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Old 01-26-2012, 05:30 AM   #61
Grreatdog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tokyoklahoma View Post
This post is VERY helpful. The only exposure I have had to KTM is from acquaintances that ride motocross, and everybody who races spends a lot of time wrenching.
One question, and you can color me convinced.
In that 12 years of dual-sport riding, how many engine rebuilds have you done? Or has it just been routine maintenance, and fixing trail damage.

Our local Yamaha dealer is also our local KTM dealer, so no problem finding a bike.
Funny thing about my LC4 is that it is the only bike that I haven't had to do any engine work on and it is at 15,000 miles. I have been pounding it very hard for three years and the guy I bought it from also rode it hard offroad. That has a lot to with it being very powerful. No mortal can ride a 640 pinned offroad like you can a 450. I do abuse it. But any prayer of traction means you aren't going to be pinned all the time. It only gets opened up on two track. I have to tiptoe a bit on real trails.

Not so my XT350 that I bought new in 1986 and put over 25,000 miles on up to 2003. I rode it WFO all the time on and offroad. When it finally grenaded the bike had three complete top end rebuilds and the cylinder was bored out two over. Plus it got torn down and new new rings a few times. I have no idea how many pistons that bike saw. That was about the same for my other small bore dual sports. The XT200 in my sig line got a new top end every year or two back when I rode it every day.

So if (probably when) I end up on an EXC450 I would expect to be rebuilding the top end every two or three years given my riding "style". It is no big deal to me. I replace tires and brake pads when they quit working well not when they are worn out. Same for engines. I don't like riding on worn knobbies or smoking, gutless engines. If you routinely abuse any small single it is going to need work to stay fresh. But at least the KTM's i have ridden didn't need work right off the showroom floor to make good power.

Like I tried to say before, a serious offroad dual sport is a bad investment if you a casual trail rider. But if you like to see how fast you can cover trails you will never look back once you go orange. And there are plenty of good less hard edged dual sports than the euro bikes. But, to me, 450cc says weekend warrior not globe trotter. That is why I don't get waiting on the Japanese to build an impossible bike. If you want easy the Japanese already make them. If you want fast the Europeans already make them.

But fast will never be easy and easy will never be fast.
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:40 AM   #62
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People always bring up reliability when KTM is mentioned and im not sure why? Maybe I was too young when the bad KTM's were out to remember? my KTM experience has all been on 4 wheels. That’s right boys and girls KTM makes quads and dam good ones! i have raced hare scrambles on my KTM for 3 years now as well as many, many trail riding hours. it got rebuilt at 123hr not because it was blown up or smoking but because I felt bad for it. it was treated to the same motor builder that built the GNCC teams race motors and he said it could have gone another 25 hours! it has the old style RFS motor in it.

I would say from 2001 on you can't beat orange for duel sport / adventure bikes. i just hope they come out with the 690 adventure so i don't have to make one.
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:22 AM   #63
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Seriously folks there is no such thing as a Duel Sport/Adventure bike. There are Duel Sport bikes, of which KTM is clearly the king, although there are some real nice Husabergs, Betas and Huskies that are starting to give them some competition. In my mind a D/S bike is street legal, tarmac capable to ride between trail sections or for a couple of hours to get to a trail head. In most cases with the right set up you should be able to pull off weekend camping trips if you use lightweight gear.

Then there are Adventure bikes, the 650-1200 bikes that can go 3-6k miles between oil changes and have a proven track record of bikes with 50-100k miles on the engines without needing a new top end. I think KTM has a bike in that game as well with the 690R?? There is not a 450/500cc bike currently capable of this without some serious compromise.

I am now going to make an assumption based on the original post and the title of this thread. What the OP is wondering is if the transition to 450s in the Dakar will usher in a new series of 450cc bikes capable of true adventure riding. There are several ride reports of DRZ's going around the world so the concept is achievable. Of course the DRZ has a couple of real issues, the 5 speed gearbox, and the power to weight ratio.

