The Ultimate 17-19 KTM 500 / Husky 501 Bike Build
A very common question we get from riders who are planning to buy a new bike is this:
“Which is better? The new 2017-19’s, or the older 2013-16’s?”
The answer is, they both can be made spectacular. It costs a bit more to get the power levels of the newer bikes up to the levels of the older ones, but… if money isn't your biggest concern, then we’d suggest getting the newer 2017-19 bikes (or the new 2020’s if you can).
The main reason is because after riding both in enough back to back situations, there’s a noticeable feeling of confidence you get from the newer bike’s frame and suspension.
In our opinion, that extra feeling of being in control is worth paying the extra money for.
If you don’t have the opportunity to experience the 2017-19 KTM / Husky bikes for yourself, watch the videos on this site, or on our YouTube Channel because they are amazing!
With that said, if you are planning to, or already own a 2017-19 bike… let’s dive into the Ultimate 17-19 KTM 500 / Husky 501 Bike Build.
Why We Created These Products
If you’re like us (and most others who recently spent a lot on a new KTM or Husky) you probably thought your new bike was just going to run perfectly all the time with no problems...Boy did we get suckered!
Based on our experience, here’s what you’re most likely finding:
The bike feels really plugged up due to the intake and exhaust restrictions.
Your bike runs lean in fuel.
Your bike and exhaust are getting excessively hot when riding.
The throttle is less responsive than you expected.
The bike like to flame out and stall.
If this sounds about right, then it’s not just your imagination.
And if you just keep riding your bike hard with all the stock parts… you may cause yourself some expensive problems like:
Damaging expensive or hard to replace parts.
Injuring yourself because your motorcycle stalls at the worst times, or just isn’t as responsive as it needs to be in certain situations.
Overheating, breaking parts, and getting stranded in the middle of nowhere.
So the whole existence of this site… is to help you fix all the annoying problems you just inherited, at the most cost effective prices possible so you can be in love with your new bike (instead of frustrated or disappointed).
These products are all designed by real riders, for real riders. All we do day in and day out, is address these issues by creating the most innovative products, that you won’t find anywhere else on the market.
Not to mention, everything we do is tested and verified on the dyno, which is the only way to really know how well a product performs.
So now let’s take a look at how plugged up the 2017 - 2019 KTM/Husky's really are, compared to the horsepower gains you’ll get when compared to the bikes with our kits installed.
*For testing, the rear tire was replaced with a street tire, and was ran with 100% wide open throttle.
The blue line above shows the power and torque numbers from a 2017 500 EXC at wide open throttle in 4th gear. It’s making about 48.6 horsepower stock.
The orange line is how much power you can get out of the bike with our kits. Which is about 59.3 horsepower!
That’s a HUGE 10-hp gain considering the size and weight of these newer bikes. Just looking at these power curves above should get your blood pumping, when you imagine how strong and healthy your motor is going to pull.
So now that you can see what the dyno chart confirms, let’s cover a question that many riders ask when buying products from this site.
How To Approach Your Ultimate Bike Build
There are two ways to go about things when you build your dream bike, and we suggest option one below. Because why toe dip, if you can afford to dive right in and get everything your bike needs.
Here’s your options:
1) Buy the most “Premium” bundle kits you can afford. You’ll save lots of money and get the most bang for your buck performance-wise, for a completely transformed bike - all in one shot!
2) Buy the individual components. This method let’s you save up while you build your bike a few parts at a time, and learn about all the performance improving mods you can add to your bike over time.
Just keep in mind, when you start modifying things, you may need other components for them to work optimally. So if you plan to RIDE your bike right away, rather than just add parts in the garage as a fun project… then we highly suggest the bundle kits.
So the next few kits below are our most premium bundle kits we recommend because they’re what we use on our own bikes. They contain every single component we make for the Ultimate Bike Build, and they complement each other perfectly.
*We understand some people only want to add small things like fuel filters, especially if you live in certain parts of the world where fuel quality is an issue. We made those smaller options available by themselves, and you can find those further down the page.
OK, let’s get started!
Power Bundle + Fuel Programmer Kit
If you’re ready to invest a little more in your bike, so you can get it to perform the way you expected it to when you bought it, this Power bundle + fuel programmer kit will get you there the fastest!
