2012 KTM 500 EXC as a Lightweight Dual Sport

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by harcus, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. harcus

    harcus Long timer

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    The purpose of this thread is to summarize the setup of a 500 EXC into a lightweight dual sport machine. This was a major reason for my purchase of this machine.

    Disclaimer - I make & sell upgrade conversion parts at Globetrottin.com. Hopefully this is not considered a conflict of interest.

    I purchased one of these critters from my local dealer here in Salt Lake in mid Oct 2012. Here it is in the back yard on the first day home (complete with "fly swatter" mirrors)....

    [​IMG]

    One week later, I went out & trashed it for 120 miles for a breakin run. Also collected data on what worked & what didn't. The weather was going bad & I feared not many "data collection" days remained.

    First thing I did upon return was a Desmog. This was based on the typical fuel canister issues we all know of & love. The desmog is detailed here...

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=682150&page=17

    Another thing learned was how vulnerable the radiators were. I need a brace...onto the list.

    So, here is the list so far of planned changes. Some of this is based off of my experience is setting up my 07 990 Adv for similar off road use.

    1. Bash plate, full coverage

    2. Extended fuel tank forward - Maybe a 13 - 15 liter, not too big

    3. Extended fuel tank aft - Somehow integrated into the luggage rack system

    4. Luggage rack system - Capability to carry about 40-50 lbs

    5. Weather proof soft panniers for rack

    6. Radiator brace - Noted

    7. Heated grips - Maybe PWM controlled to minimize power impact

    8. Bar risers - Need about 1.3 inches to fit my 6' 1" frame

    9. Head lights - Worst hi beam I have seen in years - Add LED light system

    10. Windshield, DS - I have a dual sport WS I have been developing.

    11. Seat - Don't know improvement, maybe

    12. Subframe of composite with integrated rack - The OEM alum subframe & plastic are beautiful bu not made for creek crossings or much load.

    13. Handguards - OEMs are whimpy. Most after markets aren't much better.

    14. Fuel tank side bags - Seem to work well on the big bike

    There are probably more items I will discover along the way but that is enough for now.

    What do I love about this bike? It's a near 60 HP Schwinn. Beautiful suspension, light weight, every thing (almost) that I expected. It weighed in at 266 lbs with a near full fuel tank (2.25 gal) on my Weight Watchers scales. Assuming I can keep the weight of the mods within reason, I will still have a sub 300 lb bike capable of 300 mile range & lightweight camping. This will be 1/2 the weight of my 990 which will allow access to more remote parts of the earth.

    That, dear readers, is the point!

    So here is the execution of the list. Sorry, the picture won't necessarily be colored in the order above. My ADD issues....


    Step 1 - The bash plate


    Here it is...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is what I call full coverage meaning it covers not just the bottom but the rotor & clutch covers. Out here we have these rock things that reach out & attack you. Protect your covers! This is made of composite & weighs slightly over xx lbs.

    The fab of this item is detailed for those interested over here...

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=742360



    2. Extended fuel tank forward - Maybe a 13 - 15 liter, not too big


    Coming soon...


    3. Extended fuel tank aft - Somehow integrated into the luggage rack system

    Coming soon...


    4. Luggage rack system - Capability to carry about 40-50 lbs


    Coming soon...


    5. Weather proof soft panniers for rack


    Coming soon...


    6. Radiator brace - Noted


    Coming soon...


    7. Heated grips - Maybe PWM controlled to minimize power impact

    Coming soon...


    8. Bar risers - Need about 1.3 inches to fit my 6' 1" frame

    Coming soon...


    9. Head lights - Worst hi beam I have seen in years - Add LED light system

    Coming soon...


    10. Windshield, DS - I have a dual sport WS I have been developing.


    Coming soon...


    11. Seat - Don't know improvement, maybe

    Coming soon...

    12. Subframe of composite with integrated rack & fuel tanks - The OEM alum subframe & plastic are beautiful but not made for creek crossings or much load.

    Coming soon...

    13. Handguards - OEMs are whimpy. Most after markets aren't much
    better.

    Coming soon...


    14. Fuel tank side bags - Seem to work well on the big bike


    Coming soon...


