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Old 01-31-2007, 10:03 PM   #1
Karnage OP
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KTM 525 EXC as an Adventure Bike

I'm thinking of setting up a KTM 525 EXC as an adventure bike. I was originally going for a 640 Adventure but thought the 525 might suit me better. Mainly because of the significantly reduced weight (113Kg compared to 158Kg) and the fact that some of the adventure rides we do involve some serious enduro riding.

I was going to make the following mods to make it more suitable for adventure riding -

25L Fuel Tank
Cush Drive Hub
Oil cooler to increase oil capacity
A comfortable seat
Soft Panniers
Steering Damper

My main concern is wheather the bike can handle the long trips & clocking up alot of KM's and therefore having valve problems.

Any thoughts would be appreciated?
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Old 01-31-2007, 10:21 PM   #2
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funny thing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karnage
I'm thinking of setting up a KTM 525 EXC as an adventure bike. I was originally going for a 640 Adventure but thought the 525 might suit me better. Mainly because of the significantly reduced weight (113Kg compared to 158Kg) and the fact that some of the adventure rides we do involve some serious enduro riding.

I was going to make the following mods to make it more suitable for adventure riding -

25L Fuel Tank
Cush Drive Hub
Oil cooler to increase oil capacity
A comfortable seat
Soft Panniers
Steering Damper

My main concern is wheather the bike can handle the long trips & clocking up alot of KM's and therefore having valve problems.

Any thoughts would be appreciated?
funny thing is I have been toying with the idea of down sizing from my KTM950.. and a 525 is one i have been looking at. I will be interested in the posts here!!
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Old 01-31-2007, 11:05 PM   #3
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http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=159611
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Old 01-31-2007, 11:22 PM   #4
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mortaygo

I also had a 950 Adv 2005 that I sold a few days ago. Great bike on the open stuff but a bit of a handfull when doing the serious enduro rides,
hence the post. I'm keen to get something as soon as possible and think the 525 would be the best for my sort of riding. I'm just worried about the endurance of the bike. Hopefull the oil cooler ,which increases oil capacity by 53%, will help.
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Karnage screwed with this post 02-01-2007 at 12:04 AM
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Old 02-01-2007, 01:03 AM   #5
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640 v 525

My 02 640 now has over 45,000k on it and I've had no problems......touch wood. I've had an 03 525 and a 05 525. I got rid of both before I put too many k's on them and had valve probelms. Both had about 10,oook on them and the valves were getting a little bit tighter each service even when I changed the oil and filters every 500k .

I think you would be very brave turning the 525 into a tourer and expecting to get decent k's out of a high performnace engine. also if you plan on loading it up with touring gear you may also need to look at reinforcing the rear subframe to take your panniers/saddle bags/sleeping bag/thermarest/clothes/food etc.

steering damper is highly recommended. I have only just put one on my 200 EXC and it totally changed the stability of the bike.

stick with the 640 as an adventure mount and have a look around for a cheap bike for the tight stuff...
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Old 02-01-2007, 01:57 AM   #6
FEJ
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I have an 04' 525 EXC. Big Tank, soft seat, steering dampaner, but I have yet to add the oil cooler. Even without the oil cooler and a cush drive I have taken mine on 700 mile trips down in Baja with a few highway miles added in there and mine has never let me down. Valves are perfect and I don't even loose any oil. Not very comfy going a lot of miles though. I'm shopping for a 950 ADV because of this.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karnage View Post
mortaygo

I also had a 950 Adv 2005 that I sold a few days ago. Great bike on the open stuff but a bit of a handfull when doing the serious enduro rides,
hence the post. I'm keen to get something as soon as possible and think the 525 would be the best for my sort of riding. I'm just worried about the endurance of the bike. Hopefull the oil cooler ,which increases oil capacity by 53%, will help.
Is the oil cooler an absolute necessity, I know it will provide more help to egine and increase oil capacity but should I invest in one asap?
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Datan556 View Post
Is the oil cooler an absolute necessity, I know it will provide more help to egine and increase oil capacity but should I invest in one asap?
What sort of riding are you planning on? I installed one on my 450 for some desert riding I did in Tunisia last year. For woods/enduro riding I would say its over kill. It is a good conversation starter though. Lots of people ask me what it is. PM me if you would like links to my install.
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Old 08-28-2008, 09:53 AM   #9
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I don't think "Adventure" is in the RFS mission statement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karnage
I'm thinking of setting up a KTM 525 EXC as an adventure bike. I was originally going for a 640 Adventure but thought the 525 might suit me better. Mainly because of the significantly reduced weight (113Kg compared to 158Kg) and the fact that some of the adventure rides we do involve some serious enduro riding.
I decided to keep my 520 as my lean/lightweight "dualsport/desert" bike and see if I'm interested in a 620 for use as an "adventure/commuter" machine.......I figure the 620 is already set up for this type of riding/abuse as opposed to trying to change the mission statement for my 520.......don't get me wrong.......I love my 520.......and I've taken it on many multiday/multi hundred mile trips (90/10 - dirt/road)......but what better way to decide than a long dirt/road trip on a 620 that's more heavily weighted towards the road (hopefully not more than 60/40 - dirt/road)! ......And I don't have to trailer it to the start line in CO. ......I may still wind up going big/twin for creature comforts at some point..... probably will......but WTF, this oughta be a fun "adventure" ride to shake things out (literally.....me, my ass, the bike).......