Installing this kit will absolutely transform your bike, and leave you wondering how you ever rode your bike without it. Here’s a quick peek at what’s in the kit, but the rest of the page will go in more detail on each individual component.
The “Power Bundle + Fuel Programmer" Kit Includes:
Power Intake Tube
Grunt Exhaust Manifold
Exhaust End Cap (Silver or Black)
90-Degree Fuel Tank Fitting
High Capacity Fuel Filter
High-Flow Fuel Rail
Closed Course Emissions Delete Kit (*By buying and installing this component, you assume full responsibility for abiding by all motor vehicle laws in your area)
Every component in this bundle kit is designed to work perfectly together. At a minimum, we suggest starting with this kit because it will make all the other additions a breeze to add on without affecting anything.
Each of the parts is explained in more detail further down the page, but if you trust us that this really is the most performance improving kit you can buy to start your Ultimate Bike Build on the right foot, you can just buy it now - then learn about everything while your parts are in the mail!
If you want to get everything you see in this Power Bundle + Fuel Programmer kit now, as well as detailed installation instructions, you can buy it below now for only $699.95.
If you already have an aftermarket exhaust, and you want to save a few bucks, you can pick up the Power Bundle with No End Cap Below. And in case you’re wondering, the programmer works great with any aftermarket exhaust just as well as it does with our End Cap.
Alright, now the next few kits are what we would still consider part of our premium bundle kits for the Ultimate Bike Build because they go perfectly with the first kit above. Read on below to see if you want to add them to your cart before checking out.
Clutch Cover and Clutch Weight Bundle
Large capacity clutch covers and clutch weights are gaining popularity because they keep your clutch components protected and healthy for longer, and they keep your motor running better by preventing your bike from stalling or flaming out.
So let’s take a look at them one at a time, and we’ll cover how they work together perfectly.
The Clutch Covers
Our Big Oily Clutch Cover is made from billet aluminum and offers superior protection against impact damage. It also allows you to add up to 9 more ounces of clutch oil!
The main benefit of having more clutch oil is having more space for metal fragments to move away from moving parts, reducing long-term wear and tear.
Most importantly, it gives you enough space to fit our large 15.8 Ounce Clutch Weights! (more on those in a moment)…
If you look at the pictures above, you’ll see they are designed for ultimate durability to protect your bike.
You’ll notice we also dded an additional reservoir at the bottom, to trap any loose metal shaving debris floating around in the clutch oil.
This will increase the life of your clutches moving parts. You can get the Big Oily Clutch Cover by itself elsewhere on our site for only $149.95… but for our suggested Ultimate Bike Build we highly recommend getting the bundle pack with the clutch weights below.
The Clutch Weights
Clutch Weights have become a favorite for riders because they add significant rotational mass to your engine, which makes for less flame outs and better bottom end traction.
The image on the left is the clutch in stock form. And on the right is one of our cutch weights bolted on the outside of the stock clutch assembly.
If you’re mechanically inclined enough to remove a clutch cover, tighten a few bolts, and replace the oil… this product is a must-have.
We offer two different sizes:
15.8 oz. Clutch weight (this is our most popular clutch weight size for a 500 cc bike, and it only fits inside our Big Oily Clutch Cover mentioned above).
11.2 oz. CLUTCH WEIGHT (a lighter but still effective clutch weight that works with your stock clutch cover)
At this point, all you really need to know is which size is best for your bike.
The larger 15.8 clutch weight size helps with throttle control, traction, and the herky-jerkyness these 500 cc bikes seem to have, and significantly reduces flame outs and stalling.
But it’s really just a matter of preference, and most people buy the 11.2 oz. clutch weight because they want a safe “middle of the road” option, that works best for most situations (especially tight single track).
You can get the Big Oily Clutch Cover and Clutch Weights bundle pack (in the 15.8 or 11.2 ounce option) below for only $174.95:
In-Tank Fuel Filter
One of the biggest frustrations we hear from riders and professional race teams is the inadequacy of “stock” in-tank fuel filters.
In case you don’t know what they are, they are like the first line of defense for the fuel entering your bike.
