KTM newbie wanting used KTM dualsport, the lightest, most dirt oriented one they made

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Sierra Thumper, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. Sierra Thumper

    Sierra Thumper Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Oddometer:
    641
    I'm new to KTM's, don't know anything about the dual sport models they've made, how reliable they were, how light, how dirt oriented etc. I'm looking for a used, older KTM dual sport that is dirt focused, lighter, dependable, and preferrably e-start. Any and all info about a KTM that will fit my bill from you KTM specialists is greatly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me :d

    I also posted this in the KTM-640 thread but so far noboby felt the need, or had the knowledge to respond :scratch ....so I figured I'd ask the collective :nod
    #1
  2. Droptarotter

    Droptarotter Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,484
    Location:
    Cloverdale,BC
    OK........if you want a more dirt oriented KTM dual sport get any of the RFS based machines from the 2000 - 2007models.

    250, 400, 450, 520, 525, 530 are all very reliable with electric start. Some might not be street legal depending on where you are located and what specific models.

    The newer 450, 500, 530 RC4, RF4, XC4 based machines are good also, but might fetch more money.

    If you want something a little more street oriented, look into the LC4 based machines.
    400, 620, 640 and the newer 690 are still very capable off road bikes, but will allow you to use them on road with more comfort.

    Go to;
    http://ktmtalk.com/index.php

    For your best source on KTM specifics.

    Cheers
    #2
  3. UncleGra

    UncleGra Sus pensioner and Fear Bighter

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,508
    Location:
    TWILIGHT ZONE
    A KTM 625 would fit the bill just nicely..mine is a 2005 and has done 76000kms off road except for bitumen I cant avoid...It'll get its first rebuild soon...its not for sale...:D

    unc
    #3
  4. Sierra Thumper

    Sierra Thumper Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Oddometer:
    641
    Thanks a TON guys for taking the time to respond......especially you Drop for the great info and link, that was exactly what I was looking for :thumb

    I'm kinda shocked there was so little response to my KTM questions, I really figured I'd get some great responses here on ADV....you can usually get awesome info on any bike around here, I figured especially so with the KTM's :scratch

    I have a modded/slightly lightened xr650l which I really enjoy, its a great bike for the most part, but its way too heavy for some of the tighter trail riding I like to do. I want to get a dual-sport bike thats substantially lighter to complement the xrl for the tighter riding. Power isn't as much of a concern as lighter weight.
    It looks like something along the lines of the 450 is what I'm after. It seems like the 450's weren't street legal prior to 2007 tho from the factory, so I might have to try and dual sport my own. Same with the 520's/525's.

    I was mainly thinking KTM because they seem to make the lightest, most dirt-oriented dual sports, but if you guys have any suggestions on another slightly older, lighter dual sport bike with enough power for highway riding, and good torque, don't be afraid to speak up :D
    #4
  5. greendy

    greendy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    23
    Location:
    okanagan
    Guys

    Got a line a wicked deal on a Street legal 530 EXC, but I'm not sure that it is the right bike!!!

    I'm looking for a good dual sport bike, for both rips on the single track as well as multi day / week adventure rides. I'm fairly certain the KTM is a great bike for the daily snorts in the bush, single tracks etc etc, but I'm looking for some feed back on the adventure riding characteristics of the bike
    #5
  6. Cyberg

    Cyberg Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    37
    Not great for AV riding but it is a very good ST bike. And for the most part they have a great track record.

    The bigger bikes will suck in the ST but much better on the tarmack.

    If it was me I would go with a smaller dirt based DS bike. I actually own a FE 570 for my AV riding. My buddies have a BMW GS 800 and a KTM 990 Enduro. But we also have other bikes for the one day ST trips.
    #6
  7. Sierra Thumper

    Sierra Thumper Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Oddometer:
    641
    Thats exactly what I'm looking for....a small, light st machine thats still street legal. I'd like it to be able to handle 50-60 miles each way to get to the trails as well tho. Anything longer I'd take my bigger bike.
    So the 450/530's aren't too good on the road? Too vibey or?
    #7
  8. Droptarotter

    Droptarotter Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,484
    Location:
    Cloverdale,BC
    It's not that the 400- 530 bikes are vibey........actually the motor is quite smooth....it's that they are have shorter service intervals and are set up more for trails/racing than road use.