I think what people are dreaming about is a KTM 450/500 with 3 quarts of oil, a top end that will go 50k miles, a rear subframe that will hold 35-40lbs of gear, and still come in under 300lbs. I will take less performance than the current line up of KTMs offer in trade off for the other characteristics. I think this is why people lust after the mythical WR450R or the DRZ 450 with 6 gears and FI.

This mythical bike may be unobtanium, but I don’t think so. At 44 years and not getting any younger, I am still athletic enough and strong enough to run a bike hard in the single track, but I know that I do not have the talent, nor will I ever, to run a current KTM 450/500 at its top end.

Bigdog has shown that the Wr250r is capable of true adventure touring with hard dirt section thrown in. Still the 300lb Wr250r seems a bit underpowered. Someone now give us that same capability in a 450/500 and bring it in under 300lbs. Give me a detuned KTM that will go 50k miles on a top end and 3-6k miles on an oil change, and why you are at it give me 250 miles of range. I will keep dreaming until this bike exists.. it does not right now.
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:09 AM   #64
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^^^ all that and for the love of god make it so people under 6 foot can at least tippy toe on it!!! ^^^
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:57 AM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grreatdog View Post
Funny thing about my LC4 is that it is the only bike that I haven't had to do any engine work on and it is at 15,000 miles. I have been pounding it very hard for three years and the guy I bought it from also rode it hard offroad. That has a lot to with it being very powerful. No mortal can ride a 640 pinned offroad like you can a 450. I do abuse it. But any prayer of traction means you aren't going to be pinned all the time. It only gets opened up on two track. I have to tiptoe a bit on real trails.

Not so my XT350 that I bought new in 1986 and put over 25,000 miles on up to 2003. I rode it WFO all the time on and offroad. When it finally grenaded the bike had three complete top end rebuilds and the cylinder was bored out two over. Plus it got torn down and new new rings a few times. I have no idea how many pistons that bike saw. That was about the same for my other small bore dual sports. The XT200 in my sig line got a new top end every year or two back when I rode it every day.

So if (probably when) I end up on an EXC450 I would expect to be rebuilding the top end every two or three years given my riding "style". It is no big deal to me. I replace tires and brake pads when they quit working well not when they are worn out. Same for engines. I don't like riding on worn knobbies or smoking, gutless engines. If you routinely abuse any small single it is going to need work to stay fresh. But at least the KTM's i have ridden didn't need work right off the showroom floor to make good power.

Like I tried to say before, a serious offroad dual sport is a bad investment if you a casual trail rider. But if you like to see how fast you can cover trails you will never look back once you go orange. And there are plenty of good less hard edged dual sports than the euro bikes. But, to me, 450cc says weekend warrior not globe trotter. That is why I don't get waiting on the Japanese to build an impossible bike. If you want easy the Japanese already make them. If you want fast the Europeans already make them.

But fast will never be easy and easy will never be fast.
That was a really great post! You just killed this thread like a hit man!
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Old 01-26-2012, 01:26 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by dmaxmike View Post
People always bring up reliability when KTM is mentioned and im not sure why? Maybe I was too young when the bad KTM's were out to remember? my KTM experience has all been on 4 wheels. That’s right boys and girls KTM makes quads and dam good ones! i have raced hare scrambles on my KTM for 3 years now as well as many, many trail riding hours. it got rebuilt at 123hr not because it was blown up or smoking but because I felt bad for it. it was treated to the same motor builder that built the GNCC teams race motors and he said it could have gone another 25 hours! it has the old style RFS motor in it.

I would say from 2001 on you can't beat orange for duel sport / adventure bikes. i just hope they come out with the 690 adventure so i don't have to make one.
How can you possibly call a bike reliable when it needs an engine rebuild at 150 hours (<10000 miles under any circumstances). Some bikes go around that distance between oil changes.

I agree with the poster who said that the current crop of street-legal enduro bikes are too far toward the finicky, high maintenance end of the spectrum.

