Siberia/Mongolia/stans 2020. Gotta get my bike ready to ride!

Discussion in 'Technical & Maintenance' started by skibum69, Nov 5, 2019.

  1. skibum69

    skibum69 Well-Known Member

    So...first off I'll blame Bob for this thread and the RR that should follow as he's the one who put me up to starting these threads for a little something different.

    How this story began. RTWPaul and EvergreenE stopped in here for a week a couple of summers ago when they were still together touring around on their DR650's. We had a fun time and I really enjoyed meeting the man behind the RR's I'd been reading on ADV for years. Really good guy who lives on his bike, literally, and has many stories to tell.

    Time moves on and about a year ago Egle and Paul split up while in South America so Paul's plans changed...again. He started dreaming big and planning a massive offroad route around the world. In one of my conversations with me he told me he was heading back to Siberia as the last time he tried it was under water from severe flooding. He asked me if I wanted to join him for that trek. Hmmmm...let me think about that. For about a minute!

    Here we are many months later and I'm pretty much committed despite my financiial situation, when the hell is this opportunity going to come around again?

    His next step was to change bikes again as he wanted something more dirt capable and lighter for the next round of adventuring, he decided to go with a KTM 500EXC as there are a couple of guys already out there doing RTW style riding on them proving they are up to the task. That's cool by me as my 525 is basically just an earlier version and mine still has very few KM's on it.

    My '07 525XCW was built for the '08 Dakar but that was the one they cancelled. The bike went to Lisbon but was never raced so almost no miles on it. It has spent too much time in the shop so even now I doubt there's 2000 km's on it. This 6 speed machine is fun as shit and will wheelie in 3rd gear!

    How I got it, ready to race!
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    Paul knows bikes! He used to have a custom bike building shop in Vegas, I've seen some pics and they were pretty cool if you like that sort of thing. He has done numerous builds for various applications and on his 3rd trip around the world he knows how to build them for the long haul. Makes things a lot easier for me as I'm just mimicking his build to get mine set up for the run.

    He sent me his list of build bits and I already had quite a few mods but there's still plenty to go. If you're interested in what he did to get his ready check out his build thread. He also has a current RTW RR up on ADV.
    https://advrider.com/f/threads/adventurizing-a-ktm-500exc-for-rtw-riding.1369978/

    Here's my blank slate, a little more blank then I'd like at the moment.
    Current setup, what's wrong with this picture?
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    The tank is an MDX but not big enough, I think I'll be looking for the 25l Ascerbis super tanker.

    I was draining the oils to pull the clutch and three very little ball bearings and a piece of race came out. Damn!
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    Keith at the Toy Box and I examined the parts diagrams and could not find that bearing anywhere! A chat with a 525 guy in Vegas put me onto the water pump. I have a new one coming in the mail. In preparation...

    A side benefit to pulling this lump out is that it will be much easier to learn how to adjust my valves. I managed to put my 640 motor back in and get running so I think I can do this one too.:p
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    A Pro Moto Billet side stand was on the list, got that covered.
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    billet clutch cover, it was ready to go on my bike for Dakar but didn't
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    Not on Paul's list but I already had these CJ Designs light mounts. I have a set of Twisted Throttle D1 lights that were on my 640 which I may put on here. We're not planning to be riding at night but shit happens.
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    To be continued...
     
  2. Bob

    Bob Active Member

    Thanks Mike, nothing like a good build thread to keep us happy as the off season approaches. It seems the smaller bikes are getting the nod for certain types of RTW rides again. IIRC Austin Vince and the Mondo Enduro guys had 350 Suzukis
    ( https://www.mondoenduro.com ) but the majority of rides seem to have ranged from 650cc and up since then.
    You tapped into a good mentor for sure but you still got to do the wrenching yourself. Thanks again for agreeing to share your build with us. Lotsa questions to follow...
     
