Jump to content

What is normal radiator temperature on KTM 500 EXC-F?

Recommended Posts

What is the normal operating temperature at the radiator on a KTM 500 EXC-F? I have a 2017.

BACKGROUND
I'm new to the KTM world and on the test ride I immediately noticed how hot it ran compared to my DRZ 400 and BMW R1200GS. I put this down to the emission parts.

When I bought the bike, I removed those parts and:

  • installed a Vortex ECU
  • installed a radiator temperature sensor and connected it to my TrailTech dash
  • replaced the muffler with a Q4
  • removed the intake reeds
  • since I live in a hot climate, I also removed the radiator hose thermostat so that coolant runs through the radiator all the time
  • Replaced factory coolant with EngineIce

With ambient air temp at about 90 degrees F, and running 65MPH on city streets and also in stop-and-go traffic, I see that the temp at the radiator runs 185-210 or so. I can really feel the heat off of the engine on my body.

I'd have thought that the removal of the EPA parts and with the other modifications to get more air in and exhaust out that it would be running cooler.

I confirmed that the radiator fan does operate correctly - it's like a hair dryer always blowing on me.

Is this normal?

Edited by DRZCamping

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What is the normal operating temperature at the radiator on a KTM 500 EXC-F? I have a 2017.

BACKGROUND
I'm new to the KTM world and on the test ride I immediately noticed how hot it ran compared to my DRZ 400 and BMW R1200GS. I put this down to the emission parts.

When I bought the bike, I removed those parts and:
  • installed a Vortex ECU
  • installed a radiator temperature sensor and connected it to my TrailTech dash
  • replaced the muffler with a Q4
  • removed the intake reeds
  • since I live in a hot climate, I also removed the radiator hose thermostat so that coolant runs through the radiator all the time
  • Replaced factory coolant with EngineIce
With ambient air temp at about 90 degrees F, and running 65MPH on city streets and also in stop-and-go traffic, I see that the temp at the radiator runs 185-210 or so. I can really feel the heat off of the engine on my body.

I'd have thought that the removal of the EPA parts and with the other modifications to get more air in and exhaust out that it would be running cooler.

I confirmed that the radiator fan does operate correctly - it's like a hair dryer always blowing on me.

Is this normal?

A lot of guys on these forums are nothing more than backyard mechanics who purchased their bikes less than a year ago, and regurgitate what they read and believe it. They'll tell you things like your bike is lean, you need to change or clean your air filter after every ride, the ktm 500 exc won't wheelie in first gear, it doesn't have the power to climb a sand hill, and a bunch of other silly things.

The fact of the matter is your bike was engineered by engineers at ktm who know a lot more than a small company who creates aftermarket parts or any of us here. The ktm's run really well stock and they'll run forever if you do the basic maintenance recommended in the manual.

Now to your heat complaint. You changed your ecu. You changed your timing and fueling. You removed your thermostat. You removed the EPA parts and added an exhaust. Getting more air into the motor leans the motor out and more fuel richens it. It's really hard to tell if your motor is running right with all the mods you've done. My 16 ktm 500 exc has an aftermarket muffler and factory ktm map and the fan runs pretty often especially in 90 degree heat but my bike runs flawlessly and has never had an issue.

Just be careful with the advice here. When I bought my bike in aug of 2015 there was already years of owners experimenting on my model and the forum members were smart and long timers. Now I see very few long timers here and all a bunch of newer 2017 owners grasping at straws, making crazy claims, and talking like they've owned their ktm for years.

Last what I can tell you with my seat time on both a 16 and 17 is they are very different animals so don't expect the 12- 16 motor operating traits to carry over into the 17's and newer.
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

185 to 210 is normal expected range, and as long as you are not boiling over. I believe the fan is designed to come on around 210 degree and shut off around 201 degree.  But post 90 degree in slow forrest stuff, expect the fan to be on a lot.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Deepseadan said:


A lot of guys on these forums are nothing more than backyard mechanics who purchased their bikes less than a year ago, and regurgitate what they read and believe it. They'll tell you things like your bike is lean, you need to change or clean your air filter after every ride, the ktm 500 exc won't wheelie in first gear, it doesn't have the power to climb a sand hill, and a bunch of other silly things.

