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500 EXC Handling

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It's a bit squirrelly on the street ain't it. Any setup tips? I've ridden many a dirt bike on the road, but this one seems to squirrel a lil more on a straight.

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It's a bit squirrelly on the street ain't it. Any setup tips? I've ridden many a dirt bike on the road, but this one seems to squirrel a lil more on a straight.

Bike off the floor is pretty horrid in set up, even 60 mph will be unstable.

 

I actually have my front end dropped (forks raised) to quicken steering,  very smooth all the way to max speed and beyond, id take it to 120 mph if motor would do it.

 

Snug the steering head, balance the wheels, those are the main two things

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I felt like my 500 was flat dangerous on the road.   So I added a GPR V4 and that changed everything.   I wouldn't ride without one now.   Get one before you wish you had.

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I felt like my 500 was flat dangerous on the road. So I added a GPR V4 and that changed everything. I wouldn't ride without one now. Get one before you wish you had.

That's the one I have too. I got the the orange and love the way it looks.

ImageUploadedByThumper Talk1448291970.000877.jpg

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Dropped my forks 1 line from the second to the lowest line in the clamps, made the bike go straight and no wobble.

Running 105mm rear sag.

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I haven't found the 500 any squirrlier than any other dirt bike at speed. The only time I feel it gets squirrly is when I'm running soft terrain mx tires and the bike grabs a road snake at about 70mph.... That'll get your attention. But I don't blame that on the bike. Hard pack tires and DS tires she's an arrow.

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Personally I wouldn't cover up poor handling with a dampener... find and fix the issue, then install the dampener. Just my .02 cents.....

That way does work the best.

 

especially on the street, if it doesn't handle high speed street, offroad highspeed will be far worse

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Personally I wouldn't cover up poor handling with a dampener... find and fix the issue, then install the dampener. Just my .02 cents.....

I didn't have any issues with any handling before the steering stabilizer, mine felt great, but after was wow. I think in the dirt and street it has saved me many times. Usually when I'm not paying attention or showing off. Also helps dramatically in the sand.

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Personally I wouldn't cover up poor handling with a dampener... find and fix the issue, then install the dampener. Just my .02 cents.....

A dampener isn't necessarily covering up poor handling.  Dirt bikes just aren't designed to be ridden down the slab at speed.  The bike was designed to excel on the dirt.  My bike is set up for the dirt first which doesn't necessarily translate into good handling on the slab.  But once I added the stabilizer everything changed, now my bike handles just as good on road as off.   I've had it over 100mph on the slab and it felt amazing.   

 

I always thought stabilizers were overkill, until I bought one.  Now I wouldn't ride without one.  Yes they're pricey, But not as pricey as doctor bills.  These things will save your ass!

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An example for me, I found the 500 exc an excellent high speed enduro on the street, but trying to run that same bike 60 to 70 mph on down hill chop and g out's  offroad, it was very unstable on the front end and twitchy.

 

That was about the most severe offroad testing area I had, It showed my how bad the suspension really was. Unfortunately I don't have that area anymore to test since I resprung, so I guess I'll never know. Till I atleast find something similar.

 

Now it may be the case where suspension set up alone can not correct that area, but I was able to improve the stock suspension to some degree(but not enough), That area was one of the reasons I wanted to respring. I could just throw a stabilizer on it, but if it hendered the natural suspension action, that's fixable, that would be where the masking would come into play.

 

IMO bring in the stabilizer after the suspension is set the best that it can be. then you'll be twice as good.

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A dampener isn't necessarily covering up poor handling. Dirt bikes just aren't designed to be ridden down the slab at speed.......These things will save your ass!

