2012 KTM 350 EXC-F: Building the perfect "Wee Beasty"

Technical articles, tips, tricks and advice from the experts (and there are plenty of you!) on jetting, suspension, riding techniques, muffler bearings, powerband installation or anything dirt.

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Re: 2012 KTM 350 EXC-F: Building the perfect "Wee Beasty"

Postby E-Ticket » Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:22 pm

Installing the Acerbis 3.0 Gallon Gas Tank

I was warned that we would be doing up to 175 miles on some of the days for the Colorado 500.
While we would be stopping for gas here and there .... there are two things you don't want to run out of on big rides: daylight .... and gas.

So after doing some investigation and research, I decided to install the Acerbis 3.0 gas tank on the Wee Beasty.
It's actually more of a 'cream' color instead of a snow-white color.
But what they hey ... I'm just going to go fall down on it anyway. :D

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One bummer is that they are no "molded-in" metal inserts for the mounting bolts like on the stock tank.
Not even for the base of the fuel pump harness. ](*,)
It's all self-tapping, coarse-thread screws that screw directly into the plastic.
Which is o-k-a-y if you're super careful and don't over-tighten the mounting bolts. :shock:
But I definitely prefer mounting in metal threads.

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First off, was to go through the packing/parts list and installation instructions to make sure that nothing was missing.
Everything checked out. Noticed that the installation uses a new fuel line (replacing the stock fuel line) from the gas tank
to the quick-disconnect coupler (QDC).

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The next step was to give the Acerbis gas tank the once-over, very close inspection.
You're looking for casting faults, cracks, thin spots, and other issues.
Better to spot them now before you install it and fill it up with gas, eh!

TIP: Hold up the gas tank to a very bright light and shine it inside as well.
That really helps you to spot any flaws.

That includes checking out the gas cap, it's gasket, how well it screws on, etc.

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Everything looked okay - but I did notice some debris and a brown splotch inside one corner of the tank.
Hmmm .... most likely left over from the manufacturing and/or packing process.

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Got out the 70% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol and gave the tank a good flushing.

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Dang ... the brown spot was still there.

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Time to get out "the tool" ...
Okay, so it's not super high-tech -- but it works real well. :mrgreen:

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Another flushing or two ... and that got it. All squeaky-clean now.
I set the Acerbis tank out in the sun to let it fully air-dry.
"AYHIN"

Mine: '12 KTM 350 EXC-F (Wee Beasty); '99 Honda VFR 800i Interceptor
Wife's: '08 KTM 250 XCF-W, '04 Honda CBR600 F4i

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Re: 2012 KTM 350 EXC-F: Building the perfect "Wee Beasty"

Postby E-Ticket » Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:31 pm

Turned my attention to removing the stock tank.
Pulled the seat off, cleaned things up fairly well (without going crazy), and spent some
time looking for any weird rubbing or chafe marks, cracks, etc. All looked good.

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But when I went to pull off the left radiator shroud ... I got reminded about my last crash on that side. :? lol.
That is, the shroud got smashed in hard enough to bend the mounting tab that's part of the radiator.
It was tweaked enough that I had to use a Torx head bit to unbolt it.

TIP: Put a reminder on some masking tape: "Straighten mounting tab" .... and put it on the shroud
to help you remember to fix it before final re-mounting.

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Don't forget to undo the mounting screw that's on the *bottom* side of the radiator shrouds.

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And here's why I wasn't worried too much about the cream-color of the Acerbis tank.
Because the stocker was already looking a bit raggedy from all the ... ummm .... "tip-overs" and
ground-in dirt.
Especially from when I whiskey-throttle launched the Wee Beasty off of the crossing-the-log drill at the Shane Watt's DirtWise class.
Got some pretty good air I did! And some reasonable distance, too! :shock:
Don't ever let anyone tell you that the 350 EXC-F is under-powered.
That simply means that they haven't twisted the loud handle hard enough. :D

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Before draining the gas, I took a real good look inside the tank.
And lo and behold .... I could see a *tiny* bit of debris in the bottom of the gas tank.
And yes, I have been running a tank-neck, filter sock for filtering the fuel.
So, if there is a way ... dirt and dust will find a way.

