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2017 / 2018 KTM 500 exc Vortex ignition

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I like analogies so how is this for the Vortex vs JD Tuner

If I am 16yo and want the best running NA motor I can afford without mommy and daddy paying for it, get the JD Tuner

When I graduate college and get a real job, I can then afford a Twin Turbo so get the Vortex.

As I read more I am getting to fully understand the difference between the two. Not everybody is a go hard, go fast, ride every day or every weekend type of rider. So, I see it as based on your wallet,marital status and riding ability you can choose either and both will be a good choice.

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2 hours ago, cmbthumper said:

I like analogies so how is this for the Vortex vs JD Tuner

If I am 16yo and want the best running NA motor I can afford without mommy and daddy paying for it, get the JD Tuner

When I graduate college and get a real job, I can then afford a Twin Turbo so get the Vortex.

As I read more I am getting to fully understand the difference between the two. Not everybody is a go hard, go fast, ride every day or every weekend type of rider. So, I see it as based on your wallet,marital status and riding ability you can choose either and both will be a good choice.

Pretty spot on.  The JD tuner will solve the lean issues (both off the showroom floor, and exacerbated by opening up the reeds and exhaust), but doesn't mess with the ignition mapping.  Vortex then let's you also adjust the mapping.  

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21 hours ago, Horgh said:

Quick question Jeff... if one was to do that and replace the Vortex back with the stock ECU, would the smog equipment have to be re-installed? Or just the intake reed and stock muffler? I'm thinking just the latter.

Nope...  just put in the stock ECU back in and tell the dude you sell the bike to it will stop popping as soon as he calls me for a Vortex.   

You have my number right ?  LOLOLOLOLOL  :cheers:

7 hours ago, MelonFan_123 said:

ok, just bought a new 500exc and trying to get up to speed on all this ECU business. This is my first KTM and dual sport bike so lots of new info for me.

I read through here and didn't really see the pros/cons of the Vortex vs JD tuner.  If the JD is tuned by someone that knows what they are doing is the performance close to the Vortex?  I'll be getting a pipe, taking out reed cage, and doing de-smog all at the same time as well.

Between buying new tires, mousse's, skid plate, fender kit etc... if I can save $500 or so by going with a JD instead of a Vortex, that would be nice.

NO 

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4 hours ago, cmbthumper said:

I like analogies so how is this for the Vortex vs JD Tuner

If I am 16yo and want the best running NA motor I can afford without mommy and daddy paying for it, get the JD Tuner

When I graduate college and get a real job, I can then afford a Twin Turbo so get the Vortex.

As I read more I am getting to fully understand the difference between the two. Not everybody is a go hard, go fast, ride every day or every weekend type of rider. So, I see it as based on your wallet,marital status and riding ability you can choose either and both will be a good choice.

NO

2 hours ago, markbfe501 said:

Pretty spot on.  The JD tuner will solve the lean issues (both off the showroom floor, and exacerbated by opening up the reeds and exhaust), but doesn't mess with the ignition mapping.  Vortex then let's you also adjust the mapping.  

NO

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Truth No. 1 and Truth No. 2

If you can afford a $13000 dirt bike you can afford a Vortex...  stop being cheap and just do it right.  :cheers:

If you buy an FMF pipe over a Vortex then you are all about bling and really don't care about the bike running it's best.

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Truth No. 1 and Truth No. 2
If you can afford a $13000 dirt bike you can afford a Vortex...  stop being cheap and just do it right.  :cheers:
If you buy an FMF pipe over a Vortex then you are all about bling and really don't care about the bike running it's best.
Hi Jeff I was able to get my stock ecu flashed on my 2018 500exc it's made an unbelievable difference. How ever I was just putting around with the kids this past weekend and the motor kept dying. I took the reeds out and and opened up the stock exhaust. The rest is still all there.

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4 minutes ago, hndardr said:

Hi Jeff I was able to get my stock ecu flashed on my 2018 500exc it's made an unbelievable difference. How ever I was just putting around with the kids this past weekend and the motor kept dying. I took the reeds out and and opened up the stock exhaust. The rest is still all there.

You can keep going down the rabbit hole and go back to the flash guy and have him do some custom mapping. 

There is a reason Honda and Yamaha race teams use Vortex... it's just better hardware...  and software...  and all the mapping is done.

