KTM 500 - Less is more?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by neduro, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. neduro

    neduro Addict Super Moderator

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    The 450 I demo'd got somewhere between 50 and 60mpg, which impressed me mightily.

    On the 500, my first and second rides were about 30 miles each, and I figured I would not refill between them to get a better baseline on mileage. This was all technical singletrack, my old carb'd 450 gets about 35 in this use. After 64 miles:

    [​IMG]

    (note the fuel level).

    It ran to the truck, but would not restart. Guess I shaved that close!

    And just filled it up at a pump:

    [​IMG]

    So I believe the usable capacity of the 500 is 2.2 gallons. I'd heard a variety of figures, thought I'd post my experience as a baseline.

    :deal

    Now, what remains to be seen is why I got 29.5 miles per gallon (I was even being somewhat nice, during break in), when that is so far from what I got on the 450.
    #21
  2. Ronin ADV

    Ronin ADV Gear addict

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    Great thread.
    I really like my WR but I'm pretty interested in a lighter, more powerful single track bike and I'm really starting to lust after one of these. I thought the 500 might be too much juice for single track vs the 350 but this may not be the case. I would need a bit more range than you are posting as I often ride 100-120 miles at a shot. What other fuel tank options are there for the 500?
    #22
  3. Lappeman

    Lappeman He's Down Again!

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    Great question WW Ronin! Been thinking about trading up newer, maybe the 450. Apparently we can't even get the 500 up here right now...big waiting list.


    What are the other tank options that would fit the 500 or 450? Your 2.2gal seems in line with a 9L tank. I also would need far more mileage out of it. I'm running the large 21.5L tank on my 530. Doesn't bother me with the extra weight or size and I can run hard...well as hard as I can run...for about 300kms (180miles), which is about what we run during a day on the backroads and trails here.


    Just FYI, that 2.2gal or 9L would cost $12.42 up here. In fact your highest price for gas in the US is still cheaper than our cheapest :huh


    Good start to the thread, Thanks!
    #23
  4. B-Rod

    B-Rod RubberNecker

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    I bought a large bore KTM because of my inexperience. It really helps in a pickle to have a bike that is so forgiving, and will simply chug up anything. I rode a new 350, and to be honest, it was a bit too much bike for me, simply in the way the it produces power. You can wring it's little neck, but then it can bite you in the ass!
    #24
  5. neduro

    neduro Addict Super Moderator

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    Over the years, I've had tanks from all the major manufacturers- Clarke, IMS, Clockworks, Aqualine, and Acerbis.

    I've gotten to where I'll avoid IMS and Clarke at almost any expense, and have a strong preference for Acerbis. Their stuff is OEM quality, and on KTMs, it actually is OEM.

    Acerbis makes, I'm pretty sure, 3.2 and 5.3 gallon options. They also make the KTM hardparts options, which I think are similar. MX1West.com is the place to buy Acerbis stuff.

    But, I'm hoping to figure out why the mileage was so awful. I'd like to see at least 40 out of this thing... which would make 2.2 gallons acceptable for how I plan to use it.
    #25
  6. neduro

    neduro Addict Super Moderator

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    Another comment for those of you out there with new bikes.

    It's great to do an oil change EARLY and get all the manufacturing crap out of the motor. I usually do one between 30 and 60 minutes of run time, and it's amazing to see the swarf that is stuck in the filter and on the screens.

    But, the motor was designed to be broken in on dinosaur (non synth) oil. KTM wants 5-10 hours on this before you go to the really slippery stuff. Synthetic too early may mean the rings don't seat properly, and you fight oil consumption for the whole life of the bike.

    So, by all means, drop the oil early, but put in something non-synthetic. I've been using Honda GN4, which is cheap by the gallon, and is correctly rated for clutches, etc, but I'm sure there are many oils that would fill the bill just fine.
    #26
  7. woods wizard

    woods wizard Been here awhile

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    Welcome to No.Va...expect delays
    The spark plug cap was also an issue with the Husabergs, my 570 had one at 1k miles.
    #27
  8. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    Location:
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    Ive tried 3 different kinds of steering dampers,tried em on tight single track.
    I cant do it. I want the bike to steer how I want it to steer,cant have it doing it's own input on tight left then fast right super tight corners,or anywhere really,they all drove me nuts within minutes and hitting trees was a possibility.
    I know they are great at speed and in rockpiles,I think a lotta pros turn em off for tight woods.
    The ones Ive tried,WER,Scotts,GPR, wouldnt turn down far enough to work for me.
    Am I a freak?

    I know guys,usually not great riders,who wont ride with out the things anywhere,its like a crutch to keep them upright I guess? I wonder if the dampers do just the opposite sometimes in tight woods?
    #28
  9. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    Ned: are you going to do anything with the fuel filters in this one?

    I've added a 10 micron 3.5 gallon/minute trail-serviceable golem filter to mine.
    #29
  10. guns_equal_freedom

    guns_equal_freedom Long timer

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    I have used a Scotts damper on my last 3 KTM's.
    If the damper "got in the way" I would just crank down the adjustment knob until it didn't.

