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My bike is a 1290 ADV S which I purchased in March 2018 with 6,000 miles on it.

The Saga:

My 1290 ADV S has been completely trouble free for 18 months and I have been commuting on it every day to work in all weather conditions except when ice on the road. The only issue it ever had which I noticed sometime after the first service was that the hazard indicator switch did not work. I was not to worried and decided I would wait for the 2nd service for them to fix it under warranty.

My nearest KTM dealer (about 1.5 hours away) which is where i purchased it and my last 2 KTM's (1190 ADV R, 690 Enduro), phoned me up to say that there is a major software update for the ECU which should be installed. As I was due for my annual service I booked it in and rode to the KTM dealer. They serviced the bike, replaced the hazard indicator switch assembly and updated the software.

I rode the bike home as normal.

The next day I rode the bike home from work as normal and when I got off the bike I could have sworn the TFT screen switched on by itself and then switched off. Anyway I noticed it but did not think much about it, to the point of I thought I was imagining it.

The next day I rode to work as normal, when I went to start the bike to warm it up as normal, after the engine was running for about 5 seconds the ignition switched off. Because of this the engine turned off and the TFT screen switched off exactly like you press the ignition off switch.

So I tried starting the bike again but as soon as it started to crank the ignition went off again. It kept doing this and then the ignition became possessed and started switching on and off by its self without me pressing any buttons. It was doing all random things.

So I phoned up the KTM RAC recovery to organize getting it recovered the next day.

The next day the bike behaved completely normal so I rode it onto the recovery trailer and they took it to the KTM dealer.

KTM had it for 1.5 weeks and replaced the complete immobilizer which included a new key fob to match the coding.

I picked it up last night and on the way home I had a complete power loss of the bike.... I don't mean just a loss in engine power but a complete loss of electrical power as well.

My bike was completely dead, nothing worked. A passerby helped me get the bike onto his trailer quickly and took me to my local town.


KTM RAC recovery took my bike away for the 2nd time in 1.5 weeks.

They have looked at the bike today as a matter of urgency to find out what happened, here is the latest: -

- Bike did not power up when they received it.

- They disconnected the battery, left it for 15 minutes, reconnected battery and now the bike powers up.

- They try to turn the ignition on which works but then it starts to do the random on / off of the ignition and cannot start the engine

- Bike goes completely dead again

- They hook up a temporary 12V DC power supply to bypass the disconnecting of the power supply.

- They read the faults stored on the ECU

* headlight fault
* cornering lights fault
* ABS system fault
* Canbus network fault
* MTC fault
* more and more faults


The KTM dealer have written a report to KTM UK this afternoon for advice as they have no idea what is going wrong with the bike and I should get some form of an answer tomorrow.


My thoughts:

Everything was normal with the bike until that service, the problems started the very next day. To much of a coincidence yet I'm told its not.

What was done on that service?

- hazard indicator switch unit which is combined with the ignition switch / engine stop switch unit
- software update of the ECU
- bike mechanics carrying out a service

Hazard indicator:

From what I can see the hazard indicator / ignition switch unit appears to be hardwired with no CAN bus communications. I can't be sure as I don't have my bike here. I can't see how a fault with that unit would completely shut off the power to everything.

Software update:

This seems likely as the problem. They informed me that they have carried this out on many bikes with no problem. When you update an ECU or PLC with a new version of software or firmware I have had it in the past a few times where the new software does not get installed 100% correctly. Errors in the code can happen in certain logic sequences. Sometimes you need to wipe an ECU / PLC first before downloading a new program.

The bike service:

Its very possible that a wiring loom has become dislodged slightly from the the service and has become damaged. The fault happens randomly and even the error codes on the ECU are random.

The CAN bus network cable could very well be grounding (or going open circuit) somewhere on the bike frame causing the errors on the network to shut down the ECU etc.


I am leaning very much towards a bad software update of the ECU or a wiring loom fault on my bike.


I will keep you posted on updates and I am interested to hear if anyone else has had similar issues.
 

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Sounds like the start button, it happened on my 1290 SDR and is a common fault. I had the switch replaced under warranty.

I think a few others have had the same. If it is this the dealer should have known this was a common fault. It is caused by water getting inside the switch.

Did they wash the bike when they serviced it?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for your reply, its appreciated.

No they never wash bikes, in fact when I picked it up yesterday afternoon it had their muddy boot prints on the saddle where they try to get their leg over.

I spoke to them just before i left work and they said that they took an ignition switch out of their stock to try it out in their workshop and they say the ignition is still randomly switching on and off. They say its like nothing they have seen before.
 

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You have a rocker switch for the ignition and then the race on button to start the bike. It's the button that goes wrong.
 

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I would contact VOSA and make them aware, this could easily kill someone.

The amount of random faults from KTM electrics is worrying enough if it might ruin a holiday, but the fact the lack of fail-safes means pretty much any little fault causes the bike to die and kill the lights is appalling.

The "off" button should not work while vehicle is in motion to prevent this (if it is the button)

BMW and KTM lead the world on getting customers to beta-test their bikes, but if we are risking our lives to do these tests we should be paid - although I might accept a free bike every year in exchange for this service - and just not ride in the dark.

Also imagine the cost post-warranty as the dealer spends hours tying to fix it and randomly replacing expensive control units.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
An update.

When my combined hazard indicator switch / ignition button / engine stop button was replaced on the service the new model was installed that is the more water resistant design that they have been replacing the failed units with. It also did not rain that day or the next day when it all started going wrong.

KTM tried a new ignition switch module this morning in their workshop to make sure and the same fault is happening on the bike where by the bike is switching on and off randomly, generating lots of fault codes and then total power fail. So the switch unit is ruled out.

