MODERN VINTAGE: KTM 500 EXC Six Days.

Vintage Motocross and Enduro bikes hit us hard with nostalgic feelings and take those of us with a few extra miles on the clock back to a truly different time in bikes. This factor alone and the sheer fun of riding an old crosser helps to explain why they’re so popular at the moment and their prices are so insanely high. But rarely do we come across a truly custom example of such a machine, so when the Queensland owner of this vicious Vinduro KTM sent us a fresh batch of photos of his build, we just had to take a deeper dive. A project manager by trade, Dan Mickan took his 2015 KTM 500 Six Days edition and used the best in the business to transform it into a beautiful beast we both want to thrash in the dirt and look at with desire for days.

Dan is a huge motorcycle fan and has been riding since he was knee-high to a grasshopper, but in recent years that nostalgia bug hit hard and he was on the hunt for the right bike to build into a vintage enduro bike. The Honda XR600 made perfect sense and plenty of people have turned them into rip-roaring machines that more than serve the purpose, but then he thought, what if?

Because already sitting in his garage was the 2015 Six Days, with its incredible WP suspension, punchy as hell engine and that amazing metal work, the high-tech, lightweight Chromoly steel frame with race-derived geometry, optimal stiffness, and unparalleled feedback for the rider. So why go throwing good money to try and bring the XR up to scratch, when he had a machine that’s as good as it gets? What it needed, however, was a total visual transformation for that true vintage sex appeal.

The first thing you notice about the build is the color scheme, Dan isn’t a huge fan of the neon orange that comes on just about any modern KTM. But that wasn’t always the case, they used to be largely equipped with white panels with blue detail and the over the top orange saved for the frame. So a change in this direction was vital for Dan to get the look he was after, but that alone wouldn’t do the job. So, one big change is the fuel tank, with the plastic gone and an old Honda XL185 item perfectly mounted.

The look is absolutely spot on, but it wasn’t easy, with the fuel pump for the modern injected engine having to be squeezed in. She holds just seven liters of fuel, which is plenty for a hell of a lot of fun and time for the arm pump to set in; but Dan has also made provision for extended range with soft fuel bladders. The back end would need a change to get the old-school look too, and an all-new subframe is part of the solution. With that done, over the top goes a beautiful retro styled seat finished in that classic KTM blue.

The rest of the look is finished out with a raid of the Acerbis catalog to fit the bike out with some tasty treats, including the fenders and that period perfect Elba headlight surround. The details on a build like this go a long way to selling the theme, and taking the time to paint the radiators and their covers white, including applying the old school graphics shows Dan’s commitment to the cause. While the addition of some custom side covers gives the bike the level of finish you always hope to see.

The mechanical side of things doesn’t miss out either and with the factory bike such a wicked performer, the stock airbox has been modified to fit in the new subframe. The battery box receives the same treatment, and a lot of little details have been taken care of to keep things clean and functional, see the pegs and bark busters. To capture the screaming sound of days gone by, the stock header now supports a DanMoto muffler.

The end result is a venerable Vinduro that’s a credit to all involved in its creation, and you best believe Dan gives it the beans!

[ Dan Mickan | Photography by Gabriel Veit ]

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