[Need] some help selecting a bike..450,500,WR450...ADV+Rally

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by pdanjou, Sep 30, 2018.

  1. pdanjou

    pdanjou There's a rear brake?!

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    Hi,
    hope my first faux pas is not posting in the wrong category.

    I am trying to decide on a bike. Use case will be anything from easy trail riding (no hardcore Enduro), to longer trips (ADV) and Rally Races.
    Now the contenders are:
    KTM EXC-F 450
    KTM EXC-F 500
    Yamaha WR450

    450
    PRO:
    - cheapest of all 3, they sell less than the 500 and I get some good offers on them, 2k Eur less than the 500
    - fits into the <=450cc Rally categories
    - lot of parts available and interchangeable with the 500

    CON:
    - if the motor is different to the 500 its a issue with increased maintenance/intervals?
    - the 500 is proven to be reliable on long distance


    500
    PRO:
    - reliable, 'bullet proof' engine
    - can do trails but also long distance

    CON:
    - most expensive bike, 2k Eur more than the 450 for me
    - does not fall under <=450CC race category and has to compete with up to 690CC bikes


    WR450
    PRO:
    - cheaper, but gotta be an older version since 2019 is not road legal (of can be converted?)
    - parts are considerable cheaper

    CON:
    - not sure if as proven (lack of knowledge)
    - not as 'ready to race', needs more work I think


    Now I did not list Honda, because I got no clue about those, feel free to add any bikes that seem suitable.

    I am thinking KTM 500, seems to combine most of what I want, if I knew the 450 is as bulletproof I'd go for 450 though because I don't need the 500cc.

    Hope you can give me some input on it.

    Thank you
    #1
  2. shrederscott

    shrederscott Long timer

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    KTM 450exc engine is just as reliable as the 500 engine

    The KTM 350exc engine is also just as reliable as the 500 engine.

    The biggest difference between the 3 bikes

    1 .. peak horsepower is greatest on the 500 but still plenty in both 350 and 450 ...my 350 ran at 100mph on the beach in Baja side by side with a 500 no issues.

    2 ... the 350 and 450 engines feel more lively and the bikes feel more nimble ... this is due to lower mass of piston. ....these bikes rev up quicker and to higher rpm than 500

    I have owned and ridden all 3 ...they are all GREAT bikes ....choosing is kinda like choosing between chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla ice cream ...all yummy ...personal taste

    Scott
    #2
  3. malignity

    malignity Wonton

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    I wouldn't personally consider a Yamaha WR450F. The 5 speed transmission really limits it on road. I just sold mine not too long ago. Either you're going to have road capability or you're going to have a VERY tall first gear.
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  4. miksu

    miksu Been here awhile

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    450 vs 500 does not make much difference, but if you ride a 450 people are going to think you are are a hard core racer and thus got the 450 machine :D
    #4
    Gary goes likes this.
  5. pdanjou

    pdanjou There's a rear brake?!

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    Thank you for feedback so far.
    Given the 450 also has 6 speed transmission and I can get her for 2k less new I'd op for the 450 then. I am not intending to do RTW on it anyway, if it can't survive a 14 day Rally it wouldn't survive a 2 week ADV travel trip either, at least that is my logic.
    #5
  6. timeOday

    timeOday Long timer

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    Since you said easy trail riding (no hardcore Enduro) and plan to take long trips, I would get the 450/500 over the 350 for sure, because the 350 has a narrower spread of gear ratios. Then since the 450 is $2k cheaper for you, there is your answer.
    #6
  7. pdanjou

    pdanjou There's a rear brake?!

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    Yea I was just unsure because I didin't find much info regarding 450 vs 500 and the 500 is more commonly bought and more feedback regarding reliability. Didn't see anyone doing a big trip on a 450. Guess I'll be fine then.

    The price for a new 450 I get from the dealer is 7600 Euro / 8900 USD. Pretty good I'd say
    #7
  8. miksu

    miksu Been here awhile

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    If that includes tax I think it would be worth coming from here to get one as well :D Sounds like husqvarnas at the end of the brand going for like 6000 euro new.
    #8
  9. pdanjou

    pdanjou There's a rear brake?!

