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Washington XR400 vs KTM450EXC

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Hi, 

 

I posted under "General Dirt Bike Forums"  What bike should I buy?  If anyone has a minute and an opinion/advise please reply.

 

Thanks,

 

Mike

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Hi, 

 

I posted under "General Dirt Bike Forums"  What bike should I buy?  If anyone has a minute and an opinion/advise please reply.

 

Thanks,

 

Mike

Give us some info like what year is the 450exc, what kind of riding are you planning to do on it, whats your experience level. both great bikes but very different.

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Thanks Enduroguy

 

I'm looking for any input regarding KTM 450 EXC.  I've been looking to buy a dirt bike for awhile and currently I see 3 in the seattle area on craigslist- '04 '06, '07, all asking around $4k  The 2007 has around 1k miles and is mostly stock it's licensed.  The '06 and '04 are both licensed and have add on's, bigger tanks, protection, ect. 

 

A little about me.  I'm in my early 40's and started riding around 6yrs old, rode alot until I got out of H.S.  Frog Flats/Belfair/The Crater/capital forest/teanaway/Tanum ect. Z50,MR80,XR75,CR80,Cr125, (Dads XR200, 250 trials, CR480 ect.)  I'm about 5'11" and 215lbs  Did a motocross race here and there, and a couple of matawa 100's

I'm Looking to get back into trail riding, but I want a plated bike to link up trails, and maybe ride from my house in West seattle to Belfair to hit the trails.  Still have my last Bike 1997 XR350R, but she has got kinda long in the tooth and would take to much $ to bring her up to speed, plus i quess there is a reason she has been out much in the last 20 yrs.

 

I think i would ride Belfair in the winter/spring, and eastern washington trials in the summer fall.  Kinda excited about working up to "The tour of Idaho" type stuff in the next couple years.

 

Thanks for your time, Regards,

 

Mike 

 

Still considering the XR400R, but some people have encouraged me to go KTM 450 exc and there seem to be more on the market around seattle.  

 

Really any input on these KTMS (listed on craigslist seattle), and Xr400 vs 450exc is appreciated.  Sorry if the post is a little long.

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Mike

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I say look at the 07 450exc, last year of the RFS motor and plated. Hell, the happy button alone makes it a no brainer for me. I had a XR400 years ago and in my experience the 450exc is your only choice if you can afford it.

Edited by Enduroguy
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I'd bet you won't be happy with the XR.....any of the later model 350+ thumpers will make the XR pale in comparison.

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KTM because....well, for start, suspension, engine response, brakes and overall feeling. It can be tiring though....I'm at 198lbs and I ride a YZ 250 FX (36 yrs old)....no need for bigger engine (riding for 11 years already). I had a 06 EXC 450. Great bike but I just got tired of the weight and to have more power than I really need. I have so much fun with the 250F and I can ride almost twice until I get really tired. I've started with a 250 EXCF and now I have the yamaha. I wouldn't change the 250F for nothing....well....maybe in the future a 2-stroke 300 but just for fun....is not that I need more power.

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06 + newer on the KTM 450. 03/04 had poor suspension compared to the 06 and newer models. The rfs motors are pretty bullet proof if valves were adjusted regularly.

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I love the xr400s but the KTM is a better machine. I ride a Ktm 525 and like much better then the xr. Better suspension and handling.

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I had a nice XR400 years ago that had a 416 kit, stage 1 cam and pumper carb. Awesome motor for NW woods.

I just picked up a '05 450exc this Fall and it's much better. Same nice motor for nasty woods, but like others mentioned, Much more updated bike with top notch components. The RFS motor has legendary reliability as well. E-start and hydraulic clutch alone are worth it.

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XR 400's are just a fun reliable bike. But they feel old, because they are old. I still like them a lot but I would probably look somewhere else for better suspension and ergonomics.

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nothing lugs down like a xr 250 or 400 except for the ktm. i have a 05 450exc and the engine has a xr lugability but has way more punch on top.also better handling,e-start,etc.etc. 

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I say look at the 07 450exc, last year of the RFS motor and plated. Hell, the happy button alone makes it a no brainer for me. I had a XR400 years ago and in my experience the 450exc is your only choice if you can afford it.

 

The KTM is a serious off-road machine. 

The XR is fun, but not serious. You can love it, if you accept that it's a toy. The XR would require a suspension rebuild at least, then you'd need to deal with the weight. The XR has at least 40 lbs on the KTM. Also, it's just really tall, the XR. Makes dabbing in tight track difficult; you need loose hips and tall boots. 

Unless you're mostly on the road and like fire-engine red, get the newest KTM you can afford. 

Edited by portlandtwostroke
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The XR is fun, but not serious. You can love it, if you accept that it's a toy.

Ok, I was gonna sit and observe this thread as the outsider that I usually feel like as an XR rider, but that went too far. I feel I need to hop in here and give a balancing opinion.

