Ktm 500 as ultra lightweight ADV bike suspension?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by rcers, Oct 2, 2020.

  1. rcers

    rcers Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2020
    Oddometer:
    29
    Location:
    Indiana
    Planning on setting up 2020 500 exc-f as a ultra lightweight ADV bike to bomb around backroads on. Prob 70% pavement,20% gravel and 10% fire roads. Will be putting 4 gallon tank ,smaller dual sport soft bags on it and maybe tail rack?About 10lbs in extra fuel and guessing about 10-20 lbs extra crap max on rear.
    Questions: do you spring it for your weight plus large tank and possible extra weight of bags?
    Do I tell suspension shop to valve it stiff,soft or normal enduro settings? (Or will most shops know what I need for this kinda setup?)
    Im a off-road dirt guy and this kind of riding is all new to me so I’m essentially clueless. Definitely open to ideas and opinions. Thx
    #1
  2. Norty01

    Norty01 Occupant

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2014
    Oddometer:
    2,788
    Location:
    CARLSBAD, CA, USA
    Set-up a 701 if you're going to be "70% on-road, 30% off-road."
    With that much asphalt, you'll gain more "streetability" than you'll lose "off-roadability."
    #2
    bananu7, wbbnm, Vectored2adv and 3 others like this.
  3. rcers

    rcers Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2020
    Oddometer:
    29
    Location:
    Indiana
    Thx for the reply but I’ve already bought the 500 and looking for feedback on how to set it up for adv
    #3
    Themastermike likes this.
  4. WolfNman

    WolfNman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    Oddometer:
    240
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    That’s a lot of pavement for a 500 but to each their own. Honestly, you may not even need to respring/revalve depending on the riding you do and how aggressive you are. I’m not sure how far off the stock springs are for your weight but if they’re close- Set the sag, maybe turn in the compression adjusters a little and move on with your life.

    The ideal setup would be springs are setup for your weight and the weight of any additional stuff that you would carry the majority of the time. Valving would be based on the type of riding you do and your experience level. A lot of guys think they’re faster than they are and end up with stiff valving. Be honest when you’re talking to the suspension tech. I’m not sure if you’ll even notice a difference going this much more expensive route. Expect to spend a grand to do this.
    #4
  5. rcers

    rcers Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2020
    Oddometer:
    29
    Location:
    Indiana
    Like I said,I’m a offroad guy but at 56 years of age old injuries are starting to come back and haunt me :( So I bought a DR650 couple years ago to go adv riding on and am having fun on it but it’s just too heavy and underpowered to really get the adrenaline going. As a experiment I put 50/50 tires on my sons 2015 500 xcw earlier this spring and took it out for a 200 mile backroad day and had a absolute blast on it. So that’s why I bought myself a new one to play with. His suspension is setup for someone much heavier than I am. In general,are adv/road bikes valves stiffer or softer than enduro bikes?
    #5
    Mrstig likes this.
  6. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junky

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    15,443
    Location:
    Out in the NM Dez somewhere
    Your $$ would well spend to have the suspension tuner make the suspension plush and compliant, along with that typically comes better valving. That's going to be felt much more then a spring that may be slightly off for the riding you are planning. Most of us spring for their weight, bump up the preload when we are carrying stuff since that usually isn't all the time and when we aren't carrying much gear we don't want an overly stiff suspension, during the time we're more likely to push the bikes limits. The 4 gallon tank (when full) will affect the spring rate but how much of the riding is with a full tank. Remember you're talking street, forest and fire roads, make it ride nice.
    #6
  7. Navin

    Navin Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
    28,930
    Ride it a bit. If its wallowing on fast braking on the street.... thats a clue but if you are just popping along stock might be fine. I wouldn't fix it until I knew what I wanted it to do better. If you plan on SM set up which Id likely do in your place, well, again it depends on how hard you will ride it and where. Nobody rides exactly like you, or likes exactly what you like or expect.

    $00.02
    #7
    MCGMB, wbbnm, andrewgore and 3 others like this.
  8. roookie1

    roookie1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    575
    Location:
    Denmark
    Large tank, cush hub, suspension in the rear set up for added weight.. Look up Aaron S. he has done more than 100000 km on a 500 exc around the globe..
    #8
    Bitingdog likes this.
  9. nzrian

    nzrian renegade master Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,779
    Location:
    Queenstown , NZ
    This is mine , 2019.

