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    • This post is a crossover from Instagram for people who'd like to have more of a conversation about a specific topic rather than just asking one question over there on daily highlights.

      Where I asked -

      Thumpers...yeah I’ve ridden a few upgraded a few. XT. XR. WR. DR. SXC. EXC. and most recently the new KTM 390 Adventure.
      I thought I’d do a ask me anything #ama about these bikes individually. comparisons. Opinions. Upgrades. Whatever
      I’ll put it up in the daily highlights/story section and then you can ask away. .
      Make sure to read through so your question hasn’t already been covered.
      #thumper #thumpers #onepiston #onepistoncrew

      While you're here, have a look around, this website was created by the founder of and it's not just motorcycles, there are conversations about all manner of subjects.

    • I've got a 05 DR650 with the current mods:
      Renazco seat
      Mikuni TM42 Pumper carb
      Kientech airbox mod
      Yoshimura RS-2 Slip on
      Renthal 966 Bars
      Ricochet skid plate
      Upper chain roller delete
      Diretracks HD Side racks
      oem rear rack
      Acerbis 5.3 gal tank

      Currently doing the NSU Fix.

      My question is: for somebody who has no knowledge of mechanics and wants to start a rtw trip, which mods and fixes would you recommend? Also I'm getting around 100-120 miles with this tank, could it be the jetting?

      Also I'm looking at changing tires for something that could do a bit more off road but still be good for those highway runs. which ones would you recommend? ( Currently running some Bridgestone tubeless, is there any mods I need to go to put a tube in there? )

      Thank you for your time! have been looking at your website but stripping the motorcycle is way out of my league for now.


    • The DR650 is a very easy bike to work on, easy to take apart and put back together.

      A simple trick is to take photos step by step as you go so you know what it looked like before you touched anything. Keep specific hardware for each component together and you'll be surprised how easy it is.

      The NSU fix is very important, glad you are doing that, blue loctite and safety wire is best.

      This thread covers everything I did to a DR650, and will give you a good base of instructions to follow

      I would definitly try and become as familiar as possible with your bike as you can for a RTW as you will most likely be the one doing the maintenance.

      You should be getting 40-45mpg so with a 5.3 gallon tank ballpark 200 miles so yes it sounds like a jetting issue. If you haven't already get the Procycle jet kit. Also unhook your fuel line from the carb and make sure it's not leaking, wrapping some paper towel around it overnight is an easy way to check it.

      ...and you can check that your float is correct, thats in the article.

      The point with all of this is that your not leaking fuel back into the head or worse still if you are check your oil to see if it has a gas smell.

      I use MotoZ tractionator ADV tires, they have the same compound as the GPS version so basically same wear characteristics, grab which one suit your riding style the most. Fo rme I ride more offroad so I use the more aggressive one.

      I use UHD tubes and carry standard ones in my pack, UHD tubes are very difficult to get a patch on, if I get flat I change tubes then take the UHD to a Vulcaniser (if out of the US), in Latin America they are everywhere, literally.

      Hope that helps

    • Hi Paul,

      Riding XT600 E currently. Find it a bit heavy for long distance travel and planning to give a change to a WR250R / CRF250L.

      After reading your thoughts on 500 EXC begun to think about it. KTMs are infamous with problematic engines and short maintenance intervals. Also parts not available at remote areas (let's say Mongolia, Africa, etc). But KTMs are lighter.

      I amnot good at mechanics. So my mind says go for Honda or Yamy.

      Would like to hear your opinion and advices.


    • I would say between the the two 250's WR/ CR I would go WR for sure, the Honda is extremely cheaply made, and will take much more money to get it to become a good bike, not a great bike.

      KTM are for sure lighter, base model components are at a much higher level that yam/ honda. Even if you added all the best components to either it wouldn't be as good as the base model KTM.

      KTM is easier to work on for sure. In Mongolia there is a KTM and Honda dealer but not Yamaha, In Africa all three brands are well supported in South Africa but everywhere else its sparse at best.

      Once you leave and go far away from the western world, none will carry a stock of parts so a breakdown on any brand will leave you stranded if you need specific parts.

      The WR has easily the best service intervals with valve adjustments needed every 40,000km, but personally having owned the WR I prefer the the KTM and having to do maybe an additional 30 minutes of preventive maintenance a month to have all the performance gains and quality of product that it has over its Japanese rivals.

    • I tend to disagree with the "problematic engines" comment regarding KTM motos.

      I'm not trying to answer for Paul or defend KTM, but as a very satisfied customer I will say...

      Over the past 20+ years of KTM ownership of various models, I have not had a single engine issue requiring me to abandon a race or ride that was not induced by me due to negligence either before or during the event. I am a firm believer in preventive maintenance. I will never drive, ride or fly any man-made machine to verify MTBF. I haven't had to abandon a ride due to maintenance oversight on my part either.

      I have had only 1 KTM warranty issue in all the years of ownership.

      The 2 stroke MX bikes and Enduros do have a very frequent maintenance schedule but that is simply the nature of 2 stroke design. Even so, the schedule is based on hard core use. 4 strokes have a longer maintenance schedule interval.

