KTM 500 - Less is more?

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

  1. header

    header Chris

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    I used to fight poor sealing performance like this nearly every ride. On my XRR I found the solution was to replace the spacers with hardened ones and replace everything at the same time and fill every nook and cranny with waterproof grease. Then replace everything altogether.

    On my 04 EXC I got the best results from regular maintenance. Cleaning out the old grease and getting new stuff in there. The spacers I had weren't hardened but keeping good grease in there helped alot.

    Now on my 08 EXC the spacers were updated along the production line between 04 and 08 and have a much better sealing surface and I haven't had a hard time yet but I still take the axle out and clean and grease it after every couple of rides and after EVERY muddy ride.

    Throughout this I had some premature bearings that let go way too early but my biggest incentive was stuck axles. Its no fun working on stuff when you can't even get the wheel off :bluduh
    #81
  2. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    So its not just me,I put All-Balls ft wheel bearings in my DRZe,danged if the ft wheel didnt still have slop in it side to side.

    Then without much thought I put the same brand of bearings in the ft wheel on a 200 KTM,had the same slop the DRZe had.

    I can only wonder what the use is of bearings that have play right out of the box? Some one in China knows.
    #82
  3. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    It always seems to me that water is the real enemy with wheel bearings and the spacers/dust seals. Water can get in most anywhere and takes fine dirt/silt with it.
    It can wreck the dust seals over the bearings like grinding paste,then the spacers rubbing against the dust seals are subject to the same paste at pretty high speed,cleaning and greasing of course helps,maybe having extra dust seals and popping them in from time to time. Ive submerged bikes/wheels in nasty waterholes with river silt in them and had the wheel bearings die the next ride,they're dirt bikes,its just what happens.
    #83
  4. header

    header Chris

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    I agree, mudd is bad when it gets packed behind things and starts pushing on stuff but otherwise its the water in the mudd that wears stuff out. Thats why I think having the new spacers and regular cleaning did the best.
    #84
  5. header

    header Chris

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    I know all ball's is made in China but they use pretty good materials from the factory. You sure your hub(s) hasn't lost any material?
    #85
  6. espressodrinker

    espressodrinker Cape Town Wanderer

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    I wonder if one could just remove the dust seals completely and put a grease nipple in the middle of the hub?
    A few pumps of grease after a muddy ride would force new grease into the bearings and get rid of the water.
    This used to work back in the day on bicycles.
    #86
  7. Tarheel Wheeler

    Tarheel Wheeler Around

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    Ned, Great thread as usual! Thanks for all the useful info and well thought out accessory plan.

    Question...Since you're using this bike as a single track - woods scalpel, was wondering if you looked at the 350 XCF-W when you considered new bikes? If you rode a 350, would be interested in hearing your thoughts when comparing it to the 500 XC-W.

    Again, thanks for all the great info.
    #87
  8. neduro

    neduro Addict Super Moderator

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    I did, I actually got to ride a 13 for a full day guiding at the CO 600.

    First, the 350 rips. It lacks torque, but even at 8k feet, it would usefully accelerate above 70mph, which I was amazed by. But, you have to really spin for it- not much torque down low, and while it's darn fast up top, you better be on your game and tap dancing on the shifter.

    In the woods, it handles great, but it took a higher level of commitment than I enjoy. I've always been a big-bore guy, meaning I ride best when I'm not shifting all the time and rely on the torque of the engine. The 350 doesn't do that, it has plenty of go, but you will shift 3x more than on the 450 or 500 to go the same speed down the trail.

    Finally, the bike felt physically small to me- I dragged the pegs in places I didn't expect to, and the length of the cockpit seems a bit shorter than the 450/500.

    What that boils down to is 100% personal preference. I prefer the bigger bore/ bigger bike, and that isn't really a knock on the 350 at all. I think the only place it came up short is for real dualsporting- gearing and revs would be an issue if you were doing lots of pavement/ boring dirt.
    #88
  9. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    If the bearings were wobbling in the hub it would be pretty obvious and wouldnt last long. It was bearing play on both bikes.
    #89
  10. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    Im of the same mind,shifting lots doesnt help much with trail concentration,bigger bores usually leave you with a choice of gears for any given situation.
    I had an 06 400EXC and even it was a little weak off the bottom for cliff climbs with no run at them,it would also get hot and stall at the damndest of times. My 530 takes no notice of most climbs,just a matter of pointing it the right way.
    #90
  11. Tarheel Wheeler

    Tarheel Wheeler Around

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    I tend to agree with you both, but simply wanted to gets Ned's insight.

    I will say that the 12 lbs or so difference in weight between the 2 is definitely noticed in the woods. The 350 weight is getting close to the KTM 300 2T.
    #91
  12. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    The new 300's can be taken to about 216 lbs or less by removing the E starter/battery,with a recluse clutch stalling doesnt happen. Hard to easily get a 4 stroke dirt bike in that neighborhood.
    Im still kind of a 2 stroke weenie for tight trails.
    #92
  13. c.vestal

    c.vestal Rally On

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    Progress on the Rally Moto Kit for the 500...:evil

    [​IMG]
    #93
  14. neduro

    neduro Addict Super Moderator

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    What are others out there seeing for fuel economy?

    Mine is stone stock, right down to the pipe, and my most recent ride was in deep sand. I expected bad mileage, but it got barely 15 mpg, which doesn't seem right. I'm mystified that it seems to get substantially worse mileage than my carbed bike, especially when the 450 I demoed was so far on the other end of the spectrum.
    #94
  15. wizz

    wizz Up a creek......

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    According to the fellas on this thread:
    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=746534
    numbers should be much higher. My 350 seems to be drinking more gas than what people generally experience as well. Just got a recall notice in the mail regarding a fuel line issue. Gonna have the shop take a look while they're fixing the recall since the bike is still under warranty.
    #95
  16. SRG

    SRG SRG

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    Not the same bike - but as a point of reference - I have a 2010 Husaberg FX450 that gets right at 50mpg in an equal mix of pavement/gravel/2 track jeep trail. I believe the Berg shares much of it's injection system w/ the KTM's (and much of rest of the motors internals).

    Some of the mileage figures in this thread seem very low.
    #96
  17. bmgyver

    bmgyver Adventurer

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    2013 500 exc with best dualsportbikes magic mod desmogged with 15/51 gearing
    46mpg average on LAb2v ride with lots of sandwashes
    #97
  18. crankshaft

    crankshaft Guns are for pussies

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    Lay off the Burritos:lol3
    #98
  19. CamelBill

    CamelBill Ride It!

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    About 35 mpg running pretty hard on a mix of atv trails and single track has been my experience so far on a '13 XC-W. Santa is bringing a new 3.2 gal Acerbis so I can hopefully get close to 100 miles on a tank. This is similar to the mileage I got on my '03 450 RFS.
    #99
  20. crankshaft

    crankshaft Guns are for pussies

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    I'm getting about the same in snow/ice covered single track, with lots of wheel spin.