Sunday 26 January 2014

So much for resolutions (New Year or otherwise)

Yes the usual pattern repeats, I say I'm going to blog more often and then don't post anything for ages, so time for an update on the Rally Bike front.....

After I got the bike back home from it's foray on Salter fell, I stripped it down for a good clean and then set about sorting a few bits, like setting up the suspension, refitting lights and tidying up the wiring as I hate those blue plastic insulated connectors (the type you can buy in Halfords) and there was a few of those in the loom. All were replaced with 3.9mm "Japanese style" connectors, that are virtually identical to OEM equipment.


Much better, I'm sure you will agree!

A new LED rear light (from one of the boxes of bits I got) was grafted onto the rear end but the headlight was a bit problematic, the standard headlight fouls on the mounting block for the nav tower and as I was taking the bike out on the Baker Man's Run on Salisbury Plain on the 29th December, I didn't really want the nav tower on for it's first proper ride out.

The answer was provided by the trusty CCM, the headlight mounts slightly further forward so would avoid the mounting block. A couple of zip ties and some temporary wiring and all was sorted!

I then took it for a quick shake down run along the only Byway anywhere near my place at Woburn Sands (and a stop for coffee of course) and it all felt great!

On December 29th A great ride was had on Salisbury Plain and I was utterly convinced I have made the right decision, the bike is a revelation after the CCM...
Unfortunately my nice new rear light didn't survive too well as the heavy, standard number plate proved too heavy and it snapped the hanger (see below)!

So the following weekend, I started work again, after yet another good clean, I removed the rear light unit, unbolted the new LED light and stuck it on the old plastic carrier. I then fitted a newly arrived flexi number plate, much lighter than the standard one. I also fitted a secondary rear "rally light" again from the boxes of bits, as much to get the right "look" as any real need.

I decided that if I'm going to race it in fully rally trim, I had better get it sorted so I can get some practice riding it that way, so I started the rebuild:
Some of the spec:

2006 KTM EXC 450 / 525

Suspension set up by Broken Legs from the KTM UK Forum (feels damn good to me)!
KTM 13 litre tank
Reprofiled seat with gel pad
New Polisport Plastics
LED rear light
Clutch Saver
Trail Tech side stand
MotoRally Services Nav Tower and carbon fibre road book mount
F2R Road book holder
RNS Tripmaster "ICO"
Lazer LED headlight (but this may change)
KTM handguards (nicked off the CCM)
The bike is fitted with Michelin Desert Mousses
Alloy bash plate

So why is it going to look different?

I have the carbon fibre so called "toilet lid" fairing that previous owner Mike campaigned the bike with last year but I was waiting for the arrival of a Dottorri fairing (thanks again to Mike) which will be grafted on. Once I've got my greasy mitts on it, I shall decide if I'm going to run it with the standard headlight (as it's designed for) or whether it can be modified to retain the Lazer headlight.
A couple of weeks later I took the bike out for a spin yesterday with the Herts TRF, fully Navigation kitted just to see how it went.... really impressed!

I thought the road book would get in the way but not really that much different to riding my KTM 990 Adventure off road with its screen and if anything it helps your technique by making you look ahead and not at your front wheel (because you can't see it)!
Just before I went out, my neighbour popped round with a large parcel he had taken in for me, inside I found my Dottori fairing......

After the day's ride I got it out to take a closer look. Mike had warned me about the rough finish and that it would need proper prep and painting, luckily I had popped into see my mate Radu at his car repair workshop on the way back from the ride and he said he can do all that for me as well as fabricating brackets etc.... result!

Just had to try it for size.....

The view from the seat....

Now I'm just wondering what colour to paint it (apologies for the very rough and ready mock ups)

Orange to match the tank?

Or black to match the rest of the plastics?
My mates on have been pitching in with suggestions, so far these are: white but with graphics that fade from orange into white, or a black/orange fade or "don't worry it'll just get trashed... thanks guys and girls!

A few more photos




  1. Looking good Mad Cow! It's great that you post these updates, it's always interesting to see the thought process (or lack of one!) behind design decisions.

    Looking forward to more updates.

  2. Orange, to match the tank. Actually, how about some black tiger stripes on both?

  3. Looking good
    Where did the nav tower bracket come from?

  4. The nav tower is from