New dirt bike.

Discussion in 'Other Bikes' started by Grooveski, Feb 26, 2021.

  1. Grooveski

    Grooveski Member

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    New is perhaps the wrong word. The bike's nigh-on 12 years old and it's been in the garden for nearly two now. I'd already ridden it on the road, on the beach, on the track....
    ...but cash changed hands and it's now part of my stable rather than my flatmate's. Happy days. :)

    So it's an '09 KTM EXC 400.

    [​IMG]

    On the little to-do list are wheel and head bearings, air and oil filters, chain and sprockets, greasing bolts and painting the frame and other steelwork.

    The bigger list came about due to the pandemic. The tracks are all shut and so is Drumclog. In the meantime I figured the best way to get some use out of it is to put in on the road, hence:
    17" wheels, tyres, 320mm disc up front, Speedo, indicators, seat cover, grips, more new sprockets, mirrors, ignition switch...

    ...and then there's the "while I'm in there" list. Fresh piston, maybe clutch plates, valve stem oil seals...

    ...and the phase 2 list - basically a wish list for the future. Seat concepts saddle, Baja headlight, SM style mudguard, beefy front caliper, fork and shock lowering kits....

    There has to be an easier cure for a mid-life crisis. :rolleyes:
     
    #1 Grooveski, Feb 26, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
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  2. dern

    dern Well-Known Member

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    Ooo, nice :)
     
  3. Glenandemm

    Glenandemm Member

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    nice pal, what did you give for that?
    looking at buying a ktm exc myself for next winter!
     
  4. Grooveski

    Grooveski Member

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    Was £1500, which seemed ok considering it needs a fair bit of work.

    Have blown about the same again on bits but the bulk of that is supermoto gubbins. Only a couple of hundred.of that was necessary had i left it in dirt trim.

    No doubt the cost will keep rising. Needs fresh spokes on both the dirt wheels. Going to have a crack at changing them myself.
    Also it's anybody's guess what nightmares will come out the metalwork as the lump comes apart. It's a good runner but then it was running nice when my flatmate bought it and still turned out to have a flaky coil and a gearbox full of what looked more like tar than oil.:rolleyes:
     
    #4 Grooveski, Feb 26, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2021
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  5. Grooveski

    Grooveski Member

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    Flatmate replaced it with a '15 EXC 350. After looking at a few he found a nice example with about 70 hours on it for £3500.
     
  6. hitch

    hitch Elite Member

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    Looks sweet.
    Does it have a daylight MoT or are all the lights fitted for 'normal' MoT? ...I want something like this to f*** around on and also travelling to work from time to time (if and when the office re-opens)
     
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  7. mk3golfcab

    mk3golfcab Elite Member

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    My next bike will be something like this, hopefully as a second bike. Been toying with the idea of getting my 3 year old an oset trials bike, and of course daddy will need a road legal one too....
     
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  8. dern

    dern Well-Known Member

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    There's no such thing as a daytime mot. You just submit your bike for an mot... a bike doesn't have to have lights fitted. The bit from the manual is this...

    4.1. Headlamps,

    4.1.1. Presence, condition and operation
    A motorcycle or motorcycle and sidecar must be fitted with one headlamp, although additional headlamps may be fitted. Apart from headlamp security, the check only applies to mandatory lamps.

    Headlamps are not needed on motorcycles that:
    - are not fitted with front and rear position lamps
    - have had their front and rear position lamps permanently disconnected, painted over or masked
    - were first used before 1 January 1931

    You'll get pulled if you try and ride it when you need the lights on.
     
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  9. Grooveski

    Grooveski Member

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    It's a mystery to me how anything like this gets an MOT.
    The EXCs have lights(of sorts:rolleyes:) and a sub loom connector for an indicator/licence plate light kit that brings it up to full night spec. It's got a horn too.

    ...but this one was missing it's speedo and FFS - the exhaust! :eek:
    OK, it doesn't have "Not for road use" or the likes written on it but it's on the naughty side of noisy.
    I'm hoping all the packing's gone and a fresh stuffing might shut it up a bit. Beyond that I'll likely look to shoehorn a baffle into it.

