KTM EXC 500 opinions

Pull up a couch. It's cool in the Lounge. Just remember to be a good neighbor.
Post Reply
User avatar
Harvey Mushman
Posts: 260
Joined: 01 Dec 2006 19:35
Photo URL: http://
Location: Nationwide

KTM EXC 500 opinions

Post by Harvey Mushman »

OK, I am considering buying a used 500 EXC and would like some opinions on them from folks that have owned them. I currently have an '07 EXC450 that has served me well for dual sport and I'm sure would continue to do so but, this opportunity has surfaced so..... Troy, I believe you have a 500 and have also owned a '07 450, how do they compare? How about power delivery with the EFI? Any problems with them overheating? Will the rear subframe support a giant loop Mojave? Any thoughts/opinions on the 500 would be appreciated. Figure I might as well blow some $$ on bikes rather than watch it swirl the drain in the stock market. :evil: Thanks.
-Harvey
#1017

User avatar
troy
Site Admin
Posts: 3604
Joined: 30 Nov 2006 16:39
Location: Overland Park, KS
Contact:

Re: KTM EXC 500 opinions

Post by troy »

xrnut now owns my 2013 500 EXC. I stole his 2014 300 EXC in trade.

I had no overheating issues. I used my Mojave bag on the rear without issue. I had issues with the bike smoking a little even though it ran perfect and had great compression. Therefore, assumed valve guides and had a professional rebuild it. In hindsight, I might have just left it--it ran great and had plenty of power.

HONESTY? I liked my 2007 450 EXC better. Despite having lower weight (in specs), to me the front end of my 500 felt a lot heavier. Perhaps it was something a guy could resolve with proper setup, but I'm a moron about how to setup a dirtbike.
Realm7AMA #1009541 ■ BlueRibbon #42185 ■ 13 KTM 500 EXC ■ 11 BMW F800GS ■ 99 KTM 300 EXC

User avatar
Stu
Posts: 501
Joined: 30 Nov 2006 20:07
Photo URL: http://
Location: Lawrence, KS
Contact:

Re: KTM EXC 500 opinions

Post by Stu »

I disagree with Troy on the moron bit. Crazy? Yes. Moron? No.

I have a '17 450 EXC & a '19 500 EXC. The 450 is snappier, faster turning, easier to ride off road and feels much lighter. I have the 450 set up for off road romps. Zero issues. The 500 is still geared stock (tall) & is more of a handful except for street or gravel where it excels. Zero issues with it as well. I would say if you are going to do dual sport with limited trail riding the 500 is better. I'm getting 60 MPG on the highway when I behave myself. The 450, geared down 3 teeth in the rear, gets about 45 MPG since it is never ridden sensibly. If you are going to do more off road stuff (Colorado mountains come to mind) the 450 would be my choice. As you can see from my post in the Ride section I just rode a 200 XC-W in the desert south of Las Vegas. I would have taken the 450 everywhere there. I would have left the 500 at home. It would have worn me out. I have a rack on the back of the 500 which helps strengthen the sub frame but I would not be reluctant to toss a Mojave on it without the rack. I still would not overload the sub frame. If you have more questions just give me a call or email me.

Stu

User avatar
Stu
Posts: 501
Joined: 30 Nov 2006 20:07
Photo URL: http://
Location: Lawrence, KS
Contact:

Re: KTM EXC 500 opinions

Post by Stu »

"Harvey",
Let me add to my comments. The FI has made my bike much better for off road riding as well as on road riding IF you increase fueling to make up for the extremely lean maps that KTM is required to supply to road bikes. With my '17 450 I was able to get the off road Euro map installed before KTM shut that off and get a rare 450 specific header and exhaust for that year 450 (from England). The 450 is great everywhere, on and off road. It is not valued more than my dog, but close. I don't think you should be worried about FI. The only caution is that you run your bike in the winter to keep the FI nozzles free. Eric Green at Cycle Zone said it is extremely expensive if you let one of them sit without running them. That is the same that I had with V-P race fuel. Run it every 2 weeks or clean jets. Run a FI bike every month or assume you will be cleaning nozzles and possibly a fuel pump. There are zero issues with overheating with proper jetting. If you want a stock bike that is lean then it will overheat. If you don't you will have to correct the FI map. If that is not an option on the bike you want then you will have to purchase a Vortex or equivalent ($700), and add an exhaust capable of working with your new fueling map. In my opinion, an opened up stock exhaust should work.