    More to come -------:D
    #1
  2. djlxr400

    djlxr400 Adventurer

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    Looks like another great model from KTM. Good luck setting it up and keep us posted:D
    #2
  3. empedrado

    empedrado Been here awhile

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    Here is how I have addressed your list for my riding conditons:

    1. Bash plate, KTM hard parts -- excellent fit and inexpensive, makes oil change easy on long rides

    2. Extended fuel tank forward - KTM offers a nice extended range tank. Bike gets excellent fuel mileage and with the hard parts tank should get easily 150+ miles per tank

    3. Extended fuel tank aft - Easy to carry an extra two 1 liter bottles with the Wolfman enduro bags

    4. Luggage rack system - I mounted a modified large fanny pack on the rear fender that will carry all my tools and a spare tube. Also have the Wolfman enduro bags. For longer rides plan to adapt my Dirtbagz and the Berg Briggs mounts from my 530.

    5. Weather proof soft panniers for rack -- I have the Wolfman enduro bags although not waterproof the dry bags I put inside the bags are. Plan on adapting my dirtbagz and Berg Briggs mounts for my old 530 for those really long rides

    6. Radiator brace - Not needed with the KTM larger tank.

    7. Heated grips - Been using the symtec with a sicass headlight switch. Hi/lo used normally for the lights power the grips hi/lo and the horn toggles the odo between modes.

    8. Bar risers - Using the KTM vibration dampened bar mounts with risers.

    9. Head lights - Wired KTM EU switch that allows lights off (good for days using heated gear) regular lights on and regular lights on with Trail Tech HID mounted on Ram Ball carried in tank bag. Head light is 690E light. Very nice light with wide pattern.

    10. Windshield, DS - Using KTM windshield for 690E mask. In additon, have mounted with KTM hard parts road book carrier. Allows the GPS to be mounted above the odo for ease of reading and for safety reasons. GPS mounted using Touratech Mvg vibration dampners adapted to the roadbook carrier

    11. Seat - No doubt about it the Seat Concepts-- nice seat that allows both comfort for trail riding and adventure riding

    12. Subframe of composite with integrated rack - Wolfman Enduro bags solve much of these issues but also there is the dirtbagz Ranger bags with the Berg Briggs mounts from my 530 that will be adapted. Not waterproof but good for days of riding

    13. Handguards - Cyro guards with Sicass defectors with integrated turn signals

    14. Fuel tank side bags - Figure not needed for rides I do. With the larger tank and a couple of fuel cells easy to get over 200 miles


    There are probably more items I will discover along the way but that is enough for now.

    These include -- Axle pulls for easy tire changes, Balanced wheels with steel sprockets, proper gearing, Easily removed mirrors, desmogged, small tank bag, Revalved suspension
    #3
  4. harcus

    harcus Long timer

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    Is this on a 500 ?

    Any pics?
    #4
  5. Mav

    Mav Something witty...

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    Isn't this bike gonna need some extra oil or you gonna be changing oil every second day... :scratch

    Otherwise, as you say - the basis for an awesome dual sport :thumb
    #5
  6. ktm950se

    ktm950se Banned

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    'Very interested in the luggage rack and subframe/rack system!

    The oil issue is an open question. Hopefully the 500 can run at least a week of long-distance DS use without needing an oil change...

    If these issues can be solved, and soon, then I'd gladly add the 500 to the list of contenders in my Help me pick a thumper for my Russian ride! thread.

    ktm950se
    #6
  7. empedrado

    empedrado Been here awhile

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    Yes a 500 EXC. Really like this bike but so far do not have many hours on it.

    Never bothered to get set up to do pictures on line. One of those lazy guys on a ride that looks around and notices that everyone else has a camera along and take much better pictures than I do. So I just grab theirs occassionaly

    #7
  8. Hosebag

    Hosebag Difficult but Useful

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    I too am very interested in the new 500, as a 'lightweight' replacement for my 690R, but am concerned with the service intervals for the 500 as compared to the 690. :ear

    For example, the service sched. the dealer printed off for me showed 130 hrs. for a piston change (50 hours under competition conditions).

    BTW, are you a time traveller?

    "I purchased one of these critters from my local dealer here in Salt Lake in mid Oct 2012"
    #8
  9. harcus

    harcus Long timer

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    Too bad

    You can sign up for Photobucket type sites for free but the pics look lousey. I then signed up for Smugmug (ran by Baldy, this sites owner) for $35 / yr? Well worth it!

    Photo linking is now painless ! Highly recommended! :D
    #9
  10. ktm950se

    ktm950se Banned

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    The owner's manual does state:
    Change the piston: S105A: Every 105 operating hours/every 50 operating hours when used for motorsports

    The question becomes, then, what is 'motorsports' use?

    Interestingly, the manual calls for the following items to be replaced at that same interval:
    Change the connecting rod, conrod bearing and crank pin.

