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Old 07-15-2013, 05:47 PM   #1
kaptinkaos OP
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KaptinKaos's 08 450 EXC-R

Hey all!

Thought I should get this thing on paper not only to keep a reference of what I have done to it, but also to tap into the collective brain that is ADVRider, :)

Back Story:

Couple of months back I stumbled upon an 08 450 EXC-R which was listed for a decent price. I was unfortunately in Albania at the time, but I called a buddy here in Canada and had him swing by to have a look at it. The important part for me was that the bike had a street legal title, was a 450 and was in running shape as far as the motor was concerned. He had a once over on it and said it needed some work, but the frame was solid and it ran just fine. I gave the go ahead and he snapped it up for me!

As it sat when I bought it:



It was a couple of weeks before I got home, but I already knew some of the add ons that I wanted. Bigger tank, white plastics, bar risers, etc. Got busy ordering and then twiddled my thumbs till I got home, lol! Once I did get to physically lay hands on it, it was apparent that a decent amount of work was going to going into this bike... That was fine with me as I'm totally fine with doing any and all of my own work for the most part. I enjoy it actually,

I went through all of the essential stuff on the bike and even though it definitely needed every bearing replaced, new sprockets/chain and a few minor things I decided one short ride on it would be alright. I live pretty close to some amazing riding in McLean so off I went with my buddy. That was probably the worst ride I ever had, LOL! The suspension was so stiff it was like riding a pogo around, those bearings were so draggy that the bike had to work really hard to over come the friction and the front sprocket didn't last long, LOL!

Got home and started tearing it apart and making lists...



This is all that was left of my front sprocket by the time I got home... Some really bouldery trails and a chain that was so stretched it had lost some rings equated to this:



I decided then that I wouldn't ride it again until I had it completely trail worthy so I didn't have to worry about anything anymore except of course trailside repairs that are normal. I had to laugh when I took the bearings out of the hubs... I ended up breaking my bearing puller trying and had to take it to a local shop that had a press. Thankfully the hubs were ok, but the bearings were completely annihilated. I was starting to think this bike might be a can of worms and so completely tore it apart. I would have a look at everything including the motor.



I did get to buy myself a schnazzy new bearing puller!



And parts started to roll in...



Started to find things that really had me worried...



Turns out the triple clamps are "ok" for now, but the PO definitely had over tightened them. The top clamp is aaaalmost bottomed out when torqued to 20Nm, but it's not quite down to zero gap. This winter I will replace the triple clamps with a 20mm set. This is going to be an enduro bike, not an MX bike which is why I really wanted the street title. Yes, I could have bought a brand new 350 or 500 that is a DS, but I didn't want to spend $11K and I wanted a carb not EFI.

Pretend fitted the white plastics while I waited for parts and more parts to arrive... I was really liking the white as it matches my 990 very well, lol!





ISDE Sticker Kit and Sicass tail light:



Parts finally did begin to arrive and so I completely disassembled the bike. Everything was either freshened or completely replaced with new parts. My $4 bearing press hard at work on some swingarm bearings, ;)



Starting to reconstruct the bike! "We have the technology... We can rebuild him!"



About the only thing that was really in order on this bike was the motor. Valves in tolerance, clean inside. Changed both oils and all new screens/filter. Re-jetted the carb with a JD kit for 3000-6000ft for the ranges I ride. I spend the majority of my time pretty high up in the mountains. Less mud, more rocks, way more scenery.



De-smogged and canisterectomied it:



Replaced one last bearing on the shock mount. It too was completely seized.



Got bored one day so I laid down the graphics kit on the loose body pieces. I took my time and it turned out fantastic!



Another large and expensive project on the bike was the complete replacement of the rear brake... Yep, that hurt the wallet, but now it's working properly and I can depend on it! Flushed the front brake and replaced the pads while I was at it. Looked closer at the rotors and decided to replace them too... Cha-ching! Meh, safety parts like that I do not chince on. Period.

After I had the brakes sorted I turned to the controls and bars. I'm tall... 6'1"... I ditched the stock bars and picked up a set of RC High Renthals which are identical except for color to the bars on my 990. I have about 1.5" of rise underneath them and it feels pretty good. Might add more later, but I need to ride it more to find out if it's necessary. If it is then I need to get new brake lines made up and possibly extend the speedo sensor cable. Put some new plain and cheap grips on, got my levers all adjusted up to where I want them and drilled some holes for the controls. replaced a burnt out headlight, cleaned, de-greased and re-greased all electrical connections, tested and checked the battery (4 cell ballistic which will soon be an 8 cell ballistic. The PO obviously didn't high power needs, but I will) and slapped an air filter in.

