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2012 KTM 350 EXC-F .... Building the perfect "Wee Beasty" ("E-Ticket")

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Cheers, everyone!

I have been riding a Husaberg FE 390 for the last two years and have LOVED it!

My faithful Swedish Girlfriend now has over 2400 miles and 136 hours on her ... and has *never* missed a beat. Hot, cold, wet, muddy, no problemo-s. And the fuel injection just rocks! Heck, even did a 5-day Baja trip with Baja Bound Adventures on the annual "Hooters on Scooters" ride with zero issues. Which is great to be able to say when you are in the middle of BFE and watching someone pour gas into your bike out of an old milk jug. :^)

http://www.bajaboundmoto.com/

Plus, I love how nimble the Husaberg is on the trails and the power band is *perfect* for me. I also want to give major thanks to Rick Bozarth at Boss Offroad Services Specialties (BOSS) for all his great support and advice. I highly recommend his shop and expertise if you're interested in the Husaberg brand!

http://www.offroadboss.com/

But then this last summer, I entered the Lone Wolf ISDE in the Tillamook National Forest last year and an idea got planted in my little brain. The Lone Wolf is one of the tighter, tougher races in our area and I found myself wishing that I had a bit lighter bike for some of the really tight sections. I thought how cool it would be to have a direct-injected two-stroke for really tight races like the Lone Wolf and Devil's Head ISDEs. But the rumored DI-2T ship may never arrive at the rate they're going! LOL. I also thought briefly about regular two-strokes but don't care for mixing my gas, the smoke, and the peaki(er) power bands. (And yes, yes, .... please hold the cards and letters. I grew up riding and racing and loving two-smokes. But street-legal and the smooth 4T power band is what works best for me these days.)

Then KTM announced their new 2012 KTM 350 EXC-F. Fuel-injected, 10-12 lbs lighter than Inga, electric start *and* kick starter ... AND it's street-legal ..... oo-o-o-hhhh.

Thought quite a while about trading in the perfect power band of "Inga" for a bit lighter/nimbler "race bike." But to make the decision even harder -- I knew that I couldn't afford to have two dirt bikes. In the ideal world, I would love to keep my Hooseyburger as my dedicated dual-sport bike, faster/open riding, and going to Baja ... but alas, I can't. So that made the decision even harder to make.

But what the heck. It's a proven fact that none of us is going to get out of here alive and no one knows when it's their time to leave the party. So bingo-bango-bongo ".... say hello to my little 'frend' ....!" :lol:

IMG_0592.jpg

Now, for anyone that has been following the story fuel-injection being introduced into the dirt bike world ... it has been a bumpy road here and there for all of the dirt bike manufacturers. You can get away with crappy, dirty, ethanol gas on a carby bike. But that kind of stuff just wreaks havoc on fuel pumps and fuel injectors with *teeny-tiny* little spray orifices.

And for those that know me well ... I .... ummm ... tend to be a little on the paranoid/preventive side of bike set-up and maintenance. Okay, maybe a lot. (grin). But hey! It's no fun pushing your dead bike 10 miles over rugged, nasty trails!

So I proposed an arrangement with one of my local KTM dealers, MotoSport Hillsboro (MH). First off, a little history here. I have bought a boat-load of bikes from MH over many years and they have come to know me very well. For example, I worked closely with them and KTM through the '08 cam/automatic de-compressor (ADC) issue and came up with a documented solution.

http://www.omraoffroad.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5794

So they agreed to let me pick up my bike in the crate and do all the initial setup and PDI by myself! This was primarily so that I could remove the gas tank and flush out any "bad stuff" before the bike was ever started. So I am very grateful to the trust shown me by Scott Russell and Nick Schreiber at MotoSport Hillsboro.

http://www.hillsboromotorcycles.com/

Okay, okay, okay ... I'm rambling again .... I know. But I think it's important to set the stage.

The point of this post is to take a 'brandy-new' Katoom from Day 1 all the way through break-in and riding.

I will be documenting all of the set-up procedures and tips that I have accumulated over the years through personal trial-n-error (woops! well, that didn't work very well) and the fantastic wealth of information from all of the riders and bike builders on KTMTalk.com. I will also be documenting what I think are the best aftermarket additions and "bling" for this bike. Not every one will agree with some of these set-ups and/or tips ... but they are the ones that have worked best for me over many, many years of riding and all are proven. One other thing. A LOT of the tips will seem to be *VERY* basic to most experienced riders and racers. But one of the reasons that I am doing this at such a basic and detailed level is for all those brand-new motorcycle riders who have just joined our sport and can use all the help they can get. This is my way of helping pay back all those peeps who helped me out when I started riding KTMs and Husabergs.