But still it was a very tiny amount. And I will continue using the filter sock ... it can only help.

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A zoomed-in view:

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Got out my "handy-dandy, super-high-techy" gas sucky thingie for draining the gas.

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And got some assistance from The Flying Ant on pumping out the gas and putting it into the WRX.

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"That's right, honey ... pump it ... pump it good."
(with apologies to Devo .... lol.)

Using the shaft to guide the siphon hose into the very bottom corner of the gas tank -- we were able to pump out virtually all of the gas.
Only about a 1/4 cup of gas was left behind. Yay, three cheers for Harbor Fright and their $4 gas pumper thingie!


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"AYHIN"

Mine: '12 KTM 350 EXC-F (Wee Beasty); '99 Honda VFR 800i Interceptor
Wife's: '08 KTM 250 XCF-W, '04 Honda CBR600 F4i

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Re: 2012 KTM 350 EXC-F: Building the perfect "Wee Beasty"

Postby E-Ticket » Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:41 pm

Time to remove the stock tank ... don't forget to unplug the fuel pump connector!

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TIP: Wipe down the QDC and the surrounding fuel line w/ a paper towel and some rubbing alcohol to remove as much dirt-n-crap as you can *BEFORE* disconnecting the two halves.
The cleaner everything is ... the less chance you have of getting crap into fuel line and injector.

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And then undo the quick-disconnect coupler (QDC). You will get a small amount of gas dribbling out.

NOTICE! That even despite wiping everything down -- there is still trapped dirt-n-grit around the coupler joint.
*THIS* is why I like having the Golan fuel filter mounted in between the QDC and the fuel injector -- versus relying on the tiny, inline fuel filter in the QDC.
Because despite being as careful and paranoid as possible -- dirt will still find a way to get into things.

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Remember to mount your Wash Cap Set on the two ends of the QDC as soon as you can to keep dirt out of it.
You should have been supplied with a set with your new bike. If not, go buy one ... it's worth it.

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Oh! And inspect the wash cap set before installing it.
Apparently I still had some gook on mine from the last time. Oof.
Remember, the spray holes in the fuel injector are very, very small. So try to keep things as clean as possible, eh.

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Ahhh .... that's mo' bettah' .... <grin>

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After installing the male plug in the female side of the QDC -- I did another wipe with a
Q-tip and some rubbing alcohol. Yup ... more dirt.

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And why? Because we have some *serious* mud puddles up here in the PacNW.
And the mud-n-splash goes EVERYWHERE. :ride

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IMPORTANT!! Before cleaning up your engine/frame/etc. to install the new tank ....
take the opportunity to closely inspect all wiring, hoses, etc., for any rubbing or chafing.
It will show up as clean/shiny spots in the mud where two things are rubbing together.
Make a note of any bad/suspect spots you find -- and fix them after you clean everything up.

I was fortunate -- no problem areas.
I guess my anal-retentive assembly habits and the 147, err, ... 148 zip-ties paid off! <grin>

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I was especially interested to see how the Golan fuel filter fared and if it was flopping around and
rubbing on anything. But it looked good as well.
Most likely due to spending some serious monkey-around time finding it's best location and
locating it there with several zip-tie standoffs.

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Yup! Both sides looked good. Nice .... :thumbup:

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"AYHIN"

Mine: '12 KTM 350 EXC-F (Wee Beasty); '99 Honda VFR 800i Interceptor
Wife's: '08 KTM 250 XCF-W, '04 Honda CBR600 F4i

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Re: 2012 KTM 350 EXC-F: Building the perfect "Wee Beasty"

Postby E-Ticket » Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:48 pm

Installing the Reflective Heat-Shield for Radiator Fan

After cleaning off all the mud off the stock tank I did an inspection to see how
the adhesive-backed, aluminum heat-shield was holding up.
(This is to help prevent the hot air, being blown on the tank by the radiator fan and heating up the gasoline.)

