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KTM 990 ProTips, Part 2

See Part 1

Common Failures

My ‘11 SMR just hit 13.7K and there are already apparent trouble spots. Let’s just say I could pretty much see all of these coming having owned the ‘08 690 SMC, I guess not too much changed in basic design vectors and suppliers for KTM in those 3 years.

  • Spark plugs: The manual states to change them every 10K miles. They mean it. I took mine out at 13K and they looked pretty damn spent. The plug you want to order is 2x LKAR8BI9.
  • Clutch master: People will tell you the clutch slave cylinder design is flawed and to expect it to fail by around 8K miles. Hasn’t happened to me yet, but the master failed at 13.5K just like the one on 690 did. KTM Twins/Scuderia West sells the rebuild kits for $45, simple fix.
  • Oil lines: These dry sump designs are pretty great, except that it’s annoying to change oil. And one more thing. If you research early 990 SMR pictures you will see black oil lines. If you look up the ‘11 990 SMR, you will see KTM added metal weave sleeve over the rubber. There is a reason for this: the lines rub when the motor vibrates. Unfortunately even the metal sleeves won’t help 100%. Mine are already showing wear. There are many ways to protect them, but the best is to wrap the line that touches the oil filter cover with heat-resistant rubber. Get creative.
, #ktm #990 #supermoto #smr #maintenance #problems #fixes #diy

KTM 990 SMR Oil Leak Fix

I have a 2011 KTM 990 SMR and at around 11K miles it developer a very small oil leak. Oil would collect near the kickstand on the underside of the transmission housing and drip onto the exhaust burning up in the process.

Very easy to spot:

  • After riding the bike, leave it be and check the top of the 180 bend on the exhaust for oil
  • Or start the bike and let it idle, does it smell like burning oil?

Begin by putting the bike onto a read stand and take off the kickstand (2 star bolts and one 13mm nut). After that I removed the gear selector lever by using an 9mm socket on a skinny extension.

Before you do the above step, measure the position of the gear selector to prevent future surprises. Mis-shifts at speed are dangerous!

Then you will see two allen bolts holding a circular electrical sensor that is grounded to one of the bolts. Take the bolts out and pull the sensor off. See below for what that looks like.

KTM 990 Gear Selector Oil Leak

The sensor is the gear position sensor and the leak is due to the 27mm rubber seal deterorating. The KTM part number is 0770275025 and it can be had for around $1.99 at any KTM dealer.

The entire process doesn’t take long, but for best results either do this while changing oil, or have the seal ready beforehand as the oil will weep as seen in the picture above.

Good luck

, #ktm #supermoto #990 #SMR #oil #leak #2011 #gear #selector #sensor #exhaust #burn

KTM 990 ProTips

Part 2 available here.

It’s been 5000 miles on my new bike after the 690 got totaled by a driver failing to yield. The particular bike I own is the 2011 KTM 990 SMR, but most of this will apply to all fuel-injected LC8 based bikes.

I’ve had many chances to shit my pants on this new bike and the following is an ‘essentials’ list for new owners, akin to the 690 SMC post I published a while back.


Absolutely no reason not to be protecting these pretty bikes in the case of a crash. I’ve already have two of those and I can confirm that these crash very well, much like the other KTM supermoto I owned.

Some key equipment that saved my bike twice:

A tank protector crash cage 62012068000 - 62012068000

Front axle sliders fp0033bk - fp0033bk

KTM Original Factory Handguards White 603021790028 - 603021790028

Passenger peg sliders 61303946044 - 61303946044


The previous owner had put Michelin Road Pilot 3 tires on this bike, and while the tire life was pretty good, it made this powerful bike absolutely terrifying at the limit.

With the power of factory Brembos and the mental throttle twitchiness, you owe it to yourself to be riding on actual sport tire.

Dunlop Sportmax Q3 turned my world upside down and I can corner again.


Speaking of throttle twitchiness. Almost every fuel injected LC8 KTM owner will tell you the same thing. You have to address this issue. There is no downside, it’s simply a detail that must be addressed by the owner.

Quite frankly, I am really surprised KTM have been putting these bikes out in this form from the factory, but the small throttle openings make this bike buck like a Bronco.

Some people prefer to put in G2Ergo throttle-tubes in, others put in KTM’s own progressive 5209 throttle-tube, but none of that is necessary. You can make your own modification to the existing throttle tube in a matter of minutes.

This, coupled with MotoHooligan’s LC8 Lean Secondry Butterfly Valves make the bike confidence inspiring in corners and very smooth.

Due to the added air/fueling control finesse, the bike cruises better on highway at lower RPM, sends less vibrations through to the handlebars and offers fantastic power control in corners. A true MUST!

Happy trolling!

Part 2 available here.

, #ktm 990 smr supermoto lc8 throttle tube twitch smooth mods crash

Acer S7-391 and Ubuntu 12

I think this is a pretty swell laptop and I tend to use Ubuntu to get real work done, so this presents a challenge. Why?

Because the S7 comes with UEFI by default and two SSDs in RAID0. Yes, two Intel SSDs that are striped. This is one of the main reasons I like the laptop, the IO is hella quick. How quick? I will update this post with a quick benchmark graph so you don’t have to take my word for it.