Not only are the stock in-tank fuel filters a small size and low filtration level for these bikes - sooner or later they will split from the fuel injection pressure and break inside your tank - which means you’re going bike is going to be running poorly or not at all!
Take a look at how our yellow filter looks, compared to the stock brown one in the image below.
You’ll notice ours has twice the surface area. It’s also a much more appropriate 10 micron filter. Cars use 5 micron filters, and the stock ones in your bike use 40 micron. So obviously that’s letting way too large of particles through.
There’s a few other filters on the market that may seem like they would work, but be careful because they most likely can’t handle the 50 psi pressure the fuel injection system uses.
So unless you want to possibly take a long walk home because your stock filter blew apart for no reason, then we suggest just getting our tried-and-true filter replacement.
Next let’s talk about the crappy stock fuel pump that will also cause you issues or failures.
You can pick it up below for only $89.95
The stock fuel pumps that come on the new bikes are made in China and don’t work very well. Our fuel pumps are much better in quality, performance, and reliability.
And it’s almost impossible to find a better solution anywhere, so we sourced our In-Tank Fuel Filters from Taiwan, because the ones from China are no good.
Also - we test each fuel pump before shipping it out to you, just for quality assurance.
You can pick it up below for only $89.95
The "In-Tank Fuel Filter / Fuel Pump" Bundle
You can get the In-Tank Fuel Filter and the the Fuel Pump separately, or together in our bundle.
You can pick it up below for only $149.95
Now that we’ve covered everything inside the fuel tank, let’s go over the fuel system outside the bike.
Fuel Line Bundle
Next is this fuel bundle kit we offer, and explain each of the parts and why they can help you.
First is the High Flow 90-Degree Fuel Fitting we make. It's important because the stock 90 degree fitting, just can't keep up with fuel flow, when needed. If the stock 90 is causing a 350 FE model to lean out at only 9,000 rpms, you can bet it's holding this thing back at it's 13,000 rpm top end. It only starts to back up after about 3 seconds of being held wide open.
Second thing in line is the Large Area Quick Disconnect Fuel Filter you see. It's much more free flowing than the stock part, and also has a 10 micron screen in it thats 6 times larger than the stock filter, so it won't get the dreaded "clog and bog" out on the trail.
Last is our now famous Fuel Rail. It gives you a straight shot of fuel to the injector, instead of a restricted flow of fuel, which helps everything from starting, to response, to get up and and go, to lowering stalling and flameouts.
You can pick it up below for only $149.95
The components above are a great start, but at this point, you may as well add the next few things to get the best results for your bike.
With everything working in unison, you will see a completely transformed bike.
Anti-Vibration Wheel Balancing Weights
If you’re making your bike faster... you're definitely going to want to add our stainless steel WHEEL BALANCING WEIGHTS, to eliminate speed wobbles!
Just like with the 2012 - 2016 bikes, KTM and Husky still insist on putting the rim lock and valve stem close together. This makes the wheels unbalanced causing them to shake your bike around at speeds over 50 mph (which is obviously unsafe).
Our wheel weights bolt right onto the spokes, directly across from the rim lock and valve stem to balance the front and rear wheels enough to smooth out your ride up to 100 mph.
And they're designed to stay in place even in extreme off-road conditions!
I suggest grabbing a set of our WHEEL BALANCING WEIGHTS if you plan to ride on the street over 50 mph. You can buy them below for only $14.95 each
The Best Radiator Guards and Braces
Now for the final piece to protect your Ultimate Bike Build… our Radiator Guards and Radiator Guard Braces are better than ANYTHING you’ll find on the market.
Not only are these radiator guards extremely durable, but the braces that hold them on, are designed to NOT rip off your radiator guards even in the roughest situations and crashes.
You can buy this practically indestructible pair below for only $184.95 and $59.95.
This Concludes Our Ultimate 17-19 KTM 500 / Husky 501 Bike Build
If you were to install every bundle we covered above, you’d be riding OUR own Ultimate Bike Build setup. We hope you’re as happy with all of these parts installed on your bike as we are!
Now, if you’re looking for a little more info on the individual components… and also a more affordable way to build your bike a few parts at a time, you can see our Individual Components and smaller Bundle Packages below.
