Monday, October 10, 2016

Factory Pro Shift Kit

In an effort to rid the KTM 690 gearbox of the dreaded false neutral between 5th and 6th gears, I spent $140 USD on a shift kit from Factory Pro. According to their website and many of their customers, it makes shifting the 690 feel more precise. For the most part, the 690 tranny is pretty good, but I do find you need to shift like you mean it when going from 5th to 6th gears, otherwise, you may just find a hidden neutral. We'll see if this solves that problem.

Left to right, bolts removed in clockwise order, starting with 
the bolt closest to (and slightly above) the swingarm pivot. 
Note that bolts #1, #6 and #7 are longer than the others, 
with bolt #6 being the longest of them all.

Fortunately the clutch cover gasket did not tear and I was able 
to remove it in one piece. The engine was stone cold, 
and I have very light taps with a rubber mallet.

Here is the OEM shifter detent arm 

Note the difference between the OEM and aftermarket detent arms. 
Specifically, the OEM spring is lighter (less tension) and the roller 
is just a disc riveted onto the arm. With the Factory Pro arm, the roller 
has small ceramic bearings (rolls way smoother) and t
he spring is stronger (higher tension, supposedly -- but I could not tell) 

Installation notes and observations:  Installation was pretty easy.  I did not drain the oil, or bother to do a full oil change for this... An oil change with new filters was done about 1,500 Kms ago, and I will do it again as winter approaches in the coming weeks.  I did lose about 750 mL of oil during this procedure, which I replaced with fresh Motorex 10W60.  I did use a new oil filter on the same side (the small oil filter needed to be removed in order to remove the clutch cover .... there's no way I'm going to re-use an oil filter).

Conclusion:  Does it work?  Does it do what they say it does?  Well, it definitely made an improvement -- but not huge.  I still find that shifting from 5th to 6th gear requires firm input from my boot -- more than other gears require.  I have not found the hidden neutral which previously happened on occasion, but it doesn't really feel like a night-and-day difference. Shifting generally feels like there has been a small improvement, yes but not vastly different.  I was hoping for a magic cure, one that would transform the feel of the shifting. Yes, I'm a little disappointed.  Worth $140 smackers?  Probably not.