2008 KTM 450 Engine Swap for EFI 450

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by kaptinkaos, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. kaptinkaos

    kaptinkaos Just some nOOb

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    Yep, googled my brain out, searched a ton of forums including KTMTalk and couldn't find much on this... I picked up an 08 450 EXC-R a few months ago and basically had to ground-up rebuild it, :( It was fun, but pricey, lol! Now I know it's up to my standards though!

    So, short story is... I have no idea how many hours are on this 08 450 as the PO had smushed the pins on the trip computer at some point. It wasn't working when I got it, but it is now. It says 117 hours/3300kms, but I'd be more inclined to think the bike has 400-500 hours/10,000-15,000kms on it from the shape everything was in (yes, it was incredibly un-maintained and abused :mad?). This winter or later this year if the engine gives me grief I will tear it down and rebuild it OR swap it for a new(er) EFI 450 just to save time. I can rebuild the old 450 over the winter and possibly sell it or keep it as a back up. I am not complaining about the bike as I bought it sight-unseen due to being in Canada and the want for a street legal MX. An $11,000 KTM 500 was out of my price range for a second bike that is mainly just a toy, lol! My 990 is my go-to now.

    My main question is:

    Can a swap like this be done without breaking the bank? Has anyone done it? (By breaking the bank I mean $4-5K. I'm prepared to spend $2-3K, but not much more. If it's more than that I will just stick with the 08 and rebuild as necessary)

    Yes, I know I will need to re-wire the bike, get a throttle body, re-plumb everything... It will be a lot of work, but I am ok with that so long as I know I can bolt up a newer KTM 450 without major mods to the frame or if the front sprocket location is drastically different or something like that. Any advice or input is welcome! (Even if it's something like "Save your money and flog the 08 450 engine till it dies and keep rebuilding it." or "Get an older 07 engine and rebuild it, they last longer" etc)

    I'm pretty new to the orange kool-aid, but not new or afraid to wrench. Some things are out of my realm to do, however, and this is a feeler to find out if it's in my realm, :D
    #1
  2. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    I dunno,I rode an FI 500 around,then I hopped on my 2011 530 with carb.

    The carbed version roosts and wheelies and I seemed to be having just as much fun with out magic FI. Carb works from sea level to 10,000' and I can clean or fix it if it has in issue in the middle of BF Nevada.

    Is FI really worth all that? I love it on my streetbike,but it doesnt go in the dirt.
    #2
  3. kaptinkaos

    kaptinkaos Just some nOOb

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    FI sure does go on dirt, lol!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'm not saying EFI is magial, just that I prefer it is all. Nothing wrong with a carb, not bashing it at all. In fact, I have yet to slap my JD jet kit into the 450 as is. I may forget I want an FI 450 when I do that, :) The question was whether or not anyone had done it and if it's possible. Ie. Will an FI motor just drop in with some work to the electrical system.

    Cheers!
    #3
  4. davesupreme

    davesupreme grand poobah

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    i dunno.... i've messed w/my buddy's '10 450 Six Days... carbed....

    i think it changed '08-'10 from the RFS motors, then changed again '11-'12, and again in '13... dunno about new....

    i know my buddy's '10 frame is totally different than my '06 frame, not even talking about the motors... and then you gotta worry about the air box to throttle body fit...

    i would worry more about mounting the motor up, or you're gonna have to do some pretty good welding....

    and then a totally new electrical system, ECU, etc....

    i'm w/the other guy.... hard to beat a FCR, and i can re-jet very easily... that's the problem w/my buddy's '10, you gotta take the carb out to rejet, lotta swearing involved.... RFS's are real easy....
    #4
  5. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

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    I'm all for unusual builds, engine swaps and the like, but that project doesn't make any sense to me.

    Have you looked at the cost of the engine and EFI components themselves, to the special tank required for the fuel pump and the complete bodywork swap to make it all fit properly yet?

    The bike you want already exists properly designed and manufactured to OEM quality standards, no way are you going to get close to it and save any money.

    If you are ok with the rest of your 08, rebuild your XC4 engine with all the known fixes and upgrades (KTMtalk has details). If you want FI but not to spend so much on a new-ish 500s, get yourself an 09-12 Husaberg 450 or 570, they are very reliable, perform well and last a long time. They tend to be cheaper used than KTMs of the same year as well.
    #5
  6. kaptinkaos

    kaptinkaos Just some nOOb

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    Very good info. Starting to sound like a headache that I don't want and WAY too much time cut out of my riding schedule, LOL!!!

    No, I hadn't looked into it which is why I posted the original question, ;) I will plop the JD jet kit in and ride the eff out of it till the fall and then do a complete rebuild on the RFS motor. Thank you for basically answering what I suspected! Definitely tracking down all of the known fixes and have taken care of most already. This bike had so many issues when I bought it I am leery of more rearing their heads. However, I'll ride it till it lets me down or snow flies instead of worrying about reliability, :lol3
    #6
  7. davesupreme

    davesupreme grand poobah

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    the more i mess w/these KTM's, the more i like the RFS bikes, and all the other ones, not so much.... they're pretty simple, and you can work on them pretty easy.... that's what's neat..... the later models probably handle better, but i ain't that fast, or probably don't wanna be.... i wouldn't touch a FI dirtbike w/a 10' pole... too easy to work on FCR's, but that's just me, and i'll gladly ride your tricked up FI bike......:evil

    if i ever get anything else, i'd hot-rod mine into a 5xx something big bore/long stroke thumperola, or i'd get a plated 2 smoker.... the 200 i just saw at the dealer knocked me out!....
    #7
  8. kaptinkaos

    kaptinkaos Just some nOOb

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    I had heard many horror stories about the RFS bikes... But I think it's super simple too! I'll heed the advice of others, :)
    #8