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2012 KTM 500 EXC by Cab Moto

Posted on May 29, 2015 by Scott in Tracker. 25 comments


Words by Ian Lee | Photos by Seth Beckton

When you grow up riding dirt bikes in Colorado, you get a good feel for what a decent bike is. That’s where the builder of this KTM custom started out, stirring up the dirt on the trails of the American wilderness. With a build brief based on a Roland Sands design, this 2012 KTM 500EXC has been given a full work over, while retaining the reputation this model has to be thrown around on the dirt. Built by Cab Moto for an ex motocross rider, as Casey the builder says himself ‘I have a tendency to want to turn street bikes into dirt bikes and dirt bikes into street bikes. I guess they turn out somewhere in the middle. Which is very functional for where I live’. This Austrian trailblazer definitely is the machine for taking on those dirt roads, as well as the ability to ride the tarmac to get to them.


The build began when Casey had his next door come over with a picture of the Roland Sands/Kurt Caselli KTM and a fresh 500EXC with only 20 hours on the clock. With the direction set for the way the build was to go, the practically new bike was stripped of it’s plastics and fueltank, then the factory sub frame given the heave ho. A new, softer angled sub frame was manufactured and mounted, along with new fenders and bracketry.

From there, Casey set about the task of fabricating a new fuel tank. Which turned out a little harder than he originally thought because he had never done a fuel injected bike before, due to a need for machined parts to complete the build process. Once the tank was mounted, a new battery and electrical junction box was fitted to the frame. The ubiquitous trimmer, Ginger of New Church Moto, produced the immaculate orange stitched leather cushion, sitting atop a seat pan of Casey’s own making.


In relation to performance this bike is a weapon, even in stock form. As Casey said about the build ‘I was really excited to start with something this awesome’, so performance upgrades have been kept simple. The air filter is now Uni open air intake, and the exhaust system is a Werkes setup from a Yamaha R6. Rolling stock are 18 runs laced up by Woody’s Wheel Works, running Excel rims on RAD hubs. The rubber chosen for the build is Mefo Super Explorer Rubber.


When it came to the paint job, Casey had a good idea of what he wanted, leaving the work in the hands of Wrench Face Motors. Thanks to their quality work, in the words of the builder ‘the work turned out better than I could have imagined’. An interesting touch to the build is that nothing has been changed that can’t easily be changed back to stock should the need/legalities arise.

Built on a solid platform, this KTM trail blazer is a part of an evolution of Cab Moto’s building style. From the CL360 that was featured here last on Pipeburn, you can see how the Colorado workshop is taking their builds new and exciting places. Just like you would if you owned this bike really.

  • arnold

    Thanks Scott, my eyes hurt now.
    I’ll bet if I could see it, I would like it.

  • John Wanninger

    I agree Ald. Somewhere in there, is a bike wanting to be seen… lol.

  • Hardley T Whipsnade III

    The bike ? I like . More for what it is not ( yet another retro scrambler ) rather than for what it is .And what it is is ; Functional . different and creative . The fact that it was built right here in Colorado only makes it better . The seat though ? Not so much . And the photography ? Not at all . Sure I get that they tried to emphasize the orange trim but in truth one under exposed shot to show off the orange would of done the trick with the rest should being normal in order to show off all the details of this Rocky Mountain born little gem .

    PS; Any chance of a video or two showing this little beast in action ? Preferably on one of our Colorado Mt roads ?

  • the dry ice is really cool

    • We’re considering a new ‘no dry ice, no feature’ policy. Wall-to-wall dry ice in every shot. We think it will lend a certain 70s glam rock feel to the blog…

  • Bango

    Love the lead photo. Talk about retro!

  • Casey Braaksma

    Wanted to have photos taken outside but it’s been raining here for over a month.

    • arnold

      Casey, give us a link. Your Facebook page over whelms my Linux little system.

    • methamphetasaur

      And according to the weather men, its going to rain every day until i die. Colorado weather is bullshit.

      This is everything i wanat in a bike though. Definitely awesome.

      • Hardley T Whipsnade III

        Colorado weather is WHAT ? You need to get a serious grip on reality ! We have the best weather in the continental US by a long shot . The only folks that think its even remotely BS are those who don’t get it when it comes to living in the high country plains and mountains : remembering our lowest valley’s are higher than most of the country ( and worlds ) mountains . But hey , if you don’t like it /get it , you’re more than welcome to leave . We certainly don’t need the whining cry baby likes of you here . Doors right over your shoulder . Don’t let it hit you on the way out .

        • methamphetasaur

          Butthurt much?

          The lowest/ highest valleys have nothing to do with daily rain, boss.

          And i think I’ll live where I damn well please, not where you think I should; despite the shitty weather.

        • arnold

          In town for a while?
          We won’t talk about the old days though.
          The new days are so much more interesting.ald

        • Fast2Furious

          You might want to check with the Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Office, Visitors and Conventions Bureau etc. before you spout off about what your state does and doesn’t need in terms of people to come and spend their money.

    • Hardley T Whipsnade III

      Give it a rest Casey . Thats a pathetic non-starter excuse . The weather has been fine here this Spring . Plenty of extended breaks between the rain . Typical Colorado sunshine in the morning with late day and evening showers along with more than a few sun filled days with more than enough extended opportunities to shoot the bike in daylight along with a studio shot or two .

      FYI : The axiom for Spring rains and snow here in Colorado actually reads ;

      Better rain , snow and a minor flood or two in Spring than drought and fires come July 😉

      BTW ; Your Facebook page crashes setting off the bouncing beach ball of death syndrome on my Mac as well . Website please ! Some of us don’t do no stinkin FaceBook !!!

      • methamphetasaur

        You are a whiny little creature, aren’t you?

    • Woodie

      Try the UK weather then ! I love the bike but at my age I could do with some decent shots of it. and in deference to UK weather I’d drop the front mudguard (fender?) and fit a hugger….. Tastfuly outlined in bright orange of course.

      • Woodie

        Here you only know it’s summer because the rain is warmer !

  • paco

    Man this would be fun as a retro supermoto – beringer front and goldspeed ultra’s would be epic!

  • RD350

    Great looking bike here. I love KTM. And I love retro scramblers! And I especially love scramblers that are based on dirt bikes rather than street bikes, even if the latter is how it actually was back in the bad old days.
    I wish the Austrians would cash in on their rich history and build something like this … low-ish seat height but still with really good suspension and brakes. Current 690 for power and smoothness. I’m thinking mid-70’s Penton or Jack Piner for styling influence.

  • “I have a tendency to want to turn street bikes into dirt bikes and dirt bikes into street bikes.” – Obviously a great super-moto recipe! First of all I dig Cab Moto’s take on KTM’s colors and can appreciate how showing it against such a dark background is used to show off the pinstripe ‘pop’ and give you a taste of how it will look under a street light… Which, if we’re being honest with each other, is really where this gloss black beauty belongs. So let’s throw on a set of street tires and show the red-light cruisers and parkway racers how to slice up urban sprawl and catch the nightlife’s eye.

  • guy

    yeah colorado weather is crap.

  • Britt

    Bike looks sick man, good job!! I’ll be out in a week or two, lets catch up. -britt

    • Casey Braaksma

      sweet. give me a holla when you get here.

  • Ham

    What gas tank is this? Looks like a HD Sporty tank!