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Old 10-04-2014, 04:58 AM   #1
warewolf OP
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Joined: Oct 2004
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
Oddometer: 2,404
The Stable

Thought I'd post up a bit of a blog about my bikes: past, present, and future.

I'll use this first post of an index of sorts.

Current bikes:
2005 KTM 640 LC4 Adventure
2003 KTM 200EXC
1996 Honda VFR750F
1984 Suzuki DR250S

And join me in a round of applause and a mighty "Woo hoo!" for Shar who bought her first adventure bike this week:
2008 Yamaha XT250

Hope you enjoy the ride
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KTM LC4 640 Question? Check here first --> KTM LC4 (640) Index Thread
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Old 10-04-2014, 04:59 AM   #2
warewolf OP
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Joined: Oct 2004
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
Oddometer: 2,404
2005 KTM 640 LC4 Adventure

This has to be my favourite bike of all time! It just does everything, and fairly well. It's been used for commuting, touring, adventuring, trail riding, cross-country racing, beach racing and I even had a crack at enduro-cross on it It's done 3x 1000-miles-in-24-hours rides (equivalent of the IBA SS1000) so I say "Pooh!" to the nay-sayers who reckon it's too uncomfortable to ride long distances.

Here's a shot by danger_dave, not long after I bought the bike new in 2005: that is, before I started to get it dirty and scratched



and here's a more recent shot, 9 years and 50,000-odd km later:



The bike has had a few little things done to it in the way of modifications:
  • Gel handgrips
  • Grip heaters
  • SW-Motech sidestand
  • Bar risers
  • High-with-low headlight mod
  • EXC-style chain guard
  • High front fender
  • Shorai battery
  • SAS & EPC removed
  • USA-market SuperTrapp exhaust, modified
  • KTM performance airbox sidecover, snorkelectomy, and jetting to suit
It's been pretty reliable, with just a few niggles. Quite a few are now showing up due to the age and use:
  • Cam cover leak
  • Cam follower bearings failed early
  • Starter clutch failure (kicked it for 4 years or so)
  • Base gasket leak
  • Ignition switch wires broke
  • Main battery wire broke
  • a few stripped or broken fasteners and fittings
  • stupid soft rims
The 640 Hard Enduro tank (12 litres) and seat are a simple swap-on affair, and I use these whenever I am using it truly off-road, rather than adventuring:



The next thing on the list of mods is to re-work the suspension. I have it working reasonably well after respringing (up a rate in the front and down a rate in the rear), and after finding Castrol Fork Oil 5 suits the valving really well. It desperately needs a shock oil change, so it'll get re-valved at the same time.
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KTM LC4 640 Question? Check here first --> KTM LC4 (640) Index Thread
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Old 10-04-2014, 05:00 AM   #3
warewolf OP
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Joined: Oct 2004
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
Oddometer: 2,404
2003 ktm 200exc

This bike is my off-road racer and toy. It was a few years old when I bought it at the start of 2007, but only had 30 hours use. It was a press bike - and I have a copy of both the Kiwi Rider article and their setup notes - and then sat largely unused with only 10 hours put on it in 3 years. I had outgrown the DR-Z250 I had at the time, and was looking for something with more performance, and that was lighter as the hills hereabouts are bloody steep. And something I could continue to grow and learn on. And preferably a two-stroke as they ring my bell. Ding! Ding! or should that be Ring-ding-ding-ding-ding!

The KR article basically said that expert riders loved it because it responded so well, but more casual riders found it too busy. Hmmm, sounds like just what I want

Here's how it was when I bought it:


The flag-type hand guards were replaced with BarkBusters, and that ginormous rear tyre went in the stockpile for use on the 640.

