KTM Tranny Problems?

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Apr 17, 2000
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#1
I've been strongly leaning toward a 01 KTM 125 SX, but an employee at our local parts shop who is an owner of a 2000 MXC is turning me away. He explained to me that each year KTM has companies bid to do the machining of case and tranny parts. He said the quality of the parts is better but they are not always exact. He's blown one transmission in his 1 year old bike and says he'll never buy another. He told me that it is a very commom problem with KTM's. If there is truth to this or not is what I'd really like to know before I let someone else make up my mind over this otherwise appealing bike.
 
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#2
What? News to me. My big bad 380 makes a much more power than a 125 and it shifts great. I wouldn't listen to that yahoo.

Cameron
 

Layton

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#3
I've got a Y2K 200 EXC that is a year old. It has never had a transmission problem. I also don't personaly know anyone that has had a problem with a KTM transmission.
 
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#4
I have owned Kawasaki, Yamaha, Hondas, and KTMs. I am on my fourth KTM and know a lot of guys with KTMs. All four of my KTMs were/are top quality and were very reliable. Have heard about weak ignitions on the 1990 model KTMs but have never heard about tranny problems. I would like to caution you about basing a decision on a single data point and that's why it is a good idea to do what you are doing... check it out and talk to as many folks as you can. A buddy of mine had to replace the tranny on his WR400 and has the same type of story (i.e., don't buy one) but that does not mean that the WR400 is a bad or unreliable bike. None of the bikes are perfect. One thing my dealer told me when I bought my first KTM back in 1995 was "once a KTM owner... always a KTM owner". I though he was full of it, but he has been right so far. Not to say that KTM is for everyone. KTM makes a quality, well-built product that tend to be more on the sturdy side. KTM also has built a lot of loyal customers. The only drawback I see is that some parts cost a little more... but not all parts. My next favorite brand is Honda. I hope this perspective helps.


1994 KTM300 EXC - rode for 4+ years
1998 KTM300 EXC - rode for 2 1/2 years
1995 KTM400 SC - still have (going on 5 yrs)
2001 KTM520 EXC - still have (6 months old)
 
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#5
KTM manufacturers all their 125/200/250/300/380 cases in house and has never sublet this to any outside company. My local dealer was telling me that during the dealer meeting last year at the factory, he saw the huge CNC machines that milled the cases for the 2-stroke "big" bikes. He said they start with a raw piece of aluminum and the machine will automatically change the tooling to produce a case halve in about 30 minutes. He said that there are about 10 of these huge machines that run 24-7 to make 2-stroke and 4-stroke cases. It sounded really cool. He said that I should see how they make the new 2001 swingarms (but thats another story)
 
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#6
THAT IS A BUNCH OF CRAP, I HAVE OWNED 3 KTM SO FAR AND HAVE NOT HADE ONE PROBLEM WITH ANY OF THEM. I HAD A 99 380 SX WITH ALMOST 300 HOURS ON IT AND IT STILL HAD THE ORIGINAL PISTON AND RINGS. THE BIKE STILL FILLS AS SOLID AS IT DID THE DAY I BOUGHT IT.
BEFORE I SWITHCED TO KTM I OWNED 2 YZ 250's
AFTER 6 MONTHS OF HARD RIDING THEY WERE READY FOR THE JUNK YARD, EVERY THING WAS LOSS AND WORN OUT (KICK STARTER, BRAKE CLEVIS, LINKAGE, BEARINGS, TOP END, GRAPHICS, ETC, ETC,ETC,ETC,ETC,)
DON'T GET ME WRONG, THE JAP. BIKES PERFORMANCE IS TOP NOTCH, BUT THEY JUST NOT LAST VERY LONG. TAKE MY ADVICE AND BUY A KTM, YOU WILL NOT BE SORRY.

