KTM 350 XCF-W Dual-Sport Project – Jan 2014

I really like my 2014 KTM 350 XCF-W.  It is a fun bike to ride.  In order to do some dual-sport rides and possibly some small adventure multi-day trips, I wanted to make the bike street legal.  You might wonder why not just buy the 350 EXC that comes street legal.  That may be a good option for some, but I wanted to start with a pure dirt bike and add the extras myself.  The EXC is geared higher, it has anti-smog stuff, and the blinkers and mirrors stick out too far.  I felt that for my needs, it would be better to plate an XCF-W.

To learn more about the basic mods I previous did to the bike, check out my previous report.

The biggest challenge to getting a dirt bike plated for street use is the need for DOT approved tires.  I only had 336 miles on my stock tires, so it was a little frustrating to replace them already.  Hopefully I can sell the stock tires and recoup some of my investment. I had a hard time deciding what front DOT to use.  After a fair amount of research, I decided to stick with the Pirelli MT21 Rally Cross tire that I have on my Husaberg.  I would say it is slightly better than the frequently used Dunlop D606.

Pirelli MT21 DOT front tire

I have been using a Pirelli MT43 trials rear tire on my other plated bikes, but I decided for this bike I wanted to stick with a knobby.  The trials tire is really good in many situations, but to get really good traction you need to run them below 10 psi.  That is great in the dirt, but not so good on pavement.  I figured that with a knobby I could run at 10-12 psi for both dirt and pavement. I read a lot of good reviews on the Kenda K760 Trak Master, so I thought I would give it a try.  I like the tread design, but I haven’t yet tested it on the trail.

Kenda K760 Trak Master DOT rear tire

Update: I liked the Trak Master until I got a flat.  The sidewall seemed to be kind of soft.  But for the price, it is a very good tire.  I then tried a MotoZ Tractionator Enduro I/T.  It looks like a great tire, but at first it doesn’t give very good traction.  I was constantly surprised how poorly it performed until it got broken in for a few hundred miles.  Maybe it was just me getting used to it, but now I really like the tire.  If I am smooth with throttle control it works really well, and if I want to practice drifting and power slides, I just hit the gas.  My next tire will probably be the MotoZ Tractionator Desert H/T, which is now DOT approved.

MotoZ Enduro I/T, Kenda Trak Master, MotoZ Desert H/T

The second hardest challenge is installing hydraulic brake switches for the brake light since you have to bleed the brakes.  I was really nervous the first time I did this, but it really isn’t all that hard.  Since I knew I was going to eventually get the bike plated, I installed the switches at the same time I installed the left hand rear brake.

I needed to tap into a 12 volt line to power the brake light, blinkers, and horn.  I found out which fuse was used to drive those circuits in the EXC and tapped into the line after the fuse.  This power line is only active when the bike is running since it is controlled by the power relay. Here is a photo of the battery compartment under the seat:

Battery compartment

Notice the red wire in the upper left hand corner.  That is my 12 volt line.  Here is a closeup:

12 V source

You can see that I tapped into the yellow/blue wire coming from the fuse.  This is the wire to use to source the 12 volts.  After I cut the wire and spliced into it, I found out that there was not a wire coming out of the other side of the connector.  So a better solution is to just insert a pin into the connector.  Radio Shack’s interlocking connector (274-222) has compatible pins for this connector and the tail light connector. It was pretty easy to wire up the brake light.  The rear tail light assembly has an LED brake light, but the wiring harness does not drive the brake pin.  I bought a connector from Radio Shack and inserted one of the pins into the stock connector (the yellow wire in this photo).

Wiring under the seat

I followed the main wiring harness to get wires from the battery compartment up to the headlight area.  You need to be careful so the wires don’t get pinched by the fuel tank.

Wire routing

I have been pretty happy with SicAss Racing blinkers and components, although they are slightly more expensive than some other brands.  Being a KTM, I went with orange rear blinkers.

Rear blinkers and new exhaust

I also installed an FMF 4.1 Titanium exhaust with a turn-down nozzle so it wouldn’t melt my blinkers.  I bought the exhaust from “BestDualSportBikes.com” because they offer the turn-down nozzle.  I wasn’t after more power, but I wanted to shave a little weight and let the motor breathe a little better.  This exhaust is louder than stock, but not too obnoxious.  The end cap includes a quiet insert and a spark arrestor.

