ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Bikes > Thumpers
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-14-2012, 02:17 PM   #1
neduro OP
Addict
 
neduro's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2003
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Oddometer: 11,786
KTM 500 - Less is more?

After many years of happy XC4 ownership, I decided it was time to take the plunge* to one of the new fuel injected bikes.



I'm a luddite at heart, so I tried to hold out, but when I got to demo a 13 450XCW for a week at the CO600, it was just flat better than my beloved XC4 450XCW in every way. Better chassis, better power, better throttle response, better fuel economy, just plain better. All of my attempts to find shortcomings were met with a good answer. I was forced to conclude that new is better than old, with one caveat which I'll get to.

Next year, I want to do some enduro racing. I feel like my speed has been stagnant for years, but after riding with some AA guys here in CO this summer, I see what I need to do to improve and I want to work at it. There's nothing worse than trying to go fast on something you know isn't the best you can have... which led me to a new bike.

I'm going to leave it almost totally stone stock. The bike works so well as delivered, that I'm not going to mess with the usual suspects- no steering damper, no exhaust system, no big tank, no computers or lights or anything. I want to go fast, and the bike will do that in stock form. Without a mile-long list of bolt-ons, this could be a short thread! There are, however, a few items that belong on any bike I own, I'll get to those in subsequent posts.

Now for the caveat. I still think FI is more complicated, and more failure prone, than carbs. I still have an XC4 (made up of Dakar leftovers), and when I go on big loops to the middle of BFE (like Baja, or places in Nevada or Utah), I'll use that.

I hope this thread can turn into a repository of info on the new bikes, I'll add everything I learn, feel free to chime in as well with a question or a lesson learned.


*I got one of the first 500s last year, and unlike apparently everyone else in the world, did not like it. The chassis was great, but my motor was rough and stall-prone to the point that the dealership wound up taking it back. After hours of testing fuel pumps, injectors, and ECUs, it turned out to be a bad spark plug cap. Oh how we all laughed. Something like that could happen to any bike, of any age... unfair to hold it against FI although I certainly did for a time!
__________________
Doubletake Mirrors- Folding D/S mirror that is both useful and indestructible.

Dual Sport Riding Techniques DVDs: Clear instructional DVDs to improve off-road skills.
neduro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2012, 02:43 PM   #2
neduro OP
Addict
 
neduro's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2003
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Oddometer: 11,786
Now, a few of the things that I am adding to this bike.

1) Dirt Tricks Drivetrain:



The sprocket on top in this pic has over 20,000 miles of dirt on it. The one on the bottom is brand new. There is appreciable wear at the tip of the tooth, but the spacing of the teeth hasn't changed one bit, meaning that chain life is way better (as it's not getting stretched across incorrect tooth gaps) as well as sprocket life.

I also got their new countershaft dome washer, which solves an issue I've had for years, where it's impossible to correctly torque the countershaft bolt without deforming the washer. Installed, time will tell, but I'm optimistic!



If you ride a lot, this stuff pays for itself, and there aren't a lot of things you can say that about!

2) Motion Pro Litelocks:

Not a big deal, but these are so light I no longer bother to balance my wheel. Which makes me happy.



The liteloc is the blue one on the left- the body of it weighs practically nothing so the total weight is just the shaft of the bolt.

3) MEFO Mousses:

I'm over having air in my tires. By going to a mousse, I no longer have to carry tube/ pump/ tire levers/ axle tools. In addition, mousses open up new lines, where I can just smack a rock at the start of a section and skip the rest. And, they protect the rim- air will just squish out of the way to either side, where the mousse is captive at the point of impact and prevents flat spots in the rims.



All the hubalu about how hard they are to change is BS, IMO. I think they are easier than a tube, with proper technique, because you don't have to worry about pinching a tube. The offroadchampions tire changer is the truth, but you can do it with only tire irons quite simply as well.

The MEFO product is substantially better than Michelin, IMO. I have run them both side by side, and the MEFO significantly outlasts the Michelin, and the profile is more suitable for non-Michelin tires. Both require proper attention (grease on install in particular).

4) STR fork bleeders.

I've tried them all, and these are the best. They don't leak (like many of the cheaper brands), they don't come apart when you wash the bike (KTM hardparts), they don't let water in as the top is an overhung button, and they serve their function perfectly.



5) AP Racing PRF Brake Fluid:

Does. Not. Boil. Kicks the crap out of Motul or any of the other high-end products I've tried. If you use the brakes hard, and have trouble with boiling, this stuff will fix it.



6) Another trick, that's free, is opening up the turning radius. On the older bikes, you could just take the steering stop bolts out, it would hit the radiator and, depending on what tank, the plastic of the tank but they would just deflect.

