KTM restoration

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juddspaintballs
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KTM restoration

Post by juddspaintballs » Mon Feb 20, 2017 7:58 pm

My good old 2003 KTM 450 EXC was ugly and getting kind of tired. I put 110 hours on it myself since I got it from thetable about a year and a half ago. It was kind of rough when I got it and needed a lot of love to sort out the wiring fiasco. It's a 2001 520 SX frame with a 2003 450 EXC motor in it, but the motor has unknown hours on it. I've been riding it quite happily since I got it and enjoying most of it. After I met a trench in 4th gear back in May, I had DSA sort out my suspension while I healed.

Well, lately my motor has been kind of noisy. I don't know what it is making the noise, but it seemed to run fine. It was starting to burn some oil and the cam chain adjuster was maxed out. I found a few spokes that were bad and unable to be adjusted on my wheels, so I decided to buy the Tusk rim and spoke kit to replace them. I got a new rear tire while I waited on those to arrive. The combination of my motor sounding bad and new wheels forthcoming, I decided to go full nuclear and freshen up a lot of my bike. In the end it turns out that I'm doing a full rebuild instead.

So I started with disassembly first, obviously. Wheels came off. I took the tires off of the wheels and then used my angle grinder with a cutoff disc to kill the spokes and remove them from the hubs. The front hoop was pretty bent out of shape. I beat the bearings out and then cleaned the hubs up.

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I bought some all-thread and some aluminum slugs and then headed over to gots_a_sol's house so he could turn down the aluminum into press blocks for the wheel bearings. It's not necessary, but they are nice and it makes installing the wheel bearings a breeze. I bought KTM OEM bearings and spacers.

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During tear down of the bike, the bolt that secures the fuel tank to the frame decided to snap. I drilled it, torched it, sprayed it with PB blaster, and then subsequently broke my easy-out off in the hole flush with the stub that sticks out from the frame for the bolt to thread into. Out comes the trusty cutoff wheel!

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And a few minutes with the drill press and I got this stub turned out and center drilled so I can go buy some metric taps and thread it and then weld it onto the frame like the original.

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I stopped by beejaytee's house after work one day and he graciously laced my wheels for me. I feel bad that I couldn't help him do the work, but it really is just a one person task and he does great work. 4 hours later, my wheels were looking awesome!

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Google-fu and lots of reading between ADV, KTM Talk, and Thumper Talk tell me that Dave Hopkins of DJH Cycle in Washington is THE MAN for RFS motors. I emailed him and he responded quickly. A few emails back and forth and I decided to ship him my entire motor and carb. He's doing the top end work with oversize intake valves and a 5 angle cut of the valve seats along with some hand blending. New cam bearings, new cam chain, new piston, recoating the cylinder, and assembly. He's also checking out the bottom end, and if need be fixing that too. For the carb, he does some sort of boring out something and smoothing things out and other voodoo magic the KTM Talk guys swear will make a world of a difference in response.

Draining fluids to ship it to Dave

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And the preferred shipping packaging for dirt bike motors

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A while back, BigBird gave me a 2005/2006? swingarm for this bike since one of the grease seal collars on my swingarm pivot bearings was broken and it could potentially allow water in past the seal. I had fixed it with JB weld and it was working, but now was the perfect time to switch the swingarm over. I just need to use OEM bearings and some bushings from a 90's CR125 or so and it'll work with my older bike. An hour or so of loving care got it pretty clean and looking ready to accept new parts.

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Now the frame.

I anticipated having to repaint the lower part of the frame under the motor from the skid plate clamps tearing the paint up. I didn't realize the paint was this bad until I spent a couple hours really cleaning the frame. It looks like I'm going to take the frame in for some sandblasting and powder coating at a local shop. I wish I would have known I was going to have the frame powder coated before I had Brent lace the wheels because I would have got the hubs done in black too. Oh well, they look fine with that goldish silver color and I can always buy new wheels later down the road if I really cared about the color.

