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Old 03-12-2018, 07:50 PM   #1
jfink
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Super Duke disaster

I suffered an MTC Failure on my newly acquired KTM Super Duke 1290. As I understand it, as explained on other forums and by the mechanic (Dan) at at Cycle Shack North, the MTC Failure is a catch all and doesn't always mean what it says. In my case, it meant disaster!

The first time I saw the failure was when I pulled into a parking lot and the bike died. Eventually I was able to get it restarted and it seemingly ran fine, although, looking back, I wonder if this is when it dropped the tang on the center spark plug and began running on only one plug in the front cylinder. I did notice it was a little more rough after that.

Here is a picture of the spark plugs. The one with the broken tang came from the center hole in the head. The other plug came from the offset hole.


After tearing down the bike to see where the broken tang went this is what was found. I wonder if the tang first lodged then hit the head, causing the indent, then slipped down the side and caused the damage to the rings and lands on the piston. Once broken, the piston allowed burning gas down the cylinder which caused oil starvation and scarring.

Small indentation on Cylinder Head (right center):


The mechanic seems to think it was pre-ignition that caused the broken rings and lands. If that's the case the problem may be outside the cylinder. It also means the other cylinder will need to be torn down to see if there is any damage there. It also means that a "crate" engine, which is what the shop is pushing for, may not solve the problem. I hope at least for a crate engine. If I'm right, the lower end will need to be pulled apart to see if there is any additional material left in the bottom of the motor, which will probably be necessary in either case anyway.

Cylinder Wall Scouring:


More scouring on cylinder wall, opposite the scouring above:


Broke ring lands, scraper ring was also broken:


Jim, my riding buddy from long ago, who also just bought an SDGT thinks the bike was abused by the former owner. I really hope that Jim is wrong and that this is just a freak occurrence. If it was abused, there may be other unknown damage that is waiting to crop up.

More to come as we hear about what damage exists and what course of action KTM takes to resolve this. Hopefully, no ones else's MTC Failure has the same result as my case.
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Old 03-12-2018, 08:05 PM   #2
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Re: Super Duke disaster

Jeesh, this makes me feel sick to my stomach.

Hope you get some love from KTM...
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Old 03-12-2018, 08:10 PM   #3
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Re: Super Duke disaster

Is it my imagination, are the two plugs the same length and size? Maybe takes two different sizes?
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Old 03-12-2018, 08:29 PM   #4
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Re: Super Duke disaster

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windmill View Post
Is it my imagination, are the two plugs the same length and size? Maybe takes two different sizes?
They are the same length but actually different diameters. A back yard mechanic shouldn't have a problem getting them into the right hole.
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Old 03-12-2018, 08:40 PM   #5
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Re: Super Duke disaster

Damage like that definitely calls for a complete tear down. I would not settle for anything less. There is a high likelihood that derbies made it past that piston and is keeping your crank and big end of your connecting rods company down in that deep dark hole. The other cylinder may also help determine the cause. I would hope KTM will pull this one all the way down even if they give you a crate motor. I would ask if there is a test for the ECU, timing and or fueling could be to blame.
Good luck. Keep us posted.
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Old 03-12-2018, 08:49 PM   #6
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Re: Super Duke disaster

I really hope KTM steps up and treats you right on this, Joe.

I would be very curios to see inside the rear cylinder as well, as I think that would be very telling. As for the previous owner abusing it, I'm pretty sure it wasn't from wringing it's neck...


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Old 03-12-2018, 09:00 PM   #7
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Re: Super Duke disaster

Way I see it if it is under warranty they need to give you a new motor. Hope it goes well with you.
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Old 03-13-2018, 05:38 AM   #8
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Re: Super Duke disaster

The dealer has said they are pushing for a new "crate" motor. I am in Florida right now, my wife and I make an annual trek to West Palm Beach for spring training. But, I may give the dealer a call today to see what progress they have made.
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Old 03-13-2018, 07:29 AM   #9
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Re: Super Duke disaster

Sorry to hear of your experience. Hope it works out the best for you.

You bought the bike used with a warranty?
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Old 03-13-2018, 09:27 AM   #10
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Re: Super Duke disaster

Did they say what would cause that on the spark plug? Is this common on the SD?
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Old 03-13-2018, 09:41 AM   #11
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Re: Super Duke disaster

Please more info ...

Year model?
Mileage?
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Old 03-13-2018, 12:00 PM   #12
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Re: Super Duke disaster

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahveed View Post
Sorry to hear of your experience. Hope it works out the best for you.

You bought the bike used with a warranty?
Depending on mileage and age, the bike might still be under the factory warranty.

