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firffighter

KTM TPI wars: Problems vs No problems

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Not necessarily a Beta topic, but piggybacking off the Beta FI patent thread, it's relevant and might possibly become more so if/when Beta moves towards a fuel Injection system on the 2-strokes. 

KTM TPI obviously now fully emerged into the market and huge debate and swings on opposite sides of the spectrum as to whether or not the TPI KTM's are reliable and no issues, or problems becoming prevelant and catastrophic. 

Following some of the threads on KTM site, there's lots of vitriol on both sides. Now there is YouTube channel wars on the topic with Kyle from DirtBikeChannel throwing barbs at another channel. 

It's an interesting time in the dirt bike industry as FI 2-strokes are the reality and how consumers respond to this is fascinating. 

Here's a couple vids on the problems: 

Kyle's vid throwing shade at these videos:

 

Edited by firffighter
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Unnecessary complexity.  No thanks.  More weight, more money, more problems.

Kyle says he has had 5 or 6 FI bikes and about 100 hours riding time among them.  Well, whoop de do.   So that's an average of about 20 hrs each.  So he's ridden brand new bikes.  I wonder how FI bikes with 100 or more hours would be doing that have been constantly exposed to rain, heat, and vibration...the kind of things than can affect connectors and solid state electronics. 

Edited by kawagumby
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Yes I've seen this videos a couple of weeks ago , expecially ones from ' the dirtbike rider ' channel .

This tecnology is still at the beginning so it's clear that these bikes will have problems , some of them have been solved just with ecu software update from '18 to '19 bikes , and oviusly if you want this service you need to pay ... not so fair in my opinion .

Also ktm is having problems with poor quality parts , expecially with faulty Mikuni oil pumps , cable connectors , electric wiring and so on . The main problem is that 2 strokes with efi are complicated machines , so it's necessary to use high quality parts , and it was expected from ktm : 11 000 euros for a brand new bike with a risk to blow up after 1 hour ? No thanks ...

On the other hand we can only wait , new tecnologies need time to be improved and well engineered , I think we will see good results after 4-5 years .

And yes be prepared because Beta and Sherco will have some problems too , big or small ones , it's inevitable , so I hope for a good customer service in case of faults or problems , on the other hand ktm has showed which are the main problems so it could be possible that other manufacturers have made some improvements and 'last minute' updates .

Just to let you know that Beta has an injector inside the VForce like Vins bikes ( street legal 250 2s efi made in Italy , crazy machines ) 

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The DickBike Channel guy? Does anyone actually take him seriously? I mean other than himself of course. 

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2 minutes ago, kawagumby said:

Unnecessary complexity.  No thanks.  More weight, more money, more problems.

This is a typical response we have seen over the years when any new technology enters our dirt bike marketplace. I'm not trying to dismiss the sentiment, but it's easy to make a statement with this connotation without accepting the fact that we've benefited greatly with major advances in our sport. 

Honestly, the same type of comments date far back to disc brakes, hydraulic clutches, USD forks, mono shock, 4-strokes, etc. Each time a new technology was introduced, there were those that dismissed it and wanted to keep things the same. No one really wants to go back now and ride these old bikes because we understand how each advancement brought on superior performance over the old technology. 

Some will argue there's zero benefit to FI 2-strokes and it's all brought on by regulation. Regardless of how it's come to fruition, the reality is does it provide better performance than the previous generation? The folks in the sled and watersports community aren't clamoring for the good old days and have seen significant advantages in performance in their sports.

I believe it will take a few years to see the end result, same as the FI 4-strokes. 

It's definitely a time of transition and there will be trial and error period that will take time to iron out the flaws. Some will jump right in and take part in that process and experience frustration and some will wait until things are solidified. 

 

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2 minutes ago, jmgatx said:

The DickBike Channel guy? Does anyone actually take him seriously? I mean other than himself of course. 

One of the huge issues for him is that he never gets enough real hours on a bike to work through flaws or issues. He simply goes and buys a new bike every 8 months. Also, his riding ability and the type of terrain he rides does not put a bike through much stress to see any issues arise. 