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So now the frame is completely stripped and waiting to go to the powder coat shop.

Here's a list of what else I'm doing:
Rebuilding the muffler
New bolts for everything
New clutch fibers
New oil plug (old o-ring was leaking and the new plugs are snazzy)
New shock bearings top and bottom
New plastics
Squadron Sport headlight
Seat cover (done)
Chain and sprockets
Chain slider
Chain guide
Chain adjuster blocks
Grips
Footpegs (suggestions?)
Tubliss front and rear
New Goldentyres
New mud flap
Neoprene lower shock bearing cover
New frame guards
Whatever else I run into and can think of

The steering stem bearings are in great shape. I'm happy with my handlebars, hand guards, Trail Tech Vapor, and GPS setup so the controls portion is staying the same. I'll do a fork oil change and send the shock to DSA for another rebuild. I've got at least another month of work on this bike because the motor just made it to Dave today and I'm waiting on overtime money to come into my bank account. RMATV is going to love me this year...
Jed Gregory
KTM 450 EXC

J&J
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Re: KTM restoration

Post by J&J » Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:12 pm

DAMN... Good job Jed!

Now get back to making that overtime :lol2:

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Marylander
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Re: KTM restoration

Post by Marylander » Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:17 pm

Very nice, taking a ragged bike and making it pristine again is fun. I actually enjoyed doing that with my kx. After you're done take it to a gravel driveway/road and push it over a few times on both sides. You know, to prime it.

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gots_a_sol
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Re: KTM restoration

Post by gots_a_sol » Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:52 pm

Yup, cheap walmart coolers are the ideal shipping container :lol2:

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Also, wise choice on getting the frame blasted. I scuffed mine and shot it myself and it took FOR EVER to get in to all those nooks and crannies.
-Joe

09 Husky WR177
09 Yamha YZ250F
02 Kawi KX125

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Bucho
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Re: KTM restoration

Post by Bucho » Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:00 am

Wow Jed, thats impressive. Will be like a brand new bike.
Suzuki DR650
Beta Xtrainer

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Laoch
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Re: KTM restoration

Post by Laoch » Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:17 am

:cheers:
After you're done take it to a gravel driveway/road and push it over a few times on both sides. You know, to prime it.
:deal:
Bruce
2016 Freeride/'03 KLX 400/'13 CB500X

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Wingfixer
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Re: KTM restoration

Post by Wingfixer » Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:40 am

I did a complete restro on the DRz a few years ago. Tore it down to the frame and powder coated it RED! It was a pretty rewarding project but since then it has become a bit of a garage princess.
F*** work.
Ride motorcycles.

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Re: KTM restoration

Post by J&J » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:21 am

Wingfixer wrote:
Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:40 am
I did a complete restro on the DRz a few years ago. Tore it down to the frame and powder coated it RED! It was a pretty rewarding project but since then it has become a bit of a garage princess.
See above post by Marylander.... that should fix it :shrug:

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Skinny-J
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Re: KTM restoration

Post by Skinny-J » Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:34 am

Wingfixer wrote:
Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:40 am
I did a complete restro on the DRz a few years ago. Tore it down to the frame and powder coated it RED! It was a pretty rewarding project but since then it has become a bit of a garage princess.
Painting it red still won't make a Suzuki as fast as a Honda.... :shrug:


BTW, nice write up Jed; good luck with the build. :thumbup:

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Laoch
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Re: KTM restoration

Post by Laoch » Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:23 pm

Skinny-J wrote:
Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:34 am
Wingfixer wrote:
Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:40 am
I did a complete restro on the DRz a few years ago. Tore it down to the frame and powder coated it RED! It was a pretty rewarding project but since then it has become a bit of a garage princess.
Painting it red still won't make a Suzuki as fast as a Honda.... :shrug:

:jack:
Bruce
2016 Freeride/'03 KLX 400/'13 CB500X

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