dual-sporting '02 520/400exc

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#1
What's the latest consensus on dual-sporting the '02 520/400EXC?

I'm basically looking for a modern, green-sticker dirt bike to convert to dual-sport. All of the factory dual-sports are too heavy and more street oriented. I'm 31, 5'11", 165lbs and will probably ride 75% dirt / 25% street. The dirt will be mostly trails, but I want something that can easily handle the jumps when I get to them. Street will mainly be backroads and neighborhoods.

How many of you have successfully dual-sported this bike?

Cons that I have heard are:
-not having a cush hub
-thin 5th & 6th gears
-KTM doesn't recommend it

How major are these cons, and are there any others?

Thanks in advance,
Pete
 

DanS

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#2
First, The KTM RFS's are not green sticker bikes. Some guys have been able to get green stickers for them but they do not meet the emmision standrds for California to get a green sticker. One problem with dual sport conversion in California. If the bike is off highway, was manufactured after '97, does not meet emmisions standards, and was issued a red sticker or has the dreaded 3 or c in the 8th digit of the VIN you cannot get an on road plate. Some guys do get away with it but if the DMV you go to knows what they are doing they will turn you down because none of the KTM off road bikes including the 4 strokes meet emmisions standards for California. One option is if you can get it titled with a plate from out of state they MAY allow you to change it to California with out any hassle since it was already legal in another state.
 
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#3
KTM is supposed to offer a 400/520EXC-G model for California in 2002. It will be green sticker legal . There are a few more posts out there if you look.

Until I heard this news, I was pretty much decided on an XR650R. The main things that I don't like about the XR is they're too heavy & no electric start. The KTM's are both light and have the button. I've also heard that the quality is much better on the KTM's.

Pete
 

DanS

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#4
I hadn't heard about the green sticker model. If that's true I may have to get a 520exc. I dual sported my XR600 and it's fun but no where near what a 520exc would be. I'm thinking you would have to do a few mods to the 520 just like the XR650 to get the power back. It would be worth the work. If they can take the pounding of hard offroad riding I wouldn't think some easy road miles would be harmful to the drivetrain.
 

zio

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#5
Originally posted by pw455
KTM is supposed to offer a 400/520EXC-G model for California in 2002. It will be green sticker legal . There are a few more posts out there if you look.

whaaaa???? huh????? looked, didn't find it. care to share more?
 
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#6
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#7
I m currently riding a 01 400exc. i converted it to super motard. done 3000+ km on the bike and still running. as there are not much off-road tracks down here. i decided to keep it this way. average distance covered per trip ranges from 30-60km per day. been riding it hard on the roads. so far so good.:cool:
 

TexKDX

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#8
Originally posted by pw455
I've also heard that the quality is much better on the KTM's.

Pete
Humm, not sure if I can agree with that one, Honda vs. KTM. Honda quality overall - engineering, manufacturing, serviceability, etc. is outstanding. Do they pick some of the components, like bars and tires, to meet a specific price point? Sure, because the are competing with the other Jap brands.

You are right though, the bikes are worlds different. Based on your original post I'd have to steer you to an '02 DRZ400S. It has some dirt-worthy improvements and has greatly advanced the species of factory street-legal dirt bikes.

Good luck with your decision,
 
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#9
Thanks for the replies so far,

Djebel250,
How often do you change your oil/filters with the limited capacity. Do you ever ride the bike hard on the street? I'm wondering how well the tranny will hold up. Ever had any problems with head shake riding at speed on the highway?

TexKDX,
If I was to buy an off-the-shelf dual sport bike, it would definitely be the DRZS. It's in a different class from the other DS's. Reasons that steer me away from it are weight, CV carb and suspension. I know Suzuki is upgrading the suspension on them for 02, but it's still not the same as the off-road model. And even the off-road model's suspension sounds like it needs some work.

Thanks,
Pete
 
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#11
Well.... When i 1st got the bike. it came with off road tyres and riding at speeds above 100km/h will cause the bike to head shake. but ever since i changed it to motard tyres. the head shake just goes away!!!:D
As for the oil change/filters change interval. i stick to the manufacturers instructions. 1st oil/filters change at 20 litres of fuel and subsequently oil/filters change every 100 litres of fuel of 15 hrs which ever comes first.
I tried oils like maxima full synt 15w-50 and castrol 10w-50. as my riding terrain is all streets and high way with temp ranging from 25*c to 34*c.
sea-level. liked the maxima oil but the lousy dealer over here dont have the stock i want (after i bought the last two bott frm him) from then i changed to castrol. next oil change is coming real soon:( regards John
 

TexKDX

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#12
John -

Does your bike have a solid rear hub or a cush drive rear hub?

Also, does your dealer make any warnings about so much street use?

Are you aware of any restrictors in the bike that limit its horsepower dramatically?

Does it have any obvious street-ready add-ons, like a cooling fan or coolant overflow tank?

Your location (non-US) and use has us all curious if the bike is different. Thanks!
 
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#13
TexKDX, My 400exc dont have a cush hub on the rear. as for restrictions, i havn't taken apart the carburator to really SEE any restrictions. but the power is good enough to knock out any xr400r on the road. (Not yet tried with a wr400f yet) Don't know which country's model they have brought into Singapore. Aust or USA model. my engine's kill button on the right dont lock in place when pressed. Got a clue? I had added a cooling fan from KTM on the bike myself. works prety well. Don't intend to put on a coolant overflow tank. maybe a small medicine bott will do the trick.:p Oh, the rear muffler is a EXC type. cheers to street riding.:cool:
 
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#14
Thanks for all the information so far.

Anybody out there running knobbies or dual-sport tires on the street? Any problems with headshake, and if so, what did you do to eliminate it? Steering stabilizer? Knobby style? Air pressure? Suspension settings?

Thanks,
Pete
 

DanS

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#15
I run Dunlop 606's on my XR600. Work great on and off road and don't wear out too fast.