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Old 16th May 2012, 14:06   #31
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Default Re: My brand new KTM engine seized!

You guys will recall from my own KTM ownership thread, my friend Dr. Praveen Vats, a seasoned biker who rode my bike for 1500+ kms during our Goa ride when the bike was just 200kms old.

I told him about this case, and my impressions, and this is what he had to say -

"With KTM, the radiator excuse sounds like ****** (edited for Team BHP rules).
Possibly the bike was defective to start with. I mean, you know how we treated the duke on goa trip and the engine loved it.


so if you warm up the engine first and run it hard very hard, it's ok. I've done this with about 4 cars and 6 bikes... never had problem.


It's possible that bike wasn't warm or if it had a 1000km service, something wasn't done right (oil leak, oil low)

or

the rider was running 6th gear at low (say50kph) speed (i.e. lugging the engine). The KTM loves to be revved up, so I wouldn't use 6th gear below 120 and 5th gear below 100.

Better to ride on 4th gear at 100kph with RPM greater than 6000.


The KTM engine is not like a 500cc single, so it need high RPM to build up torque.

with KTM, check all fluid levels, warm engine...... ride it like you stole it!!!!
"

Last edited by n_aditya : 16th May 2012 at 15:15. Reason: unbolded text for better readability.
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Old 16th May 2012, 15:14   #32
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Default Re: My brand new KTM engine seized!

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
so if you warm up the engine first and run it hard very hard, it's ok. I've done this with about 4 cars and 6 bikes... never had problem.
. I always switch on the engine and then suit up. That gives the bike (my ninja) a few mins to warm up and for the oil to circulate. I only engage the transmission and move the bike when the temp needle comes up to the "C" mark / when the revv's drop to stable rpm's (as in any FI engine) which is warm enough.

It's possible that this bike was a one-off case, yet thorough investigation is required from the company and better still a warranty on the new engine/parts which have been replaced.

Last edited by n_aditya : 16th May 2012 at 15:16.
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Old 16th May 2012, 15:42   #33
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Default Re: My brand new KTM engine seized!

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Take it from someone who has experienced his fair share of overheating seizures. There is no knocking or adventitious sounds as warning. The bike will in fact be running very smooth just before it happens. Then just before, you will feel like you need more throttle (as if you are going up a gradient). In the final stage, just before both metal surfaces start grinding together, the rpm's will go down (the bike slows, loses momentum perceptibly), and if you don't still recognise the signs, you try giving even more throttle - and then the piston catches! Everything very silent till that point ....
Not sure if this is relevant here but the only engine seizure I have had was on a Yamaha RXG when the 2T pump failed. I was in the middle of a full throttle overtake when it happened and I do not believe I felt any of those intermediate steps you described. Maybe a 2 stroke engine reacts differently! But one moment I was going full blast and the next moment the engine stopped and lost all compression. Opened the engine head at a nearby mechanic and found the piston broken into two!

Last edited by n_aditya : 16th May 2012 at 16:00. Reason: please avoid quoting full posts since it inconveniences our mobile and small screen users. Thanks!
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Old 16th May 2012, 16:15   #34
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Default Re: My brand new KTM engine seized!

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Not sure if this is relevant here but the only engine seizure I have had was on a Yamaha RXG when the 2T pump failed. I was in the middle of a full throttle overtake when it happened and I do not believe I felt any of those intermediate steps you described. Maybe a 2 stroke engine reacts differently! But one moment I was going full blast and the next moment the engine stopped and lost all compression. Opened the engine head at a nearby mechanic and found the piston broken into two!
Firstly, two strokes are different to four strokes in their lubrication. The RX pump is very prone to failing. So much so that most performance minded riders/racers simply do away with it and use pre-mix.

What you experienced was not a seizure. It was catclysmic piston failure. We have those in four strokes as well. Usually either the crown is holed due to severe detonation or the crown separates from the piston skirt - usually at the weakest point - the oil groove.
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Old 16th May 2012, 16:34   #35
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Default Re: My brand new KTM engine seized!

