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16 or 17 500?

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I've spent a ton of time reading about the '17 headaches with mapping, TPS, smog stuff, general new bike mods, etc.  and I am left wondering if buying a model year '16 is easier than messing with a '17?  It does seem like there are guys getting the new bikes to run pretty good but it sure seems like its a pain in the butt.  I want a 500.  Do I buy a clean 2016 or a new bike?  Are there even really that many differences?  I've found very little info on the 16's compared to the 17's.  Are they more simple and easier to mod or are they actually a lot more similar than I am seeing?  Been on a 300 two-stroke for years and all this crap you have to do to a thumper is overwhelming to me.  The simplicity of the smoker is awesome but I'm worried about the direction CA is headed with changes to the red-sticker program. 

I couldn't find any threads that compare the 16 and 17 500's.  If there is one, please attach link.  Thank you!

 

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the 17 is the new King ! its lighter more stable and handles better than all of its predecessors

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the 17 is the new King ! its lighter more stable and handles better than all of its predecessors

I have to disagree with you on the stable / handles better since I have a decent amount of time on a 12, own a 16 and have ridden a 17. Handling and stability are directly related to proper suspension tuning and setting it up for your type of riding and weight. Stock they all feel about the same, and at 220lbs they all feel horrible to me. Pushing in sand corners and bottoming over the tiniest of bumps. The 12 has been resprung and revalved and it feels absolutely amazing compared to my stock 16 and 17 I've ridden. Again handling and stability it's all related to proper suspension tuning.

Also the 17 doesn't feel any lighter to me or at least I couldn't notice it in the short time I rode it. Most of the weight difference between the new model and old are kick start, skid plate both of which I'd prefer to have, and a lithium battery.

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14 hours ago, Adv_Fco said:

"New is always better"

...Barney Stinson

 

bold statement, in motor industry new is almost always cheaper version of older - for more money.

Cut back are visible everywhere, definitely  you get less for your money.

Edited by motf
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Not sure how much luck you'll have find a 16 anyway. Once it was announced the 17's wouldn't have a kick starter there was a run on 16's.

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17s are no harder than the 16s to get set up, you'll just have to throw a little extra money at it.  With the dealers ability to flash the maps drying up, you have the option of getting a vortex (http://www.vortexcdi.com/model_product.php?product=56&model=247&mp_id=3943).  There is still a lot you can do with a TPS.  Skip the unnecessary bolt on upgrades and you'll save enough money to cover the cost of the new CDI.

 

My buddy has got a new 300 and he has easily spent more time than me getting his bike ready to go. 

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don't be a hater just cause you don't have one . My 15 300xcw was the best bike ive owned for extreme rock pile but when this 500 came along I gave it good hard look before buying then took it for a ride. tested it in all conditions and first impressions weren't that good compared to my 300. but after an extreme diet and some easy mods I got the weight down to 237 before fuel and gearing changes have made it my new extreme rock pile bike. only other downside is the engine will get hot when slowing to a crawl. afew clicks on the suspension and I'm in happy land again

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1 hour ago, Airboss/oc said:

don't be a hater just cause you don't have one .

 

don't be a lover of everything the throw at you.

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Quote

"New is always better"

...Barney Stinson

The character Barney Stinson is fictional....so is this statement.

I'll trade the five pound weight saving for a kick start and a skid plate any day!!.....not to mention the proven reliability of the '16 model year versus what seems to be a surprising number of very low hour 17's that have had serious issues (based on posts on this site and KTMTalk). It looks like an 18 could be a better buy than a 17....give then a chance to fix the new model problems.

Five pounds is less than the weight of a gallon of gas...gotta keep things in perspective.

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3 hours ago, travertt said:

The character Barney Stinson is fictional....so is this statement.

I'll trade the five pound weight saving for a kick start and a skid plate any day!!.....not to mention the proven reliability of the '16 model year versus what seems to be a surprising number of very low hour 17's that have had serious issues (based on posts on this site and KTMTalk). It looks like an 18 could be a better buy than a 17....give then a chance to fix the new model problems.

Five pounds is less than the weight of a gallon of gas...gotta keep things in perspective.

Not sure what you are talking about here.  I haven't seen any "serious" issues posted about 17's yet.  I checked KTM Talk and nothing there either.

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3 hours ago, LTJ said:

Not sure what you are talking about here.  I haven't seen any "serious" issues posted about 17's yet.  I checked KTM Talk and nothing there either.

I do too. Biggest issue I see is lack of kickstarter(if that bothers you), lack of traction control and the patchwork of some dealers that will help reflash it. Reliability of new motor remains to be seen but doubt I will see any issues anytime soon. Until it's a little more solidified with the whole EPA cluster I will hold on to my 16. I am sure uncorked these new 500's are crazy powerful and fun. I just hate to buy one and be told by a dealer..."um so sorry but I can't help your stalling issue" or whatever.

