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Discussion Starter #1
I have a KTM 790 Adventure and so far I am very happy with the bike but there's a pile of clutch failures being reported by owners.

And worse than that, KTM is refusing to accept liability leaving owners to pay for a new clutch, and in some cases with a major bill for an engine rebuild.

The clutch on the 790 is wet, meaning it relies on an oil feed and it seems the oil jet may become blocked. It's supposed to be checked on each service but who knows whether this is being done, and with service intervals so far apart...

If you are a 790 Adventure owner you need to be aware of this problem and check the clutch for signs of oil burning and blocked jet. If you are thinking of buying a 790 Adventure I would suggest you investigate this issue before proceeding.

In the report below, to add insult to injury the owner was unfortunately also let down by KTM's breakdown recovery:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1824483411197787/permalink/2301919730120817/
 

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Very sad.

I am assuming KTM are refusing warranty for a "reason" (or suspicion) such as owners have abused the clutch?

Personally I would of been onto the supplying dealer as well, as they might of been able to get hold of a KTM contact to kick arse, I have never had a huge amount of faith in KTM having read these stories, but I do trust my dealer to fight my corner and do the best they can for me.

I can see they may not want to replace the engine - and the bike has almost 2 years warranty left, so I would accept a new clutch on the basis that I have a lot of warranty left, my guess is that if the oilways were blocked it would not be long until it went POP, maybe ask for a free oil change a couple of hundred miles after the new clutch is fitted?

But if they are refusing the warranty claim they must be able to prove it was caused by the owner, I would of thought this would be a slam-dunk court case.
 

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I can see KTM's stance here, until they know the facts they don't want to commit, but if he has KTM Mobility then that should include Europe Breakdown shouldn't it?
Still... I bet it doesn't give the same level of cover as a good independent Euro-breakdown policy, with hotels & repatriation etc.

Reading this just reinforces to me why it's not a good idea to buy a first run of a new model, even though the engine of this one should have been sorted by now but it's only been a year hasn't it... and KTM haven't got the resources of the Jap four or BMW.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
@TrouserSnake: according to the KTM Mobility blurb the breakdown cover looks top notch, with hotels, car hire, repatriation, etc., see https://www.ktm.com/globalassets/service/mobility/mobility_2019/288277_ktm-mobility-service-folder-2019_uk.pdf

Others have questioned why this apparently seems not to have affected the 790 Duke which was introduced a year earlier. The answer is we don't know.
________________________________________________

I think I should explain more about the clutch issue so people get a feel for the scale of this problem.

Uli Schildt picked up his bike in Arizona and rode 3,000 miles back to Washington State. A week later his clutch failed but KTM refused to replace it under warranty. Uli writes, "[KTM] say the clutch is a 'wear item'. I tried to reason with them, to no avail. Left several messages at KTM in California but they have not replied."

Uli suggests, "anybody with a 790 to pull the clutch cover and inspect. This takes less than 5 minutes and requires almost no mechanical skill. You don't need to drain the oil, since the clutch is well above the sump (although a few drops may come out)."

And this is what David Bentley's clutch looked like when followed Uli's advice and removed the cover. It seems in perfect condition.



But this is what Mark Ferbrache's clutch looked like with signs of oil overheating and burning.



Mark writes that he had to replace his clutch at his expense, "KTM just said wear and tear so had to pay myself." If your clutch looks like this you might want to investigate further, so take the three bolts and cover off, then take out each plate and check them for heat damage, loss of material, etc.

J P De Villiers writes, "After my first clutch burnt and the fault was put on me after only 2700 km. I put a [heavy duty] Rekluse torque drive with the hope it will be a stronger replacement. It took exactly 300 km, clutch started taking high and slipping exactly like before."

In Quintin Mclaughlin's case he had only just run the bike in and had the initial service before setting off on a road trip through France, Spain and Portugal. Clutch failure at only 2,000 miles and KTM's reaction is to leave him stranded for four days and for him to have to arrange repatriation despite supposedly being covered by KTM Mobility breakdown cover.