Unfortunately, he views himself as an expert in both riding and understanding the performance aspects to his audience. 

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I think the FI thing is very different than hydraulic clutches, disk brakes and radiators...LOL.  The fact is, most people embraced those relatively uncomplicated and pre-existing design changes...especially guys like me who rode dirt bikes with drum brakes and pinging air-cooled bikes.  One thing that stands apart with the FI systems vs the other changes you mentioned is that a faulty FI system will flat strand you.  I see it this way...FI is EASY...no jetting no mixing.  Easy, but will never be as reliable as a wonderfully simple and effective carb .  A lot of dirt riders place reliability over easy, and I'm one of 'em.

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17 minutes ago, kawagumby said:

I think the FI thing is very different than hydraulic clutches, disk brakes and radiators...LOL.  The fact is, most people embraced those relatively uncomplicated and pre-existing design changes...especially guys like me who rode dirt bikes with drum brakes and pinging air-cooled bikes.  One thing that stands apart with the FI systems vs the other changes you mentioned is that a faulty FI system will flat strand you.  I see it this way...FI is EASY...no jetting no mixing.  Easy, but will never be as reliable as a wonderfully simple and effective carb .  A lot of dirt riders place reliability over easy, and I'm one of 'em.

Again, I hesitated in responding because I'm not advocating that FI is great and perfect, and I'm glad I have a carbed 2-stroke.

But, if you've been around long enough to go through the advancement in dirt bikes over the last 30 years you have definitely heard the negative response to each of these new innovations and understand that the negative response to each was real. 

If you just go back to the early 00's you can remember the extreme vitriol over 4 strokes taking over. That sentiment that these bikes would ruin dirt biking was real.

The USD vs Conventional wars were heated arguments.

Hydraulic clutches are far more complicated and once your fluid all leaks out your done was a common thought. 

Hydraulic brake lines will damage and leak fluid and you'll bend the rotors as soon as you see a rock was a line of argument. 

So, yes, this is reminiscent of those same thoughts and arguments. 

Will FI really leave you stranded, maybe a possibility now, but once it's been perfected for the dirt bike world? How many FI road bikes without kick start do you see being pushed down the highway? 

 I fully understand the ease of a carb, love tweaking and tuning my carbed 2-strokes over the years. I will not be looking to purchase a FI 2-stroke anytime soon, but fully accept that it's the future and I'm confident it'll be perfected in a few years to the point where we won't be pining for the good old days of carbs. 

 

Edited by firffighter
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Just to keep the conversation going, LOL...

Having been around through all the improvements you listed, the only one that really caused a debate among my peers was the advent of water-cooled bikes with radiators.  And sure enough, my bro-in-law bought a new water-cooled Swedish husky and proceeded to destroy a radiator on a rock, first time out...LOL...but, as time would prove, it was an unusual happening.  You mentioned reliability being gained in the long term.  But what I'm seeing here in CA is the imminent (currently in process) outlawing of all NEW two-strokes from public land due to air quality issues.  They simply will not be given any approval as they now enjoy with a "red sticker" that limits use depending upon geographic area but does allow them in state and Federal parks.  Even with FI, the two-stroke is doomed here, and I'm afraid that will be the case in many other locations, nationally and internationally.  The two-stroke will likely only be available for true closed course competition (as will be the case here in CA), which will not likely provide enough market incentive for manufacturers to continue making them.  So, why the push for FI?   They add something like 4 or 5 lbs to the bike, will never be as reliable as a carb, and will likely eliminate the ability of the owner to troubleshoot and repair over the long term.  It's just not worth it, IMO. 

