Ahhh the TPI bikes KTM came out with in 2018. I bought the first 2018, 19 ,2020 and 2022 bikes that came into Arizona. And after tearing the 2018's top end down, after the first 50 break in miles, it was apparent there were some big wear problems going on.
Wear marks in the cylinder and piston to be exact. And after figuring out how the whole TPI system worked, it was obvious why. Even though the 2020 Bikes have a lot of the issues fixed that the 18-19 bikes had, they haven't fixed the pre mature wear problem.
Long story short, the 20's are better, but the 2018,19 and 20 TPI 250's and 300's, are AWESOME PILES OF CRAP
So the purpose of this page, is get you what you need, to fix the crap, and just be left with awesome.
Someone has sadly shared their heartbreaking story at the bottom of this page.
Before you read, be aware that some of the images are graphic and disturbing.
This story was reported on 3/24/2022
So the bikes have 2 MAIN problems. One is, they start and run for a few seconds with no oil getting to the upper part of the cylinder. And two is, the stock fuel pump and in tank filter are junk quality and will fail at any time.
Within the first 100 miles of owning the 2020 TPI bike, here is all the problems that occurred. You can decide what issues may be important for you to fix, so that you don't find yourself stranded.
Above are the 2 shots of the cylinder wall rubbing in the first 5 minutes of the bike running. The bike was started by the dealer and then shut off. I took it home and rode it around for a bit, so it totalled about 5 minutes of run time. Then the top end was pulled off and these rub marks were the result. If there was instant lube going on, like on a carb bike, then you wouldn't see these rub marks all around the cylinder.
And if you wonder how this will affect you, then you may very well end up where most tpi owners are. This is wondering why your top end wore out in 60 hours instead of lasting about 200 hours like your carb bike did.
It's all the lack of lubrication during startup, and the lack of lube even while running. The bikes start on just fuel alone, until the oil can get through the reed assembly and through the bottom end and then through the transfer ports. Then, it will finally get onto the upper cylinder walls. This is problem number 1, and it's the most predominant problem.
The obvious, and hence most intelligent, way to fix,is to relocate the injectors from the transfer ports, to the throttle body and reed cage.
When you move the injectors here now, the air from the throttle body, the oil that squirts in the throttle body, and now the fuel, all get a chance to move together, into the engine. This means, that by the time the fuel has worked it's way through the engine, the oil is there too, lubing all the parts like a carb bike would.
The bike runs better this way too. This is actually the single most intelligent thing you can do to your TPI bike. You can learn more on this page
The TPI block, also comes with a throttle plate idle adjusting screw.
You can see how it works on the left. You can turn it in or out, which then opens or closes your throttle plate.
This way, if you get some more air in past the throttle plate, you also get some more fuel in with it, and you can really get a good idle speed.
Then you can use the idle air screw, to fine tune the fuel at idle, and right off the bottom, to be either richer or leaner, and suit your tastes
If you want to get a better understanding of how the throttle adjusting screw and air screw work, watch the first part of this video below. If you want to get an idea of how well the relocation block kit with filter and tank fitting, and our reeds work, then watch the end of this video below. For 5500 ft elevation on a 100 degree day, and the rest of the bike TOTALLY stock, it's pretty good.
The parts we were running on the bike, in the video above, was just this kit here, below
And these better quality than stock reeds we make, that you see below. They give better response, and don't break like the stock ones have a tendency to do
The corner has broken off of our stock reed petal, as you can see below. Not sure when it broke, but it started running odd at about 60 miles. Ran ok but then ran bad down low, and just didn't have the power it use to have. We found the reed broken when the bike came apart at 97 miles, as we were trying to figure it out. Better to change the reeds while ok, then being stuck out in the woods with a blubbering bike with low power
And now for the disturbing and graphic email. To tell the victims story
Dear Dave and BDSB staff. I know we just got off the phone for the 5th time, and you said you never wanted to talk crap about others like some do about you.
You said you weren't a politician or a 6 year old girl who's only recourse in intelligence, was to insult the other side. You said people who actually had brains and valued time had no time for arguments with idiots. I also find it funny that the guy from RK tek heads said about the same thing one time.
Anyhow I'm asking you to please publish this email and pics, just to help others not be in the same boat as I'm in.
Like I showed you on the phone, this is my cylinder on the left and my friends cylinder on the right. This then torn down after getting mine back to the camp ground, being pulled by his with a rope though the same sand wash mine fried in.
You can see that mine is unrepairable. Just like you said, there are reasons you can't get cylinders or cranks for these things. You said you have to use the relocation block to mix the fuel and oil and air and run it though the engine like a two stroke is designed. You said the stock 90 degree tank fitting holds back flow of fuel after about 3 seconds and the bikes start to lean out. You also said that even if a reprogrammed ecu adds more oil to the oil pump, that a motor doesn't have a lot of vacuum when wide open to pull the oil in, when it's thick and just oil.
You told my friend John the same things, knowing we were headed to Baja and how we would be riding. We both listened but it seems only he actually heard you.
He got your relo kit with reeds, bigger filter and high flow tank fitting. He also got your in tank filter and a head from RKTEK. He added one once of oil to each gallon of gas in the tank, like you said.
I used the kit from TSP performance with the ecu flash and such. It was OK. I then talked to Slavens racing where he said his head was way better than the TSP head. He also said you were an idiot and just sold snake oil and gimmicks.
I said well you use to sell and promote the PowerNow Carb insert he invented and the Mega Bomb exhaust, the most copied headpiece design in the world at the moment. Were those just snake oil and gimmicks? He said he had to go help another customer and hung up.
Anyhow you can see the results of 2 paths taken. I have to add that Johns bike was way faster than mine racing down the street even before we left. We both had a few hours on the bikes before we left but just riding around in the tighter trails. So the bike was running ok and not just a deal where I put something together wrong and held it wide open.
Also, there was a lot of oil inside my reed cage, like you said there would be. And the fuel pressure was still 52 psi. So that didn't fail.
I appreciate you being classy and not saying "I told you so" when I called all frustrated. And I appreciate you not personally bad mouthing others in videos or print. That's a sign of maturity in this day and age. If you put this out there, then I'll be the one who did the bad mouthing.
Thanks again for the help in trying to find me parts,
Robert and John from Tempe, Az