From our photographer friend David Schelske: “Testing out the new ride, double checking my setup and getting ready for a week long trip to the Alvord.” David’s on his 2016 KTM 500 EXC camping in Oregon with the Coyote Saddlebag, Fandango Pro Tank Bag, Rogue Dry Bag and Possibles Pouches.
Using a slightly longer bolt to replace the bolt connecting the side panel to the subframe on the KTM 500 EXC, the new Giant Loop Mount makes a handy anchor strap connection for the MoJavi Saddlebag and Coyote Saddlebag, keeping the webbing well away from hot exhaust.
Giant Loop’s GL Mounts are the universal motorcycle soft luggage mounting solution, compatible with virtually all dual sport soft luggage.
As I rig up and ride different Giant Loop packing systems on our 2012 KTM 500 EXC, I am always looking for a different solutions to strapping the right side. There is a factory heat shield covering the subframe, at the point I like to?thread the strap mount. There are several types of bolt-on hardware solutions submitted by riders, to handle mounting the strap on that side, but I was looking for a simpler method. ?Now, my method isn’t perfect and it does require an 8mm wrench for the initial install, but I didn’t have to add any parts to the bike!
This has been tested for about 100 miles of rough and there appears to be no ill effects to the bodywork, other than the usual dusty strap wear.
Loosen the lower mounting bolt on the orange side panel, at the bottom of the subframe.
Carefully replace the orange panel’s tab, into its slot in the white panel, so the tab and strap can both fit smoothly.
Replace the bolt/bushing, finish threading the strap through the buckle and tension, stowing the strap end so it doesn’t catch on something or burn.
The latest edition of KTM 350 and 500 EXC dual sports come equipped with a thicker and much stronger rear fender. This is to keep the taillight assembly from flexing into the rear tire during rough riding. This new design is an added benefit for those of us that like to carry loads strapped onto the back fender, but is a consideration when mounting a Mojavi or Coyote Saddlebag without using the included fender hooks. The issue is that our fender hooks are radius profiled for thinner fenders, like every other enduro or dualsport uses, and no longer clip onto current design KTM rear fenders.
Solution: Replace the hooks with the included mounting strap, by sandwiching the strap between the fender and taillight assembly, before mounting the bag. Then thread the mounting strap through the buckles inside the saddlebag.
This is done by unscrewing the taillight assembly(black plastic shown below) from the subframe and fender.
Once the strap is centered, re-tighten the screws and bolts that secure the taillight assembly. This should tension the strap under the fender, so it doesn’t slide around, providing a solid mounting position.
Thread the mounting strap through the buckles and tension.
We use a spare side release buckle to hold the strap ends, when a bag isn’t mounted.
2014 has a few special rides scheduled for Giant Loop. The first ride is Baja next month, when HOC will travel South with GL Team Rider Brad, to ride with Chilly White of enduro360.com. HOC has always wanted to ride Baja and when Chilly invited him to join a ride this year, HOC jumped at the chance!
This led to evaluating Giant Loop’s KTM 500 EXC and getting some maintenance and setup details organized(and stripping the bike). ?The list had everything from gapping the valves, to tires, to suspension, to fuel filler filter sock. Of course, this is in addition to the discussion about which of the new 2014 Giant Loop gear to take on the ride. Coyote Saddle Bag is a no brainer, but which tank bag combination? Fandango Tank Bag, Diablo and Pannier Pockets or Buckin’ Roll with Pannier Pockets, what will it be?
First on the list was a valve check and GL racer Alex Sherman sharpened up his feeler gauges to perform the deed. After Alex gave the valve gaps a good gauging, he found them all in spec and none needed a shim swap. Next on the list was fresh lube, filters and rubber. I got the oil and filter managed, then pulled the Suspension off to send out to our friend Alex Martins at Konflict Suspension. Alex has a new dampening formula for the KTM 500 EXC and HOC is excited to try out the smoother action, during this ride. Next up is swapping the tires out for the Maxxis IT-Desert. The KTM still had the OEM Pirelli front and a half worn Dunlop 606 rear, so with both wheels off, the tire swap was gonna be easy.
Stay tuned for the next round of prep work!
Happy New Years view of Picture Rock!
Giant Loop was closed for the New Year’s Holiday and the weather was unseasonably warm. This meant that skiing Mt Bachelor was not part of the celebration schedule, so Harold loaded up the KTM 500 EXC, his camping gear and family, then headed to Summer Lake Hot Springs instead. ?It was cold at night, but the hot springs, heavy sleeping bags and the 50* day time temperature made for a good adventure.?
First ride of 2014!