KTM 450XC-W or CRF450X?

Hello guys, I just wanted some opinion on these two bikes. I am a bigger guy 6'2 and 225LBS. I wanted an enduro bike with power. I love both of these brands. I have never owned a KTM but have had multiple Honda's. I was wondering what are the pros and cons to each for the 2015 models. What breaks down more, what does better on trail, performance, and few other things. Is a wider range transmission on the KTM better? What do you guys think?

 

Thank you! 

I'm a Honda guy (we have 6 of them) and I really don't like KTMs, but with the 2 choices given the KTM is by far the superior enduro bike.  For something like Baja I would consider the Honda.

You might as well compare a 2008 CRF450X to the KTM since that's about when the Honda was last updated.  The only reason to buy the Honda is because you want an old-schooled carbureted 5 speed trail bike.

I'm a KTM guy.  You cannot go wrong with both bikes, but the Honda has done poorly in shootouts for years because they aren't updating the bike very much. 

 

The KTM has a wider ratio gear box, larger gas tank, offroad worthy suspension, electric start, a more forgiving chassis, 18" rear wheel, a bulletproof self adjusting hydraulic clutch that won't turn to jello (new Hondas are notorious for this.. KTM's clutch basket and clutch plates literally last twice as long), billet hubs and triple clamps, etc.

 

You can make the CRF 450 competitive for offroad, but it'll take a lot of money in aftermarket parts.

KTM is the better bike if budget isn't in the equation.  Another bonus of the KTM is that here in Michigan you can buy XCF-W's with a plate right from the dealer.  I suggest that's how you do it even if you don't plan to ride it on the street much.  It has to do with the way KTM does the paperwork that gives the dealer the flexibility to sell it plated.  They can't do it with the Japanese bikes because they do their paperwork differently.   That's not to say you can't plate a Japanese bike here but you must do it yourself which involves swapping out tires to DOT tires, getting inspections, etc.

 

It's nice to be completely legal when connecting trails, going for gas, etc. Plus many events like the MCCC Six Days of Michigan require a plate I believe.

KTM is the better bike if budget isn't in the equation.  Another bonus of the KTM is that here in Michigan you can buy XCF-W's with a plate right from the dealer.  I suggest that's how you do it even if you don't plan to ride it on the street much.  It has to do with the way KTM does the paperwork that gives the dealer the flexibility to sell it plated.  They can't do it with the Japanese bikes because they do their paperwork differently.   That's not to say you can't plate a Japanese bike here but you must do it yourself which involves swapping out tires to DOT tires, getting inspections, etc.

 

It's nice to be completely legal when connecting trails, going for gas, etc. Plus many events like the MCCC Six Days of Michigan require a plate I believe.

 

If I lived in California again, or MI as you talk here, I'd def have a plated bike.  There are loop holes around the laws, in fact Dewayne Jones plated his CR 500 in California!!  Pretty awesome. 

 

If I were to move back to Cali, I'd definitely plate my 300 XC before moving, then register it as a street legal motorcycle when I got to Cali.  Having a plated smoker would be a lot of fun out there..... most cops only check to make sure you have a headlight and a plate on the bike.  They usually don't care beyond that. 

It's funny because I have very little desire to run my 350 on the road.  If I want a road bike I'll just buy a cheap road bike to tool around on.  But I still love having the plate on my XCF-W just to always be legal.

 

For example yesterday I did some maintenance to the bike and ran it around my neighborhood for 5 minutes just to make sure everything was good to go.  I got the stink eye from several of the people walking their dogs, kids, etc.  I'm sure they're jumping on their cell phones calling the cops about the guy riding a dirt bike in the neighborhood.  But with my plate on the bike I could care less.  Actually I look forward to the day they catch up with me so they can then explain back to the nosy neighbors I'm completely legal.

 

Doc

Its nice to live in a rural area where its normal to see quads or dirt bikes running down the road to a riding area.  The cops just wave, people don't even notice.

Its nice to live in a rural area where its normal to see quads or dirt bikes running down the road to a riding area.  The cops just wave, people don't even notice.

 

Agreed... The wife and I working with an architect now designing a house and are looking for properties in the 5 - 10 acres range in a more rural area.  We're tired of home owners associations, nosy neighbors, etc.  I'm looking forward to setting up a little trials area.

 

Sorry for getting off topic....  Back to the topic....

 

KTM 450 XCF-W vs Honda CRF450X

Edited by Doc_d

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