Ktm 500 as ultra lightweight ADV bike suspension?

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

  1. rcers

    rcers Adventurer

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    I’ve ridden off road my entire life and am slowly starting to transition into adv riding because my knees (among other things) are having a hard time taking the abuse. I’ve played hard my entire life and guess I’m paying for it now. I have no plans to commute or ride on the highway with it,the highway is always a last resort. I’m trying to set the exc up for backroads because it still lets me get out and ride without pounding my knees. I wanted the exc because it’s power to weight ratio and the dirt bike riding position just feels normal to me. I know there are alot of other more comfortable bikes out there but I need that adrenaline rush when I decide to twist the throttle or act like Im on a dirt bike. I’ve been riding KTM’s for last 20 years so I know the maintenance procedures also. I knew going into this I would have to get the bike setup for what I wanted it to do,not here complaining I’m merely asking questions and trying to gain knowledge from others who have already been down that road. Wide seats are much more comfortable than stock 2x4s,no need to stand all the time riding adv so why punish your @ss with a stock seat?
    #41
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  2. bananu7

    bananu7 Been here awhile

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    For the record, I am not saying that you made the wrong choice (would be a hard sell considering I just managed to get mine registered) :) - also didn't want to come out as criticising, which now that I've read my post it might appear like. Just pointing out that the way they're set up is for aggressive riding. One could argue that it's much easier to turn an aggresive bike into a comfy one than the other way around...

    OTOH, I am not going to sell my 990 now that I have the 500, but I might actually take it down the more comfy/pragmatic route now with less aggressive tyres and potentially tubeless. I am actually standing behind all the suggestions I made, thinking about either tubliss or other tubeless conversion, gonna ask my mechanic to lighten up the damping and might think about getting that one a better seat.

    Incidentally, I really like the stock EXC seat, I think the one I have on the 990 might just be too soft.
    #42
  3. jm19328

    jm19328 2020 KTM 500 Exc

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    I`ve had tubliss for about 4 years and don't have anything but great things to say about them. Its not perfect for all conditions but its awesome enduro and rocky conditions.

    I usually ride 20 miles or more on pavement to get to my favorite riding areas so It allows me to run 15-20lbs of air on the street then drop it 4-5 psi offload without worrying about getting a flat. Typically i could never run less that 12 without getting a flat in the rocks. For longer dual sports rides it gives me the peace of mind never to worry about a flat. I don't think its lighter than a tube but its very close, were talking a few ounces
    #43
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  4. Fast1

    Fast1 Twisted Throttle

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    On a fast descent from Imogene pass last year the front Goldentyre fatty on my FE501 punctured from ancient frayed mining cable that I ran over. With Tubliss it doesn't get any easier. Placed a plug into the hole after slightly reaming it out and inflated. Rode the moto another 1800 miles on that ride with the plug in (at speeds to 80 mph on some pavement sections) and never worried one bit.

    Besides the ease of resolving punctures, the ability to gain superior traction and ride with appropriate air pressures for the conditions is a game changer.


    After using Tubliss the last 7000+ miles on my FE501, I'd never use a traditional tube again.


    IMG_2117.JPG IMG_2118.JPG


    I did this on my MY14 FE501 with the 4CS forks. Used 2.5W Motorex in the forks with 20ml less volume during a fluid change and fork seal replacement.

    Forks.jpg
    #44
  5. Zabo

    Zabo Adventurer Supporter

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    I’m with you. I’m 57, have a 1250 GSA ( love it for street and fire roads, but anything technical sucks ass), about to pull
    the trigger on one of these. But I will use this 80% off road and 20% pavement. My concern is the maintenance schedule. Great thread.
    #45
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  6. timeOday

    timeOday Long timer

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    The maint isn't bad if you relax it (as most people do) and keep your big bike for logging the big miles.
    Guess how many screws you have to un-do on the 500 to access the air filter? None!

