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Thread: How to best give older bike “tight/new” feeling?

  1. #11
    Lifetime Team KTMTalk newgensti's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Scranton area

    Default Re: How to best give older bike “tight/new” feeling?

    I would also consider that frames stretch over time.. Race teams hand pick frames that are all close to the same and swap them out at intervals. Some practice on the fresh chassis and race on them once they have a few hours and settle into the sweet spot. Guys putting hundreds of hours on a chassis are ultimately stretching them out and changing the geometry. A few mm can change the handling and feel for sure. The bikes become more chopper like the longer they are run and this completely changes how the forks work as they will want to bind more the more raked out they become.. You can replace every bushing, bearing, seal, fluid on the bike and it will never be just like new because of this. You average rider is not using anywhere near the potential of the bike though so its usually a moot point.

    To get it as good as you could I would do all the suspension bushings and bearings to start, servicing suspension regularly makes a huge difference. Learn to do it yourself and save a ton of money.. When racing I rebuilt my forks and shock every 20 hours or earlier if they started leaking. One mud race is all it takes to get dirt under your seals.

    Setting front forks correct on the axle and torquing all front end components is huge for feel too.

    Basically for feel, if it moves or pivots it needs attention regularly.

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  3. #12

    Default Re: How to best give older bike “tight/new” feeling?

    Muffler repack, new top end, sharp teeth on foot pegs, replace shifter tip.

  4. #13

    Default Re: How to best give older bike “tight/new” feeling?

    Suspension maint as everyone else said.
    Throttle cable
    Foot brake tip

    If there is slack in the clutch or brake lever, correct that.

    Check all the bearings and joints for the rear brake pedal, those get a lot of slop.

    New fluid for the brakes, and rebuild the master cylinders if needed.

    Rebuild both master and slave for the clutch. Upgrade to the new style 9.5 MC if you dont have it.
    1999 300 MXC
    1999 250 EXC

  5. #14
    Lifetime Team KTMTalk KTMKim's Avatar
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    Oct 2004
    Wyoming Range

    Default Re: How to best give older bike “tight/new” feeling?

    Give the bike as much love and attention in your maintenance program as you do riding the piss outta it!
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming... "WOW! What an incredible ride!"
    '14 250XCW
    '05 200EXC
    '01 300MXC
    '84 250MXC
    ...and a few Yamaha IT's
    The United States Constitution © 1791. All Rights Reserved.

  6. #15
    Lifetime Team KTMTalk
    Join Date
    May 2003

    Default Re: How to best give older bike “tight/new” feeling?

    I just replaced the crank and bearings in my 19 yr old CR250. Made a noticeable difference.

  7. #16

    Default Re: How to best give older bike “tight/new” feeling?

    Check and Re torque as necessary any/all hardware. Check for loose spokes and re balance both wheels. Dry Slide cables and lube all pivot/moving points. New chain/sprockets if necessary and replace the swing arm/chain guide. Plus all of the good ideas from above.

  8. #17
    KTMTalk Member Weekend_warrior's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    East side of the DFW Metro-mess

    Default Re: How to best give older bike “tight/new” feeling?

    I would go through the chassis and replace any bearings with play (linkage,swing arm, shock, stem, wheels), rebuild suspension, new rear break lever pad, new shift lever end, go with sharpened pegs or new as well as grips. As for the motor a fresh muffler repack and top end will give it back that snap.
    13 - KTM300xc - new ride
    99 - KTM125exc - The wife's ride.
    07 - DL650 Wee Strom

  9. #18
    Team KTMTalk Member Picklito's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Republik of

    Default Re: How to best give older bike “tight/new” feeling?

    Fresh suspension and tighten/true the spokes. The wheels DO get soggy, and the new bike feel goes away.
    2019 250 XC, 2015 500 EXC, 1993 500 MX, and too many old Husky's.

  10. #19
    KTMTalk Member P-Schrauber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Default Re: How to best give older bike “tight/new” feeling?

    Regular maintaince and the bike will always feel fresh.

    Most important and neglected parts are in my experience the steering steam and the swing arm bushings.
    Then rear suspension bushings and bearings which will last as the steering steam und swing arm bearings if they had been cleaned and relubed with fresh grease.

    Then the wheel bearings and a look at proper tensioned spokes do the job too.

    The firm suspension of a new bike can only be found again with new seals and in case of the fork with an additional professional grinding and new seals and gliding bushings.

    If the engine does rattle then you have exceed the service and maintaince limits to far, the same if there is a feelable gap between joints of the bike.
    1979 Yamaha MAJESTY 200cc [Mick Andrews, John Edouard Shirt, TY trials bike]
    1980 Centromoto Panda TC 220

    1980 SWM TL.NW 320 1980
    1981 Bultaco Sherpa T350 model 199b
    1988 Aprilia TXR 312 M
    1988 BETA TR 34 Replica
    1989 KTM 500 Sixdays model (two stroke)
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