2017.5 KTM 450 (starting problems)-Update/Solved!

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7/18/2019 3:23 PM

Was at the track last weekend. At the end of the day, took bike off stand and hit the starting button to take off for a few more motos..... no life. Did that at couple more time.... fires up. Did this one more time during the day. But would eventually crank up. It would go to zero light on the bar, to cranking right away. Once I got home after washing tried to start it and nothing. Figure the battery was dying or had completely. Purchased the Honda Lithium battery charger. Battery is fully charged and has juice. Still nothing. But........ when checking the wires..... the negative wire, when moving it, sparks. So I re-tighten everything.... still sparks but still nothing is going into the bike ton show any life the bike is getting any juice.

What could this be? Faulty wire/cable? short somewhere?

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7/18/2019 3:35 PM

Check your start button wire... mine wouldn't start and I hotwired the bike with safety wire

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7/18/2019 3:35 PM

Hi Yz25,
I have 2016 KTM 450 that did the same thing to me.
I replace the old battery with new one from rocky mountain atv. The negative ground cable was not mount properly to the sub frame.
Now the bike fires up very fast.

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7/18/2019 3:41 PM

Does the bike turn over but just not fire? Try starting it with the charger directly connected to the battery. I had a similar problem, battery was fully charged but wasn't enough to get my bike going. But with a battery starter would fire right up. Installed a new EarthX battery and haven't had an issue since.

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7/18/2019 7:19 PM

Lunch_Box wrote:

Does the bike turn over but just not fire? Try starting it with the charger directly connected to the battery. I had a similar problem, battery was fully charged but wasn't enough to get my bike going. But with a battery starter would fire right up. Installed a new EarthX battery and haven't had an issue since.

No sir. Completely dead. When the lights are on the mapping side bike cranks immediately, just like always. Never once had an issue or not even the first hiccup. When just hitting the start button you could hear the system kick on. Now.... nothing. When pressing the button there isn’t anything. But when I move the negative cable around on the battery it sparks. Even when the the charger was connected and the battery was nearly 100% it wouldn’t do anything.

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7/18/2019 7:26 PM

Lunch_Box wrote:

Does the bike turn over but just not fire? Try starting it with the charger directly connected to the battery. I had a similar problem, battery was fully charged but wasn't enough to get my bike going. But with a battery starter would fire right up. Installed a new EarthX battery and haven't had an issue since.

yz25 wrote:

No sir. Completely dead. When the lights are on the mapping side bike cranks immediately, just like always. Never once had an issue or not even the first hiccup. When just hitting the start button you could hear the system kick on. Now.... nothing. When pressing the button there isn’t anything. But when I move the negative cable around on the battery it sparks. Even when the the charger was connected and the battery was nearly 100% it wouldn’t do anything.

I had a buddy who’s started weird like that and would be dead completely and he would smack the seat about where the batt was and all of sudden start right up

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Thank you,
Fly Racing, WPS, Dt-1, Mika Metals, Maxima, 100%, Motostuff, Factory Connection, Evs

7/18/2019 7:45 PM

I had been fighting this for a couple weeks on my 2019 fc450. Bike would just act completely dead no lights on the map switch and then sometimes just fire right up. The white plug behind the number plate for the start button was corroded and the wire was split. Fixed it and stripped the wire back and works fine. May not be the exact problem but might be a place to start. Photo

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7/18/2019 7:45 PM

Lunch_Box wrote:

Does the bike turn over but just not fire? Try starting it with the charger directly connected to the battery. I had a similar problem, battery was fully charged but wasn't enough to get my bike going. But with a battery starter would fire right up. Installed a new EarthX battery and haven't had an issue since.

yz25 wrote:

No sir. Completely dead. When the lights are on the mapping side bike cranks immediately, just like always. Never once had an issue or not even the first hiccup. When just hitting the start button you could hear the system kick on. Now.... nothing. When pressing the button there isn’t anything. But when I move the negative cable around on the battery it sparks. Even when the the charger was connected and the battery was nearly 100% it wouldn’t do anything.

Bennett59 wrote:

I had a buddy who’s started weird like that and would be dead completely and he would smack the seat about where the batt was and all of sudden start right up

Man that’s what my problem it to the exact point. when the problem first showed. the only time I could get it to have power was when I was sitting on it. So that’s makes since. Pressure right on the seat by the battery. Sounds like same issue. What was the verdict?

