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Adventurizing a KTM 500exc for RTW Riding

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by rtwpaul, Mar 7, 2019.

  1. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding... Supporter

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    It’s easy to carry a few stock plates if there are any issues, and getting a full set is always going to be easier for a stock set up than a specific.

    in your case I would say use it, buy a second friction set have them boxed up ready to ship out, for me traveling internationally getting mail deliveries in the middle of nowhere is really tough
    advrockrider, cprbusa and ScotsFire like this.
  2. guavadude

    guavadude Dirt Nap Enthusiast

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    Hey Paul, I'm curious how you're dealing with the vibrations of the bike for longer distance days. The previous DR650 is so smooth and eats miles but I know the KTM can be a paint shaker. Any specific mods to deal with this on the smaller bike?
    ScotsFire likes this.
  3. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

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    My 525 doesn't vibrate much at all, I don't even notice it on my 640A. I'm guessing Paul's 500 is pretty smooth.
  4. BLucare

    BLucare What could possibly go wrong?

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    I just bought some Barkbusters bar end weights, which I haven't installed yet, to hopefully help with handlebar vibrations on my TE610. I've seen a lot of positive reviews about them, but can't speak from experience. Might be worth checking out, but obviously, those would not help with vibrations through the seat.
  5. chilejack

    chilejack Viajero Viejo

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    The 640 motor had a reputation as a shaker, but I think the newer KTM/Husky/GasGas thumpers have eliminated most of that. My Husky FX350 is pretty smooth, My DR650 has characteristic thumper vibration but it is very low frequency and not unpleasant. It's the high frequency buzz that puts your extremities to sleep!
    JagLite and timeOday like this.
  6. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junky

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    The majority of 500s are smooth running engines, there's a few shakers out there with cranks that obviously aren't true but those are the exception. The counterbalancer does it job but if the crank isn't or wasn't trued well from the factory it's going to vibrate.
    enduro16 likes this.
  7. guavadude

    guavadude Dirt Nap Enthusiast

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    I've briefly ridden an EXC 500 and didn't think it was that bad but didn't get it up to speed on pavement. Rode a friends FE501 this weekend and the vibes were so bad I took it off my list of desirable bikes. That and the fact that it felt like it had so much power it wanted to rip my arms off. I'm just wondering if the trade off for a lighter bike is more vibration which I'm not sure it's a deal I'd make, but I'm just running BDRs not world traveling.
    davyjones and JagLite like this.
  8. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding... Supporter

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    I think its all relative to you as an individual, I don't find the exc bad at all, I do have some inserts from Fasst Co that reduce what is there even more, and they work with the HDB big bolt set which is nice, and also a couple of extra wraps of tape under the rally grips is a little help too

    [​IMG]

    I used to build big hp v-twin bikes, some over 200hp with vibrations that could dislocate your shoulders, you got used to the feeling eventually.

    ...but ironically the one bike more than any other bike I've ever owned, and that list is over 200 bikes deep, is the Yamaha XT1200 Super Tenere, just something about the resonation of that beast that makes my hands lose feeling. And it should, in theory, be the smoothest of them all.
  9. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junky

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    As a single it will be a little buzzy but unless you have problems with numbness in your hands the 500 is no worse than most singles and better then quite a few. Don't base it on the FE, lots of things can contribute to vibration. Some owners did get motors that vibrated more than others but overall they aren't a bike that everyone looks for a vibration solution. It does suck that some get sold with cranks that obviously are out of true. If you end up with one of those that does suck. Don't rule out a good balance on the wheels, they shake like hell with rimlocks if some weight isn't added.
  10. timeOday

    timeOday Long timer

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    Are you sure those were engine vibrations vs. unbalanced wheels?
    KTM/Husky does itself a huge disservice by shipping bikes with rimlocks and not balancing the wheels. At around 50-60 mph it's vision-blurring bad.
    (Edit - "as RideFreak just stated...")
  11. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

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    You should see how much my 525 wobbles at high speed with old, soft, clapped out mousse's, the steering damper earns its keep.:lol3
    davyjones and steved57 like this.
  12. wfv56

    wfv56 Been here awhile

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    TimeOday and ridefreak speak the truth. That sounds like wheel balance,my 501 was unridable on the street with out of balance wheels. Post balance no vibes to speak of.
    JagLite and NoelJ like this.
  13. keithmckenney

    keithmckenney Adventure riding for fun and adventure Supporter

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    Just curious and don't mean to sidetrack the thread but is it worthwhile to ride to TDF on a ktm 500?
    I thought most of the routes were pretty tame and off road options limited without extensive local knowledge.
    Just curious....
  14. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding... Supporter

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    The reason I started this thread is to show the bike I'll be using for another RTW on, part of that will be heading to TDF, @advrockrider may have got inspired by what I'm doing or have his own plans, either way, is great.

    Tame, strange opinion, riding the Andes can be some of the most extreme riding in the world (having ridden South America five times), map sets can show you this or maybe look at google earth, just depends on how aggressive and adventurous the rider wants to be, the 500 is the perfect bike for this ride IMO and the locals will be more than willing to help.
  15. Bt10

    Bt10 Long timer

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    Cruising sprockets, balanced 50/50 tires, small windshield, big tank, soft wide seat, giant loop; sounds good to me.

    :thumbup
  16. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

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    Why would you use 50/50 tires?
  17. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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  18. Bt10

    Bt10 Long timer

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    Mileage. RTW. S. American rough roads? General statement, comparing to what others use on similar sized bikes. Aaron S., Michnus, Paul, Mick and Tan, etc, or change as often as you want.:thumbup
    TRoberts and eakins like this.
  19. guavadude

    guavadude Dirt Nap Enthusiast

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    Interesting. I've always used Oury grips on MTB and scooters.
    eakins likes this.
  20. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Yep long mileage is a huge factor.
    Guess he never read Paul's tire comparison articles.
    TRoberts likes this.