ktm 350exc vs 500exc vs wr250r

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by wizz, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. wizz

    wizz Up a creek......

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,930
    Location:
    over yonder on the north coast of ca
    ive seen more 02-07 450exc's for sale than 525s. ive rarely seen the 525s. any reason for this? most of the 525s ive seen appeared to be well used to say the least.
    #41
  2. crazybrit

    crazybrit Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    8,553
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    No clue. I'd say I see about the same# 450/525. The short stroke 400 (and the 250) are the hard ones to find. Later is better with these bikes. Unlike the Japanese, ktm makes minor tweaks to the exc bikes pretty much every year. Given where you are located you'd probably want the 07 with the magic frame sticker. Also I'd look for <100 hours (as ~200 hours is the time when you may need the valves switched to stainless) or get one where this has already been done as the stainless last a long long time.
    #42
  3. It'sNotTheBike

    It'sNotTheBike Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    704

    No worries !

    If we all agreed on everything this site would be far less interesting. It's not a mutual admiration society here,
    it's a forum where stuff can be discussed, and disagreement is a positive thing unless it gets out of control
    and our "lizard brains" take over the proceedings, and people get banned etc.


    I did not mean to say that the fuel injection on the 500 was a bad setup per se. But the extra parts which are not there
    on a carbureted bike are parts which may fail and if they fail ( some of this stuff is impossible to repair so replacement is
    the only option ) and you don't have spares it could leave a bike unable to run. However the components in question are small
    enough and light enough that carrying a complete set of spares might not be out of the question on a trip where failure could be
    more than a mere inconvenience.



    Neduro had some "interesting" experiences with the new KTMs and fuel injection; see Ned's posts ( # 42, #46, #48 ) in this thread :

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=768894&page=3


    I put a lot of stock in what Ned has to say, and for me the key idea in his comments in the above thread was the
    idea that fuel injection is here to stay and one day it will all be just fine, but that day might not be here just yet in the case
    of the KTM EXC bikes which have ECUs which are set up to conform to EPA regs so the bikes can be street legal.


    .
    #43
  4. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,206
    Location:
    NYC
    The other thing to take into consideration is tire choice when determining the level of bike.

    You could put a long lasting D606 tire on a 350/500, but something feels wrong about that for me. Seem like a Scorpion Rally Pro or something 90/10 would be more fitting given the level of bike. Again, west coast and east coast probably dictates the tire choice, I just know it's spacious out there.

    That 500's torque would probably eat tires fast.

    Anyway, all I mean to say is that you don't want to wear out most your tire before you even get to the dirt.
    #44
  5. crazybrit

    crazybrit Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    8,553
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Dude, relax, I was kidding. I'm starting to sense why you left Portland and moved out East. I think you secretly like that manic traffic :D :D :D :D :D
    #45
  6. It'sNotTheBike

    It'sNotTheBike Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    704



    Yeah, you know how highly strung those east coast people are compared to the mellow west coast folks.


    I discovered that I fit right in here, and once I installed a railroad tie on the front bumper of my daily driver
    cage everything worked out very nicely.



    .
    #46
  7. wizz

    wizz Up a creek......

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,930
    Location:
    over yonder on the north coast of ca
    what about the 530exc? seen a few seemingly good deals (one was an08 with 200 miles for 6k). yall have mentioned the 525, but what aabout the 530? the wr rode nice, still wouldnt rule it out if i found a good deal, but not for a new otd price.
    #47
  8. Attico

    Attico Wrong way 'round

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,031
    Location:
    Aylmer, Quebec
    My opinion only: if you want to buy the ktm, get the fuel injection. Ned has some concerns, buy i think as many have found, you can map the differently.

    The 530 remains very nice. The 500 has a few advantages and ktm has been getting better at engine tech.

    The wr is great for me, but i often lust after a ktm.

    #48
  9. crazybrit

    crazybrit Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    8,553
    Location:
    Portland, OR

    530 has been mentioned. Has separate oil systems (clutch and motor) early bikes had issue with seal failing separating two and oil migrating .... do some research other than this no issues, shim under bucket valves.
    #49
  10. crazybrit

    crazybrit Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    8,553
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #50
  11. wizz

    wizz Up a creek......