    Yup! That's exactly the way it works. :D
     
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  10. Grooveski

    Grooveski Member

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    The current state of affairs:

    Cleaning the engine prior to cracking it open. Prepping the frame for painting.

    [​IMG]

    Just finished hauling the transfers off the bodywork. Fancy a plainer look - something along these lines.

    [​IMG]

    Seat that was on it had been lowered. Picked up a scrappy ebay replacement that had all it's foam and put a fresh cover on it.
    Spare base can be used in phase 2 for the comfy seat.

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Gravel trap

    Gravel trap Senior Member

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    I work in a ktm dealers. trick is constantly change oil and filter on these warm them up ect ..not designed for road work won't like it much . even just on road wash and reoilm air filter after each ride. if you do lots of road miles keep check on piston . just drop front pipe off ect they don't like long road work. prob looking at 25 hours maybe less of hammer down lots before another change . valve clearences are worth checking regular too. I sound like a nob but we get loads in at work who use these on roads and can not understand why it blows up or breaks when it's done quarter of the miles he did last year on his sports bike .
     
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  12. Dave dunlop

    Dave dunlop Senior Member

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    That looks likes it’s a load of......


    Dirty Fun:D

    it’s a well capable machine in the right hands! And a bloody handful in the wrong ones:) I didn’t fare well on mine!

    Most likely due to having very little off-road experience......let’s say I spent more time peeling myself out of the bushes! And not the flowery sweet smelling variety!

    Enjoy.
     
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  13. Grooveski

    Grooveski Member

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    Constant clearance checking - check! Endless oilchanges - check!
    Yup, already prepped for the gruelling maintenance schedule. At least everything's pretty easy to get to. :)
    That's also why I'm just cutting the crap and assuming everything's gubbed to begin with.

    Big miles will still be blade territory. This is more for:

    City stuff for sure and getting to local gigs I'm working at. It was already good for playing in the traffic - with road tyres it's going to be awesome. :D

    Hacking around single track roads over the fells and up the west coast. I've never lost the passion for little roads but over the years my bikes have become more and more unsuitable for them. In normal times my mate takes his bike in the van up Oban way a lot so there's scope for some nice rides without piling on the miles getting to them.

    Primarily though it'll still be a dirtbike. i'm even breaching my own idea of supermoto etiquette and fitting a pukka plate holder. Partly to add a little respectability(by god this bike needs it - every cop you come across follows you for a minute or two while they stick the reg through the system) but mainly because i like the look of it. Three bolts and a bunch of wee connectors and hey presto - there's nothing back there to break again.

    It's a handful for sure... ;)
    ...but a nice kinda handful. The 350's the same - a goldilocks vibe power-wise where there's enough to entertain but not so much that it's constantly trying to spit you off.
     
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  14. Grooveski

    Grooveski Member

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    And there's the money shot! New boots and panties for a tired old soul.
    Hell, this tired old soul might have to learn to wheelie. Hope it's not true about old dogs and new tricks. :p

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Glenandemm

    Glenandemm Member

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    How’s the project going pal!
     
  16. Grooveski

    Grooveski Member

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    Slowly to be honest. Bit of sunshine on my days off has seen me out cycling a fair bit rather than in tinkering.
    Would be a shame to have a nice new dirt bike and not be fit enough to ride it.

    Did cross a little landmark moment last night. Hit the point where all the shafts are passing the wiggle test and am in to the last of the consumables - from now on it's reassembly. :D

    [​IMG]

    Everything was gubbed but only just. Two of the clutch plates were under but the rest were still just in spec. The springs are bang-on the lower length. The piston's little teflon pads are practically gone but there wasn't much wear on the skirt itself(and the barrel looks good).
    So yeah - just catching everything at the right time. :)
     
  17. Grooveski

    Grooveski Member

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    All reassembly from now on my ass. :p
    Very next job was pulling the external seals. The gearshaft was leaking, the kickstart weeping and I thought "...what the hell" and howked the driveshaft seal as well.

    [​IMG]

    Bit of boring, time-consuming cleaning of the metal plates. Still waiting on the new friction set.

