I have a 2003 525EXC that I have been bringing back into a usable state. It is my only bike at this time. I ended up with this machine through a craigslist horsetrading type scenario, not my first choice of bike but it was the right deal to make and who doesn't secretly want a 525exc? I should probably be on something aircooled and japanese for how I ride, but I do love the fact that the ktm is the combination of lightweight, 6sp, electric start and kick, and incredibly lively to ride. On paper and at face value the bike is awesome. I've had an xr400 and a dr650 in the past, and this bike feels like the best of both, but a little better still albeit more raw and less stable than the DR. the dr650 seemed too heavy and cumbersome and had no kick start. the XR400 was about perfect for me but had no E start and with the stock carb it was a bitch to kick sometimes. I really love the 525 what very little I've ridden it. Here's the kicker- I think it may be just too hardcore for what I want which is a good amount of pavement, some fire road riding, wabdr/obdr type trips, 3 day weekend moto camping, and some general purpose short trips. I like the option of being fully capable of doing some singletrack here and there. something a xr600r, drz, dr350, xr400, or similar would be good at(bikes I was originally considering before the ktm fell in my lap). of course the ktm will do all these things, but with the oil change interval/capacity, crank spread, valve worries, and others have me wondering if there isn't a more practical alternative. One that would be more cost effective. being able to load it down and run a couple states away(DR650 style) without much hesitation or heartburn or a mid trip service would be a big big plus. I thought about trying to mold the ktm into a more streetable beast. cush hub, seat, charging system, lower CR piston, 400exc cam, oil cooler, steering dampener etc. It COULD be a great bike for me given the positives it already has, which the japanese bikes that would replace it can never, or at least not easily, have. I feel like I need to make a decision to either get out now or to keep sinking money into it to make it what I want, not an easy one to make. Has anyone else been here? Should I quit being a pussy and ride the ktm til the crank looks like a taco or sell it now?