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Old 09-04-2012, 12:17 PM   #31
Navin
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Good luck and enjoy it.
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:20 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Riccardo1989 View Post
hi guys,
i got a WR-F 450 MY 2005! I love it, i just would like to know which final ratio you use, 'cos my 13-50 is very short!
Bye
Good choice, I have the same bike, same year.
I run 14/50 off road and 15/47 with the supermoto wheels....which i highly recommend if you really want to have some fun!
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:30 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAAANG View Post
My only experience between some of these is this:
Every KTM owned by friends has left them stranded at our local riding spot. 2 of them needed to be towed out and 2 of them took so much energy to get started that the riders could barely enjoy their day.

My buddies BRAND NEW WR450 will only start in neutral with the choke (cold start) out. He took it to Yamaha and after 2 weeks they have NO CLUE what to do with it.

Every Honda in our group has been rock solid. My CRF450x starter went bad but thats the only issue I have had. I love this bike as much as any man can love a bike. Check out the guys at JCR Honda, they are pretty much winning everything out there on an X. And Id be willing to put a little wager that Honda wins Dakar in 2013 with their new X.
I find examples like this troubling. What you don't say is the cause of the failures. 9 times out of 10 it is lack of maintenance, not the fault of the design.

I ride with a bunch of KTMs and have seldom had someone stranded.

I've seen failures on every make of bike out there.

I second the recommendation of an RFS motored KTM. I just replaced my '06 DRZ with an '06 KTM 450. No oil usage, but the intake valves seem to be losing clearance at an alarming rate. This is a known problem. New aftermarket valves might be in my future this winter.

The DRZ seemed very reliable, but was very top heavy and difficult to work on. Be aware that the DRZ does not have good low end torque. Coupled with a close range 5 speed gear box, it is a poor choice for dual sporting. Gearing it for good trail manners makes it rev too high for the highway.

You can fix up any of the bikes mentioned to be what you want. The question is how much time and $$ do you want to put into modifications? Invariably, they money you put into making a cheap bike what you want will be disappointing and will cost more than just buying the right bike in the first place.
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:28 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HellSickle View Post
I find examples like this troubling. What you don't say is the cause of the failures. 9 times out of 10 it is lack of maintenance, not the fault of the design.

I ride with a bunch of KTMs and have seldom had someone stranded.

I've seen failures on every make of bike out there.

I second the recommendation of an RFS motored KTM. I just replaced my '06 DRZ with an '06 KTM 450. No oil usage, but the intake valves seem to be losing clearance at an alarming rate. This is a known problem. New aftermarket valves might be in my future this winter.

The DRZ seemed very reliable, but was very top heavy and difficult to work on. Be aware that the DRZ does not have good low end torque. Coupled with a close range 5 speed gear box, it is a poor choice for dual sporting. Gearing it for good trail manners makes it rev too high for the highway.

You can fix up any of the bikes mentioned to be what you want. The question is how much time and $$ do you want to put into modifications? Invariably, they money you put into making a cheap bike what you want will be disappointing and will cost more than just buying the right bike in the first place.
I agree,Ive had 14 KTM's and not a single one has ever even hinted at leaving me stranded,not once.ANY dirtbike needs a mechanical person to own it,its just how it is.
Guys who buy those 450X Hondas find out the valves dont last so long,IF they ride em a lot,and they are heavy and run kinda like an MX bike.The NEW X is no different then the old X,from what Honda says,they just started making them again,if a pro factory mechanic cant make one last,they are in trouble.

The 2011 530 I just got is a dirtbike,yah its street legal and has nice tall gearing,to ride it on the street is wasting it's talent,plain and simple. Ive heard the valve train holds up better on the 08 on KTM's,we shall see.

The DRZe Ive got is a good putt putt bike,it can be hurried along on non demanding terrain,once in the steep rocky stuff it seems scared and very un helpful,its weight drags it down a hill and is very hard to slow or turn,I wouldnt suggest it.Ive wasted some money on it for sure.

Guys who put stainless steel valves in the RFS engines have found they last a long time,guys have finished Dakar on one engine,thats the real test.

