Christmas comes early for our KTM 300 EXC TPI long term test mule with some quality workshop time fitting Enduro Engineering’s radiator braces.
Part of the healthy range of protective products from Enduro Engineering, these aluminium radiator braces (model number 11-017) are for current KTM and Husqvarna models but are available for many bikes on the market.
We’ve got a couple of Extreme Enduro events upcoming in the new year 2019 so have been stocking up on the protective parts fitted on the long term test KTM 300 EXC TPI.
Stronger radiator braces make sense whatever enduro riding you’re doing and there are many different solutions available on the parts market from lightweight plastic guards, simple alloy cross braces to full-on protection like these.
Straight bolt-on part
The 11-017 braces design fits around the stock radiator and guards. We’ve chosen to use a set of Polisport guards shown but they have the same fitment and size as the stock guards.
The pack arrives from Enduro Engineering with plenty of parts to assemble but it is a logical and straightforward process which does not take a mechanical genius, just a range of tools.
Fitting the braces does require the tank and side panels come off though, plus you need to drain and remove the radiators.
The fitting process is easy to follow with the inside brace going on before the radiator pops back on ahead of the outside brace. Make sure you get the correct number-matched parts paired-up for each side of the bike (marked left and right). Be sure to use the correct sized bolts supplied for maximum strength in the fitment.
As the instructions state, we found it is important to not tighten all the bolts up too soon. With everything bolted on and in place, putting the tank back on and re-introducing the side panels around to their front mounting bolt holes needed a little too much persuasion with the braces all tightened-up – having all the bolts, including those on the side panels, half-tight helps.
Once everything was in place and bolts were nicely settled in threads (with a spot of thread lock on each), tweaking up the bolts produces a solid as a rock set of radiators. F first impressions count then these braces give nothing but confidence they will hold strong.
KTM Power Parts fan
While on the task with the radiator braces we took the chance to fit a fan to the test bike. This is the standard KTM Power Parts fan kit for our 2019 300 EXC TPI (check your local dealer) and is a simple bolt-on/plug-in part which is not standard on the KTM EXC models.
The fan kit comes with a mounting bracket which is not needed with the Enduro Engineering braces – mounting holes are predrilled on the back-side of the right-hand brace.
The holes line up perfectly but the standard bolts in our 2019 KTM fan kit did not match the bolt hole sizes and needed a thread tapping out to fit, plus three M8 bolts. The fan simply plugs in to the vacant socket under the top frame spar.
Tapping a new thread was a two-minute job but bear this in mind if you do not have a tap and die set on the workshop shelf. If you want to fit two fans (one each side) you will also need to drill out and tap holes in the left side radiator brace.
All in it took just under a couple of hours to fit the braces, install the fan, top back the radiator fluid and get the bike back ready to ride. The process is described well enough in the enclosed instructions with the exception of the extra threads needed for the fan.
Front radiator guards are also available from Enduro Engineering but we don’t have a compatible set to fit currently.
We’re looking forward to the next event on the KTM 300 EXC TPI. The new year brings a rash of Extreme Enduros in Europe and we’re planning on a couple with round one of the British Extreme Championship first on the calendar, January 13.
Jon PearsonEnduro21 Editor and Bike Testerjon.firstname.lastname@example.org