The KTM Epic Part 1

Our Lady of Divine Hare Scrambles came to me in a dream. She told me of how my Orange Beloved was feeling weary in her heart and soul but that she could still, in fact, be saved. Plans were formulated at the end of December 2016 and with the blessing of The Hotness and Rocky Mountain ATV/MC (and Bishop Visa) the initial order of parts was placed.

The main job was the rebuild the valve train as well as the piston and rings. I’d be lying if I said that I had done this job before so being the diligent, humble servant I am I consulted The Oracle of YouTube. Her soft light shone down upon my shoulders, anointing me with her knowledge; she covered me with her blanket of confidence.

When the email popped up in my inbox stating the goods were on their way to me I done got started on the tear down of my bike.

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Noble, yet tired. Here she rests upon her stool anxiously awaiting her gutting.
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You remove one wrong bolt….
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My grandpa always told me my ass would fall off if I played with my belly button. Guess it isn’t a myth as far as KTMs are concerned…

Let’s go ahead and hit the “Pause” button for a minute. Is it necessary to remove the engine to rebuild the valve train and piston/rings? No, of course it isn’t. But since this was my first time I wanted to be able to eye fuck the shit outta the engine’s guts so I could learn everything possible. That being said, the engine’s done gotta come out of that frame.

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At this point you say to yourself, “Modern Man, you’ve done come this far. May as well get into those bearings and replace their asses.”
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With the swingarm removed there are only two more bolts holding an RFS KTM motor in the frame.

She’s a sturdy, heavy lump but a sexy one. A little dirty with cow shit and mud? Sure. But don’t you say an ill word against my lump.

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Alright, so you’ve removed the motor. Or you’ve exposed it enough to remove the valve covers. Good for you! Decide your own destiny, I say. Pay attention and loosen up those other bolts that hold the valve cover in place.
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OK, so at this point you’re as thirsty as a college whore in a frat house. Go inside for a glass of water, you ask? Hell no! Crack that water pump cover and chug some coolant. Just kidding don’t do that shit but feel free to crack that cover and remove the gasket so you can remove the valve cover.

Once you have the water pump cover off take the time to look at your impeller. I replaced mine about a year ago so it doesn’t look crusty but it did at the time. Take your snap ring pliers to remove the clip that holds the impeller in place. Once the clip is out of place you will need to be careful when removing the impeller. It does slide off the shaft (heyoooooooooooooooooo), I promise.

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Holy Boner, Batman! Look at them guts! Sadly, KTM doesn’t believe in clip style master links on their cam chains. Invest in a decent (read: not high dollar but a good tool) tool that’ll do the job for you. Most good tools will be good for the cam chain as well as your drive chain.

At this point one should take care to remove the RTV sealant that hugged the valve cover close to the valve head. It’s not hard and crucial so when you’re ready to reinstall there aren’t any sealing issues. Be sure that you don’t use anything metallic or abrasive as that can cause scarring and sealing issues when you go to rebuild.

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At this point you’ve earned a damn hot cup of tea. Peppermint, bitch! Also, if you don’t have at least one bloody knuckle at this break then you’re doing it wrong.
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A fine example of a good but inexpensive tool to deal with chains of all sorts and sizes.
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While breaking the cam chain be careful so the pin doesn’t fall into the motor. Stuff some clean rags beneath the breaking point so you can keep track of it in case you get aggressive with the chain tool.
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With the cam chain all broken in half and shit feel free to remove the cam shaft. With or without the water pump removed, that is. Just be sure to be a good house guest and clean on your way out.
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With the cam shaft removed you can size up the next challenge. Valves. You may say to yourself that those springs don’t look so tough but then again you’d be a big ol’ dumbass. And nobody likes dumbasses.
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With the valve head bolts removed and the cam chain broken you can remove the valve head off of the cylinder.
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Look at that ol’ dirty bitch. 2005 model year piston and rings in December 2016. Thankfully the connecting rod and whatnot proved to be stout. I had a big enough project on my hands.
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Go ahead and take a firm grip upon your dead blow hammer. No, don’t use a standard hammer. Dead blow. Don’t be that person to fuck up their piston sleeve and all that jazz. Gently tap the two pieces apart. It really doesn’t take much.
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