KTM 525 EXC as an Adventure Bike

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

  1. leesbian

    leesbian Been here awhile

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    That's my feeling too - maintenence periods are quoted in HOURS not in terms of 1,000's of miles like any "normal" bike.

    My 525 MXC is great fun, and I'd dearly like to get a comfy seat for it and take it on some long distance trips, but I'm concerned that its just gonna blow up at the worst possible time.

    Convince me otherwise, and I'll take it with me to Norway and back at the end of next month. Otherwise, its beginning to look like I'll br acquiring and taking an XR400.
    #41
  2. CANADIAN BACON

    CANADIAN BACON CONFEDERATE CANADIAN

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    The guy to call in Ohio is Tood.
    If you think your going to get some help:lol3:lol3:lol3:lol3
    HEY "Les" are you going to take your girl friend to norway?????
    #42
  3. Stu

    Stu Buffo Maximus

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    Dang. You mean, now that I am getting my 525 ready to both race and dual sport that I will have to buy a new 690 Adventure when they come out so I can have a long distance bike? Life seems to deliver nasty blows and tough choices....

    Stu
    #43
  4. flux_capacitor

    flux_capacitor I know a shortcut!

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    You guys are way overthinking this. Ride the damn bike. Do the maintenance. Have a good time. It is a hoot to rip it up out there on these things. You do not want to ride it from say Michigan to Florida but it is not going to self destruct. :ricky
    #44
    bike likes this.
  5. alfaris

    alfaris MOTERO TORERO

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    true,

    525 is a fun machine:freaky
    #45
  6. leesbian

    leesbian Been here awhile

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    OK, serious now - with the correct mods, oil cooler, better seat, probably one of those cam throttle things...

    Is this the kind of bike that could do a 40,000 mile RTW trip? (none of this 2 or 3 day trip nonsense!)

    I've looked at the Let's build a DS KTM 525 thread, and it all looks doable, but... my worries are :

    Reliability
    Fuel Consumption / Range

    The other bike I am considering is an XR400, which is more reliable (engine not highly tuned, air cooled, no electronic black boxes to go wrong), and has better fuel consumption/range (I really don't wanna get stranded in the middle on Mongolia).

    Which I've these two bikes would be the best for this task?

    I'm thinking that is going to have to be the Honda...
    #46
  7. John E Davies

    John E Davies Runs at Mouth Adventurer

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    No. You need a less highly strung bike, not one with a race motor. Like a DR650 or similar.
    #47
  8. flux_capacitor

    flux_capacitor I know a shortcut!

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    I wouldn't personally bring EITHER of these bikes on a RTW trip. John is right about the 525...it is too high strung for that. The 400 would be small for me. I'd be looking at a 650, be it a KLR, XR, or DR. Just my opinion.
    #48
  9. Stu

    Stu Buffo Maximus

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    The 525 does have its virtues that could be strengthened. It is robust, simple and durable. With protective skid plate, etc. it would be hard to harm it. It is so light compared to the competition that handling it for miles in deep sand or muddy tracks in Siberia would be much easier. The reliability could be extended with a thicker base gasket, a cush rear hub, an HT oil cooler, etc. You would be limited in what you could carry even with the ProMoto rack and Dirt Bagz mounted to that rack. You could overcome some of the mileage problems with the JR jetting and the 6.6 gallon Acerbis tank. It would be a whole lot more fun than the competition as well. If you are mechanically adept it should do just fine. If they can do the Dakar on them with every mile being pushed to the limit the 525 should be able to do a RTW trip.

    The new 690 Adventure ('08 it is rumored) definitely would work since the 640s routinely do that trip.

    Stu
    #49
  10. Ruffus

    Ruffus Dirty Old Mudder

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    any such option as a lower compression piston??? give up a couple ponies for longevity??
    #50
  11. Stu

    Stu Buffo Maximus

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    Not that I know of. This does have a very stout forged piston, unlike the sand cast ones in the 400/450s. This piston is one of the reasons this bike seems to run forever. I have seen '02s with who knows how many miles on them and just beat to crap and then pulled out and ridden some more. Tough bikes. Just raise the deck height a bit with thicker base gaskets.

