exc450 short rider experience

i thought it would be worth sharing my experiences of my new ktmexc450 as a vertically challenged (short arse) 5foot 6 rider.(29inch inside leg measeurement)

i have had the bike now for about a month.

im 45y/o 76kg and a veteran trail bike rider and club level motocross rider.

i got the ktm for my mid life crisis and wanted something good , not a P.O.S that would have no wow factor. I also live in an amazing mountain area in victoria. and want something to haul arse up hills and wash outs.

I could'nt climb on the dammed thing at the shop, but looked at all the threads on the rear shock, and thought ill just back it way off like my old kdx250.

The fun started when i got home. Standing on various bricks and packers trying to work out the extent of the challenge (i needed the seat height 50mm lower at least)(the goal being a seat height of 850)

the ktm seat height is 975mm unloaded, 895mm with rider

The first thing i did was to back off the shock preload (no good) backing off the nut from stock 44.3 to 38mm gets the spring to its free length.

then i thought i would drop the front forks like all the threads say to do. (no good) the wheel will hit the guard and bite if it bottoms out

i did buy a powerparts lowered seat (15mm) which really helped.(the seat is a bit hard and square edged though)

Then i got the suspension set up by a race tuner (charlie costanzo, ex kawasaki/honda factory race mechanic) he lowered the rear shock 3mm which was meant to equate to 20mm at the rear. (which never seemed to materialise in the final figures)(maybe the preload was a bit higher, shock preload is now 40mm(which accounts for the 3mm packer)

he then tuned the damping, re valved the front forks, and dropped them about 4mm in the triple clamps. then we went riding, . He can ride as good as he can tune (vfg)

we then spent 3 hours flogging up and down hill climbs in myrtleford (very good riding)

By the end of this experience the following things happened.

i got used to the bike

the suspension settled in

the new settings and seat have lowered the bike

( somewhat). (seat height is now at 875mm)(still 25mm higher than target)

this equates to 34.4 inch leg required, BUT

i can now ride the bike at pace with confidence . i can only touch the ground with one foot. but i dont care because it goes so good.

once moving i am totally at ease now. when i stop i can cope.

the bike is everything i wanted and more. the motor is so broad in power range and smooth.

the suspension is the best i have ever ridden.

the only thinking more i am considering is getting the same seat charlie had which was a very soft powerparts race seat.

so much for touching the ground, im ok with the ergos and the bike is a buzz and a total package.

hoping this helps other short riders looking to get on a pro bike.

(I was looking at a picture of the exc530 today and my wife said to give it up, they would have to lift me on it with a crane!)

i wonder if there are boots with thick soles for dirt ??

I am 5'10 and I have to tippy toe to touch the ground. I really have to swing my leg high to get on. The only time its a problem is if you stop sideways on an incline and have to touch on the downward side. You are brave :-)

Good write up!

I have an 09 530exc. Installed a KTM short seat, shortened up the shock and revalved it, installed an X bushing in the bottom of the shock which got the rear down just a bit more, slid the forks up a bit and all is good. My 29" inseam lets me get one foot down fairly well. Their is no way you can get it low enough to get both feet on the ground.

Xbushing: http://www.shop.synergyseals.com/product.sc;jsessionid=0744DB4ACBB2D88642E22432BF2C4069.qscstrfrnt02?productId=18

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