The fact of the matter is your bike was engineered by engineers at ktm who know a lot more than a small company who creates aftermarket parts or any of us here. The ktm's run really well stock and they'll run forever if you do the basic maintenance recommended in the manual.

Now to your heat complaint. You changed your ecu. You changed your timing and fueling. You removed your thermostat. You removed the EPA parts and added an exhaust. Getting more air into the motor leans the motor out and more fuel richens it. It's really hard to tell if your motor is running right with all the mods you've done. My 16 ktm 500 exc has an aftermarket muffler and factory ktm map and the fan runs pretty often especially in 90 degree heat but my bike runs flawlessly and has never had an issue.

Just be careful with the advice here. When I bought my bike in aug of 2015 there was already years of owners experimenting on my model and the forum members were smart and long timers. Now I see very few long timers here and all a bunch of newer 2017 owners grasping at straws, making crazy claims, and talking like they've owned their ktm for years.

Last what I can tell you with my seat time on both a 16 and 17 is they are very different animals so don't expect the 12- 16 motor operating traits to carry over into the 17's and newer.

Lol, and they say I'm angry... 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Deepseadan said:


A lot of guys on these forums are nothing more than backyard mechanics who purchased their bikes less than a year ago, and regurgitate what they read and believe it. They'll tell you things like your bike is lean, you need to change or clean your air filter after every ride, the ktm 500 exc won't wheelie in first gear, it doesn't have the power to climb a sand hill, and a bunch of other silly things.

The fact of the matter is your bike was engineered by engineers at ktm who know a lot more than a small company who creates aftermarket parts or any of us here. The ktm's run really well stock and they'll run forever if you do the basic maintenance recommended in the manual.

Now to your heat complaint. You changed your ecu. You changed your timing and fueling. You removed your thermostat. You removed the EPA parts and added an exhaust. Getting more air into the motor leans the motor out and more fuel richens it. It's really hard to tell if your motor is running right with all the mods you've done. My 16 ktm 500 exc has an aftermarket muffler and factory ktm map and the fan runs pretty often especially in 90 degree heat but my bike runs flawlessly and has never had an issue.

Just be careful with the advice here. When I bought my bike in aug of 2015 there was already years of owners experimenting on my model and the forum members were smart and long timers. Now I see very few long timers here and all a bunch of newer 2017 owners grasping at straws, making crazy claims, and talking like they've owned their ktm for years.

Last what I can tell you with my seat time on both a 16 and 17 is they are very different animals so don't expect the 12- 16 motor operating traits to carry over into the 17's and newer.

True, not everyone is an expert mechanic or racer.  In this case, I know several people with the 2016 and the 2017 and they are very different bikes.  The 2017 had a frame redesign, motor changes, and the EPA rules for 2017 are very different. 

To your point, given the extensive changes in the 2017 MY, I'm not sure how much knowledge of the 2016 and prior years' is pertinent to the 2017 configuration.  FWIW, I did the engine break in stock and it had little or no more power than my old DRZ400 that I replaced the top end of with a big bore kit.  It lacked power (felt like 35- HP), hesitated off the line, had weak, mushy  suspension, popped massively on deceleration (too lean), and had other issues.  Now, after the mods, it's the monster I bought and paid for.  If I had to stick with the EPA laden 2017, I'd just get a KLR.  With the mods, it looks to be a keeper. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

((((If I had to stick with the EPA laden 2017, I'd just get a KLR.  With the mods, it looks to be a keeper.))))

 

2012 through 2016 had 5 years of evolution of the same design, by mid cycle they had that model fairly wired motor wise(reliability wise). The 17's, they compressed that motor design, and thinned parts material, reduced oil capacity,  which made some go eeek.

