg sport tourer, and take it down some dirt roads etc, so my experience may not be worth anything to an offroad guy as I don't know what translates.

    I ride pretty "spirited" a lot of the time. Earlier this year I was riding with a couple friends with my wife on back with me. We are known to drag the center stand around turns from time to time, and we were on those roads with all intentions of having some fun. I got a bright red warning "TIRE PUNCTURE REAR". I did not feel the tire getting low but slowed and looked for a place to pull off. The rear was down to 10 PSI by the time I got slowed and pulled off the road. I feel like that warning saved me the possibility of losing the rear around a fast curve. That one instance was worth the price. I may not have crashed without it but it sure made me feel good to have the warning to be as safe as possible with my wife.

    Also ABS, well worth it. I've had deer run out right in front of me. Don't even have to think, grab a hand full of front brake and stomp the rear. You are going to stop without and endo or "laying her down".

    I also like the traction control. With the 1290 it has so much HP it would be hard to ride, short of being "in the zone" without it. Not sure about the 790 though.
    #2
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  3. zzzak

    zzzak Long timer Supporter

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    950's rule, these are the best bike ever, no computers, easy maintenance, light, quick, cheap to run, and a discount on your power bill as well, last of the carbed big v twins just like all the other ones, be they Harleys or Thors or Indians or any one of hundreds of motorbike brands, simple engine.
    #3
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  4. gearheadE30

    gearheadE30 @LC8Adventures

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    I'll preface this by saying that reading "However, I am beginning to think there is no substitute for the technological marvels that are rider's aids as traction control and ABS." made me gag a little. :lol3 They are impressive systems in their own right, but what this really should say is there is no substitute for seat time and technique.

    Spend some time setting the bike up and getting used to it. Technology is nice, but set up a 790 incorrectly and it won't be great either. The 790 just happens to have much more balanced suspension from the factory instead of the harsh rear/soggy front the 950 and 990 came with. It's not the tech that makes it great. The tech can be a bandaid of sorts or make you feel like you have more of a safety net to save you, but it isn't inherently any more capable than a 950 or 990.

    950s and 990s tend to be pretty overly stiff in the rear which can make them feel like they are skating. What spring do you have on the back? If it's the 150 N/mm spring, it's probably too stiff unless you have a lot more luggage than what that picture shows. If it's the 140, it's probably about right with very little preload depending on your weight. The number should be printed on the spring. You can also soften up the compression and stiffen up the rebound in the rear to help get rid of the chatter. You may also need to stiffen up the front on preload and clickers, especially if it still has stock springs and/or damping. Setup goes a looooong way on the 950/990. Don't be afraid to play with it, but try to make one change at a time and write down what you're doing. It is easy to get lost in the adjustments and forget what change made which difference.

    I'm not sure what your riding background or style is, but big bikes slide, and a worn out (or even a new) TKC80 on the front is never going to inspire a ton of confidence if you are trying to ride quickly on something other than pavement. Adjusting your riding style to be slow in/fast out of slippery corners (accelerate through the corner until you get used to sliding a little, and then the transition between slowing down and speeding up won't feel so sketchy) and staying loose over the bike when the going gets choppy will help.

    Don't give up on the bike just yet! :beer
    #4
  5. srelegante

    srelegante srelegante Supporter

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    Thanks guys!

    FWIW-I am a solid intermediate rider who got into dirt later in life-about age 45. Also-suspension is bone stock, forks have been rebuilt.

    Great counsel!
    #5
  6. road_apple

    road_apple Hit the Trail

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    Tire pressure is a misnomer on a KTM Adventure. Low pressure will result in a bent or busted rim, go by the Op manual. The rest is a good responsive front fork setup and good rubber to match the riding you're doing. Most find the front too soft. I'm not suggesting a motox bike but when it's dialed in it will improve dramatically. Use zipties to measure suspension response in the meantime and start playing with adjustments, again the Op manual will give you good baseline. The Op manual is free online. If you're handy with tools the suspension upgrades are doable by the average doit youself. Lookup the threads by Mr. Head on Utube too.

    The rubber recomendation is all over this forum and good info. if you are patient and read up on it. A worn TKC80 will be no fun at all until leaned over so much that it's useless in gravel, sand and dirt. Dig the AlCan sticker.
    #6
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  7. Whodatschrome

    Whodatschrome Long timer

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    I would also say that a brand new TKC80 is no fun as well.

    And if you absolutely hate the 990R since it has no ABS, you can always sell/trade the bike and get an ABS version.
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  8. Whodatschrome

    Whodatschrome Long timer

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    If you real look close, you can see that the bike has an Excel A60 front rim. Sure, it can still be bent by running too low of a pressure, but the rim is still MILES ahead stronger than the stock hoop!
    #8
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  9. zzzak

    zzzak Long timer Supporter

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    Try these settings:
    Forks.
    Pre load Nil, turn anti clockwise all the way.
    Rebound 6 clicks from fully in. Top of fork.
    Compression 8 clicks from fully in. Bottom of fork.
    Fork leg through clamp 15 mm.

