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Old 01-04-2012, 04:31 AM   #1
Chrisgray OP
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Beware The KTM 990 Clutch

Warning - If you are blinded by the love of your KTM 990 Adventure then do not read on. What follows is a tale of sorrow.

Recently I had a catastrophic failure of my clutch on my 2007 adventure. I was riding the Great Ocean Road in Australia when the gear shifts were not slipping in smoothly. This was quickly followed by a horrible mechanical crunch. I switched the engine off and pulled over.
11 hrs and a 300km tow truck ride later I was home.

The next day the bike was taken to a local dealer and the clutch cover removed. The reason for the failure became apparent. One of the clutch retaining bolts had come loose.

Now there is a technical bulletin that is to be applied during a service to tighten up these bolts (TB008). Apparently these bolts were not tightened correctly at the factory. This TB had been applied to my bike.

There are 6 bolts and the mechanic checked the torque on the remaining 5 bolts. The torque of each bolt was the required 10Nm. There was also residue of locktite on the bolts.So it appeared as though the TB had been applied correctly.

Why one of the bolts came loose is concerning. 8 months earlier I was riding solo around South America and I shudder to think what may have happened if it had failed in a remote area.

At 25,000km the bike has always been serviced at an authorised KTM dealer. But when I talked to KTM, the initial response is that the bike is out of warrenty and there is nothing the can do. But I see this as a design fault which KTM are trying to manage through a maintenance schedule. However, the maintance fix seems inadequate.

So the warning is always get these bolts checked at each service and especially before a major trip. I have asked KTM to review their position and assist with the $2500AUD repair bill. It would be disappointing if KTM do not stand by their product and the work of their authorised dealers. I will keep you posted on what they say.
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Old 01-04-2012, 05:32 AM   #2
rider911
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I think its important for people to post up these types of failures so we are all aware of the POTENTIAL problems that may occur, but I think your being abit harsh expecting KTM to foot the bill.
I would hardly call it a design fault and it is 5yrs old, certainly there was a problem somewhere in assembly during the 07 year but I think they have forfilled there obligations with the SB. There are hundreds of 07 models worldwide which have not given problems. Maybe you could blame the mechanic who performed the SB rectification for not cleaning the threads before loctiting but this clutch basket design is the same on almost all bikes in the modern era and I have never loctited any on any bike I have every owned and have never had a problem.

I feel your pain but sometimes shit just happens
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:56 AM   #3
MT950
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clutch bolts

+1 with rider911, more of a maint. issue . After doing the SB check/redo on my clutch bolts, I now do a check at every oil change. Also, about every time I ride( just one more reason I like my CJracer clutch cover) ! This has happened to other owners in past years,(reason for SB,and reviewed on this sit) and should be a known issue.Never hurts to refresh owners memories,sorry it happened to you! If clutch cover had been removed (for inspection of noise/clutch action) I think ,after removeing the bad bolt,the KTM could have been limped home(just what I'd try but ?) Anybody out there tried this? (to put in my "just in case bin") Sorry for your bad luck, hope it gets sorted out! Must ad with 70,000+ miles on big KTM's never any real issues,just maintain/ride/repeat!
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:24 AM   #4
gefr
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Well I do not agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rider911 View Post

I feel your pain but sometimes shit just happens
Yes shit happens but why should the owner pay for them. He has to survive from whatever situation he has been into, pays to recover the bike and get home and on top of all that he has to pay for somebody's bad job.

I think the least compensation from KTM would be to replace his damaged item. Which is nothing in comparisson to the bills he already paid. And for all these bikes that never failed, KTM could pay for the few that did fail.
Cheers.
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MT950 View Post
I think ,after removeing the bad bolt,the KTM could have been limped home(just what I'd try but ?) Anybody out there tried this?
The exact same thing happened on my 05.5 950 (after I had sold it), I was riding with the new owner.

He just laid it over on the dirt, yanked the cover, found the problem and removed the bolt, put it back together and continued on his way, fixed it when he got home.





When you have a bike that is 4-5 years old and has been ridden off road (let's be honest, these bikes just beg to be flogged), you are going to have breakdowns. It's inevitable.

What you do when you have a breakdown is entirely up to you.
Heck, I enjoy trailside repair*. A little bit of adversity reveals a lot about a person, I reckon.

My friends and I just fix it and get on with it.

* More so when it's not my bike.
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CA Stu screwed with this post 01-04-2012 at 12:38 PM
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:23 PM   #6
gefr
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Wow! your friend is really cool!

I wish I was that cool. Cheers.
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:28 PM   #7
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Talking

Quote:
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I wish I was that cool. Cheers.
He is!

But that's not my point at all.

My point is that one should expect to do some repair on a 4-5 year old bike, and it's a good idea to be prepared.

Thanks to the OP for the heads up / reminder, next time my SE needs an oil change I'm gonna pop the cover off and check the torque on all those bolts
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:50 PM   #8
geometrician
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Question Check your manual...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisgray View Post
There are 6 bolts and the mechanic checked the torque on the remaining 5 bolts. The torque of each bolt was the required 10Nm. There was also residue of locktite on the bolts.So it appeared as though the TB had been applied correctly.

