KTM 525 EXC as an Adventure Bike

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

  1. Whodatschrome

    Whodatschrome Long timer

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    You don't have to only search for 2007 forks. I happen to have a pair of 2014 350 exc forks in my 2005 525. I also have a 2013 Husa FE350 rear shock in my bike as well.
  2. Dao1

    Dao1 Long timer

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    re; PDS shock , 2002-2007

    the biggest problems w/ the early PDS shock 2002-2004 was that it was positioned more vertical vs. horizontal. In this configuration, the rr shock spring needed to be quite stiff to keep proper sag. B/c of such a stiff spring, the heat energy from this would destroy the fluid in 50-80 hrs from the spring's work. all the trick valving in the world will not fix this. Thus, w/ the new oval frame, ktm changed the lower shock mount to slant the shock lower, and the rr spring rate got lighter simply due to a change in geometry. Thus, if you are looking for what springs to use on your RFS from '02-'07... take notice that the '05-'07 uses lighter rate springs vs the '02-'04....one more reason to not ignore what yr your ktm is.

    2nd biggest prob is the abrupt transition of the valving going from the primary valve to the 2ndary valve. KTM, rather WP, couldn't get this feature right b/c they used a "needle" that wasn't shaped / tapered to suit the woods application. Luckily the aftermarket guys figured this out -MX tech, Terry Hay, novation to name a few - so it was just a matter of using their custom needles to get rid of the harsh spike in the last half of the midstroke. But the good news is that by 2007, wp copied one of those tuner's tapered needle, and it was only then that the back end finally got under control.
    So again, the 2007 yr models sort of floated to the top of the desirable yr b/c of these suspension fixes that finally got pushed through.
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  3. TroopThrowback

    TroopThrowback Been here awhile

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    What possibility exists to retrofit an earlier swingarm and shock to the later type, eliminating at least the geometric disadvantage and it’s resulting heat issue?
  4. Brtp4

    Brtp4 Powdercoat it. Supporter

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    Yes. Yes, I am.

    BP
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  5. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer Supporter

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    My guess is that you would gain more with a later year or different model shock and the correct spring for your weight. To put it bluntly, stock RFS era EXC shocks are shit even with different geometry. As long as you have that type shock, you are chasing your own tail.

    Brian may know more about this than I do since he sourced a really good one (before stupidly selling it to me). But even that one needed freshening and spring for my additional size. I bought that from Brian because Corey at Protune told me to not even bother sending my shock in.

    Corey's recommendation was to replace it with a later year or different model. So, I would chat Corey up (if you can pin him down) about which shock to start hunting then send that off to him for a pro rebuild and the correct spring for your bike and weight.

    I am nobody's suspension prima donna. I basically don't think about it or mess with it unless it is really shit. But my stock shock was shit.
  6. cmbthumper

    cmbthumper Long timer Supporter

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    ^^ A lot of info but what actual shock did you get? Can't be a secret :jack
  7. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer Supporter

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    I have no idea what Brian sold me. I took it on faith since he really is a stand up guy (and a good sport). :lol3
  8. Brtp4

    Brtp4 Powdercoat it. Supporter

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    I sold him a used 2004 shock that had a Trail Tricks sticker on it. That likely meant that Javier modded it, and he had some pretty good tech for RFS suspension back in the day. But I never opened it up to find what it had for internal mods.

    I replaced it with a 2009 shock, which is a much, much better OEM design. The main factor of this is the way WP shocks manage oil flow as they transition from small to big hits. Because the bikes do not have linkage, WP designs the shock internals to mimic the progression of linkage. One of the ways the shocks do this is via a tapered needle, that closes off a lightly valved section of the flow, and engages a more firmly valved pathway. Via this, you get light valving for small bumps, but when the shock is compressed enough for the needle to work, then the damping gets more firm.

    Note that if the bikes have too much sag (soft spring) then the shock "sits on the needle", closing off the soft, small bump valving pathway, and is really harsh.

    WP was drastically redesigning the shocks each year. Clearly they knew the design was sub-optimal, and clearly they were learning as they were going along. Most of those drastic changes yielded minor improvement until the 2009 MY, according to my tuner and a famous local one also.

    Working around this, managing the transition, and finding ways to "blow off" a too rapid rise of damping is everything with these bikes. On the early shocks in particular, that is a challenge, as they had poor designs for oil flow. You hit a small bump, compress the shock a little, damping rate spikes, then hit a big bump, and holy f**k that's the fender wait no it's the ground unnnnffff.

    This, what KTM calls PDS, and what I call the "Pilot Discharge System". DAMHIK.

    Some aftermarket tuners came up with improved and / or collapsible needle designs that eased the transition across valve circuits. One of them is this Race Tech needle that I have. If you look closely you can see the three stages, and perhaps can picture how it collapses under pressure:

    IMG_20200916_145953.jpg

    Dao1 is right, the swingarm plays a role but my remembrance is better rigidity on the 05 - 07s and same geometry from 04 - 07. I could be wrong on the years.