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    Only that cheap because its on discount since its a 2018 model. The 2019 model costs about 9500 Eur.
    The Husqis I did not consider, price wise the same though.
    #9
  10. Yellow Pig

    Yellow Pig Allergic to asphalt! Supporter

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    Husky: I prefer the linkage suspension over the PDS, specially for high speed desert/rally riding. The Linkage suspension handles the big hits and whoops much better.

    There is a reason the factory KTM Rally bikes run linkage suspension.
    #10
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  11. shrederscott

    shrederscott Long timer

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    HI

    Your gonna love the 450 exc....

    When I ride a KTM exc the limiting factor is me not the bike.

    Well that's not 100% true .... these bikes do not do well on high speed USA interstate ...BUT....they can do it ! !

    I have never done a 14 day rally in Europe. ...but I have done LOTS of day and multi-day rides ...... as long as you prepare your bike I am sure it will handle that Rally ... question is will you be able ?

    Enjoy ! !

    Scott
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  12. pdanjou

    pdanjou There's a rear brake?!

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    No high speed desert rallies in Europe :)
    Linkage worries are a luxury. The Husqvarna have too many disadvantages for my use case I'd say, but I DO agree with you.

    @shrederscott I kinda love how always this 'highway' argument comes up, especially for ADV. If one does proper ADV you basically never use highway speeds in the first place, dear god I remember spending days on end in first or second gear on Asian mountain roads (in a Landcruiser). Even on the rare occasion there was a highway you couldn't go faster than 50mph.

    so yea I am coming from car overlanding, definitely have experience with that

    So thanks again for the feedback, it's gonna be the 450 then, the 500 would be a waste of power on me anyway.
    #12
  13. Fast1

    Fast1 Twisted Throttle

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    What are they?
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  14. Cartera

    Cartera Been here awhile

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    I'm also interested in hearing more about the "disadvantages" of the Husqvarna bikes.
    #14
  15. shrederscott

    shrederscott Long timer

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    HI

    I feel the same way about the highway thing ... but ...it is a short coming for some.

    Personally, I find the exc bikes to be very fun on 50mph or less speed limit twisty canyon paved roads ...and tlhe tight sub 35 mph turns are super fun even with knobby tires.

    The stock bikes have short legs, a joke for saddle, and near worthless headlight.

    I use and can recommend the Seat Concepts Saddle and the Baja lights....really improve the bikes ergonomics.

    Bigher tank that depends on your need ...I use the accribis 4.?? Gallon tank ..good for 150 miles with maybe 40+ miles to spare.....I ran it dry once just to see...ran dry at around 210 miles.

    Enjoy your new ride

    Scott
    #15
  16. pdanjou

    pdanjou There's a rear brake?!

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    Well maybe I am mistaken but the tank in the rear is an issue no?
    The carbon subframe is also something that you can't easily fix if you're on the road.
    Reliability I don't know, apparently its the same engine as KTM?
    Hey please correct me if I am mistaken ;) But I figure there is a reason so few use Husqvarna for ADV and Rally
    #16
  17. Fast1

    Fast1 Twisted Throttle

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    you are wrong about every assumption with the exception that the engines are identical.
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  18. pdanjou

    pdanjou There's a rear brake?!

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    @Fast1 Yea if someone is wrong tell them why, not just that they are wrong ;)

    I looked into them, I prefer them designwise definitely, but almost always I only found parts/information regarding the KTM.
    I can get the FE 450 for the same price as the KTM so...what speak for buy the Husqi? I am here to learn
    1. better linkage

    edit: oh I think I mixed up some facts with the 701 at least the tank story
    #18
  19. Fast1

    Fast1 Twisted Throttle

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  20. pdanjou

    pdanjou There's a rear brake?!

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    @Fast1 That doesn't tell me the advantages people learn about from experience. Why did you decide for Husqi over KTM?
    #20