ktm 350exc vs 500exc vs wr250r

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

  1. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    Often times,knowing what you are doing can make all the difference.
    Why is a KTM screw or bolt easier to cross thread then any other?
    The oil transfer issue is 1 seal behind the clutch,its an hour job even by a home mechanic. If KTM's dont turn,just how did they win all 4 off road championships in the US?Jetting the bike is an hour job also.Gearing gets changed before you ride it in the dirt.
    Dirtbike riders have been working on their own bikes for many years,if I had to take mine to the shop for maintenance I would never get to ride the thing,on any dirt/dual purpose bike.
    Its better that you ride a WR250R.
    #61
  2. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    My 530 works fine,carbs arent an issue for anything I do. Im sure the 2012 500's are great as well but I have 0 problem going as fast as needed on a carb'd bike.

    KTM still doesnt use FI on their Dakar bikes or Baja bikes,its the need to finish that drives them. I tend to ride my 530 out in the middle of nowhere (Nevada) Somehow I have a great time on it even with out FI.
    #62
  3. garrett

    garrett Been here awhile

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    I currently own a 690, and rode it all summer, on singletrack, quad trails, Moab, Utah, Colorado. I had fun with it but I wanted something lighter that was more dirt friendly. There is a 500 in my garage now. Is it spendy? Yup there aren't giving them away. I went back and forth between the 350 and 500 and settled on the 500EXC because it was more of an all round bike FOR ME. I PM'd guys who rode both, and my take was if you're doing mostly singletrack, get a 350. I tour and do lots of connecting between trails so the 500 is what I chose.

    It's unfortunate when you get a lemon and KTM, or any manufacturer, should step up when there's a problem with a new bike. However, I'm not convinced that when you buy KTM's you're more likely to strip bolts and you won't be able to turn them because they have a bigger motor, sorry, but that makes no sense. They have a racing lineage and are light, maneuverable and fun to ride. I've ridden my buddies 450 and loved it on trails and if you go through the 500 and 350 threads here I doubt you'll find anyone that says how poorly they handle.

    At the end of the day, it's a hard swallow to eat the cash outlay for a new bike, but I decided to chew fast and swallow hard and get what I want.

    Good luck in your search.

    Garrett
    #63
  4. bobnoxious67

    bobnoxious67 Baby steps...

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    Truth be told here:deal

    #64
  5. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

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    Stock jetting and stock gearing, are you serious?? :huh

    Did you not realize that these parts are only put on there to get these bikes street legal, which would be completely impossible with a carbureted 450 with about 50 HP?? Obviously there is some minimal setup work that needs to be done by yourself or by your dealer if he is not completely incompetent. You would have known that doing even the smallest amount of research and due diligence.

    Oil transfer issues is another matter, and your dealer should certainly have taken care off it. It is a weak point of the XC4 engine, although I haven't heard of it happening often (at all?) on the 2010 and later bikes. Personally I prefer the RFS series, the Husabergs , or the 2012+ EXCs because they have a single sump.
    #65
  6. crankshaft

    crankshaft Guns are for pussies

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    This is the first time I've read this, have you seen this in a KTM press release?
    #66
  7. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

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    I have not heard anything to the contrary, have you? All 450 and 690 Rallies, whether factory or replica, have been using the good old Keihin FCR-MX carb up until now, including Rally Morocco last month AFAIK.
    #67
  8. jimhaleyscomet

    jimhaleyscomet Adventurer

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    I never said that no one should buy a new KTM. My problem was I am not the best mechanic and the thought of tearing down an engine after I just paid $9k+ for a new bike quite frankly struck fear into my heart. I did change the jetting and sprockets pronto. What got me is the dealers were absolutely no help whatsoever. The first dealer's solution to disappearing engine oil was to "add more, it is new" (later it turned up in the transmission). When I asked about the jetting they were clueless. Finally I ordered a jetting kit and that did the trick. The second dealers answer to the missing oil was to drain all the oils and refill with correct amounts (and charging me $90 for the "repair"). I mean this bike had no oil in the sightglass after I rode it home from the dealer (35 miles). Then KTM Ohio's wonderful advice was to switch to 10x50 mineral oil (also didn't work).