Plug it in and ride.  :cheers: 

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You can keep going down the rabbit hole and go back to the flash guy and have him do some custom mapping. 



There is a reason Honda and Yamaha race teams use Vortex... it's just better hardware...  and software...  and all the mapping is done.



Plug it in and ride.  default_cheers.gif 
Thank you for the response. How much for the vortex?

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1 hour ago, Jeff aka Bolt said:

You can keep going down the rabbit hole and go back to the flash guy and have him do some custom mapping. 

There is a reason Honda and Yamaha race teams use Vortex... it's just better hardware...  and software...  and all the mapping is done.

Plug it in and ride.  

I couldnt even find someone willing to reflash my stock ECU for me. The Vortex comes with some simple instructions and a spec sheet for the 10 preset maps. It comes with plug ins  for custom mapping, and you can download software for it and tinker with it, but personally I'll just trust the guy who built it. Best 600 bucks you can spend on this bike if you plan on pulling reeds and exhaust upgrades. 

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....If you can afford a $13000 dirt bike.....

You need to negotiate better :moon:







Note: Get the Vortex from Jeffe
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On ‎1‎/‎8‎/‎2019 at 2:06 PM, MelonFan_123 said:

ok, just bought a new 500exc and trying to get up to speed on all this ECU business. This is my first KTM and dual sport bike so lots of new info for me.

I read through here and didn't really see the pros/cons of the Vortex vs JD tuner.  If the JD is tuned by someone that knows what they are doing is the performance close to the Vortex?  I'll be getting a pipe, taking out reed cage, and doing de-smog all at the same time as well.

Between buying new tires, mousse's, skid plate, fender kit etc... if I can save $500 or so by going with a JD instead of a Vortex, that would be nice.

I have had both the JD Tuner & Vortex on my 2018 500, here is a comparison I wrote up.

https://thumpertalk.com/forums/topic/1270522-vortex-vs-jd-tuner-on-a-2018-ktm-500-exc-f/

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1 hour ago, rustyg61 said:

I have had both the JD Tuner & Vortex on my 2018 500, here is a comparison I wrote up.

https://thumpertalk.com/forums/topic/1270522-vortex-vs-jd-tuner-on-a-2018-ktm-500-exc-f/

Thank you for the link and write up.

My $.05

I highly recommend Jeff aka Bolt https://thumpertalk.com/profile/338767-jeff-aka-bolt/ for all your parts & accessories! He gave me a good deal on the Vortex & bought my JD Tuner from me even though I didn't buy it from him. He can get you anything Rocky Mountain ATV can get for less $.

I said the JD Tuner was a huge improvement, so it is still a good add on, & for people who just ride trails & woods it is great! I didn’t discover the limitations until I went to the MX track. If you want a full MX bike get the Vortex, but if you just want a great dual sport the JD does great & is much cheaper!

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I have read the JD Tuner vs Vortex till my eyes bled. I honestly really get it and appreciate BOTH real world inputs, sales tactics, one line answers and so on. Not I or anyone can convince you to spend your own hard earned money whether you have it or not. You are you and will make up your own mind.

From rustyg61 posts the ones in Bold-Italic and underline above really stuck out and should be your final deciding answer on which to get IMO. The buy back is the first I read TBH. Pretty cool of Jeff. The MX (Enduro, i'll race you to the truck etc) vs Dual Sport and Cheaper is what I believed since I started reading about the two ECU/Tuner Upgrades.

For me and just getting back into dirt bikes, I basically went all out on arguably the best Brand and model for my purposes and riding abilities. Is a 500 too much for someone getting back in since 1998? Maybe? I don't know. Doubt it. Eventually I will gain riding skills and push the bike more and more. For now, I need a few key upgrades that will make the bike, me and my mind perform better. Those upgrades cost money. Money that could go immediately to a Vortex if I had deep pockets or no budget. I do, so for the time being I will be upgrading in stages and from what I read, Yes I will say damn I should have done that from the beginning but my path is my path. Whatever you choose be thankful we have a choice.

