MEET THE EVERIDE DIRT BIKE DREAM BUILD: THE KTM 300 XC-W "SPARTA"
The KTM 300 XC-W is already one of the world's finest enduro motorcycles right off the showroom floor, which made it the perfect platform for the ultimate dream dirt bike build.
GORGEOUS GRAPHICS & PERFECTED PLASTICS
I went with custom graphics from Attack, subtly inlaid with the names of my awesome producers. These sturdy graphics went atop the gorgeous "Flo" Polisport Replica Plastics kit, all fastened with Warp 9's Titanium Body Bolt Kit.
Click any part below to check out more details, pics, ratings, and more from Rocky Mountain ATV/MC.
MAKING THIS DIRT BIKE STREET LEGAL
For my rallies, I had to make sure this dirt bike was street legal, so a "dual sport lighting kit" was necessary. Aside from DOT tires and a plate, the Tusk Enduro Lighting kit came with everything I needed to make this dirt bike street legal. It also was less expensive than any other street legal lighting kit I could find. I've used this same dual sport kit on several of my dirt bikes, and it has withstood a lot of abuse. I should also note that I'm terrified of messing with anything electrical on my motorcycles, but installation was straightforward and, dare I say, simple!
For lighting, I went with the Thumper Jockey Crusader light kit. It wires directly to the battery so setup was a breeze. It's lightweight, easily detachable, and BRIGHT.
I needed a new kickstand, and Fastway's installed easy, functions better than KTM's notorious stock kickstand, and has no need to "button up".
All of my bikes feature the Double Take Mirror kit, which use RAM mounts for easy and sturdy folding. They've also been tough as nails.
One of the few mods that will make a bike better both on and off road is the seat. I have Seat Concepts seats on every one of my motorcycles, and the Low Element Six Days Seat on this bike is one of my favorites. While slim and low, it's shockingly comfortable. For more customization options, check out https://seatconcepts.com/
Regular blinkers tend to break pretty easily with a rider like me in the cockpit. For this build, I went with these flexible stick-on LED blinkers and attached them to my upper forks and in the recessed spot under the seat. They're flexible and waterproof, so they should be invincible, even on a bike like this.
After riding my friend's 2017 KTM XC with Flexx Bars, I knew that was the handlebar I wanted on my future dirt bikes. The Flexx bar has an adjustable dampening system that reduces hard hits translating from the bars into your hands and arms. To be honest, while I'm riding I don't feel a huge difference, but after the ride is done is when I feel an enormous difference in my hands and wrists, and especially my shoulders and neck.
To reduce those vibes even more, every single bike I own has the Pro Grip Rally 714 on them. They are by far the most comfortable, longest lasting grips I've tried.
Tusk levers are inexpensive while still looking and working great. Make sure to take a spare set with you on your rides!
I'm not really a bar-pad guy, so instead I got these Nite Ize gear ties which made strapping anything to my handlebars secure and easy. Whether it's my Tubliss pump, a rain jacket, or a small trail bag, these make your bars a handy place to store something you need quickly.
To keep it all protected, I went with the Fastway F.I.T. handguards with shields. These are absolutely rock solid, as the bar ends actually tap into the handlebar itself so they stay secure. For more customization options, check out https://fastway.zone/
Now I know a the battery doesn't go on the handlebars, but the Tusk Lithium Battery Pro will power all those handlebar gadgets nicely, and weighs very little!
DIRT BIKE WHEEL NIRVANA
Bent rims, bad traction, or flat tires can ruin a day, so on this build I decided I'd have none of that. I went with Warp 9's Elite wheels, made from near-invincible 7050 grade aluminum. And no, those aren't spoke skins, those gorgeous flo yellow spokes are one of Warp 9's many gorgeous customization options. Warp 9 wheels come with rotors and sprockets already attached, and their customer service is outstanding. Unfortunately, this bike build required a new ear axle since the stock one was somehow roached. I went with Warp 9's titanium axles, which are far lighter and stronger than stock.
