New Zealand RTW and back on a KTM500exc.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Aaron.S, Oct 21, 2016.

  1. Plebz

    Plebz Long time lurking

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    Around the place
    Awesome stuff Aaron!! Really stuck it to the 500exc unbelievers...hahha :beer
    Aaron.S likes this.
  2. powderzone

    powderzone Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,142
    Location:
    Calgary
    Congrats! Great trip.
    Aaron.S likes this.
  3. Sidehil

    Sidehil On any Sunday

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,589
    Location:
    Bremerton WA
    Awesome trip, I now have a new FE 501 and am a believer, you might just as well ride to AK now!
    Aaron.S likes this.
  4. kito

    kito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    509
    Location:
    cheshire , England
    Be interesting to know the tolerance on the engine parts when it finally gets a full service. Hope I dont sound bad asking you if your nursing it to make it go the distance or is your right hand free to play ?
    Thanks kito
  5. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,114
    Location:
    Mount Maunganui
    It's a fair question and I did baby it at times and there were times I got on it. When I first brought it I took it on a motocross track a couple times and I had it pinned a few times when I rode it on 90 mile beach in NZ. In general I feel I just rode it normally but it was always on my mind it has a long way to go if that makes sense.

    Sent from my SM-G900I using Tapatalk
    KiwiHayd, BLUE(UK), ONandOFF and 2 others like this.
  6. snakebitten

    snakebitten Small Town Hick

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,249
    Location:
    Coastal Texas
    I was rooting for ya throughout this RR, but admittedly was a selfish fan of the bike too. :)

    You have totally wrecked my take on which bike I use for which mission.
    And it's a GOOD kind of wrecked.

    It'll be a crazy day when I walk in the barn and prep the orange bike and ride off leaving the Super Tenere and the KLR (even the 950SE) behind. I'm actually starting to get my head around it.
    Thanks Aaron!
    KiwiPewe and Aaron.S like this.
  7. satchmo3

    satchmo3 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    287
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Congrats Aaron! If looking for KTM shop in Portland - SEE SEE KTM on Sandy Blvd. Best service dept Portland area, and I've dealt with them all..
    Benduro, DesertRatliff and Aaron.S like this.
  8. groovetrain

    groovetrain n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    Oddometer:
    8
    Hi Aaron,

    I have been following your report from the start, it is a big inspiration to get off your backside and get on the road. Congrats!

    My handbrake and two wheel chocks (wife and kids) make it a little difficult to take off on a trek like yours, but me and the boys have locked in an extended ride in the middle of this year on our KTM 450's. Good to know they can last the distance on an extended ride.

    I thought I would show you a pic of the headlight setup I have on my KTM, it cuts the wind blast down considerably and more importantly, provides a massive jump in vision at night.

    Safe travels.

    Attached Files:

    pistole, jackbyo and Aaron.S like this.
  9. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,114
    Location:
    Mount Maunganui
    Thanks for the tip

    Sent from my SM-G900I using Tapatalk
  10. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,114
    Location:
    Mount Maunganui
    Thanks. My goal was to never ride at night but I admit some extra wind protection would of been nice. A couple really windy days I would sometimes think I'll take a bit of rain over this. I hope you have a fun trip.

    Sent from my SM-G900I using Tapatalk
  11. groovetrain

    groovetrain n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    Oddometer:
    8
    Cheers mate,
    We are looking forward to the next chapter post ski-season.
    Aaron.S likes this.
  12. The Rolling Hobo

    The Rolling Hobo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    Oddometer:
    255
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Hi Aaron, and congrats on the epic ride! It's great to finally get some real world information on the 500EXC as a long range bike. It seems that my service schedule for this summer is rather conservative ;)
    Benduro and Aaron.S like this.
  13. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,114
    Location:
    Mount Maunganui
    Thanks. I'm looking forward to see how it handles your adventures.