The person who had the stock 17, that had trouble pulling the power wheelie in first gear was at 4000 ft. I can say the (taller geared) pre 2017's had to be clutched up in 3 rd gear (stock), but as I recall, could power wheelie in the first 2 gears(stock). But the stock motors had a lot of surging and lean issues, hitches and glitches due to the fueling.

I believe they changed the motor piston on the 17, the suspension went to a completely different less expensive design, smaller sub frame, longer rear brake lever, different throttle body, lower final gearing, including internal, and different pipe and muffler.

so yeah , a lot of changes , which does beg the question, if any pre 2017 knowledge is transferable?

 

My 2015 is a collectors item , the 17 is a different animal.

 

I think you did good with the vortex though, any weird stuff since that change over?

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2017 500 EXC - Also run the Striker TT computer

Mods include: Remap, FMF powercore/SA, removal and plug of intake and exhaust smog stuff, funnelweb filter (if that matters), Engine Ice, Reeds removed. 92 octane non-ethanol fuel.

Max temp had been 194 about 3 times in 80-90 degree heat. Fan has only blipped on 3 times in 1200 miles so far. It's almost hard to get it up to 160 degrees engine heat at 70 degrees or less air temperature.

Only item different from most riders - I run 2TwoCool oil coolant in the 10-40 Motul oil. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Burnrider said:

2017 500 EXC - Also run the Striker TT computer

Mods include: Remap, FMF powercore/SA, removal and plug of intake and exhaust smog stuff, funnelweb filter (if that matters), Engine Ice, Reeds removed. 92 octane non-ethanol fuel.

Max temp had been 194 about 3 times in 80-90 degree heat. Fan has only blipped on 3 times in 1200 miles so far. It's almost hard to get it up to 160 degrees engine heat at 70 degrees or less air temperature.

Only item different from most riders - I run 2TwoCool oil coolant in the 10-40 Motul oil. 

That's very interesting.  Which 2Cool product - can you add a link? Here's their product page: http://www.two2cool.com/

And 10-40? Is that the manufacturer's recommended weight? I can't remember and my book is int he shop.

 

Interesting results!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Deepseadan said:


A lot of guys on these forums are nothing more than backyard mechanics who purchased their bikes less than a year ago, and regurgitate what they read and believe it. They'll tell you things like your bike is lean, you need to change or clean your air filter after every ride, the ktm 500 exc won't wheelie in first gear, it doesn't have the power to climb a sand hill, and a bunch of other silly things.

The fact of the matter is your bike was engineered by engineers at ktm who know a lot more than a small company who creates aftermarket parts or any of us here. The ktm's run really well stock and they'll run forever if you do the basic maintenance recommended in the manual.

Now to your heat complaint. You changed your ecu. You changed your timing and fueling. You removed your thermostat. You removed the EPA parts and added an exhaust. Getting more air into the motor leans the motor out and more fuel richens it. It's really hard to tell if your motor is running right with all the mods you've done. My 16 ktm 500 exc has an aftermarket muffler and factory ktm map and the fan runs pretty often especially in 90 degree heat but my bike runs flawlessly and has never had an issue.

Just be careful with the advice here. When I bought my bike in aug of 2015 there was already years of owners experimenting on my model and the forum members were smart and long timers. Now I see very few long timers here and all a bunch of newer 2017 owners grasping at straws, making crazy claims, and talking like they've owned their ktm for years.

Last what I can tell you with my seat time on both a 16 and 17 is they are very different animals so don't expect the 12- 16 motor operating traits to carry over into the 17's and newer.

Ha ha ha ha ha oh boy. Where's my straws when I need them. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Several years ago, BDS was testing a ktm on the dyno right after doing a thermo delete , I recall the temps were in the 160's and the bike was down on power.

You might be able to find the video archive, on his site.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

 

That's very interesting.  Which 2Cool product - can you add a link? Here's their product page: http://www.two2cool.com/

And 10-40? Is that the manufacturer's recommended weight? I can't remember and my book is int he shop.

 

This is the link for the 2 cool:

http://www.two2cool.com/

I think 15-40 is the recommended oil wt for the full synthetic.  Let me be clear, this is my path, and I would prefer the bike ran consistent at 150 to 160 degrees F. I do have the thermostat installed. I also run 92 non-ethanol fuel full time. 