Here’s the BIGGEST question many new customer’s ask us…
"What is the first thing I should do to my bike? I just bought it, it's stock, and I don't really want to void the warranty."
Well, that's a good and intelligent question. The answer is, more than anything, the bike needs more fuel to it. In the stock condition, it runs way too lean at all throttle openings, and even at idle.
You’ll have a few options below at different price points. Some will affect your warranty, and others will not.
The Most Cost-Effective Way To Get Optimum Fueling is by using our Fuel Ratio Programmer. (This part is included in the Power Bundle + Programmer kit above)
This is our version of a piggyback programmer for the 2017-19 500/501. These are made by a company that makes them for many people, so the design may look similar to others.
BUT - that's where the similarities stop.
All of the programmers have 6 zones you can play with as the end user, but that just gives you an ability to only slightly fine tune things.
What separates our fuel programmer from the others is all the hard work and time that it takes to get the baseline numbers in place.
We spent a lot of time on the dyno and in real-world riding situations, to come up with great baseline numbers for various situations and bike modifications.
And we're the only ones who have the power and fuel numbers to back up our claims of being the best with these programmers. So they will work for any stage you’re at with your bike build.
Pick one up below, with full detailed instructions for only $219.95
The "Power End Cap"
Now that we have the right fuel going to the bike… let’s talk about opening up your exhaust using our Power End Caps. (This part is included in the Power Bundle + Programmer kit above)
Everyone thinks they need to spend $400+ on a brand new aftermarket exhaust pipe, but the truth is your money is better spent elsewhere.
By using our Power End Cap you can start getting additional power out of the bike, and at the same time, you can protect the engine from overheating - at less than half the price of an aftermarket pipe.
What a Stock Exhaust Pipe Looks Like Inside...
This is a stock end cap. The muffler is new for 2017-19, and even more restricted than the 12-16 mufflers.
These stock pipes are plugged up at the intake and exit side of the outlet tube. This results in a huge loss of power, and causes significant pressure and heat build up in the engine.
Restricting the exhaust on 500's this much is actually dangerous so you're definitely going to want to install our Power End Cap to alleviate this issue.
What our "Power End Cap" looks like inside...
Our Power End Cap is highly free flowing compared to the stock end cap, and makes the stock muffler work great - while still being nice and quiet.
The other great thing is your exhaust will no longer burn your stock turn signals as there's less heat build up.
It comes with a spark arrestor built in, and an optional quiet insert (included). And even with the quiet insert installed, you'll still be making the same power as an aftermarket slip on exhaust.
If you want to get one by itself, they're available in silver and black below for only $189.95.
The "Power Intake Tube"
These newer bikes actually have the reed cage, and reeds from the 2 strokes installed in the intake tract when you get it from the factory. Yes, you heard that right.
In an effort to quiet the bike down from intake noise, they put reeds between the air filter and throttle body.
The Stock Intake
Not only are these a huge restriction in air flow, and a significant power reducer… but they are also a danger if they break.
It's in your best interest to remove the reeds, and replace it with our Power Intake Tube which is a very easy install. (This part is included in the Power Bundle + Programmer kit above)
Our Power Intake Tube
Lots of testing went into the precise length, shape, and diameter of our custom intake tubes, resulting in the ultimate throttle response, and mid-range to top-end power.
Installing our tube is an instant 4 horsepower gain from 6,000 rpm to 10,000 rpm's, and also provides stronger and snappier acceleration.
It's really a no brainer when it comes to uncorking the first part of your bike’s breathing system. To pick on up by itself, you can get it below for only $69.95
The "Grunt Exhaust Manifold"
For solid gains in throttle response and pulling power from right off of idle, and through the mid range, you're going to want to add our world-renowned GRUNT EXHAUST MANIFOLD. (This part is included in the Power Bundle + Programmer kit above)
Our Grunt is the manifold on the left, stock is on the right.
The smaller and better shaped inner diameter is what gives the bike the increased response and pulling power. And the O-Rings on the outside create a tight seal between the head pipe and manifold, to avoid sucking air at the head pipe joint.
You can buy the Grunt Exhaust Manifold below for only $99.95.