Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

KTM 530 EXC - First ride

Recommended Posts

Background -

I bought a used, 2009 model 530 EXC from a KTM Race Team mechanic.

The bike is in great condition, has been uncorked, rejetted, and currently runs 14/48 gearing.

The area I ride in is a mix of open fire trails and relatively tight single track, with a few steep sandstone/boulder hill climbs thrown in.

First Ride Day -

I had the bike on a trickle charger overnight, only to find in the morning that someone had turned off the powerpoint that the charger was plugged into.. not a good way to start.

Once we got to the ride location it took a good 15mins to get my bike fired up (not enough power for the e-start).. kickstarting these things is a biiiitch.. and that's an understatement. By the time it started, I was exhausted.. anyway.. off to the trails we went.

The bike doesn't have much up top. I've ridden many 2 strokes and love the top end snap they have. However, for the type of riding i'll be doing now, the 530 is an animal. The low down tractor like power is unbelievable. I could simply point it at any of the steep, boulder filled, slippery, sandstone hills and leave it in 2nd gear and this thing would chug itself all the way to the top no problems. Sometimes it sounds like it is so close to stalling that it surprises you that it's still going. It handles mud and water crossings with ease.. the bike didn't feel too heavy at all, and the relaxed power delivery isn't tiring one bit. Wheelies are on tap and a simple flick of the wrist is enough to send the front wheel skyward.

Now the problems..

The factory battery is a POS. I got stuck going up a hill, the bike started to overheat so i switched it off (after 2hrs solid riding), the battery then turned it over once with the e-start, got stuck on the compression stroke.. then it was dead. My buddie had his brand new 530exc out for it's first run as well, his battery died completely after about 5 starts with the e-start.

Once the bikes are hot, and you're running low on energy, they're almost impossible to start. We were stuck in the middle of the aussie forest for close to 3 hrs... we drank all of our fluids and just wanted to get out.. but neither bike would start. We even considered contacting emergency services to get out, but thankfully during the 3hrs we managed to find a farmhouse that was about 1hr walk away and get some assistance. I think a good battery is a necessity.

Next is the overheating. My bike is decorked and runs better gearing.. yet as soon as you sit for anymore than 1-2 mins, they overheat. If you get stuck in a rut, or the back starts spinning up on some boulders, the steam starts blowing out in no time. I'm not sure how to fix this one, but I'm thinking once the battery issue is fixed, I can shut the bike off as soon as I get stuck, then use the e-start to get it going again once i've repositioned the bike. I was thinking of running a thermo, but don't really want to if I can avoid it.

I've just ordered the LFX14L2-BS12 from Shorai to solve the battery issues.. and am not sure what to do with the overheating.

One thing I wanted to ask though is what guards/protection would you guys recommend? I have a header pipe guard on it at the moment, but that's it. The last thing I want to do is get stuck in the forest again, so I want to make sure the bike is well protected without going overboard... what's usually the first things to get damaged?

I was thinking;

radiator guards

rear disk guard (can't find a front disk one)

water pump guard (maybe?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it is getting hot check the jetting. I little bit richer can make a big difference. (JD jet kit, it has a great jetting chart)

Get a new battery and charge it only with a low amp charger.

Clean all the battery cable ends paying special attention to the ground strap that goes to the subframe, clean and coat the ends with dialectric grease. Also clean the subframe mounts at the frame as this is the currents path to your starter.

BRP radiator guards. MSR or Scotts rear disc guard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i dident have any starting issues with mine, but a few friends did and it wouldent start off the button and only would kick start this was down to the camshaft auto decompresson fault, but going on what you have been saying i think it down to your jetting, id check my charging system out then fit a new battery bigger ah the better i will also fit a fan to the bike and also check out the radiator cap it might be lifting too soon, also the standard plastic sumpguard i found well ok for protection im sure you can find a fan and sumpguard in the adds no problem now they have been out for some time,

good luck mate

Edited by stevenf67

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Note that the stock bike came equipped with a thermostat. Was it removed? In any case the presence or absence of a thermostat has little to do with overheating. I assume that the carb is already properly jetted, otherwise JD Jetting would be a good idea. Since some of your riding will be in slower conditions while pushing the engine, the OEM fan kit is mandatory. I and many others recommend the Bullet Proof Designs (BPD) rad guards. These are well-made, lightweight, strong, fan compatible and flow air very well. The Li battery should take care of your battery problems.

I also run 14/48 gearing on my '09 Beta 570 (KTM engine). If I didn't have an auto clutch, I would probably run a little lower gearing like 14/50 or 14/52.

You are one of the few to claim that the 530 'doesn't have much on top'!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Note that the stock bike came equipped with a thermostat. Was it removed? In any case the presence or absence of a thermostat has little to do with overheating. I assume that the carb is already properly jetted, otherwise JD Jetting would be a good idea. Since some of your riding will be in slower conditions while pushing the engine, the OEM fan kit is mandatory. I and many others recommend the Bullet Proof Designs (BPD) rad guards. These are well-made, lightweight, strong and flow air very well.

You are one of the few to claim that the 530 'doesn't have much on top'!

P.S. Make sure that the coolant level is not more than 10mm or about 1/2" above the rad fins or better yet fill the reservoir to the top and add a coolant recovery system. Also, add 3 - 4 capfuls of WaterWetter to the coolant.

Edited by Chas_M

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

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×