I believe the reason the bike runs so cool is the FMF-Q and the re map for more fuel. This is consistent with all 4 strokes going back to the mid 1980's. I think any after market slip on would help it run cooler. James Dean has gotten the horsepower out of the bike with the stock pipe by removing the screen. He never posted engine heat in his testing. 

The engine runs well with the mods at any temp over 130 when riding it. As to engine longevity- I have the striker on my '05 450 with a Q and JD jetting & 2 cool- it runs fairly low engine temps as well. The bike has 25K on it to date, so I'm not sure how much we need to fear low temps. KTM sets the fan temp at about 194 and DJH posted the bikes are considered normal at 200 degrees F. The new bikes run cool at speed, it's the slow going / single track that gets them hot.

 

Confused yet?

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, DRZCamping said:

What is the normal operating temperature at the radiator on a KTM 500 EXC-F? I have a 2017.

BACKGROUND
I'm new to the KTM world and on the test ride I immediately noticed how hot it ran compared to my DRZ 400 and BMW R1200GS. I put this down to the emission parts.

When I bought the bike, I removed those parts and:

  • installed a Vortex ECU
  • installed a radiator temperature sensor and connected it to my TrailTech dash
  • replaced the muffler with a Q4
  • removed the intake reeds
  • since I live in a hot climate, I also removed the radiator hose thermostat so that coolant runs through the radiator all the time
  • Replaced factory coolant with EngineIce

With ambient air temp at about 90 degrees F, and running 65MPH on city streets and also in stop-and-go traffic, I see that the temp at the radiator runs 185-210 or so. I can really feel the heat off of the engine on my body.

I'd have thought that the removal of the EPA parts and with the other modifications to get more air in and exhaust out that it would be running cooler.

I confirmed that the radiator fan does operate correctly - it's like a hair dryer always blowing on me.

Is this normal?

Likely normal. We run the piss out of the 17' and 18's. If they aren't spitting coolant out I wouldn't worry about it.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, stevethe said:

Likely normal. We run the piss out of the 17' and 18's. If they aren't spitting coolant out I wouldn't worry about it.  

It's a tough call as our bikes are setup up roughly the same, but I don't run high temps consistently like AZ riders. Should get a better idea of normal when we hit the multi-day loops in Northern NV next year. Run the bike into the Fall when the weather cools and keep an eye on it. The fin sensor on your TT needs more thermal paste than they give us on purchase, I got some here ($5):

http://www.ebay.com/itm/20g-Tube-Syringe-Silver-Thermal-Paste-High-Performance-Heatsink-Compound-CPU-GPU-/131753508718?epid=1561398694&hash=item1ead1eff6e:g:VCIAAOSwyNNZkNjS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ive never had a cooling issue, so haven't looked into it too deeply, but it looks like the KTM 500 has a 70 c  thermostat, which would be right at 160 degree, which I thought it was a 190, so that was incorrect, the 2017 is showing the same thermo . My 2015 shows a 95 c degree thermo switch for the fan, which is right at 203 degrees (to turn on), which coincides with what you were saying.  However parts fische Not showing the thermo switch on the 2017 at all, which coincides previously with a 2017 Husky rider saying, no thermo switch on the rad with 2017.   Do you know where its at or where the 2017 is getting its info to turn fan on?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Spud786 said:

Ive never had a cooling issue, so haven't looked into it too deeply, but it looks like the KTM 500 has a 70 c  thermostat, which would be right at 160 degree, which I thought it was a 190, so that was incorrect, the 2017 is showing the same thermo . My 2015 shows a 95 c degree thermo switch for the fan, which is right at 203 degrees (to turn on), which coincides with what you were saying.  However parts fische Not showing the thermo switch on the 2017 at all, which coincides previously with a 2017 Husky rider saying, no thermo switch on the rad with 2017.   Do you know where its at or where the 2017 is getting its info to turn fan on?

