Custom motorcycle builder transforms 2015 KTM EXC 500 into retro 80s tribute

In Australia, the KTM Six Days edition enduro bikes are apparently not special enough, so a custom enthusiast has turned a 2015 model into an 80s throwback.

Dan Mickan KTM EXC 500 Six Days custom - ADV Pulse

A custom bike enthusiast from Australia has built a retro-themed version of a special edition KTM enduro bike.

KTM chose - not for the first time - to tribute the International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) with their special edition enduro machines in their 2023 roster. The race enjoyed its 96th running in 2022, and is celebrated as the oldest off-road motorcycle race in the world, with the first event taking place in 1913. 

The KTM EXC 500 Six Days has long been the largest of KTM’s tribute special editions to the famous race, which was won in 2022 by Team GB. Dan Mickan, a custom motorcycle builder from Australia, decided to make his EXC 500 Six Days even more special.

To achieve this, Mickan set about transforming the modern KTM enduro racer into a retro throwback. Visually, at least.

The base for the project is a 2015 version of the EXC 500 Six Days, which ADV Pulse reports Mickan poured 42 months into in order to get it where he wanted it. 

The bike retains the 510cc KTM four-stroke engine, WP suspension, and the same frame and radiators as the standard bike. Even the airbox is the stock version, albeit modified to fit with a new subframe.

The fuel tank is new, taken from a 1980s Honda XL 185, which provided its own issues when trying to fit it around the stock radiators. 

Also non-standard for the EXC 500 is the seat, which is larger than standard and fits with the '80s vibe this build is trying to generate. 

To assist further with that '80s style, Mickan added a Danmoto exhaust, and adjusted the livery of the bike. In fact, he overhauled it, and threw back to the 80s motocross machines of KTM with a white, blue and orange paint job. Finally, there are additions of “ISDE Argentina” text to the bike, as a nod to the bike’s original state as a 2015 KTM Six Days, released in 2014 when Argentina last hosted the ISDE. 

France won ISDE that year, and will be looking to do so again when ISDE returns to San Juan next November, after missing out on a gold medal at their home event this year to Team GB. 

Source: ADV Pulse, images courtesy of ADV Pulse.

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