KTM 690 reliability

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by D K, May 5, 2010.

  1. D K

    D K Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    560
    Location:
    Exploring CO
    So, everyone is on about the KTM's being unreliable and a ticking time bomb, yet when I do a search for KTM's reliability - I find very little conclusive evidence..

    What are the main issues with the KTM 690 (652) engine??


    I want someone to convince me (scientifically) out of a 690R...:ear


    Again....I tapped the search button like a drummer hitting his high hat at a jazz concert:eek1
    #1
  2. Seth S

    Seth S Deleted

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    6,003
    Location:
    Deleted
    People who have had issues are very very very vocal. People who have had no problems are out riding. There have been a handful of people in the mega thread who have had some issues that took a long time to find the root of. There are many of us with 5000+ miles and no major problems. The engines are very durable and rally proven with thousands of miles of racing on them so far. The frames and suspension are good. The only issues that a few people have had problems with are fuel injection related. The other issues are well documented and easy to fix.

    Unfortunately you won't find too many motorcycle brands and models that are on the market that don't have any issues.
    #2
  3. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,513
    Location:
    On a RTW ride - currently touring the U.S.

    Let's wait until Ricky chimes in... :lol3 Besides all the fuel injection issues, didn't his engine blow up as well? Poor bastard, most of the other bikes seem fine.
    #3
  4. Lumpyboy

    Lumpyboy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    63
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    This is typical anecdotal crap you hear that is not just pointed at the 690 but at a lot of other bikes (non-KTM) as well. How many people have had real, serious problems compared to the number who haven't? As noted, a few folks had some real issues (like Ricky). 99% have had nothing of real significance. The issues the bike has, like most bikes, are minor and easily correctable, like the melting turn signal, the rubbing of the fan against the radiator, little things like that. Every bike has got 'em. You can get a lemon when you buy just about any bike so you have to go in with that reality. As Seth notes, when someone has a bad experience, they trash the bike. Can't blame them for being upset but of course there is no systemic issue of concern with most bikes, including the 690.
    #4
  5. The Deanster

    The Deanster n00b

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    0
    There are a few minor issues that should be addressed like most bikes but I've only seen a few BIG disaster stories. They do tend to collect dirt though:evil

    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. MymoJoe

    MymoJoe Ride Ride Ride

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,525
    Location:
    Fernvale QLD not close enough to the desert
    I heard and have read some of Ricky's issues, I even asked what was the cause of Ricky's engine hand grenading, but never heard or read the response..

    Other than Ricky's long list of issues, I haven't heard to many problems with the 690. I have had some small design problems I have fixed with the input from this site - fan cowl/tank bolts ect... but I haven't heard to many problems that stop the bike running.. my bike now has 6000ks and no issues... people talk about the reliablity of bikes like the DR650 - but I did a gear box, engine base gasket, cracked subframe and spent hours and dollars trying to fix design faults and make the DR650 better.. and it is still no where near half the bike my 2009 KTM690R is.....

    Get one, you will love it - easily the most versitle bike I have owned

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    [​IMG][/IMG]
    #6
  7. bobzilla

    bobzilla Dirty Old Man

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,236
    Location:
    Lost & Found again in the Great Basin
    #7
  8. Bearded Hooligan

    Bearded Hooligan Moto Addict

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,256
    Location:
    Flat, Hot & Humid South GA
    I agree with the comments posted above. Every bike has its issues, each brand and type. I have about 8400 miles with a few minor issues. For peace of mind I bought a 4 year extended warranty. Ill put it use this week...but the most exciting bike I have ever owned or ridden. This bike simply rocks when it comes to putting a smile on your face.
    #8
  9. wachs

    wachs just passin' through

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,955
    Location:
    Tumalo, Oregon
    I'm shopping for one now. Have ridden my neighbors' 690E and super outrageous 690RR extensively. He's had no worries from either bike and btw, they both haul ass. Great brakes, suspension is sorted and not nearly as 'vibey' as the last LC4 motors plus it has all the power that the 640 Adv was missing. :clap
    #9
  10. redpillar

    redpillar Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    904
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    Wachs, have you ridden the Husa 570? If so can you give me a comparison?
    #10
  11. MymoJoe