I used one of these racks on my 500 and it has survived crashing.

http://www.globetrottin.com/Luggage-Rac ... p_103.html

Stu

User avatar
Harvey Mushman
Posts: 260
Joined: 01 Dec 2006 19:35
Photo URL: http://
Location: Nationwide

Re: KTM EXC 500 opinions

Post by Harvey Mushman »

The only FI bike I have owned was a '00 Buell S3t a number of years ago. I just ran fuel stabilizer in it and let it sit thru the winter and had no problems. Can't you do that with the 500? What happens if you maybe install a petcock/shutoff valve in the fuel line and turn the gas off and run the injectors dry if you are putting it away for an extended period of time in the winter? Or does running the injectors dry screw something up?

My question about the FI was more centered around the power delivery down low if riding single track. I realize the bike is not meant for tight stuff but every now and then I'd probably use it that way. I've read that some people put throttle cams on the 500's to tame them down and maybe that's because they are not used to the power of the 500 and the FI characteristics, I don't know. I'm used to riding a 300 KTM in the woods and as you show it respect and not whiskey throttle it you will be fine. I suspect the 500 may be the same way.

I don't know, my 450 has been pretty much wash and wear, almost like a DRZ, probably should keep it. I guess you have to ask yourself, do you want to leave your high school sweetheart wife for a hot stripper??? Thanks for the replies guys.
Buell 2.jpg
-Harvey
#1017

User avatar
Stu
Posts: 501
Joined: 30 Nov 2006 20:07
Photo URL: http://
Location: Lawrence, KS
Contact:

Re: KTM EXC 500 opinions

Post by Stu »

I've never used fuel stabilizer so I cannot comment on that. I just like to ride my bikes and doing so during the winter is a pleasure for me even if it is 20 minutes of running around the neighborhood. Eric Green at Cycle Zone has seen lots of bikes with plugged fueling systems. He would be a good resource for more information. My '13 500 was a pleasure in the woods with very easy control, especially compared to my 300 XC which I looped a few times. The '19 500 exhibits the same characteristics. Very easy to ride really fast and with as much throttle as you want to grab. My '17 450 is in between these extremes. This is given my experience and penchant for craziness. In the end if I had to live with only one bike it would be the 500 since it is so easy to do dual sport riding and scream in the woods. If anything I would like a "reverse" throttle cam on my 500 that was even more aggressive. My carburetor version '13 would stall sometimes if I grabbed a handful of throttle way down in the RPM curve. My FI bikes have the same tendency but it is most easily remedied with the Vortex where I just adjust the low end fueling with a cabinet screwdriver in 5 minutes, unlike messing with jets. In my mind you already have the hot stripper with the 450. If you want the high school sweetheart for the long haul (my choice, believe me!) then the 500 would be the way to go.
Stu

User avatar
xr-nut
Posts: 254
Joined: 30 Nov 2006 22:03
Photo URL: http://

Re: KTM EXC 500 opinions

Post by xr-nut »

I'll chime in since troy name dropped me. First off, how you doing old man? You are the primary reason I got in to this DS riding bs clear back in '01 and its been years since we've ridden together. Hope all is well and if I remember correctly, you retired recently?

Anyhow about the 500. Like troy mentioned, we traded my '14 300 xcw(arguably one of the best woods weapons ever made) for his '13 500exc. I think maybe stu bought this 500 new and did some, if not all, of the upgrades to it. Since my boys have flown the nest I do less trail riding things and thought it might be fun to get back on a four stroke. Since you poisoned me to the orange kool-aid, another XR was just not going to cut it. I cannot remember how t-wolf and I got started down the trade road, but thats where we ended up.

Now the bike. Compared to the 300 I had, this bike is a different world. Obviously more power, and different power. I took it to chadwick last fall and had zero problems with how the suspension acted or felt. If I had to complain about the bike at all, I would complain about the FI. I had it flame out several times. Like brake sliding into a up hill turn and off the throttle then back on and POOOOF! No fire. And that is with a rekluse clutch, the end all to clutch issues. :nerd: It is my understanding that it has the euro tune in it and it is supposed to be better, but it will die on me. I think you will find it makes more power than the rfs bikes, even the big dog 520 motors. This bike has the handle bar switch so you can dial it down to "wuss" mode if you choose. I leave it in the middle mode, whatever it is called and it seems to haul my big butt around just fine.

