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KTM VS XR400 VS CRF250R

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Ok, hopefully with the title above I got your attention.

 

Looking for advice on which KTM to buy, right now I have a CRF250R and an XR400. I love Hondas but they don't make the bike I want.

 

I like the torque and gearing and indestructible nature of the 400, and the top end and light weight of the 250, would love to have a bike that can blend those things together.

 

I've been debating between a 350, 400, 450, or 500+ XCF-W?. 

 

Ideally, fuel injected, electric start, lots of torque, reliable, less than $6000 used. Not sure if I should go short or wide range gearbox. I'm using the bike mostly for single track woods riding with a lot of steep hills, the 250 with a short gearbox can be a handful on the hills.

 

I'm also pretty tall - 6'4", bikes like the CRF aren't very ergonomic for me vs an XR, they feel cramped.

 

 

 

 

 

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450 XC-W (XCF-W) hands down.  I went from an XR650 and a KX250 two stroke to the KTM for the same reasons as you say.  The KTM does it all with a minimum of mods.

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450 XC-W (XCF-W) hands down.  I went from an XR650 and a KX250 two stroke to the KTM for the same reasons as you say.  The KTM does it all with a minimum of mods.

 

How is the bottom end on the 450 vs the XR650?

 

The XR is damn near impossible to stall when things go pear shaped, I like that.

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From what you describe I would say the 350 XC-F is what your looking for. Lighter and nimble like the 250F but more torque and power like the 400XR. Actually the 350 will blow the doors off the 400XR. Know a couple of guys who own the 350 and have heard nothing but good things.

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I haven't ridden the 350 XC-F, I've heard it's a great bike but all I can comment on is the 450 XC-W.  

 

I would say that it is equally as strong as the XR 650 on the low end, but they do it in different ways.  The XR has a heavier flywheel so it is definitely harder to kill at very low RPM.  The 450 XC-W revs a lot faster and a lot higher than the XR, and would hands down stomp the XR in any sort of race, but if you get into a corner on the rear brake it is possible to kill it if you don't use the clutch.  

 

I weigh 220 all geared up and I usually start out in 2nd gear, even on steep hills and even at high altitude in Colorado.  I changed my front sprocket from a 13T to a 14T just so I could get some use out of first gear.  I ride a lot of rocky, technical single track in Texas and Colorado and I have never had to wish for more low end power with the 450.   Or high end power for that matter.

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I haven't ridden the 350 XC-F, I've heard it's a great bike but all I can comment on is the 450 XC-W.  

 

I would say that it is equally as strong as the XR 650 on the low end, but they do it in different ways.  The XR has a heavier flywheel so it is definitely harder to kill at very low RPM.  The 450 XC-W revs a lot faster and a lot higher than the XR, and would hands down stomp the XR in any sort of race, but if you get into a corner on the rear brake it is possible to kill it if you don't use the clutch.  

 

I weigh 220 all geared up and I usually start out in 2nd gear, even on steep hills and even at high altitude in Colorado.  I changed my front sprocket from a 13T to a 14T just so I could get some use out of first gear.  I ride a lot of rocky, technical single track in Texas and Colorado and I have never had to wish for more low end power with the 450.   Or high end power for that matter.

 

 

Thanks for the comparison, will probably go with a 450 then. I think the 350 might not have the torque/inertia i'm looking for.

 

What year did fuel injection show up on the 450? 

Edited by mudguy

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1st let me say I have not rode any of the new KTM's. I used to own a XR400 and now ride a 2004 KTM 450 EXC. I would say if your on a budget, don't rule out the older generation KTM's with the RFS motor (2007 and earlier). Very reliable engines, easy valve adjustments (same as XR), better power from top to bottom while staying smooth with the delivery. You could find a 2006 or 2007 with the RFS motor for around 3500 tops. Then you have some cash left over to set it up or get a top end put on it.

 

A fresh motored 2006 or 7 would still be a great bike even compared to new stuff. May not be the newest or fastest but it will spank the 250 and 400 easily. Plus there are many used parts around for those bikes. Just throwin out options for ya. Good luck!  :thumbsup:

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450s hit awfully hard!! Nature of the beast. I think you'd like something else. I had an XR400 and know it's limitations all too well. And anything will be better than the engine in the 250F.

Any KTM will be smoother than a 450 and give you good low end pull.

Edited by DR.billZ

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Just bought a 2014 ktm 350 excf coming from a xr400, mate, seriously, this bike is the perfect all round dirt bike. This bike rips, the suspension is unbelievable, and you can still lug around or ride to the shops. All in a lightweight package.

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Almost no bike is build for us taller riders. Im 6'1". 

