It has been a while since the last installment of the RFS diaries. I guess it is due mostly to riding. You see, I have spent far more time riding the RFS bikes than I have tinkering.
The last momentous outing for the 2006 525exc was the Baja Rally last fall. It performed admirably, helping me get 3rd overall in the event. Even for an old bike, it stands up quite well in competition. On the faster fire roads it was tops, as well as on the beach. We had a 17 mile section of very soft beach and the torque of the 525 was a real benefit. There were a few rough sections where I could feel the weight working against me. But considering this is a dual sport bike with a 4 gallon tank, it was to be expected.
Other than a water pump seal, notorious on the RFS, the 525 has been rock solid for the last year. It has seen plenty of miles in that time. The miles are really starting to rack up too. I have been on the lookout for the next bike to serve as my primary rider. I passed up a near new 2007 525xcw a few weeks back. It was tempting, but the price was just bit steep.
Then I saw this beauty on Craigslist, a low hour 2005 525mxc. At a casual glance, it could almost pass for new. Not only are the hours low, but it is completely unmolested, practically as delivered from the showroom. The obvious exceptions are a few protection parts and the EXC headlight. It even comes with a genuine KTMtalk sticker.
I was able to negotiate the price to $3,200. I can’t really go wrong with that kind of deal. My first choice would have been a 2006 or 2007 model, but the differences with the 2005 are minor. This bike has already had the intermediate gear issue fixed. The close ratio transmission has good and bad qualities, again a wide ratio would have been the first choice, but the 525 has plenty of torque to pull tall gearing for Baja, so it will be fine. I kind of like the gold frame too.
So far the only issue I have had to deal with was the carburetor. The seller had been kind enough to have it cleaned before putting up for sale. The bike had been sitting for some time. Unfortunately the mechanic really did not know much about the Keihin FCR. The hose clamps were not tight and the mixture screw was missing both the o-ring and washer. But I have all that straight now as well as putting some proper jetting in too. Here are my current specs. This should work on all RFS models at mild elevations.
Needle: OBDTQ 4rd position (or 3rd), 175 main jet, 45 pilot, 1.5 out on mixture screw
I have two immediate plans for the new addition. Finding a showroom condition RFS is so rare, I figure it for a good opportunity to do a little time capsule testing, the best of 2005 vs the 2014 450xc-f. If you were in the market for a desert race bike in 2005, this would have been the number one choice. So how will it stand up against the new bike?
Next the 525 will get the complete makeover. It will become the new Enduro360 Baja bike. Plans include; Sicass Racing dual sport kit, Pro Moto Billet sidestand & handguards, Baja Designs LED lighting, Trail Tech DC conversion stator, Seat Concepts saddle, Flexx bars, BRP chain guide & newer style fork guards from SRT. I still have not made a decision on suspension. I will probably just swap my current Trail Tricks parts onto this bike.
The current 525 gets such good fuel mileage that I seldom really need the 4 gallon Safari tank. If this one is similar, I will just stick with the stock MXC tank for most riding.
It is raining out right now, so the riding should be just about perfect in a day or two to get out testing.