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500 hardcore adventure setup

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I have 500xc-w plated. I've been reading that this bike is not a good adventure bike.

Can it be modding to run hardcore adventure riding? perhaps forgoing the normal plush comforts available on other bikes.

Is there any thing mechanacally limiting about taking this beast on long hauls?

If any one has already done this please post your setup.

mods,gear,odds and ends ,advice , ect.

Edited by bincs

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I have 500xc-w plated. I've been reading that this bike is not a good adventure bike.

Can it be modding to run hardcore adventure riding? perhaps forgoing the normal plush comforts available on other bikes.

Is there any thing mechanacally limiting about taking this beast on long hauls?

If any one has already done this please post your setup.

mods,gear,odds and ends ,advice , ect.

I have Zero experience with adv but I have the same bike.  Only thing I see holding you back is.. yourself, meaning how long you can endure the BB thumper & short maintenance intervals.

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Apart from the comfort factor which can be improved by use of aftermarket soft seating, suspension & bars the big issue with using the KTM 500-EXC for Adventure riding would be oil capacity & the constant need to change oil to keep it fresh. There is an Australian company here CPW Motoparts who make Rally parts for the EXC & the manufacture a oil cooler which adds 350ml capacity. A bit expensive but may help some. Check out www.cpwmotoparts.com.au

Cheers from Oz.

2013 KTM 500-EXC & 2014 Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200

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I have 500xc-w plated. I've been reading that this bike is not a good adventure bike.

Can it be modding to run hardcore adventure riding? perhaps forgoing the normal plush comforts available on other bikes.

Is there any thing mechanacally limiting about taking this beast on long hauls?

If any one has already done this please post your setup.

mods,gear,odds and ends ,advice , ect.

 

Biggest disadvantage the 500 has is lack of oil capacity.....It just wont do 3000k on one oil change. Other then the slight discomfort from the seat, you can do some pretty spectacular trips. Would I take one down the freeway or even decent paved road for huge miles? No way, but it could be done. Adding a 5.3g tank will get you about 240miles on a tank, you can get side tanks and full fairing kits if need be....Suspension will have to be setup properly, as will the gearing and such. I don't know of one for sale but you could build and retrofit a oil cooler for added oil capacity....

 

When I buy a solid offroad 450, Ill be making my 500 look like these.....

 

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=682150&page=177

http://www.rallymanagementservices.com/products/fairing-kit-2012-ktm-450-500

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The EXC line is born from racing dirt bikes. The engine life between rebuilds is relatively short compared to other bikes. Price you pay for such performance. Keeping fresh oil in it is just best practice to try and make the engine last as long as possible. 

 

If "hard core" adventure to you is long distance, unfortunately here in the US that usually involves lots of pavement. I think pavement on my EXC sucks, many would agree. I could not see wearing out my expensive dirt bike on pavement when it's not even fun. I ride a 690 for adventure because it's much more fun on the pavement. Had a 950 but not so much fun on dirt. The 690 is the happy middle ground.

 

But....for most wearing out a bike is not likely, too busy with other aspects of life, so go for it. ..you might like it..  :ride:

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I have the same bike! It is also plated, and I also thought about long adventure trips. The bike can be made into a viable adventure bike If you're ready to spend some money. Here's my take 1) Exxon Valdez tank (5.3 gal ). I think Acerbis may even make a 6.3 gal but don't quote me on that. 2) cush drive rear hub. The 500 has a cushioned clutch but I don't think it's enough. 3) Rally style fairing. 4) aftermarket seat Renazco, Seat Concepts, etc. 5) Set the bike up with Handlebars, risers, footpegs and such so you are not cramped for hours in the saddle. 6) find gearing somewhere between an EXC and XC-W.

The EXC is tool tall and the XC-W is too low in my opinion. I run A 14/50 on mine.You could probably run a 15T C/S as I was told there is room for one. I also avoid the interstates at all costs as the bike is just too light for that. 7). Oil Cooler if you can find one. It will help with oil capacity a little but not much. Heat is the biggest enemy of oil. The cooler you keep it, the longer it will last. .And finally-suspension. These mods will add weight so your boingers will need to be upgraded as well.Do you plan overnight trips with this bike? Are you camping off this bike? If so you will need some sort of luggage for this bike . There are lots of luggage mfg's out there, I have Wolfman saddle bags.

This will add up to a lot of money of which I just don't have right now. As a previous poster already said, A 690 may be a better alternative moneywise.

Hope this helps.

Edited by vetracer1

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I have 2012 that im using for adventure/dual sport and also dirt with 2 diff sets of wheels. Running 14/52 gearing so it runs 65-70 easy but can do more if needed. Wolfman bags to carry stuff and 3.2g tank with spare fuel bottle to be safe. Has about 150-170 mile range as is. Just getting into using it for this purpose as I have an 1190R that I would use on bigger trips but for around town, short runs to the woods, day trips, etc I think its great and I have a wide body seat concepts seat on the way.

500 adv.jpg

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They run these bikes at the Dakar rally, so they are doing something correct.

