Need a little push to buy a KTM 500 EXC over a WR250R

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by matt33, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. Gryphon12

    Gryphon12 Long timer

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    Sorry, I was away for the day, and this discussion took off!

    Montessa, yes I know. The WRR is 25% of an R-1, which doesn't lend itself well or easily to a WR450R equivalent. You could either "scale it up", which is a new engine, or make a 500cc p-twin (a Yamaha / reliable version of the RXV/SXV). Either would be a DS and not a Race bike - Not a KTM.

    Yes, the WRR is a DS. And the KTM is a high spec Race Bike. DS bikes work better a slow to moderate pace. Race bikes work better at a fast pace. How do you ride? The overlap is getting better with the new KTMs, which makes my choice harder, actually. I need a subframe and a high output alternator. (Or a WRR or TE630 or DR).

    In the middle for 250cc's - I could add high spec components to a DS bike. Still not light weight - you can't fight mass. But better? I go back and forth: can I make a Silk Purse from a Sow's Ear? With unlimited money, just buy the race bike and do (or pay for) the maintenance. With limited money, how good can you make it? For me the arguement is more critical in a small, high spec street bike (250-400cc), as some of you already know from that thread. With a thumper, the mods seem more worthwhile to me. But that's just me.

    So let me ask a question? Can you really upgrade the suspension on a WRR to KTM levels? I guess the answer is yes, and that the limit is money, but I don't know for sure. Then, the KLX-250 has a 351cc kit. The DR650 has a 790 kit. But the WRR only has a 290 Athena kit. Why? I suspect the reason is the R-1 technology from which the WRR engine is derived. Which begs the question: what happens when Kawasaki adds fuel injection to the KLX? And then the next set up is a KTM 350 EXC-F or XC-W.

    Freeride lovers, I'm with you, but the lack of a rear subframe to keep weight so low also limits my applications.

    Freeride lovers, remember that the orginal 24 hp number for the Freeride has been superceded by KTM. In the UK, they found too many complaints, so they changed the factory tune to 30 hp. So now, think KTM Freeride = 30 hp.

    Finally, where is the trickle-down from the 450cc displacement limit in the Dakar classes? [Skip the discussion of BMW X-bikes and Husky 449/511 - they don't cut it anywhere]. Does that leave the KTM 500 EXC / XC-W?

    PS. I'm still watching evolving 2-stroke technology. Very promising. But still 3-5 years out, so not of so much interest in discussions like this one.
    #41
  2. TNC

    TNC Candyass Camper

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    Gryphon, the '06/'07 KLX's were about the best 250 Japanese DS bike because they had 11" of travel to start with, and you can take all the Race Tech springs and Gold Valve kits for the KLX300 and install them. Then you slap on a 300, 331, or 351 cylinder with a full exhaust and TM36 pumper carb, and you have an extremely good streetable and dirt worthy bike with low maintenance and long term durability. With my aftermarket full Muzzy exhaust and ditching the stupidly heavy stock instrument panel for a Vapor unit, you're probably easily at or under 300 pounds of honest weight...with e-start. The problem with all this? If you're not a gearhead and don't do the more technical work on your bike, this is probably too expensive a pursuit on this bike to have all this work done for you. No, it's not a KTM, never will be, but it's an excellent true DS bike that is quite capable even in some gnarly off road conditions. I can live with this bike until the Freeride or something similar at that level comes out.

    That 30 horsepower rating on the Freeride still indicates a highly understressed KTM engine IMO. The lack of a subframe isn't a deal breaker for me.
    #42
  3. LittleRedToyota

    LittleRedToyota Yinzer

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    i disagree completely.

    imho, the lighter weight, better balance, and better suspension of a KTM make it work better at slow to moderate pace than a WRR, DRZ, etc.

    in what way does a WRR (or DRZ or whatever) work better than an EXC at slow to moderate pace?

    honestly, i don't get what anyone means when they say that. having ridden all these bikes at various paces in various types of terrain, i just don't understand how anyone can say that a heavier, less well balanced, worse suspended bike can work better anywhere.

    need a subframe? yes. need (for some reason) 14k or 20k+ valve check intervals? yes. need high stator output from the stock stator? yes. need a more comfy stock seat? yes.

    actually ride better under any conditions? nope. not even close.
    #43
  4. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

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    Well, a heavier bike gets blown around less on the road and will even track a bit more stable off road... as long as you are going in a straight line! :lol3

    Getting it to accelerate, stop or turn is of course another issue.
    #44
  5. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Been here awhile

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    Maybe they mean that a DS bike going slow works better than a DS bike going (trying to go) fast, and a race bike going fast works better than a race bike going (reluctantly) slow :deal

    Or that a race bike blows a DS out of the water less at slow speeds than it does at high speeds?

    I mean, there has to be something other than price that justifies a heavier bike with worse suspension, right?
    #45
  6. matt33

    matt33 Been here awhile

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    OP here. I feel like a conflicted, indecisive girly man. I don't recall ever having this much of a problem deciding which anything to buy. My brain tells me to save $3k and buy the Yamaha WR250R because 80% of the time it is all the bike that I will need. However, I also remember really having to try to wheelie over obstacles in the trail, it was also a lot of work sometimes trying to go fast off road. There were also places that I didn't even try going because of the WRR's extra pork (that may have been God's way of keeping me out of trouble).

