So, I've been working on my 500 EXC for some time now, getting it ready for a ride with my brother in Yuma. The Ride was successful in that we didn't have any mechanical failures. However, we did run out of time and had to cut out 137 miles....bummer. Next time we are going to run the route in reverse to see some of the other parts of the Yuma area. If you are interested in downloading the GPS files, you can get the route from DualSportMaps.com, link -> http://dualsportmaps.com/?link=102719
I have put together a Ride report here on ADV, if you care to see some of the sites.....:
Now, on to the Modifications that I have put on the 2012 500 EXC for this trip and any upcoming trips.....
After a stint with the KOTW, I decided that my Garmin Oregon GPS was not going to cut it for fast motorcycle riding. So, after looking around I came across at Garmin 276C. These are pretty much bomb-proof units that are waterproof, and they have a screen that unlike the newer touch-screen models. I appreciate this because when you are zipping along the trail, the sand and dust will inevitably cover the screen. When I had the Oregon, the dust would quickly cover the screen, which made viewing the tracks difficult. When I cleaned the screen with my glove, the touch-screen would respond with an attempt to either unlock the screen or change the screen setting. This is an unwelcome action when you are moving along a trail trying to follow your GPS tracks. Being that the 276C does not have a touch-screen, cleaning the screen of dust is not a problem at all.
Mounting the GPS was somewhat of an issue for the 500 EXC, due to the bike being so new. After-market manufactures appear to have not had an opportunity to build anything for the 2012 500 EXC bike. So, I had to build my own GPS mount. I'm using the Tourtech mounting bracket for the 276c, and then I've built my own mount for this unit......I visited Lowes and picked up some 1/2" OD steel tubing. Using a table mounted vise, I was able to bend the tubing to my specs, and pound the ends flat for a secure mounting points. I used some old windshield mounts to hold the end of the primary tube, and then created a couple of small mounts for the lower section to hold the primary tube in place.
In the event that I would have to remove the steering head, or any disconnect the wiring harness from the battery, I put in a waterproof 3 pin plug. This makes the disconnect much easier....
To power accessories in a safe maner, it's a good idea to have a fuse block for your accessories. I have a PowerLet FuseBlock that is Zip-tied to the top-side of the Air-Filter clamp. So far, this has been working very well. My current powered accessories are:
Hardwired GPS power
PowerLet plug in the HDB Top Clamp for my Cell Phone
SAE Plug, sitting in the AIR Filter compartment, for either charging the battery or heated gear
and coming soon, a 12V standard cigarette lighter plug for standard accessories such as Ipod charging.
We all know the stock headlights on the KTM bikes are little more than a joke. The one time I relied on the stock headlight I was sorely disappointed by the light, rather lack of light, put out by this joke of a headlight. I had to follow my brother in the dark and use his headlight to see in the dark as we worked our way out of the desert. Since then, I have upgraded to a Trail Tech Torch Halogen Off-Road headlight
. While not the brightest on the market, this headlight is significantly
better than the stock. On this latest trip of Yuma to Parker
, we ended up getting to our camp spot after dark, and I must say, the Trail Tech headlight was a welcome sight.
When I was mounting the headlight, I ran into some issues in that the back of the headlight was quite a bit deeper than the stock headlight, and thus prevented the headlight from securing to the front forks. I created a couple of head-light extensions that allowed the headlight mount to be moved out nearly two inches. Of course, this means the bottom bracket for the headlight needs to be adjusted so that the headlight will throw a beam down the road, and not into the air. So, I used the Trail Tech headlight mount to mount to the fender. Through the up-and downs of the trail I have not had any issues with the headlight moving around or coming off the bottom mounts.
I believe that Paul is working on some really nice headlight extensions. He may have these available in the future. My extensions are cheap plastic..... but, they work very well.
Here you can see how the Trail Tech headlight is deeper than the stock headlight, and will interfere wit the wiring harness behind the headlight
It should be noted that I had to run the cable in front of the headlight due to the HDB Vapor w/dash. This allows the cable to move freely up and down with out restrictions. In this current position, the front fork is fully extended, thus pulling the cable all the way down. Under normal conditions, the cable is not in front of the headlight.
