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Author Topic: KTM 950 Enduro/Yamaha XT660  (Read 753 times)

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Offline Uiltjie

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KTM 950 Enduro/Yamaha XT660
« on: April 05, 2007, 02:27:34 pm »
Please give advice, all you guys with the experience...

Remember my friend with the Yammie XT660 headshake?  Well, he did all he could to solve the problem, and now just fitted Michelins T63's knobblies.  Now, it all got worse!  Not only does he get headshake, but the bike starts a whole series of "wiggles" as soon as he hits a little bump or "slootjie" in the road.  This gets so bad that if he would carry on riding, and has to slow down completely, or else this will eventually end in a tank-slapper.  He checks his tyre pressures to make sure that is right, even tightened the neck, although that was a disaster!  The dealer reckons he has to have the wheels properly balanced, as this might solve the problem....(Wha-haaaa!)  The dealer also reckons he has to put back the DS tyres, but he NEEDS knobblies, as he travels 95% on gravel......(again, WHA-HAAA to the dealer's comments!)  All this happens on gravel, and becomes 100% worse on tar!

Now, he is truely in love with the bike, as it really suits his needs as a DS bike.  He travels on his farms with the bike, mainly "good" gravel roads, but also uses "bad" gravel roads.  However, he doesn't do any traveling where a normal bakkie cannot go.

I am trying to talk him into a KTM 950 Enduro, as he will like the power, the WP suspension and all the rest of the KTM.  He will do the occasional road trip, where the speed and power of the KTM will come in handy.

The question now is:  Will he be able to enjoy the KTM on his type of travelling of 95% gravel at speeds from 20-120 km/h, and, will the KTM be as bad as the XT on tar?  The KTM 640 is also an option, but he is scared that the 640 will be worse on tar than the XT. I realise the KTM is higher and about 40kg heavier, but he is a tall chap of about 90kg.

He is willing to part with his beloved bike if the Yammie doesn't stop its sh#t.  The XT is only 2 months old!

If anyone can come up with some advice, please help!
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Offline Lootch67

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KTM 950 Enduro/Yamaha XT660
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2007, 03:01:14 pm »
I think it's still too early to get rid of the bike. Spend some more time investigating the issue first - possibly try another dealer? If he get's rid of the bike now he'll take a huge hit in depreciation - another reason to hang on a bit longer.
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Offline Maverick

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KTM 950 Enduro/Yamaha XT660
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2007, 03:22:16 pm »
Personally I would try another XT and see if the same problem exsists. For all you know this could be a complete lemon of a bike and just a dud. These things do still happen in today's modern age believe it or not.

Another thing to check is how fast your friend rides on the gravel and does his weight exceed the suspension setup? Try another test ride with another bike first to make sure the problem is the same before resorting to shelling out more money on something else.
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Offline michnus

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KTM 950 Enduro/Yamaha XT660
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2007, 03:26:30 pm »
Try and sort the bike out, there must be a reason why its'doing that, go ride other 660's to see if they do the same.

Offline Maverick

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KTM 950 Enduro/Yamaha XT660
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2007, 03:30:37 pm »
Quote from: "michnus"
Try and sort the bike out, there must be a reason why its'doing that, go ride other 660's to see if they do the same.


 :withstupid: Dis mos wat ek gese het net dalk bietjie langer en meer uitgereeeeekkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk :D
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Offline michnus

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KTM 950 Enduro/Yamaha XT660
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2007, 03:43:19 pm »
Quote from: "Maverick"
Quote from: "michnus"
Try and sort the bike out, there must be a reason why its'doing that, go ride other 660's to see if they do the same.


 :withstupid: Dis mos wat ek gese het net dalk bietjie langer en meer uitgereeeeekkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk :D



Reinforce the idea you mention to him :lol:

Offline Uiltjie

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KTM 950 Enduro/Yamaha XT660
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2007, 04:12:33 pm »
Thanks guys, but believe me, he did everything you guys said on this forum, as well as everything anyone else (dealers etc) said.  NOTHING works...

I can understand his feelings, he loves his bike, but is truely gatvol now!

The Q is if the KTM would do the job, he is willing to lose money, just to get a bike that goes straight!
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Offline Maverick

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KTM 950 Enduro/Yamaha XT660
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2007, 04:21:08 pm »
I have never thought of the KTM as a plaas bike and with service intervals every 3k miles not sure if that would be an issue. Actually I don't know anything about KTM's except they look lekker in orange and would like one spare in the garage so can't comment.

My personall choice on the farm and dirt roads would be 650 Dakar or KLR even the Transalp could be a nice DS bike for his purpose. Obviously if he likes the hooligan factor the KTM is more of a consideration.
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Offline lecap

KTM 950 Enduro/Yamaha XT660
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2007, 04:27:58 pm »
I'm sure there is something seriously wrong with the bike.
Would love to have a look at it. Don't believe in remote diagnostics.

Looking at the purpose of the bike (lots of "good gravel", no long distance travel, no pillion) your friend should have gone for a KLR or DR 650 (my favourite) from word go.
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Offline SGB

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« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2007, 06:40:02 pm »
The KTM will do the job if the rider will.  Generally there is more in the player than the ball.....  The KTM is a slightly different bike, few people have proper knowledge and skill to ride them properly.  Some of our "senior" members are even willing to make shameful comments like "posing" and k@k like that......  (More rider than bike related) Perceptions......  :D   Sound like a Vespa rider laughing at a Harley....  :shock:

But the problem you describe sounds like a wheel alignment one.  Make sure that the steering head is not loose (altough it sounds like you have) and then check that the back wheel is not misaligned.  Do not trust the swing arm marks, measure physically with 2 strings or whichever other method suits you.  To measure is to know.....  You have obviously checked the obvious things like suspension settings, rim buckling, steering head, etc, etc.

