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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
1) New to the forum, thanks for having me!

2) Very excited to now own such a cool bike! Really like it...when it is running!

3) There will be some venting, some questions and general observations from here on.

So I bought my 2017 Duke 690 Saturday. I have had a DRZ400SM for many years and really liked it, but I recently upgraded the engine to a 470 stroker/bored kit with Web cams and FCR carb. I was very impressed with the performance but after 1000 miles or so, it blew the head gasket. I fixed it, and then 1000 miles later it did it again, but this time taking out the cylinder and piston. Partially out of frustration and having a pocket full of money to burn, I decided to "fix" my head gasket issue by buying a new bike that does what my DRZ did in spades. 24 hours after the DRZ was retired into the garage awaiting parts, a new KTM took filled in for it.

I was pretty excited to take her for a real ride . I live in Seattle, WA and we have some great mountain roads around here. I left around 8am with a plan of hitting Windy Ridge at Mt. St. Hellens, an extremely twisty fun road with great scenery and a dead-end to boot, so little traffic. Alas, it was still closed for road repairs. Plenty of good options however in the area. Headed down to Cougar, WA. was planning on wrapping back around to I-5 and slabbing it back home. I get to Cougar and decide to have a cup of coffee. Finish my cup of coffee, jump on the bike and hit the starter button...and nothing happens. No error messages on the display, no blinking lights, no clicking, no nothing. Before you ask, pulled in the clutch, had it in neutral, side stand up or down, cycled the kill switch, clicked my heels three times and yelled "ollie ollie oxen free!". Granted I'm so new to this bike, I don't know exactly what combination of safety switches are required to get it to start (different manufacturers have different set ups) but it was starting without a problem with my "usual" method and I quickly tried every other combination in short notice.

This was a very bad place to break down. No cell reception. The town is pretty much a bar and a grocery store. I was a long ways from home. There were a lot of bikers coming through, being a nice day. I commandeered a couple to try giving me a push so I could try bump starting it, but the slipper clutch wasn't having it. I eventually even tried bypassing the starter solenoid with a piece of wire, and it would crank all day long but wouldn't start. So it seems the engine management computer was pissed off for some reason and not letting the bike start. Yes the battery was in good shape, it cranked fine when bypassed, etc.

As the user name suggests I am a mechanic by trade, but I know nothing about KTM's and how they normally operate, since this is my first one.

So I had the grocery store owner call me a tow truck. It was Sunday so all the dealerships were closed. The tow truck took 2 hours to get there, and then another 1.5 hours to get to civilization where I could try calling people. I eventually talked a friend into saving me, but it took him 3 hours to get there, and then a 2.5 hour trip back. All together I spent 11 hours trying to get home with my 24 hour old brand new bike, at the cost of about $300.

I'm not happy.

I will update when I find out what the dealership finds, but I am curious if anyone has seen anything like this? I'm assuming it is some safety switch, but I didn't exactly have a multimeter on me and it seems pointless to dig into it now when the dealership will be handling it regardless.

First impressions: handling is superb. Power is great....once I fix that horrible gearing. Needs the exhaust opened up a bit, can't hear the engine. 3rd gear is magic (for now) in the twisties! My biggest complaint is the tranny. It shifts like a dilapidated semi-truck. Especially 6th gear, which hit a false neutral twice on me. Not comparable to the sweet buttery shifting of the DRZ.

ASSUMING I'm not stranded again in the middle of nowhere, I'm happy with my purchase.
 

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Apart from the non-starting issue, it sounds like everyone elses 690s :)

Shifting is a well documented thing, you either get used to it, or you sell it :) These days i very very rarely miss a gear at all.... Just between 5-6 you slam it in a bit harder, bit more posititve, a gentle tickle ain't going to work :)

Yours though for starting, i'd be inclined to think something like fuel pump.
 

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If it only cranks while the starter solenoid is bypassed then that solenoid either isn't getting signaled or is dead. If it isn't getting signaled it is an ECU problem. Or a safety switch is stuck.

Ask your dealer if they have an update available for your bike, and even if they don't, ask them to reflash it. Maybe that will help?
 

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Yeah, I'd guess either the ecu or a loose multi-connector. And, I'm sure you checked it, but always check the battery connections. A slightly loose ground can cause all sorts of weirdness.
 

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Man, thats a crappy first ride. Hope they get it sorted quickly. Yes, on the complaints and compliments to the bike. You are on the right track to getting that set up. On the shifting the stock shift spring is too weak, but you don't have to live with it or leave it. Motion Pro makes at shift arm detent with a stiffer spring. Once you get riding again if you are over a certain weight you will find the rear shock is not up to the task.
 

