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Old 09-13-2012, 08:17 PM   #1
wizz OP
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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 thanks for any input yall have

wizz
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:22 PM   #2
wizz OP
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Bluhduh

I should add that one of the reasons im inquiring is i cannot ride the ktms. no demos at the dealer.
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:40 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpet View Post
Why don't you get a used 2008 KTM RFS EXC
because no such bike exists. last year of the RFS was 2007.

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
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazybrit View Post
because no such bike exists. last year of the RFS was 2007.

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
Good advice.
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Old 11-12-2013, 05:53 AM   #6
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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.

[/QUOTE]

I'm thinking about doing that same route summer of 2014. Not sure if my KTM 950 is the right bike for as much dirt as possible. I'd love to have a 500 exc, but my wife would love a new kitchen remodel more. What are the roughest areas of the trails/road & is my 950 going to be difficult to manage on the tough sections. I travel as light as possible. Knobby tires.
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:20 PM   #7
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More power is better...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rpet View Post
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 am not a real good off road rider and as such I blunder into situations that are forgiven by huge amounts of low end torque. Just remember that the huge high end torque can kill you...quickly! I like the KTM 500 EXC ( just bought it ) and I liked my KTM 530 ( the new 500 EXC is much better with the EFI ).
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpet View Post
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.
Thanks Rpet! I've been lurking on this one. Your advice seems the perfect solution for me.
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:17 AM   #9
It'sNotTheBike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wizz View Post

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.
wizz


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.


.

It'sNotTheBike screwed with this post 09-14-2012 at 09:49 AM
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:06 AM   #10
crazybrit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by It'sNotTheBike View Post
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.
What kind of "situation" is this. I guess I've never had one where the power of the WR250 wouldn't be sufficient. If you tend to get into these "situations" often perhaps the bike and it's power output isn't what you should be troubleshooting.
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:30 AM   #11
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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.
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Old 09-14-2012, 11:40 AM   #12
It'sNotTheBike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Attico View Post
I wish the 450 and 530 were more forgiving in the maintenance dept, I'd have one in a minute..

The real world maintenance on a EXC that is not being raced every weekend
is not as labor-intensive as some who have not owned one of the bikes seem to believe.
This has been debated endlessly and the people who have actually owned the bikes
seem to agree that when the bike is not raced it doesn't need to be maintained
like a race bike does. It is true that the WR-R needs less attention to the valves,
but other than that there's not a vast difference in the maintenance required for the two
different bikes, unless you consider a 20 minute oil change to be a big hassle.

What you get in exchange for a bit more maintenance work is a lot more power, and significantly
better suspension. You pays your money and you takes your choice, like the man said.

Honestly I do not understand why someone would be less "miserable" on a long paved transit
section when riding a WR-R instead of a KTM EXC. I have ridden both bikes and I don't
feel that there is a significant difference in comfort, provided the KTM doesn't have the stock
seat which is indeed horrible. If we are restricted to the bikes remaining 100% stock ( who does that ? )
then I would certainly give the nod to the Yamaha in the seat department. But I think stuff like whether your wheels
are balanced and whether the bike has a good steering damper makes a bigger difference in comfort than the difference
between the WR-R and an EXC on paved sections. Now, if I could have a magic bike which transformed into a 950
SM when I hit pavement and back into an EXC when I hit single track, I'd pay extra for that !


It will be interesting to see what the OP chooses.


I hope he lets us know.


.

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Old 09-14-2012, 12:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by It'sNotTheBike View Post
The real world maintenance on a EXC that is not being raced every weekend
is not as labor-intensive as some who have not owned one of the bikes seem to believe.
This has been debated endlessly and the people who have actually owned the bikes
seem to agree that when the bike is not raced it doesn't need to be maintained
like a race bike does. It is true that the WR-R needs less attention to the valves,
but other than that there's not a vast difference in the maintenance required for the two
different bikes, unless you consider a 20 minute oil change to be a big hassle.

What you get in exchange for a bit more maintenance work is a lot more power, and significantly
better suspension. You pays your money and you takes your choice, like the man said.

Honestly I do not understand why someone would be less "miserable" on a long paved transit
section when riding a WR-R instead of a KTM EXC. I have ridden both bikes and I don't
feel that there is a significant difference in comfort, provided the KTM doesn't have the stock
seat which is indeed horrible. If we are restricted to the bikes remaining 100% stock ( who does that ? )
then I would certainly give the nod to the Yamaha in the seat department. But I think stuff like whether your wheels
are balanced and whether the bike has a good steering damper makes a bigger difference in comfort than the difference
between the WR-R and an EXC on paved sections. Now, if I could have a magic bike which transformed into a 950
SM when I hit pavement and back into an EXC when I hit single track, I'd pay extra for that !


It will be interesting to see what the OP chooses.


I hope he lets us know.


.
Very wise post.

For the record, my EXC was extremely smooth and comfortable on the road provided the wheels were balanced.
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazybrit View Post
What kind of "situation" is this. I guess I've never had one where the power of the WR250 wouldn't be sufficient. If you tend to get into these "situations" often perhaps the bike and it's power output isn't what you should be troubleshooting.


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.



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Old 09-14-2012, 10:41 AM   #15
crazybrit
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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

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"

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