KTM 525 EXC as an Adventure Bike

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Karnage, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. Karnage

    Karnage Lost again!

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    I'm thinking of setting up a KTM 525 EXC as an adventure bike. I was originally going for a 640 Adventure but thought the 525 might suit me better. Mainly because of the significantly reduced weight (113Kg compared to 158Kg) and the fact that some of the adventure rides we do involve some serious enduro riding.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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    I was going to make the following mods to make it more suitable for adventure riding -<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    25L Fuel Tank<o:p></o:p>
    <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Cush Drive</st1:address></st1:Street> Hub<o:p></o:p>
    Oil cooler to increase oil capacity<o:p></o:p>
    A comfortable seat<o:p></o:p>
    Soft Panniers<o:p></o:p>
    Steering Damper<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    My main concern is wheather the bike can handle the long trips & clocking up alot of KM's and therefore having valve problems.<o:p></o:p>
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    Any thoughts would be appreciated?<o:p></o:p>
    #1
  2. MymoJoe

    MymoJoe Ride Ride Ride

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    funny thing is I have been toying with the idea of down sizing from my KTM950.. and a 525 is one i have been looking at. I will be interested in the posts here!!
    #2
  3. boyscout

    boyscout sittin' down

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  4. Karnage

    Karnage Lost again!

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    mortaygo

    I also had a 950 Adv 2005 that I sold a few days ago. Great bike on the open stuff but a bit of a handfull when doing the serious enduro rides,
    hence the post. I'm keen to get something as soon as possible and think the 525 would be the best for my sort of riding. I'm just worried about the endurance of the bike. Hopefull the oil cooler ,which increases oil capacity by 53%, will help.
    #4
  5. Dirt Doctor

    Dirt Doctor Geographicallyembarrassed

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    My 02 640 now has over 45,000k on it and I've had no problems......touch wood. I've had an 03 525 and a 05 525. I got rid of both before I put too many k's on them and had valve probelms. Both had about 10,oook on them and the valves were getting a little bit tighter each service even when I changed the oil and filters every 500k .

    I think you would be very brave turning the 525 into a tourer and expecting to get decent k's out of a high performnace engine. also if you plan on loading it up with touring gear you may also need to look at reinforcing the rear subframe to take your panniers/saddle bags/sleeping bag/thermarest/clothes/food etc.

    steering damper is highly recommended. I have only just put one on my 200 EXC and it totally changed the stability of the bike.

    stick with the 640 as an adventure mount and have a look around for a cheap bike for the tight stuff...
    #5
  6. FEJ

    FEJ Durka Durka

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    I have an 04' 525 EXC. Big Tank, soft seat, steering dampaner, but I have yet to add the oil cooler. Even without the oil cooler and a cush drive I have taken mine on 700 mile trips down in Baja with a few highway miles added in there and mine has never let me down. Valves are perfect and I don't even loose any oil. Not very comfy going a lot of miles though. I'm shopping for a 950 ADV because of this.
    #6
  7. poppy

    poppy Slow and Steady

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    what about the 625sxc or huskie te 610. By the time you add all that gear to the 525 its probalby going to be around the 150 kg mark with 25litres of fuel. have a look at the thread in here fat boy has just what your looking for. Everything is a compromise with the enduro type and adventure type riding. Big bike to heavy or small bike not reliable enough due to valves. Everything has it purpose . You need 2 bikes.:wink:
    #7
  8. Hair

    Hair Outside the boxer

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    I am planning on using my 525 for more ADV type stuff.
    It would be painfull to log a few hundard miles on US highways with it. But Mexico and back roads it's great.

    I would say that the short list of things to change out is in lncludes
    oil cooler
    crush hub
    larger tank
    Fan
    Lights and that crap.


    To be honest my 525 has to be flogged at highway speeds. That was with a 14/48 setup. I was well in the the throttle at 80 mph.
    If I were to buy a bike specific for this. I would (and am) looking hard at a Husaberg FE650.

    The 525 is a 510 cc with 48 hp
    The 650 is a true 650 with between 60 and 70 hp. and lots more torque.

    They are both the same motor. Both are very snappy.

    Honestly as soon as I can swing the deal I am trading up.
    Given that I only use about 10% of the throttle on the 525 on single track. But I do use the entire throttle on the road.


    I started Advriding with larger bikes.
    But two people whom I respect alot both said Why. Why are you doing this type of riding with the big heavy bikes.

    I've been downsizing every since.
    #8
  9. Hair

    Hair Outside the boxer

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    I keep adding to this post.

    Lately I've taken to reading the SuperMotard sites. I hate to admitt it. But in some areas those guys have a lot of experience. They are riding their bikes on the street all the time. They ride them hard. They are also ahead of us as far as converting dirtbikes into medium haul street/dirt bikes.

    Since I am now a berger fan I will offer links to two great sites.