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=378528

Any tracks and/or suggestions on routing from Denver to San Diego would be greatly appreciated....
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Old 08-28-2008, 03:35 PM   #10
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Colorado from CA

Moragabiker made the trip from CA (Moraga?) to Colorado to the San Juans and around the area and back on his 525.

I just got back from 600 miles in a week on the '07 525 EXC out there and on to southern Utah (we trailered out to CO and then on to UT) with zero problems with the bike (I kicked a turn signal off...). I had the bike jetted for my 880' and it started to run rich at 11,000' so I messed with the KTM extended air screw. That was it.

I ran AGIP 10W-60 4T racing oil. It is great oil. However, I am back on Shell Rotella T 5W-40. The AGIP didn't break back down very well (it IS a race oil after all intended to be dumped after the event). The Shell is the next best thing that I can find. I run the HT-Racing oil cooler for extra capacity and cooling.

The 525 ran superbly. Even on the road sections I had zero problems and my butt survived thanks to the Renazco seat. Want to pass a string of Winniewagons in a real hurry? Want to hammer up rock ledges that give Jeeps absolute fits and go by wound out in 4th? The 525 delivers.

I bought the last of the RFS motors because I did NOT want a new, untested 530 with .7 liters of oil in the engine (compared to my almost 2 quarts) that is also contaminated by clutch particles. KTMTalk riders seem to agree that for long distances the .7L is too little. The oil also really darkens with contaminants but after the race you can dump it--not so easy in the middle of Grand Staircase Escalante NM with miles to go.

I ran 15/50 for gearing and got away with it. It makes the long road miles much more palatable and still, with some skill, works on tight, uphill switchbacks.

I would add the smaller rubber inserts from the KTM 620 bikes. You can cut the buzz on your feet by rotating your heels back on the rubber when on the road but still get bite from the front part of the peg when off road.

I think you could ride the 525 from CA to Alaska and back. We used to do that on rougher roads on Brit singles and those motors were unbelievably unreliable, especially compared to the 525.

Go for it!

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Old 08-28-2008, 04:47 PM   #11
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Hi Stu,

I'm glad to hear that you had a wonderful trip to Utah. Yes, I rode my '07 525 on a 3500 mile trip from Texas to California via New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada (our ride report is posted here http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=240023). Last year, I rode the same bike 2500 miles through Idaho. Other than the need for frequent valve adjustments, the bike performed well. The bike is approaching 8,000 miles now, with no significant problems (knock on wood :-). I agree with you that it makes a superb adventure bike.
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Old 08-27-2009, 10:46 AM   #12
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520EXC Adv Conversion

I had (sigh...I'll miss her) a 2001 520EXC that I rode for 3 years in the rocks and ruts of New England. I loved that bike in the woods and when it came time to upgrade I just couldn't let her go, just yet. So, I did exactly what you describe and it worked out great.

I rode the bike as a commuter with some fairly long weekend trips and the bike performed flawlessly. It is an absolute blast on the backroad twisties. When the conditions were right I could embarrass the crotch rockets.

i didn't do any major mods but here's my list:

- Perreli MT20 DS tires
- 15/49 Gearing (Minor mods to the counter shaft guard)
- Trail Tech Vector Computer (has an engine temp readout)
- Extra soft/tall seat foam
- Blinkers/Controls
- Heated Grips
- (2) Mirrors/mounts
- Trail Tech Headlight
- New plastics (I have my pride ya' know)

The bike got better than 50 mi/gal so the stock tank was ok for me. With a range of ~150 mile it was on par with the 950's. I've since sold it for a GS. It's a great bike and I'm thinking of picking up another one. Good luck with yours.
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Old 08-27-2009, 05:36 PM   #13
Stu
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Nice Bikes

Jimaaay,

The BMW 1000 series are nice bikes. Nice. The KTM 520/525/530 bikes have character, and attitude. And how. You need to start haunting the "Would you buy a used bike from this guy" threads and get another.

I just returned from West Fest '09 in Buena Vista, CO. Mountain trails? Blasted them. The nearly vertical climb up American Flag Mountain on loose rock for a mile? Second and third gear fun time. On the gravel and dirt trails I was a terror. Pass others on the inside (fall into an abyss if you screw up side) and just blast away. On pavement at 60 to 65 mph it was very smooth and forgiving. What could you not like?

My morning routine before a ride was to check a few critical fasteners. Shifter. Kick starter. Sprocket & rotor bolts. Fender bolts. Seat bolt. It took me about a minute. I never found anything loose but I ALWAYS checked. On the other hand, my 300 XC-W, after a bunch of nasty trails, had the kickstart bolt hanging on by a thread. Just wiggle and check the nuts and bolts

Stu
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Old 08-30-2009, 07:17 PM   #14
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Just brought my new sweetheart home.



a 2005 with 64 hours on her- real clean.

Lot's of plans for this one. I will definintely have some adventures on her.
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Old 08-30-2009, 07:25 PM   #15
Tarheel Wheeler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hayduke
Just brought my new sweetheart home.

a 2005 with 64 hours on her- real clean.

Lot's of plans for this one. I will definintely have some adventures on her.
Nice scooter there Hayduke. Doesn't look like that baby needs much...got tons of orange bling.
Enjoy that thing and post adv mod pics. I need some 525 porn.
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