On the new bike, you can remove the R/S one entirely as pictured below, but the LS one has to stay with the nut underneath to avoid hitting the ECU. I may see if I can use something else and get myself a little more freedom...



And that's about it. I'm not running real handguards for the moment, because I like the feeling of being able to wrap my hand out at the end of the bar. I'm not messing with the suspension or the mapping or anything else... I'm just going to ride the s&(t out of it for a while.
__________________
Doubletake Mirrors- Folding D/S mirror that is both useful and indestructible.

Dual Sport Riding Techniques DVDs: Clear instructional DVDs to improve off-road skills.
neduro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2012, 03:49 PM   #3
neduro OP
Addict
 
neduro's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2003
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Oddometer: 11,786


7) For the places I ride, I also feel skidplate protection is a necessity. I've come to prefer plastic to aluminum- it slides along instead of sticking, and deflects rather than bends. I liked the stock KTM plate on the XC4, but the one on the new frames doesn't seem as sturdy. So I bought a Hyde Racing one, which was a bit of a PITA to install as the front hooks don't stay put.



To make it easier in the future, I cleaned the frame well, and smeared the hooks in silicone before installing. Maybe it'll keep them in position, time will tell.

I do like the coverage of the Hyde, fingers crossed there.

8) Every bike needs a Doubletake Mirror! I love having a mirror, even on a bike I rarely use on the street- it's nice to be able to keep track of riding buddies, and the DTM folds out of the way so it has no drawback when not in use. OK, I'm biased, I invented them.

Here it is, folded, on my old 300:

__________________
Doubletake Mirrors- Folding D/S mirror that is both useful and indestructible.

Dual Sport Riding Techniques DVDs: Clear instructional DVDs to improve off-road skills.
neduro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2012, 05:30 PM   #4
LukasM
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Nov 2006
Location: On a RTW ride - currently Central Asia
Oddometer: 5,334
Nice write-up as usual Ned, good to see you finally embracing the 21st century with FI.... I kid, I kid!

Quote:
Originally Posted by neduro View Post
6) Another trick, that's free, is opening up the turning radius. On the older bikes, you could just take the steering stop bolts out, it would hit the radiator and, depending on what tank, the plastic of the tank but they would just deflect.

On the new bike, you can remove the R/S one entirely as pictured below, but the LS one has to stay with the nut underneath to avoid hitting the ECU. I may see if I can use something else and get myself a little more freedom...
First thing I do on every KTM is to remove those ugly pointy square bolts on both sides that like to take chunks out of the lower triple clamp.

Now here is my tip for you, bet you won't have to run to the hardware store for this one: take a rear sprocket bolt and use a die to thread the shank all the way. Now when you put that all the way into the hole on the frame, your forks should just clear the ECU/regulator without restricting the turning radius, and it leaves a nice rounded bolt head without any sharp edges as a stop that won't damage your triple clamps.

The newer torx head sprocket bolts like the one in the middle are the best because they are even flatter than the old ones.

LukasM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2012, 06:13 PM   #5
crankshaft
Guns are for pussies
 
crankshaft's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2004
Location: Burlingtron,VT
Oddometer: 13,974
I rode one for the first time this weekend in some New England single track and it was amazing, not anything like the old 525 or the 530. I was absolutely amazed actually. I rode my 390 berg, a 200 KTM and the 500 and liked the 500 the best. Congrats on your new bike Ned, I'm chuckling at the fact that you finally gave up on beating the carb drum and joined us in the modern age
__________________
Just say'IN
crankshaft is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2012, 03:57 AM   #6
team ftb
Befuddled Adventurer
 
Joined: Mar 2006
Location: Lost in the jungles of Thailand
Oddometer: 1,624
Quote:
Originally Posted by LukasM View Post
Nice write-up as usual Ned, good to see you finally embracing the 21st century with FI.... I kid, I kid!



First thing I do on every KTM is to remove those ugly pointy square bolts on both sides that like to take chunks out of the lower triple clamp.

Now here is my tip for you, bet you won't have to run to the hardware store for this one: take a rear sprocket bolt and use a die to thread the shank all the way. Now when you put that all the way into the hole on the frame, your forks should just clear the ECU/regulator without restricting the turning radius, and it leaves a nice rounded bolt head without any sharp edges as a stop that won't damage your triple clamps.

The newer torx head sprocket bolts like the one in the middle are the best because they are even flatter than the old ones.


Fantastic post Lukas!!

Thank you.
__________________
Cheers,
Team FTB
------------------
Team "Fingering The Bean"

Looking for the woman that takes the wheel when I'm seeing double.
team ftb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2012, 07:20 AM   #7
neduro OP
Addict
 
neduro's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2003
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Oddometer: 11,786
An update on steering lock: the left side, where the ECU is, needs some level of protection. I spent some time witha flashlight trying to sort out the maximum amount of steering lock possible.

