I was never planning to buy a new bike. I have ridden my old 1995 Kawasaki KLX650C for many miles and planned to do so forever. I had so much money sunk into so many mods for the bike that I never thought I would sell it. I had started to save last summer to buy a newer bike for the long rides like a KTM 530 or something similar. But I never thought I would sell the old KLX. Dig it in its element! Then, one day, I was riding the KLX in Odessa at the Desert 100. They put on a dual sport ride and I had gone over to have a fun day of riding on the KLX. It was fantastic. I skipped the course inside the private property (since I was due to go on another big Nevada ride in just a couple months and did not want to break anything) and headed out to run the roads. The Stumpjumpers surprised me with a nice bit of single track right off the bat. I was ripping along at my own pace, loving the ride. I had a minor wipeout in a deep silty rut but no big deal. Anyway, it was fantastic. I was loving the ride. Toward the end of the loop, there is a stop in Odessa at the brewery for lunch. I headed in and got myself a nice cool Gatorade. I decided to skip a big lunch since there was some more single track coming up and camp was just a few miles away. I headed out to my bike in the parking lot with a whole bunch of other bikes. I noticed the smell of gas. Weird. Someone must have a leaky needle. I noticed a wet streak across the bottom of my unobtanium Acerbis tank on my KLX. Uh oh. It looks like maybe my fuel valve is leaking. I looked up under there. Nope. Not coming from the valve. Not good! I decided to head directly back to camp and have a look at what was going on. So, I loaded the bike on the trailer and drained as much fuel as possible out of the tank. Still not sure what was wrong, I headed for dinner. After some more investigation, it became obvious the tank had sprung a leak. Here is where it was coming from: So now what was I going to do. Just a couple months to get a new tank for my bike. Did I mention that I had to be involved in a group buy back in 2007 to get Acerbis to manufacture that tank? They are never for sale. This was no good! I started looking for a 530. Then I ran across posts about the 500 EXC and XCW. I had seen a cool KTM 500 EXC at the D100. Once I started reading about the EXC, I knew that it was the machine I needed to buy. I started calling around for prices. Ouch! :eek1 I found some good deals. Now I had to talk to my financial advisor. She was not too keen on the idea of me spending all that money. I told her about how I could sell both of my bikes and then I would not spend so much. It seemed to work. It took a while but finally she said it was ok. So, I called the dealers back. I found out that Tyler at Experience Powersports in Moses Lake, WA could give me the best deal. This worked out well since my parents are in Moses Lake so I could do some work on the bike at their house. Tyler told me he had 2 2013 500 EXC bikes coming from the east coast right now. I told him I would be over to get one as soon as it arrived. As it worked out, Tyler was a fantastic guy to deal with. We had some minor issues but he always worked very hard to make sure everything was right. Things got really serious now. I was scanning thru huge threads online about the 500 trying to figure out what parts to buy for it. The bike has some weaknesses so I had to buy some goodies including: Seat Concepts Standard seat complete Acerbis 5.3 gallon natural tank Flatland Racing aluminum skid plate Flatland Racing aluminum pipe guard Enduro Engineering case saver Highway Dirt Bike Scotts holder, upper handlebar clamp, hand guards with integral turn signals, key switch relocator plate, anti-vibration inserts, and rear LED turn signals LED flasher RAM mounts on handlebar clamp bolts Scotts steering stabilizer Baja Designs Squadron LED headlight kit Trail Tech map switch Complete Acerbis white plastic kit Golan fuel filter KTM fuel fill sock filter for the stock tank Profill fuel fill sock filter for the Acerbis 5.3 gallon tank Dirt Tricks 14 front and 50 rear sprocket RK Gold X-Ring chain Neduro's Doubletake Mirrors (off my KLX) I also bought some spare parts including a complete fuel line set, a recall set that included more tiny fuel filters and some hose clamps, a fuel injector, the screws and plugs to block off the smog stuff and a spark plug. Before installing the Golan filter, I took it apart to have a look inside. I found it was not assembled correctly. The filter media was in the wrong side which would lead to poor fuel flow. Here is a picture of the correct order of assembly. And now here is how you should assemble the filter. Take the side without the o-ring Drop in the filter media Then the spring And then take the side with the o-ring And put it on. Tighten securely and install. Be sure to align the flow arrow with the direction of fuel flow. Unfortunately, it took a long time for the bike to arrive. Most of the parts arrived before it did. When it finally did show up, I headed east. I picked it up in totally stock form and ran it. Then I de-smogged it and ran it. Then I got it mapped with the Euro map. It ran great. I was really impressed with the bike. I tore it apart and added all the pieces I could before I ran out of time and had to try to go to sleep. Here is how it looked when it was pretty stock. Wow. Look how clean it is! On the way to visit the dealer. I had a really big smile when I was taking this picture! A little later with white plastic and HDB stuff mounted. HDB goodies What a cool dash! Rear blinker Front blinker Quality stuff Tank comparison photos I bought some Hitatchi connectors to wire into the stock electrical harness from Corsa Technic. They have a lot of good stuff! I wish I would have found them earlier so I could have bought the connectors for the turn signals from them too. Here is the more or less finished product before leaving to go on our latest Nevada ride. On the big ride, the kickstand broke off so I have replaced it with a Pro Moto Billet unit. I have not had a chance to ride the bike again yet so dont have any thoughts on it. It is much more convenient than finding a solid fencepost to lean it up against! The seat was awesome. I try to stand as much as possible but over 8 days and 1300 miles, I sat on it a lot and it was nice! The bike was great. Did not use any oil. Mileage ranged from 45 - 54 mpg. I loved it! It was so much easier to pick up when I dropped it! The bike is too tall for me and I will have it lowered when it goes to see MotoPro for re-spring and re-valve. I dropped it too many times just trying to get on or off. I am considering one of those quick preload adjusters like this. Has anyone tried one?