KTM confirmed that the ignition switch being activated while the bike is being used is not allowed in the ECU logic to turn the bike off and definitely not cut the complete power to the bike when running.

The also checked the software in the ECU, checked the mapping etc. and found no issues. They also wiped the ECU and installed the software fresh. The same problems is still happening with the bike.


KTM UK are now pretty sure that the only explanation could be damage to the main wiring loom causing all these intermittent random faults happening. They have sent out a new harness overnight and it will be installed Thursday / Friday this week for me to hopefully collect the bike on Saturday.

The wiring harness will be inspected ( I will have a look at it when i collect the bike to see also). I hope very much it is a wiring harness damage fault to restore my faith back in the bike.

If it is the wiring harness then its looking like it got damaged in the service / hazard indicator & ignition switch unit replacement. Maybe when the fuel tank was removed etc. The bike was completely fine up until that service day.
 

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This happened to someone I know from Warrington...............................
 

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from memory it was two bags of sand......
 

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An update.

When my combined hazard indicator switch / ignition button / engine stop button was replaced on the service the new model was installed that is the more water resistant design that they have been replacing the failed units with. It also did not rain that day or the next day when it all started going wrong.

KTM tried a new ignition switch module this morning in their workshop to make sure and the same fault is happening on the bike where by the bike is switching on and off randomly, generating lots of fault codes and then total power fail. So the switch unit is ruled out.

KTM confirmed that the ignition switch being activated while the bike is being used is not allowed in the ECU logic to turn the bike off and definitely not cut the complete power to the bike when running.

The also checked the software in the ECU, checked the mapping etc. and found no issues. They also wiped the ECU and installed the software fresh. The same problems is still happening with the bike.


KTM UK are now pretty sure that the only explanation could be damage to the main wiring loom causing all these intermittent random faults happening. They have sent out a new harness overnight and it will be installed Thursday / Friday this week for me to hopefully collect the bike on Saturday.

The wiring harness will be inspected ( I will have a look at it when i collect the bike to see also). I hope very much it is a wiring harness damage fault to restore my faith back in the bike.

If it is the wiring harness then its looking like it got damaged in the service / hazard indicator & ignition switch unit replacement. Maybe when the fuel tank was removed etc. The bike was completely fine up until that service day.
Early BMW K1600's suffered similar power loss issues and that also turned out to be problems with the wiring looms, all replaced on recalls

did it fix your problems?
 

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I had a similar issue Thursday. Just after Hyde Park Corner on the way out of London the bike just stopped and wouldn't restart. Thankfully the traffic was moving slowly and I wheeled it across to a bus lane. I waited three hours for any help from RAC but that's another issue (I'll use my regular recovery guys next time, StartRescue). The mechanic, still an hour away (!) talked me through it and I made it to InMoto, where they could fine no fault.

The electrics and TFT screen had been randomly turning on and off and the RaceOn button had no effect. Eventually it just seemed to stop it's randomness and that's when the assisstnat basically said to suck it and see, with him ready to come out if needed.

So now three hours late I had to ride home in the dark and heavy rain. Imagine if the power had failed on a country road!

Finally, I'm pretty sure the RaceOn button didn't immediately switch the engine off but required a few jabs, once I was home.

I've told all this to my dealer and I guess it's just see if it happens again ...
 

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Update - and thanks to AMS KTM in Tewkesbury who've been absolutely faultless.

Once I got home it continued to randomly go through the ignition cycle without being able to turn the engine on, or if it turned off it would turn off. AMS said they would look at it and suggested RAC recovery (!) which I arranged - thankfully they sent SOS who I've always found faultless.

End result, new switchgear all on waranty. No questions and sorted in no time.
 

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Update - and thanks to AMS KTM in Tewkesbury who've been absolutely faultless.

Once I got home it continued to randomly go through the ignition cycle without being able to turn the engine on, or if it turned off it would turn off. AMS said they would look at it and suggested RAC recovery (!) which I arranged - thankfully they sent SOS who I've always found faultless.

End result, new switchgear all on waranty. No questions and sorted in no time.
 

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What was the outcome of this issue because I've got the same randomly going off and progressively getting worse till it won't switch on I've got it booked in at AMS Tewkesbury on Tue 17/3/20 and going to Portugal on 20/3/20 it's cutting it a but fine.
What ever the outcome did it sort it ?
Thanks Rob..
 

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What was the outcome of this issue because I've got the same randomly going off and progressively getting worse till it won't switch on I've got it booked in at AMS Tewkesbury on Tue 17/3/20 and going to Portugal on 20/3/20 it's cutting it a but fine.
What ever the outcome did it sort it ?
Thanks Rob..
All sorted Rob. I can't vouch for their speed though - I was on no time limit and the weather was crap.
 

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Morning guys,

Had an issue yesterday on my 1290 SAR It’s only done 288miles.

Full electrical power loss, the race on button does nothing and the TFT screen is non responsive with no yellow light on bottom left. left the bike for an hour and nothing!

searched through google and found a fault chart
“ no yellow light check main fuse (30a green) under seat.
Pulled fuse which was fine put it back in and heard a Contractor/ relay noise.
pushed race on button and full power restored.

what has happened and why? like previously mentioned By another member in this thread if full electrical power loss on motorway this could be Deadly.
 

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No expert but sounds like a faulty connection / short.

Personally I wouldn't use it and speak with where you bought it to get it recovered. They might ask you to call the RAC who do the warranty recovery to do this (after all it's free to them as well). Probably RAC will arrange a time / day to do this.

Well that's what happened with me.
 

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No expert but sounds like a faulty connection / short.

Personally I wouldn't use it and speak with where you bought it to get it recovered. They might ask you to call the RAC who do the warranty recovery to do this (after all it's free to them as well). Probably RAC will arrange a time / day to do this.

Well that's what happened with me.
 
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