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,930
    Location:
    over yonder on the north coast of ca
    throwin the 690 in the mix as it seems similar to wr250r with tons more power? at the shop theres a 350 on the floor, next 500 wont come in till december. 690 seems to have better maintenance intervals. here in nocal getting to and connecting trails can be 1-2 hrs which concerens me regarding exc. so hard to choose when talking about 10g potentially (less for a used 690 if you can find one.) so 350 now, search out a 690 or wait for the 500. bike will be doing the tat fyi
    #51
  12. montesa_vr

    montesa_vr Legend in his own mind

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,906
    I don't think you want a 690. The transmission ratios are much closer than either the WRR or the EXC KTMs. You can't ride tight trails and two hours between them and have the right gearing for both. And since you don't like the weight on your XRR, you'll hate the 690, which will be noticeably heavier.

    I also think you would find the WR250R feels lighter than your Honda, even if the scale doesn't agree. Here's a post I lifted from another thread that makes the point.

    I think your decision is between the new 500 or the WRR. If I were you I'd decide based on whether I found a used WRR deal that was too good to pass up between now and December. If you find a good deal on a WRR and it doesn't make you happy you could still buy a KTM, and they will have another year to correct whatever first year bugs show up in the meantime.
    #52
  13. longtallsally

    longtallsally Yeah I'm a chick

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,522
    Location:
    BACK IN THE STATES!!!
    On a whim I stumbled upon this thread and very much have the same dilemma. We currently have a WRR that I love (I kinda stole it from my wife). My big bike for long tours and mild off road is a GSA.

    On the last trip with the WRR that I had just regeared I liked it a lot, but couldn't do a couple hill climbs due to a lack of power. I've "returned" the WRR to my wife and now am on the prowl. The 500EXC is really what I want, but $10k is a spicy meatball for a trail bike. There is no question in my mind that I would love it, but it really is a lot of money for something I'd beat up a good bit (based on how much I crash on the WRR). But, I'm thinking I might not crash as much on something that is better suited for the task at hand with more power and better suspension.

    I've done long DS rides on the WRR, and I'm a goon. It beat me up, but was stone reliable and durable.

    I now want a more powerful machine. If want to do a DS trip, I'll do easier trails and take the GSA.

    Bottom line, get the 500. The WRR is a super nice/cool/reliable/smooth/fun bike- but in an all round kind of way. Plus if you get the 500, I can live vicariously through you until I decide to get one too. :deal
    #53
  14. rickypanecatyl

    rickypanecatyl SE Asia adventure tours

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,184
    Location:
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    I'd like to throw out my thoughts on bike price in the hope of changing enough peoples minds that manufacturers follow up with more bikes in the high quality reliable "niche."

    Here in Malaysia where the per capita income is roughly 25% of what it is in America, people commonly pay over 10 grand US$ for a bike - I suppose that would be like Americans commonly spending over $40,000 for a bike. However at the same time it isn't financially irresponsible as we easily average 8X as many miles per bike as the average American. (Malaysians bikers are in absolute shock when I tell them about "craigslist" where you can offer find a DR400 8 years old with less than 10,000 miles on it!) Thus we only spend on average 50% of our total income on bikes.

    There are not too many bikes in the WR250R category; a bike that the manufactures tried to make with reasonable quality (certainly not excellent) and yet at the same time reliable. KTM690 tried but failed miserably... the Husky


    No doubt the KTM 500EXC is a much cooler bike than the WR250R. But consider the price difference. At present the KTM is aproximately 7X more expensive than the WR250R in "REAL" money. Reliable info is tough to get, but a pretty good guess would be on average you could make it 50,000 miles on a WR250R with the same amount of repair and maintenance you would spend after 10,000 miles on the KTM500.