    Sent from my SM-G900I using Tapatalk
  14. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,114
    Location:
    Mount Maunganui
    So the last day riding into Portland was probably the coldest day of the trip. The roads were pretty good untill I got to my friends house and it was slick ice and snow but lucky he didn't live far down the street. So in total from Santiago Chile to Portland was 28650k just over 400hrs and 14 countries. If I include the 3 trips I did in New Zealand 6 months earlier when I went to the bottom then the top the bike has 510hrs and 37000k.
    It's running as good as ever and not using oil between changes. A couple things I liked about my set up was I was only as wide as my bars with the soft luggage which meant in cities I could lane split and I saved a huge amount of time getting through and out of big cities. Another thing was it opens up more accommodation for you as it's surprising where some people will let you park if it fits in a door. Oil changes ok yes I had to do them more often but it's so quick and easy and I would just stop when I saw a old bike workshop somewhere pay them a little money to take the old oil and it was also a good chance to meet more local people. They always loved looking over my bike. Also the obvious which is I could go explore and get to more remote places than a big bike and not be worried about dropping it or getting stuck. I rode with a guy for part of Colombia who has years of experience but had to turn around on one of the days when we went exploring some back roads as it got muddy. It was the right choice for his bike (Transalp) but I carried on and it was a awesome road after the mud with a huge waterfall as a reward at the end of it. Also going through the ruta las lagunas from San Pedro de Atacama to Uyuni Bolivia I wouldn't of wanted to be on any other bike. Some days it's just hours of corners up over the Andes and down the other side and been so light I didn't tire as much as riding a huge overloaded bike. Ok the downside. The seat. I got the seat concepts and it was worth every cent. It's still not as comfy as other bikes but not as bad as some say it is . I also like to stand alot so my butt got a rest now and then and I was reminded more often to stand than other bikes. Reliability is the big one people will bring up saying that it will never do that distance. Well I guess I proved that wrong. Maybe I got lucky and got a good one now it's up to all of you out there to rack up the hours and miles to back me up on that point. Sure it won't last as long as say a ktm1090 or big BMW but it lasted long enough for me and 37000k will get you around the world so ask yourself how long will it take for you to wear one out? If I had to do it over I would pick the same bike it's not everyone's choice and I get that but I've always liked to ride dirt bikes over road bikes and I like the power the sound and the feel of that motor and not sure what other bike wheel stands as easy. At the end of the day sure the bike may not be for everyone but the journey is so pick a bike any bike get your butt on it and go. There is a journey within all of us it's up to us to decide to take it.

    Sent from my SM-G900I using Tapatalk
  15. advmoto66

    advmoto66 Ride On!

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,857
    Location:
    Dirt Bike Nirvana Phoenix, AZ
    Great report Aaron i will be looking for a 500 to complement my 350 and 250 all little dirt bikes. I will use the 500 for a trip to Baja in preperation of heading south to TDF. I will take my time getting through Mexico and Central America. Now that I think about it maybe do a 6 month to year in Mexico and Central America before continuing south. maybe break it up into 3 sections. I would rather travel slower and really integrate into the local communities. Also would like to do an immersion language shool to really experience the culture.
    Pshaw and Aaron.S like this.
  16. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,114
    Location:
    Mount Maunganui
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Sent from my SM-G900I using Tapatalk
  17. wizz

    wizz Up a creek......

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    17,360
    Location:
    over yonder on the north coast of ca
    Fantastic stuff Aaron. When do you think you'll do the top end? I was thinking if wait til 20-25k miles (40k km) on my 350.
  18. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,114
    Location:
    Mount Maunganui
    Sounds awesome. Wishing you the best of luck on your adventure.

    Sent from my SM-G900I using Tapatalk
  19. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,114
    Location:
    Mount Maunganui
    I would be smart to do it now but a big part of me just wants to see how far she will go before she pops. Also I'm pretty low on funds at the moment so it's not going to happen soon. If someone at KTM offered to do it so they could in turn check out the tolerance on the parts for their own curiosity I may change my mind. Hello KTM are you out there? Listening?

    Sent from my SM-G900I using Tapatalk
    Mahhbechh, Benduro and ONandOFF like this.
  20. Comrade Arturo

    Comrade Arturo Veterinario

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    913
    Location:
    Oregon
    Congrats on reaching Oregon :thumb
    Aaron.S likes this.