Why one of the bolts came loose is concerning
The service schedule for these engines states the need to check the clutch plates/linings & clutch pressure booster system every 15,000km or 2 years which would necessitate removing the clutch pressure plate each time- in which case you (or a shop) would clean & Loctite the 6 pressure plate bolts each time you have it off. With an o-ring & a separate clutch outer cover it takes just a few minutes without loosing a drop of engine oil or making a mess...have you or someone else been keeping up with this?

Loctite requires a wire brush or wheel to get it off properly, residue hangs around in the bolt holes as well as oil. It takes a few minutes to properly clean things before application of Loctite but it must be done. All Loctite's have specific chemical requirements in order to cure properly- if they don't get them you aren't going to have a good bond to hold the threads in place.

I'd guess that one bolt (& hole) didn't get as good a cleanup as the others which led to its failure.

KTM North America does a good job of covering warranty claims (and even extending them) compared to some other importers I know of (Honda, Suzuki Kawasaki come to mind). With the miles & age on the bike, I think you're on your own here. Perhaps the dealer that did the clutch TB could be asked for a discount on the parts- maybe some labor (free or discounted) but asking KTM to foot the bill seems unlikely to happen given the facts provided
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Old 01-04-2012, 02:41 PM   #9
SFKLR
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Thanks OP for the warning!

Someone want to post a write-up on how to do this bit of maintenance? Sounds straightforward, but just want to make sure I go step by step, account for O-rings if there are O-rings, springs, take off outer clutch plate or leave on?, what to look for in terms of wear, tips on gaskets and torque, socket sizes, loctite color, amount, leave in gear, rotate to where, cleaning tips, etc.?
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Old 01-04-2012, 03:45 PM   #10
men8ifr
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How do you clean the inside of the hole before locktiting/supergluing?

I imaging it's extremely difficult to get oil out and off all the threads...

Thanks to the OP for posting and sorry about your bad luck
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Old 01-04-2012, 03:50 PM   #11
Just Paul
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MT950 View Post
+1 with rider911, more of a maint. issue . After doing the SB check/redo on my clutch bolts, I now do a check at every oil change. Also, about every time I ride( just one more reason I like my CJracer clutch cover) ! This has happened to other owners in past years,(reason for SB,and reviewed on this sit) and should be a known issue.Never hurts to refresh owners memories,sorry it happened to you! If clutch cover had been removed (for inspection of noise/clutch action) I think ,after removeing the bad bolt,the KTM could have been limped home(just what I'd try but ?) Anybody out there tried this? (to put in my "just in case bin") Sorry for your bad luck, hope it gets sorted out! Must ad with 70,000+ miles on big KTM's never any real issues,just maintain/ride/repeat!
+1 get the clear clutch cover

it also detects water pump failure
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Old 01-04-2012, 04:31 PM   #12
geometrician
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Wink Elbow grease

Quote:
Originally Posted by men8ifr View Post
How do you clean the inside of the hole before locktiting/supergluing?

I imaging it's extremely difficult to get oil out and off all the threads...
I use .22 caliber gun cleaning brushes for 6mm diameter fasteners (steel, brass & nylon to choose from) along with MEK, paint remover &/or contact cleaner... compressed air w/thin tube tip on end of blower so you can blow from the bottom of the holes back out.

This is useful for all sorts of places on the bike, nothing like breaking a bolt/screw from hydraulic lock from an oil-filled hole when replacing a cover/installing something

... in the end I chase the holes with clean Q-tips so you can see if you're still pulling stuff out
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Old 01-04-2012, 05:43 PM   #13
DirtyADV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CA Stu View Post
Thanks to the OP for the heads up / reminder, next time my SE needs an oil change I'm gonna pop the cover off and check the torque on all those bolts
Sidestand the bike, remove the clutch cover and you can torque all these up easily, o-ring seal on that cover can be reused many times. Traveling right now so dont have the manual for torques, but I'm sure someone can provide that.

Took mine apart just after buying it a few years ago, a 2004, 2 years old and only 3500kms on the odo and 2 bolts loose, one was 2 full turns out so that was close.

/Johan
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:34 PM   #14
codys
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My buddy Paul on his 07 990 had a bolt back out a couple years ago. It leaped to it's freedom on East cape road near Cabo in Baja. The dealer told him that the metal bits that were now floating through his bike were softer than the piston so no worries. He removed the mangled bolt and did a couple oil changes on the road side. We made the rest of the trip home with no drama. Paul was a little on edge though always hearing weird engine noises....Can't blame him.


The 10$ Peso/jb weld patch.







^^^^ Um should I be worried. Poor guy....
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:40 PM   #15
Gluaisrothaí
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Where does the TB mention loctite?

There was a TB to add Loctite to the starter flywheel bolts, but not for the clutch pressure plate. TB0804 only requires loosening and retorquing of the pressure plate bolts.

And from the HOW: Clutch Pressure Plate Bolts:

2006 & 2007.
Affected models: 950 Adventure, 950 Adventure S, 950 Supermoto, 950 Supermoto R, 950 Super Enduro R, 990 Adventure ABS, 990 Adventure S, 990 Super Duke. Improperly torqued pressure plate bolts from the factory. Fix: A tech bulletin was issued with instructions on properly torquing the bolts. The results of the bolts backing can be a destroyed outer clutch cover and bent/broken bolts. I suggest checking these bolts on ALL years and models. Once they have been initially checked and re-torqued if required, no other checks have been reported as needed. Note: Loctite is NOT required on these fittings.
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