Versys-X 400 speculations thread

Discussion in 'Japanese polycylindered adventure bikes' started by PaD, Oct 26, 2017.

  1. andybj

    andybj Adventurer

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    I don't think you're being unfair. Ya know the old saying, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" That's a good way to look at Kawi. You already know they make good products. Why chance it on a brand that's new to YOU? I get it.

    I can only speak for my area, but KTM is not an "off brand". At least, not anymore. I don't know for sure, but it wouldn't surprise me that there are more KTM dealers in my state (Colorado) then Kawi dealers, but that to me is worthless because dealers never have what I need in stock anyway, and it's more expensive then online shops and usually take longer to get!

    I've had bikes from all four Japanese brands, and 4 KTM's now. Maybe I've been lucky, but so far they've given me fewer problems then the Japanese bikes I've owned!

    Every brand has better and worse models, every brand can sell lemons, and no brand is exempt from issues. I hear you on being uncomfortable with smaller brands, I really wanted a gas gas pampera for a while, but was scared about parts availability.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the Japanese brands are bad quality (they are certainly NOT), and i'm also not saying KTM makes more reliable bikes then the Japanese brands. One thing I do know for sure, is that KTM seems to care about their customers a lot more then other brands in terms of product development. They seem to actually listen to what people want, and give their models constant updates instead of selling say a KLR650, DRZ400, WR250R, XR650L for DECADES without change. The Japanese seem to make what THEY think we should want. Sometimes they're right, Many times they are not. I really do appreciate KTM for this.

    Personal experience is the ONLY way to REALLY learn how good a bike is. My personal experience tells me that Japanese bikes reliability is over-rated. I would not classify myself as a KTM fan-boy. I really do like Jap bikes, they make excellent machines!


    In any case, the Versys 400 would be a sweet bike!
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  2. dirtdreamer50

    dirtdreamer50 long time rider

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    Would the 490 still be a single? They've built lots of different cc singles over the years, and the twin has already been boosted. Think they will shrink a twin to 500cc arena?
  3. Gustavo

    Gustavo Motociclista Errante

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    Yes, the new 490/501 is supposed to be a twin. That, combined with how seriously they took the transformation of the Duke into Adventure 390, would seem to indicate it's going to be as close to that fabled unicorn as we are going to get. Well, at least after they sort out all the first (and second, and third) year production issues... :augie

    Gustavo
  4. SoManyFish

    SoManyFish Been here awhile

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    Husqvarna Motorcycles is now owned by KTM's parent company, KTM AG. Some of the newer new Husqvarna bikes are for all practical purposes more expensive "premium" rebadged KTMs.
  5. 11motos

    11motos Feral Rider

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    How reliable are the KTM engines vs. the Kawasaki proven Ninja platform?
    I mean realistically not in theory. This means proven track record.
    One reason I lean toward japanese is that with the scheduled maintenace I have gone over the 100K with many bikes with zero problems.
    I didn't have the same luck in the past with other brands including BMW.
    I am not a cheap guy so If I break or bend something, I fix it or replace it and lube everything and take care of service
    but also want things to last w/o opening engines for major surgery other than clutch service, obviously.
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  6. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    Yeah there is one in Almighty; friend of mine gets parts from there for his 6 days. IIRC there's a very good Russian mechanic working there. There's also SWM dealer in osh, kyrgyzstan.

    By waiting for 490 do you mean buying 390 now and trading it for 490 when it comes out? I don't expect it happens in next 2 years and we will see Duke first. It will likely cost 8-9k just between 390 and 890.. and it will probably be 590 due to Euro5.
  7. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    Rumors are it will be ptwin
  8. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    Some early 390 Duke engines (3-5+ years ago) had problem with head gasket leak.. it was blamed on poor machining, bad gaskets, lack of quality control but most likely overheating. This is of the past they have fixed QC and the drive by wire fuelling is much better.. I would still like to see empirical data how 390 ADV will do in hot dusty conditions at low speeds.

    As for japanese being reliable google KLR oil and doohickey.. I just rebuilt kwak 650 ptwin mill a quart of oil every 200mi was not acceptable. Apparently some vintage kwak models like 08' KLR got bad quality oil rings which would turn into wet noodle at first sign of overheating.. hope replacement is better. And how about KLR footpegs?

    KTM likes to push envelope japanese are more conservative.. not like either don't make mistakes. I would like to see how throttle by wire would do after repeated expose to elements.. don't think they sealed electric connectors but maybe they did.

