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Offline Dorsetbiker

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Advice for potential buyers
« on: October 08, 2018, 01:03:43 PM »
Having read many of the posts on this website, any potential buyer might be put off by the many defects that Explorer owners have reported. Personally I spent months researching which bike I would spend my hard earned on and read no end of sad tales about each and every brand and model of bike that I set my sights on. In the end I came to the conclusions that nothing is perfect, that every manufacturer has a bad day and that every owner looks after their precious machine to a differing standard of care. It shouldn't be a surprise therefore that faults get reported and where owner negligence might be suspected that manufacturers are wary of certain claims against their warranty. What I looked for in the end was some idea of the quality of design and build plus a bike that ticked all of my needs. The Explorer met all of these criteria and given that I'd tested two GS variants, a Crosstourer and a Guzzi proved itself to be the more engaging ride. When I visited the factory in Hinkley I was blown away by the extreme care they take in building this and other triple based beauties. It is now 8 months since I took possession of my Gen 2 XCX, purchased as a 2018 machine at a bargain price owing to introduction of the new Gen 3's. The build quality of my bike and the Gen 3s that I've looked at is superb. After 8 months riding I still have a smile on my face as I take it out. With smooth, effortless acceleration, tidy and confidence building cornering, comfort and lovely additions like a heated seat, grips and capacious luggage capacity (if you need it), I am a truly happy man. HOWEVER... I do need to point out the following;
 -this is a bike that will take a little time to master. At first I found the saddle height intimidating. I am 5'9" with a 29" inseam. This means that in ordinary boots I am on tippy toes, even with a low seat. I've since purchased heel lifts for my boots and this made a tremendous difference. One foot flat and the other on the ball. I have to think hard about the road camber when stopping.
- the bike is very heavy and the centre of gravity is high. This means that moving it around a car park or garage needs extra care. It is easier to push around on foot than paddling from the saddle. Again, you need to think hard about where it gets parked so you can get the most help rather than hindrance from any incline or camber. CoG and height are especially difficult when you are vertically challenged.
- Fuelling is precise and unforgiving. This means that a bike with acceleration comparable to a 911 just takes off if you are careless on the handle. Huge care needs to be taken, especially when reaching the right thumb across to any of the right side controls.

Despite all of the above, I am now fully confident in handling my TEX and absolutely love it. For the first time in a few years, I cannot see another bike that I'd rather have or that I lust after. Frankly I feel sorry for the poor blighters struggling with their Harleys and bumbling on their Beemers.

So if you think you like the look of a TEX get out there and try one....go on!
« Last Edit: October 08, 2018, 01:19:49 PM by Dorsetbiker »

Offline cooperman1955

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Re: Advice for potential buyers
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2018, 01:30:00 PM »
Well said sir.
I miss my ride to work on my Gen1 TEX.

I don't miss its 0mph handling though!
My Honda Silver Wing is so much safer at 0mph, as my crushed right foot and cracked ribs can verify.
The acceleration is half the TEX's - but that's still good for most riding conditions.
I used to go light-headed on the TEX if I used all it had away from the lights!

Ride Safe!  Geoff
AKA "Geoff"

Biker Happiness is .... a full tank, empty bladder and a clear visor!

Offline Lineman#1

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Re: Advice for potential buyers
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2018, 04:52:56 PM »
I totally agree Dorset :047: I looked at many bikes to replace my Tex but nothing ticked as many boxes as the Tiger, so I bought another. As you said nothing is perfect and all bikes have something to offer and also something you would change. Before I bought my first Tex I looked at all the website's and read everything I could find about them and I must admit was a little bit put off by the problems that have been reported. But as someone said on this site " if one person gets a bad one they shout loudly about it,The many people that are happy with there's don't tend to shout as loud" or something like that.
Regards to you all
Lineman
 :821:

Offline CaptainTrips

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Re: Advice for potential buyers
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2018, 06:10:46 PM »
*Originally Posted by Lineman#1 [+]
But as someone said on this site " if one person gets a bad one they shout loudly about it,The many people that are happy with there's don't tend to shout as loud" or something like that.
I think that most people who come here with a specific problem are looking for help, often because their dealer has been dismissive ("Oh, they all do that sir") or even evasive ("Never heard of a problem with that part before"). And people with multiple or serial or undiagnosed problems do get frustrated, as any of us would. Mostly, that frustration would be the fault of the dealer network, rather than a fault of the bike. So it is good to keep in mind that the quality of the machine is important, but also the standard of quality of the dealer network is also important for the new bike buyer.
"The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test."   --   Robert M. Pirsig