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Don't mind the lack of kickstarter. Truck doesn't have one, in fact nothing I have ever owned with 4 wheels had a kick starter and I've always gotten back home. I also have a traction control button. As far as getting them uncorked there are aftermarket options there if you didn't get it done before it got locked down.

Only issues I have heard with the 17s is dealers not putting in the unlock code in the ECU. Hardly a reliability issue.

Not saying problems won't arise, but there are a lot of guys out there throwing mud at the 17s but so far this is the finest 2 wheel machine I have ever ridden.

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I do too. Biggest issue I see is lack of kickstarter(if that bothers you), lack of traction control and the patchwork of some dealers that will help reflash it. Reliability of new motor remains to be seen but doubt I will see any issues anytime soon. Until it's a little more solidified with the whole EPA cluster I will hold on to my 16. I am sure uncorked these new 500's are crazy powerful and fun. I just hate to buy one and be told by a dealer..."um so sorry but I can't help your stalling issue" or whatever.

I keep reading a lot of posts saying the 17's have stalling issues. Wondering if people are just repeating what they hear or there really is an issue. The 17 500 exc I rode ran great and had no stalling issues at all. I did notice the idle was awfully low and it came that way from the factory. My friend had to turn it up a bit. Maybe the 17's are leaving the showroom floor with incorrect low idles and that's causing stalling issues. The correct idle speed should be 1800 - 1900 rpm.

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12 hours ago, LTJ said:

Not sure what you are talking about here.  I haven't seen any "serious" issues posted about 17's yet.  I checked KTM Talk and nothing there either.

 I agree, didn't see any serious problem reported yet (except mixed reviews about suspension) and I was looking intensively for that as I am about to pull a trigger on 500 exc.

BTW kick starter you can have for few hundred dollars installed if you want to. It's bad though they don't include skid plate anymore, which you have to buy.  It's obvious KTM cut cost here justifying this with weight saving which are negligible.

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I put the kickstarter in. it weighed 231 dry and I added 17 lbs in good chain, steel sprocket, skid plate, SC seat, tank, desmog. slip on, suspension tuned, map etc to make it offroad usable. 

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I bought the 17 500 EXC and love it.  I asked the dealer if he could put the Euro Map on it, and he just winked and said you will like how it runs.  He wouldn't answer the question which is smart.  Kind of don't ask, don't tell.  He was right, the thing runs great!  He also uncorked the exhaust for me.  So far no stalling issues that haven't been my fault...like climbing steep hills in totally the wrong gear.  Compared to my 08 450 XCRW, this bike feels like it's 7/8 scale, smaller and way lighter.  I like the suspension so far, but I don't ride motocross or high desert whoops.  I like flowy single track, and it's really nice and plush.  I'm over 200 lbs with gear.

As far as reliability, this is basically the same engine as the 2015.5 450 SX, but with a sixth gear and longer stroke.  The only thing that is really new is the 6th gear, but I'm not sure if the transmission is really new or lifted from last year's model.  If Dungey didn't blow it up, I think it should be just fine reliability wise!

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5 hours ago, LTJ said:

As far as reliability, this is basically the same engine as the 2015.5 450 SX, but with a sixth gear and longer stroke.  The only thing that is really new is the 6th gear, but I'm not sure if the transmission is really new or lifted from last year's model.  If Dungey didn't blow it up, I think it should be just fine reliability wise!

according to what  I read it's all new engine, changes are big.

Quote

And the changes you made to the position of the crankshaft and clutch were massive.
Yes, there were radical changes. Moving the axis or position of these shafts by a few millimetres is a lot in engine design terms. For these 2017 engines, we have moved them up to 30mm. That is huge. Our objective was to make the triangle of the crankshaft, clutch shaft and output shaft as steep as possible. We then optimised the shifting mechanism so that it could fit under this triangle. In other words, we worked tirelessly to minimise the distance between shafts; to squeeze every millimetre out of the package to create the most compact engines possible. If you keep this modularity between the 250 and 350, and the 450 and 500, I think we are now very close to the limit of what is doable when it comes to minimising engine dimensions.

https://transmoto.com.au/2017-ktm-exc-range-the-engine-guru/

Edited by motf

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I've been sooooper impressed with my buddy's '17 500.  Except that time he killed the battery and we had to tow start it.  Not bump start, but extended, tow start.  Wouldn't even turn one revolution irrespective of gear choice.  Guess it gets really good compression!  But once started and running, the battery came back in a short time and was GTG the rest of the weekend. 

Feels really similar to my 14 as far as rideability, though certainly neutered with the reeds and extra screens, even with the euro map.  I was extremely impressed with the suspension on technical singletrack.  I didn't notice any of the 'too soft' complaints that the suspension tuners want you to believe, it actually felt quite firm, yet plush.

The engine architecture is nearly identical to the previous gen, with some massaging to fit a smaller package, technology is the same, so I would expect extremely good reliability/longevity.

 

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