The front blinkers are a little too short so they are partially obscured by the headlight mask.  I need to find some 1/4″ spaces to move them out a little more.

Front blinker

Update: I liked the larger front blinkers I installed on my Husaberg, but these new shorter ones are not very good.  My tie down straps hit the blinkers when I load the bike in my trailer and the blinker just pops off.  I decided to try a much more durable blinker, so I switched to the EDS Tuff Lites.  They are expensive, but so far they seem worth it.

EDS Tuff Lite

Rear view of EDS Tuff Lite

The stock headlight bulb is a dual-beam bulb, so I just needed to wire up the high beam.  I removed the stock headlight switch and connected all of the lights to the control switch on the handlebar. Since it is so crowded behind the headlight, I mounted the horn on the side of my radiator.  This has worked well on my Husaberg, so I thought I would stick with that mounting location.

Horn

The SicAss switches are quite a bit more expensive than Tusk, so I opted to use the Tusk control switch.

Left hand controls

It was a challenge to get everything to fit.  From the outside moving in, I have; the control switch, my left hand rear brake lever, the clutch lever, and then a mirror mount with my radio push-to-talk (PTT) button.  I really like the Double Take mirror, so I stuck with that solution. I had to move my kill switch over to the right handlebar, so I used the extra button on my ignition map switch.  I dabbed a little red paint on the button to make it more obvious, but you can’t really see it while riding because of the throttle cables.  I had to rotate the throttle rearward to gain enough slack with my raised handlebars.

Right hand controls

The next step was to increase the range of the bike.  The stock tank holds 2.25 gallons, which probably gives me a range of around 90-110 miles.  I decided to install an Acerbis 3.0 gallon tank, extending that range to 120-150 miles without seriously altering the look or feel of the bike.  The Acerbis tank has pretty good reviews, and I was pretty happy with the install.

Acerbis 3.0 gallon tank

The final step was to install the new “Gardiner Family Adventures” logos that my wife made with her Silhouette vinyl cutting machine.  They turned out really nice.  I just hope they last.

“Gardiner Family Adventures” fender label

The new logo on the front of the fender

I have a smaller logo on the rear fender.  Note that the logo includes are three primary family activities; dirt biking, mountain biking, and river running.

Rear logo

Here is a look at the finished product.

Ready to ride!

Now to wait for warmer weather so I can get the bike inspected, insured, and make the trip to the DMV for a license plate.

Update: I didn’t like the position of the kill switch.  It was too far to reach.  When I tried to hit the button, I would sometimes turn the throttle, which wasn’t safe. So, I ordered a SicAss Racing start/kill switch like I have on my Husaberg.  But to get this to work, I had to buy longer throttle cables since I have raised the handlebars.

SicAss Racing start/kill switch

Advertisements

About gardinerfamilyadventures

A really great family!
This entry was posted in Technology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to KTM 350 XCF-W Dual-Sport Project – Jan 2014

  1. Pingback: 2014 KTM 350 XCF-W – Sept 2013 | Gardiner Family Adventures

  2. Blaine says:

    There is a company out there that integrates the kill switch as part of the front brake perch. It helps to free up much needed handlebar real estate. Also I think moose racing sells a perch for the left side that integrates a mirror mount to help free up bar space on the left side as well. I enjoyed the read, have fun. Sometimes I think building the bikes up is almost as fun as riding them…

    • Thanks for the tips. I will look in to those options.

      On my Husaberg I installed a SicAss Racing switch on the right side that integrated the start button and the kill switch in one. It is a nice switch, but I have had to rotate my throttle tube rearward because I have raised the bars. So the kill switch is hiding underneath the throttle cables.

  3. Pingback: Choosing a Dual-Sport Bike – 2014 | Gardiner Family Adventures

  4. navjot says:

    your information is very impressive for all..I really impressed to read all this great information..thanks for sharing all this great information…

  5. Duy Dao says:

    In my opinion, you should choose another larger front blinkers or make them to be seen sharper by the drivers in the opposite lanes. That will be safer when riding motorcycles.

