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Old 07-30-2013, 04:23 PM   #1
ve6kjp OP
Joined: Jul 2013
Oddometer: 3
Dream bike is really a nightmare - any advice??

Hello folks. First of all I apologize my first post being a plea for advice, but Ive been a lurker/reader on this forum for years (I tend not to say anything unless I really have something to say ergo the lurking), so perhaps its not that bad LOL. However, I do a need a bit of guidance from the experienced mechanical types here. First of all, Im not a new rider so the details below wont pertain to someone learning the ropes Ive been a constant rider for 35 years now and have ridden everything from a moped to a sport bike, with a lot of dirt bikes in between.

In February (snow season up here) I purchased a used 2008 KTM 990 Adventure with 15,000 kms on it a dream bike for me for years. First thing I did was take it to the dealership and have everything looked over and spend a grand on the major service it needed dealership responded that the bike is in awesome shape but they did update the tune as they said it was an out of date tune. The story begins in late April as I prepare to ride it for the first time:

1. I go to start the bike, turn on the key and all the required lights come on, so I press the starter nothing happens. I checked everything, and finally found that if you tweak the throttle just a bit then the starter will start the bike. Its like an electrical glitch where unless something is in exactly the right place absolutely nothing with the starter will happen. At that point I can live with this likely just the throttle position sensor needs to be in the right position.

2. And then the big problem starts intermittently of course. The bike would start to stall in between shifts and at idle. For example, dropping the throttle and pulling in the clutch and the bike would immediately stall. The problem is the rpms are too low when the intermittent problem happens I cant keep the idle revs over 1000. And the problem happens without warning there is no problem and then I pull into second in a middle of an intersection and the bike stalls if you dont notice it fast enough it really gets your attention as the back tire just stops and drags. Not a good thing. But it always starts right up again so I havent been hit yet.

3. And the latest only happened last week but over the length of one single ride (multiple times on one ride) the rpms wouldnt drop below 2500 to 3000 between shifts. Id have to pull in the clutch and wait for about 5-8 seconds before the revs would drop.

When I started to have problems with item 2 above, I took it back to the dealer (apparently gold level KTM tech) and of course the bike worked fine for them (remember I used the word intermittent LOL). Figured it was just a glitch so drove it a bit and it happened again so back it went. They put a couple of hours on the bike and it was fine so home it came. For just insurance I did the 15 minute idle and then drove it and all was fine for 2 weeks (other than thats when item 3 happened). Well this morning I tried to drive the bike to work, it stalled in a major intersection between shifts and so home it has come to be an expensive paper weight. It is simply dangerous to drive as the rpms drop off that fast and it stalls so fast between shifts, and when Im coming to a stop light I have to keep the bike revved, which detracts from using my front brake properly. It doesnt matter on the speed either if I pull the clutch in at freeway speeds and let the idle drop, it will stall.

And finally I might add that its not just me Ive added over 70 years of motorcycle experience from different friends testing the bike and its happened to all of them, but of course never to the dealership mechanic . However, item 1 happened to the mechanic (have to tweak the throttle for the starter to work), and they contacted KTM and no one has an answer, so I was told to live with that. And I also must add that the bike throws no codes the computer appears to be happy.

So does anyone have ANY ideas please? My thoughts are that its a problem with the throttle position sensor, but up here thats a grand to fix as I have to order a whole new throttle body... Which makes for an expensive test just to see if thats what the problem is. Its not a fuel issue as the bike runs like a champ when pulling and up at speed. The dealership maintains that it's not the upgrade to the computer they did - yet the previous owner swears it was fine (ya right - maybe/maybe not).

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Old 07-30-2013, 05:10 PM   #2
Joined: Mar 2013
Oddometer: 16
Can you bring it to another dealer for diagnosis?
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Old 07-30-2013, 05:19 PM   #3
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Joined: Jan 2011
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
Oddometer: 337
I'm a 950 carbed guy so I don't know too much about the injection on your bike, but I would suspect the tune. From reading around here I think its fairly easy to switch tunes with the tune ecu cables. Maybe you could even ask the shop to do it just to try. That's the cheapest easiest starting point I can think of. Good luck.

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Old 07-30-2013, 05:29 PM   #4
The Cripple Maker
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Joined: May 2007
Location: Ocho Doble Up-Country, CA
Oddometer: 354
Hi Ve6kjp,
Welcome to the club. Nice handle, really rolls off the tongue.

I have a 2007 and when I got it I also suffered from issues 2 & 3. At the time it had an early Akro map and it ran really rich (smelling of raw gas) and was getting 25 mpg.

I can't tell you exactly how to solve the problem, but I can tell you what I did to mine.

I ordered a Tune ecu cable and learned how to use Tune ecu. I still suck at it, but it's not hard to just change maps.
I installed the 2007 - 2008 Euro map and set the TPS. I also cleaned the throttle bodies and map sensor orifices.

Since doing this those problems are gone and it runs pretty well, but it's not perfect. There is a tiny stammer while idling.

It hauls ass and gets 34 - 40 mpg. I'm at 35k mi. and counting.

Good Luck and don't give up on this bike - it will be incredible.