If my DR 350 had an additional 10 HP, more modern suspension and a wider-ratio transmission (all perfectly feasible in a modern 450cc bike), it would fit the bill perfectly. My 435cc big-bore version is around 300 pounds and has probably gained a couple of HP and a load of torque over the stock 30hp/22ft-lb. It can carry luggage and/or a small passenger relatively easily and will keep up with most traffic without undue stress. Its downfalls, IMO, are a ridiculously narrow spread of gear ratios (you could remove 3rd and 5th and never notice) and limited capability in the more gnarly off-road conditions.

Make a DR 450 or DRZ450 engine, equip it with a wide-ratio transmission and drop it into a KTM (or any other modern enduro) chassis with a beefed-up rear subframe and you'd have a winner IMO. Mine gets 48 mpg in road use so I expect a modern rendition with FI and taller gearing could easily manage 55-60 mpg, giving a range of 200+ miles from a modestly-sized tank.

The question of how to also satisfy the inseam-challenged doesn't really bother me at 6'+ That particular issue will always be a compromise and I for one would rather tip-toe than lose ground clearance or suspension travel or have my knees under my chin. No harm in making a "short-arse" version. However, most D/S bikes have at least two inches of ground clearance that 80% of riders don't use, so it's a "problem" that can usually be adjusted away fairly easily.
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Old 01-26-2012, 01:56 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by slartidbartfast View Post
How can you possibly call a bike reliable when it needs an engine rebuild at 150 hours (<10000 miles under any circumstances). Some bikes go around that distance between oil changes.
You're confusing reliability with designed life span.
If it runs perfect for the entire 150 hours before its scheduled rebuild, and then it runs perfect for the 150 hours to its second rebuild, and so on, then yeah, it's reliable. If you run it to 300 hours and it blows up, well you pretty much deserved that.
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:00 PM   #68
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And that's 150 hours at full throttle racing speed...

Dakar is using 450cc bikes because it's a big money race now. Can you run anything you want as a sportsman competitor?
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:27 PM   #69
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You're confusing reliability with designed life span.
If it runs perfect for the entire 150 hours before its scheduled rebuild, and then it runs perfect for the 150 hours to its second rebuild, and so on, then yeah, it's reliable. If you run it to 300 hours and it blows up, well you pretty much deserved that.
Agree with the reliability/lifespan distinction. My bad.

The poster I responded to said Hare scrambles and many miles of trails. That isn't full throttle most of the time and with water-cooling, it's probably no harder on the engine than energetic street riding. Even if you double it to 300 hours, at an average 40-50mph, you're not going far between rebuilds.

If I want to ride from Florida to Alaska and back, hitting a few trails here and there in-between, a 150-hour designed-life engine is guaranteed not to make it. Something designed as an adventure bike should be able to do a trip like that without undue concern.
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:32 PM   #70
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A better example might be a NASCAR motor built for the Daytona 500. What's that designed for, six hours?

I'm pretty sure you could drive the thing 50,000+ miles down the I-5 at 70 mph if you put it in a street legal car.
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:42 PM   #71
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One thing to consider, the husky/ktm 510/530 class bikes are for a lot of folks, a little easier to ride. The power comes on a bit less violently and on top you have just a little longer legs.
The huskys also have a low resale value which is good if you're buying used.
I am an old, fat short guy and the 510 works real well for me. I wont lie it's a chore to pick it back up after dropping it with the wheels uphill half a dozen times.
Real weight, fueled and ready to go is 288 lbs.
Oil change intervals are stated as M/X 8 hrs, Enduro 16 hrs, dual sport 5000 km.
I just turned over 200 hrs and the valves have yet to measure out of spec.
I have a $100 shim kit with not a single shim used.
I bought this bike as a combo trail/dual sport bike. It has been far easier to ride single track with than I imagined it would be.
Prior bike was a 200 exc.
I too am fond of the orange but there are other colors too.
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Old 01-27-2012, 03:30 AM   #72
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One thing to consider, the husky/ktm 510/530 class bikes are for a lot of folks, a little easier to ride. The power comes on a bit less violently and on top you have just a little longer legs.
The huskys also have a low resale value which is good if you're buying used.
I am an old, fat short guy and the 510 works real well for me. I wont lie it's a chore to pick it back up after dropping it with the wheels uphill half a dozen times.
Real weight, fueled and ready to go is 288 lbs.
Oil change intervals are stated as M/X 8 hrs, Enduro 16 hrs, dual sport 5000 km.
I just turned over 200 hrs and the valves have yet to measure out of spec.
I have a $100 shim kit with not a single shim used.
I bought this bike as a combo trail/dual sport bike. It has been far easier to ride single track with than I imagined it would be.
Prior bike was a 200 exc.
I too am fond of the orange but there are other colors too.
I’m just really curious. You find the 510 easier to trail ride than a 200EXC? I had an 04 Husky 450 and that thing would hit like a Jap two stroke with a tight transmission.
My 450EXC is much smoother, more linear power.