Beach racing:



This is what it typically looks like after a winter ride:



2003 was the first year of the WP 48mm forks, with the triple bushes, and are said to be the worst from KTM ever. So the forks have been re-valved and work way better - most of the headshaking is gone - and the rear shock has been re-valved and re-sprung with a straight-rate spring. I might have gone too light on the rear spring, as on fast races I bottom it often and hard, and that's while holding back because it *is* bottoming It's a work in progress
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KTM LC4 640 Question? Check here first --> KTM LC4 (640) Index Thread
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Old 10-04-2014, 05:01 AM   #4
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Joined: Oct 2004
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
Oddometer: 2,404
1996 Honda VFR750F RC36

I've always wanted one of these, and came damn close to buying one new in 1994. While looking last year (2013) for a "classic" sportsbike, this popped up at a good price so I grabbed it instead. It's in pretty good condition despite the years and the 100,000km:



It's a delight to ride: poised and extremely competent. Interesting that the chassis is taut but the suspension is sub-par compared to what I'm used to, but it still holds a line well. Score a point for having a decent chassis!

The worn Pirelli Strada tyres were replaced with Pirelli Diablo Rosso IIs, and me likee. So far, so good, but I've only ridden a few thousand km on them. New tyres almost always feel good initially.

Out for the day with friends: VFR750F, ZZR-1100, XJ6 at Reids Store, Maruia, NZ:



Apart from some holes in the muffler, this bike is completely factory standard. The short list of mods to do is:
  • Nicer muffler: Staintune? or something cheaper??
  • New mirrors that don't keep folding in while riding
  • Re-worked suspension
  • Replace a few seat cowl fasteners with factory parts
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KTM LC4 640 Question? Check here first --> KTM LC4 (640) Index Thread
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Old 10-04-2014, 05:04 AM   #5
warewolf OP
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Joined: Oct 2004
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
Oddometer: 2,404
1984 Suzuki DR250S

Well, that's my best guess as to what it is The chassis number indicates it is a 1985 but they had front disc brakes, and this has a drum.

It's very rough and neglected. A mate bought it cheap, I helped him to replace the steering head bearings and fork seals, and then he never rode it due to an injury. So I've inherited it, and done nothing with it. I've not really taken to it, so I might sell it and get a similar project but with a bike I'm enamoured with. I would like to do VMX, part of the reason for keeping this, as it is pre-1986, but it won't be in the slightest bit competitive against the MX bikes. I think I'd rather have something a bit sharper.

Shar has started to work on it in lieu of having her own bike: fixing the rusty fuel tank with a Kreme kit. Today I got some mild steel for nix from a scrap metal dealer, which will be used to patch the rusted exhaust to quieten the thing down. I've got a replacement carb to go on it, as the existing one leaks fuel: no doubt it needs a gasket kit.
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KTM LC4 640 Question? Check here first --> KTM LC4 (640) Index Thread
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Old 10-04-2014, 05:05 AM   #6
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Joined: Oct 2004
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
Oddometer: 2,404
2008 Yamaha XT250

Meet "Zima", Shar's bike, yay!!

Shar has ridden in a previous life: she can ride, but hasn't done much for ages, and now has a Learner licence. We (that's a royal "we") were shopping for something like Rosie!'s Super Sherpa, but they were hard to find and ClintNZ put us on to the 2008-on XT250, rating it as a very similar bike. So here we are, with Shar buying this one during the week, and Clint/Rosie have picked it up today and ridden it back home to Rotorua - thanks guys!

TradeMe pics:








Shar is pretty excited about it, and just quietly I am too! It will be great to get out exploring together. She'll be doing a fly-ride next weekend to bring it home.
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KTM LC4 640 Question? Check here first --> KTM LC4 (640) Index Thread
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Old 10-04-2014, 07:29 PM   #7
clintnz
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Location: Rotoiti, New Zealand
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The wee XT looked as good in the flesh as in the pics & went really well on the way down from Auckland yesterday. All that power took some getting used to though...





A more thorough check over today didn't find any issues, she seems to have been well cared for. Last seen snuggled up next to my 640, maybe we'll get a pup?



Cheers
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Old 10-04-2014, 10:12 PM   #8
Te Hopo
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That is one wel thought out garage, all the bases covered with some real quality bikes.