    Regardless given a choice of VX3 with 400cc engine at $5600 and 390 ADV at $6200 $600 will not buy you 7" quality suspension for kwak and you would still have to wire ABS off switch.. this putting aside value of electronic bling. If VX4/KLR has 7" of half decent suspension and switchable ABS at $5600 it will tip my scale.. just saying.

    And last but not least: one bike is already in showrooms and another is mythical unicorn; which one you can get on and ride into sunset?
  9. Fiftyfatponies

    Fiftyfatponies Been here awhile

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    This "KTM vs the japs quality" thing is getting very old. It hasn't been valid since the early nineties.
  10. Gustavo

    Gustavo Motociclista Errante

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    Maybe the bikes they send to Sweden are better made. :dunno

    In the US, it has often been a very real issue, that has not gone away in the last ~30 years like you think it has. We're talking about bikes made in the last 2-5 years. It's not that other manufacturers don't have issues, especially on new models in the first production year, they just don't have as many issues. The 390 issues discussed above were real. They seem to have mostly gone away by the time KTM got to the redesign in 2017.

    A Versys 650 engine (or Ninaja/ER6)? How many miles? Mine has 48K miles, uses no oil. Last June I rode this Versys:

    [​IMG]

    The mileage shown is actually ~7% low, because this bike has had a 16T CS sprocket almost since new (instead of the 15T stock one), so closer to 250,000 km than what it's showing. We rode a little over 3K km, and it used no oil. Actually, without riding a newer Versys back to back with it, I couldn't even tell you if it was down on power after 13 years and ~156K miles. It just felt like my own Versys with a 1/3rd of the miles.

    Gustavo
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  11. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    It was my son's 06 Ninja 650 at 40k. From what I searched on internet it wasn't one off there were quite a few complaints about oil consumption. When we opened we found a) valve seals were worn but not to extend to cause such high oil consumption; b) bores and top 2 rings (cast iron) were like new (no surprise, good compression); c) oil rings were in the groove and not sticking out at all. They had enough material just lost spring and were not stuck as engine hasn't seen any non-synthetic oil and was very clean.

    Oil rings are steel so it must have been sub-par non heat resistant material as there were no any signs of engine suffering overheating.

    As for 390 possible issues post-2017 Duke seems to be reliable enough and I am stacked on bikes it will be a while before my SD or XCo needs replacement. By that time if there are any they will be sorted out. Hopefully in less time than it took Suzuki to sort out exploding transmission on DR and burning stator on Vstrom, Katana, Gixxer and across ATV line.
  12. 11motos

    11motos Feral Rider

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    The reason I am asking is because I talk to a lot of riders and we rarely see a mass produced popular engine like a ninja, FZ or CBR / others engines opened
    for repairs (unless they are 20-30 years old) while we see these KTMs, Huskys, Italians, opened all the time. Even BMWs are not what they used to be, of course some models better than others.
    It might be a subjective impression but it seems that this is a general sentiment among people who are close to the engineering side (mechanics, engineers and machinists) who happen to be riders too.
    Does it mean that KTM engines are bad? of course not. It is just that some folks might actually expect their bikes flip the counter 1 or 2 times w/o going for major surgery or just
    like less costly service or just for their own personal criteria.
    Some people will not put those many miles anyway but it is just to say how in certain machines the attention to quality improvement is considered, perhaps over cutting edge
    performance, design and/or innovation. It is no secret in the automotive world that toyota's (& lexus) kaizen process and philosophy is kind of the industries top benchmark for quality
    manufacturing and continuous improvement. So now, many corporations have been introducing this in their processes and methodology but the only thing is the japanese have 30-40 years lead on them.
    It is like the American company Savage rifles, they have been working in cost effective super accurate utility rifles for so many years that now everyone else wants to replicate their
    designs and processes but it takes many years to master, like their barrel making. In the motorcycle world kawa, yamaha, honda ... they all follow same directives. I guess is also part of the culture.
    I mean, I can see someone might like something like a Himalayan with a nice price point that can get you around but when even their own engineers cannot guarantee a 50K
    kilometers trouble free engine or chasis not collapsing right in the middle going on a regular highway then it is kind of pointless any other attribute (at least for me) since on top we know is not
    because they are pushing the envelope in terms of massive horse power or competition/race use that sometimes requires more TLC.
    Anyway, I put proven reliability high up in my list of requirements, perhaps too much.
  13. 11motos

