Witnessed oil return failure

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by Taki, Jun 18, 2004.

  1. Taki

    Taki Waiting for Godot

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    I was out riding with a friend last Sunday, both of us on 950's mine a silver 04, his a black 04. After 60 or so miles we pulled up to a stop sign and both noticed a distinct ticking or tapping sound comming from the motor at idle and under partial throttle. My friend shut down his bike put it on the center stand and checked the oil. To his surprise, the oil reserve tank was overfull. He had checked the oil level and it was in spec before we started the ride so this development was somewhat disturbing.
    After sitting for a few minutes he started the bike and the problem was gone, oil level, ticking and everything;only to resume 5 minutes later.
    This problem was outlined in an official KTM service bulletin for ALL countries last year. When my dealer inquired about the service bulletin he was told that the US models were unaffected and did not require the oil return repair kit specified in the bulletin.
    I find this problem somewhat disturbing. I have worried that some of the inherent 950 problems would someday affect me but was assured by the dealer my bike was post problem era.
    Does anyone have an oppinion about this?
    #1
  2. MookieBlaylock

    MookieBlaylock Long timer

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    we are kind of f*cked here in the states about things like this for some reason. Liability,dislike for Americans , fear of lawsuits--who knows. The repair kit looks simple to put in but like everything else takes an hour to get to the carbs. I pulled the ktm communication off the 950 rider site but i cant remember the adress now. Its got a lot of good stuff on it.
    #2
  3. KTMax

    KTMax Ninth of the Nazgul

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    I think most of them are here .
    #3
  4. Mikey Monger

    Mikey Monger When pigs fly...

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    My early 04 (Euro 03) S model is back at the dealer right now with the same problem, along with an overheating issue. They haven't been able to find the cause and I have less than 400 miles left on the warranty.

    It seems that a lot of the Yamazuki mega-dealers in the US that also sell KTM don't know WTF they're doing with the LC8.

    I'll keep you all posted.
    #4
  5. Goss

    Goss LC8 Adventurer

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    Did the low oil pressure light come on during this episode ? Keep us updated.

    Goss
    #5
  6. Mikey Monger

    Mikey Monger When pigs fly...

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    Yes, the oil light came on steady and bright regardless of engine speed, not flickering at idle, as it would sometimes do when very hot. I had the dealer send a truck to pick it up.
    #6
  7. Renegade6

    Renegade6 Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    I'm getting ready to write a letter to KTM Austria about this issue. The service bulletin clearly states that it applies to all countries yet; KTM USA won't recognize the problem. When I called KTM USA about it, they essentially said that I didn't know what I was talking about. Same bulletin also covers replacing the clear carb vent lines.

    The repair kit (one line with a valve) runs about $60.

    KTM has a great opportunity to impress new customers yet, they are blowing it by ignoring them.:baldy
    #7
  8. Lil' Irv

    Lil' Irv Adventurer

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    Last Thursday night I dropped off my '04 950 for the 600 mile service. From about 450 miles on I had noticed a slight ticking from the motor. It was slight enough that I was unsure if it was a new noise or had been there all along. On one occasion I had noticed the oil tank was overfull - thought that was odd as it had always been right on and I had never added oil. Ran it a few miles, checked it again and it was back where it should be and has been since. The ticking from the motor continued.

    I mentioned the ticking to the mechanic when I dropped the bike off and he thought the valves were probably a little loose. Based on posts I'd read here and elsewhere I asked him to look closely for abnormal wear on the cam lobes.

    Friday morning I read the above post - uh oh, sounds familiar. Friday afternoon I got a call from the mech with "good news and bad news". Bad news - abnormal wear on the lobes of the front exhaust cam. Good news - KTM is shipping a replacement today. I told him to ask KTM specifically about the service bulletin regarding the oil hose at the bottom of the reservoir and gave him the bulletin number. I'm planning to stop by on the way home today to see what more he's found out.

    What a bummer... Theres nothing worse than having my newest prized posession tainted by having to replace parts at this young age. No doubt I'll get over it but will be always be wondering what else in the motor might have gotten hurt.

    This experience shows how valuable the information on this forum is! Without it I wouldn't have had any reason to ask the mech to look for wear, nor would I have been able to give him the service bulletin info that he didn't have. I'll post an update when I know more...
    #8
  9. MookieBlaylock

    MookieBlaylock Long timer

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    that's a drag. Is the cause of the cam wear lack of lubrication because the oil return valve set up was malfunctioning? guess i will check the oil level more often... keep us posted
    #9
  10. Lil' Irv

    Lil' Irv Adventurer

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    Don't know what the cause is. The only time the oil light has ever come on is on a hot start but it goes away as soon as the idle stabilizes. That would seem to indicate that everything is getting adequate oil...

    I stopped by the dealer yesterday and talked to the tech that is working on my bike. He said there is some wear evident on all cams, the worst of it on the front exhaust. KTM told him it was normal which he disagreed with. He is sending them digital pictures to review.

    He also said that all valve clearances were within spec with the exception of one exhaust valve that was .002 loose. I don't know if that's enough to cause the ticking I heard or not.

    Right now we're waiting for KTM's response to the photos. If they won't replace them at least the problem is on record and we'll be watching the cams closely during the warranty period.

    I'll keep you all posted...
    #10
  11. Lil' Irv

    Lil' Irv Adventurer

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    After reviewing the photos KTM has delclined to replace any of the cams in my motor. Their view is that this is normal wear. My mechanic does not agree and of course I would feel better with the cams replaced, but I'm not gonna worry about it for now. The motor is certainly not going to grenade itself and we'll just keep a close eye on things during the warranty period for any signs of additional wear.

    I had said earlier that I wondered what else in the motor may have been hurt, but in retrospect there is no reason to think that may be the case. I have never had more than a flicker of an oil pressure light and so no reason to think that there is a lack of lubrication, at least generally.

    For now I'll just keep havin' a blast with the bike, and we'll see what happens...
    #11
  12. gerard

    gerard n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
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    From South Africa :eek:n two occasions now after long ride
    and after switching off the bike, the oil light flickers on starting and idling
    engine sounds noisy .
    Light goes out when revved and noise goes away,
    Tech guys here say the system is losing oil past seal on cam chain tensioners,
    or oil release valve spring is too tight /too loose,
    and i will solve the problem by using shell helix ( a Car oil) instead of synthetic .
    some comments please.
    12600 km since january including two months at dealer for blown headgasket at 2700 ks, KTM say it was a problem gasket !!
    have I got a dud bike??
    #12
  13. RAGrote

    RAGrote Long timer

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    No, it's not. If you're valves are so out of adjustment that you hear ticking the next sound you'll hear is the valve slamming into the piston @ TDC exhaust stroke.
    The only time you should hear abnormal ticking is when the top end is not getting oil.
    #13
  14. Reformed DucFlogger

    Reformed DucFlogger Inventor Of The Wheel Mk2

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    While this is likely closing the barn door after...

    Given the minor extent of the repair/fix (http://www.950riders.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41), would there be any reason why an owner couldn't do either of the following:

    a) get the parts and do it him/herself?
    b) swallow their justified anger/frustration, cough up the $$$ to have it done - and store the incident in mind for a later date when it's time to buy that next bike?

    I loath the idea of paying for someone elses screw-up or ignorance. However, after too many occasions of hit & miss mechanics and the occasional game of 'he said, she said' with dealers of UJMs, Ducatis and BMWs over the years, I'm starting to come to the realization that your end goal has to be a healthy bike, that you have confidence in, ASAP.
    #14