 

 

Temperature sensor. Should be number 27 on the right side of the head. 

http://www.ktmpartspitstop.com/oemparts/a/ktm/595514f276a4a29964ccefb5/cylinder-head

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, stevethe said:

Temperature sensor. Should be number 27 on the right side of the head. 

http://www.ktmpartspitstop.com/oemparts/a/ktm/595514f276a4a29964ccefb5/cylinder-head

Previous gen has the water sensor too, but with a separate fan circuit. I guess the water sensor has consolidated both functions on the 17, and the ecu says when the fan comes on.

Edited by Spud786

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/13/2017 at 11:47 AM, Deepseadan said:


A lot of guys on these forums are nothing more than backyard mechanics who purchased their bikes less than a year ago, and regurgitate what they read and believe it. They'll tell you things like your bike is lean, you need to change or clean your air filter after every ride, the ktm 500 exc won't wheelie in first gear, it doesn't have the power to climb a sand hill, and a bunch of other silly things.

The fact of the matter is your bike was engineered by engineers at ktm who know a lot more than a small company who creates aftermarket parts or any of us here. The ktm's run really well stock and they'll run forever if you do the basic maintenance recommended in the manual.

Now to your heat complaint. You changed your ecu. You changed your timing and fueling. You removed your thermostat. You removed the EPA parts and added an exhaust. Getting more air into the motor leans the motor out and more fuel richens it. It's really hard to tell if your motor is running right with all the mods you've done. My 16 ktm 500 exc has an aftermarket muffler and factory ktm map and the fan runs pretty often especially in 90 degree heat but my bike runs flawlessly and has never had an issue.

Just be careful with the advice here. When I bought my bike in aug of 2015 there was already years of owners experimenting on my model and the forum members were smart and long timers. Now I see very few long timers here and all a bunch of newer 2017 owners grasping at straws, making crazy claims, and talking like they've owned their ktm for years.

Last what I can tell you with my seat time on both a 16 and 17 is they are very different animals so don't expect the 12- 16 motor operating traits to carry over into the 17's and newer.

I can agree with most of this.  The KTM engineers - bright as hell.  Even bright enough to figure out how to ram a race bike into the USA that meets on-road requirements in spite of ridiculously burdensome CARB/EPA regulations designed pretty much to keep anything like this off the streets of the US.  However, these same brilliant KTM engineers obviously know that the bike can run much better than what is allowed in the US, else the rest of the world would also be given the piss poor ECU that they put in the US bikes.  They also tried to give us an out with the ability for the ECU to be reprogrammed with much better maps.  CARB/EPA gets wind of this and forces dealers and KTM to shut this ability down, else facing a VW type environmental emissions scandal.  

So now that leaves us owners left to deal with this ourselves, else live with lean running, badly constrained bikes.  Yep, we could live with them as they are, but why should we?  There's a lot of ponies in there that the rest of the world gets to benefit from, that he bright KTM engineers designed into them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK so looks like fan turns on at about 182F.  Seems to be running okay - just blows a heck of a lot of hot air - at me.  Maybe just not used to that comparred with my DRZ and a BMW R1200GS water. 

 

Seems to run fine with the Vortex but I had to take my TPU adjustment back down to factory - about 0.583dcv for me.  Had some off rev behavior at 0.611dcv that seems to be sorted now (fingers crossed).  Or it could have been my throttle free play which was loose.  Anyway, ready for the next test ride when the hurricane leaves the area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A 182F fan turn on temp seems pretty low or at least lower than necessary.  In the old days many of us would use 95/90 thermo-sensors, i.e. fan on at 95C (203F) and off at 90C (194F).  This kept the engine plenty cool enough without having the fan run all the time and run down the battery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, Chas_M said:

A 182F fan turn on temp seems pretty low or at least lower than necessary.  In the old days many of us would use 95/90 thermo-sensors, i.e. fan on at 95C (203F) and off at 90C (194F).  This kept the engine plenty cool enough without having the fan run all the time and run down the battery.

They run when they run and the battery doesn't run down at least not on the ones I've seen. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:


×