I see guys riding 98 YZF400's around,Yamahas seem to just go and go,not sure what their secret is.
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:39 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Navin View Post
I had 2 RFS bikes, I'd pick my 09 530 over either any day for performance and longevity/build quality. I LOVED my 520 and 525, tuff as nails too but the 530 is really just a further refinment of them. Less rough edges, smoother version of a pretty smooth engine already.

My valves have yet to move and the bike has been doing everything from trails to street sumoto to MX. I just upgraded the oil pump gears to the new parts out of precattion but the bike hasn't needed anything since jetting it except fluids and personal stuff, suspension, protection, etc.

I expect 2-3 years more from the top end though I may BB it just because.
Yah,my 2011 530 is pretty amazing,tight singletrack no problem,then the same gearing can do a long fast gravel road section with out revving the engine a bit,the engine is quieter mechaniclly then my DRZe is,by a ways,smooth and fast,suspension is nice out of the box.
Just personal set up,its already a great dirtbike.
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:18 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAAANG View Post
My only experience between some of these is this:
Every KTM owned by friends has left them stranded at our local riding spot. 2 of them needed to be towed out and 2 of them took so much energy to get started that the riders could barely enjoy their day.

My buddies BRAND NEW WR450 will only start in neutral with the choke (cold start) out. He took it to Yamaha and after 2 weeks they have NO CLUE what to do with it.

Every Honda in our group has been rock solid. My CRF450x starter went bad but thats the only issue I have had. I love this bike as much as any man can love a bike. Check out the guys at JCR Honda, they are pretty much winning everything out there on an X. And Id be willing to put a little wager that Honda wins Dakar in 2013 with their new X.
LOL, the worst off road bike I ever owned was a crf450. Everybody has a story.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:02 AM   #37
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gravel machines i.e. not racing them:
"200+ hours w/o replacing the piston is not abnormal"

so 40 rides @ 5 hours each. that's the benchmark for piston replacement?
my definition of reliable is a gravel machine that lasts years upon years not 40 rides.



Quote:
Originally Posted by olec View Post
Get a late RFS engine! I've had two of them (525 and 400) and they're close to bulletproof. Up here many guys are still using them for gravel machines and it's amazing how many hours / kilometers they have on them. 200+ hours w/o replacing the piston is not abnormal. Just keep an eye on the valves now and then, change the oil and filters regularly with good brand, and you're good to go. Lot's of aftermarket parts and even several rally parts for this bike if that is your interest (like many variations of gastanks etc).

If you do road duty, to connect the fun parts, get the 525. It can do those paved sections and even highway duty much easier than the smaller ones. If your main interst is a light woods bike that can survive some roads, get the 400 (or 450). The 400 is a smaller bore long stroke, and basically the same engine as the bigger ones. If your woods time is just for fun and not so 'serious', get the 525. The extra gyro isn't a big deal if you can take a break now and then. For racing, you'll notice the less gyro on the 400 and you can hold on to race pace for longer periods.

I had two friends with WRF's. They're good bikes, but both of them got some problems with the transmission after like 50-60 hours. Had to replace some bent 'things' in there. Else than that, I know they were happy with them.

PS: If you find a Beta bike (not the very latest years), they licensed using the RFS engine in that bike. Then you can get some kind of newer bike with the same bulletproof engine in it.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:03 AM   #38
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From my experience there are two knocks against the Honda (250/450X, not talking XR's) in terms of reliability for dual sport use. The Intake valves and the piston. The stock valves are titanium on the intake and SS on the exhaust. The intake valves will be done before the exhaust valves start to move in many cases. Replace with Kibblewhite SS valves and the top end will last you a long time. The Piston is the other hurdle and there is no way to overcome this that I am aware of. It's a skinny two ring design with extremely short skirts. All of the aftermarket pistons I have seen are of the same design.

I'm at about 9,000 miles and 350 hours on my motor and in the past couple rides I have noticed that it is beginning to feel a little down on power. I'm probably due for a top end with some new SS valves and a piston. It sounds like a lot of people are getting 3X that kind of longevity out of the KTM RFS motors.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:22 AM   #39
Navin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eakins View Post
gravel machines i.e. not racing them:
"200+ hours w/o replacing the piston is not abnormal"

so 40 rides @ 5 hours each. that's the benchmark for piston replacement?
my definition of reliable is a gravel machine that lasts years upon years not 40 rides.
30,000 magazine test miles in dirt with no out of spec parts says alot about the RFS longevity. I doubt it saw much love during those non-owner rides.