    I like this one the best.
    http://www.supermotojunkie.com/index.php

    http://www.husaberg.org/
    #9
  10. beerjonny

    beerjonny Planning mode...

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  11. Jan from Finland

    Jan from Finland Been here awhile

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  12. Hair

    Hair Outside the boxer

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    I really enjoyed the Dual Sport Adventrues link. :thumb
    I don't think that I would be going as far as to make a rally bike out of a 525.


    This is turning into a great link.
    #12
  13. flux_capacitor

    flux_capacitor I know a shortcut!

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    BTW- 2500 miles on my non cush hub equipped 525 EXC so far. No problems. Take it easy on engine braking and shifting while on tarmac and you'll be ok so long as you run full knobs. LC4 rear wheels have cush hubs and fit, FYI, but good luck on finding one at a decent price. I gave up on that a while ago. Yer looking at $300 minimum. 2 valve adjustments, oil change every 500 miles (which could be extended with the cooler.) Also, haven't seen a way to run panniers. The rear subframe is not meant to hold the weight, and there are no realy good mounting points. They do make Dirt Bagz soft bags from motosport panniers.com for (I believe) pre '03 models though. I have a Wolfman Mini Beta bag to haul my camping stuff around in. Works like a charm. All I had to do was fab a piece of metal to hold the bag away from the pipe. Very easy fix.
    #13
  14. privateidaho

    privateidaho bike spud

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    I just bought the 525 you see on dsadventures.com, from a great fellow advrider, got it last week and have only put a couple hours on it, dirt road and a little singletrack. A couple things I can tell you already - it is waaay smoother vibration-wise than the LC4 - based on comparing it with my 03 625. I really like the 625 and I'm working on taming the vibes but for me anyway it is hand-numbing at certain revs. Make sure you compare and determine your vibration tolerance. Also I'm wondering about the aluminum subframe on the 525 as far as load carrying goes. It looks pretty wimpy but I'm going to trying it out with a 30lb or so backpack-camping style load and see if it breaks. It's also pretty simple and looks like you could reinforce it... someone has probably already done this...
    #14
  15. beerjonny

    beerjonny Planning mode...

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    :cry Jealous :huh
    #15
  16. flux_capacitor

    flux_capacitor I know a shortcut!

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    The subframe is wimpy for sure. If you figure a way to reinforce it please post it up. I have been carrying about 20 lbs in my Mini Beta bag without issue, but I do ride with the bag closer to the seat than the license plate area, for added stability.

    Check it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Baja Designs kit, Moose front fender bag, XC tank and seat combo, Wolfman Enduro tank bag, Wolfman Mini Beta rear bag, Enduro Engineering bash plate. I just put a 50 tooth steel rear sprocket on last night to replace the worn stock 48 tooth aluminum one. It make a huge difference. Can't wait to test it out offroad. I got 2500 miles out of the stock chain and sprocket set. I'm also running Dunlop 606 front and rear. The rear is better than the previous Pirelli MT21 but I don't really like the front. I will probably go with something different up front next time. My next mod is going to be a Renazco seat. I am really tired of having a sore ass after every ride. (Insert gay joke here) Looks to me like a well built seat. The Corbin looks to block off the airbox.
    #16
  17. flux_capacitor

    flux_capacitor I know a shortcut!

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    BTW- in the dsadventures.com parts list, they incorrectly list the oil cooler as $200 which is wrong, that is a $400 item. :deal
    #17
  18. s4awd

    s4awd Anywhere but here.

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    Making an RFS do adv riding is like entering a world cup cross country mountain biking event with a bmx bike. You can do it but it's gonna suck. After getting out of the woods, I took my 525 on the highway and immediately was lookiing to get off the next exit and ride the service road. The bike is so light and you're up so high, that I was just waiting to get blown underneath a tractor trailer. All the advantages that a street motorcycle has, speed, brakes, size, don't exist on a dirtbike on tarmac. Later that day I was in my car and a guy on a GS adv just flew by doing 80+ weaving through traffic on the West Side Highway. You ain't gonna see anyone do that on an RFS. BUT.... riding an all out dirtbike around town feels sooo illegal and fun that it's worth buying it even if you never take it out on dirt. :D
    #18
  19. John E Davies

    John E Davies Runs at Mouth Adventurer

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    Very pretty bike, if all you want to do is look at it or someone else is buying the parts. After the first few falls onto rocks it will look like hell and those gorgeous expen$ive handmade alloy pannier tanks will look like road-side trash. I threw away my _plastic_ rear Baja Designs tank, in favor of a monster Acerbis main tank, because it was just getting too torn up by the trail and the chain.

    Same for that drop-dead gorgeous fairing - please post some pics of Dakar bikes AFTER the race, so we can see what they look like after the carnage. I simply can't afford to replace a few thousand dollars worth of bodywork after every ride.... My bike has to be crashable:

    [​IMG]
    #19
  20. Jan from Finland

    Jan from Finland Been here awhile

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    During:

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    and after:

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    #20