    I used my 520 for week long trips.......using a home base.......so out for the day.........would service the bike with an oil change half way through the trip.

    I also had the 520 set up as a motard............that just turned me into an instant a**hole......I could ride the 520 all day in the bush.........but 1 hour on the street was enough.............the seat was not comfy when sitting all the time.

    Both the power and the lightness/handling will make your XR650 seem like a dinosaur.

    Hey, sorry for the cheeky reply in the 640 forum..........but I think you did not give those guys a chance..............don't forget.......it's still holidays for some.........and in some ways, you asked such a vague question, others might not have wanted to respond.

    Hope this helps
    #8
  9. Sierra Thumper

    Sierra Thumper Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Oddometer:
    641
    It helps a ton, thanks for taking the time to share yout knowledge with me, and the others reading as well :thumb :D

    I prolly was a bit impatient in the 640 thread...but for some reason I got the distinct impression I was getting the cold shoulder? I've gotten some good responses over there now tho, better than I expected actually....so its all good :D

    I'm wondering how easy it would be to convert a pre-07 450/520/525 to the street? That might be the route I go if I can't find an 07 up for a decent price...
    #9
  10. espressodrinker

    espressodrinker Cape Town Wanderer

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    208
    #10
  11. Big Augie

    Big Augie Transient

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,086
    Location:
    Central Cheese State
    Once you buy a KTM, you'll never want to ride the XRL off road again.
    I have a XR650L all farkeled up that gets used as my street bike now,
    I even run Dunlop 606's but rarely touch more than gravel with it.
    The plated 03 EXC 450 works so much better off road, and is nearly 75(?) pounds lighter.
    It also works fine on the road for short hops here and there, and even I can adjust the valves on it.
    The 2012 EXC 350 is another step better than the 450, but both KTM's are a blast to ride.
    The only problem with riding a dirt based KTM on the street is, the seat is like a 2 by 4.
    #11
  12. wvridgerider

    wvridgerider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    591
    Location:
    west virginia
    I have a plated 06 525XC. I love it off road, gravel roads and limit on road riding. I commute to work on it also but it is a very short commute and I will make it longer at times. I change the oil every 10-20 hours so I use Rotella Synthetic in it cause it is cheap. I bought it in August and put 70 hors on it and checked the valves once. I had a XR400 prior to this and this bike blows it away, suspension is the biggest difference. I can ride for hours and not be near as tired as I was on the XR.
    #12
  13. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    16,857
    Location:
    Annapolis, MD
    That depends on where you live. In states that aren't too picky about VIN numbers just about any KTM that the original owner got a title for or still has the original MSO for can be made street legal. All of the EXC's are going to be plug and play for a decent dual sport kit and have a street friindly gear spread. The Baja Designs kit on my MXC actually has better controls and mirrors than the factory stuff on my 640.

    As for seats, ALL KTM seats suck. Know that going in and plan to buy an aftermarket seat. Especially coming off of one of the most ass friendly seats I have ever parked mine on. I love the seats on XR650L's. But the Renazco seat on my 640 is even better than those Honda seats. The SDG seat on my MXC isn't nearly as nice as either the Honda or Renazco though it is infinitely better than the stock KTM seat.

    If you are considersing an LC4 bike a good friend and I were just swapping back and forth between his XR650L and my 640E a few weeks back. We both agreed the ergos on the XR are wacky though the seat is great. We are both pretty big guys and were both happier on my 640 with that Renazco seat. For performance my 640 flat out stomps the XR in any measure of power. But the XR engine feels electric motor smooth in comparison. No one has ever accused an LC4 engine of being smooth.

