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Old 01-25-2009, 07:16 PM   #1
jorich OP
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ktm 525 reliability?

Hi, I am looking at buying an '06 525 exc, I was just wondering if any of you guys who have had them awhile now ever have problems with reliability? I just don't want to be the guy who is always being towed out of the bush. Oh and how many miles can you put on these bikes? What would be too high?

Thanks J.
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Old 01-25-2009, 07:22 PM   #2
yamatech5
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ive known of the rfs engines with 800 hours on them , they are bomb proof if you maintain them .
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Old 01-26-2009, 03:17 AM   #3
greengoose
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very reliable engine just change the oil, clean the air filter and keep the valves adjusted it will keep going and going and going.....
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Old 01-26-2009, 03:27 AM   #4
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The 06 year is the better choice, the few bugs were 100% fixed and you don't have the EPA crap of the 07.

The RFS or VARY, VARY reliable. If you have found one that has been taken care of like a Racing Four Stroke should be...go for it!
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Old 01-26-2009, 03:42 AM   #5
Sycamore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jorich
I just don't want to be the guy who is always being towed out of the bush.
You mean like this?

(Don't worry it's not a KTM)


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Old 01-26-2009, 06:04 AM   #6
Schmittenhymer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greengoose
very reliable engine just change the oil, clean the air filter and keep the valves adjusted it will keep going and going and going.....
I have an 06 525 I purchased new and have had zero problems. Awesome bike!
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:19 AM   #7
Indy Unlimited
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Known issues foir the 525 series motors:

Valves need frequent adjustment and for dual sporting get DJH from KTM talk to redo your head with SS Kibblewhite valves that last forever.

Left side crank bearings are prone to failure. Not much to do here until it fails.

5th and 6th gears wear out in heavy dual sport use. Cush drive hub is your best fix here.

Heim joint at the bottom of the shock wears out quickly if not maintained regularily by greasing.

Bike runs hot at low speed. Oil Cooler, Fan Kit and overflow bottle recommended

Still a great bike but not without work to make it a dual sporter/ adventure bike.
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Indy Unlimited screwed with this post 01-26-2009 at 07:36 PM
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:11 AM   #8
CodyY
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RFS forum

I know of bikes that have 10,000+ Dual-sport miles.
Change the oil, clean the filter, don't rev the piss out of them. You'll be amazed how long they'll go.

Jimmy Lewis personal 400EXC had a documented 20,000 miles on it before he tore it down out of curiosity.
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:05 PM   #9
Some Dude
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indy Unlimited
Known issues foir the 525 series motors:

Valves need frequent adjustment and for dual sporting get DJH from KTM talk to redo your head with SS Kibblewhite valves that last forever.

Left side crank bearings are prone to failure. Not much to do here until it fails.

5th and 6th gears wear out in heavy dual sport use. Cush drive hub is your best fix here.

Heim joint at the bottom of the shock wears out quickly if not maintained regularily by greasing.

Bike runs hot at low speed. Cooler and overflow bottle recommended

Still a great bike but not without work to make it a dual sporter/ adventure bike.
Yeah, what he said.
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:06 PM   #10
rufus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indy Unlimited
Known issues foir the 525 series motors:

Valves need frequent adjustment and for dual sporting get DJH from KTM talk to redo your head with SS Kibblewhite valves that last forever.
--------------------------------------------------------------------

My 525 has needed valve adjustment LESS frequently then the XR600 I had previously. About 3,000 miles since my last adjustment.




Left side crank bearings are prone to failure. Not much to do here until it fails.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
ONLY of you rev it long and hard.



5th and 6th gears wear out in heavy dual sport use. Cush drive hub is your best fix here.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
This seems to be more myth than fact.




Heim joint at the bottom of the shock wears out quickly if not maintained regularily by greasing.
------------------------------------------------------------------------My heim joints outlast ANY japanese bike I have ever owned. I have owned over 30 jap bikes. I have replaced my heim ONCE in 14,000 miles. I have greased it 2 or 3 times.





Bike runs hot at low speed. Cooler and overflow bottle recommended
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Jet it a tiny bit richer and keep moving and you will not have a problem.





