Every year when the new bikes start to hit the marketplace and show up in magazines, I look at what each
manufacturer has done to their bikes. Some years you see completely new bikes and other years you see Bold New
Graphics. Each time I see a new bike I like, I go out to my garden to see if my money tree is growing. I must
be a horrible gardener or my kids like to raid the money tree. Either way, each year buying a new bike is out
of my budget. Fortunately, I’ve been able to find quality used bikes to satisfy my addiction to single-track.
In the early part of 2010 I picked up a 2008 KTM 300 XC. It had very little time on it and came loaded with all
of the necessary items for off-road survival, and the suspension was already set up for my weight and riding
After a year of riding and racing, parts were starting to show wear. I thought to myself, “It’s time for a
freshening up, a makeover for my bike.” Ideas of “Extreme Makeover, Motorcycle Edition” started popping into my
head. I had dreams of exotic wheel sets, factory tires and works engine parts. Then reality set in. My money
tree was only producing one check every two weeks, so I had to set a budget. I went from dreaming of an extreme
makeover to an extremely practical makeover.I made a list of the parts I would need now or in the near future. After reviewing my parts list and adding up
the cost, I was way over budget. Did I really need the orange Renthal Fat Bars, orange Z-ring chain, new levers
or those anodized engine pieces? I narrowed the list down to what I really needed and added in new plastics and
graphics to complete the makeover.
When I work on my bike, I often end up breaking something. So I took my ride to Arizona Moto and the expert,
Jason Hiles. We discussed the makeover plan; I ordered up the parts and let him do his magic on the technical
stuff. Having a pro work on the motor and suspension is money well spent.
Now I have fresh suspension, engine, brakes, drivetrain, plastic and custom graphics. My bike is in better
condition than when I bought it. On the trail it felt like a new bike. The power was crisper, smoother and
stronger. The suspension action was plush and controlled. The new tires stuck to the ground and the brakes
stopped on a dime. With the fresh feel, my confidence went up and I can ride my favorite trails at a faster and
more comfortable pace.
Keeping a bike feeling fresh can be expensive, and money trees are hard to come by. Consistent maintenance is
crucial to keeping costs under control. When the time comes for a makeover, thoughtful planning of the project
can hold down the costs and allow you to have more fun riding.
Parts And Service
Arizona Moto: 480.981.5001
BRM Offroad: www.brmoffroad.com
2008 KTM 300 XC
Pro X top end kit with bearing: $132.99
Tusk gasket kit: $19.99
Top end labor: $175
All Balls wheel bearings, front and rear: $42.98
Polisport white plastics: $124.95
Polisport white fork protectors: $29.99
BRM Offroad custom graphics and numbers: $194
Suspension service, fork and shock: $150
Orange Superspox 50T sprocket: $44.99
Dunlop MX51, front and rear: $143.98
Cycra white hand guards: $19.99
EBC brake pads, front and rear: $62.98
*Price of spending time with son working on bike = Priceless.