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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry in advance for the long post, but I don't know what to do. The guy I ride with, we grew up together and we've been riding together since we were kids and I'm trying to help him out. He has a new 14 KTM Duke 690 and we need some advice. He bought it in March this year about 2 weeks after I got my FZ and it has been nothing but problems. He broke it in right, but it started burning oil at about 800 miles, and was leaking coolant. Took it to the dealer and they said it was normal for that engine to use oil. It was to the point he had to bring oil for a 200 mile trip where he could make it back home. Took it in to the dealer to get the oil changed and asked them about it again. They told him it was normal but this time the overfilled the oil so it was above the top of the sight glass. I guess they were hoping he wouldn't notice it and that by the time the next service came around it would still be full. Took it to a different dealer, had the engine rebuilt at 2500 miles. Started using oil again about 500 miles later, although not as much as last time, and they still haven't fixed the coolant leak. Around this time the neutral light also stopped working. Made it to almost 4k miles and took it to the original dealer. They call KTM and they send a new engine for it. 200 miles later, burning oil again and still leaking coolant. Local dealer is a joke, the dealer that built the engine the first time won't touch it now, and you can't get in touch with anyone at KTM. We don't really know where to go at this point. His brother also bought a new 690 enduro r at the same time, and it has had the same problems. I build engines for a living and I know this isn't how it's supposed to be. Just looking for some advice on where to turn.
 

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Possibly a lemon law claim. Not sure if that is applicable for motorcycles in SC.

Or call KTM corporate and tell them what is going on and see what the say.

If I were you, I would kindly and politely as possible, suggest that he sell it and buy a FZ-09!! Lesson learned, cut the loses, and move on.
 

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Possibly a lemon law claim. Not sure if that is applicable for motorcycles in SC.

Or call KTM corporate and tell them what is going on and see what the say.

If I were you, I would kindly and politely as possible, suggest that he sell it and buy a FZ-09!! Lesson learned, cut the loses, and move on.
Surely it's still under warranty, so I'd be calling KTM corporate (though I've had zero success with Yamaha corporate related to a recall on my other bike). Also, FWIW, my buddy has a 990 SuperDuke that had some definite teething problems. He had all kinds of cooling system issues and then had to replace the water pump as it is a known failure point. KTM apparently is as good at building cooling systems as Yamaha is at cam chain tensioners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah he wants an FZ-09. the only reason he got the KTM was because I bought the FZ and he didn't want the same bike. Lemon law in SC doesn't officially apply to motorcycles, so I don't know if he has a case or not, and he can't sell the bike as it is financed and he probably wouldn't be able to sell it for pay off. I know one thing though, he will never buy another KTM after all these issues. He has tried KTM corporate and they say take it up with the dealer. They won't let him talk to anybody that could help. I don't know what kind of company they are but they don't seem to stand behind their product very well.
 

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Broke it in right, as in the manufacturers suggested break-in or something more akin to what engine builders with dynos recommend, more like the Motoman method. I am making this point because I have never ever heard of an oil consumption issue with the Motoman method. I know that I am opening a can of worms, but I break them in like I did my motocross bikes.

KTM corporate for a factory buyback would be his best option. Have him strongly urge them to settle and prevent themselves from having to pay legal fees for both parties.
 

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First off, definitely go to a KTM forum as they will know more than will be known here.

Second, the KTM 690 engines are NOT designed for 200 mile rides. They are designed for around the town rides up and down the throttle all the time. That said, my son briefly owned a KTM 690 Duke back in 2009 and he rode it 1100 miles in one day. He was 20, young and stupid, but he did not have oil consumption issues.

Third, your break-in process may not be the correct way to break in the engine. Again, something to check in with at a KTM forum.

Fourth, google around for a lemon law attorney in SC and ask them some questions about options to proceed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
His original engine he did the factory recommendation. Second break in he did more of the Motoman method and the third time he did the factory way because that's what they told him to do. I know I build a lot of engines, air cooled, liquid cooled, gas and diesel and I break them in by loading them how they would normally be used and I never have a problem. I don't know what has been causing all these problems but it doesn't seem to change no matter how you break it in.
 

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Wow, that sucks-I almost got one before the FZ came along. Could be a lemon because have not heard that much going wrong with the 690s- heard more CCT issues with the FZ instead! He should use twitter, facebook etc of KTM USA, KTM global etc. He should write to any email of KTM he can find. He should call if he finds any number. Tell them about how the dealer is behaving. Leave no channel unused. Companies specially respond to social media nowadays.