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Old 07-30-2013, 06:42 PM   #5
Sheep Shagger
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Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Where men are men and sheep get nervous
Oddometer: 2,161
It all sounds like standard 990 issues. Tell dealer (or use tuneECU) to set TB idle voltage, sync TB, adjust throttle cable (making note of stepper motor) put stock tune back (or turn on O2 censors with tuneECU and ack tune). All that done correctly should fix your issues,
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Old 07-30-2013, 09:26 PM   #6
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Joined: Nov 2005
Location: Brisbane Australia
Oddometer: 243
Have an 07 and if the TPS voltage has been set wrong, usually too high then 3. happens to me.

The TPS is a separate part, 61041077000.

I think the 08 is the same as 07 and voltage should be 0.5 to 0.6 and ideally set it while its hot as the volatge changes by up to 0.1 between cold and hot.
The voltage values changed at least from 2010 onwards..maybe 09?
Maybe they used those instead of the earlier values.

Although, as this happened pretty much after a map change, it could be that as well.

Simple stuff first...if you had tunecu you could check all this yourself instead of paying the muppetts to stuff it for you.

Hope this helps.
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Old 07-30-2013, 09:35 PM   #7
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Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Lake Stevens WA
Oddometer: 789
I had a lot of the same issues doesn't sound like anythin major just of small things. First thig get a tune ecu cable. Remove all the smog crap. Turn the SAI OFF. Make sure the tps is reading 0.6-0.7volts key on engine off. Make sure all the throttle cables are adjust correctly. Make sure the spark plug coils are seated all the way. Once this is checked run the bike for 15 min do not touch the throttle after 15 min shut the bike off. This is a base reset and can make a huge difference. Another thing to check it the side stand switch that'll mess with you if it acts up. If its suspect jump the switch to eliminate it.

Your stalling issue sounds like a mapping issue I messed with mine a lot but found with 2-1 exhaust and CPR intake the akro map with the 02 sensors on works the best
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Old 07-30-2013, 09:46 PM   #8
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Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Lake Stevens WA
Oddometer: 789
Your starting issue is related to tps.... I have fucked up and done this if you push the button to adjust throttle cables and don't follow the procedure the voltage will be below .3v and will not start properly. It needs to be between .6-.7 volts or it will not start (hence the need for throttle). It's an easy fix but you need the tune ecu cable the program is free and an invaluable tool for the 990.
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Old 07-30-2013, 09:59 PM   #9
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Joined: Nov 2005
Location: East Med, Greece
Oddometer: 4,073
Damn dealers, the TPS is sold separately for the late models.

So if this is the issue you can replace it without buying new throttle body.
It is very essential to get the TPS correctly adjusted. All previous suggestions are necessary. If TUNEecu is not your thing, you could try some help from a closeby guru driver. This forum is awsome for the support it can provide.
Cheers and welcome to this unique brotherhood.

gefr screwed with this post 07-30-2013 at 10:05 PM
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:34 AM   #10
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Joined: Mar 2013
Location: Pendleton, Oregon
Oddometer: 294
Where do you live? I'll bet you a fancy imported beer there is an inmate with a Tune ecu cable and the knowledge to fix your bike within 100 miles of wherever you live.
'12 990 with some orange stuff on it to make it go faster.
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:02 AM   #11
Joined: Apr 2008
Location: Surrounded by Texas
Oddometer: 83
TPS and heat

I've had similar issues (especially #3) and it was due to an incorrectly set TPS. As Shawty950 said, the TPS is very sensitive to heat. Mine would read about .05v higher when the engine is hot than when it's cold. IIRC the hot number is the correct one, so you need to warm up your bike before you reset the TPS and then set to factory spec. As others have said the easiest way to check your setting is with TuneECU.
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:18 AM   #12
ve6kjp OP
Joined: Jul 2013
Oddometer: 3
I'm in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada - and I'd gladly drive way over 100 miles to get this solved, and gladly hand over the fancy imported beer to you (is Canadian beer fancy? LOL). I guess I'm going to have to read all 100+ pages of the TuneECU thread to see what that's all about - I'm willing to learn but by the time I get to figuring it all out summer will be gone and riding season lost.

And I can't get the TPS sensor separately - I have to buy the whole TB - the part number is discontinued (thanks KTM for not supporting).

I just can't understand why this is intermittent - one would think voltage levels would be consistent if nothing else changes. And the KTM dealer insists that it's not the tune... and wouldn't change it back... in fact they probably don't even remember what the tune was when I brought it in. And the only other local KTM dealer simply said its the throttle body - change it.

And I won't even consider selling the bike - if someone new to riding bought it and it stalled in an inappropriate place, there could be someone hurt.

And finally my handle - well, it means something else - and I was in a pissy mood when I originally posted - ergo the inability to think of something more "rollish off the tongue type".
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:47 PM   #13
Spaniard in Chile
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Joined: Sep 2007
Location: Via del Mar, Chile
Oddometer: 1,312
Originally Posted by ve6kjp View Post
And I can't get the TPS sensor separately - I have to buy the whole TB - the part number is discontinued (thanks KTM for not supporting)
100 bucks at ktmtwins

Big, Loud and Orange KTM 990 Adv
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Old 07-31-2013, 03:01 PM   #14
Studly Adventurer
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Joined: May 2008
Location: Accross the pond
Oddometer: 957
Had the very same on mine 08.

two things: New Battery, solved partially, new TPS.

All is well.
Growing old is mandatory... growing up is optional!

Raid de L'Amiti 2011 RR (link)
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Old 07-31-2013, 03:03 PM   #15
el queso
toda su base
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Joined: Mar 2009
Location: colinas del norte, california sur
Oddometer: 746
And here's the Tune ECU cable set-up.
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