    Stu
    #51
  12. Ruffus

    Ruffus Dirty Old Mudder

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    I have no doubt the piston will last with good gas, but for the intended use in this thread, getting good gas is a crapshoot, & even the best components will succumb to detonation, although a switchable dual ignition curve can help, optimum timing for good fuel & a retarded curve for poor quality, along with the other additions mentioned before
    #52
  13. Stu

    Stu Buffo Maximus

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    Although the 950 does have a dual curve built in I do not think any of the singles used to run around the world have them. Everyone I know that runs in Mexico on the local gas seems to get along OK even when pulling hard in sandy washes. You could index the stator before you left and then reset it if detonation occurred. The fuel would have to be pretty awful to create it.
    Stu
    #53
  14. leesbian

    leesbian Been here awhile

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    Hmm... the problem is that - at the moment - I'm not mechanically adept. Although with I guess, 14 months before I plan to leave, I have the time to learn :)

    I'm purposely taking an offroad bike rather than a DS bike like my F650GS BECAUSE it means I can't take too much crap - just the essentials.

    It really is a choice between the 525 or the XR400 - once you get off of decent roads, your bigger displacement bikes are just heavier and sucking more fuel than the smaller bikes (therefore less range) - you'll still only be able to travel at the speed at which conditions allow, which I expect to be averaging 55 kph. Power is great for cruising on a highway, but the extra power and weight just work against you when your are stuck in some sand or mud.

    Bearing that in mind, sacraficing ponies for longevity is no problem at all, the same goes for fuel consumption.

    The dakar is different though - the bikes get serviced and if necessary, rebuilt, every night at the bivouac. I don't intend to doing that - and I'm not going to have much luggage allowance for spares either.

    I agree it would be more fun than the competition... which is what this is all about, after all... otherwise I'd just use a R1200GS and stick mainly to asphalted roads the whole way round ;)

    I have a trip from UK to Norway and back planned in about 6 weeks. I'm going to use that as a dry run for whatever bike I take RTW, it's about a 3000 mile round trip (I guess thats 10 days). I could take the 525 on this, with some minor modifications... I will be mostly in developed countries, so if things go bang, I should be able to get it repaired... hmmm....

    Have you guys heard of ANYONE using a non-adventure series KTM (EXC,SXC,MXC) for any kind of long distance prolonged riding?
    #54
  15. Ruffus

    Ruffus Dirty Old Mudder

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    I could be wrong, my memory ain't what it used to be, but I think a member named jimeconomo or something like that, his brother has major miles on his EXC450 in SM trim, could be the exception to the rule, but the only one that can give you an honest answer is someone whos tried it & tried doing major miles on it. Good luck :thumb
    #55
  16. vuugti

    vuugti Pretty much...

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    Jim's the guy. He was selling his 520 on here not long ago. His user name doesn't come up anymore, so I'm not sure what happened. Yea, he and his brother have put major miles on them.

    All this speculation; do we know of anyone who's 525 has shit the bed after 2000 mi or 5K or 7.5K?

    I'd have zero reservations taking the 525 to the end of the world and back. Let's face it if it can handle Dakar your RTW trip is no biggie.
    #56
  17. leesbian

    leesbian Been here awhile

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    OK, I'll make some mods to the 525, and take it on the test ride to Norway. *IF* it handles that OK, maybe I'll take it RTW. In the meantime I'm gonna be on the lookout for a decent XR400, just in case.

    Right, so with that in mind... my 525 is a stock MXC, other than a DOMO exhaust. What mods would you recommend for covering long distances?

    My list is quite extensive, but essentials look to be :

    - HT Racing oil cooler
    - Renazco seat
    - some form of windshield
    - pro moto billet rack

    I also need to get the rest of the lighting kit installed, all the switches are installed, but no indicators :-/

    Anything else?
    #57
  18. Ruffus

    Ruffus Dirty Old Mudder

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    It might need regearing for more street friendly RPM's ??? & a fan wouldn't hurt
    #58
  19. moragabiker

    moragabiker Adventurer

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    You should be set after adding a 25L Gas Tank and a Steering Damper.

    In order to carry your gear without fear of breaking your subframe, you might also consider a small Expedition Rear Bag from www.wolfmanluggage.com
    #59
  20. lucky_strike

    lucky_strike whose flux?

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    I Dont Meen To Be An Ass...but, Round The World On A Xr400? Ouch Man. I Think You Should Try It, That Way , In The Future, We Know If It Can Be Done. Good Luck On Either One I Say...better Off With A Klr, Or Mabye Even An Xr650l Or Something.

    Well Never Know If You Dont Try...until Then Its "is Chevy Better Than Ford"
    #60