 

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Again, I hesitated in responding because I'm not advocating that FI is great and perfect, and I'm glad I have a carbed 2-stroke.
But, if you've been around long enough to go through the advancement in dirt bikes over the last 30 years you have definitely heard the negative response to each of these new innovations and understand that the negative response to each was real. 
If you just go back to the early 00's you can remember the extreme vitriol over 4 strokes taking over. That sentiment that these bikes would ruin dirt biking was real.
The USD vs Conventional wars were heated arguments.
Hydraulic clutches are far more complicated and once your fluid all leaks out your done was a common thought. 
Hydraulic brake lines will damage and leak fluid and you'll bend the rotors as soon as you see a rock was a line of argument. 
So, yes, this is reminiscent of those same thoughts and arguments. 
Will FI really leave you stranded, maybe a possibility now, but once it's been perfected for the dirt bike world? How many FI road bikes without kick start do you see being pushed down the highway? 
 I fully understand the ease of a carb, love tweaking and tuning my carbed 2-strokes over the years. I will not be looking to purchase a FI 2-stroke anytime soon, but fully accept that it's the future and I'm confident it'll be perfected in a few years to the point where we won't be pining for the good old days of carbs. 
 

interesting topic...but we're comparing a lower performing, EPA mandated TPI solution to water cooling and disc brakes which have obvious performance advantages to overcome their added complexity

Again, the mandated 450F displacement advantage gave a performance advantage over 2Ts in MX/SX to offset the increase in 4T complexity.

Those are poor comparisons. Those technologies won races...they earned their way.

The technology comparison of TPI to programmable 4T F/I performance advantages isn't really fair either.

Seems TPI is for convenience (no premix, no jetting at altitude) and regulatory compliance at the expense of performance, cost, complexity, and weight. Many like that trade. That's great.

For now, carbs are the high performance, lightweight choice for 2T racers. TPI is for convenience.
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1 hour ago, Sofiedog said:

The technology comparison of TPI to programmable 4T F/I performance advantages isn't really fair either

Yeah, I'm not really that sold on FI for the 2-stroke dirt bikes, it's just an interesting discussion as it's literally happening before our eyes and it's a hot topic in the KTM universe as it's pretty controversial. 

I find it interesting that some of the KTM pundits are so adamant that there's zero issues with TPI and it anyone brings it up they are blasted for it. 

As far as 4T/TPI, I do see direct correlation between FI on the 4T as it relates to the early performance and reliability issues that were evident in the beginning stages. The early enduro FI thumpers were not refined and it took about 3-4 years before the technology demonstrated it's superiority over the carbed 4T. Only time will tell if this will be the case with this 2-stroke FI move, but it'd be hard to imagine it not becoming a solid performing, reliable transition at some point. 

 

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2 minutes ago, firffighter said:

Yeah, I'm not really that sold on FI for the 2-stroke dirt bikes, it's just an interesting discussion as it's literally happening before our eyes and it's a hot topic in the KTM universe as it's pretty controversial. 

I find it interesting that some of the KTM pundits are so adamant that there's zero issues with TPI and it anyone brings it up they are blasted for it. 

As far as 4T/TPI, I do see direct correlation between FI on the 4T as it relates to the early performance and reliability issues that were evident in the beginning stages. The early enduro FI thumpers were not refined and it took about 3-4 years before the technology demonstrated it's superiority over the carbed 4T. Only time will tell if this will be the case with this 2-stroke FI move, but it'd be hard to imagine it not becoming a solid performing, reliable transition at some point. 

 

Sure there can be issues, but if its what you want, those issues can be worked through. There's no denying the convenience.

Will it ever be seen as a performance improvement of the scale of water cooling, disc brakes, long travel suspension, linkage rear, USD forks...and now a high performance F/I 4T?....I dunno...with those technologies I listed, you had to get on board or get left behind!

Maybe, I put TPI in the class of 'conveniences' like e-start, hydraulic clutch, LHB, auto clutch, etc...all features different people like for different reasons.