    I love my GS but when I watch videos of people abusing them offroad - talk about maintenance, all I can think of is how much effort and money it would take to get ship-shape again after a few good wrecks.
    #46
  7. rcers

    rcers Adventurer

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    I plan on doing oil change/filter about every 15 hours and air filter as needed. My rides are usually just day rides of 200 miles of backroads. So I will only have to change it every 2-3 rides,easy enough. Already had a flat front tire on the paper thin stock front tube so I put on my usual Bridgestone UHD tube,rim lock and balanced. Next ride out I think I can feel the gyroscopic affect of that stupid heavy tube,rim lock and 5 1/2 oz of brass to balance? It just didn’t seem to fall into turns as easy as before,does that make sense to anyone?? I run same tube setup in my 300 for many many years and never noticed that feeling but that’s off road at single track trail speeds. When we do hit the road for Dual sport I def don’t push the speed because I’m on full knobs w/low pressure. Def makes me consider a Tubliss ??
    #47
  8. moto74

    moto74 displaced

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    I’m also considering Tubliss, but for tubes I think HD are more than enough. If standard tubes are around 1.6mm thick, HD 3mm and UHD 4mm, then for me HD is a decent compromise for weight & protection.
    #48
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  9. jm19328

    jm19328 2020 KTM 500 Exc

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    Absolutely nothing wrong with tubes as long as you keep the pressures up for your conditions.
    #49
  10. RidgelineRider

    RidgelineRider Don't take life too serious

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    Have a 1200 as well. Buying the 500 has changed my life and my interpretation of riding. My 1200 sits since I got the 500 and I have racked 4x the miles on 500. The confidence and adrenaline the 500 provides is nothing I can write or describe in the post. I do oil every 15hrs (maybe shorter if I spend a ton of time in sand), air filter as needed (I use cleaner, filter spray and sock to keep it easy and clean). Sounds like a lot, but if you trail ride it you get 20hrs easy on oil. It’s not as crazy the manual makes it look, most things don’t need adjusted, just check it. I’m OCD and this bike is cake.

    lots of upgrades to customize the 500 to your needs. Adjustable suspension and forks to include easy swapping of springs (slaven’s racing). Add a big tank, seat concepts and aftermarket headlight and let it rip.

    I’m trying not to get too wordy, but let me just save you the thought analysis and delay when I say, go get the f***ing bike. Trust me, it will check most of the boxes that are unchecked in your head right now. I was in denial, now I preach light bikes like it’s the holy grail.

    DM me if you want specific comparisons or questions.
    #50
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  11. Zabo

    Zabo Adventurer Supporter

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    I ordered it today. Did some serious customazation. Should have it in the garage within a week. I am so excited to read your write up, thank you,



    #51
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  12. RidgelineRider

    RidgelineRider Don't take life too serious

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    upload_2020-10-20_16-20-23.jpeg
    I like to think of it as my orange unicorn. Enjoy it man, you are in for a wild ride coming from the big bikes. Be conservative on your first day. The bike will come across as a bit strong, but eventually like a wild stallion, it accepts you. If you take onto to the light bike philosophy, there is no going back, I can’t save you...it’s all I think about. I’m just glad I got the “ah ha” moment. Some riders leave the lifestyle because their quest goes unfulfilled on the wrong bike or tool for the job.
    #52
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  13. JP4

    JP4 Thumper Geek

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    Right on! I have a new '21 500 EX-F that I just got done doing a few mods to for light adventure/dual sport. I'm 58, reasonably fit with a fake knee and failing shoulder. Riding most of my life, so I'm competent, but I don't ride anything too hard anymore.
    I have a 790R that I absolutely love and I'm not going to sell anytime soon, but the 500 is just such a rush. I can go places that I wouldn't go alone on my 790.
    Today I left my house, three miles to the woods. Did a little easy single track and then worked my way up a bunch of gravel roads to a steep shale climb up to some antennas on the west side of the valley here at 5,000 ft. Had a snack and turned around and hit a little more single track on the way home. This bike is just so versatile, it really is amazing. IMG_20201019_102340355.jpg IMG_20201020_144002454_HDR.jpg
    #53
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  14. rcers

    rcers Adventurer

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    Ridgeline,what bags are those on the back?
    JP4,are those the Acerbis x-factor handguards ? How did they mount up,any issues with the inner mounts(space,clearance,fitment,ect..)? Detailed pics of the inner mounting if you could.
    Thx
    #54
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  15. RidgelineRider

