2014 KTM 350 EXC-F or a DRZ400S

Looking at both, I think in terms of reliability the DRZ is better than the KTM. But worlds apart in everything else.

 

Bottom line will the KTM last engine wise - given proper maintenance - as long as a Honda, Suzook etc.

 

 

Looking at both, I think in terms of reliability the DRZ is better than the KTM. But worlds apart in everything else.

 

Bottom line will the KTM last engine wise - given proper maintenance - as long as a Honda, Suzook etc.

 

Honestly you're comparing apples to oranges here. Other then the fact that they are both street legal they have nothing else in common.

I've ridden a DRZ or two & I currently have a 2014 350EXC-F & there's no comparing the two. One is a heavy fluffy dual sport & the other is a real dirt bike that comes fully street legal. 

realize the world apart difference.  But in terms of reliability Japanese bikes are more reliable in the engine room correct? I like the KTM better, but I have never had one and wonder about the reliability as well as longevity of the KTM engine. 

Edited by Motosprtman

There seems to be a concern about the longevity of the KTM engines and given their high state of tune they may not last quite as long between rebuilds versus the Suzuki.  I was also nervous about the KTM's before I bought my first one but now I'm a true believer.

 

If one is going to ride on the street 80-90% of the time then the Japanese enduro's may hold up better and the 50 pound weight difference wouldn't make that big of a big difference.  Our KTM's have been dead reliable (we've had four of them now) but they probably require a new piston every 150-350 hours or so.  I'm not sure that the DR-Z also wouldn't require a piston at that point if it was ridden off road all of the time.  Even on the KTM 250cc 4T's pistons last 250+ hours and the valves rarely need adjusting if properly serviced with the proper oil based on the reports of the riders we hang with (our 250 and 450 have never needed anything other than routine maintenance).  I'm a real big fan of Suzuki's and have ridden and admired the DR-Z and would have had one by now but they are just too heavy for me and if I'm going to ride on the street most of the time I will get a dedicated street bike.  Their lack of a sixth gear along with a properly spaced gear set is a real down side as well from what I've read on the DR-Z forums (I'm a fan!).  If the DR-Z lost 30 pounds, upgraded the suspension and gained a sixth gear I would buy one in a heartbeat but for now I've been spoiled by the KTM's.  Also, it goes without saying that it makes sense to pick the bike with the best dealer and in our neck of the woods the KTM dealer is great.

 

My guess is that the larger displacement KTM's will hold up equivalent to the similar sized Japanese enduro bikes (there is only one at present, the DR-Z unless you go to the 650 cc sizes) if they are used similar and geared the same.  In reading about both models the KTM is not a street bike in the normal sense - even "Dirt Bike" reported the short comings of the KTM 500 on the street but it's designed for short runs on the road in between the trails.  So your planned use would make a difference as well as to which machine you choose.

 

Another factor to consider is the suspension and high quality components - you can literally take the KTM off of the showroom floor and ride an enduro.  Unfortunately, there is no way that you could do that with the Japanese street legal enduro bikes.

 

Best of luck choosing!

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