    As for "stripping out bolts" I only ever used a torque wrench. I cross threaded the transmission bolt "weep" bolt (I had to check the transmission fluid every ride) I assume because it was not designed to be pulled every day to check the oil. BUT it was the only way to figure out if the tranny had oil other than a full oil change of both sides (which I also did numerous times).

    I am sure all the manufactures occasionally have problems but it is how they respond to the problems that counts. The bike had a 6 month factory warranty and local dealers had minimal expertise how to maintain / diagnose the bike. Finally I was subjected to KTM Ohio's failure to diagnose ("just run mineral oil and it will fix it"), failure to return phone calls, and failure to make any concession to get me out of a lemon bike.

    Like I said before, if you have the wrench skills then go for a KTM product. Just realize if something goes wrong you are on your own unless you know a good local mechanic (or have the skills yourself). For myself I bought the bike to ride, not for the "project bike" it turned into.
    #68
  9. Off the grid

    Off the grid Seeker of the Unf

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    You did everything wrong as an owner. No research, you figured you would just drop your coin and ride. You are right, you are better on a Japanese bike. What are you going to do when you need an oil change? :lol3


    I believe the WRR is 305lbs, same as the 690.
    #69
  10. jimhaleyscomet

    jimhaleyscomet Adventurer

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    Yes I did a bit of research before I purchased. Because of my internet research, I asked the first dealer about jetting and more generally "Is there anything I need to do to this bike" before taking delivery. The response was "No, she is ready to go. Just keep moving because you don't want it to get hot while breaking in".
    #70
  11. Off the grid

    Off the grid Seeker of the Unf

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    Yeah, you got a crappy dealer there, bro. :cry
    #71
  12. crankshaft

    crankshaft Guns are for pussies

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    I've never heard KTM mention one way or the other honestly. I guess we can blame it on the ADV parrot:lol3. How many bikes compete in Dakar with FI?
    BMW, Husky, Ape, Yamaha, Berg or did they all go back to carbs?
    #72
  13. crankshaft

    crankshaft Guns are for pussies

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    You're a bad researcher. Even my Wife knows that KTM's come from the dealer needing a re-jet and a gear change and She doesn't ride. Next time you need a bike, I'll do some research for you.
    #73
  14. ADVNCW

    ADVNCW Banned

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    Interesting analysis. Cost is the main thing holding me back. I have the money, I just do not want to be stupid and immature in how money is spent. And why do some KTM owners (or former) turn into such ????:huh

    Typical KTM zealots here sound like some religious fanatics. :D
    #74
  15. Off the grid

    Off the grid Seeker of the Unf

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    Everyone do yourselves a favor and put ADVNCW on ignore.

    He's fucking insane, and I don't say that lightly.

    After I schooled him in the Honda thread, he sent me 2 long hate PMs. Really twisted, evil shit. (because of a motorcycle? :huh)

    Just put him on ignore and save the aggravation. Life is too short.
    #75
  16. montesa_vr

    montesa_vr Legend in his own mind

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    Not even close. Both motorcycles full of fuel:
    KTM 690 Enduro, 336 lbs (Cycle World, June 2009)
    Yamaha WR250R, 301 lbs (Motorcyclist, Oct. 2008)
    #76
  17. bobnoxious67

    bobnoxious67 Baby steps...

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    Holy FUCKING SHIT!!!

    Have you looked in a mirror lately? You've got everybody beat 10:1 with your blathering on about your 230 wonder bike in every post!
    #77
  18. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

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    Well, all rally bikes that KTM ever built until now have been carbed, if there is any change we would probably have heard about it in the Racing subforum.

