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Just thought I'd ask the collectives thoughts on my idea...
I've just bought a '98 LC4 620 LSE off a guy on the ukgser site, to be honest just as a bit of winter fun and green laneing, but I find it a rite hoot! I was set on buying a used Tenere later this year for a big overland trip but I'm now thinking use the KTM. Shes showing 15k kms and has clearly been cherished (only off road twice). Now I know guys have have been round the world on all sorts of weired and wonder full machines but When all's said an done this is a 12 year old machine.
I really like the idea of going a very long way on something that cost me just £1,300! Am I been mad or should I go for it? What alterations do you suggest? There's already a fairly hefty bash plate and hand guards fitted. I was thinking a bigger tank, some pannier frames and after two sleepless nights I think I've settled on soft luggage.
Many people have done vast distances on these machines, I have heard a few complain of comfort and vibes on long motorway stretches, I have seen hard and soft baggage used and must admit that soft seems to suit this bike better than hard, I am sure some current owners will comment for you.
I think its a great idea! For a small investment you've got a great bike with lots of potential as a travel bike. As you do your research you'll find lots of things with the LC4's that can act up. So learn about it and learn how to deal with these issues pro-actively. But it sounds like you got a pretty good bike, would have acted up by now .... but for going out of UK I would be prepared with spares and knowledge.
But still, things do fail on these bikes from time to time. Read up on RTW or continent crossing trips here and elsewhere where guys have gone on the LC4 bikes. KTM are very popular in S. Africa and get a good work out down there. Lots of mods and things you can do to make it more reliable, comfortable and a better Long distance travel bike.
I had a 2001 Duke ll (640 motor, same as yours). By '01 KTM had worked out many of the issues. Never any problems in 10,000 miles. Not sure about the 1998 models. Go over it and check things out. Bring a waterpump kit, make sure clutch sprag is OK, keep new battery in there (low batt will break clutch sprag), keep an eye on top end.
The biggest complaint are the vibes but if they don't bother you, all good.
My Duke ll vibes were not too bad, but I never rode it great distance for months at a time and the Duke ll vibed less than your bike. (twin exhausts)
I would not use hard bags or heavy steel mounting racks on that bike. Use minimal soft bags to preserve rear sub frame on rough roads. Do the maintenance and service pro actively, watch carefully for tell tale signs of trouble and catch them early.
The bike is a great bike to ride and will be superior to the new 660 Tenere' off road. If you learn the bike well you should do fine and worst case is, if it blows, you walk away. At 1300 UKP that is a very small investment!
Best of luck!
I'd imagine it to be quite similar to the KTM Mil, which quite a few people on the HUBB have taken around the world (myself, PeerG, ExtremeGene, Robbert and a few others whose nicks I forgot). You might need to do a bit more service than on a XT, but you have something that has a suspension worth it's name ;-)
With the bike that old, consider taking out the shock and forks and have them serviced fully, clean and grease all bearings, do a few mods like bash plate and tank, and you're good to go! Suspension and bearing service would be a good idea especially since it has such a small mileage at the age and only been ridden on-road, which to me would suggest that not much maintenance has been done on it either apart from parking it in the garage.
I'm currently rebuilding my KTM Mil, and will post a list of mods in the Mil thread once I'm done, so if you have cash and time to spare, you might want to check back there. Not that much modding is really required as I found out on the trip, but standards do increase with time ;-)
Yes it is, 398ccm to be precise. It's still the LC4 engine, chassis, suspension etc though. There are some changes, e.g. the lower capacity and lower compression, which make the Military more robust than the regular LC4, as well as a reinforced subframe amongst other things, but a lot of other things apply to both bikes
I’ve just got to Namibia on my LC4 640, great bike for the job. I reinforced the Touratec aluminum chocolate boxes for the trip but soft luggage is the way forward!! Mine are heavy for piste and the advantages of hard security don’t balance for light weight soft from experience. My boxes would be good for a more road based trip touring around.
A problem I’ve recently had is the rack bolts shearing where they screw into the subframe (been on some rough routes on the way down). I will drill through all these tapped bolt holes all the way through and put a nut and bolts instead as I had a sheared bolt in the DRC that I couldn’t get out and had to be hammered out (almost brought tears to my eyes as the African mechanic used their one tool fits all to bash hell out of her). Nuts and bolts are much easier to repair!!
I have a 2000 LC4 400E which I've modded a little for overlanding...
20L Acerbis tank ... mmmm 300 miles...
FCR carb conversion .. mmm as fast and peppy as an EXC but much nicer
Twin fan conversion .... mmmm sand as deep as you like but never overheating
640 disc on the front ... mmmm now she stops
Modified seat ... mmm now she's comfy
There's a few other bits too but at my age I'm forgetting things lol..
Seriously, these 400's are real smooth, much nicer to ride for long distances than a 640. I also have an F800GS, and I would be hard pressed to choose between the two in terms of suitability for proper overlanding...
I have at Military... and curious... how have people done this "mod" of making the seat more comfortable?
Also, this thing has ZERO gauges... so cathcing a potential problem, overheating, emtpy gas, dying alternator/battery, etc is not excalty a glance and go analysis... can this be improved? I would assume it is not cheap...
And has anyone done a Mod to improve the headlight or a bigger windscreen?
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