I'd say go for it. I think the frame/suspension of the new bikes is so much better than the rfs bikes and there was nothing wrong with them. I've only blasted it on the road for 50 miles or so, I think the rfs bike would be more comfy in that setting.

Give me a call, lets do some riding. Later-joe

User avatar
Harvey Mushman
Posts: 260
Joined: 01 Dec 2006 19:35
Photo URL: http://
Location: Nationwide

Re: KTM EXC 500 opinions

Post by Harvey Mushman »

Hey XR-Nut I'm doing well, hope you the family and the business is doing OK too, especially as crazy as it is right now. I'll have been retired 4 years next June. It's been good. I did a lot of research on the EXC500's and I may get one, (or an FE501) someday but I decided to let the one in KC go. I'm an old school guy and like carbs, especially on something I may be way out in the boonies on and I was concerned with flame outs too and my 450 is dialed in, blah, blah blah. The '16 was a good year as I think it was the last one with kick start. A guy we rode with in Arkansas a couple years ago had an FE501 and it was very nice.
I sold my 300 last December 'cause all the old guys that used to ride and race together have hung it up. Nineteen years in the FMHS series was fun but with Big Springs closed, Heartland Park no longer having hare scrambles and Melvern closed up at least for now, all the good smooth flowing courses, close to home are gone. I've still raced Jeeps every year and will be looking for a partner for the 3 hr team HS this September if Covid-19 is gone by then. Take care bud. Remember this pic below. New Strawn hare scramble November 2003 on the dual sports. Fun times back in the day...….
Image
-Harvey
#1017

User avatar
xr-nut
Posts: 254
Joined: 30 Nov 2006 22:03
Photo URL: http://

Re: KTM EXC 500 opinions

Post by xr-nut »

Harvey Mushman wrote: 05 Apr 2020 22:16 I've still raced Jeeps every year and will be looking for a partner for the 3 hr team HS this September if Covid-19 is gone by then. Take care bud. Remember this pic below. New Strawn hare scramble November 2003 on the dual sports. Fun times back in the day...….
Image
Man that picture takes me back! I had to give that jersey away, I cannot fit in it anymore! And I really miss that XR. I'd trade my 500 for it, I miss it that much. I'd probably miss the ktm suspension though! I understand the desire to stay away from FI, the old saying applies "old people and technology"!

Thanks for the kind words, my family is all well and doing what we do. Hope the same for you. How many grand kids are you up to?

Hit me up in september, I'll race Jeeps with you. :-D Heres another flash back pic:
Image

User avatar
gagnaou
Posts: 531
Joined: 01 Dec 2006 11:37
Photo URL: http://
Location: Manhattan, KS

Re: KTM EXC 500 opinions

Post by gagnaou »

You should come and try mine, they are great bike, super reliable and fairly light and nimble. I personally prefer them to the 450s feels like more torque and tractor like traction...

Image
Last edited by gagnaou on 20 Apr 2020 22:44, edited 1 time in total.
Luc

User avatar
Harvey Mushman
Posts: 260
Joined: 01 Dec 2006 19:35
Photo URL: http://
Location: Nationwide

Re: KTM EXC 500 opinions

Post by Harvey Mushman »

Thanks for that offer Luc. I'm pretty sure I'll wind up on a 500/501 or maybe a 350 some day but not ready to pull the trigger yet.

Joe, I have you penciled in for September at Jeeps. This will be the 3 hr team race, (not the 6 hr Massacre in Feb, pic is from 2015). I think the big open course might be fun on a lazy 4 stroke diesel pig.
Image
Attachments
jeeps _LI.jpg
Last edited by Harvey Mushman on 23 Apr 2020 11:22, edited 1 time in total.
-Harvey
#1017

User avatar
xr-nut
Posts: 254
Joined: 30 Nov 2006 22:03
Photo URL: http://

Re: KTM EXC 500 opinions

Post by xr-nut »

Harvey Mushman wrote: 18 Apr 2020 09:36 Joe, I have you penciled in for September at Jeeps. This will be the 3 hr team race, (not the 6 hr Massacre in Feb, pic is from 2015). I think the big open course might be fun on a lazy 4 stroke diesel pig.
Sweet! As the 500 is the only bike I own at the moment, that is what I will be racing! You are obviously more than welcome to ride mine any time you want. :-D

Post Reply