    Aprilia is FI, don't think Husky/BMW ever built a factory rally bike but Speedbrain ones are FI, Berg never had a rally bike but privateer efforts on 70° are FI, Yamaha never built a factory rally bike but Yam Europe supported efforts as well as JVO bike were mostly carbed WRs with the odd privateer using a FI'd YZ450. New Honda rally bike is FI.

    I guess reliable FI systems are possible - for the most part - but KTM does not feel like they are quite there yet. Maybe the head honcho who decides owned a FI'd 690 at some point and got frustrated? :lol3
    #78
  19. crankshaft

    crankshaft Guns are for pussies

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    Well, that could be true. We all know I've had my 690
    Issues but that should all be behind me:lol3 I'm pretty sure Helders YZ was FI
    #79
  20. jimhaleyscomet

    jimhaleyscomet Adventurer

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    RANT WARNING - Proceed at your own risk.
    I never said KTM's don't turn. The original poster has a a 650 and said he wanted something more maneuverable. The several 250 dual sports I have ridden FEEL more nimble than 450's I have ridden (Honda, KTM, Yamaha) even when the bigger bikes weight less. I don't know why. Perhaps it has something to do with that big piston's momentum on the engine high in the frame?

    And for the record I have no problem changing the oil on my bikes. I installed the "missing" fan, changed sprockets, pulled off the pollution junk, removed the exhaust restriction, rejetted and more all with no guidance whatsoever from KTM or the selling dealer. In hindsight I would have done it all sooner had the selling dealer known anything about KTM450exc's. But still I would have had the oil transfer issue first from the engine to tranny and later from the tranny to engine. Changing oil every 200 miles (IN BOTH OIL SUMPS) to find out if there is any oil in the engine (or far too much) was a royal pain in the tail but it was the only way to finally document what was happening to the oil (going from one case to another). I chouldn't trust the KTM450exc sight glass (according to the forums). Plus I had to tip the bike over and back to get all the oil out and even then not all the oil came out (but gasoline did get all over the garage floor and that is a good design?). I imagine the 2012 KTM's are better as even KTM recognized their mistake and returned to a single sump. Of course those of us with the faulty design are stuck with it unless we would like to pony up another 5K to the folks at KTM or are willing to take apart the engine on the weekends instead of riding.

    Yet another typical maintenance more difficult than all my other bikes was changing the air filter. Why just two flat surfaces that slide all over the place buried deep in plastic? Since you could not visually check the mating surfaces, would it be so hard to have a ridge so the two parts "clicked" together so there was no way to accidentally leave a gap and feed dirty air to your engine?

    Perhaps KTM exc's are no harder to maintain than any other race dirt bike. But they are much harder to maintain than other dual sports and the original poster might consider that the hours add up fast if you do any street riding (as the original poster mentioned he would). And don't look to KTM or my local dealers to suggest reasonable maintenance intervals for non race conditions. Yeh, just go to the internet and experiment on your new $9K race bike. Should you change oil at 15 hours (and then every 30 hrs) or go 600 miles and change it (as the dealers recommended)? Beat's me.

    I have heard that KTM makes great two strokes. I have heard they are great for winning races. Heck, I even enjoyed riding my KTM450exc. The massive available power was tremendous and the relatively light weight was great as well. What I did not enjoy the constant worry that either the engine or the transmission would run dry and crater and the constant worry that KTM would not back their product.

    If you are comparing KTM exc's to a WR250r then just be aware what you are taking on. WR's have been on the market for years and there is a tremendous amount of fellow owners with the same bike you have that can assist you debug the bike. KTM builds a bike for a few years then changes it to make it better. Great for innovation but not so great for reliability. And it makes it much more difficult when you are trying to find folks who have corrected the same problem you are having.

    So yes it is better that I ride a WR250r and it is also better that other folks ride KTM exc's. To each his own.

    But enough of this, I am going riding.
    #80