Damn the tires on the wee XT are smooooooove, I look forward to seeing what you do with it.
So, tires first and a luggage rack coming soon?
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Old 10-04-2014, 10:23 PM   #9
Night Falcon
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Cool thread

Is that exhaust outlet hole on the XT muffler for real....seems a tad dinky for a 250 4T?
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Old 10-04-2014, 10:52 PM   #10
Te Hopo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Night Falcon View Post
Cool thread

Is that exhaust outlet hole on the XT muffler for real....seems a tad dinky for a 250 4T?
Yup, the one on my XT225 was the same, about 15mm, it made it sound like a wet fart.

I cut the end off and welded a new endcap on with a 30mm outlet, that coupled with a rejet really made the bike come to life with minimal extra noise.
It might not have added much power but it certainly revved faster.
Plus the exhaust still has the factory Yamaha markings
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Old 10-05-2014, 12:32 AM   #11
warewolf OP
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Joined: Oct 2004
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clintnz View Post
That's one sexy beast! Does Rosie! like it? (and I don't mean the cow in the background!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by clintnz View Post
Last seen snuggled up next to my 640, maybe we'll get a pup?
Thought your 640 was too old for that sort of thing?

Thanks again for picking it up.
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KTM LC4 640 Question? Check here first --> KTM LC4 (640) Index Thread
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Old 10-05-2014, 12:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Te Hopo View Post
So, tires first and a luggage rack coming soon?
Gently, gently

Probably run around on those tyres for a while yet. And then I've got a shedful of used tyres to work though, some should fit although they'll be mainly for forest use.
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KTM LC4 640 Question? Check here first --> KTM LC4 (640) Index Thread
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Old 10-05-2014, 12:37 AM   #13
warewolf OP
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Joined: Oct 2004
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Night Falcon View Post
Is that exhaust outlet hole on the XT muffler for real....seems a tad dinky for a 250 4T?
They're a dual-purpose so they don't make much power. Saw somewhere it was 16hp, well down on the 22 of the DR-Z250. I used to use a wine cork to plug the muffler on the DR-Z when washing it, perfect fit.
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Old 10-27-2014, 01:49 AM   #14
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The first trip

Shar had a great trip back on the XT250, quite a baptism of fire! Nothing like a two-day ride of 650 km to start a relationship including riding through sun, snow and showers. Thanks very much to Clint & Rosie for collecting the bike, giving it the once (or twice!) over and making sure it was ready for the long trip home. And big thanks to John & Jan for their hospitality. It was quite a social ride with Clint & Rosie escorting her to Taupo for lunch at Clint's mama's; a stop in Otaki for tea & cake with Annie, a riding friend from Nelson (just recently sold her F650 Funduro ) visiting her sister-in-law; and then overnighting with John & Jan.

By all accounts the bike sits on highway speeds just fine. The only time it didn't was a problem with the nut holding the handlebars: at least we know the rev limiter works in 4th gear! I took it for a brief strop and I must say it is so light and easy to ride. Ok, it doesn't have the grunt of the 640 but hey, it doesn't have the weight, heavy controls, stiff suspension or engine vibes, either. It's a delight, and a perfect choice.

Sunday I scooted over to Picton to meet up with her. A bit of target fixation early on the Queen Charlotte Drive (corner, gravel, bank, ooh look don't hit the bank!) meant a low-speed run off the road into the bank, oops! But from there it was all plain sailing to Havelock for lunch at the Slip Inn. Shar seems to have an innate ability to do the right thing, no doubt from her earlier riding experience, mountain biking, and professional driving. Obviously has quite a bit to learn and practice but she doesn't seem to do all the crazy stuff outright learners seem to come up with. Body & bike position, balance, shifting her weight etc is good so she is working from a solid base. Back on the bikes for the strop over the Whangamoas to Nelson, she was very much in to the swing of things by then, plotting her own lines around corners.

Obligatory pics:

Waving goodbye at the airport bright and early on the Saturday:


The ferry arriving in Picton with a Very Important Passenger :


Zima, meet the orange fellah (another one!):


Arrival at home, someone looking like the cat with the cream:
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KTM LC4 640 Question? Check here first --> KTM LC4 (640) Index Thread
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Old 10-27-2014, 02:17 AM   #15
Te Hopo
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Yup, quite the baptism.
Top effort to Shar
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