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Super Duke disaster

jfink

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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.
gGSFQip-NHkOl7vYxfrakVrS9WD1YpB-ay0RqyWKMD4tF0oXyEiEvm1HbpMZHkJfJZNDQOc4LRwpwOVz9_l=w365-h647-no.jpg


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):
OtnJCUlY7WZ9EfD3ncsBnumx6fGZIndbq1q-wb5r8loCfMH3B15bXvpGszEpmvK6tpsobAN2oT4O39k77J=w1148-h647-no.jpg


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:
1eJw407vDLUZS0eXCfSNmYUkbVX9Vjuvbq1164GVs1CPQn08TAZagExWcu5HixvUZdZbBxDyngYXhld5Tz=w1148-h647-no.jpg


More scouring on cylinder wall, opposite the scouring above:
NOOgmvSCvu8hfYR7CcT2vT7mMzJTcCE8yFT8FW7rREKDnV47oFn9aEsanLGZRRjDrlXG_KZ0V8dtCmNc3hk=w365-h647-no.jpg


Broke ring lands, scraper ring was also broken:
-aw9dcYb7VR18dzqH00V_VyLuvHIhxG9jk5VpTBny2E-kbanhy3KWgyJ3da4P2kNxtWtNp3wr_tVbH4MUG=w1148-h647-no.jpg


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.
 

Windmill

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Is it my imagination, are the two plugs the same length and size? Maybe takes two different sizes?
 
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jfink

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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. :-)
 

bwdmax

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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.
 

Rsquared

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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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Windmill

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Way I see it if it is under warranty they need to give you a new motor. Hope it goes well with you.
 

jfink

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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.
 

Tourmeister

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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.
 

Dahveed

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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.
 

mitchntx

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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.
 

Dahveed

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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
 

bwdmax

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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.
 

Dahveed

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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. :eek2:
 

jfink

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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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jfink

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More photos from Cycle Shack North:

Small Indent seen in my pictures:
HoJDqkt2DdbH3JYpD1WHYGxk9_9y65OSDNwCl6G5mGud524gFNTdBVY8ipFRadlKryQ2n3ZxndfojPmcZC_=w364-h647-no.jpg


Something noted by the Mechanic, looks like a crack in the head?
ivshsv6-px8dKJfZQ1Szmf5ADHaCc09-Pi8xMJprC9tVnADgdTvNeX46I36_NTnpY1O-cKXtQt9ivnaUjtD=w364-h647-no.jpg


Scouring from a slightly different angle:
__2ESceas0wXOJuCO5q70zn-wk9a-tZylbkLDDA3zOpMGmXHV67B8FsTFW_ceuRqdrzOQYMlT8VXHN3Y8_E=w364-h647-no.jpg


Crown of rear cylinder piston:
SUhKHP3hgQiUx3ZR-bAuIwh3cSeNonutJBZa0Bq46ItHpsyfyylXe3tGeOeAoZIxnWXX6IlO_qmyZdMvD_y=w364-h647-no.jpg


Side view of rear piston:
O0KWkEE3mDP1BoPrBXiFlssBX5gqGmEZYEGgeL9dTbgrzocucz9g6d2abABKjLKtf4Vlj5coQnly974nCC=w1151-h647-no.jpg


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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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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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.
I did that in a minivan once and wife didn't catch it till too late. Got a pretty good knock, mechanic said to try some (can't remember for sure) Miracle 50??, anyway it worked till we got rid of it a few years later, very lucky.
 

Hotboot

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Low mile bike, purchased from a dealer who did the maintenance for resale. Install the new engine asap and get this owner back on the road. Option 2 is to get another SD of the same mileage and year for him. Option 3 is a full refund and / or credit towards a new KTM.
I hope this goes the right way for you man, fun bikes.
 

jfink

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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.
Sounds messy Jay. That's odd, based on my Honda experiences with the Wing, which I have not any trouble with oil changes. It's also an automotive type filter with a rubber ring. Messy oil problems are some of the worst. I save cardboard boxes from motorcycle parts I order and put them under the bike when I change my oil. I seldom manage to change oil without ruining the box. 4 quarts though would have run off the box. :-)

Didn't you have an issue on your Harley on a ride once where it lost some oil as well after a side cover came loose? I actually had a little oil leak Sunday on the Wing on the way to Orlando. I noticed the left foot peg was wet, but much more slippery that water. The right peg was dry? Stopped and noticed there was oil on the shift lever and a little on my boot. When I checked the valves last week, I didn't get the cover back on precisely. There is enough slop in the installation that it can leave a little gap at the top. I loosened the valve cover bolts, moved the cover may be a quarter inch and all was well.