TrailTech Striker Computer
The KTM 500 EXC has a new computer that does a pretty good job of keeping track of the vitals, including a FI light that will light up if there is a problem with the engine or Fuel Injection. I wanted to have a little more info on my dash, so I ordered a Trail Tech Striker computer
, model# 712-102. I've found that the bare aluminum can cast quite a reflection in the hot sun, so the stealth (black) is a better option for me. I requested that the mileage and hours be set by Trail Tech before it was sent out to me. I then received an email stating that I would be able to perform this action, using their provided instructions. When I got around to installing the computer I was surprised to find that they in fact did set the mileage and hours per my previous request.....very nice of them. After setting up the computer for the correct tire size, and checked the mileage distance against my GPS, and then against my car; it's spot on. Trail Tech also provides a "dash" For the lights, which I was able to pick up via MotorCycle Superstore for a decent price.
Something to note: The FI light has a very small computer chip that is part of the light. Fortunately, this entire chip and be fitted into the existing Trail Tech light housing with no issues.
Due to the stock A/C voltage system, you will need to use the Trail Tech provided "bulbs", instead of LEDs for the dash indicator lights. Unless you have a converted D/C system, the LED lights will not work. Regardless, everything is working quite nice.
Highway Dirt Bike (HDB) parts
Paul at HighwayDirtBike has been producing high-quality products for dirt bikes for some time now. I picked up the following parts from Paul:
Top Clamp, Anodized
Bottom Clamp setup for Scott Steering Damper
Vapor w/Dash Billet protector, Anodized
Key Switch mount w/iPod remote pad
I must say, Paul's parts are Bomb-Proof! Plus, he is a great guy to work with. These parts speak for themselves: high-quality, bomb-proof and plenty of options.....
Exhaust Head Shield
Before I acquired a Tail-rack from Globetrottin
, I made a heat-shield from an old license plate and a bracket. I have a Giant-Loop Mojavi bag that is ideal for the quick jaunts; smaller than the Coyote bag, but allows for 1.5L bottles of fuel or water. To keep this bag from melting on the extremely hot exhaust, I made up a heat shield to protect the bag. So far, its been working very well....
Flatland Racing Skidplate
This Skid plate has more than paid for itself. just take a look at the beating this thing has been taking......think you might need one?
I found out after I installed the FlatLand Racing skid plate that when one is checking valves, the skid plate interferes with the ability to lock the valves into place, using the Lock-Bolt and the Fly-wheel notch. If you look closely at the skid plate, you can see how I drilled out a hole to allow Lock-Bolt to come all the way out, thus allowing the copper spacer to be removed from the bolt, and then the Lock-Bolt can be put back into place, thus locking the Fly wheel into the Top-Dead-Center position.
GlobeTrottin Top Rack
makes an excellent Top (Tail) Rack for the 500 EXC. I recently loaded up this rack with LOTS of gear, in an attempt to really test it out. This rack did, VERY well under the load, and repeated crashes.......
My brother followed me for several miles and commented that the gear that was tied to the rack didn't move an inch, despite the bouncing around and crashes.....
I recently took my bike in to have the 10-micron Fuel Filter replaced with the 20-micron Fuel Filter. Here is a close up picture of the 10-micron Fuel Filter. The dealer replaced the Fuel Filter and installed a removable clamp on the hose. They also provided me with a couple of spare 20-micron Fuel Filters....great guys.
I believe somebody asked about the part number for the 20micron fuel filter.
Here is where the fuel filter is found, right next to the throttle body
The actual Fuel Filter Kit is part# 78141013044, but it appears you can not get this part from CheapCycleParts......It's listed as "not-available". I assume because all of these parts are going to the dealers......I do know that if you take you bike to a dealer, they can look up the VIN number and determine if your bike has been serviced. If not, its all of 10 minutes to replace this Filter....
Handlebar Control switch
If there is one upgrade that gives you a better handle on your bike, this is it. Their appears to be several different companies that offer the same type of Handlebar switch. I got this installed with no drama, and besides the expectation of it working great, the thin switch allows me to get a better grip on the clutch lever.....
Scoche RF iPod controller
This thing is GREAT. I enjoy listening to some great tunes when on the trail, and having the ability to stop/start my tunes WITHOUT digging into my gear is awesome:
Larger gas tank from Acerbis
Low-profile "comfortable" seat
Scott steering damper