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7/18/2019 7:54 PM

I've had issues where the brushes in the starter motor had deteriorated and so when you'd press the button, the only response was hearing the fuel pump do its start up phases but it would click almost like it was a dead battery even though the battery, the relays and the wiring wer fine.
Maybe check the brushes and bushings in there? I don't think it's too uncommon for a KTM with a couple of years on it to need a starter motor freshen up.

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7/18/2019 7:59 PM

yz25 wrote:

No sir. Completely dead. When the lights are on the mapping side bike cranks immediately, just like always. Never once had an issue or not even the first hiccup. When just hitting the start button you could hear the system kick on. Now.... nothing. When pressing the button there isn’t anything. But when I move the negative cable around on the battery it sparks. Even when the the charger was connected and the battery was nearly 100% it wouldn’t do anything.

Bennett59 wrote:

I had a buddy who’s started weird like that and would be dead completely and he would smack the seat about where the batt was and all of sudden start right up

yz25 wrote:

Man that’s what my problem it to the exact point. when the problem first showed. the only time I could get it to have power was when I was sitting on it. So that’s makes since. Pressure right on the seat by the battery. Sounds like same issue. What was the verdict?

If it only fires when you sit on it, check the earth lead from the battery terminal onto the subframe.\
I've had problems with the bolt that holds the earth lead onto the sub frame from the battery had "bottomed out" in the rear fender plastic (the same bolt that goes through the earth lead also holds the rear fender). So when I'd sit on it, it would push everything down enough to contact and fire but when not sitting on the bike, the bolt (even though it was tight, only because it had bottomed into the plastic) was allowing the earthing lead to lift.
Hope that makes sense sorta.

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7/18/2019 8:04 PM

Thank you everyone for chiming in. Appears it’s going to be another wet weekend so Ill spend my time tinkering with her. Absolutely love the bike. Been bullet proof. No complaints even now. I’m sure it’s minor. Push come to shove, have a great KTM dealer with a great service department. Since I wasn’t able to buy the bike from them, I can give them business on the service end. When it comes to electrics and motor parts/build.... way outside of my wheel house. I’m Nowhere close to you guys! When I find out I will let you know for future reference if someone comes across this problem.
Thanks again.

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7/18/2019 8:35 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/18/2019 8:36 PM

yz25 wrote:

No sir. Completely dead. When the lights are on the mapping side bike cranks immediately, just like always. Never once had an issue or not even the first hiccup. When just hitting the start button you could hear the system kick on. Now.... nothing. When pressing the button there isn’t anything. But when I move the negative cable around on the battery it sparks. Even when the the charger was connected and the battery was nearly 100% it wouldn’t do anything.

Bennett59 wrote:

I had a buddy who’s started weird like that and would be dead completely and he would smack the seat about where the batt was and all of sudden start right up

yz25 wrote:

Man that’s what my problem it to the exact point. when the problem first showed. the only time I could get it to have power was when I was sitting on it. So that’s makes since. Pressure right on the seat by the battery. Sounds like same issue. What was the verdict?

I’ll have to ask him next time I ran into him he was on 18 FE one but like someone stated to me sounds like a wire or a bad connection issue

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Thank you,
Fly Racing, WPS, Dt-1, Mika Metals, Maxima, 100%, Motostuff, Factory Connection, Evs

7/18/2019 8:42 PM

Bennett59 wrote:

I had a buddy who’s started weird like that and would be dead completely and he would smack the seat about where the batt was and all of sudden start right up

yz25 wrote:

Man that’s what my problem it to the exact point. when the problem first showed. the only time I could get it to have power was when I was sitting on it. So that’s makes since. Pressure right on the seat by the battery. Sounds like same issue. What was the verdict?

Haze51 wrote:

If it only fires when you sit on it, check the earth lead from the battery terminal onto the subframe.\
I've had problems with the bolt that holds the earth lead onto the sub frame from the battery had "bottomed out" in the rear fender plastic (the same bolt that goes through the earth lead also holds the rear fender). So when I'd sit on it, it would push everything down enough to contact and fire but when not sitting on the bike, the bolt (even though it was tight, only because it had bottomed into the plastic) was allowing the earthing lead to lift.
Hope that makes sense sorta.

