'16 KTM 500 EXC in the great state of Michigan

Kobrah

New member
Hey, I have the exact same set up (JKU on 35's, 16 500 exc, HF Hitch Hauler). I just moved from NYC to CO and just got back into riding dirt too. Kind of weird actually.

Anyway, where did you get the hitch extension? I took off my rear bumper a long time ago so I have the exposed frame. Lately, I have been tying up my peg out of the way and strapping the inside fork of the KTM to the frame of the Jeep and strapping the outside fork down to the hitch hauler itself. The tank shroud does rest against the spare tire but the setup seems to be rock solid. No sway or anything and I did about 1 mile of offroading before I unloaded the bike to go ride.

I'm trying to figure out which setup will be better in the long run.

Still trying to re-learn how to ride dirt but this bike is pretty amazing.
Awesome!! I just picked one up from a local store, maybe Ace Hardware? I see they are plentiful on Amazon too.

I'm going on a ride this weekend to a new area of Michigan, but I'm going to take the bike up with my LJ this time....I have a ton of parts just sitting at home waiting to go on it to put on 37 Iroks with hutchinson beadlocks, but its sitting totally stock at the moment as far as the suspension goes. I'm curious to see how it will handle the weight behind it, I don't expect it to be quite as nice as the JK with AEV suspension :) Will be sure to post some pictures of the trip.
 
Awesome!! I just picked one up from a local store, maybe Ace Hardware? I see they are plentiful on Amazon too.

I'm going on a ride this weekend to a new area of Michigan, but I'm going to take the bike up with my LJ this time....I have a ton of parts just sitting at home waiting to go on it to put on 37 Iroks with hutchinson beadlocks, but its sitting totally stock at the moment as far as the suspension goes. I'm curious to see how it will handle the weight behind it, I don't expect it to be quite as nice as the JK with AEV suspension :) Will be sure to post some pictures of the trip.
That's awesome. I had a hitch carrier on my old TJ two door and you could definitely feel the bike back there. It made the front of the Jeep feel real light and flighty. The LJ should be better though.
 

Kobrah

New member
I got up to Oscoda this weekend with a few guys for some recreational riding, it was my first time in this area of Michigan so I enjoyed seeing the new sights. We managed to get about 140 miles of riding in between Saturday and Sunday morning. It's about a 3 hour trek from homebase and I'm happy to say the LJ handled the bike on the back just fine in stock form. I got a little bit of constant vibration at 75 MPH which I believe to be because of the sag in the rear causing a change in drive-line angles (probably a good 2") but otherwise I still maintained 18 MPG and it didn't affect the handling hardly at all. Best of all, it was a heck of a lot easier to load on and off the carrier - didn't even use the ramp! :wings: I attached a picture of my Jeep just so you can see what I'm working with - you'll see I just finished (sort of) doing highline on the Jeep, so with everything being stock you can't even imagine how goofy it looks - especially sagging a little in the back with an already enormous wheel well opening in the front :) I just haven't had time to do some of the major modifications to it yet, I'll be getting around to that next weekend.

Anyway, here are a few basic pictures from the trip. At one point we came across the now defunct Wurtsmith Air Force base where you'll see the missile launcher...thing - I don't know a lot about the air force base or the decommissioning of it, but it was pretty cool to see. I was the only one on two wheels this time which can be challenging on some of the more general ATV/UTV trails because of the loose sandy terrain, but with a little persistence (aka balls!) I make it work. A lot of the trails we did Saturday were wide open straighter trails where we were hitting 55MPH+, probably 75 of the 140 miles was Day 1. Day 2, we dropped the side x side and the 2-stroke quad, so the Kawi and myself explored some tighter more technical trails which I tend to enjoy a bit more. By the way, I took a ride in the YXZ1000 side by side with turbo setup....holy hell. That thing is like driving a rally car, just incredible. I believe it was 160 horsepower with the turbo setup.

I'll try to get a video together of some interesting moments from the weekend :smiley_drive:
 

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Kobrah

New member
I wanted to give an update on my use of the HF hitch carrier as discussed earlier. I had a bit of an unfortunate occurrence with it.

This happened back in November when me and a few friends wanted to squeeze in one last ride before the end of the year. In October, we did a round trip ride to Western Michigan to hit a section of the MCCCT which totaled about 900 miles. I of course was riding the KTM 500 EXC, and my two buddies had identical Yamaha WR250's. We liked the ride so much, that we decided to go there again for this November trip....but we decided to haul the bikes out this time. So we have two bikes in the bed of a truck, and my KTM on the hitch via my 'trusty' carrier. 2.5 hours later and we have arrived to our destination - Newaygo. There is a brewery that we like right in Newaygo, so we decide to park the truck there and unload...you can hop on the nearest trail about 10 miles from there.

Excited and ready to rock, I hop out and go to roll my bike off the hitch carrier....to my utter demise, the piece that attaches the actual bike holder to the extension that goes into the hitch (sort of looks like this -U-) snaps right off on both sides. I was totally speechless. After checking it out a bit, this plate that they use in pretty thin aluminum, it must have succumbed to the cold and just sheared. We wanted to ride, so I threw the carrier in the bed of the truck and figured we would deal with it later.

After riding for a few hours, we head back to the brewery. We kick back a few while pondering what to do...everything from squeeze the 3rd bike in to the bed of the truck, to get some big square U-bolts to crank the carrier back down to the extension, to me riding the bike home went through my mind. We ended up going over to the local hardware store and getting a big square hitch carrier rated for 500 pounds (on sale for $45, score!) and some u-bolts to just bolt the bike carrier to the larger square carrier. It worked just fine.

Of course HF would not warranty this, so i've decided to replicate the aluminum plate they had securing the carrier to the hitch extension, but just make it out of steel instead. This could have been a lot worse if I was by myself or somewhere far from a local hardware store, but it ended up working out ok. I thought I had some pictures on my phone but I don't, i'll snap some of the carrier when I get home to show the damage.
 
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