But Im now in the market for a KTM 2t 200-300 for a trail/ woods bike. All I keep hearing about is how great these 2t are in the woods. What about your 200 didn’t you like?

Thank you
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Old 01-27-2012, 04:20 AM   #73
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I don't know about the EXC, but my MXC200 is a screaming little Tasmanian Devil. Having a license plate on that thing is wrong on so many levels. Not the least of which is yanking the front wheel off the ground every time it comes on the pipe. This thing easily has the power of the 250 MX bikes I rode in the 80's and hits just as hard. Maybe harder. It is very buzzy and and sucks gas like a Humvee. But it is seriously fast. I ride a very well sorted 640 and it freaked me out the first time I rode it.

I haven't had a chance to ride it on the street since I put another 12 ounces of flywheel weight on it and had it ported for even more, hopefully broader, power. But I rode over a 100 miles with a guy on an EXC200 and he loved that bike. He has that bike pretty well sorted for dual sport since it comes with the heavier flywheel weight and wide ratio transmission. Plus he had a Gnarly pipe on it and a Rekluse clutch to help control the hit even more. That is where I trying to get with my MXC.

What makes the 200 so sweet is that I can literally carry it across the garage and it packs almost 40 horsepower. And it is all there the second you twist the grip. If you want smooth, tractable power a KTM two stroke is probably not what you want. If you want a trail rocket almost as light as a trials bike then they are exactly what you want. My first ride on the 200 left me laughing out loud. I couldn't write the check fast enough. I am seriously considering ditching the 640 for a plated 300 as my "adventure" bike.

Which probably explains why I don't give a damn about having a milk toast Japanese dual sport just because the motor will last forever.
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:33 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by slartidbartfast View Post
How can you possibly call a bike reliable when it needs an engine rebuild at 150 hours (<10000 miles under any circumstances). Some bikes go around that distance between oil changes.
i say that because in the book it is listed at something like 25hr for a top end and like 50 or 75 for full rebuild. so under harsh conditions of racing along with the extra strain put on the motor and drivetrain due to spinning two heavy atv wheels and tires; i would say that motor is stone cold reliable and the version they put in the older 450exc's had even longer rebuild and service intervals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lemieuxmc View Post
A better example might be a NASCAR motor built for the Daytona 500. What's that designed for, six hours?

I'm pretty sure you could drive the thing 50,000+ miles down the I-5 at 70 mph if you put it in a street legal car.

being something i am very familiar with i am confident that a Daytona motor would not last 50,000 miles of I-5 at 70mph in a daily driver. Those types of motors cannot be compared to what were talking about just because there taken so far to racing side of things. But i do get what you’re saying and agree with you. someone goes out and buys the new 450sx that RD5 is racing in supercross ,and goes out to his local track or trail and runs it hard, really really hard will be hard pressed to do in the 20hr service window what he does in one day at Anaheim.
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:05 AM   #75
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I heard that one of the hottest XR 630 race motors that Honda ever built to race Baja in the '90's is powering a sewage pump on a ranch near Puertocitas to this day!
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