Still a great bike but not without work to make it a dual sporter/ adventure bike.
--------------------------------------------------------------------
What bike doesn't require work to make it into a GOOD ds/adventurer.




I have an 02 525 exc. Without a doubt it is the most reliable ,trouble free bike I have ever owned.
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:30 PM   #11
Some Dude
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rufus
--------------------------------------------------------------------
What bike doesn't require work to make it into a GOOD ds/adventurer.




I have an 02 525 exc. Without a doubt it is the most reliable ,trouble free bike I have ever owned.
You must not run a 525 is tight single track, you can jet it to fuel a chevy 350 and it will still over heat. The cooling system on a KTM RFS is a very old and not very efficient set-up for a current generation 4 stroke. Ever compared an RFS water pump impeller with a 15 year old 2 stroke KTM impeller?

While the KTM 525 is better for me then most of the jap dirt bikes I have owned or been able to ride, it's far from the standard to hold all bikes to. You want a solid built engine that implements some current day technology go with a Husky 510 or re-invent the 525.
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:49 PM   #12
rufus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW Atlanta
You must not run a 525 is tight single track, you can jet it to fuel a chevy 350 and it will still over heat. The cooling system on a KTM RFS is a very old and not very efficient set-up for a current generation 4 stroke. Ever compared an RFS water pump impeller with a 15 year old 2 stroke KTM impeller?

While the KTM 525 is better for me then most of the jap dirt bikes I have owned or been able to ride, it's far from the standard to hold all bikes to. You want a solid built engine that implements some current day technology go with a Husky 510 or re-invent the 525.



I have/do ridden/ride lots of tight woods. No problem unless you are slipping them clutch in 1st gear.

The word "technology" is way way over used.

Where are all those Husky dealers? And why aren't they making that "current day technology" more available?
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:01 PM   #13
Some Dude
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well let's see, I have had 3 KTM RFS's in the past 3+ years, 2 of which needed full cylinder head overhauls and the 3rd is a very low hour bike not getting used anywhere near to it's potential either.

Every single KTM 450 or 525 I've had within my sight runs hotter then the HSQ 450 or 510 fuel injected or carbed when tested with same rider/same day with one of them fancy and very expensive IR thermometers. The HSQ's even hold .3L less volume then the KTM's and in some cases even have the same exact radiators. Granted this is in tight SE single track and was done during the end of summer. But having to replenish coolant/engine ice is just part of my pre-flight check for the 525 on every ride, sometimes multiple times a day in the summer. Has less to do with 1st gear/clutch then it does with the cooling system's inefficiency. On my 540EXC I added Devol oversized radiators and was jetted very rich and still had overheating issues in the single track in spite of the much more efficient cylinder head mods. Once I stayed out of single track it was fine and dual sporting it was/is a hell of a bike. (now under Gaspipe's roof )
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:15 PM   #14
greengoose
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just add the OEM fan kit and the larger 7 series battery to run it, and your overheating problems will go away
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:33 PM   #15
Desperate
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KTM Reliability

I have an 04 450 with 150 hrs and 5000 km hard single track use, I pulled the head off at 100 hrs and the intake valves were worn and were replaced, exhaust valves, piston, etc was fine. I put this down to only running the Twin Air filter without a pre-filter. These days I run a rain pre-filter as well as the normal twin air and every day I ride I install a clean air filter + prefilter.

Since then I have done the Australian Four Day plus another 1000km of hard trail with no movement of the valves at all.

I run a cooling fan as they will get hot in slow going, normally not an issue but when riding with my son and freinds, progress is always a bit slow. But I run the standard exhaust, I used to run a modified exhaust which let the bike run cooler, it made a big difference but it was loud and fuel economy was not good.

I had an XR400 before and eventhough a very good bike, everytime you drained the oil there was always metal slithers, etc the KTM has none of that.

As everyone else has pointed out if you change the oil and be very particular with air cleaner maintenance and don't rev the crap out of them they are a very good bike.

I do more open riding at the moment and I would have to say that riding further than 30km on the road becomes unpleasant.
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