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Originally Posted by n_aditya View Post
. I always switch on the engine and then suit up.
I do the same before long rides, while wiping it down, tying my bags and then putting on my back protector, jacket, camelbak, gloves and helmet.

For the Bullet though you need to keep nursing the throttle till the bike is warmed up. So I wait for a count of 150-200, "breaking open" the clutch at intervals.

Then when the bike is warm and can sustain the idle, I proceed to do all of the above letting the bike run on.

Its also a good idea to let the bike gradually come up to speed for the first 5-10 kms of the ride before starting to blast away. I usually go cool all the way uptil the bypass, using the distance to stretch and adjust yourself and gear on the bike.
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Old 16th May 2012, 17:09   #36
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Default Re: My brand new KTM engine seized!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post

Take it from someone who has experienced his fair share of overheating seizures. There is no knocking or adventitious sounds as warning. The bike will in fact be running very smooth just before it happens. Then just before, you will feel like you need more throttle (as if you are going up a gradient). In the final stage, just before both metal surfaces start grinding together, the rpm's will go down (the bike slows, loses momentum perceptibly), and if you don't still recognise the signs, you try giving even more throttle - and then the piston catches! Everything very silent till that point ....
I have experienced overheating twice and both times there was knocking, thats how i came to know that engine is overheating but both times it was a four wheeler. In my ZMA when the engine overheats, ie riding in hot day with very slow moving traffic, engine starts to knock when accelerating at lower RPMs.

Even i idle the bike at least 4-5 mins before taking it out, even then till the temp meter comes with normal position i limit the rpm to bare minimum bike can do comfortably. I do this for all my bike and car. Even if i do a fast run i keep the engine idling for sometime before switching off
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Old 16th May 2012, 17:25   #37
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Default Re: My brand new KTM engine seized!

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Originally Posted by Rahulkool View Post
In my ZMA when the engine overheats, ie riding in hot day with very slow moving traffic, engine starts to knock when accelerating at lower RPMs.
The temp needle on my ninja has always stayed below the red zone in bumper to bumper traffic. In fact the max it goes up to is ~65% of the range considering there is quite a bit of gap between the red zone and the highest point of the needle.

I've heard very good feedback about Motocool, a coolant from the Motul line-up and will try it out during my next service. As of now its running on some regular coolant which bajaj fills/tops up.

@ebonho - do you recommend a radiator flush while changing to Motocool or can i just drain the existing fluid and refill the new one? I've only heard of OWS radiator flush. Which one would you recommend?
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Old 16th May 2012, 17:29   #38
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Default Re: My brand new KTM engine seized!

Quote:
Originally Posted by n_aditya View Post
The temp needle on my ninja has always stayed below the red zone in bumper to bumper traffic. In fact the max it goes up to is ~65% of the range considering there is quite a bit of gap between the red zone and the highest point of the needle.

I've heard very good feedback about Motocool, a coolant from the Motul line-up and will try it out during my next service. As of now its running on some regular coolant which bajaj fills/tops up.

@ebonho - do you recommend a radiator flush while changing to Motocool or can i just drain the existing fluid and refill the new one? I've only heard of OWS radiator flush. Which one would you recommend?
I was talking about ZMA, which is air cooled. On the duke i have never faced any heating problem as such and temp meter is always in 60-70% range.
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Old 16th May 2012, 17:34   #39
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Default Re: My brand new KTM engine seized!

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I was talking about ZMA, which is air cooled. On the duke i have never faced any heating problem as such and temp meter is always in 60-70% range.
I understand.

Just wanted to add that bit about Motocool for anyone else who might be having heating issues. Apologies to quote your post, should have left the reply open.
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Old 16th May 2012, 17:48   #40
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Default Re: My brand new KTM engine seized!

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@ebonho - do you recommend a radiator flush while changing to Motocool or can i just drain the existing fluid and refill the new one? I've only heard of OWS radiator flush. Which one would you recommend?
Flush definitely if you're changing the coolant type. Not really aware of the flush brands though buddy. This is my first liquid cooled bike so its all still a novelty! When in doubt I would just go with what Venkat suggests eyes closed. He's meticulous and a biker - good combination.

