ktm 350exc vs 500exc vs wr250r
Thought I had it figured out. Was about to grab a wr250r when i decided to stop by the ktm dealer.
Now im back in the proverbial land of indecision.
Im lookin for a street legal dirt bike that i can develop my skills on and eventually to ride the tat with.
Im coming off an xr650r, which felt pretty big on the tight stuff. im not the greatest dirt rider but i want
to get a bike that ill be happy with for a long time, which includes the time improving my skills as well
as when they are more fully developed. Im on the north coast of cali where we have a
plethera of dirt connected by pavement, and i am not interested in trucking my bike.
Tat capabilty and comfort on long days are very high on the list. i would rather not feel like i just
finished mowin the lawn after riding long stretchs (one of the reasons i sold the xr). i have a multistrada
for street and less than paved roads, so i reckon im lookin for 60/40 dirt/street that wont kill me on the
latter and really enjoyable (not a pig) on the former, and will be a blast on the tat.
I know all 3 are fully capable, which keeps me on the fence as to pulling the trigger.
Husky is not an option as there are no dealers near me, otherwise theyd be on the list as well.
thoughts:ear thanks for any input yall have:D
I should add that one of the reasons im inquiring is i cannot ride the ktms. no demos at the dealer.:bluduh
I would love to own either KTM mentioned, but nothing in your description (60/40, TAT) calls for anything but WR or DR in my opinion.
If I was shredding Norcal trails with a bit of pavement in between, the EXCs seem to be optimal.
Why don't you get a used 2008 KTM RFS EXC and a used WR250R... two bikes for same price as a new EXC, and you would have the perfect bike for both uses?
One last thing... a KTM 500 doesn't seem the right tool for improving offroad skills. I think you get that bike when your skills are finely honed.
I have a 2007 450 EXC. I rode it on the CO-OR part of the TAT (2400 miles). Sorry no experience of the new 350/500.
I'll say one thing, the RFS isn't a vibey bike (compared to say an LC4) but the WR250R is incredibly smooth in comparison. I personally didn't like the WR because it was too smooth - sounds crazy I know - but I like to know I'm riding a dirt bike.
Given your description of where you are currently and what you want to do, I think the WR250 sounds ideal. If you get a used one you'll be easily able to sell it without taking much of a hit in a couple years if you decide you want to get the KTM.
Good luck on the TAT, you'll have much fun :thumb
More power is better...
I suggest you consider a KTM 690 Enduro. It weighs close to the same as a WR250R, but has a
lot more power and torque, and it has ( for a big single ) a very smooth engine. Add a Renazco seat
and some means of carrying more fuel, and you'd have your TAT bike and a bike you could ride pavement
on rather than trucking it. The 2012 model is significantly improved over previous years, so if the budget
permits I suggest buying a 2012 bike rather than an older one.
It is my firm opinion that a WR250R does not have enough reserve power for safe highway riding. Sure, the bike
will go 75mph, but at that speed it doesn't have the reserve power that a 690 Enduro or a KTM 525 ( or 450 )
EXC will have. And reserve power can make all the difference on a paved road if a "situation" develops and you
need to put some distance between yourself and other vehicles quickly for safety reasons. Your requirement of
riding rather than trucking the bike means that unless you are going to only ride on secondary roads that a bike with
more power will be nice to have, if you don't want to feel like a sitting duck every time you ride on the highway.
I recommend you do what it takes to find people who will allow you to ride their bike for a short test ride.
Without riding a bike there is no way you can know which bike you will be happiest with. The hassle of
finding someone who will let you take a short ride on their bike is less than the hassle of buying a bike
you end up unhappy with and need to sell. Buy the guy who lets you ride his bike a case of beer or a bottle
of booze or a lunch or something :-)
As an aside I think KTM USA is blowing it big time. If more people could test ride a KTM
the salesman wouldn't need to say a word, because the bikes will literally sell themselves with a test ride.
crazybrit: i was pretty much sold on the wr thinking it fit everything im lookin for
as well, but im tired of the weight of the xr and the wr is even heavier.
the ktms are lighter than both the xr and wr
i really am sick of wrestling pigs offroad, which lead me to consider the ktm. i only
see a 6 lb differnce between the two. why would one choose the 350 over the 500
or vice versa?
its not the bike: thanks for the reply. i did consider the 690 but like i said im sick of the weight which has me leaning
away from the wr. i have the multi 620 so the 690 is too i inbetween dirt and street. i also share your
concerns for situational power. a bike needs somethin left at 70mph imo.
i guess im really wonderin how all these bikes compare too the xr? i dont see much of a diffrence between the 350 and 500 other than power and a few lbs.
