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Update: Strangely, the problem I have had starting my bike has gone away? I still have only purchased gasoline from the same gas station (Standard Gas on corner of Pine and Van Ness in San Francisco). I haven’t altered the manner in which I start the bike (the previous walk-throughs offered on “how to push a start button” in this forum are hilarious). But I went through the break-in period and submitted my bike to the dealer for the 620 mile service and now have about 860 miles on the clock - and the difficult to start issue has just gone away. It has been 9 days since it hasn’t started on the first try (without stalling repeatedly). My dealer’s request that I simply be patient and let the bike get settled gave me doubts, but seeing as this is my first EFI bike and it is within the warranty period, I had no choice but to listen. Makes be feel a bit foolish, but I’m happy I am still not too old to learn a little patience.

Heck if I know.
My 790 starting problem seems to have disappeared too (1,500ish miles). However, I want test my bikes starting in cold weather before I consider this problem resolved. I still suspect fuel to be a contributing factor since my bike seems to idle more smoothly using Shell fuel but tends to run rough on Chevron gas.
 

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I saw some people with the same issue on the Adv Rider forum, but wanted to post it here because the topic kind of died without a clear answer.

Very often (not just the first cold start of the day), the bike dies after the initial startup and takes multiple starts for the engine to stay running. After 3 tries or so, then I’ll rev the throttle to give the engine a nudge to turnover. This works, but it shouldn’t be a normal occurrence. Thoughts?

Note that I have been waiting to start it up until after I hear the buzz of the fuel pump stop.


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Don't wait for fuel pump. Turn on key and start it up. Works for me.
 

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Dammed if the same thing did not happen to me today. I have 1,368 miles on mine. Even though I took it for a two day ride through upstate New York the weekend before the starting and running rough issue at start up persisted. So I am going to trailer the bike to the dealer tomorrow as all my parts came in and he is going to install the cruise control and heated grips and let the dealer look into the starting and running rough cold issues. Getting home this afternoon I thought, let me take it for a spin just to confirm what has been happening. It was about 55 degrees out and sunny.. So I let the bike get through its start up cycle and after the fuel pump had primed and shut down I hit the start switch. The engine did not even hesitate it starts up and momentarily jumps to 2,000 rpm then immediately settles into a 1,700 rpm steady smooth idle. I was in disbelief. I said time to put on my gear and take her for a spin. So five minutes idle time and I'm off. I go down the street and she purrs like a kitten. Well maybe more like roars like a lion as I de-cated her. Pulls hard and smooth and winds out effortlessly. Now that caught me by surprise, but Ill take my good news when I can get it.
Grizz, I would be careful with doing any major modifications while new, almost guaranteed dealer will not cover warranty stuff on engine without cat.
 

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My 790 starting problem seems to have disappeared too (1,500ish miles). However, I want test my bikes starting in cold weather before I consider this problem resolved. I still suspect fuel to be a contributing factor since my bike seems to idle more smoothly using Shell fuel but tends to run rough on Chevron gas.
Without a doubt gas has made a difference in my bike although others think that borders on ridiculousness.......
 

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I experienced this same issue with my 790 ADV R, talked to the dealer about it. He called KTM USA, and talked to the Tech agent. This is what KTM said.... This happens if you fill the fuel tank too full, the gas will seep into the carbon filter and that is why it dies after the initial start of the day. (and said it was my fault so KTM wouldn't cover the replacement) I kinda laughed and said, shouldn't the tank be filled up to the top if your stretching your distance as much as possible. We checked out the Owners Manual, not a word about this as a Warning or Restriction..
 

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I agree, I believe there is an underlying condition that either KTM hasn't figured out or may be hesitant to admit.
 

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Easy way to check...... put a container under the main fuel overflow drain hose (down near the gear change on my SDGT) and remove the bung..... if the overflow hose form the tank cap is full of fuel, then maybe, just maybe, it might be being sucked through to the charcoal canister and back into the engine creating a rich mixture or something...... a bit of a stretch but worth a quick look see.

I removed my charcoal canister (you don't need a dongle so long as you leave the oem purge valve wired in, but do disconnect the vacuum lines to the throttle bodies and plug them with a short bolt/screw). My KTM mechanic did this to mine after a purge dongle failed ..... and he also removed the bung from the overflow hose.

I fill my tank up until the fuel is just touching the bottom of the narrow filler neck - this leaves an airgap for expansion, yet fills the tank and I've never had any fuel smells or starting issues (on an SDGT)..... I'm assuming the 790 would be similar DNA.