    Offroad my 640E is significantly lighter. In slippery snot the XR is a tractor and hooks up well where my 640 is a tire spinning handful. Ditto on steep climbs with loose rock. The XR climbs like a mountain goat while my 640 will loop or put you on face if you aren't very careful with the clutch. Those same traits make my 640E a flat tracking joy on gravel roads. And if there is any traction at all then it was lights out for the XR. For suspension the XR isn't bad until the speeds pick up. Then my 640 will swallow big hits better.
    #13
  14. Sierra Thumper

    Sierra Thumper Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Oddometer:
    641
    I'd love to pick up a 450.....the weight loss is what I'm really looking for, I'm sure the 450 would have all the off-road power I needed :D I'm pretty used to my xrl, and take it all the same places I've taken every other dirt bike I've ever owned...but the xr takes more out of you to do it, and falls harder when you do go down :eek1
    I'd prolly feel like superman on a 450 :rofl
    #14
  15. laramie LC4

    laramie LC4 crash test dummy!

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,574
    Location:
    Tucson, Az
    if you buy an RFS ('00-'07) the 450 exc bottom is exactly the same as the 525 and bigger. if i was you, id look for the 450, buy an oil cooler, and ride the piss out of it. when the intake valves go bad (and they will), you can rebuild the bike to what ever size you want. use the same crank (also relatively cheap to replace), put on a bigger piston and bore. you can buy these kits relatively cheap and go all the way to 570 if you want. put kibblewhite valves in and the bike will last forever if you take care of it.

    laramie :beer
    #15
  16. Sierra Thumper

    Sierra Thumper Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Oddometer:
    641
    Awesome info Laramie, thanks :D That sounds like a great game plan. I'm really ready for a nice light st machine, tired of wrestling the big bikes everywhere. The 450 is really catching my interest..I think I'd enjoy the heck outta one.

    You guys have really came through on educating me about the KTM line-up. I'll be honest, until I got my xrl I hadn't ridden a dirt bike since the mid 90's, and didn't follow ANYTHING to do with dirt bikes up until recently. I grew up riding dirt bikes, but switched to street for many many years.
    I'm very well versed in streetbikes, but have a lot of catching up to do with dirt bikes, especially KTM, they've come a long way since I last read up on them :nod
    #16
  17. MZRider

    MZRider Neo-Luddite

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    788
    Location:
    Western MD
    '97 on ATK 605.
    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    18,318
    Location:
    Burbank CA
    525exc can be had for $3k to $6k, depending on model year and condition, plus farkles. i think the 07 model are street legal.

    check out your local c.l.
    #18
  19. Barry

    Barry Just Beastly

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2002
    Oddometer:
    7,697
    Location:
    Fredericksburg, Va.
    I had an 04 400 EXC, great bike. Never missed a beat, was not street legal. Sold it and got a 06 525 EXC with 20 hours on the clock, fully street legal from the factory.

    Prior to owning a 525, I always read comments about how the 525, 530 is a handful off-road, esp. on single track cause of hte power hit. So I got mine, and immediately made sure a JD jet kit was installed, did the accellerator pump mod, and the big o-ring mod. OH SHIT... now I know why I read all those comments. 525 is waaaaay faster than the 400 once you let it eat. The 525 feels just like the 400 until you are well into the RPM range, then it is an entirely different beast.

    That said, I am entirely happy with my 525 vs. my 400. I realize how much is on tap, and ride accordingly. I may re-do the o-ring mod but leave the accellerator pump mod in place. To redo the o-ring mod I simply remove 1 thick o-ring and install a thinner o-ring. No biggie.

    The 525 has waaaaaaay more top end so if you want something streetable, go big. The power is there in spades.

    And here is a pic of my beast.

    [​IMG]

    And here is what broke me in for the 525... my 560 SMR, which makes the 525 seem timid.

    [​IMG]
    #19
  20. MrHix

    MrHix Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    384
    Location:
    MO
    What are you going to use the bike for? Are you going to ride interstate highways, back roads, dirt roads, trails. It depends on what you are doing with the bike. If you will be doing more than a bit of highway, a 450 or 500 would probably be best. Not so much revving out on the roads. I had a 250/320 XCF-W and used it about 90 percent off road, but I could still hop on the pavement and cruise @ 70 mph for 20 - 30 miles with no problems. Not a lot lighter, but sometimes every bit helps.

    Cheers,

    MrHix
    #20