    11motos Feral Rider

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    I hear this all the time. The yamahas have been the same way, good oil, gas, tires, brake pads, change lube, and just ride. ...and of course occasional clutch change that I did only twice in 160K Kms.
    I wonder why they don't use these little kawa or yamaha engines in small city cars since they seem to be more reliable than many small car engines like little italian cars adn they
    are cheaper and lighter anyway?
  14. 11motos

    11motos Feral Rider

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    I agree on the KLR that is not a good example or refinement. I don't think they are total trash like somepeople say because they served economically millions of people but I never liked that engine.
    In the thumpertalk and other forums people stop the oil consumption by using a couple fo simple changes including using different oil but I just don't like the motorcycle anyway. It is too heavy and too little power for a 650 anyway.
    My take, they keep making them because they use to sell them dirt cheap for all sort of service roles including police/patrol duty all over the world.
    With al that said, that is one reason that makes a great hog for a "round the world" long term trip because parts are found all over in original and aftermarket shape.
  15. dirtdreamer50

    dirtdreamer50 long time rider

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  16. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    @11motos I understand your desire to get warm and fuzzy feeling in terms of reliability. As for brand reputation KTM sells alot more dirt bikes which a) not designed for high mileage, b) get alot more tear and wear. So the picture overall is skewed. 2nd KTM is known to push envelope in design and using early adopters as beta testers. 3rd most of KTM models are low volume which has negative impact on reliability.

    390 platform was specifically designed for road use, had been around for some time and is mass-produced with most of them sold in India. It is more reliable than G310 and probably less than CBR or VX. WP suspension is certainly top notch and abs unit is outsourced from the same supplier as other brands. Here's my take:
    a) engine hasn't changed from 390 Duke, so all knowledge, tuning options should be applicable
    b) suspension is previous gen from dirt bike and it sounds they sprung it right
    c) brakes are Bybre (brembo subsidiary)
    d) abs unit is Bosch used in many applications
    c) frame is steel, easy to weld
    d) electronics are used across other KTM models (previous gen comparing to top of the line)

    As VX3 no less reliable than Ninja 300 it is hard to imagine 390 ADV being much worse than 2018-2020 390 Duke. Google if you have doubts good luck.
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  17. Wallachian Spikes

    Wallachian Spikes Long timer

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    What is the issue with KLR footpegs? As far as I know the only issue is they are covered in rubber & muddy feet slip off too easily. Is there an actual failure they are known for? I've always planned to replace mine with more dirt worthy pegs but, somehow I still haven't after 11 years of ownership. Still plan to though.

    The KLR is IMO the one of the best bikes for a guy with very little $$$$, as they can be picked up used with low miles & the flaws worked out for a total of $2,000- $4,000 purchase & fix up price combined. I'd only consider the 1st. gen KLR though as I feel Kawasaki completely dropped the ball with the 2nd. gen. & actually created new problems without solving any of the old ones. I only burned oil once when I held Godzilla (My current KLR) @ 80MPH for about 45 minutes. She burned almost a quart that time but, luckily I've never noticed any oil burning since. I don't remember my first KLR (The General, because she was marine Corps Green) ever burning oil.

    I do feel the DR 650 is a better bike for my needs & will replace Godzilla with a DR if nothing more modern has been released by the time she needs replacing which will probably be 5-15 years from now. Assuming I even give a crap about Dual Sport bikes by then.... Wish the Husky 650 Terra was still being made but it was a 1 & Done orphan which scratches it off my list. Hopefully the KLR replacement will be at least as good as the 650 Terra.
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  18. Fiftyfatponies

    Fiftyfatponies Been here awhile

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    The problem when discussing japanese quality bikes is that people soon starts to refer to 20 year old bikes, with 40 year old technology.
    :photog
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  19. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    https://advrider.com/f/threads/klr-footpeg-bolt-problem.643835/

    If you need look up a few vids on YouTube. I have spoken to a KLR rider in Whitehorse he had subframe fail on Dempster; that must have been a freak accident.

    As for 2-4k for KLR for 3-4k you can pick up xcountry or Terra later vintage then gen1 KLR. Heck F/G650GS isn't far off.

    Oil, pegs, doohickey aside I'm not dissing on KLR just pointing out that japanese reliability isn't what it is made and it is unlikely that 390 ADV will be considerably less reliable.
  20. jfauerba

    jfauerba Been here awhile

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    FYI, old KLRs suffer from lossing bolts and in some cases breaking them. Mainly seat and subframe bolts from my friend's experience.