  6. Steve says:

    Very nice detailed write-up on your build. I have same bike and I plan to take your advice as a template. Do you have any additional updates you feel you would change at this point? It’s been a while since your original post so I assume you’ve put some miles on the bike with the added ‘street’ stuff. Thanks!

    • I have now done three of these street conversions, and have been very happy with the results. The new Tuff front blinkers have worked well, but I think they have been discontinued. My blinker problem was caused by my tie down straps. So far I haven’t broken any in the field.
      I have also had a few horns fail. I suspect water gets in them. But I haven’t found a better place to mount the horn.
      The big issue is tires. I am always looking for the idea DOT tire – which totally depends on the type of riding you do. Right now I am using Kenda Parker DT in both the front and the rear. So far I am very pleased with them. The MT21 front was okay most of the time, but not very good in mud. I haven’t yet tested the Parker in mud, but I think it will not pack up as easily. Good luck with your conversion!

  7. Chad Conner says:

    Hey there! Thanks for the info and write up. I am doing a similar conversion on a 2012 300 xcw….what did you mount those front blinkers to? Thanks in advance!

  8. Steve M says:

    Nice project! I have the exact same bike, 14 350xcfw. I’ve had the bike for over a year and I love it. Plenty of torque for my 48 yr old 185 pounds. I’ve decided I need to plate it for the same reasons you mentioned and I really appreciate the time you took to make such a detailed write-up. The only thing I don’t see in your pictures is where you hung the license plate. I bought the black fender part for the EXC model and it fits but the stock xcfw tail light doesn’t fit into it. I’m thinking I’ll need the XCF OEM tail light, and license plate light but plan to use smaller everything else like you have done. What brake light, tail light, license plate light configuration have you created?

    Thanks!

    • Steve M says:

      I’m thinking I’ll need the EXC tail brake light, etc…

    • You are making it too complicated. The EXC taillight assembly is massive.

      Just buy one of these and bolt it to the XCW tail assembly. Then you can use all of the XCW stock tail light and brake light (once wired).

      License plate holder

      • Steve M says:

        Ah ha! You have it right. I like that a lot. I was looking at the sicass complete kit which inludes that plate holder but I just didn’t think it would work good but clearly it keeps it high and tight. I’ll do the same. Thank you for the fast response!

  9. Jim Altonen says:

    As the others have said…thanks for your investment of time and sharing with ùs.
    I’m in OH where it so easy to plate any dirtbike or buy a gun! I did not understand if you used the stock KTM rear brake switch or the Enduro Engineering one that just ties into the existing taillight as it comes with a male and female plug and simply is inserted to the existing harness. I don’t imagine the factory brake switch has a male and female plug.
    My bike is a 2014 KTM 450 XCW and I see the three wires on the tail light side, but not on the power supply harness as that only has two wires. I don’t do blinkers as I generally ride off road and use hand signals on road so I won’t forget to turn them off – even on my 1190 I use hand signals as much as I can as leaving a blinker on is so dangerous. In fact, I only do mirror, headlight and rear brake light.

    • As I understand it, the XCW bike harness only has two pins in the connector because it only drives the tail light (with ground). I assume the street legal EXC model has a different harness with three pins, which includes the brake light. So you have to modify the bike harness to add the brake light wiring and hi/lo headlight (and blinkers if needed).

    • Steve M says:

      Hey Jim! Your wiring setup sounds exactly like mine. I can’t speak for Mr. Gardiner, but I did follow his advice with the simple and complete Sicass Racing kit for my 2014 350 xcf-w and it works excellent. I live in Colorado where if your machine did not come with blinkers, you are not required to add them to get plated. I went with the kit without blinkers and everything was very simple (with the exception of having to bleed rear brakes after switch install). The kit has two small harnesses which “t” and plug in to existing wiring. One behind the headlight, and the other under the seat. Tiny white LED license plate light slips right above OEM taillight and sandwiches between fender. Also added the Sicass racing clutch mount mirror bracket for a single left side mirror. The whole setup is clean and tight. I couldn’t be happier, and I thank Mr. Gardiner!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s