So odd to hear this- KTM in India is much more responsive probably because it has the backing of its junior partner Bajaj, the country's second largest motorcycle manufacturer. Once, a guy's Duke's forks leaked oil somewhere in the remote mountains. A engineer with a replacement part was sent from over 300 miles to fix it for him- for free!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
As for the 690 not being designed for 200 mile rides, his last KTM was a 640 with 15k miles on it and we would go 600 to 700 miles at a time with no problems, so I don't see how that could be true. We ride in the mountains all the time so it is constantly up and down on the throttle, not like steady speeds on the interstate.
 

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I know that oil usage is part of the program with new ktm's. Also, easy break-in is death for those motors and 20-60 weight non-synth is the standard for many miles. But being as your pal is on what is essentially his third engine, I'm not telling you anything new, but I thought I would mention it just in case. KTM does have a spec for oil usage.and it's something like 100ml in 1000km, or some such nonsense. I was a lurker on the duke forum for a long while when I was shopping last year. It was just too cramped for my old body. A shame really, as it is, otherwise, the right combination of weight/horsepower/torque/power characteristics for the roads I ride. Sort of like my DR650, but mo'better. The FZ is still a bit of a handful for me on GA180.

Too bad about all the problems. The 690 Duke should be a great bike. Good luck to him.
 

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Second, the KTM 690 engines are NOT designed for 200 mile rides. They are designed for around the town rides up and down the throttle all the time. That said, my son briefly owned a KTM 690 Duke back in 2009 and he rode it 1100 miles in one day. He was 20, young and stupid, but he did not have oil consumption issues.

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I guess you don't know about the crazy Europeans who tour with these 690s for miles without issues. Even the 200s/390s are used for 400-500 miles day rides in very trying conditions in India. Most modern motorcycle engines can take long days. This issue seems like a special lemon. Though, I am sure that they are high maintenance.
 

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As for the 690 not being designed for 200 mile rides, his last KTM was a 640 with 15k miles on it and we would go 600 to 700 miles at a time with no problems, so I don't see how that could be true. We ride in the mountains all the time so it is constantly up and down on the throttle, not like steady speeds on the interstate.
I'D think the same, it's a mono cylinder, not a 2-stroke. These engines are meant to be riding on the roads, not just city riding. Definately not normal. I've just bought a Superduke 990 and have read about people putting 150000km on them without major issues. I really think this is a lemon...also heard about a guy with a Triumph Daytona having this kind of issues, I guess no bike is above this happening, just sucks when you land on one of these.
 

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If he's on his 3rd engine then I think it's time to consider that he is the problem. I've known people that rode their bikes way too low in the powerband thinking they could make them last forever - but the rings never seated, the cylinder base gaskets sometimes never even got hot enough to seal before they would sell them to me for parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Trust me, he is not keeping it too low in the powerband. And his brother bought the enduro with the same engine and has had the same problems. The only difference is he hasn't taken it in for a 3rd engine yet because he hasn't had the time off work. These guys have 2 entirely different riding styles, so I don't think its a problem with the rider.
 

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If he's on his 3rd engine then I think it's time to consider that he is the problem. I've known people that rode their bikes way too low in the powerband thinking they could make them last forever - but the rings never seated, the cylinder base gaskets sometimes never even got hot enough to seal before they would sell them to me for parts.
On the flipside, a lot of riders busted their Duke 200 engines in India trying revving like crazy from the get go before setting in their rings (inspired from Motoman method maybe) and rode at high rpms, shifted like crazy and just went all out even before the first couple of services- for which controlled riding has been recommended. Sometimes, manufacturers do know best about their engines that their engineers made for them. However, their engines did get replaced under warranty.
In the end, any engine, any bike, any brand can fail. It does suck when one lands up with that lemon.
 

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I'm going to stop keeping a list of reasons why I will never buy a KTM and just never buy a KTM. Life just got much easier.
 

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Damn I almost bought a 690 Duke. I would've been pissed. This isn't the first time by a long shot I have heard of oil consumption with this engine. Part of the reason I didn't buy one. Its such a cool bike but way too risky for me to drop any amount of coin on. I wish your friend luck man.
 
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