Now... I wasn't going to go through all this effort and take all this time to put that ridiculously stiff/no plush suspension back on, now was I? It was obviously set up for fast groomed trails or high speed supercross/motocross tracks. I don't ride tracks... I ride off road, lol! It was completely unusable as it was so I did some research, contacted some folks around in the know and was pointed in the direction of Rider's Edge Suspension. Got in contact with Lee who is RES's Alberta shop guy out of Corner Grass Racing. I wanted more plush in the boingers, but still keep some stiffness for higher speed runs. I just didn't need the suspension to put up with big hits or 20 foot jumps. It's an enduro/DS bike so it needed to be a generic "soft" to be usable in many ways. Lee definitely worked his magic and the boingers are bloody fantastic!!! I feel very spoiled having a custom suspension on this bike, but I can say if I could have only ONE upgrade on this 450, the suspension would be it. Lee, Cornergrass, Rider's Edge, THANKS!!!

With so much white I started to add a few splashes of orange back into it. After de-smogging it and finding rotten vent lines and burnt zip ties I figured they needed replacing anyway, :)



New orange frame guards, sliders and chain guide:



Now just to wait until the suspension was finished and then I could slap it in and ride!!! This was just a glamour shot with the stock tank on. The new tank is an Acerbis 13L. Little bit more range, but nothing crazy. Also, the FMF PowerCore pipe arrived and it sounds wonderful! Dropped a bit of weight with that also as the stock pipe was pretty heavy. It definitely sounds like it means business now,



Lee finished up my suspenders this past Thursday and I drove out to pick them up. Not too far from my place and I was WAY too impatient to wait for them to ship to me, hahaha! Got everything together that afternoon and even had a chance for a short ride in McLean Creek. Even from a short 50km/1 hour ride my eyes were wide open. I have spent that last 7 years on 400lb+ DS bikes in places they certainly don't belong... Now I felt like I was on a scooter, haha! Power to weight in this bike is astounding... So flickable, so maneuverable, so ride-able in most any situation... This was really a treat!!!



The first full on ride out was to Fallen Timber on the FTR... It was so much fun I didn't take a single pic! I did get a pile of GoPro footage though. I'm no pro rider and this was my first time out on this 450. First time out on ANY 450 really. I had a few dirt bikes when I was a kid, but nothing awesome... Usually old scrappers from the farmer down the road that were nothing more than 125's that I fixed more than rode, lol! I will refrain from comparing this 450 to my 990 as they aren't even remotely close to being similar other than they are both bikes. Both have pretty specific operating areas. I know I wouldn't want to travel far on my 450 and nor would I want to ride some single track on the side of a mountain on my 990 (anymore... I certainly have and it was a LOT of work!).

Here's a shot of it with it's best friend an 03 WR450 which also carries a street title too! Yes, they are parked close... But I'm still waiting on my kickstand, haha! We certainly get some funny looks when we go down the roads on these. We get stopped by all the rangers and some cops too... The looks on their faces when we prove we're street legal is always priceless though, ;)



And now all I can think of when I look in the rear view mirror if I'm not riding it is, "Soon..." hahaha!



Here's some lame vids from our Saturday explorations of Fallen Timber. New bike, new terrain, noob rider. Go easy on me, ;)











Thanks for reading the intro for this 450 and I hope I don't have too many questions or too many foul-ups with this bike. It's pretty simple and straight forward to work on and not much has stumped me so far. Thanks in advance for any and all help!!! Cheers!
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:20 PM   #2
WildmanSam
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nice! i just bought a '05 450exc today and i'm going to be overhauling it just like you did. good to know it's not overly complicated to take these things apart.
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:57 PM   #3
refokus
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I have an 05 and it's a sweet ride. Needs some minor work now but they always seem to need a little TLC.
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:55 PM   #4
kaptinkaos OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grassroots View Post
nice! i just bought a '05 450exc today and i'm going to be overhauling it just like you did. good to know it's not overly complicated to take these things apart.
Yep, don't let that big, bold brand name KTM intimidate you. It's still just a bike and still works the same as the others. The money you save doing it yourself will afford more tires, gas and trips to the car wash!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by refokus View Post
I have an 05 and it's a sweet ride. Needs some minor work now but they always seem to need a little TLC.
I think there's quite a few differences between the 04-07's and the 08-11's. Different motor and carb for sure, but again, still just a one lung bike. You're for sure right about the bikes needing a little TLC. KTM's aren't actually more maintenance than others really, it's just that when you're a proud owner I think you tend to spend more time loving it is all... LOL! I know that if I wasn't single I friggin' would be having both a 990 and a 450... Meh, two bikes is still cheaper than one woman any day of the week.

