BUYING KTM’S 950/990…
The first KTM V-twin wins the 2002 Dakar, and it’s just a prototype. A year later it’s also the firm’s first big adventure bike. From humble beginnings...
… Adventure. Living that Dakar dream from just £2500.
FUEL PUMP PROBLEMS
If your bike stalls at traffic lights or loses power when accelerating past 3000rpm, don’t jump to the conclusion your fuel pump is out. The same fuel pump was in use from 20032013 and we’ve replaced less than ten of them. It’s more likely the fuel filter’s clogged: £120 for new filter and labour.
Alternating services: the £250 minor at 4500 is oil and filter (plus cleaning the oil screen filter), and brake fluids every two years; a 9000-mile major service costs £500 and includes valve clearances and spark plugs. The clutch oil jet must be cleaned every major service. If it’s missed out your clutch becomes starved of oil, will not engage/disengage properly and the bike will creep in gear.
Early 950s were recalled to fix a water pump seal issue. There are two oil seals on the water pump with a drain hole between nd them. If a seal breaks, coolant drains through this hole slowly. The recall upgraded seals – a kit to fix the problem costs £59.82. Plan for £120 labour. Check your bike’s VIN number with a KTM dealer to confirm the work has been done. The issue effected 990s.
TWO FUEL TANKS
Adventures carry twin fuel tanks, one each side. Why? Firstly, if a crash damages one side, you switch off the corresponding fuel tap (below radiator) and run on the other tank. Secondly, to make tanks easier to remove for servicing. Ironic then that ethanol in modern fuels deforms the plastic tanks, adding an hour in labour.
These early Adventures are well-finished, but need looking after in bad weather. Use ACF50 anti-corrosion spray on the bike’s exposed aluminium, and coat nickel-plated wheel spokes in a ceramic clearcoat. It paints on and dries clear, protecting the spokes for two years.
LOW END FUELLING
Glitchy low speed fuelling on injected bikes can be cured with a free flowing exhaust and the right fuelling map. Stock exhausts are heavy and build up heat at the cat-containing silencer. Junk them for Akrapovic or FMF systems that can add £300 to used value.
COLD ENGINE CLATTER
A rattle at the cylinders on start-up that quietens as oil pressure increases suggests worn hydraulic cam chain tensioners. £29.16/cylinder, £80 in labour.
SOUNDS LIKE A DRY CLUTCH...
Is your clutch as rattly as a Ducati dry? Your clutch booster needs replacing. This increases pressure on the clutch plates under load, reducing clutch slip. But it becomes rattly with wear, and makes clutch operation notchy. Needs replacing after 50,000 miles: £320 total.
WHERE IS MY BATTERY?
Looking for your Adventure’s electronics? The battery, reg/rec and starter relay are hidden under the radiator, behind the sump guard. Protect the electrical harness from water ingress and corrosion by cleaning and regreasing all connectors. Most charging issues stem from the connectors (£26), not the reg/rec (£91). A voltage reading should be in the low-14s.
CLUTCH SLAVE FAILURE
This is a common issue. The internal seal can fail, cutting hydraulic pressure at the lever. Gears won’t disengage. Fit a £92 Oberon slave cylinder: cheaper than the £128 OE, much more reliable and, helpfully, you can buy replacement seals separately.
An easy engine to service for the type of bike. However, getting to the oil filler cap is difficult. It’s hidden by the fuel tank, so use an oil jug with an extended flexible spout. It takes 3 litres exactly.