Think that might be it. Sounds identical to what I have going on.

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7/18/2019 8:44 PM

yz25 wrote:

Was at the track last weekend. At the end of the day, took bike off stand and hit the starting button to take off for a few more motos..... no life. Did that at couple more time.... fires up. Did this one more time during the day. But would eventually crank up. It would go to zero light on the bar, to cranking right away. Once I got home after washing tried to start it and nothing. Figure the battery was dying or had completely. Purchased the Honda Lithium battery charger. Battery is fully charged and has juice. Still nothing. But........ when checking the wires..... the negative wire, when moving it, sparks. So I re-tighten everything.... still sparks but still nothing is going into the bike ton show any life the bike is getting any juice.

What could this be? Faulty wire/cable? short somewhere?

Follow the wire from your start button behind the front number plate there is a white connector wingme those wires and you will find your problem. Same bike same problem. It is a known issue. The fact that you sit on the bike only means that the wire moves.

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7/18/2019 10:10 PM

I had the same issue on my TX300 and the wires behind the front number plate weren't making good contact. Cleaned them up and has been working fine ever since.

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Go Hawks!

7/18/2019 10:27 PM

Lunch_Box wrote:

Does the bike turn over but just not fire? Try starting it with the charger directly connected to the battery. I had a similar problem, battery was fully charged but wasn't enough to get my bike going. But with a battery starter would fire right up. Installed a new EarthX battery and haven't had an issue since.

yz25 wrote:

No sir. Completely dead. When the lights are on the mapping side bike cranks immediately, just like always. Never once had an issue or not even the first hiccup. When just hitting the start button you could hear the system kick on. Now.... nothing. When pressing the button there isn’t anything. But when I move the negative cable around on the battery it sparks. Even when the the charger was connected and the battery was nearly 100% it wouldn’t do anything.

Bennett59 wrote:

I had a buddy who’s started weird like that and would be dead completely and he would smack the seat about where the batt was and all of sudden start right up

I’ve seen a shop around here change that ground wire or whatever it is under the seat that is bolted to the subframe on every KTM that they have in for work because of this kind of issue.

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2017 RMZ450
2005 YZ250-sold :,(
1998 YZ250
2005 KX250F

80% of the time it works every time
IG @hammerfamily_4 & @2HRacing
Thanks to : Factory Effex, N2Dirt, Acerbis, DT1, Fasthouse, Matix, FMF, ASV, 100% & Mika Metals

7/19/2019 6:51 PM

During my OCD cleaning faze. Purchased all new OEM plastics and graphics to freshen the bike back up like I normally do every year. I replaced the bolt with a new one. The old one had a little crud etc. Well the new bolt was a tad longer than the original. Like posted above, it was “bottoming out” the connection when hitting the plastic. Luckily had the original bolt, replaced it... bike fires right back up!!! Thanks again for the input and pointing his guy in the right direction!

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7/21/2019 6:14 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/21/2019 6:21 PM

I'd have been willing to bet the subframe aluminum cross brace weld(s) have broken and therefore the system is not grounded. Look where your negative battery terminal wire secures to the subframe "cross" structural brace. This structural base is a thin piece of aluminum that connects the left and right side of the subframe. It's secured to the left and right sides via welds on the underside. These welds have broken on my last two KTM 450's, a 2015 and 2017. If the welds were on the top side it's easy to see the broken weld. It's not so easy getting the visual on the underside.

FWIW, I ride Reynard's where Bloss and Bogle train. I talked to their mechanics and they showed me how they completely eliminate using this subframe crossbar as a ground as it's a known failure point. They run a ground wire directly from the battery to a different, more mechanically sound place on the chassis. I've done the same to my current 2019 as a precaution.

I'll also mention I've had the starter button wire(s) pull out of the white plug discussed earlier in this thread behind the number plate on my 15 and 17 as well. On those bikes and on my 19 I simply cut and directly wired the wires going into and coming out of the plug eliminating the plastic plug completely. Benny and Justin also have this plug wired around and removed. It really serves no purpose.

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7/21/2019 7:18 PM

Thanks man.
Bike fired right up today. Just like say one. Believe it was just the bolt under the seat bearing a tad bit to long.

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