Replacing 2015 1190 cam chain tensioners

Discussion in 'Ridiculous streetbikes with 6 CPUs and too much HP' started by buell, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. buell

    buell Adventurer Supporter

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    Good question IMHO. Am I flogging a dead horse replacing the OEM tensioners because I am concerned of a failure or just leave them in and live with he inherent noise? I have 34000 km on my engine now. Do I wait for the "Normal KTM Noise" to increase before need to replace them? I cant see in the service schedule "replace tensioners" . I understand that strange noises require attention. The design of the tensoiner spring load is to prevent catastrophic failure due to oil pressure loss as I understand. I do not ever wait on anything to fail before servicing and am usually performing maintenance well before factory maintenance intervals, especially KTM's oil/filter change requirements. Am I setting myself up for a grenaded engine if I don't replace the tensioners (OEM type) or with after market manual tensioners?? keeping in mind my current mileage (34,000) and what some people call "Normal engine noise"? I'm not trying to avoid the work. NP. I just am interested to know the reasoning for the concern regarding the OEM tenstioners. Does anyone have a higher mileage 1190 with the same OEM tensioners installed? Have there been documented failure of the tensioners that caused valves to meet the piston etc? Has anyone read or received official guidance from KTM on this OEM tensioner failure/noise concern? Forgive me if I am repeating old conversation on this topic, but the more I read the more conflicting options I find.
    Thanks for the responds and listening! Cheers
    #21
  2. nige 123

    nige 123 Adventurer

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    Not saying it’s poor design, it’s just I’m from an engineering background and I just don’t like it spoiling an otherwise great bike. The jap engines in the main are a lot smoother, but they use strategies to achieve this like split gears. But it does add to the cost and may take a small amount of horsepower. I need to understand the KTM valve train design more, before i risk fitting manually adjustable tensioners. It seems to have gone a bit quiet on this thread at where we are now!?
    #22
  3. Capo Rick

    Capo Rick Please understand... Supporter

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    15000 miles now on my manual tensioners now. I’ll be doing my first inspection since installing soon to see how the tension held and to check valve clearance. Quiet starting , and smooth running have been the results
    #23
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  4. nige 123

    nige 123 Adventurer

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    I’m still not convinced this noise is caused by the inadaquate tension on the cam chain. KTM are a respected and trusted manufacture. They may build a great engine that does give off a lot of mechanical noise but they wouldn’t build them to granade after a short time. As far as I know the advantages of auto tensioners is a reduction in service time and costs. I replaced mine with main dealer supplied KTM o/e tensioners, they made no difference at all. This indicated to me the others were working as intended. If this type of tensioner gave problems KTM would have supersceded it years ago. Any one know any more???
    #24
  5. buell

    buell Adventurer Supporter

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    Nice! I'm looking forward to your findings. I am not dismissing the manual tensioner install on the 1190. I have installed manual on an other bike and was pleased with the results regarding the rattle going away but sold the bike before I had any negative findings after the fact. I actually like the mechanical sounds from the engine and love the bike, but am wondering if there is really a problem as Nige 123 commented? Thank you for your feedback.
    PS: I really like your avatar! LOL
    #25
  6. kirk824

    kirk824 Been here awhile

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    I really think you're over thinking this whole thing. There is a guy on Instagram (paolocattaneophoto) traveling the Americas that has north of 120000km on his 1190s and as far as i know he's had zero issues with his motor. this generation of LC8 really is a bulletproof motor. stop worrying about every little noise and just ride the thing.
    #26
  7. nige 123

    nige 123 Adventurer

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    I’m not overthinking it though. I’m not worried in the slightest the engine will fail early. I know they are bullet proof. Seen one stripped on 160000 kilometers, all it took was oil seals gaskets etc. I just want a smooth quiet running engine sound that’s all. I know some people arnt bothered about mechanical finesse. But unfortunately for me, I AM.
    #27
  8. buell

    buell Adventurer Supporter

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    Many thanks to all of you for the information and advise. Truly appreciated as I have a better understanding of the tensioner issues, installation and options. Cheers
    #28
    kirk824 likes this.
  9. nige 123

    nige 123 Adventurer

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    Was wondering what course of action you have decided to take with yours Mr buell?
    #29
  10. buell

