EXC 400 Sticking Kill Switch

CHIP

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#1
I recently made the change from a 2k YZ426 to a 2k KTM EXC 400. The bike is just what I needed for my style of riding and I am very impressed.

The previous owner had a problem with the electric start, more so a problem with the kill switch. It seems to stick and when it does the electric start doesn't work. At present I am rolling my thumb off the kill switch to make it "snap" to make sure it has released.

Has anyone had this happen and is there a fix for it?
 

TexKDX

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#2
Electrical contact cleaner. Buy it at the local Radio Shack. Pull the assembly off the bars and clean it from the back and front sides. Flush it out real well.
 

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#3
Thanks Tex. Have you heard of this problem with the electric start button before. It must be somewhat common. The person who had the bike before me ran a whole race on his first time out without it working and not knowing why till a KTM dealer walked over at one point and flicked the kill switch. Then and only then did the elec. start button worked.
 

TexKDX

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#4
When you put a street bike component on a dirt bike there are bound to be problems. Electricals and dirt don't get along. The more electrical components a dirt bike has on it the more opportunities for niggling electrical problems.

Have I seen the problem before? No, but anticipated it the first time I saw the combo switch KTM used on the RFS. It is the same unit Ducati used on the 916 and is a stark contrast to the sealed rubber-covered kill switch we are used to seeing on a dirt bike. If I had one I'd separate them into two switches and put the starter button facing straight up - still able to be used while holding the controls but would take a concious effort to reach.

Hopefully the contact cleaner will take care of it for now. Good luck,
 

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#5
Excellent information Tex. I really appreciate the info. It also makes sense what you said about street bike parts on a dirt bike.

I had considered the idea,briefly, about changing the switches. I think I'll consider it again.

Thanks again.:cool:
 
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#6
Clean and lubricate....BTW a lot of dual purpose bike have way more electrical stuff than RFS and they hold up just fine.....maintenace will keep your bike running like new .And jeez....those electric starter are the hot ticket !! passed 2 WR rider in a nasty mud hole last week end ,i stalled my bike just like them but pressed the button and was gone in 5 sec....finished 2 min before the closest one ( i was 5th and he was 6th the other 10th)...I'll gladly do with the steetbike stuff :) have the switch assembly tilted so the switch are angled somewhat toward the ground( a few degree will do ) this will keep a lot of dirt and water from entering the assembly, simple heh ?
 

TexKDX

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#7
Originally posted by mechantloup
BTW a lot of dual purpose bike have way more electrical stuff than RFS and they hold up just fine.....
Gee, no kidding. And the DS bikes that get alot of hard offroad use get water and dust in the connections and switches and get their share of debugging when things act up. The first thing I did on my KLR was remove all the safety switches so one of these would not strand me at an inopportune time. I was helping a friend debug problems on his RXC. You sit down with a peice of sandpaper, a tube of dialectric grease and some hand tools and go to town. Took him a week of evenings to finally get all the lights working right. He had a few dirty wiring connections plus a corroded ground. Never had to replace a component, just clean and grease connections.

The more connections the more problems.
 
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#8
electrical stuff

If you use dielectric grease when the bike is new and then do a little cleaning and dielectric grease reapplication every year you should have no problem ...
I own a 6 wheel drive Polaris atv than ONLY see mud (lots of it and with a heavy load ) and have one of the worst designed electrical circuit possible Plus a 2500lbs winch installed (it has a electrical board where all circuit go before being sent to final destination ..wich mean they use twice the number of connector and and twice the length of wire than necessary...) and it hold up fine since 1996 with a little maintenance .....if you put away your bike wet and dirty,let it outside unprotected and don't maintain the electrical circuit things will happen (bad ones )( especially if you live near salt water ) I do agree that the total abscence of electricals prevents electrical failure though.
But a few well maintained ones are really no worries.......:D roost on !!