Questions from a new owner

Discussion in 'Dakar champion (950/990)' started by ezvfrman, Jun 5, 2004.

  1. ezvfrman

    ezvfrman VFRMAN

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    6
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Howdy men (women?)-

    I am waiting for a call to go pick up my bike which I bought via eBay and had it shipped to my office in Houston. So I haven't even seen by blk/silvr baby yet! But after reading the owner's manual last night, I have some questions.

    The manual says.....
    1. oil changes have to be done by a KTM dealer during warranty period, or your warranty becomes void. I seriously doubt this. Has anyone done their first and/or subsequent oil changes themselves, and THEN rec'd warranty work? That would be the proof I'm looking for.
    2. 95 octane is required, or else you have to switch the ignition curve. There are no pumps w/ 95 around my part of Houston that I've ever seen. Anyone running 92 w/o problems?
    3. bike requires full synthetic oil JASO T903 MA standard. I'm sure the Motorex they fill it with is super expensive. Anyone found a less expensive good syn oil that meets that standard? I'm guessing it wont line up well w/ the API standards. I was surprised that they actually talk about the car vs. motorcycle oil.... must be one of the most debated gearhead subjects on the WWW!
    Finally, I've learned that my bike is an early 2004 model, which I guess means its really a 2003. Hell, the manuals even say 2003! I've read quite a bit on these EPS/canisterectomy threads, and I had the dealer raise the needles and remove the EPS stuff for me before the bike was shipped. Now, I should just have to remove the overflow canisters to get rid of the last major poor design system on the bike, right?

    Thanks in advance! Bryan
    #1
  2. kirkmoon

    kirkmoon Making up for lost youth

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2003
    Oddometer:
    8,912
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    The 95 octane mentioned in the manual is Research Octane number (RON). The octane ratings at the pump in most parts of the US are an average of the RON and the Motor Octane Number (MON), which is typically 8 points or so lower. Bottom line is that a RON of 95 is typically the same as a pump octane of 91 or so. Use premium gas and you are fine.

    Here is a brief blub about octane numbers from somewhere else on the web:

    "Gasoline pumps typically post octane numbers as an average of two different values. Often you may see the octane rating quoted as (R+M)/2. One value is the research octane number (RON), which is determined with a test engine running at a low speed of 600 rpm. The other value is the motor octane number (MON), which is determined with a test engine running at a higher speed of 900 rpm. If, for example, a gasoline has an RON of 98 and a MON of 90, then the posted octane number would be the average of the two values or 94. "

    If you do a search of the AdvRider site Big, Mean Nasty section on "Octane" you will find other threads that discuss this in greater detail.

    Cheers. :freaky
    #2
  3. Desmofan

    Desmofan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Oddometer:
    869
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    EZVFRMAN:
    1) welcome to the asylum :D

    2) I grilled my dealer about that oil comment in the manual-they neither require it (it's illegal to require maint. by the dealer to cover warranty, unless it is mfg./dealer paid for!), and when doing warranty work don't bother asking for oil receipts, and this would include a silver 950 at NCY missing an engine right now :huh (bottom end rebuild due to blown water pump seal sucking coolant into the bottom end, yet the owner continued to add coolant as it continuously disappeared, never wondering why... :eek1 )

    3. I have always used Mobil1 15W-50 in all my Euro twins, and they love it! $4ish per quart at Pepboys, Kragen, even Walmart sometimes

    PS, please God no new oil thread :puke1
    #3
  4. Desmofan

    Desmofan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Oddometer:
    869
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    ...oh yeah, lose the carbon cannister and associated plumbing and vent the tanks directly, see extensive EPC/SAS/Carbon threads
    #4
  5. Shuffler

    Shuffler Hommes Grande

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,763
    Location:
    CFalls MT
    I'm torn between doing the oil myself, or letting my dealer do the initial service since I'm told a couple of their techs attended 950-specific training. My carbs need adjustment, too, following removal of the canister/SAS plumbing and opening up the airbox with the Sommer modification.

    Another option on oil is Elf Moto 4 XT Tech 10W50. I ordered a case from my regional sales rep and 18 quarts was delivered to my door for $197. It ain't cheap, but neither is the bike. If this oil is good enough for the KTM Dakar bikes, it's good enough for me. Chris Chapman was my contact, and you can reach him at 303.907.5766. The website is http://www.elfmoto.com/
    #5
  6. ezvfrman

    ezvfrman VFRMAN

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    6
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    This afternoon I have managed to put 100 miles on my new bike. FWIW, here are a few observations:

    • Love it, love it, love it!!! I had not had a chance to ride one previously, only sit on one & here/feel it idle. The bike's ergos (except seat) are excellent... I'm glad I didn't get the S... I would never use the extra travel, and even my 200lbs doesnt compress the shock enough to get flat-footed (33" inseam, 6' tall).
    • I'm impressed with the performance, even though I'm keeping it under 6.5K revs as per the manual. I know its gonna be a blast when I get to open it up.
    • Handling is much better than I was expecting. I've been riding sport bikes for 15 yrs, and also some Jap dual sports in last 5 yrs. As aggressivley as I dared ride w/ new tires, I felt very confident taking curves on the bike.
    • Its only 89 degrees here, and the bike does seem to run rather warm. Only 2 bars were remaining on my temp gauge when I was in traffic, and it only went down one more bar during my hiway time. You can damn sure tell when the fan comes on! I also noticed my right heel was getting pretty warm in slow speed traffic. I read something around here about "water-wetter".... I think I need to give it a try.
    • That seat is truly freakin hard! I'll be keeping my eyes open for cost effective improvements over stock.
    • I had the dealer raise needle to 3rd pos. I'm noticing that on deceleration, the bike pops. If I recall, popping on decel is an idicator of leanness, right? If I did the ever popular Sommer mod to the airbox, that condition would get worse. Maybe it would be worth a few hundred $ to find a good tuner w/ dyno & o2 sensor to dial this Austrian babe in. Any recomendations in Houston?
    • I like the looks of the stock exhaust cans, and they sound pretty good to me when you get on it. I think I might try something (in conjunction w/ finding right carb settings/airbox mods) I did on an XR400: drilling 1/4" holes on the flat part of the endcap exhaust... just to give a greater exit area for exhaust flow. On my XR, I put 4 holes around the center pipe exit, threaded them, and could basically get about 30% more gas flowing w/ all the screws out (and louder), or quieten it up by putting 1 to 4 screws back in. I'd like to hear a little more sound from my 950... I'll let yall know if I do it/how it works.
    /s/ happy new KTM 950 owner
    Take care- Bryan
    #6