    MymoJoe Ride Ride Ride

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,525
    Location:
    Fernvale QLD not close enough to the desert
    Thanks Bob, yeah again a strength of the 690.. come from behind and power wheelie past the poor old worn out 640e.......
    #11
  12. Off the grid

    Off the grid Morally flexible Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    16,686
    Location:
    On the front lines, battling a global pandemic.
    Don't like it? Scared? Don't buy it! There will be more to choose from when I have the $$ to buy mine. :deal
    #12
  13. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Oddometer:
    16,003
    Location:
    NWA
    My '08 has a little over 12K miles, and I'd say I've had a more then my share of minor issues, and even as I type, my bike's sitting at the dealership getting it's third radiator due to manufacturing/engineering flaws. It's starting to get a bit old, but I still enjoy riding the bike when it's up and working and I don't as of yet regret owning one. I will say the KTM has excellent customer support. They've never given me any grief over replacing 2 radiators and 2 gauge clusters under warranty even though the factory warranty had expired. So is it reliable, well not compared to most of the other bikes I've owned. If it was my only bike I'd probably be really pissed, but since I have plenty of others including another KTM that seems to be bullet proof, I let it slide for the most part.
    #13
  14. Seth S

    Seth S Deleted

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    6,003
    Location:
    Deleted
    Something sounds suspicious to me when they are installing the 3rd radiator. What was the manufacturing flaw? My radiator is in a cardboard box surrounded by padding on its way out to Myler's in Utah to see if it can be returned to the original shape....the one that held coolant...as opposed to the one that doesn't hold coolant and looks sort of like it might fit around a tree :rofl
    #14
  15. ADVJake

    ADVJake ***** dweller

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,341
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    reading Ricky's posts made me steer away from the 690, it looks like a top bike but i need a reliable work horse atm for commuting, as i dont have a working car.
    There were a couple gearbox failures i heard of as well on other forums.
    #15
  16. Seth S

    Seth S Deleted

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    6,003
    Location:
    Deleted
    I'd that was a wise choice given the statistical probability that Ricky's bike is the definitive example of the 690's reliability. By the way, I took a breath of air the other day and it made me sneeze...I'd probably hold your breath from now on as its likely to make you sick otherwise. :thumb
    #16
  17. Sturgell

    Sturgell Urban dirtbiker

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    81
    It may not be definitive but it is definitely an example of the 690, I can't blame the guy for doing a lot of research seeing as it will be his primary mode of transportation. On the other hand you will find extreme examples of every mass produced machine when it comes to failure so find the ones you think are the MOST reliable and find a good candidate and ride the piss out of it.
    #17
    GypsyWriter likes this.
  18. Seth S

    Seth S Deleted

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    6,003
    Location:
    Deleted

    My point...and therefore my annoyance...is that one bad account of a bike was read and then assumed that everyone produced is bad. If that is the criteria for not choosing a bike then I suggest the investment in a good pair of running shoes. The reality being there are lemons in every production run of every motorcycle ever produced. I have read horror stories on reliability on just about every bike discussed on this site....even KLR's. So perhaps do a lot more research on the bikes of interest before writing them off. Now if someone were to do the research and publish a report showing the quantity sold compared to the type and amount of warranty issues...then you could make an educated decision.
    #18
  19. ADVJake

    ADVJake ***** dweller

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,341
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I predicted a response like this, the orange is strong in this one.
    The thing is, there are not a huge amount of 690s out there. The statistics are not good for it for the problems vs ownership.
    But to its defense, it is a new bike. The LC8 required quite a few years to sort out its issues.
    Looking at the Supermoto forums, the bottom ends on the new LC4s are just not that strong long term.

    It wasnt just ricky's experience, ive read of other grendaded engines on the 690. Not to mention the electrical problems.

    I'd hate to think how much id have to spend on a 690 to resolve an obscure electrical fault when its warranty runs out.
    #19
  20. Seth S

    Seth S Deleted

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    6,003
    Location:
    Deleted

    Orange, blue, yellow, green, red...whatever your color of choice...do me a favor and do a lot more research other then reading one bad account before making a choice. I spend every day collecting data to make decisions. Making a decision on one data point is beyond stupid.


    I can see this is going to become a stupid conversation...so please just do your homework before you condemn any one model.
    #20