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Well, I finally did it. I've wanted a ktm since I was 12 and rode another kid's 65sx at the motocross track. I'm now 26 and haven't had a bike for several years. I got the itch again, and after doing some reading about the RFS era KTMs, I took the plunge on a 2005 450 EXC in just-barely-street-legal form.

I put about 45 minutes on it yesterday on some small trails at a friend's house. I've gotta say, I'm very surprised at how easy it is to handle this thing. I thought I would be really rusty and, if I'm being honest, I was a little scared to ride it. The power, while there is a LOT of it, is very controllable and predictable. I felt right at home pretty much immediately and I think this bike is actually easier to ride than my last bike, a 2005 yz250.

Now, I've got a laundry list a mile long for different farkles I want to slowly add to build this thing into sort of a do-anything bike. I know about the frequent valve checks/adjustments and the importance of keeping the air filter and airbox squeaky clean, along with oil changes every 10 hours for more relaxed riding. Anything in particular that you guys have experienced that you want to give me a heads up on?

The previous owner went through this bike with a fine-toothed comb, and it runs very well. He greased all the bearings, rebuilt the forks, adjusted the valves just before sale, etc. etc. and it runs very well. I'm mostly looking for sounds and other symptoms that something is letting go. I know the little bit of chirp from the clutch is normal, along with a noisy neutral with the clutch out. I think the jetting is right on, it has the dynajet kit and is jetted for 0-3000 ft elevation (I'm at 550ft). There is a very small amount of decel pop, but from what I can gather this is normal? I'm gonna take a look at the header where it meets the head later on to make sure it's sealing off.

Other than that, I'm glad to be back and glad to finally be on an orange bike. Cheers!

IMG_4234.jpg

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Nice bike - i have an 03 450sx - very similar.

That headlight is different.

Mine pops sometimes on decel - not worrying about it.

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Just got back from an actual trail ride on it. This thing rips! I almost lost the shift lever, didn't notice until I was cleaning it. Had about two turns left before it was gonna come off. Luckily I just bought a few nice torque wrenches so I got a chance to use them.

I noticed the shock spring has some chips and is rusting where the chips are. Mostly near the bottom. Is that something I need to worry about? 

Also it's pretty hard to tell when the air filter is seated correctly. It feels like it pops in a bit but it never looks perfectly square. I think it's just because the filter is a bit lumpy looking with the skin on. Any trick to that? 

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11 minutes ago, hershmagersh said:

...

Also it's pretty hard to tell when the air filter is seated correctly. It feels like it pops in a bit but it never looks perfectly square. I think it's just because the filter is a bit lumpy looking with the skin on. Any trick to that? 

This is true.  It takes a little bit to get used to...

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No kidding, I hope I'm getting it right. Definitely don't want to suck a bunch of dust into the engine right off the bat lol.

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Oh! I forgot to ask, what kind of loctite should I get? Looks like 242/243 is used for most things. Is there any other kind I should get?

Edited by hershmagersh
Typo

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26 minutes ago, hershmagersh said:

No kidding, I hope I'm getting it right. Definitely don't want to suck a bunch of dust into the engine right off the bat lol.

Try using some lithium grease on the filter sealing face.  That way, if you're off a little hopefully the grease stops it...

25 minutes ago, hershmagersh said:

Oh! I forgot to ask, what kind of loctite should I get? Looks like 242/243 is used for most things. Is there any other kind I should get?

Those are good for most things.  You don't want permanent anyway...

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Okay cool I'll just get the blue 242. 

Yeah I used some disc brake / wheel bearing grease on the mating surface just because it's what I had lying around. I'm assuming it's not super important what type of grease it is as long as it's the right consistency, since all it's doing is sealing the surfaces. 

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2 minutes ago, hershmagersh said:

Okay cool I'll just get the blue 242. 

Yeah I used some disc brake / wheel bearing grease on the mating surface just because it's what I had lying around. I'm assuming it's not super important what type of grease it is as long as it's the right consistency, since all it's doing is sealing the surfaces. 

Lithium is waterproof.  That's probably the only reason to use it, but I don't see where grease would hurt either...

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This stuff is waterproof too, but it's definitely a sticky mess. I just ordered one of those PC pro seals so hopefully I won't have to use it for long anyway. 

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I just use the blue general waterproof grease from Wally World on my air filter rims.  It's cheap and can be used on all kinds of stuff.

I know what you mean about not being sure if it's seated properly.  I run my fingers all the way around pushing in to verify the frame is fully seated.

242 is good enough for most stuff but 243 is oil resistant.  The manual will specify what Loctite to use.

 

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3 hours ago, cobra46 said:

...

I know what you mean about not being sure if it's seated properly.  I run my fingers all the way around pushing in to verify the frame is fully seated.

...

 

This is what I do too, but it's hard to get your fingers completely on the back side...

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Yep that's what I had to do to fully convince myself that it was okay to ride haha. I'll have to grab some 243 as well, it seems like that is what the manual specifies for like half of all bolts on the bike. Definitely gonna loctite that shifter, seems like it shakes loose pretty commonly.

Anybody know if a bit of chipping and rust on the shock is normal? Seems to work fine but I don't want it to rust all the way through.

Also, I'm not sure if this is really a problem since it's 90-100 degrees every day here, but I have not had to use the choke AT ALL. It starts within one second of hitting the button every time, and it will start with the choke but it idles a lot better without it right from cold. Seems like some people are saying that's a sign of rich jetting or a clogged choke, but others are saying it's normal in the summer. No other symptoms as far as I can tell, no smoke or anything like that.

Edited by hershmagersh

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Sorry to bump this old thread! I know these bikes are super noisy, but I thought I would take a couple quick videos and see if there's anything you guys can hear that sounds out of the ordinary. I recorded with my iphone so it's probably a bit more trebly sounding than it really is.

I know these engines are noisy, but I've never seen or heard another one run to compare it to so I just want to make sure I know what a healthy running one sounds like.

 

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Sounds like a KTM RFS.....mine sounds the same.  IMO the idle is too low, should be 1500 a 1800 RPM.  High I know, this keeps the auto decompression in check.  Throttle much more responsive at this RPM.

looks like a really nice bike, congrats.

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Thanks guys! I'm gonna take a look at the CCT and set the idle tomorrow. I had been meaning to raise the idle a bit, it does seem really low -- probably making it even noisier than they usually are. I don't have a tach so I'll just have to do it by feel. 

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1 hour ago, UH1H said:

Sounds like a KTM RFS.....mine sounds the same.  ...

looks like a really nice bike, congrats.

I have a '16 500, and that's about what mine sounds like, other than mine isn't quite that deep in the exhaust note.  Mine's still stock.

The buddies that I ride with that have KTM's all sound like this as well.

To quote Days of Thunder  "Loose is fast."  KTM's sound "loose" to me...

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Awesome, seems like it is just the nature of the beast then. I really don't know why I waited so long to try a KTM, I'm already more comfortable on this one than I ever was on my Yamahas. To be clear, the Yammys were great bikes, but there's something about the total package of the KTM that just seems really well thought out and cohesive. I don't feel like I'm making it do what I want, it just kind of does it.

The exhaust is actually the stock unit, but it has been cut down 3 inches and had the restrictor taken out. It's probably a good bit louder than stock, but it isn't too loud. It kind of depends on how much juice you give it. It can be really mild sounding or it can sound like a tractor on steroids lol.

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