The OP asked for help with his bike being squirrly with a handling question. If it's just being a dirt bike that's one thing and I agree, if it's shitty tires or an issue (like poor suspension set up) and the OP uses a damper to mask the issue the damper is no longer going to save his ass, it could in fact make him more confident with his set up than he should be and it might get him hurt... or worse. I routinely ran a '12 500 with knobbies at 100 on dirt and slab with no dampener with no issues for almost 4 years in the open desert. I do however have an extra Scott's set up from my 950 and I'm going to put it on my 500, but I will have low speed dialed all the way out on the lowest setting, high speed is factory set and that's the only reason I'm mounting it, like you said, to save my butt when I get stuck on stupid, not to make my dirt bike handle better on slab. If my 500 won't run 100 on slab it's not dialed in right. Not SM solid, but dirt bike solid. If I'm running soft mx tires I have no business trying to run 100 on slab anyway, with or without a dampener.

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The OP asked for help with his bike being squirrly with a handling question. If it's just being a dirt bike that's one thing and I agree, if it's shitty tires or an issue (like poor suspension set up) and the OP uses a damper to mask the issue the damper is no longer going to save his ass, it could in fact make him more confident with his set up than he should be and it might get him hurt... or worse. I routinely ran a '12 500 with knobbies at 100 on dirt and slab with no dampener with no issues for almost 4 years in the open desert. I do however have an extra Scott's set up from my 950 and I'm going to put it on my 500, but I will have low speed dialed all the way out on the lowest setting, high speed is factory set and that's the only reason I'm mounting it, like you said, to save my butt when I get stuck on stupid, not to make my dirt bike handle better on slab. If my 500 won't run 100 on slab it's not dialed in right. Not SM solid, but dirt bike solid. If I'm running soft mx tires I have no business trying to run 100 on slab anyway, with or without a dampener.

I hear what you're saying. But If you happen to hit something that redirects your wheel without a dampener, especially at speed, you can have the best suspension money can buy, you will have your hands full staying upright.

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I hear what you're saying. But If you happen to hit something that redirects your wheel without a dampener, especially at speed, you can have the best suspension money can buy, you will have your hands full staying upright.

That's funny Yes, I agree. That's what it's designed for. What I said was don't mask an improperly set up bike with dampener and think you fixed the issue.

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That's funny Yes, I agree. That's what it's designed for. What I said was don't mask an improperly set up bike with dampener and think you fixed the issue.

Totally agree. Do you know something I don't know about setting up suspension? I've never ridden a dirt bike that wasn't sketchy on the Slab without a dampener. Btw. Based on your previous posts, I can tell you know what you're talking about.

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Totally agree. Do you know something I don't know about setting up suspension?.

I doubt it. I'm suspension illiterate. I set the bike up based on what KTM recommends and ride it and fine tune it from there. If I have the suspension tweaked (springs/valves) I do it locally and have the suspension guru Dial it in and then I'll make fine tuning adjustments. My buds and my 500 were plenty smooth (no dampners) on slab and they didn't move around (with mx71's) and in fact my bud rode his on slab one handed with a camera in his left hand to GPS corrected 98 mph and then chickened out. Said the bike was surprisingly fine, he however was crapping his pants.

Edit: need to keep this discussion in context. Where talking dirt bike smooth at speed, not street bike smooth at the same speed.

Edited by oldfuddy

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I doubt it. I'm suspension illiterate. I set the bike up based on what KTM recommends and ride it and fine tune it from there. If I have the suspension tweaked (springs/valves) I do it locally and have the suspension guru Dial it in and then I'll make fine tuning adjustments. My buds and my 500 were plenty smooth (no dampners) on slab and they didn't move around (with mx71's) and in fact my bud rode his on slab one handed with a camera in his left hand to GPS corrected 98 mph and then chickened out. Said the bike was surprisingly fine, he however was crapping his pants.

My 500 was smooth at all speeds out of the box , I could ride at 100 one handed but if I had to make a sudden move, there's no way I keep control of the bike. I bought a steering dampener because even at 45mph I would wiggle the bars and it felt like a speed wobble that could really get out of hand. So on went the dampener... It's amazing!

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Yes, if you induce the wobble I can see how the dampener would be comforting. Yes, no doubt the front ends are light and can get out of shape quickly.

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