And it looked great after many miles and pressure washing! No loose, flappy edges or anything. :thumbup:

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So I got the materials together to do another heat-shield.
• KTM Hardparts, adhesive-backed, reflective aluminum sheeting
• Ordinary writing paper to use as a template
• Big and small scissors (big one for smooth sweeping cuts; small one for detail corners)
• Masking tape and Sharpie marker

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The first step is to clean the heck out of the recessed fan pocket on the new Acerbis tank.
The sqeaky-cleanier you get it -- the better your heat-shielding will adhere.

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Then it's just start playing with the paper to find out the best fit for the heat-shielding.

TIP: Don't be afraid to start over ... and over again.
Remember, it's only paper. Just go get another piece. :lol:
Your main focus is to try and reduce the number of folds and cuts that you have to make.

For the full, step-by-step process, just refer back to the original one I did on the stock tank.

Here's what I ended up with on the template. Note the masking tape holding things in place.
I use the Sharpie Marker to rough out where I will want to trim down the aluminum sheeting.

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TIP: Take your time and GO S-L-O-W. The better job you do -- the longer it will stay in place.
And don't forget the "mirror-image" issue when transferring your template to the aluminum sheeting.
Ask me how I know. :roll:

The final result:

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"AYHIN"

Mine: '12 KTM 350 EXC-F (Wee Beasty); '99 Honda VFR 800i Interceptor
Wife's: '08 KTM 250 XCF-W, '04 Honda CBR600 F4i

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Re: 2012 KTM 350 EXC-F: Building the perfect "Wee Beasty"

Postby E-Ticket » Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:55 pm

Transferring the Fuel Pump from the Stock Tank to the Acerbis Gas Tank

Removed the two coupler bolts securing the fuel pump in place.
(I did not bother removing the fuel line first ... just unscrewed the whole assembly.)

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After laying the tank back on it's side -- I started loosening the base plate that holds the electrical connections.

IMPORTANT!! This is a PLASTIC base plate ... screwed into a PLASTIC gas tank!

So treat it gently and carefully, eh!
Such as, loosening each bolt just a little bit at a time -- in a star-shaped pattern -- to avoid any warpage.

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The base plate as it is being removed from the gas tank:

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Here are various pictures of the fuel pump, wiring harness, Mahle fuel filter, pressure regulator, and the base plate.
I already have most of these pictures on a previous page-- but the quality/lighting was a bit iffy.
So ... more pics! :^)

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And yes ... *more* pics. <g>

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I did have a spare Mahle fuel filter ... and agonized over swapping it out.
On one hand ... there it was just sitting on the bench in front of me. And I even had Keefy's "official" endless-clamp crimping tool to install it.

But, on the other hand, I was still at fairly low hours on the original filter. And it *was* in place and working correctly.
So I left the filter change for another day later in winter and didn't swap it out.

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"AYHIN"

Mine: '12 KTM 350 EXC-F (Wee Beasty); '99 Honda VFR 800i Interceptor
Wife's: '08 KTM 250 XCF-W, '04 Honda CBR600 F4i

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Re: 2012 KTM 350 EXC-F: Building the perfect "Wee Beasty"

Postby E-Ticket » Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:00 pm

Re-Installing the Fuel Pump Harness and new Acerbis Couplers and Fuel Line

The Acerbis 3.0 gas tank is thinner-walled than the stock KTM unit.
(Is that where they get the extra capacity....? :lol: )

As such, the couplers securing the fuel pump in the tank are a lower-profile to match the tank.
(They are supplied as part of the kit.)
You can see the differences here -- the shorter ones are the Acerbis couplers.

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BIG TIP! The Acerbis installation instructions have you just swap over and re-use the existing
sealing o-rings on the Acerbis couplers.
I think that is fine if you're bike is still brandy-new.
But the Wee Beasty had some time on her and the original o-rings were looking a little compressed and tired.
They worked and sealed up just fine -- but next time I will automatically start with new o-rings.
Better safe than sorry, eh.

As part of the installation kit, Acerbis supplied two hose clamps (shown on the left in the following pic).
But they are the "regular" worm-screw style and I don't think appropriate for a 50 psi fuel injection line.
That's because there is a danger with all the sharp edges cutting into the fuel line over time and causing a fuel leak.