    Rear shock.
    Pre load standard.
    Rebound 22 clicks from fully in. Bottom of shock.
    Compression 3 clicks from fully in. Top of shock.
    High speed compression 1 full turn out. Top of shock.

    Handlebars 25 mm forward for weight over the front wheel.
    #9
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  10. srelegante

    srelegante srelegante Supporter

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    Thanks! These might work out well, as I am the standard 185 pound guy these bikes were probably built for.
    #10
  11. zzzak

    zzzak Long timer Supporter

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    They work very well, it's nice to have the full 8" of suspension up the front with no pre load, after all you paid for that so why take half of it away, with the Corbin seat I can do 600k a day without feeling it, also the handling is much improved.
    #11
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  12. JohnnyWaffles

    JohnnyWaffles Been here awhile

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    Agree with all the others on proper setup. All the effort I put into my 990 to make it my own is exactly why I'm not interested in the newer bikes. Id have to get handlebars, seat, pegs, suspension and other stuff.

    I'm 6'4, 230#. I've said before here that I almost bought a 690 a few years ago because I was like you - unconfident on the bike. I got suspension setup for me, remapped the bike and new footpegs (increased stand-up confidence/control). Transformed my relationship with the bike completely.
    #12
  13. gearheadE30

    gearheadE30 @LC8Adventures

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    Everyone is a bit different. I have to say I would start in a very different direction if I were to recommend something, especially since you weigh about the same as me and it sounds like you're trying to get the bike to work better off road.

    The goal of this setup is to get the front higher in the stroke and get weight off of the front end, and also to reduce the harshness/increase drive from the rear wheel. It's more of a dirt bike setup, and will also add some stability in mud/sand/loose surfaces. As with anything, it's a starting point, probably not a final solution.

    Forks
    Preload: + 6 turns.
    Rebound: 14 clicks from fully in. Top of fork.
    Compression: 6 clicks from fully in. Bottom of fork.
    Fork leg through clamp: 0 mm. If you want it to steer more quickly, use 5 mm.
    Fork air chamber: 90mm to add more bottoming resistance.

    Shock
    Preload: 0 turns
    Rebound 14 clicks from fully in. Bottom of shock.
    Compression 20 clicks from fully in. Top of shock.
    High speed compression 1.75 full turns out. Top of shock 17mm.

    Don't move the handlebars forward, and avoid risers. Clamps rotated to the forward position and the bars set in the neutral position (vertical part of the bar bend in line with the forks). Moving the bars forward of the steering stem will create instability and make it much harder to get your weight back and ride in attack position if you are trying to get the bike through or over something challenging.
    #13
  14. crazybrit

    crazybrit Long timer

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    So fix these. A 790 still needs correct tire pressure and properly set up suspension, no?

    It sounds like you really want an excuse (permission?) to get a new bike :-)

    This said, my buddy who is a very good off road rider sold his 2005.5 950 and raves about how good the 790R is off road and this is not even considering the safety advantages.
    #14
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  15. LilYoda

    LilYoda Been here awhile

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    If it were me and I wanted a 790, and could afford it, then I'd go for it.
    #15
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  16. srelegante

    srelegante srelegante Supporter

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    All great points, thank you!

    Tires have been ordered, after that I will see about the suspension settings. The plan is to set it up and keep it for at least 6-8 months.

    My personality is never drawn to the new and shiny, sometimes to my detriment. We have gotten to the point where there are actually too many options (for some) in this segment. 1090, 790, T700, all great bikes-I would like, but do not crave any of them. There are others, these are the 3 circling in my head.

    I enjoy the 990 and hope to be able to bond with it further.

    Although it did cut out twice while idling yesterday, after the power wash. That was a bit disconcerting. I checked the battery connections and they were clean and solid. The reg/rec (?) connecter was pretty dirty so I bought some contact cleaner and WD40 today, wondering if I got some water in there. I have heard of several bikes that do that. However, on my 240 mile shakedown ride I do not recall even one instance of that.
    #16
  17. Rharr

    Rharr Been here awhile

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    if you haven't check the stator to RR connector, the big brown flat plug with 3 yellow wires. This connection gets dirty creates resistance and heat and melts. If it hasn't melted yet, I suggest you remove it and solder the wire together or very least sand the connectors clean and shinny.
    #17
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  18. Zuber

    Zuber Zoob Supporter

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    Dirty key switch is common. When it acts up, turn the key off/on about 10 times and see if it get better. Disassemble and clean or replace.
    #18
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  19. Andreim92

    Andreim92 Lost

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    Please dont sell your 950 ....ever... we need you over here, not a 950 owner but soon to be. Really trying to find a 950 instead of Fi bike.
    #19
  20. crazybrit

    crazybrit Long timer

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    I'd clean and pack with dialectic grease. Its intended to keep dirt out if connectors.
    #20
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