So I'm back from the trip. Bikes are home. We did manage to have some great fun on the trip regardless. My wife and I took turns riding her bike so we got to do at least some of the roads. I rode the top of the world highway on it. What a spectacular ride! We did not get to go far up the Dempster as we had run out of time with all the delays, but we did go up to about a half hour past tombstone and back. What we learned? We want to go back next year and ride to Inuvik! We also want to make it for Dust 2 Dawson. All the adventure riders we met on the way were fantastic and most helpful. We are new to this type of bike but are loving it.
So... about the KTM. I've been in touch with the owners of Northern Power Sports, where my bike got messed up, and was happy to say the initial contact since the incident was positive. I was expecting denials immediately but that didn't happen at all. I was asked to call them back when I have the engine out and we can see how badly damaged it was. They were going to speak to the mechanic. It's too early to tell what will happen, but that was a good sign to me.
So here is the thing. When I received the bike back, the mechanic's report said he ran it for an hour. He said it ran fine for the first while, then started running very badly and sounding like piston slap and blowing all kinds of smoke. So first thing I did was check the coolant. There was none. The radiator was completely empty. Not a good sign, as he had been running it in that condition. I filled it up with distilled water, and have found no static leaks at all (it came all the way home on truck and was still full, so that shows that it didn't leak out after the fact from the mechanic, it was indeed run empty..)
Well, I can only imagine how hot the bike must have been. Also, they had added glycol based coolant, which I had asked them not to do. I run engine ice to prevent the pancake batter. The mechanic noted there was no oil pressure at the end either. That would have been true as all the glycol killed the oil. At any rate. Would a KTM even run to zero coolant and no oil pressure? Or is there a good chance it was even seized.
My opinion is that there is not much I could trust not to be messed up on this engine at this point, but I want to be fair with what I request of Northern Power Sports. I'd really appreciate feedback as to what you experienced adventure owners would think needs a very close look. The engine was definitely totally overheated, badly, if not seized.
Any input would be appreciated.