I threw them into my spare parts bin and used "fuel injection approved" hose clamps (shown on right in pic).
Note that there is a solid band where it contacts the fuel line, it has rolled edges to avoid cutting into the line, and uses
a bolt to tighten down to avoid slipping (like the worm screw clamps can do).

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IMPORTANT! The Acerbis-supplied fuel line, while being very robust, is slightly undersized.
Which means it was a total *beotch* to get mounted on the fuel pump coupler-bolt and the quick-disconnect coupler (QDC). ](*,)

I mean, it was a real PITA. I *highly* recommend mounting the fuel line and couplers *BEFORE* you install the it on the gas tank.
That way it's much easier to man-handle and work onto the fittings.
I ended up using a heat gun to warm up and soften up the hose and a little dab of silicone to get the dang thing mounted.
Don't worry, you can still spin the fuel line on the couplers once it's installed.

Critical!! The male end of the QDC is *P-L-A-S-T-I-C* and feels not so robust like, eh.
*DO* use some common-sense on how much pressure to apply, and how rough you are, with the plastic coupler.
It feels like it could be quite easy to break it.
(I'm planning on replacing it with the metal '13 QDC or an aftermarket item in the near future.)

Oh. And don't forget to slide your FI clamps over the fuel line *before* installing the couplers. :lol:

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"AYHIN"

Mine: '12 KTM 350 EXC-F (Wee Beasty); '99 Honda VFR 800i Interceptor
Wife's: '08 KTM 250 XCF-W, '04 Honda CBR600 F4i

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Re: 2012 KTM 350 EXC-F: Building the perfect "Wee Beasty"

Postby E-Ticket » Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:03 pm

Installing the fuel pump and fuel lines back into the gas tank

Well, it can be a real challenge to "easily" install the fuel pump back in the gas tank.
By that I mean, you can accomplish any thing ... but it can also be a real PITA. lol.

But the wife came through with some great ideas on being able to feed the assembly back in the gas tank!

First off, we fed some *very* heavy duty thread into the gas tank fuel pump holes.

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We put a safety pin on the end of the thread to give it some weight and to make it easy to fish out.

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Then tied the thread to a 10mm box-end wrench to help pull on the thread.
(THE SIZE OF THE WRENCH IS VERY IMPORTANT! Not. :lol: )

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And here's the trick that made it all work so easy.
Susan tied a "slip knot" onto the threaded end of the fuel pump.
It was then tight enough so that we could pull and guide the fuel pump into place -- but also loose
enough to slip off when we were done.

Ta-da!!

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It was then a simple matter of installing the fuel pump nuts and torquing them down.

IMPORTANT! Once again, you are tightening o-rings down onto a plastic gas tank! Don't over do it!!
I also put a *VERY* light film of grease on the surface of the o-rings themselves.

>> Fixation nut on fuel pump (torque to): 15 Nm (or) 11.1 lb/ft (or) 133.2 lb/in.

>> Fuel connection (fuel line) on fuel pump (torque to): 10 Nm (or) 7.4 lb/ft (or) 88.8 lb/in.


Critical!! Remember that the screws for the base mounting plate ... go directly into the plastic gas tank!
There are no metal inserts ... just the plastic.

I *highly* recommend going slow and making sure that the screws are perfectly perpendicular to the surface of the gas tank.
It also helps to supply some downward force on the screws to help them do their self-tapping thing.
Finally, start all four screws before tightening any of them down ... and tighten then each a little bit a time
And then make sure they all bottom out evenly and about the same time. AND DON'T OVER-TIGHTEN THEM!

TIP: Shine a bright light sideways across the surface of the tank past the base plate.
If the base plate isn't laying perfectly flat .... you will be able to see light leaking past. It's a good way to check your work.