So. Shall we get started? Good. :^)

[Note: all pics and updates will be maintained in the following link. Sorry but I can't maintain three site postings. I will however, try to answer on this post any questions that you may have.]

BUILDING THE PERFECT WEE BEASTY --->>> http://www.omraoffroad.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11192&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

Edited by E-Ticket2
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Beautiful!! Fantastic post. First question. Any findings or things to report with flushing the tank? What did you do to insure a good start?:lol:

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Beautiful!! Fantastic post. First question. Any findings or things to report with flushing the tank? What did you do to insure a good start?:lol:

Yup! That's tonight's post.

So settle down, Spanky! :banghead: ..... :)

I'll post back here after another big chunk of info has been put on the thread.

Cheers! E-Ticket

Edited by E-Ticket2

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Sweet I cannot wait. I too am trying to decide between the 2 and 4 stroke. 300 xcw vs the 350 xcf-w. Bring it on!

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Cannot find your thread. The link is a dead end.

For personal reasons I'd rather not go into, *I* pulled those threads.

I will be posting another thread with pretty much the same information after the start of the new year.

That is, if I will be able to tear myself away from watching/following the Dakar race.

Sorry for any incovenience!

Sincerely, E-Ticket

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Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric condition characterized by severe disturbances in mood. People suffering from bipolar disorder, a term which has replaced the outdated ‘manic depression‘, go through episodes of mania (exaggerated highs) and depression (debilitating lows) that they cannot control. Although doctors do not know the exact cause, it is believed that chemical, genetic and environmental factors all play a part. For the most part, bipolar disorder is caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. If certain neurotransmitters are not properly balanced, the brain is unable to regulate moods the way it is meant to.

...just sayin'

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will there be a section on installing goodies and bling/accessories?

Yup! That will be following the standard break-in and maintenence stuff ... including de-smogging ... hopefully in a couple of days.

Some of the bling standing by: Scotts steering stabilizer and SUB-mount, Fastway F.I.T handguards, G2 aluminum throttle housing, Ironman sprockets, Bulletproof Designs radiator guards and chain guide guard, Engine Ice coolant, TM Designs chain guide, 10-micron Golan FI fuel filter, IMS folding mirror, Euro-style switch cluster, DID x-ring chain (w/ rivet link), DJH cam chain tensioner, Akropovic slip-on exhaust, heavy duty tubes, Motion Pro rim locks, Dunlop D803 trials tire, and KTM Hardparts: quick-release skid plate, clutch cover; radiator fan, rear rotor guard .... ummm .... and some other stuff.

Which is why this is taking me so long, eh! :smirk:

Cheers! E-Ticket

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Thank you very much for your details on this new bike. The pics help out on getting to know the KTM. I just got a 2012 500 EXC.:smirk:

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Thank you very much for your details on this new bike. The pics help out on getting to know the KTM. I just got a 2012 500 EXC.:smirk:

My pleasure, sir. And congrats on your new scoot! :bonk:

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Looking forward to more. Thanks for doing this. I have a 500 EXC that is in the same building mode. Undecided on EFI mods. Lots of conflicting information out there on unlocking, flashing, fuel mapping , ignition mapping, etc. I do not have a trusted dealer in Salt Lake City. Mods thus far for me include de-smoging, XC-W gearing, front and rear rotor protection, radiator guards and case saver. Upcoming includes Scotts stabilizer w sub mount, HDB hand guards and bar clamp, Trailtech Voyager, fuel map switch and X2 headlight, ignition switch eliminator, balistic lithium ion battery, hard parts levers, and orange bling things. Debating between the 10 micron filter and no filter at all.

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Looking forward to more. Thanks for doing this. I have a 500 EXC that is in the same building mode. Undecided on EFI mods. Lots of conflicting information out there on unlocking, flashing, fuel mapping , ignition mapping, etc. I do not have a trusted dealer in Salt Lake City. Mods thus far for me include de-smoging, XC-W gearing, front and rear rotor protection, radiator guards and case saver. Upcoming includes Scotts stabilizer w sub mount, HDB hand guards and bar clamp, Trailtech Voyager, fuel map switch and X2 headlight, ignition switch eliminator, balistic lithium ion battery, hard parts levers, and orange bling things. Debating between the 10 micron filter and no filter at all.