Offline Dorsetbiker

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Re: Advice for potential buyers
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2018, 10:23:18 PM »
Sincere apologies if I've offended anyone. There are of course good and bad, resourceful and inept dealers out there and the forum is a great place to share experiences and solutions. The key point (already made) is that a bad experience or a problem results in many helpful contributions and as a result starts to look like something major that affects a large number. The silent majority of us happy bikers is rarely heard. If we didn't like our Explorers, we probably wouldn't take part in the forum.

Offline njloco

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Re: Advice for potential buyers
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2018, 05:11:32 AM »
I am the same height and have the same inseam as you, at 68 years old I've learned that if she starts to go over, just try to give her a soft landing.
If there is any excessive noise coming from the heads, don't take " oh that's normal " from the dealer " make them check it out and log it into your customer history on the computer, I mentioned it on the first day and they had it for other maintenance numerous times and never noticed how noisy it was, really ?
My bike lasted over 19 thousand miles before blowing the motor, luckily  it was in the dealers possession when it happened while they were trying to verify the 3rd to neutral down shift problem.
It got a new engine and trans, they never told me what caused the demise of the original motor and trans but to say, please only use the brand oil recommended. I mentioned this in another post, triumph covered it under warranty but get this, the new engine and trans have no warranty according to triumph but my lawyer says different, I just hope it don't have to do find out, it has 22 thousand + miles on it now and so far so good.
I noticed how much quieter the new engine was and did mention it to them the day I picked it up.
Still, without a doubt, it's a great bike.

Offline TotnesSteve

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Re: Advice for potential buyers
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2018, 02:21:14 PM »
Yes, agree with that. It's taken me a year and 7000 miles to be comfortable.

Lowering the bike was the key. I'm similar build to you, but probably older and less experienced (i didn't start (re-start) riding till north of 60.

Now i just love the bike. The way you can line up a corner and roll on the power is great - much better than the RT, my previous bike.

Also important for me was a lot of low-speed practice. I'm now happy doing very tight turns with my bum off the seat. Offroading yet to come, but all in good time.

Thanks for your report. I take a trip to West Bay a few time a year, nice place.


*Originally Posted by Dorsetbiker [+]
Having read many of the posts on this website, any potential buyer might be put off by the many defects that Explorer owners have reported. Personally I spent months researching which bike I would spend my hard earned on and read no end of sad tales about each and every brand and model of bike that I set my sights on. In the end I came to the conclusions that nothing is perfect, that every manufacturer has a bad day and that every owner looks after their precious machine to a differing standard of care. It shouldn't be a surprise therefore that faults get reported and where owner negligence might be suspected that manufacturers are wary of certain claims against their warranty. What I looked for in the end was some idea of the quality of design and build plus a bike that ticked all of my needs. The Explorer met all of these criteria and given that I'd tested two GS variants, a Crosstourer and a Guzzi proved itself to be the more engaging ride. When I visited the factory in Hinkley I was blown away by the extreme care they take in building this and other triple based beauties. It is now 8 months since I took possession of my Gen 2 XCX, purchased as a 2018 machine at a bargain price owing to introduction of the new Gen 3's. The build quality of my bike and the Gen 3s that I've looked at is superb. After 8 months riding I still have a smile on my face as I take it out. With smooth, effortless acceleration, tidy and confidence building cornering, comfort and lovely additions like a heated seat, grips and capacious luggage capacity (if you need it), I am a truly happy man. HOWEVER... I do need to point out the following;
 -this is a bike that will take a little time to master. At first I found the saddle height intimidating. I am 5'9" with a 29" inseam. This means that in ordinary boots I am on tippy toes, even with a low seat. I've since purchased heel lifts for my boots and this made a tremendous difference. One foot flat and the other on the ball. I have to think hard about the road camber when stopping.
- the bike is very heavy and the centre of gravity is high. This means that moving it around a car park or garage needs extra care. It is easier to push around on foot than paddling from the saddle. Again, you need to think hard about where it gets parked so you can get the most help rather than hindrance from any incline or camber. CoG and height are especially difficult when you are vertically challenged.
- Fuelling is precise and unforgiving. This means that a bike with acceleration comparable to a 911 just takes off if you are careless on the handle. Huge care needs to be taken, especially when reaching the right thumb across to any of the right side controls.

