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KTM 500 EXC-F

I very nearly bought a brand new KTM 500 EXC-F just a couple of months ago. The deal was all but done, but it wasn’t to be in the end and it all fell apart. The story is long and boring, having no offroad KTM dealer in Ireland, it involved a UK KTM dealer and VAT411 forms and stuff. You don’t need to hear it. I was a bit disappointed, but put the 500 out of my mind :o( some things aren’t meant to be..

 

Anyway, fast forward a few months and I found (my friends found and sent me the link) a used 500 EXC. It’s a young enough bike, being a late 2016 model, but she has a lot of time on her too at 157hrs. Could this be the start of the lightweight adventure bike build I’ve been looking for? It will need a bigger tank, and luggage, obviously, and no doubt a lot of elbow grease to get her ready.. but definitely worth a look.

 

I could immediately tell the swing-arm and wheel bearings were done when I inspected the bike, and, I mean, I can’t strip the motor on inspection, so I used what I could determine the condition of, to form an overall opinion on how well it was maintained.

Unfortunately, I don’t think it was maintained well, if at all. But the price was negotiated to take account of the condition, and I bought it and took her home anyway.

First order of business was maintenance..

Wheel bearings F&R / Swingarm bearings / Shock bearings / Chain / Sprockets / Chain guides / Spark plug / Oil / Filters / Levers / Handguards / Grips / Motobatt battery …all replaced in first week.

Next job may be an OEM piston kit. According to the maintenance schedule it’s due a piston at 135 hrs, and it’s currently got 157 hrs. The internet seem to support the idea that these bikes can do many hundreds of hours on a piston, but I don’t want to leave it too long either before installation. Perhaps a leak down test will be required? Time will tell.

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