Still have some things to do on the EXC for sure though... First and foremost when I have the cash in hand I definitely need a new set of wheels. The front is almost egg shaped and is super noticeable on pavement above 30kph... :( Both rims have a decent amount of scarring, but no major dents to speak of. I balance my tires with dyna beads so I know it's not a balancing issue. I've been using beads for years and love them! I'm thinking of getting some Warp9 wheels to completely replace the wheels. Then I'll take a bolt cutter to the spokes on the stocks and send the hubs to Woody's to be superlaced and re-hooped. That way I'll have a back-up set of rims. Or... I could send the hubs to Woody's and have him lace up some 17's... Not exactly sure yet. Having some super tough rims would be nice for my Baja trip this Xmas.

Only other thing I'm waiting on is my Pro Moto kickstand (the PO broke the kickstand stud off the frame so I'm gonna have to get western with it...) and a brake guard. I ride a lot of rocky trails so it's probably a good idea to protect that as best as I can. Oh, and my Wolfman Enduro tail bag for tools. Gettin' real tired of carrying tools on my back for sure, lol!
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Old 07-15-2013, 09:25 PM   #5
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Need to do some research on "floating the ground" and/or a stator upgrade too. Gonna be a slew of things going on this bike this fall/winter. Roadbook, Baja Designs Squadron light, Rallye front end, heated grips. It's not going to be an adventure bike, I have that in my 990, but a more capable long distance enduro/rallye bike.
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Old 07-15-2013, 09:33 PM   #6
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Stator/Floating the ground

Brilliant!!!

http://www.spokanister.net/ktm_stator.htm
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:16 AM   #7
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Rfs

[QUOTE=kaptinkaos;



I think there's quite a few differences between the 04-07's and the 08-11's. [/QUOTE]

The big difference is the motor. The RFS motor is almost bulletproof if maintained properly.
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by refokus View Post
The big difference is the motor. The RFS motor is almost bulletproof if maintained properly.
Yep, that and the FCR carb was why I chose the 08-11 era. Not having to pull the carb when re-jetting is p.i.m.p. I want this bike to be that "bullet-proof" enduro and not an MX'r. I'm not concerned about weight or anything like that as I'm used to a 500lb bike under me off road, lol... So far the RFS is cherry. It's noisy like an old Harley, but if you learn to live with that and trust the numbers on valving, put enough oil in it and check your plug when changing jetting for altitude I could see this motor lasting for a very long time.

This winter before Baja I will do the top end for rings etc as I really have no idea how many hours are on the motor. Actually, I'll do a bleed down test on it before I get that far just to see how much blow by there is. It runs STRONG, starts first kick usually and the plug is a beautiful tan color. My trip meter said 117 hours when I picked it up, but the pins were mashed in the connector and I have no idea how long it was like that... I really hate finding stuff like that after a purchase. Could be worse I suppose... I could be less mechanically inclined and have to get someone else to do all the works for $100+/hr, hahaha!
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaptinkaos View Post
Yep, that and the FCR carb was why I chose the 08-11 era. Not having to pull the carb when re-jetting is p.i.m.p.
I am confused now, but I do get confused easy. My 05 has an RFS motor in it and I don't have to pull the carb on any of my bikes to re-jet. I don't know a whole lot about the KTM's even though I have had a couple of them and this 05 for 3 years now and 300+ total hours on the bike. Maybe the 08-11 era is a different motor?
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:17 PM   #10
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yeah, my buddy has a '10 450 Six Days, and you gotta pull the carb to change the jets.... the motor sits back in the frame more, you can't just rotate the carb to get to the top and bottom like the RFS motor... the RFS motor is sweet to mess the the jetting, takes a couple of minutes... the '08 motors and on are a pain in the azz.... but i rode his bike a couple of weeks ago, and the newer generation bikes do handle better, there's a big difference in the frames.... my '06 RFS bike feels alot bigger than his '10 bike, and it doesn't turn as good.... it's not that it's bad, but the newer bike i definitely better.... but i like my RFS motor better....
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:04 AM   #11
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Cr500

Today was a freakin' great day... Buddy of mine from out of town came down with his bored out CR500 to ride some mountains. I know the area we were going to pretty well and I didn't disappoint him, lol! McLean is pretty washed out right now, but we just gave'er anyway, ;) The BRAAAAP that comes out of his monster CR is insane though... Who needs that much hp? He does, and he can use it too! Good fun today, but my bloody hands are so tired I can hardly type, lol! 6 hours of high altitude riding is a workout!

New testing spot for the GoPro. Seemed to work really well actually.



Poor man's enduro bag for tools until my Wolfman bolt-on one arrives. Didn't come off once today and I had 2 decent spills and wasn't too gentle on the throttle all day. I kept finding it with my rear end though... I need that space on the seat when I'm going downhill or in mid-air sometimes. It's real estate that I need for my arse!



Some pics of my fav trails:













The 450 even doubled as a kickstand for the CR... LOL!