    I spoke with the KTM guy today, he will have a 2013 500 EXC in stock any day now. He'll call me when it arrives; I will bring my pickup and my checkbook and see what happens.
    #46
  7. LittleRedToyota

    LittleRedToyota Yinzer

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    imho, that is a mistake. it's the other 20% of the time that will define how much fun you have on the bike/how much you like it vs. how much you are frustrated with it. that other 20% of the time is 80% of the fun. (and that 20% will turn into a larger percentage of the time/fun as riding the better bike opens new riding doors to you.)

    if you wanna save the $3k, buy a lightly used KTM 450/530.
    #47
  8. Ronin ADV

    Ronin ADV Gear addict

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    Anyone wanna bet what's going to happen? :lol3

    Just buy the damn KTM. Your going to always wonder about it if you dont. And this is coming from a WRR guy that really likes his bike.
    #48
  9. matt33

    matt33 Been here awhile

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    Strangely, I feel like the married man who is just going out for a few drinks with the office slut. What's the worst that could happen, right?

    I mean no disrespect to the KTM by comparing it to an office slut.
    #49
  10. error cooled

    error cooled anything but asphalt

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    I just sold my WR250R last week that I bought new in late 2008. I initially bought it over a DR650 because a dealer in Ohio was blowing them out for $4K. I just sold it for $3500 and 4000 mostly off pavement miles. Great bike, reliable, nimble and had great resale. But for me it was appliance like, soulless and lacked soo much torque. I also hated the weight.

    For a delta of $3K the KTM is a no brainer. If the delta was closer $5-6K I would certainly give pause.

    For the time being I am getting just as much if not more smiles per gallon on my 25 year old, 280lb, 40hp XR600R while I wait for the KTM FreeRide to be released. If it doesn't come to the US a EXC 500 will be in my future come spring.

    Go nail the office slut :rofl
    #50
  11. AZ TOM

    AZ TOM Long timer

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    #51
  12. tHEtREV

    tHEtREV Captain Awesome

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    So you are claiming that a skilled rider can ride a DRZ/WRr better than he can ride an EXC or similar?:huh

    A skilled rider would take the enduro over a DS any day.
    #52
  13. clapped_r6

    clapped_r6 The Spoad Warrior

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    you guys are funny.

    i loved my wr, but wanted "More". and since getting a dedicated "street" bike as well, it made sense to me to pick up an RFS for my dualsport / dirt bike.

    if you're going to be doing a shit ton of miles, riding on the road all the time, (like i used to on my WR) get the WR.

    if you're going to ride hard offroad, and don't fear maintenance, get the KTM.

    simple
    #53
  14. Chinookmark

    Chinookmark Been here awhile

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    +1
    You've already had a WRR, but if you get another, you will always wonder about the KTM. You should be able to find a nice 08+ EXC for under 5 bills.
    Ride it for a bit. If its too much power, maintenance, discomfort, etc., then sell it for what you paid for it, and then go back to your WRR. Or, sell it and go buy your 2012 KTM!
    #54
  15. Daveburmy

    Daveburmy n00b

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    I dont want to sound cocky, all dirt bikes are great and its a matter of opinion what one likes. I have had Xr 600's for all my riding life (22yrs) I've hammered it ripped chains off it doin wheelies but never needed routine valve and tricky stuff. Just change the oil evewry 1500 km and its as reliable as a guide dog!
    Well, technology is great! but when it lets you down, yr dead in the water!! though like every thing, its always a matter of if you like it buy it :happay
    #55
  16. Velociraptor

    Velociraptor TrackBum

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    I bought my 690r in summer 2009 and still love it over 3 years later. The only bike I might consider to replace the 690r would be the 500 exc due to the lighter weight. What I love about the KTM street legal dual sports is that you can ride the bike to the dirt, and when you turn up the wick in the dirt the bike is magic. Get the 500! You will not regret it ever and will wonder why you didn't do it sooner.
    #56
  17. crankshaft

    crankshaft Guns are for pussies

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    the maintenance argument is always funny to me:lol3 Working on my bikes is almost as fun as riding them, it's quiet time in the garage on a rainy day or in the living room during the winter:lol3 I just bought a 500 XC-W and I love it in the single track, it shocks me actually:lol3
    #57
  18. 150ron

    150ron Long timer

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    With stock gearing can the KTM 500EXC do freeway speeds (70mph) for hours and hours?
    #58
  19. Mudguts

    Mudguts when in doubt GAS IT

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    250 v 500 its better to have more power and not use it then not enough power and need it ,,500 is the way to go

    Stock gearing here in AUS is 13/50 to low ,go up a tooth or two on the front no probs
    I run 14/50 for enduro got my 690 for Adv work

    The 500 exc is an enduro bike not really designed for sitting on the slab for hour and hours , they will do it fine
    Better with a couple of mods . for Adv riding there awesome super light the 500 will chug its way up any hill or blast
    It's way to the top you can lug it around or power slide around ever turn there a very versatile bike

    As for manteince , very quick and easy 15 minute should see you do an oil change and air filter .

    Valve adjustment well really you check them , I have not needed
    To adjust yet 3000km

    Suspension is spot on , I just got springs to suit my weight fat boy we're I've had my 690 done 3 times but it's no where near stock .


    If I had to sell one of them the 690 would go and the 500 would become the new rally, adv ,enduro machine .
    #59
  20. Saltydog86

    Saltydog86 village idiot

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    I would not want the 500 in a real enduro.....
    #60