54 000 kilometers on a KTM 1290SAS (updated)

Last Updated on: January 28, 2023

At 54 000 kilometers: ,my2019 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S

The 2019 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S packed and ready for the 2022 Euro-adventure

54 000 kilometers ridden since April 2021. Depending on the weather I might pass 55 000 kilometers before it’s over for this year.

A 54 000 kilometers status

To be quite honest, there’s not a whole lot to report.  Suspension, electronics, engine, gearbox, everything has been working well. No failures, no issues, and no need to go to dealer because it broke down, stopped, or functions conked out.

Well, er… not entirely true. Something did happen late August. And that something actually had an easy fix. One I might have tried myself, if I wasn’t home. And, if you own one of these bikes, well maybe this is something to make a note of?

Dead as a dodo. But all it needed was a reboot!

Dead as a dodo. But all it needed was a reboot

Due to the mentioned niggle I had the battery changed. Incidentally that battery change led to a, for me, surprising issue. It fired normally at the dealer and I rode home. When I switched it off in the garage the bike would not turn back on again.

It was dead as a Dodo. I called KTM Service, they came and picked it up the same evening. So, their service works, at least in Scandinavia.

The day after, in the morning, I got a txt from the workshop. Bike was ready. So what was it? The bike needed an extra reboot. They disconnected the battery for 10-20 seconds and reconnected it. That was it. This happened in August, and I’ve not had any issues with it since.

60 000 kilometers (large service)

I bought the bike with ca 10 000 kilometers on the odo. As a result, and given the 54 000 mark passed this fall, it had its 60 000 (or 38 000 miles) kilometers service this fall. Before I departed on this year’s somewhat late Euro tour. More on that later.

A close inspection of engine and everything revealed absolutely no wear whatsoever. I know of KTMs that’s done 5 times the mileage of mine. So it didn’t come as a surprise.

Yes, the niggle

it came out of the blue.  If I remember correctly, first time was in during spring, or early summer. Occasionally, while pressing starter button, a whining sound could be heard. The bike always did start after the sound. But as it happened, occasionally I saw a “blip” in the dash. Like a power dip.

Ditto occasionally, probably as a consequence of the power dip, it threw up error messages. Messages about this or that failing. Typically like lean angle sensitive ABS, traction control and some other functions.

During this years late Euro-Adventure it continued to happen, occasionally. I began to speculate if it had something to do with temperature, since the failure or sound appeared to be more frequent when the engine was hot. And also, if the outdoor temperature was higher.

A couple of times it also went into a spin, as if it would not start. But every single time the solution was; switch it off, leave it off for a few seconds, then try again. After which it always started, with no error messages.

Owners of several 1290 models, including the 1290SAR and SuperDuke, have reported similar problems. See this thread. So the problem is related to the starter torque limiter. Or starter clutch. Some have also said/claimed it’s because of a washer in the mechanism.

At 54 000 – not gotten worse

Yeah that is a bit surprising. Since I got back home I’ve not had it happening at all. Well maybe once. But I’ve also been riding much less, and the day temperature has been much lower as well. Because of this it seems to be connected to, or related to engine temperature, which again is affected by overall outdoor temperature.

The problem is reported to KTM via my KTM dealer. I hope and expect the torque limiter will be replaced under warranty, I hope it’s done without any fighting or arguing. That KTM do acknowledge it is a sort of an Achilles heel. So I’ll update this post when I know the outcome. It might take a little while and I am in no hurry. I’ve not planned any major trips for the rest of the year.

At 55 000 kilometeres

The dash at 55 000 kilometers.

Edit: at 55 000, no change

Reached it a couple of days ago, mid-October. The niggle or whining has not happened once. Almost as if the issue is gone. But I don’t think it’s quite that easy. October has been, quite as usual, a pretty chilly month. The heat gage shows normal heat level, but still, the surrounding air might play a part.

The bike will go into winter storage at my dealer in a week or couple of weeks time. And hopefully KTM have acknowledged the situation and will replace the torque converter under warranty. More on this subject later.

Yes, one other thing, just a comment to the fuel average displayed. Proves to show that the 1290 is, or can be, very fuel efficient. The Boosterplug mounted plays a big part in this.

January 2023 update

Late December 2022 I was informed by my dealer that KTM had acknowledged the starter clutch warranty claim. As a result they had replaced it. With no extra charges.

This is/was important, for me at least. That KTM does in fact acknowledge such things. That warranty does work, also on a 3 years old (at the time) bike. Allegedly parts of the component have since been reengineered. Some have said it was down to change of a washer really.

Whether for me or the next owner, as well as my bike’s history, glad to have this sorted!

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