Laia Sanz's clutch had to be replaced at the Bosnia Rally. Laia is a thirteen-time Women's Trial World Champion, so you would expect SHE knows how to use a clutch.

Bill Cairns was one of the first to report a clutch failure to the community. Bill is an avid poster of biking action videos and KTM took one look at these and decided Bill was misusing the clutch. KTM would not allow the warranty on the rest of the engine to continue unless Bill spent close to £3,000 on a complete engine rebuild.

The 790 community generally believed the clutch problems are due to a lack of lubrication and possibly because the oil filters are not picking up small amounts of debris that is then blocking the oil jet lubricating the clutch, however KTM REFUSES to engage with any of the owners who have had problems, making a resolution impossible to determine. This is irresponsible in the extreme.

I believe these reports are only the tip of the iceberg.

READY TO RACE (but please mind the clutch)
 

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Good reason for a windowed clutch casing upgrade.:D

Is it possible to force a manufacturer to acknowledge an issue?
In the UK there is the good old "fit for purpose" thing but exactly how you'd go about doing it (and proving it) I dunno. Trading standards would be a good start I suppose.
Failing that you'd need to have a few failed bikes independently inspected and reports written ready for a class action case.

Is any of that happening Tim?
 

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Has anyone else on here had trouble with the clutch? I've only done 1500 miles and had no trouble as
yet!
 

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Good to know, was considering a 790S to replace my CB500X commuter, but don't think I can afford a new clutch every 3,000 miles! Might have to stick with the (Extremely) boring Honda.

At least BMW fix their (many) fuckups, but you can see why so many people will only buy Jap bikes.
 

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I wonder if the clutch in the 790r is the same as the 790 Duke?..maybe a different set up as the Duke does not seem to be having problems typical KTM after sales service!....maybe this is why Yamaha took a ridiculous amount of time and sodding about before they finally realeased the 700 tenere...they wanted to make sure it worked properly
 

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Nice work Tim ,and thanks for keeping us all updated on this issue. I did read about Bill Cairns's issue and although he seems to have taken it on the chin its seems bad that KTM said they saw his videos quite clearly showing him slipping the clutch beyond limits!!! I have had a test ride on a 790S and did like it but I wont be swapping my Africa Twin any time soon for one after hearing about these failures, that's for sure!
 

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i have a 790R and just turned 3700miles on it with only problem being a bit of moisture in the clocks, but in no hurry to replace clocks as it only happened once and i think the bike is fantastic and does what it suppose to. Clutch problem is a concern but I also have a 1200GS rallye and if i took on board all the problems people have with them then i would have to sell it too.
the clutch problems people are having are not good, and KTM should be on the ball, but it is a very small group of bikes which seem more because the same people are on so many forums & social media try to muster up support/awareness.
 

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I can speak from personal experience with KTM U.K. they NEVER admit any issues.
When my 690 broke a rocker KTM told me that they had no knowledge of any rocker issues on that engine. This was 2016.
As for the clutch issues, it is difficult because abusing a clutch for a short time can result in failure, however the bike should still be recovered
Under the warranty so the garage can inspect it and make there mind up.
 

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Thanks for the in depth report Tim. I've had no clutch issues in 7500 miles on mine but then it's used exclusively on the road where there is no need for clutch slipping.

Mind you, that's about the only part I haven't had an issue with.....
 

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@TrouserSnake: according to the KTM Mobility blurb the breakdown cover looks top notch, with hotels, car hire, repatriation, etc., see https://www.ktm.com/globalassets/service/mobility/mobility_2019/288277_ktm-mobility-service-folder-2019_uk.pdf

Others have questioned why this apparently seems not to have affected the 790 Duke which was introduced a year earlier. The answer is we don't know.
________________________________________________

I think I should explain more about the clutch issue so people get a feel for the scale of this problem.

Uli Schildt picked up his bike in Arizona and rode 3,000 miles back to Washington State. A week later his clutch failed but KTM refused to replace it under warranty. Uli writes, "[KTM] say the clutch is a 'wear item'. I tried to reason with them, to no avail. Left several messages at KTM in California but they have not replied."

