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2014 500 EXC ... Old Maico Rider

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Hello,

I've been eying the new '14. My last bike was a 1978 Wheelsmith Maico 450 with all the good stuff. It's been 35 years but I can still feel the raw controlled power my Maico produced, compared to my '77 Suzuki and '71 Bultaco.

Back in the old days, I could stand most 2-stroke bikes on the rear wheel and throttle through all the gears.

The only 4 stroker I've ever experienced was Yamaha TT 500...

With all that said, do you think the KTM 500 EXC will provide that good old feeling? This isn't a mid-life.. I've already been through that.

Thanks for your insight.

.

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I still have my 414 Montesa m/x'er that I bought new in ' march of '81. It's not a 450 Maico, but it's close enough, imo. I've recently got it out of moth balls and cleaned it up, went thru the suspension and had the opportunity to go on a 30 mile ride with a couple other old guys on more modern 2 strokes.

 

The Montesa did great and I was pleased with how well it did out on the trail. A real blast from the past. It was actually very easy to ride on the  trails that we were on. (Steep hills, lots of rocks in some sections, lots of 2nd & 3rd gear stuff.  The cable operated drum brakes did a good job ,too, even on the steep downhills.

 

I also own a clean, low hour plated '06 450 EXC. It'll do anything the Montesa ever did, plus e start, cruise down the highway at 60 mph, get at least twice the fuel mileage, etc, etc. All that and it's only about 20 lbs heavier than the Montesa (or your old Maico)  And, I'm sure the new 500 EXC is even better yet.

 

So, if you want a old 450 Maico, they're still out there, you just need to find the one for you.

 

But if you want a top of the line , modern ,street legal, off road bike, the 500 EXC will perform in ways your old Maico couldn't dream of doing.

 

IMO, of course. It's up to you to decide what'll ring your bell. You pay your money and take your chances.

 

RB

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Hello,

I've been eying the new '14. My last bike was a 1978 Wheelsmith Maico 450 with all the good stuff. It's been 35 years but I can still feel the raw controlled power my Maico produced, compared to my '77 Suzuki and '71 Bultaco.

Back in the old days, I could stand most 2-stroke bikes on the rear wheel and throttle through all the gears.

The only 4 stroker I've ever experienced was Yamaha TT 500...

With all that said, do you think the KTM 500 EXC will provide that good old feeling? This isn't a mid-life.. I've already been through that.

Thanks for your insight.

.

Simple answer, no.

 

Correct answer since we're about the same age, whatever fond memories you have of that old beast are just that. The 500 has almost perfectly linear smooth power and is deceptively quick. Will it give you the thrill of your old Maico, not in the way you remember but the suspension, smooth power, reliability, brakes and just about everything else will give you an entirely different kind of thrill riding.

 

If the 500 feels too "tame" and you kind of like the old school feel, buy a Husqvarna 300 2T or for more power keep your eyes open for a old KTM 380 and have the head and cylinder reworked. The Husky feels sort of old school, the modded KTM 380 would brutalize that old Maico.

 

The difference between the 500 and the last two is like comparing a high performance Lexus to a Mustang GT. Both are fast, the latter sounds and feels fast.

 

I love my 500 but there's nothing like the fun of riding a bigger bore 2 stroke.

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I agree with all of the above. Although I'm just a baby, 40, I can relate. I owned a 96' KTM 360 exc for 14 years and just replaced it for the 500. Way different power but both fun all the same. Oh and I still have an old '71 Bultaco plus a couple other old classics! Can beat a smoker!

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Thanks guys .. I appreciate the feedback.

 

I guess I should have never given my Maico away... I had it in the garage until October 2000. I gave it to a good friend I raced with back in the day. He wanted it back so bad because he won most of his races on that bike between 1978-79. Then he bought a 1980 Wheelsmith Maico 490 after winning the CMC Golden State Series... and while out at Dumont Dunes one weekend he went over the bars and hit his head. We didn't think he would live.. but came out of the coma after two months. Life changer for him and me....

 

Anyway.. I'm not looking to buy another Maico. After reading commentaries here and listening to a few youtube videos I think the 500 EXC is an awesome replacement. I wouldn't ride much on the dirt with my bad back and a recent injury I sustained from a long distance flight - life is sure full of twists and turns. I'm now a high risk for fatal hemorrhage if I get cut. But I don't want to stop living. Risks never stopped me in the past.

 

KMTPete .. my first mx bike was a 1971 Bultaco 125 Sherpa S. I replaced the top-end with a Pursang 250 barrel and piston.. bolted right on. I had two bikes in one. The bottom ends were exactly the same.

 

My second bike was a 1977 RM250B... loved that bike too. Fast.

 

Another question I have... on my Maico, I could shift through all the gears at WOT without using the clutch.. it was like I had a clutchflite automatic. Maico's had the best transmission on the market IMHO.    

 

Will the KTM transmission do this? 

 

 

Thanks.

 

.     

Edited by C6 DNA

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I have been riding about the same time span, the difference being I have been continual upgrading with only a few short periods away.

 

Lots of bikes along the way one being a fully built/blueprinted Husky XC 500. Now riding; 04 450EXC & 04 525EXC & a DR650 among others.

