The 2020 KTM 500 XCF-W is a do-it-all machine – versatile, capable, and reliable. At least, it is now that we’ve made some modifications and upgrades. These smaller dual sport motorcycles are exceptional platforms to fine tune for your preferred type of terrain and specific type of riding. In our case, we wanted a bike that could handle multiple types of riding. The 500 XCF-W has served us well on multi-day ADV rides while still maintaining a nimbler “dirt bike” feel. All things considered, and after the changes we’ve made, the bike has quickly become the weapon of choice in our arsenal.

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Street Legal

The first hurdle we needed to clear on this build was making the bike street legal. It’s worth clarifying here why we chose to go with the 500 XCF-W rather than the 500 EXC-F. Although the EXC-F comes stock with several of these accessories – turn signals, mirrors, DOT approved tires, etc. – the XCF-W comes with noticeably more power off of the showroom floor, especially in the bottom end. So, we opted for the XCF-W and decided the increase in power was worth the investment in some street legal accessories.

The first thing we installed was the Tusk Motorcycle Enduro Lighting Kit, followed by the Double Take Adventure Mirror Kit. We like the Tusk kit because the signals are minimalistic and easy to move out of the way while still providing wide visibility. And, the signals work right into the Tusk D-Flex handguards we install on pretty much all of our bikes. They’ve saved our controls on several rides and through far too many crashes.

New Mirrors and Handguards

As for the rear turn signals, we attached them to the Tusk Top Rack. This was the best rack option for us because it allows for different luggage setups, whether it be a day trip or longer adventure ride. Several different types of ADV luggage, tools, and more can be attached, and the rack remains low profile if you’re trail riding without carrying bags. The rack itself mounts to the stock locations with just a few minor cuts to your bike’s plastics. It’s not the easiest to install, but it’s well worth it at the value and price point.

Luggage

Our luggage of choice for this bike was the Highland Rackless System. 25 L of capacity on either side give the bags impressive carrying capacity, and they’re easy to install on and remove from the Tusk Top Rack. Plus, there is room for additional accessory bags or a tail bag to be added to the setup as well. Despite their size, the bags do a great job of staying out of the way so mobility isn’t limited and your legs don’t feel cramped.

New Tires and Wheels

Up front, we installed the Tusk Olympus Tank Bag to keep some of our essentials close and accessible. Your phone, sunglasses, wallet, keys, chargers, and more can all be packed in your tank bag, but we have a comprehensive guide here if you’re worried about forgetting something. Under the tank bag is the Acerbis 3.9 Gallon Fuel Tank. A larger fuel tank is a worthwhile addition – it makes ADV rides easier and provides welcome peace of mind that you can take the road less travelled even if you weren’t planning to.

Comfort

A few comfort items go a long way on a bike build, and our XCF-W wouldn’t have been complete without these. The first upgrade we made was a Seat Concepts Seat. It’s wider and softer than the stock offering, something that comes in handy on those long stretches of pavement and long days of riding.

The Finished Product

The Tusk Grip Heater Kit is another great comfort addition. Once you have them on one bike, you’ll want them on all of your bikes. It’s an obvious accessory for rides in colder months and nastier weather, but they come in handy in the sun as well on high-speed stretches or pulling into camp later at night.

Tires

We knew what tires we wanted on this bike from the start: The Tusk D-Sports. We designed and developed these tires to be versatile, so they fit right in with the vision we had for our XCF-W. We’ve clocked thousands of miles on these tires on multiple bikes, through different states, and on various types of terrain. We can trust them from pavement and dirt to curvy roads and straight roads. As an affordable DOT-approved tire, you can’t do much better than the Tusk D-Sport tires.

New Tires and Wheels

Finishing Touches

Some extra accessories, for functionality and looks, were added to round the whole bike out. The Tusk Billet Rear Disc Brake Guard adds protection around the exposed control components. Much like the wrap around handguards, the disc brake guard minimizes failures along the ride. Polisport’s Head Pipe Guard was another protection addition, designed to save the pipe from rocks and other small impact. We also decided to install the Thumper Jockey Crusader Headlight Kit. Producing a massive 5,000 lumens, the lights basically turn night into day, keeping the terrain visible and bright. An extra bonus, the lights are waterproof and incredibly easy to install. To top it all off, we added a custom Attack Graphics graphics kit to finish out the whole look and add some personal flair to our decked-out machine.

Completed

The Built Bike

It was a simple, straightforward build on our 500 XCF-W, but it was effective to make our bike more durable, more versatile, and more comfortable.

Comment

Tell Us What You Think

What do you think about our build? What would you add to your machine? What would you leave off? Let us know in the comments below!

Parts Available at Rocky Mountain ATV/MC
Seat Concepts Complete Element Seat Acerbis Fuel Tank Tusk Top Rack
Seat Concepts Complete Element Seat Acerbis Fuel Tank Tusk Top Rack
Tusk Motorcycle Enduro Lighting Kit Double Take Adventure Mirror Kit Tusk D-Flex Pro Adventure Handguards w/Turn Signals
Tusk Motorcycle Enduro Lighting Kit Double Take Adventure Mirror Kit Tusk D-Flex Pro Handguards w Turn Signals
Tusk Grip Heater Kit Thumper Jockey Crusader Headlight Kit Tusk Rear Brake Caliper Support with Brake Disc Guard
Tusk Grip Heater Kit Thumper Jockey Crusader Headlight Kit Tusk Rear Brake Caliper Support with Brake Disc Guard
Polisport Armadillo 4-Stroke Head Pipe Guard Polisport Armadillo 4-Stroke Head Pipe Guard Tusk Highland Rackless Luggage System
Polisport Armadillo 4-Stroke Head Pipe Guard Tusk Dsport® Adventure Tire Tusk Highland Rackless Luggage System
Tusk Excursion Rackless Luggage System Tusk Olympus Tank Bag Attack Graphics Custom Alloy Complete Bike Graphics Kit
Tusk Olympus Tank Bag Attack Graphics Custom Alloy Complete Bike Graphics Kit<