    IMG_20200213_091745.jpg

    I weigh about 90kg, and have left the suspension stock.
    Works fine, I am not racing anywhere.
    #9
    jm19328, BT4Stroke, VDG and 6 others like this.
  10. Mrstig

    Mrstig Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2020
    Oddometer:
    89
    Location:
    Crescent city california
    I have a 2019 husqvarna fe450. Similar forks I think? I do some boring gravel and a little pavement u fortunently. I find that they don't have very good small bump compliance from the factory. Small potholes can rock you more than huge waterbars. Ive read that a good suspension guy can address this. Factory weight range is 160-180lbs. Im only 155 normally, but after gear and camping stuff im pushing 185 or more. So it might need a slightly heavier spring. But I would just ride it for awhile first. Fix the seat, smog junk, and have fun. See what you think from there.
    #10
    Bitingdog and radmann10 like this.
  11. satchmo3

    satchmo3 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    223
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Try adjusting your clickers, your bike is sprung correctly for your weight. I have a 17’ 450 exc and adjusting the compression and rebound with the clickers makes a huge difference, I adjust regularly according to trail conditions. As said before, a little preload on the rear when you’re loaded heavy. YouTube is your friend.
    #11
    JP4 and WolfNman like this.
  12. WolfNman

    WolfNman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    Oddometer:
    240
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    This. Keep putting gas in the tank until you can point out the things you don’t like.
    #12
  13. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    36,806
    Location:
    Annapolis, MD
    My first issues would be larger tank, better seat, soft bags and better lighting. As others have said, then start putting miles on it to see what you need for suspension. Set the sag and experiment with some adjustments. Then if it isn't plush enough, send the shock and forks to Protune or someone like that.

    For a rack, you might want to call Kytech and see if they make one for a 2020. Probably not with all the changes to that model. But they are really nice racks. And I did mean call not email. They don't respond to email.

    http://www.kytechmachine.com/shop/2017-2018-ktm-carrier-rack/

    BTW, I am a few years older and totally get what you are doing. I did the same thing. Conventional wisdom says I should be on a 690/701 for what most of my riding involves. But I don't want that weight, size, or suspension. I love my lightweight ADV setup enough to have already sold all my other bikes.
    #13
  14. rcers

    rcers Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2020
    Oddometer:
    29
    Location:
    Indiana
    Thx for the replies,I’m 230lbs so getting it sprung for my weight (+plus)is a given. Already bought the 3.9 gallon tank and new seat concepts tall just came in yesterday. Have low pegs to help with knees also. First thing I’m trying to do is make it comfortable as possible on knees then add maybe some Wolfman E-12 bags. After that it will be lighting,good lighting is not cheap but almost mandatory incase you get caught out after dark. Getting this late in the season and OT is getting worse,may end up being a winter project. Thx again

    Greatdog,what makes the rear rack so pita to instal ? So far only rear rack I’ve seen for 2020 500 is the truenorthmotos.com
    #14
    Rockaway likes this.
  15. duggram

    duggram Sunrise Bahia de LA Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,338
    Location:
    Truth or Consequences, NM
    Checkout NomadADV. They have a distributor in the PNW at Cyclops. I had their rack on my FE501 and moved it to my TE300i. Lightweight and strong.
    #15
  16. duggram

    duggram Sunrise Bahia de LA Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,338
    Location:
    Truth or Consequences, NM
    Have you ever heard of RTWPaul? He has a 500 bike build you might like.
    #16
  17. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    36,806
    Location:
    Annapolis, MD
    It wasn't for me. But a few folks on line bitched about it. They are made of super stiff wire that needs to be bent a little while simultaneously tightening a clamp nut. It wasn't hard for me. But I'm not a small person. I did need to notch the seat base because the arms on my 05 EXC run under the seat.

    Like I said, since they don't list one for 2020, they probably don't make it. But it might be worth a call to see if they have plans for one. It is crazy light, very strong and completely out of the way for when I ride it like the dirt bike it is.

    But that True North might be the the thing you want if you plan to carry a ton of stuff. The price is a little heart stopping and I didn't want something that wide. But it would have extra support and keep your bags off the pipe without a clamp on shield. It's certainly more ADV while my bike is more dual sport/day tripper.
    #17
    Navin likes this.
  18. tileman

    tileman Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,034
    Location:
    Melbourne, OZ
    Buy some motard wheels for the pavement.
    #18
  19. andrewgore

    andrewgore Gôremā

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,600
    Location:
    brrrrrrlington
    Ride it as is for awhile.....then tweak as necessary. If you're riding most all your time WITH the luggage\gas, then spring for it in that scenario. But really, for the street, if you're a bit off on suspension sag, its not gonna be the end of the world. I will note that commuting on my (2019 350exc) now with springs for my weight is a bit nicer in that I am held up a bit in the stroke, so I'm a bit more planted in the turns. That said......100% stock wasn't bad, even loaded for camping and riding singletrack. :thumb

    Oh...And 2nd set of wheels makes life great. Stock wheels have knobbies\mousses and my KKE wheels have my stock TKC80's on there. Perfect combo. :ricky
    upload_2020-10-5_17-1-29.png
    #19
    PlowHand likes this.
  20. Fast1

    Fast1 Twisted Throttle

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,183
    Location:
    Bridge over Troubled Water
    It is a pretty simple process to swap the rear spring on the dampener (camping set up to right hand twisting) and if you mark the dampener threads for your sag settings for each spring it only takes 10-15 minutes.

    The Husky is more involved with the linkage... I've done both and would rather have the KTM version for quick rear spring swaps.
    #20
    Rockaway likes this.