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Advice on Buying Used 2014 KTM 500EXC

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Hi guys, considering making the plunge into the orange kool-aid from my '03 Honda XR400R. Found a 2014 500EXC for sale with ~600 miles, 23 hours. What should I look for when I go to see the bike and make the deal???

 

He has already de-smogged it, turned up the TPS, bypassed the thermostat (don't know much about that), and replaced the muffler end cap (Power Quiet End Cap). I know the basics like oil, sprocket wear, bearings, and cold start-up smoke... what else?   It's a lot of money (for me at least) to spend on a (mostly dirt)-bike, so I don't want to be careless here.

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These bikes really don't have many flaws to look for and sounds like you got a handle on it already. Bike is barely broken in. One thing I would ask the seller is how the bike was broken in (how was it ridden) for the first few hours and when was the oil changed the first time. Hopefully the oil was changed around the 1-hour mark, but that's not a big deal if it wasn't. I listened to my dealer and broke my '12 in for 10 hours before I changed the oil the first time. Never had an issue with it. Unless the 600 miles was by a pro-rider hammering the Baja 500, you should be fine if it passes all your initial basic litmus tests. I wouldn't be worried with only 23 hrs. I've got 50hrs on my '16 and haven't even checked the valves yet.

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I have the same year, great bike! It's barely broken in, and his average speed was in the mid 20's mph so I'm guessing not a lot of highway driving (that's good). I would personally put the thermostat back, but if it checks out mechanically then it sounds like a nice find. Ask why he's selling. Check for good maintenance, like make sure the air filter is clean and no dirt behind it. The oil should look new, you can see it through the sight glass by the kick starter. The clutch will be really noisy at idle, that's normal, but it should be very smooth. It's so new that as long as he didn't abuse it there's not much to worry about.

Edited by sirthumpalot

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I came off a 2002 XR 400 to a 16" 500 exc. You can't even imagine the difference between the two.

As old fuddy said, that bike is barely broken in and there are no real issues with the bike themselves. I would investigate how the bike was broken in and how hard it's been ridden. There's a big difference between someone who rolls the throttle on gently and mostly cruises (like me) compared to someone who keeps it at the rev limiter constantly (my brother in law). There are two other things I would do after you buy the bike though.

1. I would reinstall the thermostat, that's the way Ktm intended the bike to be.

2. If you intend on using or installing any other exhaust other than stock, I would remap the bike so it can be properly fueled. In my opinion, adjusting the tps helps a stock bike, but with a modified exhaust the tps isn't enough.

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Thanks guys! All great advice... I'm taking notes :thumbsup:

I think I will reinstall the thermostat if I get this bike. I wouldn't think anything would go wrong outside of it just taking longer to warm up, but I'd hate for it to overheat b/c the coolant doesn't have time to chill in the radiator, constantly circulating...or something like that. I'm scared to pretend I know better than KTM :)

The bike has a Quiet Core End cap mentioned on the best dual sport bikes website... not sure if that affects fuel/air as much as an aftermarket can does regarding the TPS.

 

Great info on the noisy clutch and checking BEHIND the air filter. And I think we've all ridden with 'revvers' before HAHA - Something about keeping the RPM's that high, for that long, for no good reason, just hurts my soul!!! I'm more of a bottom end, grunt, Braaap, kind of rider... fast with low rpms are more my thing.

 

From the pics I received, I did notice a very slight variation in the color of the metal on the "jug" section of the engine (maybe one spot that's a tiny bit flaky? where the head joins the jug), but I'm guessing that's just factory metal and may be due to a few heat cycles..? Photos attached. I'll look at all the signs when I see the bike, use advice from all of you and make the choice then as best I can.

 

2016-04-19.png  2016-04-19-a.png

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<applause> Thank you so much. I would like to take this opportunity to thank oldfuddy, sirthumpalot, and Deepseadan. I wouldn't be where I am today without you guys. ;) ...So the bike looked and rode great. I bought it. Found out the seller was actually 'in the industry' and is a crew member / driver for a very prominent motocrosser, used to drive for KTM, so that was neat. He sent me home with all kinds of extras. Suspension is already set up for a rider 15-20lbs heavier than I am, and it shows. Love that. Hate to sell the XR but have to now. Thanks again guys. https://www.dropbox.com/s/vq9vxic96dya06f/File%20Apr%2022%2C%208%2021%2015%20AM.jpeg?dl=0

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<applause> Thank you so much. I would like to take this opportunity to thank oldfuddy, sirthumpalot, and Deepseadan. I wouldn't be where I am today without you guys. ;) ...So the bike looked and rode great. I bought it. Found out the seller was actually 'in the industry' and is a crew member / driver for a very prominent motocrosser, used to drive for KTM, so that was neat. He sent me home with all kinds of extras. Suspension is already set up for a rider 15-20lbs heavier than I am, and it shows. Love that. Hate to sell the XR but have to now. Thanks again guys. https://www.dropbox.com/s/vq9vxic96dya06f/File%20Apr%2022%2C%208%2021%2015%20AM.jpeg?dl=0

Congrats, you will love it compared to the XR - I had a 400 the year they came out and only kept it about 7 months before I changed direction and bought a KTM 250EXC. The 500 is easy to maintain and from the pics yours looks really clean and well cared for, let us know what you think after the first ride.

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