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2010-2012 KTM 530 EXC | Used Bikes

The KTM 530 produces loads of power and has been quite popular on the Australian market. It has a six-speed gearbox and hydraulically-operated wet clutch.

The front end is fitted with a WP 48mm open-cartridge USD fork with adjustable compression and rebound dampening. These forks have been popular on KTM’s enduro bikes and are still fitted.

The 530 runs a WP PDS shock with adjustable high- and low-speed compression damping, preload and rebound. There is no linkage and the shock gets its progressive feel through a progressively-wound shock spring and the valving.

While some may argue that a linkage gives a plusher and more controlled feel, the PDS system requires much less maintenance and has no bulky linkage hanging below the swingarm to get bashed around on logs and rocks.

The chrome-moly frame used on the 530 remains a feature on KTMs and is set to be used well into the future. I was once told by a KTM technician in Austria that KTM didn’t see the point in an aluminium frame. To make an alloy frame durable they would have to bulk it up to the point of it losing its flex, becoming rigid and essentially weighing the same as a steel one.

When looking at buying a second-hand 530EXC be sure that it starts and idles easily, with no engine noise, and blows no smoke. Worn-out piston rings in these big engines is common, especially with the earlier models as they were fitted with softer rings.

Another common problem with the early 530s was that the automatic decompressor would wear out and the engine would become very hard to turn over. Another issue was the crank seals, which could start to leak, but KTM rectified this problem after 2008 by fitting a stronger seal while the oil pump could leak as the O-ring on the cover was too thin and didn’t seal correctly.

But if you see this problem it is simply rectified with a thicker O-ring. Also look out for a worn shock bush in the top of the swingarm. If this bush has not been replaced then there may be some damage to the swingarm.

Even though it says on the clutch master cylinder cap to use mineral oil only, I still see people filling this reservoir with synthetic brake fluid which causes the seals to swell, leak and not operate correctly.

All in all, the 530 is a great bike if it has been looked after and serviced regularly. They make great adventure bikes and would have to be close to the top of my all time favourite list.

Key Points


The frame is a single downtube, double cradle design made from chrome-moly.


Throwing synthetic oil in the clutch master cylinder wrecks the seals.


The 510.4cc SOHC engine had some early problems.


The 48mm WP upside down fork has 300mm of travel and the PDS shock has 335mm.


The KTM comes in at a wet figure of 113.9kg.


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