All of the above applies when installing the self-tapping screws for the radiator shrouds. Just use your head, bunky!
I actually left them slightly loose so I could do the final tank/shroud fit on the bike.
"AYHIN"

Mine: '12 KTM 350 EXC-F (Wee Beasty); '99 Honda VFR 800i Interceptor
Wife's: '08 KTM 250 XCF-W, '04 Honda CBR600 F4i

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Re: 2012 KTM 350 EXC-F: Building the perfect "Wee Beasty"

Postby E-Ticket » Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:07 pm

Mounting up the Acerbis 3.0 Gas Tank

I put a little spray silicon on the tank rollers to help ease the Acerbis tank onto them. Works real slick.
And the tank popped right on! Here's the alignment on the mounting post on the top of the frame. Spot on!

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After popping the shrouds around the mounting tab on the radiators and loosely tightening them -- I looked all over the tank for any possible
interference or rubbing issues. And none found ... yippee!

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That is ... until I spied the huge gap between the shroud and the side of the radiators!
OMGawd ... it's pretty big. :shock: And it's the same on both sides.

I rechecked all the shroud bolts and mounting points -- but all was copasetic.
It looks like KTM changed their shroud mounting points ... and Acerbis didn't track with the changes?

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I mean ... when I can look through the gap from the front ... and read "350" on the rear fender .... that's too big.
Mmm ... kay?

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I'm going to follow up with Acerbis USA and see if they know about it and if there are replacement shrouds.
But for now I'll just have to live with it.
I'm not to worried about the loss of forced-air cooling (from the air not being forced into the radiator fins) as
I have the radiator fan. But I will definitely do something about it on down the road.
"AYHIN"

Mine: '12 KTM 350 EXC-F (Wee Beasty); '99 Honda VFR 800i Interceptor
Wife's: '08 KTM 250 XCF-W, '04 Honda CBR600 F4i

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Re: 2012 KTM 350 EXC-F: Building the perfect "Wee Beasty"

Postby E-Ticket » Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:10 pm

Final Routing of New Acerbis Fuel Line

Well, time to finish things up on the Acerbis fuel line routing.

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It was nice to see that changing the fuel line didn't affect my original location of the Golan fuel filter and QDC. Yay! :ride

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While it's not horrible -- KTM's location of the fuel tap and fuel line routing *does*
look like it's just waiting for a stick to get jammed in there, hook the fuel line, and rip it right off. :shock:

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A closer view:

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I'd sure feel a lot more comfortable if we Acerbis could come up with their version
of the better tucked-in, banjo-bolt fitting that's now available.
Much, much better routing!

Powerparts 2014 - 777.07.988.017 factory fuel pump Connection

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Oh, that's right ... you can't ... because it's already on KIBO!

But of course. LOL.
"AYHIN"

Mine: '12 KTM 350 EXC-F (Wee Beasty); '99 Honda VFR 800i Interceptor
Wife's: '08 KTM 250 XCF-W, '04 Honda CBR600 F4i

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Re: 2012 KTM 350 EXC-F: Building the perfect "Wee Beasty"

Postby E-Ticket » Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:19 pm

Installing the Fuel Filter Sock in the Acerbis 3.0 Gas Tank

As most of you have already realized ... I am a bit of a "Captain Doom" when it comes to prepping a bike.
Mainly because I have seen the weirdest things break, fall off, etc., on other peep's bikes.
That, and I hate the idea of having to walk out of the woods. :D

As such, I started using a fuel filter sock in the gas tank neck on my last trip down to Baja with Baja Bound Adventures.
( [url] http://www.bajaboundmoto.com/[/url] )

Something about watching your gas get poured out of a milk jug out near South BFE makes
you start thinking about debris floating in your gas tank. LOL.

I had been using the KTM Fuel Sock Filter on my previous KTMs and Husaberg:

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But the opening of the gas cap on the Acerbis is much larger than the KTM's and it doesn't have the
internal shoulder for the filter ring to sit on.

So I ordered up one of ProFill's Gas Tank Pre-Filters ... from Australia.
It was still a decent price even with the shipping halfway around the world.
Plus, I like the idea of supporting our brothers from Down Under. :^)

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It's very well made ... and even has vent holes in the top ring to speed up filling your tank.

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You simply pop off the very cool looking gas cap:

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And drop that puppy right in.

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Ay ... but there's a catch, Matey. (why does there always have to be a catch .... :( )

The ProFill filter is a generic model for all big-neck gas tanks.
But the Acerbis gas cap, while being a screw-on type, only has a few coarse threads.

