Another KTM Big bore comparison thread.

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by VidoSeaver, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. VidoSeaver

    VidoSeaver n00b

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    The Background: I'm selling the farm and taking off for Alaska and then SOUTH.


    The situation:

    I've lurked the shit out of the 520 vs 525 vs 530 vs 690 vs X challenge arguments and I guess I want to rehash it just one more time.

    Here's the deal: I want to spend 10k or less and have a reliable, totally badass, street legal dirt bike that gives no quarter in dirt but can cruise marginally comfortably on the highway. I'm taking a differnt approach to adventuring though, see the below photo. (450 is just for mock-up)

    I currently own 2002 520 EXC that I have upgraded:
    (stator, hid light, aceberis bark busters, alumnium skid plate, mohard radiator guards, 1000 dollars in factory connection suspension work) but also have absolutely thrashed. Lots of woods riding and most recently down to jersey and back on the interstate pinned in sixth gear. Yeah it was really effing cold. But that's why god made whiskey.

    While I love the awesomeness of the 690 the 17 pages of problems i read about the fuel system scared me off. I was about to buy a plain ticket to Georgia to go pick one up and changed my mind at the last minute. To many things to break I decided.

    The X challenge fell basically into the same catogory for me, and while more reliable, I need to be able to wheelie in fourth gear.

    While there are ride reports out there of people putting 20k+ on the 530's they just don't seem quite as robust as the RFS. I might go that route if I could buy one at the dealership but I think I missed it by a year.

    So basically for me it boils down to this:

    Option A: Pimp current whip?
    Side note;
    in said pimping I would have the entire motor and tranny broken down and gone through. The little boy on my shoulder says, "they're redoing the top end get the thumper or sxs kit", the p*ssy on the otherside says "it will affect reliability"

    Thoughts?

    Option B: Buy 2007 525 exc and pimp that? It will cost more but the components will be newer and more available for longer (hopefully).

    Have at it boys and gals


    PS. Here is the one thing I know I'm taking.
    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. It'sNotTheBike

    It'sNotTheBike Banned

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    690s have been around the world a few times, and the fuel system
    problems are not enough of an issue in the real world to disqualify the
    bike from a long-distance adventure ride.


    That trailer contraption on the other hand looks like an
    accident waiting to happen. No single person who is on a
    pleasure motorcycle trip needs to drag along so much stuff
    that a trailer is necessary. If you think you "need" a trailer,
    you're doing it wrong.



    .
    #2
  3. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Been here awhile

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    Pimp current ride. Parts availability for the 2007 won't be that much better than your 02, and while the motor is gone through problem parts can be updated to 07 stuff.

    There are only two ways the big bore kit will effect reliability.
    1 - Some things will wear out faster, like tires, sprockets, chain, possibly the countershaft and crank bearings. Not less reliable, just wears out faster.
    2 - With epic torque at your disposal, you'll think you can jump bigger and bigger things, until you can't. Then your wheels, suspension and back will pay the price.

    Trailer: The front cross bar looks like one of those optical illusions at first glance.

    Edit: Somehow I typed all that without reading the first line where it says "Alaska." The only way I would take a dualsport (dirtier more than streetier) and trailer to Alaska, is if the DS is on the trailer, next to a canoe, behind a truck with a camper, with enough room to carry however much caffeinated Mt Dew I need to smuggle to get through Canada.
    #3
  4. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    Is this wheelie in fourth a requirement for towing the trailer?
    #4
  5. VidoSeaver

    VidoSeaver n00b

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    Why you hatin' on my trailer mang? I've done the whole pannier / top bag thing and I felt that having all that weight up high on the bike really negatively affected handling. I'm going to try to take as much single track on the way to Alaska as possible. The beauty of the trailer is I can disconnect it super easy and go off and rip if I want. My bike is getting a brandy new 640 kush hub so the current rear wheel is going to be the rear wheel on the trailer as a spare.

