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Old 01-03-2010, 03:47 PM   #1
Manhattan Rider OP
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Buying a KTM 520 EXC -- What should I know?

I'm considering buying from a local rider his 2006 KTM 520 EXC with 12,000 miles.

What questions should be asking? From a review that I read in dirt rider, it mentions this bike is basicly a race bike using the SX motor. Is that correct? If so, what is the rebuild interval.

I do my own maintenance on my BMW GS? Is this bike easy to maintain without special KTM tools?
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Old 01-03-2010, 04:38 PM   #2
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No such thing as a 2006 520. It's either a 525 or it was built in 00-02. The EXC engine is also very different from the SX, for example it has a 6-speed vs. 4-speed.

While the RFS series thumpers are generally very reliable, they are still race engines. At that mileage it may be due for a piston, rings, cylinder coating and some head work. Some have gone a lot longer, though. Really depends on how well it was maintained, if the air filter was always seated well, carb vent filters installed etc.

Maintenance in general is a bit more complicated than on Japanese bikes, but still easy enough to do for a home mechanic. Standard stuff doesn't require any special tools.

Check out the RFS section on KTMtalk for all the information you could ever want (requires you to sign up): http://ktmtalk.com/index.php?showforum=7
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Old 01-03-2010, 06:39 PM   #3
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I'd buy only if the price reflects the milage/hours and your intersted in rebuilding the engine. At the very least count on a head rebuild if it hasn't been done yet.

As LuckasM says above it could be fine. Old high po thumpers are a gamble if the history isn't known.
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Old 01-03-2010, 06:59 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. It is a KTM 525 EXC. I'm capable of rebuilding the motors in my shop. However, it appears he asking about $500 over NADA. So, I will continue to look and research.
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Old 01-03-2010, 11:49 PM   #5
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Check the classifieds here and on KTMtalk. I often can't believe how cheap some fully tricked out bikes are selling for.
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Old 07-13-2013, 09:59 AM   #6
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I also have a line on a really low miles/hours 520Exc.

Are these proper dual sports?
Can you ride them on the Highway for any amount of time? Seems so with the 6 speed gear box.

I do NOT see any luggage options, which makes me think: It's a dirt bike!

I need a do it all kind of deal.
Nick
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_rhinocycles View Post
I also have a line on a really low miles/hours 520Exc.

Are these proper dual sports?
Can you ride them on the Highway for any amount of time? Seems so with the 6 speed gear box.

I do NOT see any luggage options, which makes me think: It's a dirt bike!

I need a do it all kind of deal.
Nick
KTM 525 EXC as an Adventure Bike

Luggage made for dirt bikes
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Old 07-13-2013, 06:57 PM   #8
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12k is up there in miles, but not really. I've seen them go 17k and 25k on original top ends....it depends on the valves, really. How much adjustment you have left in the intakes, specifically.

I don't usually disagree with Lukas, but I found my 05 EXC to be much easier to work on than my XR650R. The engineering is just fantastic and makes sense to anyone with a clue. You just can't be ham-fisted with engine/oil bolts and torque numbers...the aluminum head is unforgiving to that.

Regarding the bikes? The 02-07 are the best 400+/-cc dollar-for-dollar dual sport bikes made, period. They are bulletproof, handle really well, come loaded with top-end parts, are scary fast and have a sweet 6-speed tranny. They also have E-and Kick start and most are platable in almost every state. (except California, of course )

It helps if you can take someone who knows KTMs to make sure one you are considering isn't flogged to shit. Also, these bikes are pretty unforgiving to bad/incorrect air filter maintenance, so quiz the owner on that.

Good luck, post pics when you grab something.
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:29 PM   #9
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I test rode the 520 exc today and I *really* liked it.
This thing was well sorted, cush hub, steering dampner, bar risers, big tank, and really clean.
I think that a 690 might be better as a "only one" bike.
Plus 4K or so for a '01 seemed a bit high. But I really liked it.
Oh, but the seat? not so much!

Thanks all!
Nick
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:08 PM   #10
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I pulled the trigger.

This is coming on Friday!

I watched a video on how to adj. the valves, and I'm all "Piece of cake"!

I have see the future and it is Orange! STOKED!
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:59 PM   #11
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Is that a plate on there? How did you manage that in CA for an 01?
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:08 PM   #12
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I did it the easy way ( I bought it like that!), but it seems that it's not has hard as people make out.
My buddy does this regularly. Me? I have never done it.
I can ask him for you though, PM me.
--Nick
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:15 AM   #13
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520 EXC vs BMW 650x...any comparisons? Help needed!

Hey guys, just needing some advice please. I ride and am very happy with my 2nd bike which is a 2009 BMW 650x challenge. Its rare, its reliable, and its barely run in at a just under 10,000kms (6200miles). As much as I like it as a 2nd bike and stablemate to my Buell Ulysses XP 2010, I am all about riding and less about having the status bike...so I'm considering to sell the 650x and buy a 2001 520 EXC. I am hoping that the KTM 520 will replace the 650x well enough, and I will have around 4000NZD/3000USD to put towards a European tour next year!

I am wanting to know if the KTM 520 will be more high maintenance and less capable than the 650x at adv touring? This 520 is road registered, so no difference there. I am more interested in long term running and reliability. I am very excited about dropping weight from the already light 650x, but am I also dropping reliability and better fit for the 'all around' bike?

Thanks for your advice in advance guys
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Old 08-21-2013, 07:22 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_rhinocycles View Post
I pulled the trigger.

This is coming on Friday!

I watched a video on how to adj. the valves, and I'm all "Piece of cake"!

I have see the future and it is Orange! STOKED!
--Nick









adjusting the valves ain't all that hard if you know one end of a monkey wrench from the other....

just make sure you're finding TDC w/the lobes down, and not adjusting it when the rockers are on the cam ramp... DJH has a tutorial in the RFS section of the KTMTalk forum that explains a real good method, little more tricky though.... everybody makes a big deal of it, and it's pretty simple, and i really don't think mine have ever moved, but i have a Ti valve engine, and that might have something to do w/it...
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Old 08-21-2013, 07:27 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_rhinocycles View Post
I also have a line on a really low miles/hours 520Exc.

Are these proper dual sports?
Can you ride them on the Highway for any amount of time? Seems so with the 6 speed gear box.

I do NOT see any luggage options, which makes me think: It's a dirt bike!

I need a do it all kind of deal.
Nick
This info has been out for a long time,the barest attempt at a search will have all the info you need.

They ARE dirt bikes with a plate just like they look like.

You need a DR650 if you want a do it all bike.
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