KTM 790 takes a few tries to start

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

  1. doctorblanco

    doctorblanco Adventurer

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    Same thing happens for my buddies with 790s: When the bike is cold, it can take 3 and even 4 pushes of the start button for the bike to stay running. I have to imagine this is hard on the starter motor.

    Does anybody know why this occurs, and how it can be fixed? My dealer thinks it's from the cheap Chinese batteries they put in these things.
    #1
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  2. Some_Dude

    Some_Dude Been here awhile

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    Don't hold down the ignition until it starts. Press it and let go... the bike will start itself.
    #2
  3. fiascoj

    fiascoj Adventurer

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    I have the same problem with my 790 (engine is cold, wait for the fuel pump to prime, give the starter a short press, engine starts, bike idles for a few seconds and then dies). If I blip the throttle after the engine starts then it idles fine - but I don't believe blipping the throttle is the correct solution to this starting problem (the owners manual specifically says not to touch the throttle during starting). This seems to happen less when I use Shell-brand fuel so I suspect fuel type may be a factor. Would love to hear a solution to this before I take it in to the dealer for trouble-shooting.
    #3
  4. goldneox

    goldneox Adventurer

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    same happened to me for the last days.
    Besides, for the first 5 min, the engine was very little responsive to the throttle at low rpm. Had to blip the throttle pretty strongly at low speed to keep it alive. Then when the engine was hot, no more problem. Starting again with hot engine was fine too.

    Then i eventually finished my fuel and filled it up again. 50km later, no more problem, it is starting fine again.

    So i was wondering too: something to do with the fuel (I only use octane 98) ? Something clogged in the fuel filter that is gone now??

    any thoughts?
    #4
  5. scfrank

    scfrank Old farts riding club. Supporter

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    They all do that. Imperfect fueling. It’s not a big problem.
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  6. Aceyduce

    Aceyduce n00b

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    Yep, happens most frequently on days that are cooler temps with higher humidity. Just let it idle for a minute or two before taking off after it does this. I was running late and started down the driveway, took a right out of the driveway only to have the bike stall out mid corner, locking the rear wheel up on me making sure I was fully awake for the morning commute.
    #6
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  7. doctorblanco

    doctorblanco Adventurer

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    Yes @Aceyduce this also happens to me, the bike will stall while I am riding it, even if I have let it warm up for a couple minutes. Which is why I have to disagree with @scfrank , this is actually a somewhat big problem. I have never had a fuel injected bike where this has happened.

    In the beginning I attributed it to the bike needing to break in, but I have 4,000 miles on the bike now and it hasn't gotten any better. I think it's probably due to the bike running very lean (which would also explain why cat deletes have been so problematic on this bike, makes it even leaner). Really wish somebody would come out with a tune that fattens it up a little bit.
    #7
  8. sledneck

    sledneck Been here awhile Supporter

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    Mine’s never done it once. Can be chilly up here, too.
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  9. scfrank

    scfrank Old farts riding club. Supporter

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    Well. it seems like it comes up here a lot, on new bikes.
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  10. scfrank

    scfrank Old farts riding club. Supporter

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    Mine has never stalled on me underway. But it does take 2-3 times to start and run on it's own, without throttle. Other than that starting thing, I have no fueling issue. But, it hasn't been very cold here.

    I know I over generalized. There may be more than one thing going on.
    #10
  11. ShaftEd

    ShaftEd Long timer

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    My R does it too. I have 2500 miles now and in the morning it usually takes 3 tries to start. Doesn’t matter if I use the “quick button push” method or hold the starter button down, still takes 3 tries. Rest of the day, starts right up.
    #11
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  12. Smashy

    Smashy Been here awhile

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    Mine does this too and has been doing it since new. When I turn it on it dies in about 1 second. The first start of the morning always takes 2 or 3 tries before it stays on, even on a warm day. I don't think it's ever taken 4. If I give the throttle a very light blip right after it starts then it will stay on. I wish I knew the cause of this. The cheap battery explanation doesn't make sense to me because it cranks fine, although I am not an expert so maybe there's some way the battery is at fault? Has anyone changed the battery and still experiences the problem?

    As for stalling while riding, yes fuel injected bikes can still stall if they're cold, you're not supposed to immediately hop on and ride after starting if it's a cold start. Aside from the risk of stalling, it also causes a lot more wear on the engine. If you absolutely can't wait, ride very lightly until it warms up. I'll usually turn it on then put on my gloves and helmet, that takes at least 30 seconds.
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  13. scfrank

    scfrank Old farts riding club. Supporter

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    It seems to me it’s in the fueling program. Too lean at startup. May be fixed with an update.
    #13
  14. goldneox

    goldneox Adventurer

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    I changed the batteyr for a Lithium. Still having the problem. So nothing related to the battery :)
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  15. doctorblanco

    doctorblanco Adventurer

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    Agreed, and I always let the bike warm up until there is one bar on the temp gauge (at minimum). Even when I do this, the bike will sometimes stall while riding normally.

    @scfrank I agree it's probably fueling, thank you @goldneox for confirming. Seems these bikes run really lean! Unfortunately Rottweiler Performance still hasn't figured out how to run a Power Commander without the check engine light coming on.
    #15
  16. chippertheripper

    chippertheripper motorcycle junkie Supporter

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    Mine does it too. It will start and idle and not die on exactly the third push when it’s cold and ambient temps are “cool”.

    It’s not something I’m all broken up about.
    I used to have a fuglystrada that was even more temperamental in the same regard.
    Zero fucks given.
    #16
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  17. braaap!

    braaap! Long timer Supporter

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    Might be attributable to lousy fuel quality... It may well say 98Ron on the bowser but some stations have a shit cocktail in their tanks and line systems, no guarantees.
    A mate has a Guzzi V7 that was totally shit to start, hot cold or indifferent, stalled repeatedly just after take off (even having warmed up, tongue poking out either side)... He finally took it back to the dealer and they reflashed the cpu and problem evaporated... Maybe KTM have an update to the FI firmware already or coming...

    I haven't experienced this start issue myself and have made quiet a few one push starts on a couple of 0 degree mornings... But then again, I always lick my finger before I hit the button... It's so rude just to have a poke and prod without some lubrication. :gerg
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  18. BronNowo

    BronNowo Been here awhile

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    remove emission crap along with lambda sensor.
    #18
  19. Motopumps

    Motopumps Long timer Super Supporter

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    I have the same issue with mine, about 2500 miles now. Wondering if lower octane fuel would ease the starting issue as it ignites more easily. When I was having a similar issue with my Africa Twin, American Honda's advice was to make sure I was only ever running 87 octane fuel as premium caused that issue in the AT. I realize KTM recommends a minimum of 91 octane for the US bikes.

    It does seem like a lean fueling issue that they could update with a flash. I can get it to start consistently with a small blip of the throttle when starting, but I don't like doing that at cold startup. I have never had the bike stall once running for more than a few seconds.

    Rob
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  20. fastcash

    fastcash Adventurer

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    Same issue with mine, 3 or 4 tries at starting/dying when cold, then runs fine the rest of the day.
    Headed to the dealer on Monday, I will report back. The dealer has not had any other 790's they've
    sold report this problem.
    #20