I gotta say... It still feels weird not having a 400lb+ bike under me. Getting used to being able to do things that were previously unachievable in my brain though, :)

A nice warm up trail:



Showing Bruce around a little more. Rode from the first staging area to the 5K. The main road is still closed so it's kind of crap to get around inside... Also, the maintenance crews are on the main road fixing it so a lot of the good western and southern trails are nearly impossible to access via bike, :( This was still fun though!



Found a nice new track looking for another trail amidst all the washouts of last months flooding





(More uploading... damn high-res takes forever!)

Cheers!
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kaptinkaos screwed with this post 07-18-2013 at 12:48 AM
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:30 PM   #12
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Rims

Well, rode it to the car wash today to knock the chunks off before actually washing it and the front wheel was so outta shape it felt like I was on a fair ride at 60-80kph. Washed it and went to see my guys about some rims. Musta bashed some decent sized rocks yesterday and I was only running 16psi. Whoops... So, came home with a new front rim! Another splash of orange, lol! Opted for A60's as the price margin (from my guys) was minimal and if I get 30% longer life out of the hoops then I'll be happy.



30 minutes later it was on the bike. I have mad skills with spoons, lol! Fronts are easy anyway. I went through the spokes, tightened and loosened as needed and I'll ride it in after it quits raining.



The stock hubs are in good shape and have next to new spacers and bearings in them. I'll unlace them, get some spokes and hubs and try my hand at lacing, Waiting on the rear matching A60, but the stock rear wasn't beat up like the front. I'll mount a paddle on it for my Baja trip this winter,

Cheers!
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by refokus View Post
I am confused now, but I do get confused easy. My 05 has an RFS motor in it and I don't have to pull the carb on any of my bikes to re-jet. I don't know a whole lot about the KTM's even though I have had a couple of them and this 05 for 3 years now and 300+ total hours on the bike. Maybe the 08-11 era is a different motor?
Lol, I meant instead of a new generation bike. Sorry for the confusion!
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:30 AM   #14
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Wicked Baja prep

Alright... So... This 450 is now going to prepped for a Baja excursion this winter. I have a few questions and would like anyone's input on their experience/mods they've done to make life easier, :)

There are a few major things on my list...

First is a clutch. The stock one is pretty dang draggy now even after an oil change and I'm thinking it's time anyway to replace it. Better to be safe than sorry when concerned with this as it's a pretty important function of the bike. Been looking at clutches and Barnett is the name I keep hearing. I'm not a racer and spend a lot of time on tight trails so something that is more durable is definitely up my alley. I refuse to put a Recluse in any of my bikes (sorry, but I'm a purist in that regard and won't buy an automatic anything...), but does anyone have any other suggestions for a clutch replacement? Is a stock clutch better? Shoot me ideas.

Second is a stator upgrade. I thought about rewinding mine, but I doubt I will have the time to mess around with it. I'm thinking of going with the TrailTech 100W DC stator replacement. I can source one locally for $140CDN. This is mostly for proper battery charging, but also for a headlight upgrade. Still unsure about what light, but I'm thinking a Squadron from Baja Designs.

Thirdly, top end rebuild. As far as I can tell I'll need a piston, rings (scraper and thin rings plus a compression ring), gaskets and I'll replace the plug too. Pretty sure the jug is ok, but I won't know until I get inside it. It's burning a lot of oil right now... and I mean a LOT. As in I don't need to do an oil change I just keep filling it up. I hope the jug is alright. This bike has been a can of worms from day one... The PO definitely rode it hard and put it away wet without a care for maintenance. :( Should I stick to stock KTM parts for the rebuild or are there better choices out there for pistons? I'm not worried about more performance, just longevity and good parts.

I think 13L of fuel is fine for our riding. We'll be doing day loops for the most part. Tire choice I'm still unsure about, but I may just use the MT21's that are on there now and not worry about it. I'm not that good of a rider to worry too much about tire choice so long as the knobs are in decent shape.

Going to also be adding a damper to mix. I think a GPR will suit me best as then I don't need to raise the bars too much. I already have the bars up an inch or so and the GPR mount looks relatively similar to where I have them now.

Any other tidbits you guys can think of shoot my way. I'll want this thing as ready as it can be. Oh, and yes... I am taking a ton of tools and spare parts, lol! I'll make that list eventually too. Cheers!
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaptinkaos View Post
Second is a stator upgrade. I thought about rewinding mine, but I doubt I will have the time to mess around with it. I'm thinking of going with the TrailTech 100W DC stator replacement. I can source one locally for $140CDN. This is mostly for proper battery charging, but also for a headlight upgrade. Still unsure about what light, but I'm thinking a Squadron from Baja Designs...
Don't know about the other questions, but you might give Dale at Trick Dual Sport a call about stators, he seems to really know the electrical systems on these bikes. I will warn you he does not speak highly of the newer TrailTech stators, he claims they burn out often. He rewound the one on my 05 EXC when he put together the DS kit for it.
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