With the XR4 being the only bike I've owned for the last 15 years, I might be a little extra biased, but almost every one of my riding buddies rides orange and my wife rides blue. My XR has RELIABLY and comfortably carried me over tens of thousands of miles of Idaho/Montana/Washington (and Pennsylvania) goat trails, fire roads and pavement.

Valid points that have been made about the XR so far:

Is it heavy? Sure it is, but so is a tractor. And like a tractor, the weight aids in its unbelievable traction.

Is it red? Absolutely. Or maybe white depending on the year.

Is it old? At least 11 years, but you'd never know it unless you were hopping off a new bike. The OP is moving up from an XR350.

Is the suspension outdated? You bet, but it is completely adjustable and rebuildable. When I hop off my wife's YZ250F and onto my XR, I feel like a just hopped off... well, a YZ250F... and into a Cadillac. But there is no place I'd rather be than on the XR for 15 hours of north ID single track.

Is it kick start only? From the factory, yes, but e-start can, and has been successfully adapted many times.

Is it tall? It is, but if I can figure out how to ride mine where I go with a 30" inseam, I'm sure it can't be too big of an issue.

Every time I go riding with anyone else on modern bikes, they are either stopped and fixing something that fell off, broke, leaked or fried, and/or they are bushed half way through the day. The three notable ones who weren't were on a KTM300 (an ex-pro rider on a meticulously maintained bike), a Honda 230f, and, you guessed it, an XR400 - with e-start.

The "dinosaur" comments can and will fly your way, but after a day of riding with an XR4 in the group, people change their tune, and the jabs turn to respect, and dare I say, unadmitted jealousy.

There is simply nothing out there that compares to the XR's simplicity, reliability and durability. I change my oil twice a year, and tires, chain and sprockets when it needs it. Otherwise, I just ride it hard and put it away dirty. I tried to adjust the valves last year for the first time and they were spot-on. I've never changed the carb from the factory settings. I drowned the bike last year and pulled the bottom drain - that was the most I've ever had the carb apart. I'm still on my first set of cables, second set of wheel bearings and brake pads... Never had the engine apart, and it doesn't burn a drop of oil.

There're no radiators to bust or coolant to leak. No computer to trust or complex wiring to worry about. There is still plenty of aftermarket support.

If you plan on racing, sure there are better bikes out there. But for the general, all-purpose, do-anything, trust-it-with-your-life-in-the-middle-of-nowhere bike, the XR4 is really hard to beat. No radiators. Did I mention that? Runs great on pump gas. Torque and lug ability is unmatched - really hard to stall. The traction is awesome, and it hardly leaves a footprint - a far cry from the modern rototillers we share the trails with.

If I had to come up with one category where the KTM has the XR beat, it's the gearing. The gears are a bit close, especially if you plan on daul-sporting it. I have mine geared super-goat-path-low, and my top speed might be 48. It does leave me wishing it had a 6th "highway" gear. If it's that big of a deal, I've heard of guys carrying a 2-tooth higher counter sprocket to swap out for the trip there/home.

C'mon XR riders! I know you're out there. Where's the love? Chris? I have it in writing somewhere that you're still looking for a clean '04 to go back to...

Edited by ITLKSEZ
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Valid points. The XR is bullet proof. KTM's require constant, constant, constant upkeep. (Constant . . . especially an older one such as the OP was looking at. . . constant.)

 

My views are that of a more technical trail oriented sort when the I call the XR a toy. I basically meant racing enduros and such would be a problem. 

 

As I say, if I were on fire roads more, the XR would not be a poor choice. 

 

I kept looking at the XR's, but the seat height and weight were just too much. No problem on a road; big problem on a scree slope. 

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Valid points. The XR is bullet proof. KTM's require constant, constant, constant upkeep. (Constant . . . especially an older one such as the OP was looking at. . . constant.)

 

My views are that of a more technical trail oriented sort when the I call the XR a toy. I basically meant racing enduros and such would be a problem. 

 

As I say, if I were on fire roads more, the XR would not be a poor choice. 

 

I kept looking at the XR's, but the seat height and weight were just too much. No problem on a road; big problem on a scree slope. 

My experience with the old Xr350R has been that it is truly a tractor in the sense that I just put gas in it and go.

 

What types of (constant) upkeep should I expect?

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06 + newer on the KTM 450. 03/04 had poor suspension compared to the 06 and newer models. The rfs motors are pretty bullet proof if valves were adjusted regularly.

would you please expand on the difference in suspension?  The owner of the 2004 had extensive work done to the forks making a "plush" ride.  In the rear a bladder was added in place of the piston .  

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Ok, I was gonna sit and observe this thread as the outsider that I usually feel like as an XR rider, but that went too far. I feel I need to hop in here and give a balancing opinion.

With the XR4 being the only bike I've owned for the last 15 years, I might be a little extra biased, but almost every one of my riding buddies rides orange and my wife rides blue. My XR has RELIABLY and comfortably carried me over tens of thousands of miles of Idaho/Montana/Washington (and Pennsylvania) goat trails, fire roads and pavement.