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Thank you for the link and write up.
My $.05
I highly recommend Jeff aka Bolt https://thumpertalk.com/profile/338767-jeff-aka-bolt/ for all your parts & accessories! He gave me a good deal on the Vortex & bought my JD Tuner from me even though I didn't buy it from him. He can get you anything Rocky Mountain ATV can get for less $.
I said the JD Tuner was a huge improvement, so it is still a good add on, & for people who just ride trails & woods it is great! I didn’t discover the limitations until I went to the MX track. If you want a full MX bike get the Vortex, but if you just want a great dual sport the JD does great & is much cheaper!
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
I have read the JD Tuner vs Vortex till my eyes bled. I honestly really get it and appreciate BOTH real world inputs, sales tactics, one line answers and so on. Not I or anyone can convince you to spend your own hard earned money whether you have it or not. You are you and will make up your own mind.
From rustyg61 posts the ones in Bold-Italic and underline above really stuck out and should be your final deciding answer on which to get IMO. The buy back is the first I read TBH. Pretty cool of Jeff. The MX (Enduro, i'll race you to the truck etc) vs Dual Sport and Cheaper is what I believed since I started reading about the two ECU/Tuner Upgrades.
For me and just getting back into dirt bikes, I basically went all out on arguably the best Brand and model for my purposes and riding abilities. Is a 500 too much for someone getting back in since 1998? Maybe? I don't know. Doubt it. Eventually I will gain riding skills and push the bike more and more. For now, I need a few key upgrades that will make the bike, me and my mind perform better. Those upgrades cost money. Money that could go immediately to a Vortex if I had deep pockets or no budget. I do, so for the time being I will be upgrading in stages and from what I read, Yes I will say damn I should have done that from the beginning but my path is my path. Whatever you choose be thankful we have a choice.


I didn’t ride at all for 10 years but when I got the bug again I wanted a bike that would go beyond my abilities so that I could eventually grow into it. My previous bike was a 2008 Yamaha WR 250r & I wound up breaking my leg because it did not have enough power to clear a jump that I had done hundreds of times before. So when I decided to get another dual sport I wanted one with power to spare! My 2018 KTM 500 EXC-F is exactly what I needed & hands down the best bike I have ever owned over my 45 years of riding. So you made the right choice going with the 500!
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1 hour ago, rustyg61 said:

I didn’t ride at all for 10 years but when I got the bug again I wanted a bike that would go beyond my abilities so that I could eventually grow into it. My previous bike was a 2008 Yamaha WR 250r & I wound up breaking my leg because it did not have enough power to clear a jump that I had done hundreds of times before. So when I decided to get another dual sport I wanted one with power to spare! My 2018 KTM 500 EXC-F is exactly what I needed & hands down the best bike I have ever owned over my 45 years of riding. So you made the right choice going with the 500!

Right on! Now update your avatar to reflect your love for orange ;)

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11 minutes ago, Horgh said:

Right on! Now update your avatar to reflect your love for orange ;)

I've been meaning to do that but don't have a cool shot of me roosting on the KTM yet! Not that I haven't roosted on it, there just hasn't been anyone to capture the moment!

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15 minutes ago, Horgh said:

Right on! Now update your avatar to reflect your love for orange ;)

OK Horgh, you talked me into it! In the absence of a cool MX or epic Dual Sport photo, I'll just post my bike.

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6 hours ago, cmbthumper said:

Thank you for the link and write up.

My $.05

I highly recommend Jeff aka Bolt https://thumpertalk.com/profile/338767-jeff-aka-bolt/ for all your parts & accessories! He gave me a good deal on the Vortex & bought my JD Tuner from me even though I didn't buy it from him. He can get you anything Rocky Mountain ATV can get for less $.

I said the JD Tuner was a huge improvement, so it is still a good add on, & for people who just ride trails & woods it is great! I didn’t discover the limitations until I went to the MX track. If you want a full MX bike get the Vortex, but if you just want a great dual sport the JD does great & is much cheaper!

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I have read the JD Tuner vs Vortex till my eyes bled. I honestly really get it and appreciate BOTH real world inputs, sales tactics, one line answers and so on. Not I or anyone can convince you to spend your own hard earned money whether you have it or not. You are you and will make up your own mind.

From rustyg61 posts the ones in Bold-Italic and underline above really stuck out and should be your final deciding answer on which to get IMO. The buy back is the first I read TBH. Pretty cool of Jeff. The MX (Enduro, i'll race you to the truck etc) vs Dual Sport and Cheaper is what I believed since I started reading about the two ECU/Tuner Upgrades.