If it isn't that then they are gonna need to plug it in and source whats gone wrong....... could be a relay or ethanol affecting the fuel pump filter or just about anything....... Best wishes for a quick diagnosis and fix (y)
 

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I bought a 790 Adv R back in April this year. I upgraded from a WR 250R that I was loathe to lose but sold it anyway. Love the 790, light on its feet sweet gear box (+ quick-shifter) and extra weight barely noticeable till you get into the thick stuff. But, of course you know all that. I also have the common cold starting issue, took it back to the dealer who had said KTM came up with a solution a reflash would fix. Picked the bike up from dealer, starting problem identical and now I've lost my quick-shifter. Back to the dealer, 2 refreshes later I have the quick-shifter (love it) but I do notice in addition to the cold start issue, my bike will stumble on steady revs between 4,000 and 4,400. It doesn't happen often, only once in a while but enough to be noticeable. Obviously it's a problem related to either fuel-feed or electric, then I got to thinking whether the quick shifter mechanism had anything to do with it since it does momentarily cut the ignition for the gear change. Any thoughts?
 

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In addition to my previous post, here's another thought on our common cold start issues. KTM (I believe) have developed this bike to meet Euro 5 fuel emissions. They're extremely stringent and it's likely that to meet the standards KTM can only offer the bike a light fuel start - heavy on air light on fuel - and they're keeping mum about it. Dealer told me it's not just the 790, but the 1090 and 1290 motors also have issues. Maybe we're all struggling with an issue that has no natural solution but requires a new MAP/power module to enable greater fuel burn.
 

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Update: Strangely, the problem I have had starting my bike has gone away? I still have only purchased gasoline from the same gas station (Standard Gas on corner of Pine and Van Ness in San Francisco). I haven’t altered the manner in which I start the bike (the previous walk-throughs offered on “how to push a start button” in this forum are hilarious). But I went through the break-in period and submitted my bike to the dealer for the 620 mile service and now have about 860 miles on the clock - and the difficult to start issue has just gone away. It has been 9 days since it hasn’t started on the first try (without stalling repeatedly). My dealer’s request that I simply be patient and let the bike get settled gave me doubts, but seeing as this is my first EFI bike and it is within the warranty period, I had no choice but to listen. Makes be feel a bit foolish, but I’m happy I am still not too old to learn a little patience.

Heck if I know.
Has your weather changed significantly in that period of time?
 

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... When it happens to you .... please keep laughing!

My new 1090 has experienced an oil leak, bad fuel filters, sticky mode button, and now leaking fork seals .... all in less than 3 months. After paying $15k ... yeah, I'm not so amused.
Lemon?
 

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Cheers all,

Just passing by (again)..... my 3.5yo 1290 SDGT has never refused to start nor has it ever stalled (currently at 18k miles from new in Feb 2017).

These 790 engine starting/stalling problems could actually be a software issue not fuel - ask the dealership to plug in the diagnostic tool and check for possible software corruption (my KTM dealership says fast starting before the check sequence has finished, or poor software install at pre delivery can cause problems......). Get any outstanding updates installed.

There may also be a factory bulletin out for the dealership to check certain issues that don't qualify for a national safety recall.

I must correct the assertion that all 1290's (I know you have 790's, but 1290's were mentioned above as being problematic) have some kind of curse on them, that we just live with because we are somehow blind KTM :love:er's - that's news to me and many other owners, some of whom are beyond the 60k mile mark and still powering on. I would happily post the fix to any issue.... if I had any......;)....

It would be super helpful if some of the early poster's could confirm if their issue was fixed before their 1st warranty service (my apology for not reading page 2 replies before jumping in).

My GT even runs well on 3+ month old stale 95 octane fuel - my 2020 riding year has been a "failure to launch", from a bushfire restricted summer, to the Aus covid lockdown autumn, then bugger me, my hip surgery wintero_O. So I have had to keep my GT in shape by merely starting it monthly in the garage and holding onto my gearstick :devilish: - I'm about to get back on it soon though (y).

I won't jinx myself by stating the obvious....... damn that fickle finger of fate...... why is it raining this weekend?????

Best wishes for a quick resolution to the problem with the 1 week old 790R..... and any other 790..... they should run perfectly....... why would KTM spend so much money aiming to be #1 in the world if their bikes were :poop: - that just does not compute ;)......
 