Despite all of the above, I am now fully confident in handling my TEX and absolutely love it. For the first time in a few years, I cannot see another bike that I'd rather have or that I lust after. Frankly I feel sorry for the poor blighters struggling with their Harleys and bumbling on their Beemers.

So if you think you like the look of a TEX get out there and try one....go on!
--------
If not now, when?

Offline 13volunteer

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Re: Advice for potential buyers
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2018, 04:39:10 PM »
Well, concerning product recalls, et al, consider KTM.

PRODUCT RECALLS
Nov 2007: Potential fuel leak due to faulty sealing area of filler cap and fuel tank.
2006 models: 250 SX-F, 250 SXS-F, 300 XC. 2007: 125, 250SX, 250/450/505 SX-F, 200/250/300/450/525 EXC

June 2012: Potential serious injury as the inner fork tubes may crack due to incorrect heat treatment process.
2009 model: 300 EXC

Nov 2012: Potential fire hazard as certain fuel hoses may leak fuel at the hose bends or ends.
2012 models: 350 EXCF, 450EXC, 500EXC, 350 FREERIDE
2013 models: 250 XCF, 350EXCF, 350XCF, 450EXC, 450XCF

April 2013: Throttle may lock in open position due to production faults in throttle grip housing.
2013 models: 85, 125, 150, 250, 300 motocross and enduro models

June 2014: Potential danger from foot brake levers not tightened correctly during assembly.
2014 models: 690 ENDURO R and 690 SMC R

November 2014: Potential accidents from possible seizing of the 4CS front forks as the piston rod may detach from the screw cap.
2015 models: 125SX, 150SX, 250SX, 250SXF, 350SXF, 450SXF, 250XCF, 350XCF, 450XCF, 250EXCF 6 Days, 350EXCF 6 Days, 450EXCF 6 Days, 500EXCF 6 Days
Husqvarna 2015 models: FC250, FC350, FC450, FE350, FE450, FE501, TC125, TC250, TE125, TE250, TE300

March 2015: Potential rear brake failure due to possible brake line damage during assembly.
2015 models: 690 ENDURO R & 690 SMC R

March 2015: Potential front brake failure from possible damage to brake disc, fork tubes and ABS sensor due to incorrectly sized front wheel spacers.
2014 & 2015 models: 690 SMC R

October 2015: Fuel hoses can have uncontrolled fuel leakage at the bends or at the ends.
2016 models: 250, 350, 450 SX-F EU & US Model
2015 models: 250, 450 SX-F Factory Edition US Model

October 2015: Potential fire hazard due to possible issues with tank breather.
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 models: Freeride 350 & Freeride 250 R

Dec 2015: Spokes may break potentially resulting in a crash.
2016 models: 125, 150, 250 SX Models
2016 models: 250, 350, 450 SX-F Models

May 2016: Connecting rod may fail or fracture due to deviations in production process.
2016 models: 250 SXF Factory Edition, 250 SXF

May 2016: Oil loss may damage to the interior of the shock absorber, posing a potential accident hazard.
2015 & 2016 models: 1290 Super Adventure

Sept 2016: Hand brake cylinders may have defective machining, affecting brakes through early wear of the sealing cup in the hand brake cylinder.
2017 models: 250 SX-F, 350 SX-F , 450 XC-F, 150 XC-W, 250 XC-W, 300 XC-W, 250 EXC, 300 EXC Six Days, 300 EXC, 250 EXC-F Six Days, 250 EXC-F, 350 EXC-F Six Days, 350 EXC-F, 450 EXC-F Six Days, 450 EXC-F, 500 EXC-F

Nov 2016: Brake system may fail due to conductive brake line overheating and melting due to deviations in the assembly process.
2013 2014 2015 and 2016 models: 1190 Adventure, 1190 Adventure R, 1290 Super Adventure