Valid points that have been made about the XR so far:

Is it heavy? Sure it is, but so is a tractor. And like a tractor, the weight aids in its unbelievable traction.

Is it red? Absolutely. Or maybe white depending on the year.

Is it old? At least 11 years, but you'd never know it unless you were hopping off a new bike. The OP is moving up from an XR350.

Is the suspension outdated? You bet, but it is completely adjustable and rebuildable. When I hop off my wife's YZ250F and onto my XR, I feel like a just hopped off... well, a YZ250F... and into a Cadillac. But there is no place I'd rather be than on the XR for 15 hours of north ID single track.

Is it kick start only? From the factory, yes, but e-start can, and has been successfully adapted many times.

Is it tall? It is, but if I can figure out how to ride mine where I go with a 30" inseam, I'm sure it can't be too big of an issue.

Every time I go riding with anyone else on modern bikes, they are either stopped and fixing something that fell off, broke, leaked or fried, and/or they are bushed half way through the day. The three notable ones who weren't were on a KTM300 (an ex-pro rider on a meticulously maintained bike), a Honda 230f, and, you guessed it, an XR400 - with e-start.

The "dinosaur" comments can and will fly your way, but after a day of riding with an XR4 in the group, people change their tune, and the jabs turn to respect, and dare I say, unadmitted jealousy.

There is simply nothing out there that compares to the XR's simplicity, reliability and durability. I change my oil twice a year, and tires, chain and sprockets when it needs it. Otherwise, I just ride it hard and put it away dirty. I tried to adjust the valves last year for the first time and they were spot-on. I've never changed the carb from the factory settings. I drowned the bike last year and pulled the bottom drain - that was the most I've ever had the carb apart. I'm still on my first set of cables, second set of wheel bearings and brake pads... Never had the engine apart, and it doesn't burn a drop of oil.

There're no radiators to bust or coolant to leak. No computer to trust or complex wiring to worry about. There is still plenty of aftermarket support.

If you plan on racing, sure there are better bikes out there. But for the general, all-purpose, do-anything, trust-it-with-your-life-in-the-middle-of-nowhere bike, the XR4 is really hard to beat. No radiators. Did I mention that? Runs great on pump gas. Torque and lug ability is unmatched - really hard to stall. The traction is awesome, and it hardly leaves a footprint - a far cry from the modern rototillers we share the trails with.

If I had to come up with one category where the KTM has the XR beat, it's the gearing. The gears are a bit close, especially if you plan on daul-sporting it. I have mine geared super-goat-path-low, and my top speed might be 48. It does leave me wishing it had a 6th "highway" gear. If it's that big of a deal, I've heard of guys carrying a 2-tooth higher counter sprocket to swap out for the trip there/home.

C'mon XR riders! I know you're out there. Where's the love? Chris? I have it in writing somewhere that you're still looking for a clean '04 to go back to...

I own a xr4 and a xr6 and ride and race with all orange guys. I feel the same as you about the xr's, I wanted to comment but I couldn't put my thoughts into words like you. That was a perfect analysis of what xr's gives the rider. Not that ktm's r bad if I had the money I'd get a 300.
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would you please expand on the difference in suspension? The owner of the 2004 had extensive work done to the forks making a "plush" ride. In the rear a bladder was added in place of the piston .

Severe sticktion issues on front forks due to bushing arraignment. Rear shock must be dialed in properly with proper spring for weight due to the way a top out spring was used.

06 model had all these issues resolved. I spent a lot of money on my 04 525 to make suspension work in a balanced manner.

FYI - a bladder doesn't solve any tuning issues by it's self other than provide a way around the need for wp specific nitro gas filling rigging.

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I really miss my xr 400!

I soloed the baja 1000 on it, plus countless rides in mexico on it. Sole the starvation ridge 24 hour on it a few times, won a few moto races on it (one time a foot peg broke off in a moto race) had a nuclear reactor for a lighting coil. I sold it as a total pile of s H I T, but almost got what I paid new for the bike. Sure do miss it. Parts were very cheap

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+1 on the XR400. For the 4 grand on the KTM you could buy an XR, have the suspension redone for your weight,  get it street legal, and still have money left over. The maintenance is less, and cheaper when needed.

 

You said you wanted a bike for trail riding, and didn't mention anything about racing. You're also over 40, which most of the time means you're not interested in going balls to the walls like when you were in your 20's. 

 

My 96 XR400 has never left me stranded. In 2013, after who know how many thousands of miles, it was finally ready for a rebuild. Coincidentally, so was my right knee. So while I was getting an aftermarket knee, I pulled the trigger and went with the E-start conversion for the XR. It will be very difficult to let go of this bike now. I'm 51 years old, 6'1"  250lbs. and predominantly a trail rider, but I like to do a harescramble or enduro every once in a while for fun. I have ridden the newer bikes, and they are nice, but for what I do and my age I will stick with my comfy, reliable XR as well.

 

By the way, I am the other XR400 ITLKSEZ spoke of earlier. Here we are on the trail in North Idaho.

 

IMG_0180.JPG

Edited by mtngoat
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