 

Memories are often kind to the past, and while flashbacks can be fun the new bikes do so much so well that the 1 or 2 things missing or lost will never wipe the grin off your face.

Perhaps you should be looking at an MX bike for a more direct (and fair) comparison.

 

If you are really that concerned you need to try before you buy.

 

Bruce

Edited by BDM

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Another question I have... on my Maico, I could shift through all the gears at WOT without using the clutch.. it was like I had a clutchflite automatic. Maico's had the best transmission on the market IMHO.    

 

Will the KTM transmission do this? 

 

one time

Edited by Burnrider

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Just an fyI, todays bikes dont have seats like they used to, think of it as sitting on a 2x4.

My last 2 stroke was a 1995 cr500, which I thought had a pretty good seat. A friend got a cr 250, the first year they went to aluminum frame and slimmed down everything, including the seat, and it was exactly like sitting on a to 2x4(pain). 10 years later seats have only gotten worse.

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one time

 

That's what I thought ...

 

.

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Just an fyI, todays bikes dont have seats like they used to, think of it as sitting on a 2x4.

My last 2 stroke was a 1995 cr500, which I thought had a pretty good seat. A friend got a cr 250, the first year they went to aluminum frame and slimmed down everything, including the seat, and it was exactly like sitting on a to 2x4(pain). 10 years later seats have only gotten worse.

 

Just like men's clothes ... everything from Japan and China is slim size. That doesn't work for us German's.  :rant:

 

.

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I got the new 2013 KTM 500 EXC and I really love it.  I didn't think it was as fast as my CRF 450R, but I replaced the rear sprocket with a 50 instead of the stock 45, and that made a big change going through whoops, and making the front end much lighter.  It has all the power you ever wanted for sure.....just a gearing change to fit your preference and riding conditions.  The seat is a bit hard and I haven't found a replacement yet....but it's on the list:)  If you want to test ride it in my neighborhood, just let me know.  E

Woodland Hills

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I got the new 2013 KTM 500 EXC and I really love it.  I didn't think it was as fast as my CRF 450R, but I replaced the rear sprocket with a 50 instead of the stock 45, and that made a big change going through whoops, and making the front end much lighter.  It has all the power you ever wanted for sure.....just a gearing change to fit your preference and riding conditions.  The seat is a bit hard and I haven't found a replacement yet....but it's on the list:)  If you want to test ride it in my neighborhood, just let me know.  E

Woodland Hills

Thanks... really appreciate the offer. I may take you up on that if I decide to take the risk. Tough decision.

Enjoy your new KTM.

.

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You might want to ride the 500 first. I have been riding my buddy's 300 two stroke and that feels like a 125 with all the smooth power you ever wanted. My 500 is a beast with a handful of balls! Great for open riding but hard to keep from getting tired when on technical stuff. Let me know.

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I can comment on a 77 rm 250 compared to 250's of the late 90's, Japan learned alot in that time frame, there is really no camparison to the quality of over all bike precision, suspension and power in the later time framme. Motors in the latter time frame had more total power and more power through out the entire rev range.

Back when the 400 fourstoke racing bikes came out, like the yz400f, I thought is was a nice bike, but alittle porky, I prefered the 2 stroke for racing, more agile and flickable.

4 strokes by nature, are heavier than 2 strokes, so how are they keeping the weight close? Thinning the metal and using smaller bolt sizes, sometimes it scares me how much metal they are actually removing(longevity) wise.

In 1993 Kaw kx 250 had the thinned frame material(and promoted it), from 1992, I thought that sounded like a smart idea. I had a friend crack his 93 frame head, which confirmed my original thoughts on the matter.

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Yeah.. I remember riding my friends CR250 watercooler... big difference in power since the early air-cooled 2 strokes.

I would place it close to my radial-fin 450 Maico in terms of horsepower. At the time I couldn't get over that huge radiator sitting in the front underneath the tank. It just appeared unnatural for a MX'er...

Times have changed... Now we're talking watercooled thumpers.

I miss the old days, maybe except for the 3" suspensions.

.

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My first water cooler, was the 81 yz 125, radiator mounted on the forks, like a headlight. There was like a forced worling sound through the rad, you were so close to it. But yeah, that was a major turning point when motors began advancing, and the addition of cylinder exhaust power ports soon after, to lower the exhaust port for better lowend and raise the exhaust port for topend(automatically), that really expanded the usuability of the RPM power range.

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You're right in my era too....
When I was forced out of racing in TX(Howerton, Stack hey-day)cuz of lack of $, I was racing a Husky CR250GP.
I currently own a 2010 KTM 300xcw- it, of course, would leave my Husky for dead in an acceleration/power contest. The KTM 300 is very strong, linear power delivery that's reminiscent of my Husky on major steriods. Consider the 300....
I bought a Kawa KX500 in about 88, think. Had to check out the "new gen" bikes. Very nice, compared to yesteryear.

But like one fellow stated above, I'm thinking you would be pleasantly surprised and sport a big grin after a ride on that KTM 500.
And again, try to get a test rap on one. I think you'll dig the strong, tractable power of the modern 4t bikes.
Old is cool........ride on! :thumbsup: (but keep it real) ;)

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