Feb 2018: Possible front brake failure as piston in handbrake master cylinder may crack
2015 and on: 690 Duke R, 1290 Super Duke, 1290 Super Duke R/SE
2016 and on 1290 Super Duke GT

June 2017: Potential loss of headlight due to Head Light Control Unit rebooting when riding
2017 model 390 Duke

Feb 2017 Potential fuel leak due to faulty hoses
2016 & 2017 1290 Super Duke GT

Feb 2018 Fuel tank, filler neck and filler neck gasket may leak fuel.
2016 and on: 690 Duke & 690 Duke R

OTHER KNOWN ISSUES
Next are all the issues not serious enough to issue a product recall. Each year KTM dealers receive a list of these which we can't access, but you'll occasionally see the issues pop on forums like this one:
"2016 KTM 125 SX and 150 SX models have been found to have cracks in engine cases due to incorrect assembly, leading to transmission oil entering the combustion chamber and causing excessive exhaust smoking."

Until the new design in 2017, the two stroke starter motors were widely seen as a very unreliable weak design that needed frequent maintenance. We've done a whole video about keeping these suckers working here. Thankfully the new design seems to be working well.

Apart from product recalls on certain 4CS forks, they were very widely criticised for being much worse than the earlier forks. I spoke with the suspension specialists at FFRC who tested them on their dyno chart and they said it looked as though the KTM suspension crew went to lunch and never finished the job properly. There are various fixes available, see this video.

A minor but persistent problem, the weak sidestand on the enduro models. In the quest for light weight most European bikes have weak sidestands but KTM are probably the worst. If it falls off just buy a decent aftermarket one.

A fairly rare issue was the weak idler gear on 2017 models, but it would be a much more common problem if riders used their kick starters a lot. Some riders were finding this was breaking even on their first ride. The best fix possible is to use a longer bolt and tap the thread to make room for this. Have fixed this for 2018 and also redesigned the case to provide more support.
https://thumpertalk.com/forums/topic/1253879-2017-2-stroke-idler-gear-snapped/

In 2017, KTM and Husky switched from the mostly trouble-free Keihin to the Mikuni carburetor. Many riders have reported problems with jetting, incorrect installation and float level issues. Eventually the manufacturers released a technical bulletin to hopefully fix the problems, see your dealer for more information.

KTM Freeride air boxes were poorly designed. In wet weather the rear wheel would throw water up into the airbox and eventually drown the engine. Just google around for info on how owners designed plastic flaps to prevent this.

In 2017 KTM began using their own reed valves and there have been complaints about these breaking or not sealing properly. Some riders have swapped over to the VForce 4 aftermarket option which has stronger reeds, a better seal, reed stops and better airflow.

Back in 2011 there was some very handy information posted by the guys at Stillwell Performance after years of racing KTMs. Bear in mind some of these may have been fixed in later models....
Exhaust mount can break right above the footpeg on the 250, 350 and 450 SX-Fs
Loctite the chain slider bolt - a notorious KTM problem as it loosens or seizes up and breaks off in there
Check the chain guide bolts regularly and loctite them as they frequently become loose
The large 19mm bolt for the linkage on the 250 and 350 SX-Fs is seizing - apply a 50/50 mixture of heavy-duty bearing grease and anti-seize
Grind down the brake pedal tangs - when you hit a rock the pedal result in a broken case
Bleed the brakes immediately - we've had bikes delivered straight from the factory with soft brakes
Check your sprocket bolts - these aren't holding as well as they have in the past
Check the gas tank bolt regularly as it tends to come loose easily
Problems with air filters not sealing, remove the seat and look down into the airbox to make sure it's a good seal.

And this brings us up to the new TPI and oil injection. Quite a few riders had their oil tanks splitting, and KTM were investigated by the UK Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency. KTM said there was a slight miss alignment and over tightening of the oil tank mounting screws and they have now fixed it. If you have an early TPI model keep an eye on this and see if your dealer will replace a faulty one. In 2017 plenty of riders reported their bikes were running perfectly but a substantial number reported issues with starting, idling and running lean. Hopefully there have been mapping upgrades for 2018 models, but Jeff Slavens has a useful video here on some fixes.

Also KTM did not provide a certain part needed to bleed the TPI system and prime the oil pump, again Jeff Slavens has come to the rescue on how to fix this here.