    RidgelineRider Don't take life too serious

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    The bags are Wolfman Luggage E-12, plenty of space for layers, tools, snacks, weapon, etc. Great for long drips and border line good enough for over nighter if throw a small duffle on the tail. They secure to the rear fender, no drilling, and the main strap secures around the frame near pegs. You will need a heat shield and watch how close the strap is to the exhaust pipe on that side. No complaints.
    #55
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  16. JP4

    JP4 Thumper Geek

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    Yes, they are the X-factor. I have them mounted to the BRP hand gaurd mounts, which bolted up perfectly. It is a very rigid setup. In one of these pictures you can see the 1 pound diving belt weights I have zip tied to the end of the handguard. Looks funny but kills almost all of the handlebar vibration.
    IMG_20201017_163048621.jpg IMG_20201017_163030791.jpg
    #56
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  17. rcers

    rcers Adventurer

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    JP4,thx for the pics. Looks like a really clean setup. How much of a difference did the brp mounts and grips make for vibration? With the brp handlebar mounts can you still run the bars in the farthest forward position?
    #57
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  18. JP4

    JP4 Thumper Geek

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    The BRP mount and the Progrip 714's seemed to make very little difference in handlebar buzz. I'm going guess a 10%'ish reduction, and that's with the study blue rubbers. I was going to get a Scotts damper anyway, so as a package deal with the BRP sub mount made it relatively affordable. I'm guessing those rubbers with soften a bit over time, but who knows?
    The weights on the end of the bar though offer a dramatic reduction in vibration. I experimented with taping some weight to the end of the gaurd on one side and the difference was pretty amazing. That led me to a search for bar ends, inserts, etc. I stumbled across the vinyl covered lead diving belt weights on Amazon. The slots make a perfect spot to run big zip ties through. I have silly looking handlebars and happy hands now
    As to the bar position with the BRP mount, it locks you into a position right in the middle, between position 2 and 3, and also raises the bars about an inch. I was worried about that as I normally run pretty far forward with my bars, but I'm already used to it and it's fine for me at 5'11" with extra long arms.

    Link to the weights for anyone that's curious. I got the one pound.
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00355CPZU/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_l-gKFbX12GVE7?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
    #58
  19. rcers

    rcers Adventurer

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    Thx again for the feedback,will try the weights after I decide for sure what handguards im running. I like the line “silly looking bars but happy hands” LOL
    #59
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  20. Kshaw

    Kshaw Been here awhile

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    San Antonio
    I’ve been going crazy trying to decide wether to get this bike or not. My last ride was a wr250r and I rode the crap out of that bike. I even did 700 pavement miles, camped in the mountains and rose for 5 days, then did another 700 highway miles home. Absolutely destroyed tires by time I finished, but amazing fun.

    I see the 500exc as basically the identical bike but with more power and better suspension. The thing is I also do day rides around 300-400 miles with maybe 20% off-road riding twisties. And other days I take my pickup out to the dirt and ride that all day. Having an incredible time deciding wether to buy it, or a Tenere 700. I’ve seen some YouTube videos and it looks like it rides decent off-road without issues, but I’ve never ridden a bike off-road other than my WR250R.

    I guess the main issue is, how bad is a 500exc in the twisty roads do you think compared to a Tenere?

    Also on tubliss, had it on my WR250R and loved it. One time I ran the trials like tire mt43? At like 4psi and it was insane.

    one thing that scares me off the most on this bike is my short inseam. I dropped my other bike a ton because of it. 30” inseam on a good day lol
    #60