    For the 105 operating hours, this could occur between 2000 - 6000 miles, depending how fast you ride (20 - 55mph)...

    I wonder how often these parts changes will actually happen...

    ktm950se
    #10
  11. harcus

    harcus Long timer

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    The Owners Manual shows 15 hr oil change intervals. So there are 2 questions...

    a. If you follow the recmd of 15 hr, how far do you get on 15 hrs. History shows that usually a 8 hr riding day may yield 6 hrs of time at best, maybe less allowing for photos, food, BS, etc. Hence you would need to change oil every 3 days.

    b. Are you really that religious on intervals? That is a personal issue...:D

    Summary...Definitely a compromise.
    #11
  12. MKJ

    MKJ Married w/ Children

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    Install an hour meter if you need to be accurate. They cost about $15
    #12
  13. ABYSS

    ABYSS KTM

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    Might want to look into XPC RACING seats and Highwaydirtbikes bar guards they address three issues in one, bar guards, turn signals and mirrors. You wont find a better setup out there. Not to mention the tops clamps options.
    #13
  14. Mav

    Mav Something witty...

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    Versus the 6000 miles on the HP, even 10 days riding between changes is a big deal for me :D
    #14
  15. harcus

    harcus Long timer

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    It is built in to the speedo / odo:D
    #15
  16. ktm950se

    ktm950se Banned

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    Good to know!

    ktm950se
    #16
  17. harcus

    harcus Long timer

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    Here are a few updates on the project. Sorry for the slow input. Too much work...

    6. Radiator brace -

    After the first day of riding I noticed that crashing the bike caused the radiator to be swept back. My search of radiator guards on the market did not yield any that had support to prevent the deflection of the radiator rearward. They may be out there, I just didn't find them. So I built one...

    Here is what it look like...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It is made of aluminum. It consists of 3 major parts: a cross brace & 2 fore / aft braces tying into the frame. This forms a horizontal triangle that resists deflection of either radiator by bracing it with the frame.

    The cross brace attaches to the frame at the lower radiator mount boss on the LH side. The LH side brace attaches to the frame at the exhaust pipe support lug. The RH side brace attaches to a "add on" lug that is attached to the frame near the V brace.

    The horizontal cross brace has 2 "ears" that pick up the OEM radiator M6 holes.

    The whole brace weighs less that 2 lbs. I haven't had enough crashes yet to test the brace & declare victory but I am sure that will come.

    :D


    8. Bar risers -

    I needed about 1.3 inches (~35 mm) to lift the bars to a height that was comfortable for stand up riding. I had some 1 in alum plate scraps that needed a home. Not long back I had build similar length spacers for my 990 Adv & replaced the 10 mm bolts with longer items. As luck would have it, the old 990 bolts were perfect for this application. The cross hole provides air cooling...

    [​IMG]

    I set the bars in the forward hole of the triple clamp.


    :D



    #17
  18. ktm950se

    ktm950se Banned

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    Nice work on the radiator braces.
    Any chance a larger fuel tank, one with 'wings', would offer protection from the radiators being pushed rearward?

    ktm950se
    #18
  19. harcus

    harcus Long timer

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    4. Luggage rack system - Capability to carry about 40-50 lbs

    I decided to develop a lightweight top rack with my standard pannier brackets. I had developed similar racks for many bikes as well as integrated subframe / luggage rack for the XR650R.

    The reason for this approach was simple...

    a. This approach would allow me to develop all the interfaces to connect to the bike
    b. The standard pannier bracket would allow use of a standard soft bags, etc.
    c. This would also allow evaluation of aluminum for this application.

    The top rack has mount points for RotoPax brackets as well.

    Here is the design thus far...

    [​IMG]

    Here it is in testing in Reno during Thanksgiving. The softbag is loaded with about 20 lbs in this pic & only on one side to create a torsional load.

    [​IMG]


    More testing to come.

    :D


    #19
  20. ktm950se

    ktm950se Banned

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    :thumb

    My only concern, and it may be irrelevant if the racks are overbuilt, is that making them out of aluminum might prevent you from being able to readily find a repair station in remote regions of the US and/or 3rd-world countries in the event they became damaged. Steel welding, and broken racks from adventure riding, are universal. 'Just reading a few ride reports easily confirms this.
    But finding someone to weld alloys in remote regions, well that's a potential problem.

    'Not knocking the desire to keep things light, only concerned about the possible problems having a irreparable rack out in the field could cause...

    ktm950se
    #20