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Old 06-25-2014, 09:37 PM   #1
PlatedDirtBike OP
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Joined: Jun 2014
Oddometer: 25
KTM 500 EXC Suspension Question

I bought a new KTM 500 EXC yesterday, and I'm going to put heavier fork and rear shock springs on it because I'm a big dude. I've read that the bike's stock set up is for a little person. Something like 185 lbs with gear. I'm 225 lbs and 6'03". The dealer I bought it at quoted about $700 to set the suspension up for me. I told him that I wanted to ride the bike stock before I spend on suspension. Anyway, I've checked KTM's rear spring options and the largest I've been able to discern goes up to about 220 lbs with gear.

Anyway, I'm trying to find options and any advice you orange lovers might have for suspension upgrades. I found Race Tech online and they are about 40 miles from me. I am considering them as an option, but I know nothing about them. Ideally I would go with the dealer for the warranty angle but if there's better options out there I'm open to suggestion. I'm in SoCal.

I can do the work myself, as I resprung a KLR that I had about 10 years ago. I've had bikes and did my own maintenance and mods on them since the 1970's. But with special tools that may or may not be required, and being that my KTM is brand new, I really am thinking of paying a pro and let them do it once, and right. I'm not much into fooling around with the small details anymore since I hit 50.

I'll be using this bike primarily for open desert and mountain trails riding, carrying a camelback and a few tools. Flip flops, shorts and a t -shirt. With an occasional Hare and Hound or Scramble race thrown in. (It's on my bucket list). Dirt/street use will be about 90/10.

Any help would be appreciated. Just kidding about the riding gear!
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:20 PM   #2
guns_equal_freedom
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You'll need special tools to disassemble the shock and forks.
Nothing you can't backyard yourself though.
There is a big difference between the KLR's shit-crap-fuck suspension and KTM's excellent suspension.

If I were you I would ride the bike before I went fucking with perfectly good suspension components.

I weigh in at bit more than you do with all my gear and the stock suspension is perfect. I don't ride the desert or do MX jumps, I like nice soft mushy suspension in the tight stuff.

At least ride the bike for 20+ hours to let the suspension break in before you go messing with it.
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:47 PM   #3
C/W
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I'm 225 as well. I rode the stock suspension for 15 hours of mixed road/offroad terrain.

The stock rear spring will bottom out with your weight & you won't be able to set sag correctly.

I sent an email to Slaven & he recommended 5.0N/mm fork springs & the PDS8 (8.1-9.95 progressive spring) rear spring. I went ahead and purchased the springs.

I suggest changing the rear spring first, then decide if you need the front done.

KTM doesn't have a rear spring for our weight, so you'll have to go aftermarket for it.

If race tech is close, I'd go pay them a visit. Slaven's never responded to follow up questions after I bought the springs so I don't have any strong recommendations to buy from them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PlatedDirtBike View Post
I bought a new KTM 500 EXC yesterday, and I'm going to put heavier fork and rear shock springs on it because I'm a big dude. I've read that the bike's stock set up is for a little person. Something like 185 lbs with gear. I'm 225 lbs and 6'03". The dealer I bought it at quoted about $700 to set the suspension up for me. I told him that I wanted to ride the bike stock before I spend on suspension. Anyway, I've checked KTM's rear spring options and the largest I've been able to discern goes up to about 220 lbs with gear.

Anyway, I'm trying to find options and any advice you orange lovers might have for suspension upgrades. I found Race Tech online and they are about 40 miles from me. I am considering them as an option, but I know nothing about them. Ideally I would go with the dealer for the warranty angle but if there's better options out there I'm open to suggestion. I'm in SoCal.

I can do the work myself, as I resprung a KLR that I had about 10 years ago. I've had bikes and did my own maintenance and mods on them since the 1970's. But with special tools that may or may not be required, and being that my KTM is brand new, I really am thinking of paying a pro and let them do it once, and right. I'm not much into fooling around with the small details anymore since I hit 50.

I'll be using this bike primarily for open desert and mountain trails riding, carrying a camelback and a few tools. Flip flops, shorts and a t -shirt. With an occasional Hare and Hound or Scramble race thrown in. (It's on my bucket list). Dirt/street use will be about 90/10.

Any help would be appreciated. Just kidding about the riding gear!
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Old 06-26-2014, 05:40 AM   #4
davesupreme
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use the 'racetech' spring calculator on their website.... it might be a little stiff, depends on what you ride in.... sand = stiff, rocks = softer..... this whole thing is about setting rear sag... if you don't know what that is, go learn about it... it is huge on these bikes, and controls the way they handle.... do what KTM sez... they're engineers are alot smarter than the monkeys here or anywhere else on the interwebz....

look up cannonracetech.com..... they make springs... i bet they make all the springs these guys are selliing.... just make sure you got the right measurements.... call them, they gave me some good info....

if you get stiffer up front, the internal spring guide is probably gonna be too big, just barely, like .015".... i gotta lathe, and it was easy to turn a little off the plastic... people say you can just sand to fit by hand.... i think that sux..... YMMV....

get the KTM shop manual CD.... best $25 you'll spend... knowledge is power .... it will show you how to do all this....

we did .56's on the front, and 10.6 on the rear for my buddy, who's probably bigger than you, 250+, 6'5", and he really liked it... then he broke the fukk outta his leg in a freak accident....

if you're good/handy w/tools, and have worked on some bikes, this is pretty easy stuff.... if not, maybe pay somebody before you break some nice stuff.... my $.03....
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Old 06-26-2014, 09:38 AM   #5
crypto666
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Changing springs requires a change in valving too, and unless you have some proven shim stacks to reference it will be a long road to a good setup.
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Old 06-27-2014, 09:34 AM   #6
PlatedDirtBike OP
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Thanks for the input and some great responses! I planned on riding it for a while and not get too crazy catching air and such. Get the feel for it while the suspension settles. I'll mod it if needed after I get some miles on her.

I set the sag as close to spec while still keeping it comfy.

This KTM is crazy awesome. I'm giddy like a school girl with this new ride!
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Old 06-27-2014, 02:02 PM   #7
Dudsamoto
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Joined: Sep 2002
Location: Huntington Beach, So. Cal.
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So who is the WP guru in So Cal? I used to use Jason at Fineline but he moved to TX. ( like everybody else in Cali) I am also looking for "Big Guy" suspension for my new KTM (when it gets here).
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Old 06-27-2014, 06:41 PM   #8
The Letter J
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Location: Santa Maria, CA
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I just sent out my rear shock to ESP in La Crescenta. I've used them twice for WP forks and this will make twice for WP shocks. I've used a few other well known and not so well known shops in the past, but the above average customer service is what keeps bringing me back to ESP. I'm 6'5", 230lbs FWIW.

I have also heard very positive things about TBT in Corona (?) I'm sure there are many more reputable shops, likely even closer to you.
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