With a catalytic converter, the stock exhaust on the 2017 KTM enduro R and Husqvarna 701 are both relatively heavy and run hot. There seems to be no shortage of reports of melted turn signals and bodywork when riding these bikes in slow, technical terrain. Despite this, we love the stock exhaust... because it's quiet! Not that we don't enjoy the sound of a dirt bike at full tilt. Over the years we've run plenty of aftermarket exhaust, but this time around, just not feeling the need. After a full day of dual sporting, we're really appreciating how quiet these bike are and coming from 500lb. ADV bikes, 326 lbs. (ready to ride) feels like a feather weight. With the low, close to center of mass fuel tank location and super slim at the knees profile, these bikes ride light and have tons of boost as they come.
We noticed that the more expensive Husqvarna comes with a stick-on foil backed heat shield on the exhaust side turn signal and it reminded us that Moose Racing offers foil backed ceramic cloth that is easily trimmed to fit. We picked up two 18"X18" sheets and strategically stuck them on the vulnerable areas.
Here's a picture of how the apparently "better" Husky comes from the factory.
Creating one for the "lesser" KTM
Step 1: Using blue painters tape, fully cover the surface of the turn signal that you want to protect. Be sure to get it to lay as flat as possible, working it around its convex shape.
Step 2: With a black Sharpie pen, mark the shape of the heat shield to the best of your ability. This will serve as your rough pattern.
Step 3: Stick your rough pattern to a thick, but flexible piece of paper. I found that using drywall joint tape was perfect. Using a pair of sharp scissors, carefully cut out the general shape of the heat shield.
Step 4: Orient your cut out pattern on the signal where you want it to lay and look for any areas that will cause it to wrap around any sharp breaks. While the material sticks very, very well, the sharper the bend, the greater the likelihood that it may become unstuck. KTM likes their angles, so their signals have sharper lines than the Husqvarna 701. I had to trim mine a couple of times before I was happy with the accuracy of my pattern.
Step 4: Lay your final pattern on the silver side of the Moose stick on heat shield, trace your pattern with a pall point pen (creates a thinner, more accurate line), and carefully cut it out. Note: there is a small, square notch at the bottom of the signal that allows it to drain. Be sure that you don't cover this up unless you want a potentially foggy lens.
Step 5: Clean the back of your turn signal with some rubbing alcohol to prep the surface and carefully stick on the heat shield. The material is hard to get bubbles in it and conforms to the signal shape nicely.
Installed on the KTM 690 Enduro R
PROTECTING SIDE PANEL AND FUEL TANK
This is what the KTM 690 Enduro exhaust can looks like inside. We can only assume that the Husqvarna 701 Enduro looks about the same. The cans are fully welded shut, so this photo was provided courtesy of http://690enduror.blogspot.com My research revealed that catalytic converters run between 600 to 1,000 degrees F!
While we've not had any issues so far, there are reports of melted side panels and even some fuel tank warpage in very hot and slow conditions. Here's a picture of the Moose Racing heat shield installed on the KTM 690s left side side panel:
Here's a picture of the same covering the section of the fuel tank around the exhaust can. We had it down to two pieces, but when we stuck the piece closest to the header, there is a tough series of bends that come together just before the collector, so we had to cut a slit in the heat shield to get it to conform to the shape and lay down. So, the smaller square patch is to cover that slit. The heat shielding sticks to itself like crazy, so the patch is on there. We were just hoping for a better appearance, but the end of day, it's just dirt bike and fully hidden with the can installed.
Can re-installed, no side panel
Fully Buttoned up
Our plan to was to get all scientific and use an infrared heat gun to gather some running temperature values at different points on the KTM and then compare with the same points on the bone stock Husqvarna 701 Enduro. My cousin is a home inspector, so we had planned to borrow his IR gun, but he ended up being busy all weekend, we're too cheap to buy what we can borrow, and we wanted to ride! But, this ended up working out. I put a bare hand on the KTM side panel in the area of the cat and while warm, I could hold it there as long as I wanted. Same spot on the 701? About 3 seconds before the brain suggested moving your hand. It was that hot. So, totally confident that the Moose heat shielding will prevent melted plastics and based upon where we located it, cooler fuel. And, since the in tank fuel pump is cooled by the fuel, potentially longer fuel pump life? Can't prove that, but I certainly can't rule it out just the same.
Installing the Moose heat shielding was a bit time consuming, but we love shop time, and at the end of they, it's doing what we hoped it would. On to the next mod! Really loving these bikes. The smiles per mile has been huge!