    You can put an 08 - 09 swingarm on, which changes the angle of the shock, lessening the rate. The 08/09 shocks are 6mm longer to compensate for this. If you put the 08/09 SA on an RFS bike with an 08/09 shock, you will get standard height. If you put it on with an RFS shock (6mm shorter, remember?) the bike will be about 18mm, or approx 3/4", lower. For reference I had my 09 shock shortened 6mm to match the RFS shock length. I plan to put the swingarm on the bike to lower it that amount, once I find a set of 09 - 14 EXC forks. If anyone knows of these at a REASONABLE price, LMK.

    The takeaway from this wall of text is this: don't bother with a shock earlier than 04, at all. Each year got better and 07s were pretty good. Make sure you have the correct spring and sag, so the shock does not sit "on the needle", i.e. too low. If it does, the rear end can kick pretty hard.

    BP

    P.S. - Regarding Grrreatdogs shock...I sold that 04 shock to him, and "upgraded" to the 09. This was a noticeable step backwards. I don't regret it at all (OK maybe a little) but learning and especially being able to hassle him is a great tradeoff. Plus, the forks on it really suck, so I don't notice the shock that much....
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  9. shinyribs

    shinyribs Thumpers for life

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    Well, that's above and beyond what was expected! Thank you very much, sir!
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  10. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

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    The SuperPlush suspension tuning done on mine when t was built for the '08 Dakar is the bomb!
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  11. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer Supporter

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    Now that I have mostly healed (and don't have to fear it as much anymore), I can laugh at that.

    It was a riot talking to you and discovering we had both discovered the PDS ejection seat the hard way.

    My buddies were convinced I had forgotten how to ride after seeing me thrown off a couple of times.
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  12. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

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    I was riding out to the point near my house and hist mud going through a puddle-I was immediately ejected! I picked myself up out of the weeds thankful there wasn't a tree right there.
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  13. portero72

    portero72 Been here awhile

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    Did some urban adventuring this morning. Got out east, to an area I hadn’t been to in over a decade. Still there, despite the encroachment of development. Fun little place to fart around. Some of the tracks look like they’re regularly traveled by an atv of sorts. These pics also serve as ‘oooh ahhhhh’ material, as they display my new Warp9 Cush rims. EE82554F-76B7-4B01-B479-9A685ABE93B7.jpeg 04026B29-008F-4D2A-92A4-658E28E79E8E.jpeg 8E7F2CB7-C8DF-4970-8187-7051CCB65633.jpeg
  14. portero72

    portero72 Been here awhile

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    484C578D-A703-469E-9CEB-654509D43834.jpeg B63F05F4-3953-46B9-981C-03F2AFE0A892.jpeg Plenty of places to play and evidence of shenanigans from days gone by…
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  15. portero72

    portero72 Been here awhile

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    DBBFA153-4C83-45D2-AE56-7F7802684B05.jpeg 90AFCDD6-F62F-4BD8-BCF8-6582F85E5D62.jpeg Gas lines and rocks. I hate rocks.
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  16. cmbthumper

    cmbthumper Long timer Supporter

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    Some more testing today. Need to address a countershaft seal leak and call 101 suspension who did mine to respring it for my weight. I put a ziptie on the fork legs and yup i am using all of it as the ziptie was just about 2" from the bottom. I am far from an aggressive rider but all i am doing is lofting the front wheel over holes and ditches. Luckily no bottoming out and it is hot so i have time to do it before winter riding session.

    The best part of the today and all day was hitting up the old man for a ride. I am very lucky to call him my Dad, Friend, mentor basically you name it. He rides a 01' DRZE that i gave him as a fathers day present a few years ago and at 74yo it is stupid fun to ride with him. Plus i convinced him to throw a leg over my bike. Probably not converted but he sure was smilin when he gave it back.

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  17. portero72

    portero72 Been here awhile

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    So awesome. I hope to be that old man one day. My boy is 11 and we go riding every chance we get. Thankfully, he seems to still enjoy hanging out with dad.

    On a practical note, your dad appears to be a pretty slim man, and the bike is sagging pretty good with him on it, back end specifically. I’m no expert, but I bet springs are in order for you.
  18. cmbthumper

    cmbthumper Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks. it is a pleasure to ride with him for sure. No matter how in touch you are with your dad there will always be a period where they and you want nothing to do with each other. That's just life IMO. The fortunate few are the ones that grow up on both sides and realize what you had and could have. No matter what NEVER loose touch. You only get one and he only gets one.

    Yeah dad is easily 30lbs lighter geared up than i am. Hard to tell well you can't see how much it sinks by yourself. I knew it was sprung light when i bought it but i hoped my tame riding style would let me off for a season until i knew what i wanted. Probably needs a refresh anyway and will make it even better than it currently is.

    Enjoy the ride with the little ones and Ride safe
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  19. enduro16

    enduro16 Long timer

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    Orange is the new black
    Better start living, or you know the alternative...

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  20. mario525

    mario525 Adventurer

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    Hello everyone, my name is Mario Andres, I'm from Colombia, I come to your knowledge, my 525 xc, I bought a cylind 540 with a vertex piston, but today we try to turn it on and it has a sound in the cylinder head, it seems to be crashing the piston with the cylinder, someone assembled this kit on his ktm, who can advise me, and sorry for my english it is from google translator
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