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That's a terrible first ride - sorry to hear that. I had a similar experience, my '17 Duke started leaking fuel on the way home from the dealership. I was pretty frustrated having to return it for two weeks the next day, but after that it's been an awesome ride.

Regarding shifting, I recently installed the PP Racing Rearsets, and it really improves the shift action (and ground clearance) at the expense of the comfy dirtbike riding position.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The dealership just picked up the bike, so hopefully we'll have an answer today or tomorrow. Thanks for the advice guys, the shift detent spring upgrade sounds like a worthwhile purchase. I once installed one of those on a Kawasaki I used to own, made a notable improvement.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Dealership just called, said the ECU "lost" the key code for some reason, so the anti-theft kicked in. They reprogrammed the key and now it runs. Said they have only seen this happen one other time and the issue didn't repeat on that bike. Not sure how I feel about that, considering nothing was replaced so it could happen again in the middle of nowhere. I guess I'll just have to ride it around town for a while and see what happens.

They also said they would talk to KTM and get me a gift card worth $300 to make up for the expenses of getting the bike home. I guess that is about the best I could have hoped for.
 

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Your problems will only get worse. KTM = Keep Taking Money. Not kidding
Whereas, i've had 9 KTMs now, i've had 1 problem only in the last 10 years, which was a slave clutch cylinder on a Superduke, i've toured Europe, ridden it at Spa, taken to the Nurburgring, done 25+ UK trackdays and never had a single mechanical issue or problem.

Just because you happen to have bought a lemon, doesn't mean all KTMs are bad.

My 690 has never stalled, never failed to start, never had an electrical gremlin and in almost 2 years has cost me nothing other than a couple of oil changes.
 

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Whereas, i've had 9 KTMs now, i've had 1 problem only in the last 10 years, which was a slave clutch cylinder on a Superduke, i've toured Europe, ridden it at Spa, taken to the Nurburgring, done 25+ UK trackdays and never had a single mechanical issue or problem.

Just because you happen to have bought a lemon, doesn't mean all KTMs are bad.

My 690 has never stalled, never failed to start, never had an electrical gremlin and in almost 2 years has cost me nothing other than a couple of oil changes.
It's actually my second 690 with the same problems. I'm just about done....and yes most KTM's are trash. Just look at the head gasket issues on the 390 motor...except it doesn't stop there. Not even close. Myriad of other problems. Bottom line is that KTM is vastly more unreliable than any other motorcycle I have ever owned and I've owned dozens of motorcycles.
 

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It's actually my second 690 with the same problems. I'm just about done....and yes most KTM's are trash. Just look at the head gasket issues on the 390 motor...except it doesn't stop there. Not even close. Myriad of other problems. Bottom line is that KTM is vastly more unreliable than any other motorcycle I have ever owned and I've owned dozens of motorcycles.
I had a 390 too, i put 4000 miles on it without a single problem.

I've had 4 Superduke 990s, I've had 4 Supermoto 950s. No issues, no problems.

I've owned 43 motorbikes in the last 9 years, from Ducatis to Yamahas, Aprilias, Kawasakis, etc etc, from sports bikes to nakeds, i've owned them all.

Funnily enough, i've never had any issues with ANY of them... Maybe that says something more about my ownership ;)
 

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I had a 390 too, i put 4000 miles on it without a single problem.

I've had 4 Superduke 990s, I've had 4 Supermoto 950s. No issues, no problems.

I've owned 43 motorbikes in the last 9 years, from Ducatis to Yamahas, Aprilias, Kawasakis, etc etc, from sports bikes to nakeds, i've owned them all.

Funnily enough, i've never had any issues with ANY of them... Maybe that says something more about my ownership ;)
The larger displacement KTM's don't seem to have nearly as many problems, but the smaller displacements ones have been plagued with just about everything. And they're well-documented too. I like my friend's 990 Supermoto. Very nice bike. I just can't say the same about their other bikes

I've owned about 25 motorcycles in the past 6 years and none of them have given me such trouble.
 

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All bikes are documented with loads of failures

BMW S1000RR, tonnes of gearbox issues
Ducati Panigales with electrical issues
Ducatis with rocker/camshaft problems
Hondas with reg/rec issues
Suzukis with countless problems....

We can go on for years and years debating problems on bikes, KTM are a long way from being the only ones.
 
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