The way things stand right now you have one of two ways out:


Is this is the case, follow one of many sets of instructions on to get it working, some of the most important steps are:

  1. Grab 12.10 Desktop Edition (64 bit), comes w/ UEFI codez
  2. Select Legacy BIOS instead of UEFI
  3. Hit Ctrl-I while booting and disable RAID
  4. Select UEFI instead of Legacy BIOS
  5. Profit

I used mine in this configuration for a while and it worked well.

I <3 RAID-0 Moar

Now that I experimented with 13.04, which in turn completely fucked my brightness keyboard controls, I need to re-install Ubuntu again and this time I decided I’d let it configure the two SSDs for striping:

  1. Grab 12.04 Alternative Edition (64 bit), comes w/ RAID codez
  2. Select Legacy BIOS instead of UEFI
  3. Install Ubuntu, selecting YES when asked about activating RAID drivers
  4. Profit


xrom drivers link seems to be dead, any chance of a re-up? also how is your x-rom battery holding up?

Just re-uploaded. Enjoy.

Battery seems to have held up perfectly after years of GBA neglect.

This motherfucker is getting brought to SF Motoshop real soon. Running shitty, I think it is asking me for new oil and a valvejob or something.

This motherfucker is getting brought to SF Motoshop real soon. Running shitty, I think it is asking me for new oil and a valvejob or something.

Protip: Fruit Rollups

They’re great for productivity and optimism in general, but here is the key to leveraging the awesome morale-boosting properties of Fruit Rollups


Seriously. I’m so brilliant I came up with this all on my own. Keeps the unwrapping experience maximally stress-free, like it should be.

Trip Hop, Part 2 (extended)

All the entries that did not mak it to the comsumable-size cut (Trip Hop, Still Gliding Along Under the Radar) end up here, this list will keep growing:

9 Lazy 9 - Keep Going Daddy:

Alias & Ehren - Cobblestoned Waltz:

Boom Bip - Last Walk Around Mirror Lake (Boards of Canada Remix):

Boom Bip - Do’s and Dont’s: This is an extended version of the preface and the consice list of selections over here.

cLOUDDEAD - Dead Dogs Two:

Boards of Canada - In A Beautiful Place Out In The Country:

Bonobo - Flutter:

Cinematic Orchestra - Evolution:

DJ Vadim - Pauses for Repetition:

DJ Shadow - Organ Donor (Live):

DJ Krush - Beyond Raging Waves:

DJ Food - Minitoka:

De Phazz - Radio Sol:

Coldcut - Timber:

Trip Hop, Still Gliding Along Under the Radar

First thing’s first, Wiki has an article on it.

This quick write-up is meant to be a consumable version with flavor samples.

This is a genre I discovered in highschool (‘03-‘07) that has since taken permanent place in my beat rotations. My first exposure to it probably came from tangential exploration around my lifelong favorite: The Prodigy.

Shoutout to Ninjatune, a label that pushed trip-hop to its commercial and cultural apex. Wiki describes Ninjatune as embracing mostly hip hop and breakbeat, giving an awkward nod to trip hop but almost as if specifically refusing to mention it.

I expect people to step up and refute various selections in this blog post as belonging to other genres and that is fine. It is awesome that you care enough. Two things: this is an opinion post; trip hop is an experimental genre.

So What is Trip Hop Music?

Arm waving out of the way: trip hop is modern mood music. Trip hop is what happens when modern day electronic artists seek a more emotionally charged melody. Trip hop themes can be melancholic and smooth, or energizing and optimistic.

What I find extra awesome about trip hop (shoutout to Bonobo, Aim, etc) is that the inspiration taken from sampling actual instruments manifested in live instruments at live gigs.

Trip hop is the soundtrack to all of your dreams and fantasies. Trip hop creates a backdrop to a very specific set of emotions, understand that. You might not be able to enjoy these all the time.

Now That All That Garbage is Out of the Way

In no particular order:

9 Lazy 9 - Carborante:

Aim - Birchwood (Live):

Boom Bip - Roads Must Roll:

cLOUDDEAD - Dead Dogs Two (Boards of Canda Remix):

Blockhead - The Art of Walking:

Boards of Canada - Dayvan Cowboy:

Bonobo - Noctuary (Live):

Mr. Scruff - Pickled Spider:

RJD2 - Ghostwriter:

And Finally, the Crowning Jewel to All of Trip Hop Culture

This piece in particular is mind expanding, mostly because of the incredible animation created for it. Watch it, listen to it, think about it:

Blockhead - The Music Scene:

I hope you listen and I hope you feel something. I do, every time I listen.

Want more?

When writing this, I kept in mind people who will not have the time to taste everything I throw at them, so pieces that did not make the cut were put into the extended selections post.

, #trip hop #experimental music

If we actually started calling bullying what it is and address it as racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, fat phobia and classism it would actually give children a better way to deal with the very same power dynamics they will face as adults, while also giving adults more responsibility to challenge the intolerance that is rooted within our society overall.


- Amanda Levitt at Fat Body Politics (October 5th, 2012)

(via fatbodypolitics)

What we have to remember though, is that there’s bullying that’s not based on any of these. And that is not allowable either.

(via kitsuneofdoom)

Good point.

(via theleakypen)