    I'm looking for suggestions for a brake for the rear wheel of the trailer. I was thinking I'd put two levers on my right side so when I break with the bike the trailer breaks to, then make a quick disconnect? Ideas? Comments?
    The other cool thing about the trailer is the box I'm using on it doubles as a bike stand for when I need to service the bike.



    When I get old that will most definitely be the approach I take, but this time? Naw, dirt bikin it baby. I think it will get me laid more.

    Kinda, I want to be able to wheelie in third with the trailer so.... Yes?

    I had an epiphany today and decided the same thing. Brilliant minds think alike.

    Now for the farkles:

    HT Racing oil cooler
    KTM Sxs 540 thumper kit
    SXS water pumper
    Mohard super cool radiators
    Silicone hoses
    Safari Tank
    ktm 640 "kush" rear wheel
    Prorace designs drain plug kit
    double take mirrors
    Lightlock rim locks. For all three wheels
    Ceramic coating on header and mid pipe
    heated grips.

    Am I forgetting anything?

    Keep in mind it already has the bark busters, skid plate upgraded stator, hid light, led brake/plate/tail light.

    Oh and I'm having the entire motor gone through. Kibblewhite valves and SXS kit installed.

    Do y'all think its worth me putting blinkers on? Its legal in my state without em.
    #5
  6. Mudguts

    Mudguts when in doubt GAS IT

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    I'd go the 570 kit ive done the 540 which is only 530 so only 20cc ,
    570 are reliable more torque more power and smooth . Check out thumper racing you can get up to 610 out of your motor but $$$ .
    #6
  7. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Been here awhile

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    Don't worry about brakes on the trailer. You probably won't get it that heavy, and these bikes have good brakes anyway.
    But do worry about the signals and brake lights on it. Also a fender.
    #7
  8. jar944

    jar944 Been here awhile

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    You can get up to 637cc easily from the rfs motor, 662 is possible but really$$. A 570 is nice but should have a 806 cam minimum and a 41mm carb.

    95mm vs 102mm piston
    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. davesupreme

    davesupreme grand poobah

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    a cush drive on a RFS bike makes for a beautiful thing.... now that trailer, i dunno about....:eek1

    trick out a 64mm crank motor w/as big piston as you want, get the head done right.... i dunno what more you need, and it's 250lbs..... :evil
    #9
  10. dave186

    dave186 Been here awhile

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    I have an 02 520MXC with a iron lined 540 kit and 806 cam. Its a great combo. I also have KW valves and unshrouded combustion chamber. the valves are a must, they last much longer than stock. for a long trip like that on an older bike I would take a look at the crank for sure.
    #10
  11. VidoSeaver

    VidoSeaver n00b

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    Hey all thanks for the replies.

    I ripped my 520 down to bare bones, had the motor in the car ready to ship to Thumper for 4200 dollars worth of work and found a 2007 KTM 525 with only a thousand miles on it for 3500. I couldn't turn it down. So now I'm reassembling the 520 which will stay my woods machine and turning the 525 into the adventure bike. Looks like it will be time to start another 525 adventure bike thread / blog. I'll link it when I get started but suffice it to say the header is getting ceramic coated as we speak.

    Vido
    #11
  12. cross-country

    cross-country .

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    Why not adapt your trailer to accept a modern KTM wheel, then you could switch out for different gearing, a fresher tire (assuming tire wear is slower on the trailer than on the drive tire), and in case of a flat (I'm guessing that riding out with the flat on the trailer is easier than with the flat on bike..?). Good luck on the trip, sounds like a blast!
    #12
  13. Idle

    Idle Been here awhile

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    What about a left hand brake for the trailer? Wouldn't be too big of a deal to pull it off the bars and leave it connected. You could mount clips to the frame (the kind that are on the swingarm) to keep it orderly when attached.


    It would be pretty tough to get two foot brakes safely working in sync. Good luck with that.