Here's the height of the Acerbis gas cap without the filter ... and fully-seated:

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And here it is with the fuel filter installed. Notice that that the cap is sitting up higher.
Plus, only a turn or two of threads gets engaged before the cap bottoms out.
Not near enough engagement to make me comfortable. :^(

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I even checked to see if the filter was not sitting inside the gas cap's gasket and holding
things up or something. But no, that wasn't the issue. Dang.

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So, I parked installing the filter for a while until I can get the time/method to turn down
the very top of the filler neck enough to accommodate the thickness of the fuel filter's top piece.

Here's a thread where peeps have discovered and documented the fix:



And that's all the Colorado 500 mods.
Next up will be the ride report for the Colorado 500. And yes .... it's around 170 pictures.

What ... you expected something else? LOL.

Cheers! E-Ticket
"AYHIN"

Mine: '12 KTM 350 EXC-F (Wee Beasty); '99 Honda VFR 800i Interceptor
Wife's: '08 KTM 250 XCF-W, '04 Honda CBR600 F4i

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Re: 2012 KTM 350 EXC-F: Building the perfect "Wee Beasty"

Postby Danilopucci » Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:09 pm

Eticket, I have the 2013 EXCF Six Days EU version, and as such it doesn't come with anything to "turn on" or off, no key!
While I like that, I also feel very insecure to leave the bike unattended at times. I carried locks (heavy), and also used to remove the plug holder on my orevious bikes to prevent this, but on the Kate that's not an option
I though about having a on/off button home made from the battery, but I'm sure there might be better and more professional options out there. Any suggestions? Maybe the ignition from the US version?

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Re: 2012 KTM 350 EXC-F: Building the perfect "Wee Beasty"

Postby JonU » Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:20 pm

Just curious if your bike has a clunky transmission for lack of a better term? Mine sounds like first is trying to fall out of the bike.

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Re: 2012 KTM 350 EXC-F: Building the perfect "Wee Beasty"

Postby E-Ticket » Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:26 am

Danilopucci wrote:Eticket, I have the 2013 EXCF Six Days EU version, and as such it doesn't come with anything to "turn on" or off, no key!
While I like that, I also feel very insecure to leave the bike unattended at times. I carried locks (heavy), and also used to remove the plug holder on my orevious bikes to prevent this, but on the Kate that's not an option
I though about having a on/off button home made from the battery, but I'm sure there might be better and more professional options out there. Any suggestions? Maybe the ignition from the US version?

Good question!
I have heard of people installing a hidden toggle switch somewhere on their bike -- but other than that I don't know what would be the best solution.

If you come up with a solution -- please let us know!

E-Ticket
"AYHIN"

Mine: '12 KTM 350 EXC-F (Wee Beasty); '99 Honda VFR 800i Interceptor
Wife's: '08 KTM 250 XCF-W, '04 Honda CBR600 F4i

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Re: 2012 KTM 350 EXC-F: Building the perfect "Wee Beasty"

Postby E-Ticket » Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:27 am

JonU wrote:Just curious if your bike has a clunky transmission for lack of a better term? Mine sounds like first is trying to fall out of the bike.

It's not quite the "snick-snick" of the Honda street bikes -- but it's not bad for a full-on race bike.
Do you notice it more when the engine is cold? Or when the clutch is pulled in ... or released?

- ET
"AYHIN"

Mine: '12 KTM 350 EXC-F (Wee Beasty); '99 Honda VFR 800i Interceptor
Wife's: '08 KTM 250 XCF-W, '04 Honda CBR600 F4i

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Re: 2012 KTM 350 EXC-F: Building the perfect "Wee Beasty"

Postby E-Ticket » Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:28 am

Sorry about the long gap on the mods/updates everyone.
Was off busy chasing some other things in life for a while.

Here are the latest additions.

Cheers! E-Ticket
"AYHIN"

Mine: '12 KTM 350 EXC-F (Wee Beasty); '99 Honda VFR 800i Interceptor
Wife's: '08 KTM 250 XCF-W, '04 Honda CBR600 F4i


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