When I fouled up the wheel's true, Warp 9 took care of it. When I needed a different size for my spoke wrench, they took care of it. Kevin at Warp 9 Racing is serious about making excellent wheels, and even more serious about taking care of his customers. He also shreds on anything with two wheels. For more customization options, check out https://www.warp9racing.com/
For tires, I'm trying the Dunlop MX53 Geomax and the Tusk Recon Hybrid. So far I like them, but what makes them really stand out is the Neutech Tubliss system inside. With Tubliss, I can run from 0 to 10 PSI for traction you have to feel to believe. Not only that, but with Tubliss, I never worry about flats. If you decide not to go Tubliss, you can't go wrong with Warp 9's Titanium Rim Locks to keep your tire from spinning on the wheel.
BEAUTIFUL BIKE PROTECTION
Bike protection may be as simple as keeping your swingarm undamaged for resale to protecting your most vital and vulnerable components like brakes, forks, and motor from catastrophic damage. On this dirt bike build I wanted both solid protection and cosmetic perfection.
The Acerbis upper fork protectors deflect roost, when at its worst can damage fork tubes which makes for expensive replacements. The Tusk rear caliper guard has saved my rear rotor many times already, and I've only put about 30 hours on the bike. The Polisport Swingarm Protectors are cheap insurance for your swingarms to keep them looking fresh and your resale high. The Tusk Aluminum Pipe Guard is cheap insurance for smaller dings, scratches, and holes on your header pipe, but it'll give way on any really hard hits, which might save your head from far more expensive damage.
I've had grade 3 sprains (ligament tearing) on my left ankle SIX different times. I don't want to mess around with ankle problems anymore. When I heard about the Fastway Air EXT pegs as "ankle savers", I knew I wanted them on the bike that I'd be doing the most difficult riding on. The small "mini peg" on the back keeps your ankle from hyper extending off the back of the peg, something that I've already felt keep my foot secure several times on harder landings and whoops. Not only that, but you can adjust the height and camber of Fastway pegs. I've maxed out the camber, which really helps me direct my toes inward and keeps my knees buried in the tank.
For more information, check out https://fastway.zone/
In my years of riding, I've come to realize that louder is not always better. On four stroke dirt bikes, a fresh pipe or gimmicky header sometimes produces a lot of noise without much of a performance upgrade. Two-stroke motorcycles, on the other hand, actually increase compression with the power of sound rebounding through the header pipe. That doesn't mean it has to be loud coming out of the silencer, though.
I wanted this dirt bike to be fully street and trail legal, so I went with FMF's Tubine Core 2.1 silencer. It's vastly quieter than stock, yet still sounds good and produces good power. In the desert, I wanted a good mix of tight technical enduro performance with good torque on the bottom mixed with top end power, so I went with the FMF Fatty Header Pipe. Two stokes can sometimes spit oil from the pipe, which adds weight, degrades performance, adds noise, and makes a mess, so I go with Lexx two-stroke silencer packing.
LECTRON: THE BIGGEST UPGRADE ON THIS BIKE
When I bought this motorcycle, it had an inexplicable and enormously frustrating leak from the stock carburetor. Throttle was choppy, the float bowl seemed to be perpetually sticking, gas mileage was abysmal, and it ran poorly.
I had a few options. I could stick with the stock carburetor, add a JD jet kit to make it run right (about $100), get it professionally tuned (another $100-200), get different jets to change out because I ride from 2000 to 10,000 feet in a single ride, and buy a bigger fuel tank to get the range I needed (another $200-$300).
Or, I could simply get a Lectron Carburetor, increase my fuel range, and never worry about jetting, tuning, or leaking again. Not only that, but the Lectron actually cost less than trying to fix/tune the stock carb plus a new fuel tank to get the range I needed for my rallies.
Power delivery is silky smooth. Response off the bottom of the throttle is excellent. Carburetors are a dark art, and Lectron keeps that Pandora's box sealed by just. plain. working.