    Or in other words:

    WR250R $7,000/50,000 miles or .14 cents per mile of ownership
    KTM500EXC - $10,000/10,000 miles or 1 dollar per mile of ownership

    The point of this post is not to debate how accurate my guestimates are, but just to encourage bike buyers to think this way before complaining about a bikes price. If my wishes came true KTM would put out a KTMEXC450 "reliable" that might be down on power 5%, up on weight 10 lbs, last as long as a WR250R and perhaps cost $15,000. It would still weigh much, much less than the WR250R and have much more power. That would make it cost 2X as much as the WRR and 3 1/2 times less than the normal EXC in real money.
    I'm confident the technology is there to build such bikes but consumers have to understand the value of said bike before manufactures would risk building it.
    #54
  15. justlookin

    justlookin Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    276
    Location:
    Ohio
    Well, I am also interested in these 3 bikes and currently ride the WRR. Like everyone else I love the anvil reliability and have thrown a pile of cash at it to improve the power and hate the weight.
    One big difference I notice between the 350/500 is the primary gear ratio and would mean that the 350 would be spinning the engine faster going down the road, so I am thinking the 500 for me connecting trails 2 hours apart, I wish I could get a ride though before parting with that much.
    #55
  16. wizz

    wizz Up a creek......

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,930
    Location:
    over yonder on the north coast of ca
    I ended up getting the 350 and will tell you it has no problem doing highway speeds and it is a blast. easy to pick up, feels like a mountain bike compared to my xr. it has penty of power once properly geared, add a megabomb header and fmf pipe and the power is great across the powerband. i ended up deciding that 45 horses on a 250lb bike was plenty and i dont feel tired after a day riding from fighting the bikes power.
    #56
  17. dolphins13

    dolphins13 orange rules

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    Oddometer:
    138
    Location:
    spo wa
    I went to buy a brand new motorcycle 5 years ago, and they wouldnt let me test drive before dumping 12 grand. I said screw it I will never buy a bike I cant test ride. Unless it was being advertised as non-running? So I started studying different bikes. Found I would like a dirtbike that rides on the highway if needed. Then i discovered the 640 and knew I had to have one. I have nothing negative to say about my bike. So the 3 years of studying and test riding different bikes really paid off for me. :jkam
    #57
  18. jimhaleyscomet

    jimhaleyscomet Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    96
    In July 2011 I purchased a new 2011 KTM450EXC. Stock jetting was unsafe on the street. It had oil transfer issues from day one and the local dealers did not know enough about the bike to help me maintain / repair it. It spent 3-4 of the next 14 stressful months I owned it in the shop. The motor made 2 trips to KTM Ohio for repairs. Finally, I traded it back to the dealer and lost $5000. Don't even get me going on the 6 month warranty (what a JOKE) and crappy customer support.

    I replaced it (somewhat indirectly) with a 2008 WR250r with power mods.

    Don't let the light weight of the 450exc (or larger) fool you. I am not exactly sure why but big engines don't like to turn. The KTM was a handful on tight trails as the stock gearing and lack of fan made it overheat.

    As for maintenance and repairs remember that KTM's are race bikes. Every part is designed to just barely do the job. There is often only one way to perform most maintenance items (and many ways to do it improperly). It is VERY easy to cross thread screws, mess up air filter installation etc if you make any mistakes. If you are a great mechanic or have a pit crew go ahead. If you need help, forget it. Perhaps you know a good KTM mechanic but I could not find a good KTM mechanic even when I was willing to pay for the repairs.

    I drank the orange kool aide and I threw up!
    #58
  19. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Oddometer:
    12,963
    Location:
    chico,just below rag dump(nor-cal)
    If a wr250 didnt weigh 290 lbs I could see the need for one,but they do.
    The low end grunt of a big engine would be sorely missed putting around on a little sewing machine like that.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that.
    #59
  20. ADVJake

    ADVJake ***** dweller

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,341
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Plain and simple, your KTM was a lemon, and every manufacturer has had many of them.
    I can think of a brand new DRZ400 that had its engine rebuilt within 1 year of ownership, among many other issues.

    And the latter paragraph is nonsense. The KTM uses high quality components, because it is a race bike. Look for the high mileage examples of these motors, there are heaps.
    Easy to concentrate on the minority problematic bikes, and unfortunately the news of that spreads like wildfire. It's as rare as the 3rd gear blow up issue on the famously reliable DR650.
    #60