  3. skibum69

    skibum69 Well-Known Member

    I read the book Mondo Enduro but have yet to get the video which I do want to do one of these days. I’ve talked to his famous wife Lois Price on email and her books are good reading too. They have an open offer to come visit us here.:p
     
  4. TonisToo

    TonisToo Active Member

    Bravo Mike, looking forward to following your adventures.
     
  5. Bob

    Bob Active Member

    Assuming this bike's suspension, steering damper, rims, tires, tubes, running gear, exhaust and seat are already rally/race spec and is good gear for long, rough heavily loaded touring?
    Looks like you're starting with a valve adjustment and addressing your nemesis... the water pump?
     
  6. skibum69

    skibum69 Well-Known Member

    Ok, so Bob pops up the suspension question. Yes mine was tuned by Super Plush for Dakar for a rider almost exactly the same weight as me so I haven’t touched it since. And yes plush is the word as it is set up pretty soft for initial stroke. It rides super nice as is. And they’re dead sexy!:p
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    That is one serious sized spring!
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    Rad guards were on Paul’s list.
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    My replacement rads were a lovely pair of Fluidynes amd last I contacted them to see about getting some bling aluminum guard they told me they’d stopped making MC rads due to the copycat knockoffs from China. Bummer! So the stockers is what I have.
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    Bigger platforms for your feet are important over long term running. For Dakar Charlie and the boys who did the build modded a set of stockers by welding on another half.
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    Another option would be to get a new part of stockers and add more surface area like I did on my 640.
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    The downside to the setup on there now is that it sticks out far enough that the kicker hits it. Yeah it starts but when does the kicker snap off? That might suck in the middle of Siberia.
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    As mentioned the all important steering damper. This was put on in the Dakar build and it works I can tell you from having this up to 105 mph on the clock running old soft mousse’s that feel like about 5 psi. :p
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    You can see how tall the risers are which makes standing for long periods much more comfortable.

    Paul also had a Cush drive hub on his list and of course mine already had one mounted. Does anyone need a non Cush wheel for a 525? I have a spare.
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    As I said earlier I might mount some extra LED’s to those fork mounts. These Twisted Throttle D1’s were on my 640, not a bad little light and they would add a bit to what’s going on there. All I need are a couple of new little brackets for them.
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    Spare brake pads are a must, in muddy conditions you can burn through rears especially very quickly. Nice to have Dakar spares.
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    Figuring out gearing is an issue too, I’m not sure if mine is stock, I don’t think so as it’s geared pretty high for 6 speeds. Riding up the steep rocky track to the monument above my little town is a first gear grunt. Funnily enough I find it easier to ride a Mtn bike up that trail vs a Moto. I’ve been up it on my 640 and 525. A guy on the 525 thread on ADV put me onto a very interesting website that tells you gearing and what I think I will do is put on this 49 I have and maybe carry 3 fronts with stock’ish gearing in the middle. That way the sliders on the swing arm should have enough travel to handle all of them without changing chain length.

    https://www.gearingcommander.com/

    Pretty
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    Seats. Pretty much every American rally racer gets their seats done by Renazco out of California. I’d read that his work on 640 saddles included shaving out the sides a little up front to help get your feet a little closer to the ground. With a 37” seat height and my wee 30” inseam I needed all the help I could get!

    What was I saying about dead sexy?!
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    I’d sent him my 525 seat ages ago for the suede treatment for off-road riding. Suede is not a sensible option for touring as once it gets wet it’s gonna stay wet. But it looks great!
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    A guy popped up on ADV with a saddle for me for cheap and he kindly sent it straight to Renazco for me. Being the geek I am I got it made up to match my 640 saddle.
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    Not cheap but my ass is worth it! I should take half these pics with better light too, sorry.
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    Bob mentions exhaust and mine is stock. It’s not terribly heavy And not too loud so it might stay, depends partially on $$ down the line.

    As you can see a lot of thought goes into doing a build for long distance running especially with a lightweight high performance bike not ever designed for RTW running even though it’s been proven they work just fine as long as you keep up with maintenance. Oil changes are the #1 thing to make happen regularly.
     

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