I checked the oil a couple times on the SD within the five or six hundred miles I rode it. There is a handy sight glass for checking, as well as, low oil pressure and low oil level sensors. There is also an oil temperature sensor and I noticed that the oil temperature was running about 190, which I wondered if that was right or a little high.
 

Dahveed

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There is also an oil temperature sensor and I noticed that the oil temperature was running about 190, which I wondered if that was right or a little high.
190º sounds about right to me. The oil temp should be similar to the water temp in a water cooled engine. My water boxer's engine temp is 184º when running down the road. Fan kicks on at about 209º. I assume "engine temp" is water temp, but I'm not really sure how BMW measures it to be honest.
 

SL350

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I am sorry to hear that such a large investment has these kind of problems.

If it was started by the spark plug, could it be metal fatigue from someone setting the gap multiple times? I have never seen an engine blown over a plug but anything is possible. You might contact the plug manufacturer and see if there is an issue with this plug and force a recall. Again, I don't know it is the plug but it might save others.
 
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Didn't you have an issue on your Harley on a ride once where it lost some oil as well after a side cover came loose? .
Not exactly, the primary cover (that had been put on with Loctite) fell off on old 90 near Deavers after a trip up to the Pickett House. It lost some primary oil as well; that's how I noticed it due to the smoke from it baking on the exhaust. Jim and Michelle went to the Harley shop in Beaumont, picked up a cover, bolts, and oil, and I replaced it on the side of the road. When I got home and after another extensive cleanup, I put Loctite on the new bolts. I've always said, the only bolts you need to Loctite on a Harley are the ones you want to keep on it. Turns out that probably should be the only bolts you hope to keep on it. We never found the original cover that day, but Jerry and Barb went back the next day and found it on the other side of the road. I told him that if it wanted off the bike that bad, he could keep it.
 
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Thank you!

A couple of thoughts. What bent the spark plug? Clearly an impact, but with what? Whatever it was, it may have gone out the exhaust valve. Did they look in the exhaust system for any debris? The piston appears to be relatively intact, despite the damage, but the oil control ring looks incomplete.

The only other time I have seen cylinder scoring like that was due to loss of oil pressure. Very odd indeed. I understand your frustration completely. I rode the same bike last week. Quite a machine, but the seating position was just not quite what I was looking for. Hope you're back on the road soon.
 

jfink

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Well, the news is back from KTM. They don't have a "crate motor" per se, and they aren't going to give me a new bike, so ... Cycle Shack plans to rebuild the engine. They are getting a parts list together, will order and rebuild. I have had a chance to talk to and gain trust in the mechanic who is doing the work. He has several decades of experience rebuilding motors. I am a little concerned that we were not able to discern the problem that created this mess. So, now it's wait and see ...
 
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I would continue to press them for a new motor. I do not see a rebuild ending well given he amount of loose metal and the time it has circulated.

I have a 2016 SA and my warranty just ran out, I am slightly nervous to say the least.
 
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jfink

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I would continue to press them for a new motor. I do not see a rebuild ending well given he amount of loose metal and the time it has circulated.

I have a 2016 SA and my warranty just ran out, I am slightly nervous to say the least.
I have pressed, but you know how dealing with a dealer can be sometimes. I do believe they have pressed it with KTM. He has mentioned several times, that he has passed my comments and desires along to KTM. At this point, I might get my way, if I pressed for a new engine, but then it will be sitting in the shop all summer waiting for said engine, while the warranty ticks away.

I do know of several people who don't keep their bikes beyond the warranty period, because of the reliability concern. I will have to wait and see how this turns out and how I feel about it to know where I will go.