When I bought my first GS, I purchased an aftermarket extended warranty for it, which is not something I usually do. When the final drive came apart, that warranty paid for itself several times over! Money well spent in that case.
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Old 03-13-2018, 12:19 PM   #13
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Re: Super Duke disaster

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tourmeister View Post
Depending on mileage and age, the bike might still be under the factory warranty.

When I bought my first GS, I purchased an aftermarket extended warranty for it, which is not something I usually do. When the final drive came apart, that warranty paid for itself several times over! Money well spent in that case.
I usually don't purchase an extended warranty either. But for a used KTM and BMW it might be the smart purchase. That and keep an eye on the plugs to replace them before they crumble. This sounds like a very expensive repair.
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Old 03-13-2018, 02:13 PM   #14
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Re: Super Duke disaster

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahveed View Post
keep an eye on the plugs to replace them before they crumble. This sounds like a very expensive repair.
The motor in my '16 SA is the same motor design, just slightly detuned.

Hence the reason this thread piqued my interest.
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Old 03-13-2018, 03:21 PM   #15
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Re: Super Duke disaster

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Originally Posted by mitchntx View Post
The motor in my '16 SA is the same motor design, just slightly detuned.

Hence the reason this thread piqued my interest.
It sounds like just keeping an eye on the spark plugs would prevent a total engine failure. Of course, those plugs aren't as easy to get to as they are on the BMW boxer
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Old 03-13-2018, 03:31 PM   #16
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Re: Super Duke disaster

I don't think the spark plug is the culprit. I think he is a victim of living in close proximity to disaster.

I wonder if the previous owner tried to tune the ECU or fool it with resistors or other circuit modifications.
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Old 03-13-2018, 04:54 PM   #17
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Re: Super Duke disaster

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Originally Posted by bwdmax View Post
I don't think the spark plug is the culprit. I think he is a victim of living in close proximity to disaster.

I wonder if the previous owner tried to tune the ECU or fool it with resistors or other circuit modifications.
I assumed the spark plug exploded and the loose pieces of the end did all the damage. The OP said their mechanic thought pre-ignition caused the problem. Maybe the prior owner ran the engine with poor fuel? I don't know, but I'm curious to find out. I was thinking of getting a super duke, but I'm suddenly less interested.
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Old 03-13-2018, 04:59 PM   #18
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Re: Super Duke disaster

I am very confident that the previous owner did not do much to the bike in terms of modifications. The Cycle Shack North in Conroe has received permission to take the entire engine apart and are going through everything. Cycle Shack is taking pictures and sending them to KTM. If there were any anomalies, I am sure I would hear about them. I would be there taking pictures myself, but I'm in Florida right now watching the Astros. Anyone willing to go down and take some pictures for a friend?

The warranty from KTM is for the bike and not the owner. It is a two year warranty from original purchase which was in 9/2017. It shouldn't be an issue with the warranty unless there were some issue with misuse or neglect. I bought the bike about a month ago with 1,721 miles on it, it now has around 2,500 miles. I would think there is not a lot someone would do with a bike that only has 1,721 miles on it. I checked the oil, chain, clutch and brake fluids and everything seemed as it should. I may should have changed the oil after buying it, even though the bike wasn't due for thousands miles. I did buy the bike from a dealership who told me that they had done maintenance on it, for what that is worth.
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Old 03-15-2018, 04:43 PM   #19
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Re: Super Duke disaster

More photos from Cycle Shack North:

Small Indent seen in my pictures:


Something noted by the Mechanic, looks like a crack in the head?


Scouring from a slightly different angle:


Crown of rear cylinder piston:


Side view of rear piston:


Still waiting to hear about the direction from KTM but in the mechanics opinion there was no damage to the rear cylinder or piston, although I didn't get any pictures of the rear cylinder.
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'11 KTM 990 Dakar (all 23 countries in South, Central and North America)
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Old 03-15-2018, 09:40 PM   #20
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Re: Super Duke disaster

Sorry to hear about the SD. Hope KTM does the replacement for you.

I changed the oil in my AT last week and got bit by the old oil filter gasket sticking to the engine. I have only changed the oil once before and, when I saw the black ring where the filter screwed on, I couldn't remember if it was there on the first change. I wiped it off fairly hard and it didn't move so I thought it was supposed to be there. Needless to say, once I got everything back together with the new oil in it and cranked it up, 4 of the 4.3 quarts ended up on the skid plate and the garage floor. After a lengthy cleanup session, removal of the old gasket, and 4 new quarts of oil, everything is back to normal. Glad I didn't try to ride it before checking things out. Good thing is my garage floor will never rust.
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