Reading JH's travails and the long long list of serious problems with Multis on the Ducati forum its a wonder they can still sell any. People worry about minor annoying niggles with KTMs but Multis are something else. They seem to be engineered to self-destruct after 20,000 miles. If its not terminal mechanical failure its electronic meltdown. One certain highly respected independent Ducati specialist whose name is well known to Ducati enthusiasts everywhere told me recently that he is considering refusing to work on Multistradas in the future, they are just too much trouble.jhalfhide wrote: Multistrada is good... very good. Reliability is shocking though. I'm coming from a multi, back to a KTM.
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KTM's closet rival to the Multi is really the 1190 Adv. I know JH considers the engine an unknown quantity, understandable considering the nightmare he's had with the Ducati, but I have no qualms. Its a mill with proven high mileage reliability in the RC8. I just wish the road-going 1190 came with 17" wheels and a full Akra lightweight decat exhaust system, like the SDR. It would be a modern day SMT then. Its not as light and chuckable as the SMT but it would feel more like it with 17" wheels.
As for the SMT, mine uses a litre of oil every 1500 miles. That is well within the permitted limits set by KTM. As Thirdway says they do improve with use. I've been keeping a log of my consumption and it has got steadily better. I bought it at 7600 miles and I'm at 14,500. It doesn't smoke or smell and runs beautifully. In 2012 they changed the piston design, so I'm told.
The independent workshop I use for servicing have been working on LC8 engines since they came out and they say over-cautious running-in increases consumption. After the first couple of hundred miles they say the engines need to be revved hard briefly but regularly or the bores glaze and they use oil. They too said it will improve as the miles go on if the engine is allowed to rev and serviced properly with the right oil. (They recommend Castrol 1 Racing 10-50).
I had all sorts of trouble getting the suspension right on mine. The steering was always light and responsive but it seemed to lack mechanical grip and I had terrible bar-wagging at high speed. I was running Metzeler Z8 sports touring tyres and the bike hated them. Changing to Dunlop Roadsmarts was revelation. Then I had a pro suspension set-up which made things better still and gave me the confidence to fit proper sports tyres. Mine runs Metzeler M7RRs now. At first the suspension felt a little soft with those tyres. I thought maybe the carcase was softer than the sports touring Dunlops but the guy who did the suspension set-up told me they are much grippier and they are making the suspension react faster which makes it feel softer. He said add another click of both compression and rebound damping at both ends. Did that and it was perfect again. The grip, feedback and lightness and accuracy of the steering is just phenomenal now.