As far as the 350/500 differences, the bike/weight is pretty much the same except for the motor. if you want to ride more tight trails the 350 would get the nod. More fast open terrain, the 500. Typically the smaller motor bikes "feel" lighter on the tight trails.
There are a few 350/500 threads here in Thumpers. Sounds like you're talking yourself towards the KTM, I've not heard a single person dislike theirs yet.
Good luck, sucks to be in the position you are in :lol3
Of your stated choices I'd buy the 500 EXC then. You can always add a throttle cam if the bike needs to be tamed for
low speed tight trails, but you cannot make the 350 have more power so easily, and we seem to agree that extra power
is nice to have on pavement.
The KTMs will be obviously lighter than the XR, and the KTMs have a six speed transmission ( on EXCs )
which is a nice thing to have. Also the suspension on the KTM is simply better than the Honda suspension.
Add an HT oil cooler, a larger fuel tank, lightweight luggage and minimalist gear so you don't ask too much
of the subframe, and you will have to recalibrate your fun meter because it will be pegged
all the time :-)
I also think a 2007 525 EXC is worth considering, especially because it is not a first-year model and I am wary of
first year KTMs based on KTM's past history. Note that the 2007 is the first year the EXC was unimpeachably street
legal from the factory, so it is more desirable than an earlier model year EXC if you want to be sure to avoid DMV hassles
in the future.
I know how you feel.
I currently have a WR250R, modded to make it better/lighter. It has a megabomb/PC4, fuel prog, gearing, fat bars, 606s, etc...
I recently rode a 530 and a g450x and I LOVED the power of those bikes. The suspension on each was very different. The g loved to rail and drift and was really stable while the 530 had suspension that would save you if you did something stupid. It was agile and felt very alive.
My WR was so much better all around than those, and the main reason was the seat, the vibe free ride, the ease of riding it.
It is so much work to get the WR going fast. Always rowing through the gearbox, up and down all the time. You get on these other bikes and you can click it in third and ride all day. That is really the only fault the WR has. On the "between trail" sections, I was easily the happiest person there. If you're planning longer distances, the WR has them both beat.
I wish the 450 and 530 were more forgiving in the maintenance dept, I'd have one in a minute. I think everyone wishes for a WR450R, I just wish the WR had another 20hp.
The weight never bothered me. It didn't feel heavier than either of the two others.
I can tell you the 690 is a bitch. It feels heavier and it won't turn. That bike is well suited to desert riding. In the tight stuff, the frame limits the turning radius significantly.
Come ride on the I-440 belt line around Raleigh NC and see what you think when some idiot in a cage is 4 feet off
your rear fender at 80 mph and your only option is to accelerate up to a higher speed or pray you do not need to slow
down quickly, because all the other lanes are packed with vehicles so it is literally impossible to pull into another lane.
If you have a bike with more power you can more quickly put distance between yourself and such cagers. You might say
I could avoid the cager by not riding in the fast lane but you would be incorrect because all the lanes are full
of drivers who will tailgate you. If you need to ride on such roads, and I occasionally do, it is nice to have more power
than you would typically otherwise "need" on a dual sport bike.
My preference is to own a bike with more power than the Yamaha . You seem like an educated fellow, and surely
you can understand that a preference is not an absolute but rather a subjective thing, and as such there is no "right"
answer, but only an answer which is right for the person who has stated the preference.
The drivers in the Raleigh area are not like the drivers in Stumptown. People in Portland tend to drive in a much more
civilized fashion than people in North Carolina do. You might be shocked at how people in North Carolina drive,
it is very different from what you can expect in other parts of the US. Driving around Portland is much less frightening
than it is in certain parts of North Carolina where I now live. I lived in Portland for ten years so I know whereof I speak.
FYI I had an apartment near OHSU and I drove around the city quite a bit. I miss the higher level of civility one experiences
in the Portland area quite a lot.
Ok, I hear what you're saying for your location but the OP lives in the "north coast of cali where we have a plethera of dirt connected by pavement". Seems like a very different driving environment than Raliegh or even Portland. Of course he would need the power to outrun the cartel employees manning the Humbolt County marijuana plantations :wink:
When I reply here I try to answer the question the OP posted based on the specific criteria they list. My own personal situation is usually going to be different than the OPs .... if in this case I answered based on my own personal situation I'd have just said "get the KTM" :lol3
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