    Congrats on the new bike..
    #13
  14. wiswoodsguy

    wiswoodsguy Kmart shopper

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    Motor might make the journey, but the tranny is gonna shit out pulling that trailer - even with a kush hub. It just cant take that kind of extra tonnage being lugged behind it. The only advantage to having a Kush is less strain on the tranny in high tire grip situations.

    I put a set of rear pegs on my 01 520 to cart my wife around with me on short jaunts - she weighs far less than your contraption - and that alone wreaked total havoc on my trans. Spewed out the needle bearing on the intermediate gear (just behind the clutch basket) - couldnt handle the extra pull from more frequent stopping/starting. I was running a very wide spaced knobby with less than premium traction on pavement - so the slip was there to not have a Kush hub. And I doubt she was on board for more than 100 miles total

    Plus Id for sure have an extra large additional oil reservoir + cooling fan

    Not that you didnt do a beautiful job in the construction/thought process of your trailer - looks pretty cool I must say

    IMHO - buy a 690 and dont worry about what you've read. Ive had great luck with my 09. People love to glom onto a problem and exploit the crap out of it. Plus the 690 is built with longer maintenance intervals, trans built for road use, fuel injection for altitude changes, and a far better manners for trip of this magnitude. As read prior, there are several 690's that have made it around the globe = wayyyyyyy better choice

    I do love my 520 - just that I would never even consider it for something like this - Just sayin
    #14
  15. jar944

    jar944 Been here awhile

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    It wasnt your wife. If it was, the 637cc sidecar MX RFS motors would have died very quick deaths.
    #15
  16. wiswoodsguy

    wiswoodsguy Kmart shopper

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    Stock tranny's ????

    Most likely not :evil
    #16
  17. VidoSeaver

    VidoSeaver n00b

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    Yup thats what I'm doing, I order a 640 kush wheel which will be my running one and that's going to have a mitas e-07 on it. I also purchased those super lite wheel locks to balance it with. Then stock rear wheel is going to be on the trailer as a back up and have dunlop 606 for when I want to lose the trailer and get really rowdy. Not sure what I'm going to do for gearing yet. It comes stock with 14 48 so I'll try that out a bit then take it from there. Once I know what I want I'll order some dirt tricks sprockets.

    Before I dive into the trailer brake thing I think I'm going to ride with it a bunch and see if I even need it. Just waiting on the kush rear wheel so I can get it on the road.



    Thats the first I've ever heard of a RFS tranny blowing. Ever. Maybe it was bad luck?

    The 690 is an incredibly sexy bike and I was pretty much sold on it but for the amount of money of one new I can make a way cooler RFS adventure and it will be totally customized to my needs. Plus I know the RFS platform and am comfortable working on it on the side of the trail. I already bought the 525 so I'm committed at this point.

    As far as cooling goes I totally agree, heat is the enemy of engines. I've ordered over sized radiators, SXS upgraded water pump, HT racing oil cooler and it already came with the fan. I'll be running engine ice as well. I don't know what else I can do to keep the heat down except go really really really fast :wink:.
    #17
  18. wiswoodsguy

    wiswoodsguy Kmart shopper

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    KTMtalk has the RFS tranny horror stories

    I was a skeptic till mine went south. It was mainly the easy starts to get the bike moving forward with both of us on there. A few of those and I could feel something going on. Im about 180ish and she is near 100 - so it wasnt the weight - clearly there are +250lb riders that are wayyy abusive to the bike than we were

    Hopefully it was just my bike and yours holds up fine. Just wanted to bring it to your attention
    #18
  19. jar944

    jar944 Been here awhile

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    lol there are no aftermarket transmissions, and yes according to GWR they are good to about 75hp in side hacks.
    #19
  20. wiswoodsguy

    wiswoodsguy Kmart shopper

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    meant upgraded internals (bearings, gears, etc)

    But if you say so then it must be :thumb You did the homework
    #20