Making it my own....
They say KTM's are race-ready, right out of the crate. Well, hogwash I
say. This is only true if you don't mind replacing banged up parts
every couple of races. Here are a few necessities for my kind of racing.
Pipe guard and skid plate: must have'em both. The pipe guard is an
Eline carbon fiber protector which is very strong and light. The skid
plate comes from
Enduro Engineering. KTM did a great job with the
water pump, placing it well out of trouble.
Next up: radiator protection. I chose Enduro Engineering's guards
because of the way they protect from side impacts. That's where most
of the beatings take place on radiators, and Enduro Engineering has
got it covered. The guards retain the stock radiator louvers.
Here's something you don't
want to see. That's the broken
end of a tap inside one of the
radiator mounting holes. The
Enduro Engineering guards
require the radiators to be
removed in order to install
them. KTM's threading of the
radiator mount holes bordered
on pathetic. The bolts would
not thread back in properly,
which is why I decided to clean
them up with the tap.
Apparently when the tap met
the frame (this is a blind hole),
the frame won out.
Once I ground out the broken tap
with a Dremel tool (and a very hard
coated grinding bit), I went straight
for the Heli-coil on both of the
mounting holes on that side of the
frame (the other side was much
better).
Here's another interesting product I
tried for the first time: threaded
inserts for hand guards. The inside
ends of the handlebars are tapped
and the silver thingies are threaded
into the bar ends. The inserts came
from
Emig Racing, which also
supplied the handlebar top clamp for
the Scotts Steering Damper and the
bolt-on steering damper tower.
The supplied tap cuts fairly
easily through aluminum bars.
A little red Loctite keeps the
insert in place. For the past 10
years or so I'd used hand guard
mounts that bolted directly to
the top triple clamp. I usually
had to buy a new top triple
clamp, however, because most
stock triple clamps these days
are not made to accept
clamp-mounted brackets for the
hand guards. I didn't really
mind, though, because usually
the aftermarket triple clamps
were of better quality than the
stockers. But KTM put some
nice ones on the 250EXC and I
saw no need to toss aside the
clamps just because I wanted
hand guards that never rotate
around the bars after a crash.
The threaded inserts are said to
greatly reduce these hand
guard rotations by keeping the
guards firmly planted to the
handlebars. They've worked as
well as advertised.
Enduro Engineering clutch slave
cylinder guard. These types of
guards have been part of every KTM
I've owned. Enduro Engineering
made them just a little better by
including a metal piece that runs
above the countershaft sprocket. No
mud buildup from the stock plastic
guard - that's a good thing.
And of course, no bike of mine
would be complete without a
Scotts steering damper. I can't
count the number of times
these things have save me from
pain.
I decided to go with a bolt-on tower
this time. Never had much luck with
these on past bikes, but this one,
from Emig Racing, was much better.
It did come loose once, but it does
stay put fairly well.
The handlebar clamp is also
from Emig Racing. It comes
with four different sets of
damper mounting holes for
various bar clamp positions.
The Scotts shark fin rear brake rotor
protector. It's the best there is.
Period.