I would not buy a KTM just because the XT's head shakes....  I would look for a better sounding reason and still buy it..... :twisted:
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Offline spyker

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KTM 950 Enduro/Yamaha XT660
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2007, 07:30:39 pm »
Quote from: "lecap"

Looking at the purpose of the bike (lots of "good gravel", no long distance travel, no pillion) your friend should have gone for a KLR or DR 650 (my favourite) from word go.


Who's stirring now??  :twisted:  :D
So, please tell me why I should not have bought my XT?  :?
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Offline Renier

KTM 950 Enduro/Yamaha XT660
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2007, 07:41:20 pm »
my blue frog gives me headshakes on da gravel doin 120+ but thats one of those things, as my experience will up so will the headshakes go down...

i love my blue frog, and it goes anywhere i point.. well almost ;-)
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Offline spyker

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KTM 950 Enduro/Yamaha XT660
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2007, 07:56:35 pm »
Quote from: "Renier"
my blue frog gives me headshakes on da gravel doin 120+ but thats one of those things, as my experience will up so will the headshakes go down...

i love my blue frog, and it goes anywhere i point.. well almost ;-)


It will go anywhere you point it to. The question is, are you willing to follow it there? :D
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Offline Mark Hardy

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KTM 950 Enduro/Yamaha XT660
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2007, 09:11:10 pm »
Just thought, if the preload and spring strength/ damping differ in the forks, could this cause the head shake. May the one fork is softer than the other?

Just a thought......I'll shut up now :)
 

Offline Frik

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« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2007, 09:17:21 pm »
Hello Uiltjie,

My 2c worth & MO, (not always honest...) :D :

- A 950 in any configuration is an overkill as a farm bike, unless your mate is one of those Nam farmers with +60,000 ha to look after & suffer from terminal hooligan infection. ( I have a 950 S & have ridden on plenty farms - its not made for slow going)
- Try follow the advice from other dogs, its sound like the XT has a problem.
- Failing that, try fit a steering damper, it does wonders. Even the Katoom headshakes, but normally + 170 km/h. The steering damper takes good care of that.
- Failing that, the KLR would be my next choice as a workhorse & plaasbike.
- If your mate requires more hooligan factor, the KTM 525 XC will keep him on a high

My opinion anyway.



Hope it helps
 

Offline Mark Hardy

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Re: Plaasbike
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2007, 09:36:29 pm »
Quote from: "Frik"

- If your mate requires more hooligan factor, the KTM 525 XC will keep him on a high



That and a little of that green stuff :twisted:
 

Offline spyker

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« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2007, 09:48:29 pm »
Quote from: "Mark Hardy"
Just thought, if the preload and spring strength/ damping differ in the forks, could this cause the head shake. May the one fork is softer than the other?

Just a thought......I'll shut up now :)


You cannot adjust any settings on the front fork. The only thing you can do is swop the springs for progressive springs.
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Offline Uiltjie

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« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2007, 01:29:20 am »
Thanks guys!

My buddy, Katoom and myself had a wonderful dinner in Greyton tonight and we discussed the problem again.

Funny thing though, Katoom is an old hand at gravel biking, and he also suggested that we check the 2 forks, as well as allignment of the rear wheel....sounds like he knows....  Well, at least we don't have to worry about the forks...thanks Spyker!

We will go through this over the weekend and Katoom has kindly offered to test the bike over the weekend.  This will be our last resort, as we really have tried all the rest.

You see, he wants the bike to be right, he doesn't want to sell it, but believe me, its not fun riding it the way it is now!

We will keep you posted on the outcome of this.

Thanx again!

Have a GREAT Easter Wilddogs!
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Offline spyker

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« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2007, 07:22:47 am »
Quote from: "Uiltjie"
Thanks guys!

My buddy, Katoom and myself had a wonderful dinner in Greyton tonight and we discussed the problem again.

Funny thing though, Katoom is an old hand at gravel biking, and he also suggested that we check the 2 forks, as well as allignment of the rear wheel....sounds like he knows....  Well, at least we don't have to worry about the forks...thanks Spyker!

We will go through this over the weekend and Katoom has kindly offered to test the bike over the weekend.  This will be our last resort, as we really have tried all the rest.

You see, he wants the bike to be right, he doesn't want to sell it, but believe me, its not fun riding it the way it is now!

We will keep you posted on the outcome of this.

Thanx again!

Have a GREAT Easter Wilddogs!


I've got an electronic copy of the workshop manual for the XT660 if you want it. Send me a pm.
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Offline lecap

KTM 950 Enduro/Yamaha XT660
« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2007, 07:58:14 am »
Quote from: "spyker"
Quote from: "lecap"

Looking at the purpose of the bike (lots of "good gravel", no long distance travel, no pillion) your friend should have gone for a KLR or DR 650 (my favourite) from word go.


Who's stirring now??  :twisted:  :D
So, please tell me why I should not have bought my XT?  :?


Because of the price. Both a DR or a KLR (including necessary small modifications) are less than 50 grand.

IMHO a DR 650 would be a near ideal farm bike esp. looking at the very robust and extremely easy to service engine. A mildly skilled hobby mechanic is able to look after this bike. Special tools needed is a tappet holder for R 80 and a feeler gauge.
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