Saturday, December 31, 2016

TAT 2017 Post 9 12/31/16

Again another modification update for my 2016 KTM 350 EXC-F Dual-Sport.

In my last several posts I described several modifications I had completed to include:

1          3.45 gal (13L) fuel tank (KTM OEM)
2          Emissions removal kit from
3          Fuel Rail from
4          Wheel Balance Weights from

At the end of that activity I mounted the fuel tank onto the bike, poured about a half-gallon of fuel in the tank and immediately leaked out most of it from the fittings on the bottom of the tank. The truth is that I expected this to happen. While cleaning up the garage after installing the above mods I found a rubber O-ring on the floor. It could only have come from the fuel tank mod as I was installing the pump. I thought I had been very careful to ensure it all went together as required but somehow the O-ring had dropped off the fitting during my assembly.

Yesterday and today I spent several hours installing the following modifications:

5          Grunt Mod from (exhaust port)
6          Snap Insert from (intake baffle)
7          Muffler End Cap from
8          Repair leaking fuel tank

During the fuel pump transfer from the original tank to the new tank I had noticed that the fuel outlet fitting had an O-ring both on the inside and outside of the tank but the other larger support plug only had an O-ring on the outside. I assumed the O-ring found on the floor must be used on the support plug but on the inside of the tank. I suspected it came off while removing the pump and had fallen out of the old tank while moving it around. I looked through several documents on the web trying to see a good parts break-down of this area but didn’t find anything good enough to tell me if both plugs have double O-rings. Therefore I expected to have to remove and replace the fuel pump again to install the O-ring.

The first three modifications went quickly and I then started the teardown of the fuel tank to fix the leaking fitting. As I was removing the bottom two fittings I quickly noticed that the O-ring was missing from the fuel fitting on the outside of the tank! Fantastic, I didn’t have to remove the pump. Somehow the O-ring had come off during my assembly of the fuel tank, just lucky that I found it on the floor. I re-installed the O-ring and fittings, poured some gas into the tank and found the fittings and line dry as a bone. I installed the tank on the bike, temporarily connected the headlight module with the key-ignition and tried to start the engine.
I could hear the fuel pump prime the line and then tried the starter. It took several tries but the engine finally fired up and ran exceptionally smooth. The pipe sounded louder but not by much but it did have an exceptionally low meaty sound! Can’t wait to get back to riding the KTM to see how all these mods impact its performance.

During the last few mods I went through all the areas I had been working and applied locktight where required and torqued bolts. It is now ready for the upgraded struts and rear shock due back in mid-January, just in time for cold weather to come roaring through the mid-west.

Snap Insert

End Cap

Fuel Tank

Leg-3 Initial Plans:

I’ve completed the planning for Leg-3 and have received commitments from one other rider (my son Jeff) and a new support truck driver (Michael). BTW I’m Mike and he’s Michael in all follow-on posts. The remaining three core TAT riders are pretty sure they will be going and will commit in the near future; Woodrow, Terry and Steve. We may even pick up a couple more friends and family members but as we found on Leg-2 (CO-AR), a smaller group works better than a large herd of riders.

The key points of Leg-3 are listed below but I will provide more detail in future posts:

Dates:                                                            mid July 2017
Ride days:                                                     6 (Monday through Saturday)
Total trip days including shuttle of bikes     15 days
Departure Point:                                            Lake City, CO
End Point:                                                      Ketchum, ID
TAT miles:                                                     1171

We have modified the TAT route in one area and I’m sure this will generate comments. As we come up to the Interstate Highway to Salt Lake City we are heading North on back roads and reconnect with the TAT just North of the Great Salt Lake. This reduces the route by about 150 miles but mainly it eliminates the long desert run to Nevada, north along the Nevada/Utah border then return to Salt Lake. I’m sure there are many scenic sites along that stretch but it also has many miles of nothing but desert. Our TAT adventure is a coast-to-coast ride on Dual-sports, not a 100% ride of every mile of the TAT even though we will use more than 90% of the TAT route. Our team has time constraints and we want to complete the whole adventure NLT 2018. If we do Leg-3 in 2017 it will leave about 1200 miles for Leg-4 (ID to OR) in 2018.

Leg-3 Route

Happy New Year!

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