The KTM LC4 engine is a single-cylinder work of art, but it is not without its faults. One the more well-known issues with the 690cc thumper is its slave clutch design, which is prone to failure and leaks.
For anyone who has experienced the issue (including this author), it is a less-than-fun situation when the clutch system loses pressure and fails to disengage, but KTM has finally acknowledged the issue, and has begun a worldwide recall of KTM and Husqvarna motorcycle that feature the design.
At the core of the recall is the fact that the bellow-style gasket on the clutch slave cylinder may have been damaged during manufacturing, which could cause the clutch to become inoperable and not disengage when the clutch lever is pulled in.
In the recall documents, KTM acknowledges that it has known about this defect since November 2018, though it is not clear why it has taken the Austrian company nearly three years to address the problem.
The inability to disengage the clutch is an obvious safety issue when riding a motorcycle, and today’s recall affects 8,398 units on the road in the United States. As such, the following models are thus affected by this recall:
- KTM 690 Duke (2018-2019)
- KTM 690 Enduro (2018-2020)
- KTM 690 SMC R (2019-2020)
- Husqvarna 701 Enduro LR (2020)
- Husqvarna 701 Supermoto (2018-2020)
- Husqvarna 701 Enduro (2018-2020)
- Husqvarna Svartpilen 701 (2019-2020)
- Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 (2018-2020)
To remedy the issue, KTM and Husqvarna dealers will inspect the clutch slave cylinder and replace it if necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed December 3, 2021.
Concerned KTM and Husqvarna owners may contact KTM customer service at 1-888-985-6090. KTM’s numbers for this recall are KTB2112 and HTB2110.