 

My vote is for the 350

 

I think it will give you the best blend of power and cost savings. I my self came off a CRF450R on to a 500 XC-W and while the motor is larger and over all tq and power is more it hits in a much more controlled fashion. it will have the suspension of a bike that weights 100 lbs more, but ride like it weights 50 lbs less. I only got the 500 because I run a timbersled kit in the winter so I need the extra CC's.

 

One thing you noted was your height but you didn't mention how much you weigh? Im about 185 lbs @ 6'1 and the KTM seams to have the best stance feel for me. I stand on the bike about 50% of my ride and the bike feels good in every position.

 

You won't be disappointed. 

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Almost no bike is build for us taller riders. Im 6'1". 

 

My vote is for the 350

 

I think it will give you the best blend of power and cost savings. I my self came off a CRF450R on to a 500 XC-W and while the motor is larger and over all tq and power is more it hits in a much more controlled fashion. it will have the suspension of a bike that weights 100 lbs more, but ride like it weights 50 lbs less. I only got the 500 because I run a timbersled kit in the winter so I need the extra CC's.

 

One thing you noted was your height but you didn't mention how much you weigh? Im about 185 lbs @ 6'1 and the KTM seams to have the best stance feel for me. I stand on the bike about 50% of my ride and the bike feels good in every position.

 

You won't be disappointed.

6'4" and 250 lbs, whatever bike I buy will need suspension work.

I've also been thinking about getting a Timbersled in the next few years, so that also pushes me into the 450 realm.

I will probably keep my XR400 forever, not sure about the CRF250R

The RFS motor seems more like what I am looking for, I like the harder hitting bottom end on heavier motors, also not having to rebuild every 100 hours.

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The RFS motor seems more like what I am looking for, I like the harder hitting bottom end on heavier motors, also not having to rebuild every 100 hours.

 

my XC4-based (i.e., the motor that replaced the RFS in 2008) KTM 450xc-w has lots of bottom end and is still running strong with close to 350 hours on it without having ever been rebuilt. you don't have to limit yourself to the RFS years to have a strong, reliable motor in a KTM 4T.

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6'4" and 250 lbs, whatever bike I buy will need suspension work.

I've also been thinking about getting a Timbersled in the next few years, so that also pushes me into the 450 realm.

I will probably keep my XR400 forever, not sure about the CRF250R

The RFS motor seems more like what I am looking for, I like the harder hitting bottom end on heavier motors, also not having to rebuild every 100 hours.

Please don't take this wrong but you're a big guy and a 350cc with a 250lbs+ gear and a timbersled will make you cry! If you want a track someday don't go with anything smaller that a 450. If you can get a 690 enduro you will be in heaven even with a longtrack.

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Please don't take this wrong but you're a big guy and a 350cc with a 250lbs+ gear and a timbersled will make you cry! If you want a track someday don't go with anything smaller that a 450. If you can get a 690 enduro you will be in heaven even with a longtrack.

 

I figured I would just buy another bike one day to run a timbersled so it isn't really an important part of the decision. I know you can't have everything in one bike.

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I figured I would just buy another bike one day to run a timbersled so it isn't really an important part of the decision. I know you can't have everything in one bike.

Very true, my goal bikes are the 300xcw, 690 enduro and the 1190 adventure R in adaption to my 500xcw. Then life will be good! :)

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I was in the same boat a few years ago when I wanted an upgrade from my XR250, and ended up with an 09 XC-W 400.  I really wanted a 350 but that was 2011 and I couldn't afford a new bike.  My riding buddy gave me all kinds of crap for not getting a 450 like his CRF450, until he rode mine.  2 months later he had an 08 450 XC-W and raved about how much more controllable his 450 was compared to and MX bike.  Now he just bought a 350 and absolutely LOVES it.  He used to be all about raw power, but realized that it's not always that usable in the tight singletrack that we always ride.  He also says it's much more "flickable" than his 450.  And he hasn't had a problem yet on any hill climbs, personally I think he's doing better since he has better wheel spin control.  He's 6'3" and 200 lbs.

Edited by bassjam

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+1 on the older RFS bikes.

 

I ride a plated '05 525EXC and love it.  It has very smooth power delivery and lots of low end torque.  I've had it as high as 11,000 and it still made plenty of power.

 

Be aware that KTM seats are like bricks so if you're not a stand up rider now....you will be.

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I'm going to throw another bike into the mix, how about a 400 XC-W?

I've heard that it is light and nimble like a 250 but won't rip your arms off like a 450. And from what I understand if I want more displacement later I can always swap the top end?

Or perhaps just buy a second motor and a 570 kit for snowbike season.

Saw this one on craiglist, what do you guys think of the price?

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/mcy/4146947104.html

Edited by mudguy

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I'm 6'3. and i own a ktm 250 xcf-w , my buddy recently bought a 350 xcf-w, it is very powerful and a great reliable fast woods bike, it is very light compared to the old models. great overall bike even though the 250 is a bit lighter and different ratio.

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