People sometimes ask why I got the carbureted 2017 KTM 300 XC-W instead of the newer TPI models. My answer is simple: the 2017 was the first XC-W to be counterbalanced (a must-have for me), but it's still carbureted. Therefore, it cost far less than the newer TPI models, and when riding the TPI models I didn't notice a difference between a Lectron and the TPI in performance. Also, two words: fuel pumps. Specifically BROKEN fuel pumps. I run enough rallies to know that fuel pumps break. Often.
For more options, check out https://www.lectronfuelsystems.com/
Airflow on my dirt bike is important, and not only are Tusk First Line Air Filters the least expensive option on the market, but they have been excellent for all of my bikes. Durable when reused, good fitment, plenty of airflow. Why spend more?
STRAPPED FOR DIRT BIKE ADVENTURE
What would this dirt bike be without the ability to take it on a legitimate dirt bike camping adventure? I mean come on now, this IS an eveRide build! Green Chile Adventure gear has the ADV side of this bike covered with modular, lightweight, easily removable luggage, gear, gas, and water. Use code "EVERIDE" for 10% off your order at https://greenchileadv.com/
The GCAG Scramble rack is the perfect lightweight, easy to install/remove rack system for any dirt bike. I use it on this enduro dream build to attach bottle holsters for extra fuel, water, or both. While weighing very little, I can still use the Scramble soft rack to carry light saddlebags for a great overnighter dirt bike camping trip, or just to carry water on my bike and reduce strain on my back.
If I want to go on a longer excursion, I use my GCAG "Hardcore" Soft rack, which acts as a cantilever off the back of the seat to secure heavier loads and tail bags, even on dirt bikes without subframes. This ingenious design gets its rigidity from integrated tire spoons, and is my favorite rack of all time! Pair it with any dry bag, or pack with the additional straps to make it an excellent solution for light weight dirt bike camping. The best part? It easily straps on or comes off in seconds, restoring the bike to its natural lightweight enduro goodness.
These kits are extremely modular and can be suited to your specific adventure. Don't forget to get some Mondo Straps, a heat shield, and a Dry Bag!
RADIATOR & COOLING DIRT BIKE ESSENTIALS
Let's face it, I do most of my riding in Southwest Utah and Arizona where it gets REALLY hot. Keeping a bike from overheating is absolutely imperative. The original hoses on this motorcycle were damaged, so Tusk's radiator hose kit was a great aftermarket option.
I built this KTM 300 XC-W for the slow techy stuff, which means airflow isn't always going to be there. So I added this Tusk Digital Radiator Fan Kit, which I can program to start and stop at different temperatures, ensuring that air stays flowing through the radiators even in the slow stuff. The Tusk kit has been reliable, tough, it was relatively simple to install, and the quality-for-money is outstanding.
DIRT BIKE TOP END REBUILD ESSENTIALS
Rebuilding the top end was the most daunting task for this dirt bike, but it ended up being pretty easy with Rocky Mountain's great YouTube tutorials and their all-in-one gasket kits. Nearly every gasket needed to be replaced on this bike, and I found that buying them separately cost nearly twice as much.
Another thing missing from this bike when I bought it was a TON of bolts. I could either spend hours finding bolts at the local hardware store, pay a ton for them, and get questionable quality, or make it easy, less time consuming, and far less expensive with the Tusk European Bolt Kit.
AESTHETICALLY AWESOME, BUT FUNCTIONALLY USELESS?
Okay, okay... unless you have a freak accident where you bust open your clutch cover, or you mash your brake reservoir during a tipover... hmm. Acutally all these things have happened to me. It's a good thing you can buy these Tusk parts for less than OEM and have them look AWESOME in the process!
Do they increase resale? Maybe. Do they look good? Definitely. Do they make functional replacements for parts that may get broken? Yup. If anything, they make great padding for your order to reach that free shipping threshold!
AND FINALLY, THE FINAL DRIVE
It doesn't get much simpler than a good chain and sprockets. Luckily Primary Drive chains and sprockets are an excellent value for money. They're yet another part that I use on every one of my motorcycles because they last a long time, they do the job, and they're less expensive.