    On my 500 I am going to hold off on installing a damper (still have the one from my 530) until I ride it in the desert.
    #30
  11. guns_equal_freedom

    guns_equal_freedom Long timer

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    Hey Neduro, my experince with the STR fork bleeders has not been good.
    One fell apart a few days after I installed it, the replacement stripped itself when I installed it.

    I have had nothing but good times with the KTM Hardparts bleeders.

    YMMV. :D
    #31
  12. guns_equal_freedom

    guns_equal_freedom Long timer

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    I also bought a Hyde Racing plastic skid plate.

    What I did with the front mount was to figure out where it sits, then I built up 8 layers of duct tape below where it sits on both frame rails and then used a small bit of duct tape to hold it in place.

    I used a long bolt on one side to locate the hole and get the bracket in place, then I use a smaller bolt on the other side, then I go back to the first hole and use the stock bolt and bolt it up, the do the same with the other hole.

    It's worked great so far for me.
    #32
  13. empedrado

    empedrado Been here awhile

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    While this tank is not a huge increase in volume 11.5L vs 8.5L, it does it without adding much additional bulk and it is lighter than the stock tank to boot!! In fact this tank is the same width as the stocker.

    So how did they do it. Well a bunch of the volume and the weight must be attributable to DOT vs aftermarket. This tank is thinner wall than the stocker by a significant margin. I can only assume DOT had something to do with that. In addition the indentation on the stock tank where the charcoal canister resided is not present adding probably a quart there alone -- and this is lower cg weight for the same amount of volume. Most of the rest of the volume increase comes from a taller neck on the tank. Which isn't bad as you do not have to fill it all the way up -- meaning with the stock volume of gas this tank is lighter and has a lower cg.

    The only snivels I have about the tank are that the fuel pump and shrouds are held on with wood screws vs brass inserts. Could only really see this being a potential problem if one should need to go in and change fuel filters often. The other snivel is the sock gas filter does not fit with this tank. I was having a lot of piece of mind knowing that our crappy gas was getting an extra dose of filtration before mixing with all the FI stuff. Maybe one of the engineer types could figure out how to make the filter fit.
    #33
  14. guns_equal_freedom

    guns_equal_freedom Long timer

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    One thing I did change out was the stock seat for an Enduro Engineering soft stock height seat.

    Comfy. :D
    #34
  15. unaweep

    unaweep Uses lotsa band-aids

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    Stay away from the Clockwork tank. :becca

    Acerbis is perfect, as Ned mentioned.

    As for the stabilizer- I have two 2012 500 EXCs. I didn't think I needed a stabilizer so ran about 20 hours on one with a stabilizer and 20 on the other without a stabilizer.

    While I do not think they are necessary, I must say that riding the one with the stabilizer is far less fatiguing. I'm riding primarily desert stuff in west CO and eastern UT with some initial riding in the San Juans.

    Great write up Ned. :thumb
    #35
  16. Wentjo

    Wentjo Been here awhile

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    I thought I needed a stabilizer on my 500, but after I had the suspension revalved I don't think it needs on anymore. Handles great in the rocks now and no more head shake on the road.
    #36
  17. unaweep

    unaweep Uses lotsa band-aids

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    Who did you have do your suspension? I've been thinking about it, but honestly, I found it to be pretty good, right outta the box. Had to up the rear preload quite a bit, but otherwise pretty good.
    #37
  18. c.vestal

    c.vestal Rally On

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    I have put 27 hours on my 500. Purchased with 20 on it.
    The one time I checked fuel mileage, I was riding near Sargents, CO. Mix of open 2 track to some gnarly single track on the CDT trail. Right at 50mpg.:wink:

    I have added:
    BRP rubber mounted sub mount. This bike has a noticeable vibration at lower rpm, compared to the 530. I assume this is due to a lighter counter balance.

    BRP chain guide yet to be installed.

    Dirt tricks 52T rear.

    Acerbis 3.2 gallon. I am surprised this re-used the stock shrouds.

    White front fender. Looks better to me than the orange.

    Black rims.:evil That was a high priority on my end.

    Bib Mousse, Michelin since that is what I have laying around. Once these wear out, I will order the Mefos.

    2nd ride earlier this fall.
    [​IMG]

    In the shop today.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This winter I plan to make it more long distance oriented.
    Taller gearing. around 14/45. This motor has the guts to make this work.
    Rally Moto Kit frames are cut and I am trying to get the time to fit them on.
    #38
  19. Velociraptor

    Velociraptor TrackBum

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    You guys are making it tough on me! Can't bear to part with my trusty 690r so may have to let my 990 Supermoto go and make the 690 my primary street bike and a 500 my dirt ride. Won't do anything for now though, but the 500 is sooooo tempting.
    #39
  20. unaweep

    unaweep Uses lotsa band-aids

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    Looking good mang! Surprised you don't have HDB guards on there. :dunno

    I really like the looks of that tank. I saw that today on JustGastanks web sight. I love the looks of the shrouds, but I hate messing with em. Hope we can catch a ride together again sometime. :beer
    #40