BTW: IF YOUR KTM DOES BLOW THE TRANSMISSION, KTM WILL PROBALLY FIX IT FOR FREE. JUST ASK MY FRIEND IF YAMAHA REPLACED IS HIS TRANSMISIION AFTER IT LOCKED UP DURING A HARESCRAMBLE RACE. MY OTHER FRIEND BOUGHT HIS NEW 99 RM 250 THE SAME TIME I BOUGHT MY 380, IT HAS A 1/4 OF TIME ON IT AS MY BIKE.
THE BIKE IS ALREADY A CLAPED OUT PIECE OF JUNK.
 
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jeb

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#7
I just watched a KTM produced video of the KTM factory at work. It was pretty cool. They showed the cases being milled in the huge machines that dskktmusa referred to. I'm not sure about the trannys.

KTM did seem to have a problem with some of the 98/99 KTM 200's. My sister-in-laws 99 200EXC had a new tranny installed under warranty just before she bought it. I know of several other people on the net that had the same thing happen on those 200's. Not a rampant problem but it was there.

Of the 5 98 and up KTM's we own or owned, we've never had any tranny problems and all of them that we still have are still on their orginal clutches.



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John Brunsgaard - JEB
 
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#9
they guy who told ya that is on crack, he's like a disgruntled postal worker
I don't like it when people give me that kinda attitude about a bike, and it happens to have a feak incident. I would own a KTM if I didn't hate the local dealer so much (one of those mega dealerships that rip people off) when i got my '01 CR125 the main seal was bad on the bike from new! I still liked the bike, i just didn't like how it was running it's all good now. Trust me get the KTM it's one sweet bike! most people who talk smack about ktm's either don't know jack about KTM or bikes in general. Let's face it nothing is perfect, there's always the chance something or a bad little part makes its way onto a bike and screws everything up. Get the ktm an have the fastest 125 going and one that will last and stay new like a honda if not better.

Joe
'01 CR125R
 

jeb

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#10
Originally posted by JohnnyMac:
Where did you get the KTM video. I'd love to see the inner workings of their plant.
A KTM dealer I work with included it one of my shipments of parts. I had to return it but I did enjoy watching it. He lurks here so I'll let him post about it if he wants.



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John Brunsgaard - JEB
 
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marcusgunby

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#11
Ive ran a 99/00/01 model with zero tranny problems-ive known one do over 150hrs of top expert use and only use a few cluch plates.If you ever look inside a KTM egine it will leave you in no doubt how well made it is.
 

Reon

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#12
I remember taking my old '90 125 engine into a local Honda/Suzuki dealer to split the cases so I could check out the bearings and gears (Nothing was wrong but I'm into preventative maintenance and I would sleep better & I was doing a top end job at the time) and the owner and some manager & 2 other guys working there came over to look at this 'different' engine and they were gobsmacked when I told them it was a '90 model ktm engine. They then started talking about how good the katooms were as the owners son raced a cr125 and this from a non-ktm dealer !?

I have heard of some 200's busting gears but not many and I would not loose any sleep over it if I was you you, I know I dont and I own one...

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Regards
Reon

1999 KTM200EXC
1990 KTM125EXC
 
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#13
WOW, all this feedback is awsome!!! I'm crossing my fingers right now hoping that JPrelude doesn't get one of the rare ones that does have a problem. no worries mate!!
 
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#14
This is all sweet news to me. I know that tranny failure can happen to any bike at any time regardless of how many hours are on it so I'll take his case as one of those freak incidents. Next step is to sell the 96 RM250. As far as suspension. Do any of you have the bike or know someone who has, and has had it revalved, etc... What's the general opinion on that? BTW, thanks for all of the replies, I've posted questions before on the same bike and received excellent responses. This bike will be my first new MX bike purchase(sick of used bikes) and I want to make the right one.
 

Patman

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#15
You might want to consider Jeremy Wilkey's MX-Tech for the revalve. I am a VERY happy camper with the work he did on mine. (Besides that he's a nice guy too)


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I ride, therefore I crash
KTM 360EXC
 
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