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Looks like a couple of guys are trying it. Check this video. I hope they explain there setup when the movie comes out.

id love to do an adventure ride like this with a film crew and drones following me around-lol

some of those threads on advrider are taking those older 525's for thousands and thousands of adventure mile rides, I wouldnt at all have any reservations to take a 500 exc bike rtw on. They have those bike so dialed in now

Edited by vsekvsek

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Having both the 500 and the 990 I wouldn't think of taking the 500 on a long road ride(without a lot of work). Long dirt road ride, maybe.

Edited by DR.billZ

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I have 500xc-w plated. I've been reading that this bike is not a good adventure bike.

Can it be modding to run hardcore adventure riding? perhaps forgoing the normal plush comforts available on other bikes.

Is there any thing mechanacally limiting about taking this beast on long hauls?

If any one has already done this please post your setup.

mods,gear,odds and ends ,advice , ect.

It's a street legal dirt bike, nothing else.

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You'll have to have the wheels ultimately balanced. It takes a lot of weight! I'd get sprocket/chain combo that pushes the rear axle as far back as you can get to increase stability(13/48/116 links does that for example so infer if you want different). Find tires that run smooth on the road. Damp the handle bar vibrations. Maybe add just a Rekluse clutch cover(or whatever else is available) to add at least a bit extra oil. Large tank. Rear rack. Windscreen if actually available(sometimes they cause buffeting problems though). Steering stabilizer wouldn't hurt.

That's a start :)

Edited by DR.billZ
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I have the movie above, Motonomad. It's a great movie and shows how capable these bikes truly are. They did 7,000KM through 7 countries on 14' 500 EXC's. Shows the setup and prep at the factory before the ride as well. All they did was add larger gas tanks and mounted cargo bags along with an oil change. Everything else was pretty much stock. 2 oil changes on the bike through out the entire 7,000km trip which put over 100 hours on the engine. One of those oil changes was the one from the factory. And no air filter cleanings, which is amazing if you see how much sand/dirt/dust they rode in. Not to mention, these guys are pro riders and rode those bikes HARD. Other than a flat tire, the bikes did awesome. If you plan on doing a hardcore off road trip, where you want a bike that is light weight, powerful and has nimble handling, the 500EXC is the king. I did 700 miles on mine through the Rockies in July in just under 4 days and loved being on my 500exc especially when I saw heavier bikes struggle in tough sections. 

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I'm using a 2013 500 EXC for my DS bike.  Previously I had a KTM 525 that I got 500 hours out of traveling through three countries primarily off road.  The 500 now has 200 hours of DS riding in Asia.

 

The bike works a charm..........IF............. you value off road technical riding and performance.  If all you're doing is fireroads at a casual pace AND LOADS OF PAVEMENT GET A klr 650 or DR 650.  If you like technical off-roading then the 500 delivers in spades.-

All that it really needs is a tank big enough to get your required distances between fuel stops, balanced wheels, and better lighting if you tend to get caught out after dark.  I have other mods but at the end of the day that's all you really need.

 

I start my trips with Synthetic Motul 15/50, then change it after 1000 kms.  If I only have regular oil to replace it with I do an oil change every few days whenever it is convenient.  The only consideration you have to take into account when riding a race bike in this environment is changing the oil more than you would on a milder tuned bike.

 

500 enjoying Northern Thailand

 

P1090394-S-L.jpg

 

 

 

 

view-S-XL.jpg

 

 

Traveling about Laos

 

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Stuck in the mud in Cambodia

 

 

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Bottom line the bike has worked a charm.  So far never needed valve adjustment, never broke down..... until I drowned it multiple times in rivers but that's not the bikes fault.

 

Don't expect 90 mph freeway cruising speeds or Golding like comfort on the pavement and instead relish in it's ability to soak up rough terrain, power slide through corners and wheeling through the jungle.

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I have 500xc-w plated. I've been reading that this bike is not a good adventure bike.

Can it be modding to run hardcore adventure riding? perhaps forgoing the normal plush comforts available on other bikes.

Is there any thing mechanacally limiting about taking this beast on long hauls?

If any one has already done this please post your setup.

mods,gear,odds and ends ,advice , ect.

Compared to a DRZ which Ive ran cross country in 750 mile intervals  1500 mile in 36hours, its actually a better street bike, with anything near stock exc gearing motor wise.

 

The lighting is allitle better on the DRZ, but nothing that Ive seen motor reliability wise is better, as of yet on the newest motors.

 

So I come from that perspective, the ktm motor and gearing is outstanding in comparison, same with stability(really they are on par) in that regard, . But you know its all in the set up.  I wouldn't ride either 200 mile up the interstate straight off the floor.

 

oil wise, my experience , im doing 800 to 1000 mile changes as is, on a well broke in motor(built up to that),  it can do 1500 miles, but wouldn't want to do that as a routine(no oil burn issues that ive seen). I think there was someone who ran one about 3,000 miles on a change by mistake(with no oil usage).  Im 85 % motard aggressive street and 15 percent trails.

 

oil change on the road would not be that big of deal, if you have a proven motor that runs clean, you can run that oil filter a few change intervals. which means just dump the oil plug and reinstall a 1 and 1/2 quart. Doing the oil filter would make it more hassle though.

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