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Old 09-02-2014, 12:06 PM   #1
D-Man
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Won't start, bad noise, 1997 KTM Duke 620

In today's edition of "Name that Noise", we have my recently-purchased 1997 KTM Duke I. A little history:

Bought the bike about a month and a half ago. Started, ran fine for the test drive, started having issues starting a few days later. Felt like to me the battery was weak, since jumping it always got it going, and charging the battery would help, for a day or two. Had to go out of town for 1 month, so I left it at that. Got back, replaced the battery with a new one from O'reilly's, and everything was great, or so I thought. It started and ran fine for the last 3-4 days, back and forth to work, and for a short trip on the highway. Was gonna take it on the forest run yesterday, ran it on the trailer Sunday night, but when I got to Bucee's, topped it off with gas, and unloaded it, it wouldn't start. We (Classax, Beast Master and I) tried everything. Jump starting, kick starting, push starting, no luck whatsoever.

What it does is this, 1 of two things every time you press the button:
It'll either 1:

Crank, crank, crank for 3-4 seconds, and then a loud "Clink", and it stops. Sounds like you just shoved a screwdriver or something in the flywheel.

Or 2, it won't crank at all. Too much "resistance" I would say. Just like the battery was dead, or that screwdriver was still jammed in the flywheel.

I'm pretty sure it's not the battery, since I can pull in the Compression Release (the lever you supposedly use to kick start it) and then the starter will just turn, and turn, and turn.

So far I've taken the little cover off the starter gear, and that gear, and the larger one it locks into, look perfectly fine. I can't see much further, though. I'm thinking of draining the oil and investigating further, or am I just barking up the wrong tree here? Any thoughts as to what this might be? And how hard/expensive it might be to fix?

Note: I've checked the oil level, it's fine. Haven't looked at the spark plug, fuel filter, or anything else yet.

I'll try to post a video and/or pics ASAP.
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Old 09-02-2014, 12:12 PM   #2
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Did the new battery go dead? Or low? The clicking sounds like the starter doesnt have enough power from the battery. From what I gather u can not start those bikes manually (kick starter or push start) if the battery is low (yea it sounds stupid). Check the voltage on the battery first
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Old 09-02-2014, 12:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BYRDMAN View Post
Did the new battery go dead? Or low? The clicking sounds like the starter doesnt have enough power from the battery. From what I gather u can not start those bikes manually (kick starter or push start) if the battery is low (yea it sounds stupid). Check the voltage on the battery first
I ran the battery down trying too much last night, charging it now. Would that cause it to suddenly stop after cranking strong for 3,4, or 5 seconds? It turns fine when I disengage everything from the starter, remember. It sounds more mechanical than electrical to me, like gears clashing. Very harsh, abrupt stop.
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Old 09-02-2014, 12:33 PM   #4
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There are two "clicks" it makes.

1- just a light "click" from the relay/battery area, just like you said. The starter, for some reason, isn't getting enough juice to turn the motor. Could just mean that the starter's bad, I guess.

2- when it does turn over, that's when the harsh, scary sounding noise happens, a few seconds in. Then nothing happens, even if I keep the button held down. I have to release it and try again.
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Old 09-02-2014, 05:52 PM   #5
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Had the guys at Mainland Cycle (KTM Dealer) take a listen. I think I'm gonna try a few simple things first- new spark plug, new air filter (the old one's kind of crumbling apart). If that fails, then I know where the oil screen is now, and I'll check that for metal bits, then, if necessary, dive into the motor. I'll keep y'all updated.
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Old 09-02-2014, 07:11 PM   #6
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My guess is you bent a valve.

If a motor doesn't start, beating it like a dead horse doesn't usually help. Timing chain was probably stretching out & push starting is never a gentle process.

If something is stopping the motor dead, its time to tear down the top end & find out what that is before you make it worse.
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:20 AM   #7
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Is it possible the starter is bad? Took a long time (like 27 years and nearly 100k miles) but I had an issue that sounded similar, and it was the starter going out (dirty or worn brushes). Always hard starting, unless a freshly charged battery, always slow cranking when the engine was hot, and after a few sec, starter would just stop.

I'd definitely check compression to make sure there's no valve damage, and check timing to make sure it's not out, but do check out the starter itself before you tear down the engine.
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Old 09-10-2014, 10:06 PM   #8
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Update

So I finally got back to the bike after several days dealing with other projects.....and she lives! Put in a new spark plug and she started right up. No funny noises, runs like a top! Also replaced the air filter while I was at it, but I'm pretty sure it was just the plug. I think the noises were a combination of 1: the starter and gears being overworked/under stress trying to turn the thing over and over and over, against all that compression, and 2. The battery wearing down after a number of unsuccessful starting attempts, causing it to not turn at all. From what I've read, this was KTM's first year putting electric start on this bike, so the noise may just a normal thing for this bike. Thanks for the input guys, hoping to make it out to GSS with this thing soon
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Old 09-10-2014, 11:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supadupa View Post
My guess is you bent a valve.

If a motor doesn't start, treating it like a mh thread doesn't usually help. Timing chain was probably stretching out & push starting is never a gentle process.

If something is stopping the motor dead, its time to tear down the top end & find out what that is before you make it worse.
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