Uli suggests, "anybody with a 790 to pull the clutch cover and inspect. This takes less than 5 minutes and requires almost no mechanical skill. You don't need to drain the oil, since the clutch is well above the sump (although a few drops may come out)."

And this is what David Bentley's clutch looked like when followed Uli's advice and removed the cover. It seems in perfect condition.



But this is what Mark Ferbrache's clutch looked like with signs of oil overheating and burning.



Mark writes that he had to replace his clutch at his expense, "KTM just said wear and tear so had to pay myself." If your clutch looks like this you might want to investigate further, so take the three bolts and cover off, then take out each plate and check them for heat damage, loss of material, etc.

J P De Villiers writes, "After my first clutch burnt and the fault was put on me after only 2700 km. I put a [heavy duty] Rekluse torque drive with the hope it will be a stronger replacement. It took exactly 300 km, clutch started taking high and slipping exactly like before."

In Quintin Mclaughlin's case he had only just run the bike in and had the initial service before setting off on a road trip through France, Spain and Portugal. Clutch failure at only 2,000 miles and KTM's reaction is to leave him stranded for four days and for him to have to arrange repatriation despite supposedly being covered by KTM Mobility breakdown cover.

Laia Sanz's clutch had to be replaced at the Bosnia Rally. Laia is a thirteen-time Women's Trial World Champion, so you would expect SHE knows how to use a clutch.

Bill Cairns was one of the first to report a clutch failure to the community. Bill is an avid poster of biking action videos and KTM took one look at these and decided Bill was misusing the clutch. KTM would not allow the warranty on the rest of the engine to continue unless Bill spent close to £3,000 on a complete engine rebuild.

The 790 community generally believed the clutch problems are due to a lack of lubrication and possibly because the oil filters are not picking up small amounts of debris that is then blocking the oil jet lubricating the clutch, however KTM REFUSES to engage with any of the owners who have had problems, making a resolution impossible to determine. This is irresponsible in the extreme.

I believe these reports are only the tip of the iceberg.

READY TO RACE (but please mind the clutch)


Just look at that top picture:eek:, looks like the clutch cover sealing face has been machined with a house brick, the steel plate that pushes on the springs has clearly been stamped out leaving a sharp burr on the back of it(could have done better with a hammer and blunt chisel;)) and the 3 bolts look about the same quality as you would find on a chinese pit bike.
Not at all suprised about all the problems people are having with these bikes, quality has gone even further out the window in favour of even more profit.

Don't get me started on ktm uk and warrantys, might as well talk to the wall. Legal action is the only way.
 

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I'm embarrassed to say I've been panicked into taking my cover off too. Clutch perfect and oil jet clear.
 

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KTM have form when it comes to ignoring problems, my 2018 1090r airbox has started to let in dust, despite all the BS that has gone on with them since the 1190 came out in 2013. All the fixes and different filters etc that KTM say will solve the issue do fuck all to address the very poor airbox design that will allow dust to sooner or later get by.

I took the plunge and spent best part of £500 on the power cell set up as I want to keep the bike.

KTM will never acknowledge inherent design flaws, as Tim says you need to be informed and do your own checks and dont believe there BS.
 

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KTM have form when it comes to ignoring problems, my 2018 1090r airbox has started to let in dust, despite all the BS that has gone on with them since the 1190 came out in 2013. All the fixes and different filters etc that KTM say will solve the issue do fuck all to address the very poor airbox design that will allow dust to sooner or later get by.

I took the plunge and spent best part of £500 on the power cell set up as I want to keep the bike.

KTM will never acknowledge inherent design flaws, as Tim says you need to be informed and do your own checks and dont believe there BS.
I too fitted the Powercell air filters to my 1190R. Very good and neat - the Mark 2 version was better.
 

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The Yamaha MT-07 Engine is very reliable .. No issues there.. I heard the first T-700 Bike was so bad that Yamaha had to start over and design a second .. one .. so all the Issues were with chassis not motor ..
 
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