I've been riding dirt bikes since I was ten but i've never been really into them until I turned 18 three years ago. For whatever reason I started to obsess dirt bikes. Everything about riding off road from the people to the fresh air I love it all and i've been riding most weekends since. Now as I approach my graduation date from college, two major thoughts contend for space inside that magic of the frontal cortex. The future concerns won't be discussed here, however a lack of time has stopped me from riding this winter but has left me with enough time to refresh/rebuild the 04 525 EXC I found in Tennessee last spring break. That on the other hand will be discussed here. Ever since I learned how to ride i've always had sub par setups on the bikes i've ridden. None of them have been bad bikes but they were never smooth in their operation. Some things are still too expensive, like a revalved shock/fork, but others are simply things that most consider general maintenance, rebuilt forks for instance. This spring i'm going to get to ride a truly fresh bike. Not a fresh engine but everything else I can afford will be replaced. I want that feeling you get when you KNOW every bolt has been torqued and inspected. Solid. When I was 19 I started my first race, didn't finish, tried another one and wrecked out. But I kept working at it and put in the blood sweat and tears and now I can hold my own with the local B class. I've learned a lot in the last few years and I've found slight differences in setup and suspension or technique mean a huge change in performance. To that end this will be a thread logging all of my maintenance and setup for the following year. NOTE: I am not a mechanic, nor do I pretend to be one. I do make mistakes and many of these things ill write about will be incorrect so don't take my word for it. You can see the XR650R behind the KTM. I really liked that bike but as my riding began to be mostly enduro style I had to be honest and get the right tool for the job. I chose the 525 so when I do dualsport riding I can still pull tall gearing without wringing its neck too much. Also I grew up on torque Here she is in all her glory after I peeled off the stickers and cleaned her up. She had 290 hours but a fresh top end and didn't have too many real problems besides the regular little things. Next up: some singletrack and a years worth of trails.