The KTM 400 EXC was one of the original 400-class dirt bikes, a liquid-cooled four-stroke trail weapon that helped the Austrian company become a major player in off-road sales and competition. Some racers, such as 8-time AMA National Enduro champion Mike Lafferty, even competed on the 400 EXC in the 450 class, preferring the shorter-stroke, rev-happy motor!
Enter Lolana Motos of Bogotá, Colombia, who opened shop in 2012, specializing in resurrecting and modifying classic bikes:
“It is a pleasure for us to transform and repair those memories of the past that, by inheritance or simple taste, have accompanied us for so many years.”
This build, based on a 1993 KTM 400 EXC, took more than 1.5 years to complete. It ended up being one of the shop’s most challenging builds, as one of the design constraints was that all modifications could be reversible. What’s more, the EXC was not a street-legal machine to begin with — so indicators, brake lights, a horn, or other such electronic necessities had to be incorporated into the design.
Fortunately, the shop’s hard work paid off, as the bike just won third place in the 2019 Custom Built Show! Below, we get the full story on “La Caleña” — the nickname for someone from Cali, Colombia — the home of this beauty.
KTM 400 Street Tracker / Scrambler: Build Story
Translated from Custom Built Show…
This project was really a challenge, not only for the ambition itself, but also for the entire workshop team to achieve a harmony between design and functionality.
The conversion of this 1993 KTM 400 EXC began with a unique concept inspired by the trajectory of KTM worldwide. For this work, a Honda Scrambler tank from the 60’s was used, which gave the lines to create the base of a completely new subframe that gave the desired look.
The tank’s paint design represents a KTM 250 MC5 in the late 1970s, which won world-class motocross championships at that time. The purple and white were taken from the same original motorcycle, since one of those challenges was that the modification at one time could be reversed and be again original.
The gray color was chosen in a chamois for the seat, as were all new parts and accessories brackets which were painted electrostatically to last many years before they can be stripped or scratched.
As it was an original motocross motorcycle, it had no headlight, signals, horn, or stop light. The electrical system had to integrate these new functionalities of the motorcycle — for this a battery and a regulator were adapted.
The tires were changed and the diameter of the wheels was reduced with some spoked Murellis to give a straighter line. This coupled with excellent dual-purpose tires, with a classic Pirelli style, gave the motorcycle an aggressive look.
It was wanted to leave the rear part of the motorcycle as clean as possible of accessories, for which the central stand of the motorcycle was combined with the co-rider’s foot foot rests — for this a mechanism was made that locks and unlocks from the handlebar.
When modifying the chassis and the tank, the radiators had to be replaced by one that was smaller than the originals and an aluminum jar was adapted for the coolant return. A scrambler type exhaust from the 70s was recreated and the exhaust pipes were coated with pipewrap, giving the bike a bit more horsepower.
As a curious fact, this factory KTM has the chain and kick-start inverted compared to most motorcycles. This has the chain on the right side and the kick-start lever on the left side.
It was a year and a half job, thinking about every detail, so that in the end this motorcycle has returned to Cali (Colombia) to ride under the sun or under a starry sky.
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