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Eric Hall

KTM 790 Adventure Problems

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This guy I'm friends with on FB, Stan Overland, posted this the other day...

Apparently it was dropped in a river and got water logged.  Not sure if that voids the warranty but others posted they've dropped their non-KTM's in the water (me too; 2011 GSA) and they were fine.

KTM complaint🙈

Further to my 2019 KTM 790 Adventure R breaking down late last year KTM refused all warranty.
I paid KTM Drysdales in Perth £2,980 to repair bike.
In Nov 2019 - 900miles later the bike broke down again.
KTM once again refused all warranty work and Drysdale MC refused to honour there engine rebuild and requested a further £3,500 to repair bike.
After opening a complaint with KTM Uk and receiving a complaint ref:No’
My lawyer wrote to Drysdales, KTM Uk and Head office KTM Austria explaining my dissatisfaction regarding the quality of the product, but more importantly how I have been treated as a Customer.

After 6 month the only reply I have received to date is from Tom Drysdale saying ‘KTM have refused all warranty’.,,
So the enclosed photos are the out come:
2019 new bike cost £13,200
Present mileage 2,900 miles
Cost of 1st repair £2,980

Come to your own Conclusions regarding KTM Drysdales of Perth
and KTM as a brand..

And then a friend of his posting a photo of a blocked oil jet that seems to have damaged the cam shaft...



My buddy/neighbor Dean has a 790 he loves and gets mad at me for pointing these things out.  I really haven't made up my mind on the bike though at this point.  Performance wise, I've heard nothing but great things about it.  All bikes have issues their first year and this one is no exception.  I do think the suspension issues are standing out though on this model.  But my main concern still is that the second year production run is supposed to be done in China (I assume right now) and that's a big logistical hurdle, not to mention the trade troubles and covid19 issues plaguing their country and the scores of other mfg companies leaving for Vietnam and India.

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Our friend @Kirk Young writes on FB:

Well, it's been one year since I bought my 2019 KTM 790R, it's had it's fair share of problems, I just hope they don't continue as the warranty has expired.

Thought I would give a 12 month review of the problems I've had.

0 miles, the front rim was out of true, I told my dealer before I went on a 2000 mile trip, when I took it in upon my return, KTM declined to cover it, they said I should have brought it in sooner?

1100 miles, checked air filter, found that dust passes through the stock air filter, replace with a UNI foam filter

4120 miles, shock leaked fluid and was sent out for rebuild, covered under warranty

7000 Miles, While on a 10 day ride in Baja the rear brakes over heated and melted the hose at the banjo fitting, also melted the o-rings inside the caliper. ( probably the incident that caused the safety update to replace all 790 rear brake lines) KTM originally declined to cover this under their warranty, fortunately I had a video of the melting in action, after I sent KTM the video and more pictures they replaced the brake hose, caliper, rotor, and sensor wire.

9000 Mile, still on the 10 day Baja trip, the shock failed again, this time it seemed lock up on small bumps and washboard type stuff, so much so I couldn't ride it off the pavement, (this ended any dirt riding in Baja). After returning home, the shock was sent out for a 2nd rebuild, covered under warranty

10888 Miles Took it to the dealer as the pulsating from the front brake has been getting worse. They replaced both rotors and brake pad, After getting the rotors the mechanic checked the run-out on the hub, turns out it was way out of spec and most likely the cause of the pulsating, KTM covered replacing the front hub and rotors

12022 Miles, Fork seals leaking, I didn't even ask. I did this repair myself, kinda odd that the oil level in the right fork leg was higher than the left, also higher than the level after adding 630 ml of fresh oil? OEM oil is 4 wt, I used 5 wt, I noticed right away that the initial harshness that I always felt while off road was gone, It now was more plush in the front?

12022 miles, Change oil and filter, I thought that the oil level looked low so I measured the amount I drained out. I was short .5 QT, apparently it uses oil now?

13916 miles, Rear brake hose replace by KTM(safety recall)

16,700 Current mileage, The OEM steering dampener leaking oil, replaced under warranty

I'ts a shame that a bike that performs so well is so unreliable!

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And his wife Sherrie’s 790:

Similar post, this time for my wife's 2019 KTM 790s. 12 month maintenance recap. I'm not including regular maintenance stuff like oil changes, tires, etc. I don't ride her bike much so things get overlooked unless she notice's.

600 miles, replace counter shaft sprocket seal, covered under warranty

1900 miles, replace stock air filter with UNI foam type( I would only recommend the stock air filter for street use only)

6691 miles, replace rear brake hose (Safety Recall)

6691 miles. Clutch seems week ,

9202 miles, Replace water pump gasket(slight oil leak),

9202 Miles, Pulsating sensation from front brakes, KTM replace the complete front wheel and 1 rotor, haven't been able to ride it yet to see how it feels, my guess it the other rotor should be replaced.

9202 miles, The fork seals leak, I won't bother asking, I'll get to it soon

9202 Miles, Current mileage, The clutch is definitely slipping, the dealer did a poor job of testing it (he just rode it, made to attempt to stress it), KTM declined to cover the clutch, their excuse is "it's a wear item" I took it apart myself thinking it may just need new springs as the lever pull was very easy, I was surprised to find a broken fiber disk, and all the disk had excessive wear, but where also very dry compared to any clutch I ever checked in the last 40 years. I seriously don't think it was my wife's riding that caused the clutch failure, her last bike F800GS with 36,000 was doing fine, her bike before that Kawasaki Versys with 64,000 mile, stock original clutch was fine!

Needles to say we're pretty disappointed in the quality of these bike, I wonder how the CSC RX4 would compare for reliabilty?

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Reports of 2+ month waits for parts

  • My question to all of you! This is my 2020 I have not seen in two months still waiting on a O2 sensor!
  • Have I friends 790 with leaking countershaft deal ( mine also leaked) & it’s been months. He was told all 790 parts are not a priority as 890 is out. So the 790 is an obsolete bike.
    I told him to lemon law it!


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Seems like small stuff but I came across a discussion with one of the KTM test riders for the 790 (890 too) where he lists some of the main issues found during testing. It’s more interesting to me the source rather than the problems (known already).

When engine gets really hot, fuel will boil out the tank lid (more common on thumpers)

Side stand isn’t designed that well and will fall when parked on uneven ground

When in a bog, mud or water you can tend to get a lot of check engine/ECU warnings which is a pain because one must return to a dealer each time to scan and reset

Lots of engine noise when hot or at high revs

Metzeler Karoo 3’s suck

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