Many of the four stroke models use a hydraulic cam chain tensioner.

Cam chain tensioner problems - the stock KTM cam chain tensioner is hydraulic. It uses pumped oil pressure to press the slider pad against the timing chain. In isolated cases a worn chain can jump teeth with fluctuations in oil pressure, but more commonly the engine will just be noisy when first started until the oil pressure rises. Some riders fit an aftermarket tensioner to avoid these problems. This can affect the following models:
2005 to 2009 KTM 250 four-strokes
2007 to 2009 450SX-F
2008 to 2009 400 450 505 530 XC and EXC models and
All models with RC4, XC4 or RF4 engines (including Husabergs)

And if you think that's bad, I also belong to a Harley forum.  I joined them because, having grown up during Hollywood's love affair with Harley's outlaw obsession, I always wanted a HD.  But listening to those guys?  Fagettaboudit! 

Offline CaptainTrips

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Re: Advice for potential buyers
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2018, 03:44:40 AM »
Feb 2017 Potential fuel leak due to faulty hoses
2016 & 2017 1290 Super Duke GT
"Potential fuel leak". Local guy here almost burned to death in the middle of the street after his Super Duke caught fire while he was riding it. The bike crashed into a parked car and it burned as well.  :005:
"The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test."   --   Robert M. Pirsig

Offline Slaine

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Re: Advice for potential buyers
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2018, 01:08:46 PM »
*Originally Posted by Dorsetbiker [+]
Having read many of the posts on this website, any potential buyer might be put off by the many defects that Explorer owners have reported. Personally I spent months researching which bike I would spend my hard earned on and read no end of sad tales about each and every brand and model of bike that I set my sights on. In the end I came to the conclusions that nothing is perfect, that every manufacturer has a bad day and that every owner looks after their precious machine to a differing standard of care. It shouldn't be a surprise therefore that faults get reported and where owner negligence might be suspected that manufacturers are wary of certain claims against their warranty. What I looked for in the end was some idea of the quality of design and build plus a bike that ticked all of my needs. The Explorer met all of these criteria and given that I'd tested two GS variants, a Crosstourer and a Guzzi proved itself to be the more engaging ride. When I visited the factory in Hinkley I was blown away by the extreme care they take in building this and other triple based beauties. It is now 8 months since I took possession of my Gen 2 XCX, purchased as a 2018 machine at a bargain price owing to introduction of the new Gen 3's. The build quality of my bike and the Gen 3s that I've looked at is superb. After 8 months riding I still have a smile on my face as I take it out. With smooth, effortless acceleration, tidy and confidence building cornering, comfort and lovely additions like a heated seat, grips and capacious luggage capacity (if you need it), I am a truly happy man. HOWEVER... I do need to point out the following;
 -this is a bike that will take a little time to master. At first I found the saddle height intimidating. I am 5'9" with a 29" inseam. This means that in ordinary boots I am on tippy toes, even with a low seat. I've since purchased heel lifts for my boots and this made a tremendous difference. One foot flat and the other on the ball. I have to think hard about the road camber when stopping.
- the bike is very heavy and the centre of gravity is high. This means that moving it around a car park or garage needs extra care. It is easier to push around on foot than paddling from the saddle. Again, you need to think hard about where it gets parked so you can get the most help rather than hindrance from any incline or camber. CoG and height are especially difficult when you are vertically challenged.
- Fuelling is precise and unforgiving. This means that a bike with acceleration comparable to a 911 just takes off if you are careless on the handle. Huge care needs to be taken, especially when reaching the right thumb across to any of the right side controls.

Despite all of the above, I am now fully confident in handling my TEX and absolutely love it. For the first time in a few years, I cannot see another bike that I'd rather have or that I lust after. Frankly I feel sorry for the poor blighters struggling with their Harleys and bumbling on their Beemers.

So if you think you like the look of a TEX get out there and try one....go on!


Basically the same problem with height and I´m 5`10" or 178cm, so I took purchased an XCX Low and am chuffed to bits with it. Infact I would also go as far as to say it has a lower center of gravity which makes handling so much better.

On the point of porblems, all bikes have them, if everyone were to look on the German Boxer Forum before buying a GS, BMW would be in sh#t street.

 


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