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I am in the process of restoring my trusty 2007 450 EXC and just thought I'd document some of the things I did. If anyone has any questions, let me know.

A little back story first. This bike has been absolutely great for years first of all but around 4 years ago even though I had a dirt tricks belleville washer and red loctite, the front sprocket bolt fell out on a two day Nevada ride. Made it back ok but the countershaft splines were starting to wear. Fast forward to 2019 and the CS gave out on me on a big hill climb in the middle of Nevada. Towed out 5 miles and luckily all was OK. I have since bought a 2019 500 EXC but decided to restore it. With all the Covid stuff happening it has given me time to really clean and polish this whole bike.

Here is a photo about a month before the breakdown.

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Start of the teardown.

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Don't zoom in to those countershaft splines, it's not pretty. On a side note I had just done a top end 80 hours prior and had roughly 500 hours on it before that. Engine sent to Travis at Thumper Racing in NV for bottom end work and a good lookover. 

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Frame about to be sent out for powder coat. KTM Orange. I wasn't going to even do this but man, might as well since it was apart. $125 locally in my small mountain town.

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Its funny how this all started when I was only going to really clean the airbox out really well when it was still in the sub-frame, nope. Before....

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After... with Purple Power degreaser. 

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You don't realize how dirty and corroded things get. Before....

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After...

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I initially just wanted to clean things up. Scotch brite to header pipe, clean up radiators, decrease and once over everything. 

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Then I learned a few cleaning tips from a guy named Cameron Niemela on YouTube. Then I went out and bought some mag wheel cleaner, a buffing wheel and some Scotch Brite wheels from his Pryme MX site.

This is where I think I started beginning to lose it. I had to clean or polish everything.

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I'm gonna post this before I lose what I have written already. I'll just add stuff as I go on this restore.

Stay tuned.

Edited by xnofriendsx
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Many of the bolts and small steel parts were pretty rusted or banged up. I ended up buying about $200 in New oem bolts and small parts but I also learned about diy nickel plating and metal bluing. So some parts got that treatment.

Brake lever tip heated and dipped in old motor oil.

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My diy nickel plating setup. 

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Before... but cleaned up very well for plating.

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After...

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Just a few of the parts...

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Carb dismantle and soda blast.

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Engine soda blasted before sending out.

Clutch and ignition covers are getting black powder coat when I pick it up. Hard to believe I have hammered this engine with hard miles for years. Mag wheel and soda blasting work wonders. 

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So does Mothers polish. Mag wheel cleaner and Scotch brite first (upper triple) then mothers to the lower. New steering stem bearings too. Mine were toast.

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If you wants to save a crap ton, build your own press for races and bearings. $20 at the hardware store.

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Oh yeah, the frame came back powder coated...

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More to come....

Edited by xnofriendsx
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I don't need a rebuild yet and the CS is good and I'm doing what I can to keep it that way, wish me luck. These RFS KTM's are so classic, congrats on your project, looking really good.

 

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10 hours ago, Q-B said:

I don't need a rebuild yet and the CS is good and I'm doing what I can to keep it that way, wish me luck. These RFS KTM's are so classic, congrats on your project, looking really good.

 

Yeah, keep it in good shape. This restore is adding up in price even though i am trying to keep it as cheap as I can.

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Just about every part or bolt has been taken off, cleaned, polished, put back together. At the end of this restore I will make a crazy list of all that was done and all the parts that are on this thing.

More photos...

Parts storage in the corner.

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More soda blasting and brake/clutch lines will be new braided ones.

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More Mothers...

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Sub frame cleaned up nice. Degreased, mag wheel cleaner, light sanding and scotch brite wheel...

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Skid plate was banged up. Cleaned up well but might get a new one.

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Before....

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After...

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Tons of oem bolts and small parts...

Labeled by zip lock bags according to the oem parts diagram sections (airbox, cooling system, frame, etc) so I don't miss where each one goes on install. Hopefully no random extra parts upon completion.

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More to come....

 

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19 minutes ago, Timothy Howland said:

I’m doing the same thing on my bike down to unpinning the plugs on the harness

That's interesting you just said that. I just got done with all my wiring. Re solder on the permanent wires, heat shrink and cleaned up.

Here are some new photos...

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It looks very good man and I’m glad to see you doing this. Got my bike blown up and went through the rounds of inspecting parts and installing new valves piston rings ect and with about 5 hours on the new head the hydraulic cam chain tensioner failed on me so I decided to really hit hard and rebuild the bike from the ground up

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Edited by Timothy Howland
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4 minutes ago, Timothy Howland said:

The loom before it was touched and the head after the big bang

Oh man. I was afraid something like that would happen so I had my engine looked at again. I had done the top end 80 hours ago but I'm sure a pro would notice things I still need. Then after my CS stripped I just sent it in. Pricey but worth it. Keep me posted on that bike as well. Seems like a similar project except you went to black frame and I'm going orange. I have a black tank, black wheels etc so it was too much black before.

My wheels were shot but I wasn't about to lace new ones. Impacts are decent. Just these on this week...

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Nickel plated the sprocket bolts.

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And where I am currently at...

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It looks really good you should be proud of yourself man I’m impressed with the level of quality and time your putting in. I had planned on doing a similar write up on my bike and all the problems I’ve encountered along the way. I’ve always been good about checking my clearances but this time going to degree the cams and the whole nine 

Here’s some pics of my last build 06 Crf250r did last year. New crank and top end. Gotta say it was the quickest 250 4t I’ve rode 

keep up the amazing work and stay motivated💪

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Nice work on the RFS. 

With the motor apart and case split, I'd recommend replacing the crank roller bearings iwth ball bearings out of the 640SMR.  When the cage on the stock bearings fail, bad things happen.  The roller bearings are good for about 25k miles before they need to be replaced again. 

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On 5/5/2020 at 8:24 AM, xnofriendsx said:

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When powdercoating the frame, did you worry about the VIN and emissions stickers. Being in California and all (I am too!). I'm going to do my frame next year and thinking masking the stickers and going with 2-part polyurethane vs. powder coat because of that.

Really liking your project. Soda blasting and electroplating, totally going above and beyond the normal with this.

 

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6 hours ago, Q-B said:

When powdercoating the frame, did you worry about the VIN and emissions stickers. Being in California and all (I am too!). I'm going to do my frame next year and thinking masking the stickers and going with 2-part polyurethane vs. powder coat because of that.

Really liking your project. Soda blasting and electroplating, totally going above and beyond the normal with this.

 

I was sort of worried at first but my brother is getting the bike from me and he didn't care. Worst case we can just Drexel around it then clear coat it or something. 

I haven't worked on the bike in a week so hopefully I should have an update soon. Tons to do still. Been a fun project.

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1 hour ago, xnofriendsx said:

I haven't worked on the bike in a week so hopefully I should have an update soon. Tons to do still. Been a fun project.

I just recently bought a 2006 450 XC. Did some similar things, purchased a ton of replacement OEM bolts and parts. Found a great OEM muffler off an EXC as it has spark arrestor and I’m in California so i need that. Really love watching this project as it’s exactly what i wanted to do but didn’t have the bravery to tear it all down hahaha. Great job so far. I’m in between tearing my wheels apart and having them cleaned and powder coated but your wheels really make me drool 

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