By Tim Notier
All bikes have their weaknesses, areas where owners immediately take action to resolve. As much as I love my KTM 1190, it's well known that its stock air box is garbage. Also, the starter and battery allow just enough draw to start the bike on a sixty-five degree day with no accessories plugged in. But if anything is added, or the temperature drops too much, the bike may not start.
I wanted to be sure that Marisa and I would not wake up on a chilly morning, try to start the bike, and in the process, drain the battery to the point of no return.
So, something had to be done, and in order to do it, the bike had to come apart.
I had never torn a motorcycle down to any of its sub components, so I read and watched some tutorials (a.k.a. ADVrider and YouTube), which provided me with step by step instructions with videos on how to do just about anything. And so by using nothing more than other people's advice and my own intelligence, I gave it a shot.
The outcome would either be that I saved $400 by doing it myself, or I would have an immobile machine that I would have to trailer into the dealer with my head hung in defeat. Even so, I was still pretty optimistic.
On day two into the install, I had an immobile machine. That was scary, but it was supposed to happen, it was a part of the process. I spent another day attempting to reassemble the bike. I had the main pieces bolted back together, and the bike was beginning to look like a functioning motorcycle again.
And then my worst nightmare happened: I was not able to get the bike started. The starter clicked, and then nothing. This was not supposed to happen.
As you can imagine, after that I spent every moment I was not at work or asleep trying to put my bike back together into functioning order. After all, without my KTM, my dreams of going around the world were over. This website even, would all be for nothing.
I knew I had to figure out where the fault may lie in this complicated electrical system. So I carefully traced the bike's veins and arteries that provided power across all of its major organs. I knew the battery, the heart of the whole system, was as good as brand new.
I discovered that the problem was the main power terminal going into the starter. The termination had broken free causing a loose connection. I had to purchase yet another starter, and made sure to be ever-so-careful when installing it this time.
It took time and patience, which I had little of both, but at the end of the struggle I walked out a smarter individual with a more reliable motorcycle.
Days like these where I am disassembling the bike and trying to problem solve will surly prove to be invaluable while on the road.
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