I have said that I am sure there will be the normal break-in, after the rebuild, but after that I plan to give it a good thrashing.
 

Dahveed

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I have pressed, but you know how dealing with a dealer can be sometimes. I do believe they have pressed it with KTM. He has mentioned several times, that he has passed my comments and desires along to KTM. At this point, I might get my way, if I pressed for a new engine, but then it will be sitting in the shop all summer waiting for said engine, while the warranty ticks away.



I do know of several people who don't keep their bikes beyond the warranty period, because of the reliability concern. I will have to wait and see how this turns out and how I feel about it to know where I will go.



I have said that I am sure there will be the normal break-in, after the rebuild, but after that I plan to give it a good thrashing.


Perhaps the extended warranty on this bike is looking like a good investment.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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IMHO having thirty+ years in the business, the piece of spark plug is the result of the problem not the cause. This looks like detonation either caused by pre-ignition or other causes. With computer controlled spark way too many things come into play to make long range trouble shooting possible.
The piston damage appears to be caused by explosion forces in the cylinder which could have blown the ground wire off the plug or physical contact with the piston, I'd need a closer look to make an educated guess.
A local rebuild should not be a problem IF you are dealing with a skilled mechanic. FINDING THE CAUSE will require someone with knowledge.

Wish I could be of more help.

Smoky
 

LaserDave

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decades away in technology, but the pictures remind me of my old iron head Sportster when it wrecked the pistons. turned out to be the stock ignition wasn't doing it's thing, and advancing/retarding spark properly. I also wondered if someone tried to tune the ECU.
 

jfink

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Any update?
Rob, I just got back from Florida last night, but I have been talking to Cycle Shack on the phone. The news is back from KTM. They don't have a "crate motor" per se, and they aren't going to give me a new bike, so ... Cycle Shack plans to rebuild. They are getting a parts list together, will order (or have ordered) and rebuild. I have had a chance to talk to and gain trust in the mechanic who is doing the work. He has several decades of experience rebuilding motors. Although, I am a little concerned that we were not able to determine the problem that created this mess.

I have asked about the extended warranty, but I guess I wasn't clear, because the service writer kept saying that all their work and parts are warranted for 90 days. The bikes warranty is for two years beginning 9/17 so the 90 day warranty isn't really helpful. At the very least, they should extend the warranty for two years from the date of the rebuild.

I am certain there will be the normal break in period after it is rebuilt, but after that I intend to give it a severe thrashing!!! :-) Hopefully, anything that isn't tied down, will show itself.

So, now it's wait and see. But since I'm back I plan to go in today, talk and maybe take some pictures.
 
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Well, guess that's good news. Hopefully many happy miles after this. Terry is picking up a new to him bike today, buying back one he sold to me that I sold ect. lol. I might go down later, you should swing by his place too.
 

masterblaster

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Sad to hear this Joe, the dam thing felt fine when I rode it to BMW. Hope CSN treats you right. KTM needs to step the heck up on this.
 

jfink

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So, I have talked to KTM Customer Service. They have approved rebuilding my engine. Cycle Shack North ("CSN") has ordered parts but there still is some conversation around; 1) what caused this and will it happen again and 2) the plan to repair the head by CSN, KTM corporate says everything needs to be replaced.

I have strongly suggested that at the very least the warranty needs to be restarted since this is such a new bike. They have said they will work on it.
 

jfink

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Back on the road?
Not yet. They got the new head and found they could not remove the spark plug shaft insert without damaging it. This is the insert that is above the spark plug hole in the head to insulate the plug coil. So they have ordered a new one and contacted KTM in order to figure out how to insert it. To remove this on my 990, just takes a lot of muscle.
 
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jfink

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Heard the Duke is running!
Yes sir, that is true! Wanted to do a lunch today, but it wasn't done until late afternoon.

Here it is in the garage, with it's other KTM friends.

zuucHo6DDpDb9vaj5mWQKs1exs3hplCujCJqmtBlCyG5x8kyOFbFT_59m-HeXAx1GVgR9qZLypNn1ESTokM=w364-h647-no.jpg
 
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