 

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Betas used to be pretty heavy before they went on their current diet. Almost all riders claimed they didn’t feel the extra weight. Well the tpi is7 pounds heavier than a carb bike, the extra weight is not felt. The ecu on the tpi has been used on motorcycles for almost 15 years and proven to be reliable. Look closely and you won’t find one instance of an oil pump failure. Just sayin 

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6 minutes ago, Boertmann84 said:

 Look closely and you won’t find one instance of an oil pump failure. Just sayin 

On a Beta? You didn't actually post that with a straight face did you? :lol: 

Pump failures, air locks, broken wires, faulty ECUs, cracked tanks, broken intakes, bad connectors, the stupid diode/capacitor joke, need I go on? Beta could have built a great system. Instead they used the absolutely cheapest of components with the poorest design electrical that would embarrass even the Chinese.  

Easily fixed though. :banana: 

1708508.jpg

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I will say that KTM has dumbed down their bikes over the past 4-5 years. 

The CB and TPI 300's definitely do not have the same motor characteristics of precious generations. These newest bikes are no doubt softer than my '09, '05, '03, and '99 KTM 300's. I believe most guys feel these motors are more "refined" , but honestly, they are just not as potent as the older 300's and for casual trail riders, it's preferred over the stronger hitting motors. 

The same with suspension. The Xplor is just a softer more comfortable fork. A lot of casual riders like it because it's comfortable, but as soon as speeds combined with obstacles are present, the Xplor falls flat. Compare that to the previous OC/CC bikes up to '12 and even the dreaded 4C that could handle faster paced terrain. 

KTM has targeted a certain demographic with these enduro 2-strokes as they become more comfortable and refined. They reach a predominantly trail rider and older crowd. KTM no longer even compete in any form of real enduro or off road competition with a 2-stroke. No GNCC , no world enduro championship. The only true venue that it even exists in is extreme enduro. 

Thus, KTM has developed a softer version of the once race ready 250/300 2-stroke. 

 

Edited by firffighter
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4 minutes ago, Ud_Luz said:

On a Beta? You didn't actually post that with a straight face did you? :lol: 

Pump failures, air locks, broken wires, faulty ECUs, cracked tanks, broken intakes, bad connectors, the stupid diode/capacitor joke, need I go on? Beta could have built a great system. Instead they used the absolutely cheapest of components with the poorest design electrical that would embarrass even the Chinese.  

Easily fixed though. :banana: 

1708508.jpg

No, not talking about the beta, I’m taking about the tpi

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5 minutes ago, firffighter said:

I will say that KTM has dumbed down their bikes over the past 4-5 years. 

The CB and TPI 300's definitely do not have the same motor characteristics of precious generations. These newest bikes are no doubt softer than my '09, '05, '03, and '99 KTM 300's.

I had a '99 300. That bike was really hard hitting and a hoot to ride. :thumbsup: 

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6 minutes ago, Ud_Luz said:

I had a '99 300. That bike was really hard hitting and a hoot to ride. :thumbsup: 

Definitely! I loved that motor! 

My '03, '05, and '09 were all very strong as well! 

These new ones don't have the same strong motor.

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7 minutes ago, firffighter said:

Definitely! I loved that motor! 

My '03, '05, and '09 were all very strong as well! 

These new ones don't have the same strong motor.

I had an '02 and an '07. They weren't even as hard hitting as the '99. I sold it to a neighbor kid that's rebuilt it a bunch of times because he likes it so much. Put the later 48mm OC forks on it too along with a much newer shock. 

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6 hours ago, ged93 said:

Yes I've seen this videos a couple of weeks ago , expecially ones from ' the dirtbike rider ' channel .

This tecnology is still at the beginning so it's clear that these bikes will have problems , some of them have been solved just with ecu software update from '18 to '19 bikes , and oviusly if you want this service you need to pay ... not so fair in my opinion .

 

I dont think the tech is in its infancy,  sleds usually run  behind dirt bikes in technology but Ive owned 90s Polaris' w EFI and 2 stroke w no complaints.  Starts and runs easy hot or cold no carb cleaning and once when another sled ran outta gas we filled a bottle using the fuel pump on the EFI machine to transfer fuel to the other sled.

That said my current 2 stroke sleds are carbed

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