You're welcome, sir!

I removed the 10 micron, inline fuel filter (just before the injector) and replaced it with a Golan 10 mircron, 6 gpm, FI fuel filter.

I'll be documenting the whole process - but here are some teasers:

Cheers! E-Ticket

IMG_0780.jpg

IMG_0804.jpg

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One of my concerns is KTM's recommendation to replace piston, rings and other motor internals after somewhere around 100 hours of riding.

Is this really necessary and has this always been the case with the 520, 525, 530 and now the 500EXC's?

I wouldn't want to have to tear down my "dual sport" motor that often just for routine maintenance.

Maybe the reason the DRZ400S is so much heavier than the KTM 500EXC is because it carries twice as much oil and is bullet proof with almost no maintenance needed, other than oil changes, for the first 25,000 miles.

I love the light weight and performance of the KTM dual sports but don't want "Ferrari" type maintenance to go with it.

I'd love to hear from current 520, 525, and 530EXC owners who have put over 25,000 miles of dual sport riding on their bikes to confirm exactly what kind of maintenance is required for these motors.

If the price for a light weight high performance dual sport is high maintenance, then so be it but I would like to know in advance before spending a ton of $.

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One of my concerns is KTM's recommendation to replace piston, rings and other motor internals after somewhere around 100 hours of riding.

Is this really necessary and has this always been the case with the 520, 525, 530 and now the 500EXC's?

I wouldn't want to have to tear down my "dual sport" motor that often just for routine maintenance.

Maybe the reason the DRZ400S is so much heavier than the KTM 500EXC is because it carries twice as much oil and is bullet proof with almost no maintenance needed, other than oil changes, for the first 25,000 miles.

I love the light weight and performance of the KTM dual sports but don't want "Ferrari" type maintenance to go with it.

I'd love to hear from current 520, 525, and 530EXC owners who have put over 25,000 miles of dual sport riding on their bikes to confirm exactly what kind of maintenance is required for these motors.

If the price for a light weight high performance dual sport is high maintenance, then so be it but I would like to know in advance before spending a ton of $.

You do realize this is a "350" thread, don't you? :smirk:

You might get a bigger/better response posting your question as a stand-alone thread ... or on another big-bore thread.

Cheers! E-Ticket

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You do realize this is a "350" thread, don't you? :smirk:

You might get a bigger/better response posting your question as a stand-alone thread ... or on another big-bore thread.

Cheers! E-Ticket

Yes I know it is a 350 thread but I think everything you are doing, which by the way is great, also applies to the new 500. Other than bore and stroke, I seems to me these two bikes are the same.

I was just hoping to get some additional information about these motors and transmissions with regard to how well they hold up over time and after many thousands of miles.

All your information will be extremely helpful for any of us who might buy a new 350 or 500EXC.

By the way, do you know if there is a 4 gallon fuel tank available yet for the 2012 350EXC or 500EXC?

Also, why did you choose a 350 over the 500?

Thanks for all the information you are providing. It is very helpful.

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Yes I know it is a 350 thread but I think everything you are doing, which by the way is great, also applies to the new 500. Other than bore and stroke, I seems to me these two bikes are the same.

I was just hoping to get some additional information about these motors and transmissions with regard to how well they hold up over time and after many thousands of miles.

ET: No worries! I just wanted to be sure. And the truth is that the bigger motors *should* last quite a bit longer due to more available power ... which allows you to ride/race at lower revs ... which leads to less wear and tear.

All your information will be extremely helpful for any of us who might buy a new 350 or 500EXC.

By the way, do you know if there is a 4 gallon fuel tank available yet for the 2012 350EXC or 500EXC?

ET: Don't know yet.

Also, why did you choose a 350 over the 500?

ET: I originally came from an '08 KTM 450 EXC-R, to the '10 Husaberg FE 390, and now to the '12 KTM 350 EXC-F. My *primary* reason was trying to get a light and nimble 4-stroke for very tight and technical racing -- such as for the ISDEs in our area.

If I was getting a dual-sport bike, or primarily rode in more open terrain ... I would absolutely get the new 2012 KTM 500 EXC-F.

Thanks for all the information you are providing. It is very helpful.

You're welcome. Cheers! E-Ticket

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