A guy just pulled apart a 09 450 Husaberg which shares the KTMs +08 engine parts. Over 450 hours and it was all in spec too. He is putting in rings, valves and a cam bearing + chain just cause he is in there. Those are real numbers by real riders.

How many hours/miles of in spec operation does it taker for an engine to be impressive? Those are great numbers by my standards!
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:44 AM   #40
Foot dragger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eakins View Post
gravel machines i.e. not racing them:
"200+ hours w/o replacing the piston is not abnormal"

so 40 rides @ 5 hours each. that's the benchmark for piston replacement?
my definition of reliable is a gravel machine that lasts years upon years not 40 rides.
What is a gravel machine?
You just drone down gravel roads?
Many,many guys have done 400 hours on KTM pistons,for strictly dirt riding that's a very long time.
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:45 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Navin View Post
30,000 magazine test miles in dirt with no out of spec parts says alot about the RFS longevity. I doubt it saw much love during those non-owner rides.

A guy just pulled apart a 09 450 Husaberg which shares the KTMs +08 engine parts. Over 450 hours and it was all in spec too. He is putting in rings, valves and a cam bearing + chain just cause he is in there. Those are real numbers by real riders.

How many hours/miles of in spec operation does it taker for an engine to be impressive? Those are great numbers by my standards!
Considering they are pretty much race engines and not putt-putt 280 lb monsters,its amazing how long some go.
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:07 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by RyanR View Post
From my experience there are two knocks against the Honda (250/450X, not talking XR's) in terms of reliability for dual sport use. The Intake valves and the piston. The stock valves are titanium on the intake and SS on the exhaust. The intake valves will be done before the exhaust valves start to move in many cases. Replace with Kibblewhite SS valves and the top end will last you a long time. The Piston is the other hurdle and there is no way to overcome this that I am aware of. It's a skinny two ring design with extremely short skirts. All of the aftermarket pistons I have seen are of the same design.

I'm at about 9,000 miles and 350 hours on my motor and in the past couple rides I have noticed that it is beginning to feel a little down on power. I'm probably due for a top end with some new SS valves and a piston. It sounds like a lot of people are getting 3X that kind of longevity out of the KTM RFS motors.
Not to mention terrible clutches. Dirt Rider magazine ruined a Honda 450 clutch within 4 loops of a dirt track.
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:22 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Off the grid View Post
Not to mention terrible clutches. Dirt Rider magazine ruined a Honda 450 clutch within 4 loops of a dirt track.
From a data point of one, Honda clutches are crap!

Again, any bike abused or poorly maintained can have issues.

I'm staying away from the Honda because of the rigid chassis, and piston/valve durability issues.
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:30 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by HellSickle View Post
From a data point of one, Honda clutches are crap!

Again, any bike abused or poorly maintained can have issues.

I'm staying away from the Honda because of the rigid chassis, and piston/valve durability issues.
i'm not an expert on the matter, but from what i've been told and read, the unicam valve issues have been resolved years ago. guess old stories never die, just like those that say ktm are unreliable.
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:43 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Foot dragger View Post
What is a gravel machine?
You just drone down gravel roads?
Many,many guys have done 400 hours on KTM pistons,for strictly dirt riding that's a very long time.
not sure, those are quoted words not mine.
hardly

travel all over sometimes with camping gear sometimes not. bike is too heavy for technical work but no issues with rough roads. i've gotten years of reliability not hours.

i don't doubt that ktm work for a long time for race machines but if we're talking how many hours as a definition of reliability that seems like short range numbers. i've talked to many wr yamaha riders and they also use words like years of reliability, not hours in their description. honda guys who have a bike from the last few years have no issues either. the story often goes, changed the oil, tires and washed it every so often and that's about it.

i know many ktm riders who do the same. my point is when the OP asked about reliability (he's on a dr350 so he's used to it) you guys mentioning # hours before replacement internal engine parts it isn't exact reassuring for the long haul.
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