      Like Paul I use my KTM 500 EXC as a dual sport moto; not a hard chargin', all day long single track enduro. Nor do I use it for Hare Scrambles and such. So I feel (and have) gone much longer between oil changes than the KTM recommendation. YMMV exceeding the schedule.

      Also, the KTM clutch is one of the most "bullet proof" clutch designs on any enduro bike. Yes, they wear out, but are much less prone to JRA (just riding along) failures.

      I have been wrenching on my motorcycles since the late 60s. I rebuilt my first hot rod engine at 14 in '68 under the careful eye of my friend/mechanic/mentor. So yes, it helps to be mechanically inclined and not worried about splitting the engine case.

      I have owned a WR250 and it is a great moto. But like any other man-made machine, it too will have parts fail and require preventive maintenance. There is simply no such thing as a "maintenance free" motorcycle. But, learning how to perform preventive maintenance will go a long way minimizing the potential for a failure on the trail, far from civilization.

      Best of luck with your choice. Enjoy the ride!

    • The same is said about reliability of Harley Davidson as it is of KTM...they are unreliable and breakdown.

      Having owned three motorcycle shops working V-Twins breakdowns we rare if regular maintenance was performed, like any vehicle, and the rumors are usually spread by none owners who are just regurgitating facts and rumors from decades before.

      When I decided to buy a big bike for some RTW riding people asked why I didn't buy a BMW, "because they are the most reliable bike made".

      Well actually they aren't not even close, so it always better to ask a question like you(@samytr) did to long term owers like @Munch or me and get the real facts...or get the real facts from a reliable non-biased resource.

      ***KTM didn't make the ranking of this consumer reports article because of too few unit sales for street riding models, but this puts BMW reliability in a whole new light, and would show you a HD is a more reliable bike to Ride RTW than a BMW.

      I would take a guess that if KTM were included they would easily be in the top half of this list, if not be in the top 4 as I've found them to be better built than virtually any bike I've ever owned

    • Paul...

      Did you install the SAMCO thermostat bypass on your 500 or retain the thermostat?

      Did you install the SAMCO T Connector between radiators?

      Have you noticed your 500 running any cooler with the SAMCO hoses?


    • Totally agree!

      I will without a doubt defer to your V Twin experience.

      My affair with Harleys started in 1974 and continued until 2013. The last being a 2005 Road King Custom. I never got wild with customization other than seeking engine performance and still didn't get too wild in that department either.

      The AMF Harleys I owned were the worst. You had to stop every 100 miles and tighten things up or you'd leave a garage sale behind you going down the highway.

      One can always end up with a lemon. But, today, for the most part, reliability will be adherence to the factory maintenance schedule or a custom one developed based on experience.

      Having reflected on @samytr 's post, if one is not mechanically inclined as he mentioned, perhaps there are better alternatives than KTM. I don't know because I have not researched the market/offerings.

      So your recommendation seeking unbiased information regarding a specific make/model is spot on!

      The Philippines is a unique place for motorcycles. It is darn near impossible to import a moto without paying a significant/prohibitive tariff. Honda models made in the PI are not worth half of what you pay. Yamaha are a bit better, not much. Why many PI and other SE Asian markets are waiting for the KTM 390 Adventure to roll out of the Manila plant into PI dealers next month. No doubt KTM is targeting PI with the Manila plant due to the extremely restrictive import nature of the PI and neighboring countries with trade agreements in place.

      I think the 390 will be the perfect PI, Indonesia, and Malaysia motorcycle for those who want something a little more robust than a scooter.

      I have no plans to purchase a 390 Adventure, but, look forward to demo'ing one soon.

    • All that was done/ added by the PO, yes the thermostat is gone but only bypassed and I added Engine Ice and also a Trail Tech fan kit for override and run it 5 degrees cooler.

      I actually have the thermostat still in place as a none-funtioning plug, so if I have a failure with the TT I can revert to stock without having to carry any additional parts as the TT unit has its own sensor

      Having had a radiator catch tank explode in my face years ago when a bike grossly overheated quickly, I'm just a little wary in that department

      Samco hoses cooler...not sure on that but the quality is certainly better than any stock hose

    • Thanks!

      Having a bear of a time routing the "oversized" SAMCO hose down from the frame's T to thermostat housing. Plus the thermostat housing with the 2 ports on top of one another is not playing nicely with the larger diameter (OD) hoses/clamps.

      I am going to swap out to the BYPASS hose kit. Should have purchased that kit at the outset.

    • I've done it on other bikes and having the radiators free floating no connected at all helped a lot in the past. Basically put the hoses in the place they need to be, then attach the radiators to the hose, not the hose to the radiator

    • I think the reliability factor is so blown out of proportion but for me its just a fun bike to ride and even if I do have to do a top end for example and pay $500 +/- it's worth it and is easy to do.

    • I can also say from myself that it is very important now to be able to choose the right oil, otherwise it will be of no use. I already know it by myself. It is a pity that I was able to find out late; I had to fix the engine even on the Harley because it is late to pick up the oil. So be sure to look and study the details about Oil For Harley Davidson to make sure that the bike is as reliable as possible. I think it is very necessary and important now for many people. Good luck. I hope I helped.