I fell in love with KTM a year ago when I got my first 500 EXC-F. I kept it for a year, and just sold it so I could get the Beast. It’s been a great decision which I have not regretted in the slightest. There really is no comparing a 500 EXC-F with the Beast. This site applies to bike years 2016 to 2019. Those three years are very similar in functional. More research on my part is required before I know precisely what years if any beyond these years this information may apply to.
This site contains all of the changes I’ve made, and documents everything from day one. From technical tips to how-to info, it’s all here. Products I’ve purchased for the Beast are all listed on this site, with links to Amazon where you too may make your own purchase.
In the interest of FULL DISCLOSURE: All links are affiliate links and open in a new window. I make a few bucks when you spend your hard earned money, but hey, it’s all good. From one Beast manager to another, I wish you the best, and know you’ll be happy with these upgrades. Therefore, I thank you in advance for your patronage.
Get to know the Beast
First order of business: Getting rid of the stunning stock rear fender. I chose a fender eliminator kit which I’m not totally happy with, and plan to update soon to a Yoshimura kit. The kit shown below is an improvement over stock, but still not as good as the Yoshimura, so I won’t bother linking to any product. Once the update is done, I’ll create the linkage.
Below: Before and after photos of the tail. New turn signals have been ordered, and I will show the installation when they arrive. The license plate is a custom plate, obviously, and is modeled after my Corvette license plate, which just happens to be WRPTIME.
(Just for fun, here’s the back of the Corvette with my old 500 EXC-F parked next to it. Pretty sure I need to update this photograph to a new shot of the Corvette with the Beast.)
The KTM single point stand works perfectly for setting the bike upright, chain maintenance, or removing the rear wheel. I purchased this one from Amazon. Extremely well made, it’s very simple to use and is very stable.
To properly work on the Beast, you need a good support stand. The KTM Super Duke Rear Wheel Stand is easily obtained by following this link to Amazon and placing your order. See? I make it easy for you to buy the goodies you need to have to make the Beast even more fun to work with.
After modding the rear fender, I updated the lead acid battery to this amazing Lithium Iron Phosphate battery from earthX. The model for the Super Duke is ETX 24C. Click the link to check it out on Amazon.
With battery management circuitry built in, you can’t over discharge the battery and neither can you overcharge it either. It also holds a steady 13 volts, which gives the starter motor a little bit more oomph in turning over the massive V Twin. Also, the new battery is a little shorter than stock and comes with foam pads that you add to the bottom to bring it up to the same height as the stock battery. Buy the battery on Amazon.
The new battery is much lighter than the stock heavy lead acid battery, which weighs in at 10 pounds 3 ounces on the old kitchen scale. For my smarter European friends, that’s 4,620 grams. Here’s the picture proof, below. (I keep the old battery in the garage as a test battery for various projects, so it’s not a complete waste.)
Below is the earthX battery. It tips the scale at 2 pounds 9 ounces, or 1,162 grams . So we are saving a little weight, which doesn’t hurt anything.
Removal and installation notes. Remove the passenger seat and the primary seat. Then remove the cover bolt with an 8 mm socket wrench, as pictured, and lift the cover. (The ECU is attached by a rubber strap to the cover. You don’t need to remove the ECU.) Loosen the negative terminal bolt first and remove the lead. Then remove the positive lead bolt and lead.
The battery is not easy to remove, and will require some good old magical powers, but I’m sure you have plenty to spare. Just grab it and pull, lifting at an angle to get it out from under the cover. Once removed, you will see an empty battery compartment that should look like this one.
Be sure you add the terminal standoffs as shown below. They allow you to attach the leads in the proper configuration. You can see a pinched wire in the photo below, where the cover bolt threads in. Take care not to pinch wires when you do your installation. Learn from my mistakes, right? That makes you super smart. (The pinch didn’t hurt anything except my pride.)
Finally, use the stock bolts for the leads. Since we pay close attention to details, we notice that the positive terminal bolt is longer and the negative terminal bolt is shorter. The longer bolt has to be longer to go through the added spacer on the positive side, right? Here’s a photo for you to ponder.
Finally, here’s a photo of the foam pads attached to the bottom of the new battery, to bring it up to OEM height. Just use two pads on each side. Works perfectly. And thus ends the battery section. Coming right up, the battery charger section. Makes sense, right?
I have also purchased a charger for the Lithium battery. It is made by Optimate, specifically for this type of battery. Again, the EarthX battery is a Lithium Iron Phosphate battery, or LiFePO4 battery. This requires a specific type of charger. The old “flooded cell” type chargers for lead acid batteries simply are not going to cut it. Don’t try to use one of those “old school” chargers on this new battery.
The charger pictured below comes with a specific cable you can attach to the battery for easy connection. I ran it under the rear seat so it’s a simple matter of removing the rear seat to gain access to the charging cable. Purchase this charger on Amazon by following this link.
The end of the charger cable is specially designed to work with the charging cable pigtail you attach to the battery. Here’s a photo of the charging cable end.
Below is the female port of the cable you attach to the battery terminals.
Learn how to remove the headlight and gain access to the wiring for the turn signals and heated grips connector. It’s all behind a panel held on by two integrated “clips” and three screws. Click here to view the headlight page.