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The problem is the closed loop area to meet emissions below about 4 K ish rpm is very lean. Mine randomly starts and runs or starts and stalls. When warmed up its fine. Fuel level doesn't matter nor the temperature and like I said, does it off and on with no predictability. I'm running a BoosterPlug right now which helps the start issue a lot and helps a little with the low rpm jerky fueling. I had an email thread with Rottweiler about the fueling and the only way to fully affect the closed loop area to eliminate the lean issue is to run an off road race map in a PC V and also remove the O2 sensors so the ECU can't force the closed loop area to be lean. But, that also kills the cruise control because it triggers the engine light. Mine has 1,300 miles and nothing has changed with more miles on it.
 

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Same here, 13k miles, serviced by KTM twice, plus a couple visits to install CC and fix my fuel sender. Only issue is on cold starts where I estimate it starts 1st try 35%, 2nd 10%, 3rd more than 50%, and 4th less than 5% of the time. When engine is warm, she starts 1st attempt more than 95%. My dealer had another 790R owner complain about the start issue, and the dealer checked his valves thinking the may be too tight. Turns out the were slightly on the loose side, but within parameters. I was hoping a valve job would have resolved the start issue so I could get mine done under warranty versus paying for it at my next service.
My old boat has Yanmar diesels, and 1st push of the start switches they start every time.
 

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My DR650 has a Mikuni TM40 pumper carb that is jetted to perfection. I swear it stars in one revolution and delivers smooth, linear fueling from idle to red line. I'm spoiled by that. These dang fi bikes with the epa standards don't do that. I had an '08 FJR 1300 with a PC and a custom map to get it to run smoothly down low. Thankfully that efi system did not lock out the PC from improving the low speed fueling. I reverted to the stock condition a couple times to compare, it was terrible and deemed it 'un-ridable'. I pitied the folks riding theirs in stock form.
 

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I’ve been searching high and low for some info on these issues. I have a 2020 790 R (US model) that has suffered from the multiple stalls/starts since new. That issue seems to be related to temperature and/or humidity and I’ve basically dealt with it hoping a good tuner option will arrive without giving up cruise. I agree it’s a lean issue when when ecu is not calling for a cold start. Now the bike is just stalling at idle, and often. I tried all the obvious things like draining fuel, voltage checks, etc. It’s at the dealer now with 4K miles and I’ll come back and update on the issue.
 

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So I took the bike in for service to figure out the stalling condition. Was told it would be a day or 2 before it was looked at. 9 days later I received a call from service writer asking me who put my engine back together (Out of timing) because they found the cam chain was off 1 tooth at the crankshaft. Both cams are still in timing with each other but crank is not at TDC. I asked him why he thought someone had touched the engine and not that the cam chain tensioner had possibly failed. His response was super rude and told me it’s basically impossible to skip timing and that someone had to have taken it apart and reassembled it incorrectly. So I’ve got a bike with 4200 miles on it that’s never been touched other than first service oil change and they have denied my warranty work. Now that I’m looking for a cam chain tensioner to replace the stock one I’m realizing there is a back order on them and the part number has been changed. There is clearly an issue with this part failing and KTM is nothing but a bunch of liars and cheats that don’t stand behind their highly priced products! I now have to fix the bike myself and I’ll be selling off all of my KTM bikes and Husky dirt bikes. This has been the worst dealer experience and manufacturer support I’ve ever heard of in 25 yrs of racing and riding motorcycles. So long Ktm!
 

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G'day Jfox860,

That dealership needs to be reported to KTM USA....... crap warranty service and bad attitude is not good for sales, and the dealership would have seen the engine hadn't been pulled apart when they did the work. Maybe the dealership has the cheap warranty agreement (instead of the full cover policy) with the KTM importer, so they chose to push you away instead of pay for the repairs out of their own budget.

Your dealership is only an agent of KTM, not KTM itself, and should be reported so KTM can investigate and take remedial action. KTM may even offer to help out once they know what has transpired with one of their agents.

Best wishes....... this behavior is not limited to KTM...... I've been insulted by Yamaha in the distant past.....

(y)
 

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I have 790ADV-R with 3,500 km. Mine has started first crack every time. It’s 100% stock.

Not sure if any of these factors help:

  • 2020 model (different mapping ?)
  • live/ride at 3,500 ft + altitude
  • run petrocan 94 octane exclusively
 
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