    [​IMG]

    Initial compression test a while ago wasn't great. Seen worse - seen better. Alcohol pool test showed it was mainly the exhaust ports that were seeping.
    Turned out to be light carbon build-up. I'll give them a quick lap once they're clean but it'll just be for the sake of it - really a good clean is all they need.

    Inlets are in lovely condition. :)
    ...which is funky because they're the titanium ones that can't be lapped anyway.

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Grooveski

    Grooveski Member

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    Fresh head bearings in.
    Should have taken a pic of the bottom yoke - was good for a giggle. :D Took my time grinding off the bottom race but still inevitably went through in a few places. "As good a job as I've ever done of it" I was telling myself as I knocked it off. "It'll just be a little line of tiny scuffs".
    Which it was :) - right next to where the last monkey to change them had went in end-on at a 45° angle with a cutting disk. :eek:
    Still - it's made it this far. I just covered up the whole sorry mess again with the new bearing.

    Thus begins the gathering of things that really want to be black.

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. jokeshopbeard

    jokeshopbeard Active Member

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    Awesome project man, it's gonna be a shit ton of fun. I used to have a Husaberg FS650E that I bought in a sorry state too and completely rebuilt, but unfortunately only a few months after I had got her purring nicely and most creases ironed out circumstances forced me to sell it..

    It's definitely a great bringer of smiles and satisfaction to have something as light and chuckable as this, ready to go and waiting for when you're in the right mood. I hadn't factored in how frequently these bikes need servicing when I bought it on impulse many years back though, that was a lesson in humility for sure.

    If I get round to doing it again, it's gonna have to be a smoker for me next time. I bought a CR250 when I lived in Australia in '17 - almost twenty years after my very first bike, a CR125 - and man I really had forgotten how much of a hoot the powerband is on a two stroke engine. Can you imagine 500cc's worth on a decent set of road tyres? A veritable thrill factory that smells of nostalgia and childhood rebelliousness.
     
  20. Grooveski

    Grooveski Member

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    There's a lot to be said for factory designed supermotos. I look at pictures(just been checking out the Husaberg - hubba hubba! - that's midlife crisis in a bottle) and see all the components and thought processes that I'm stumbling through at the moment, all sorted years ago.

    ...but it's a compromise game. I bought this because I loved it as a dirt bike and may want to put it on the road, but how much do I want that?
    Enough to drop the forks and shock an inch with internal tweaks and up the oil grade a bit, but not enough to respring, so it's likely never going to be a full-on supermoto. I want to be able to get it back to dirt spec in 15mins or so.
    Doesn't have to be full-on dirt spec, just like it doesn't have to be full-on road spec. I suspect the eventual solution is two sets of fork/shock and upping the change-over time. :p

    Faffing around with the bouncy bits still seems a-way down the road to be honest. Tonight's little game was ordering shims, which meant measuring the old ones and looking at them for the first time.
    ...and y'know, I'm not sure that the clearances have ever been changed on this lump.:eek:

    For a start the gaps were a f'kin gazillion miles out. (the inside cluster of numbers are the measured gaps)
    They're also all the same brand of shim - the construction is quite distinctive and while the numbers are well obliterated the edges of the engraving can still be seen and their style matches too.
    Another clue is that they measure to 0.01 sizes.

    Numbers in boxes are the new shim sizes and sideways numbers in boxes are expected clearances.
    Scribbled-out numbers are where I fell for the once-a-decade gigglefest that is the half-mill thread on micrometers. Oh what fun it would have been to order a full set of shims ten sizes too thick.
    Better glasses or a digital micrometer might be on the cards. ;)

    [​IMG]

    Still - good on it all for holding up! :cool: At least I know that the clearances increase(the safe way) and as it's worked out the exhaust shims I'm buying now will cycle into the inlets in time. I've also ordered the 2.95 that the RHS inlet will be looking for soon.
    ...or maybe even the LHS exhaust this time around - there's decoking and lapping going on as well so the numbers are all a little vague - gotta start somewhere though :D).
     
    #20 Grooveski, Apr 21, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2021

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