KTM EXC530 Adventure Build

My bike builds tend to focus on two basic elements - the bike and the rider. The obvious starting point for the bike is better range and looking after the engine. Rider basics are comfort and bike setup for both longer saddle and standing time.


Oil capacity is one thing the EXC lacks. The engine has compartmented oil reserves with the engine holding 650mls and the gearbox 900mls of oil. As a raced enduro the oil changes are every 15hrs; used as an adventure bike this can be extended but with such little oil capacity in the engine side I decided to add an HTR oil cooler. This will not only add 500mls of oil, it will also keep it cooler and therefore last longer. I will be monitoring the oil quality but expect Oil changes will now be 30hrs minimum. It has to be said that EXC's are some of the easiest bikes to work on, so its not as if oil changes are hard work; but I don't want to have to carry spare oil for longer rides if I can avoid it.
HTR Oil Cooler
Photo 1 of KTM EXC530 Adventure Build
The HTR oil cooler is pretty easy to fit and I decided to paint mine orange for some added bling.
The next thing to look after the engine, was to fit a cush drive rear hub. I got these wheels new off E-Bay and they are very good quality. Fitted Pirelli Rally-cross MT21 Front Tire and Michelin T63 to the rear. These are a proven combo for me, albeit on the heavier 690E.
Cush Drive Hub
Photo 2 of KTM EXC530 Adventure Build
New 21" & 18" Powder coated Anodised hubs with Cush Drive rear hub
Fuel Range was next. The stock tank holds 9.5litres which is great for enduro rides but too small for adventure distances; my ideal range is about 300klm. I'm reliably informed the 15l Safari tank which actually holds nearer 17l, is good for about 340klm on a 530. The opaque colour tank offers a free fuel guage which I think is why not.
15L Safari Tank
Photo 3 of KTM EXC530 Adventure Build
Love these tanks, they are very tough.
Decided to replace the stock rear shock spring as it's only rated for a 75-85kg weight. As I'm 90kg in my birthday suit, it was always going to struggle with the extra weight of the tank, me with my riding gear and saddle bags packed with adventure essentials.
WP 92 250 Spring 90-105kg rating
Photo 4 of KTM EXC530 Adventure Build
Stock spring was orange but I like the white one
I have a Dirt Tricks Cam Chain adjuster on order as well. The stock adjuster has a known issue at low rpm. It wasn't a major expense but a worth while piece of kit and in keeping with my engine preservation theme.

I have also added a Cyclops 3600 LED headlight kit which was essential as EXC stock headlight bulbs are renowned for being next to useless in the dark. This required the headlight mask being moved forwards and the front break and speedo cable being relocated behind the mask.

A set of Barkbusters and some new hand grips finishes off the Bike essentials.


Rider comfort for both standing and sitting is the other essential area that needs addressing on an enduro based adventure build. In this case the stock seat was never going to last the distance so was replaced with a Seat Concepts replacement foam and cover kit.
Seat Concepts EXC Seat
Photo 5 of KTM EXC530 Adventure Build
Seat has Carbon sides Gripper top and Orange stitching
The next rider comfort was a windscreen. I had a full rally fairing on my previous bike (KTM690E) but wanted to keep the 530 as light and nimble as possible so decided on a tinted 690 screen. It was easy to fit and doesn't look too out of place on the bike.
KTM 690 Windscreen.
Photo 6 of KTM EXC530 Adventure Build
Looks good and not too intrusive.
The 530 instrumentation is excellent for enduro use but not so flash for adventure/road riding. I salvaged my Garmin Zumo550 from the 690 which is not only a great GPS, it also has a built-in motorcycle dash board featuring, a speedo, distance recorder & fuel gauge. It is wired directly from the battery with a fuse in the circuit. It also saves the cost of a Trail-tech Vapour speedo.
Garmin Zumo 550 GPS
Photo 7 of KTM EXC530 Adventure Build
A great piece of kit!
There are some bits and pieces I've done to the bike as part of the build (30mm bar risers, flush mount rear indicators, Tool Tube, resetting the suspension, tank bag) but I hope
I've covered my major mods for anyone else contemplating adventurising a 530. I should also qualify this build with the fact I haven't yet ridden the bike at all. Thus all my mods are largely untested, BUT I hope to put that right very soon.
My KTM EXC 530 Adventure
Photo 8 of KTM EXC530 Adventure Build
Life is too short to crash on a bike you don't respect!
Author of this article: NightFalcon