Introduced in 2012, the fuel injected 500 EXC is the latest in a line of street legal dirt bikes from KTM. Weighing 268 lbs. with a full tank of gas and ready to ride, the 500 EXC fits in the “dirt bike with lights” category of dual sport adventure bikes. While it is street legal from the factory, it is really just a dirt bike with the minimum required stuff to make it street legal (headlight, horn, blinkers, and such) and no rider comfort items such as a windscreen, luggage rack, or comfortable seat.
While it is a fine dirt bike, that’s not how I intend to use it. With so little public land in Texas, I would never ride it if I limited myself to public off-pavement single track. Instead, my goal for the 500 is to turn it into a lightweight adventure bike, for those times when I need a street-legal bike but expect to ride more challenging dirt roads or off-road.
My quest began by locating a lightly used 2015 model that the previous owner had converted into supermoto form. The above picture is how the bike looked the day I bought (and washed) it. Luckily, the owner still had the original dirt wheels and included them in the sale. I promptly swapped the wheels and then began draining my bank account shopping online for the necessary stuff to make the 500 suit my intended purpose.
As you can see in the picture above I’ve already made a number of changes to the bike and will use this website to detail the modifications and to share my riding experiences as the miles accumulate. Click here for the build.