First, I replaced the 6mm ECU mount bolts with Pan head cap screws:



Then, I screwed around with different combinations on the lock bolt, and wound up at 3 normal thickness washers to allow the forks to brush those bolts, but not firmly contact.



Then, I went riding some more:



This last part was the best in my opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LukasM View Post
The newer torx head sprocket bolts like the one in the middle are the best because they are even flatter than the old ones.
I liked this concept, but I tried it and it didn't work for me. The sprocket bolt has too much shaft exposed to achieve full steering lock, the sidestand bolt (which is shorter and fully threaded) I couldn't get to the right length for maximum steering but holding the forks from hitting the ECU. A nut underneath was too much, and it wanted to fold washers. What am I missing?
__________________
Doubletake Mirrors- Folding D/S mirror that is both useful and indestructible.

Dual Sport Riding Techniques DVDs: Clear instructional DVDs to improve off-road skills.
neduro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2012, 08:34 AM   #8
LukasM
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Nov 2006
Location: On a RTW ride - currently Central Asia
Oddometer: 5,334
Quote:
Originally Posted by neduro View Post
I liked this concept, but I tried it and it didn't work for me. The sprocket bolt has too much shaft exposed to achieve full steering lock, the sidestand bolt (which is shorter and fully threaded) I couldn't get to the right length for maximum steering but holding the forks from hitting the ECU. A nut underneath was too much, and it wanted to fold washers. What am I missing?
If you use a die to thread the shaft of the sprocket bolts like I said it should not stick out any more than your cap screw plus the washers.



On the left side of the Berg frame - which has the regulator/rectifier in the same spot (it used to be the ECU on the earlier bikes) - I even had to use a thin nut (washers would have worked too) to get enough clearance. At full lock the forks now just hit the rads, or rather the BPD guards I now have on there.




Edit: I took this pic when I did mine, you will need a M8x1.25 die and a vise to hold the bolt while you thread it.




LukasM screwed with this post 11-06-2012 at 08:45 AM
LukasM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2012, 03:45 PM   #9
clapped_r6
The Spoad Warrior
 
clapped_r6's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Ridgefield, WA
Oddometer: 2,607
__________________
colonel angus sez, "sometimes you just gotta superman that ho"
clapped_r6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2012, 06:17 PM   #10
header
Chris
 
header's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Salt Lake City
Oddometer: 1,730
Woo a Ned thread! These are the best.

Will there be more trail/action shots??

__________________


KTM 530exc
525exc refresh
header is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2012, 08:15 PM   #11
Geek
oot & aboot
 
Geek's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2003
Location: 8000ft, Twin Spruce Gap, Colorado
Oddometer: 30,035
Ned: front mount for the Hyde.. put a piece of this under each arch of the hooks where it rests on the frame.
Problem solved (and keeps them from rubbing the paint off over time).



http://www.amazon.com/3M-Scotch-Heav.../dp/B00004Z4BU
Geek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2012, 08:45 PM   #12
dirtdiver
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Mar 2006
Location: San Diego, CA
Oddometer: 1,986
Im sure that this will be a great resource for the rest of us! Go Ned!


__________________
04 CRF230F
08 KTM990 ADV/ABS Black
09 KTM 530 EXC
dirtdiver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2012, 09:46 AM   #13
c.vestal
Rally On
 
c.vestal's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2006
Location: COS
Oddometer: 4,841
c.vestal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2012, 10:09 AM   #14
Tooltech
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: May 2011
Location: White Salmon, WA
Oddometer: 132
Old Smokey is the best yet...

I really like my new 2013 KTM 500 EXC ( even though it smokes a little on cold start ). I am using it for Enduro Adventure Touring. My 990 ADV-R was just too heavy for me to handle off the road.

http://s1222.photobucket.com/albums/dd497/tooltechstw/

These pictures are my progress to date. Next items will be: seat, power plug, soft luggage, lighting...
__________________
2013 KTM 500 EXC
2012 KTM 990 SMT
6 NOVEMBER 2012 DARK DAY FOR USA
Tooltech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2012, 10:43 AM   #15
YetiGS
No Talent Ass Clown
 
YetiGS's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2007
Location: San Diego
Oddometer: 7,321
I just got my 450 exc-r. Now I gotta shell out mo' money.



Hey Ned, why no steering damper on this bike? Not doing some of the other stuff I can understand, but no steering damper?
__________________
-Scott-
Semper Fi
'04 BMW R1150GSA, '04 KTM 625 SXC
"You had better bring an extra magazine. Yeti's amped up on weird shit are hard to bring down." Lonestar2112
YetiGS is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 11:08 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014