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singles how bullet proof are the engines

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' started by OscarA, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. I've been out of riding for 8mths now and want to get another bike early next year so the search for a replacement and it's reliability starts now.
    At the moment the bike I'm eying is the new Duke690 which has a large 70hp single cylinder engine. I've heard that singles can be rough on tyres, chains and sprockets but what about the engine how strong and reliable are they.
    Basically do singles have a bad rep or good rep with engine reliability.
    I haven't test ridden one yet and will hold off actually test riding bikes until I'm in a position to purchase. I'm just curious on how a bike like the duke690 compares to my old bike a 2009 z750 anybody ridden both or similar bikes.

  2. Powerful singles are highly stressed beasties. It doesn't necessarily make them less reliable, but they are more maintenance intensive, less tolerant of abuse in the form of skimped maintenance and will not last as long regardless of maintenance as an equally powerful twin or four.

    Fun tho :D.
  3. the older lc4 motors have a good rap, dunno abou the new ones...
  4. I never fired a gun at one so I couldn't tell you :)
  5. Thanks guys for the info I'll keep an eye on the KTM forums over the next few months and see if any common faults start popping up.
    Did a quick search and it looks like the older 2000 models were no good but from 2003 they get a good rep.

    Gold, thanks. =D>
  6. Well my experience with singles has been two pre Toy Run trips though Lake Leake road here in Tas (motorcycle heaven on tarmac). Two rides, two blokes have popped singles.

    I'd stay clear of them for road bikes to be honest, unless you just commute or putt around town. They dont seem to handle decent trips too well, not that either of these were big rides.
  7. Soft tune singles can be pretty reliable. Plenty of folk without Ewan and Charley's resources have done round the world trips on KLR or DR 650s. My own DR has just had it's 55,000 km service without any mechanical problems that I didn't inflict on it and used every day as my commuter. Significantly the KLR and the DR both dyno in the mid 30s rwhp.

    I wouldn't, contemplate doing a round the world trip or a long daily commute on something of comparable capacity and twice the output. Whilst the bike could probably be made to do it, the maintenance requirements would become impractical. I've got better things to do with my time than change oil, check and adjust valve clearances or replace piston rings any more frequently than I absolutely have to and I know that if I didn't do it, a 70 hp single would punish me for my sloth :D.
  8. PatB is correct... something like my KLR650 putting out 36 rear wheel horses will with careful looking after likely still be going strong at 100,000 kms. There are people with over 200,000 kms on the original motors on the KLR forum who haven't had to do engine rebuilds.

    But a highly tuned KTM single is a different matter...
  9. Yes I should have also mentioned the twins I was talking about were "tuned" ones as such, not lazy singles designed to mile munching such as the KLR etc
  10. Thanks, so by the sounds of it it'll depend on how I use the bike as to whether it'll be a good reliable bike or not. My main riding will be to work which is 32km round trip at 80kph max. I could be sensible and go with a KLR but I don't like the look and the KTM is so light. It'll have an easy life with me so I'm happy with what I've heard. I've also noticed that the new KTM has 10,000km service intervals so it looks like KTM are confident in the engine.
    Now the hard part the waiting and having another 20 bikes between now and when I purchase being my new favorite of the week. :?
  11. I have a single 400. Even if it isn't reliable, if something goes wrong you can pretty much find the fault and a solution within the day, and not have to pour over complicated electrics, multiple carbs/fuel injection. Rebuilds are easy pizza too.
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  12. Plus there's the other downside, singles sound like the motorcycling equivalent of a shart
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  13. That's true being easy to work on with easy access and less complicated parts is a plus for the mechanic. The down side might be it's a KTM so parts will most likely be expensive.

    Haven't heard one in the flesh yet, listening to them on youtube hasn't impressed me much.
  14. just got back from a 3600k round trip on my gn250, look after your bike & it will look after you :)

    Attached Files:

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  15. Nice to see a small, slow bike getting used for big trips. It's a pleasant antidote to the "You need an XYZ1400ST to do anything more than go down to the shops" that seems to have become common.
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