For me and just getting back into dirt bikes, I basically went all out on arguably the best Brand and model for my purposes and riding abilities. Is a 500 too much for someone getting back in since 1998? Maybe? I don't know. Doubt it. Eventually I will gain riding skills and push the bike more and more. For now, I need a few key upgrades that will make the bike, me and my mind perform better. Those upgrades cost money. Money that could go immediately to a Vortex if I had deep pockets or no budget. I do, so for the time being I will be upgrading in stages and from what I read, Yes I will say damn I should have done that from the beginning but my path is my path. Whatever you choose be thankful we have a choice.

I had many years not being able to afford riding since I was a kid, and my first bike as an adult now is a 2018 450exc. Also my first road legal bike, and ive spent the last year learning to ride on the street with it in hawaii of all places. I couldnt ask for a better combination of easily streetable short distance commuter and balls out power on the mx track by swapping between mx and sm wheels. Even got the wheel swap down to 20 mins or so 👍 

Also im running the vortex on the sxf preset map, with fmf pipe and full desmog/uncork. Ive toasted liter bikes on the windy switchback mountain roads here, and I dont even consider myself that experienced of a rider. Its just that easy of a bike to ride with how smooth it delivers power. Next i just need some motomaster brakes now that im getting faster! The warp 9 wheels are nice, but the brakes feel chinsy.

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5 hours ago, tedward540 said:

I had many years not being able to afford riding since I was a kid, and my first bike as an adult now is a 2018 450exc. Also my first road legal bike, and ive spent the last year learning to ride on the street with it in hawaii of all places. I couldnt ask for a better combination of easily streetable short distance commuter and balls out power on the mx track by swapping between mx and sm wheels. Even got the wheel swap down to 20 mins or so 👍 

Also im running the vortex on the sxf preset map, with fmf pipe and full desmog/uncork. Ive toasted liter bikes on the windy switchback mountain roads here, and I dont even consider myself that experienced of a rider. Its just that easy of a bike to ride with how smooth it delivers power. Next i just need some motomaster brakes now that im getting faster! The warp 9 wheels are nice, but the brakes feel chinsy.

are you using the extended front brake bracket and larger rotor from warp 9 in that 20 minute swap? larger front free float rotor and the brembo don’t feel good enough? i have the warp 9 set but was too lazy to try to use the big front rotor just reused the stocker for now because i plan on going back to dirt in only a couple of days 

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15 hours ago, rustyg61 said:

I have had both the JD Tuner & Vortex on my 2018 500, here is a comparison I wrote up.

https://thumpertalk.com/forums/topic/1270522-vortex-vs-jd-tuner-on-a-2018-ktm-500-exc-f/

Thank you for that link Rustyg61! 

After reading that and also talking with Jeff, I think I will just go with the Vortex and be done with it. One thing I have learned in life is you never regret going a little "over" on things, but you can often regret when you try and shortcut something ha!  When i look at my riding abilities and what I want to do with this bike, I will appreciate getting the most of its performance.

My first parts order for this scoot (before it's even been out!) was about $600 - tires, mousse tubes, new sprockets/gearing, skid plate and other protection... so the thought of coughing up the dough for the Vortex was a kick in the nuts. But now I see the benefits and hopefully the smiles under the helmet will be worth every penny

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5 hours ago, james malone said:

are you using the extended front brake bracket and larger rotor from warp 9 in that 20 minute swap? larger front free float rotor and the brembo don’t feel good enough? i have the warp 9 set but was too lazy to try to use the big front rotor just reused the stocker for now because i plan on going back to dirt in only a couple of days 

I do have the caliper bracket and i have to swap it out when I change wheels, but its not a big deal. Its the same as the stock braket just longer. The warp 9 brakes are okay depending on your riding. Theyve been fine for me while learning to ride on the road, but now Im more comfortable and riding more agressive on the street, so when its time for new brakes Im gonna get a set of Motomasters rotors. The stock brembo is plenty for the street, but if I move back to the mainland where theres tracks to ride I may end up upgrading to the motomaster 4 piston caliper. But the more brake upgrades you do the more there is to swap over when you change wheels, so thats a consideration too. It may eventually end up being a dedicated supermoto if I can find a good deal on a cr125 woods beater. 

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