    buell Adventurer Supporter

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    Well we went for a 400 km all highway ride yesterday 14-21C temperature. Got home and had a listen to the engine sounds and could still hear a slight clacking sound on the right side just under the water pump, but a lot less then after 35C all day riding that included getting stuck in Vancouver rush hour and a LOT of clutch work on the bike. I am wondering if I was hearing the tired clutch more than the cam chain? This bike is so light, I am thinking a lot of the engine sounds we hear are because the engine water jackets/cylinder wall and cases are a lot thinner than a 1972 Honda 750/4. (You know what I mean) I am going to keep a ear to the sounds and if the "Cam Chian" noise increases I may consider manual tensioners. But with that thought, I am waiting on Capo Ricks report on the cam chain guide wear etc. when he gets into his valve adjustments after 15000 miles with his manual tensioners. After reading about a 160,000 km tear down (Nige123) on the hydraulic tensioners (assumed) I am feeling more at ease about the noises being acceptable to the reliability of the 1190 engine. Short answer, still pondering the real concern of the OEM tensioner failure conversations. I believe the KTM engineers are very talented and would be protecting their reputation regarding their products also. (Recalls) What are your thoughts? Please let me know. Thank you
    #30
  11. TheBritAbroad

    TheBritAbroad Just ride. Supporter

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    Earplugs will fix your worries.
    #31
  12. nige 123

    nige 123 Adventurer

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    After much research it seems to me the manual CCT are only able to silencer the noise present when the engine first starts, clack clack ie before oil pressure is maintained I’m not 100% sure but it seems they do little to silence general engine noise when running. Can anyone confirm this is the case or otherwise? I E/mailed a couple of manual CCT suppliers but they were unwilling to engage in a technical question and answer session.
    #32
    buell likes this.
  13. buell

    buell Adventurer Supporter

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    Pretty quite out there. Are manual tensioners creating another problem while they help to silence an engine sound? They say an over tight drive chain is hard on bearings, seals, sprockets and Shafts. The hydraulic OEM tensioners must leak down oil pressure after sitting, for a noisy startup. Then with pressure quite. No pressure and the tensioner internal spring is the mechanical fail safe to provide enough tension to keep the valve/cam timing from letting the piston and valves meeting. I wonder what that condition sounds like? Lol. Man, is there really a problem with the KTM hydraulic tensioners? Someone, please get super technical on this or more documented examples of KTM LC8 major engine damage due to tensioner failures. I also like really quiet engines, way easier to tell when something is not normal. But this engine sound wonderful at full throttle coming up past 6000rpm. :-) Cheers All
    #33
  14. nige 123

    nige 123 Adventurer

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    #34
  15. nige 123

    nige 123 Adventurer

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    I’m in the same mind as you. KTM fit these hydraulics for a reason! As a chain wears it wears unevenly, hence the varying tension in the rear drive chain in different positions. A hydraulic tensioner will make an allowance against the tensioner blade for these variations, whilst a manual one will only have one fixed position or tension. Also, it won’t allow for different chain tensions between engine hot and cold state. These are 2 reasons I’m not jumping in just yet to fit the manual ones. to cure a noise, annoying as it is! The third is lack of engagement from the aftermarket sellers. All I need is a tech discussion. ANYONE u
    #35
    buell likes this.
  16. nige 123

    nige 123 Adventurer

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    Just wondered if I could pick this up, anyone got any more to add? I’m still enjoying my 1190r currently touring in Portugal has been in the 30+ centigrade air temps . Oil temps around 110 degrees much more than I’m used to in the uk. Engine sounds like a bag of spanner’s when riding slowly around the little towns we visit. Then along comes a neglected old Africa Twin, smooth and quiet as ever! I’m sure there is nothing mechanically lacking in my engine, but the clacking does spoil the ride. Once above 3000 she’s refined and quiet. Any more news/ developments on the manual cam chain tenshioners?? Cheers Nige.
    #36
  17. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes Supporter

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    I agree with you that the hydraulic tensioner is probably an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" item, which works as intended for almost all users. Pretty sure the camchain is not going to wear unevenly, however, so a properly adjusted manual tensioner should work just the same as a properly functioning automatic/hydraulic tensioner. The key term here is 'properly adjusted'.
    #37
    Capo Rick likes this.
  18. cookieGB

    cookieGB Been here awhile

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    Nearly 19K on my 1190 and can't say I've noticed any undue noise at all.

    Maybe it's the earplugs?
    #38