Last edited by ebonho : 16th May 2012 at 17:51.
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Old 29th May 2012, 13:41   #41
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Default Re: My brand new KTM engine seized!

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Flush definitely if you're changing the coolant type. Not really aware of the flush brands though buddy.
Another way to flush the cooling system would be to use a solution of distilled water and vinegar in 50:50 ratio.
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Old 29th May 2012, 14:34   #42
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Default Re: My brand new KTM engine seized!

One of the couplers below the tank on my bike got dislodged a couple of days ago. The fan stopped working and on a ride I noticed the temperature going up to 9 bars.

Usually, in city riding or on the highway (even in the daytime) it never goes beyond max 8 bars. This is the C zone which has 10 bars. 2-4 when the engine is started (cold). 8-10 when the engine is at operating temperature - usually withing the first 3-5 kms (warm).

Then there is a cut. Then there is the H section which has 3 bars (11-13). This is the Engine Hot zone which your bike should never reach normally - and where you would get the High Coolant Temperature warning.

When I saw the temperature at 9 bars I realized something was wrong. Kept waiting for the fan to come on. Reached home and waited for the fan to come on. No fan. Still at 9 bars.

Left the bike idling and gave her some throttle a few times to get her hotter. Soon because there was no oncoming wind to cool the engine, the temperature rose to 10 bars (complete C zone). Still no fan.

Then it rose even further, now one bar into the H zone. Still no fan. And green colant started dripping onto the radiator guard and engine casing from above. That was when I looked at the display and saw the High Coolant Temperature message.

Shut off the engine. Let it cool down overnight. Took her to the workshop and discovered the dislodged coupler. Apparently the coolant reservoir on top has a overflow pipe that is short and does not extend to the bottom and that is where the coolant was bubbling through when it became too hot.

Normally the fan should come on intermittently at 96 degrees to cool things back down till 88 degrees. This was not happening.

Just thought I would share this.

I checked again after things were ok. The fan comes on when the temperature is at 9 bars.
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Old 29th May 2012, 16:22   #43
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Default Re: My brand new KTM engine seized!

Interesting as I have just been informed by my friend that his KTM 200 has also had a major failure.He was on a Bhutan tour with his clients and the KTM gave away on the way back. Zero Compression. What they say is that there was a problem with the valves.

The bike was sorted out in siliguri with replacement parts lifted off a brand new bike and the bike was delivered. Then immediately it left for the nepal tour. There again it started showing power losses. Now the bike is on its way back to dehradun via transport. Lets see what the dehradun service center has to say. While it is great that Bajaj is standing by its product and ready to go to any limits towards solving the probloem, the fact that this kind of a problem appeared in such an international quality product is appalling. Especially so when on a tour in another country!
It was good that my friend had a backup and they just loaded the bike off to the service station.
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Old 29th May 2012, 16:59   #44
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Default Re: My brand new KTM engine seized!

Navpreet this sounds very similar (sudden compression loss, valve train) to what's happened to another KTM guy from Bangalore who was on his way to Cochin. Although he did manage to limp back to Bangalore (around 200 kms return).

We are awaiting news on that bike. Please let us know if you get more information on what broke on your friend's Duke.

I agree that these are not expected and are concerning and hope that KTM and Bajaj both will get to the bottom of this.
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Old 30th May 2012, 00:42   #45
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Default Re: My brand new KTM engine seized!

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Originally Posted by n_aditya View Post
I understand.

Just wanted to add that bit about Motocool for anyone else who might be having heating issues. Apologies to quote your post, should have left the reply open.
n_aditya - We've been using the coolant that Maruti Genuine Service Center uses in Maruti Cars, for a ZX12R, has been up to the mark, and awesome.

Not Sure abou the MotoCoOL :P

Though its Available in Delhi Too.

P.S: I spoke to KTM People and they recommended to use the one Bajaj is giving, says it has been tested, also I wanted to alter the temperature range, which they say that the company has already tested it in HOT enviorments.
So it shouldn't be a problem.
if there is some issue, the company will address it, you can write an email to them.
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