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350/500 EXC-F commuting

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Hey guys, 

Was offered a ridiculous deal on a new 350 EXC-F and a decent one on a 500 EXC-F. Coming form an ex moto background I've always dreamed of having something I could throw around for the commute to work and occasional fire road/trail on the way home and can't deny the EXC-F seems like the only option. I'm just concerned about the maintenance as its basically an MX bike set up for the street as well. How is reliability? Maintenance? Am I crazy for wanting this bike as a 7-15 mile commute to work and occasional single track, dirt trail? Obviously I wouldnt be taking this thing on the highway above 55mph lol. Thanks for the help and input! 

Zach 

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Crazy....heck No! These bikes have proven  to be reliable. The book maintenance/rebuild rec. Is for racing/extreme riding.  15mile commute is nothing. You do need to change the oil every 10 hours and balance the wheels but it's not a deal breaker by far.

Later get some SM wheels for the street and have the best for both worlds.

 

 

20160507_163202.jpg

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7 hours ago, usafwx said:

Hey guys, 

Was offered a ridiculous deal on a new 350 EXC-F and a decent one on a 500 EXC-F. Coming form an ex moto background I've always dreamed of having something I could throw around for the commute to work and occasional fire road/trail on the way home and can't deny the EXC-F seems like the only option. I'm just concerned about the maintenance as its basically an MX bike set up for the street as well. How is reliability? Maintenance? Am I crazy for wanting this bike as a 7-15 mile commute to work and occasional single track, dirt trail? Obviously I wouldnt be taking this thing on the highway above 55mph lol. Thanks for the help and input! 

Zach 

That is EXACTLY what I use mine for, and almost the exact same miles per day.  I ride mine when the temp is advice 25° F, so I basically ride year round.

I take it on and single track, fire roads, and have even had mine on the MX track a few times.  

It is a very capable bike, and if you're using it mostly for commuting, you do not need to maintain it as much as the manual says.  I'm changing my oil about every 12-15 hours or so, and going somewhere around 300 miles on an oil change.

I do NOT regret buying this as my all around bike at all!!!

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8 hours ago, usafwx said:

Hey guys, 

Was offered a ridiculous deal on a new 350 EXC-F and a decent one on a 500 EXC-F. Coming form an ex moto background I've always dreamed of having something I could throw around for the commute to work and occasional fire road/trail on the way home and can't deny the EXC-F seems like the only option. I'm just concerned about the maintenance as its basically an MX bike set up for the street as well. How is reliability? Maintenance? Am I crazy for wanting this bike as a 7-15 mile commute to work and occasional single track, dirt trail? Obviously I wouldnt be taking this thing on the highway above 55mph lol. Thanks for the help and input! 

Zach 

Buy it ! I got the 2017 500. I was in the same position as you as previously owning a 03 YZ 250 2stroke. One of the reasons I went with the 500 is the roads I live by are mostly 55mph so I wanted the extra power and this bike has more power then you can ever need for the road and amazing on the trails too. iv taken the bike on a few 45min road trips B4 without any problems. The only issue I've had with the bike is it stalled out twice when I came to a stop but found out it was because the bike was turned over on its side and the way emissions are now the exhaust dose not let the gas out but it will collect inside the bike, the tech at the dealer said the next time I bring the bike in for my 1500 mile service (I'm at 1350 now) he'll show me how to drain the gas, but like I said it only happened twice and it was when I came to a stop. I'd still highly recommend getting this bike. I hope you do, you'll be happy you did. 

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2 hours ago, cadman_ks said:

That is EXACTLY what I use mine for, and almost the exact same miles per day.  I ride mine when the temp is advice 25° F, so I basically ride year round.

I take it on and single track, fire roads, and have even had mine on the MX track a few times.  

It is a very capable bike, and if you're using it mostly for commuting, you do not need to maintain it as much as the manual says.  I'm changing my oil about every 12-15 hours or so, and going somewhere around 300 miles on an oil change.

I do NOT regret buying this as my all around bike at all!!!

Awesome man. I was sold on the bike till I started reading they require a lot of maintenance, aren't really meant for the street, tires and wheels are out of balance from dealer, etc. Good to hear people use them for light commuting with no problems. That's just like when I rode MX, manual is written for a racer/pro rider not the weekend warrior when it comes to maintenance. May I ask did you go with a 350 or 500. I'm torn because I can get the 350 for $10k OTD, the 500 is like $11.2 I think. Thanks! 

Zach 

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1 hour ago, Mr.Hyde said:

Buy it ! I got the 2017 500. I was in the same position as you as previously owning a 03 YZ 250 2stroke. One of the reasons I went with the 500 is the roads I live by are mostly 55mph so I wanted the extra power and this bike has more power then you can ever need for the road and amazing on the trails too. iv taken the bike on a few 45min road trips B4 without any problems. The only issue I've had with the bike is it stalled out twice when I came to a stop but found out it was because the bike was turned over on its side and the way emissions are now the exhaust dose not let the gas out but it will collect inside the bike, the tech at the dealer said the next time I bring the bike in for my 1500 mile service (I'm at 1350 now) he'll show me how to drain the gas, but like I said it only happened twice and it was when I came to a stop. I'd still highly recommend getting this bike. I hope you do, you'll be happy you did. 

 

Thanks man. Like you I'm torn between 350 and 500, most the roads here are 40-50mph, commute to work is never above 50, but would hesitate straining the 350, I also heard the 500 actually has better power delivery, a bit more easier to jive with. Only problem is dealer has 5 350's they are dying to move and only 1 500. Good to hear though people use it for commuting as well. Every other thread I've read suggests thats a stupid idea. Thanks for the reply! 

Zach 

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1 hour ago, usafwx said:

.... May I ask did you go with a 350 or 500. I'm torn because I can get the 350 for $10k OTD, the 500 is like $11.2 I think. Thanks! 

...

I ended up with a 500.  For me, I wanted that "grunt" power when single track riding.  When I use it, there is no substitute.  Puts a smile on my face every time...

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So went to the dealership today sat on both a 350 and 500, both felt similar I mean they basically are minus the 3lbs. Salesguy said 8 out of 10 people buy the 500, which Im leaning towards especially since it will see more street time than dirt time. Thoughts? He had the 350 marked down to $9400 and the 500 to $9700. Still hesitating with such a big price tag. Thanks for the help gents. 

Zach 

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The ktms have very narrow cam lobes(less surface area to absorb wear), one area the 500 differs,  it has rollers bearing cam followers where the 350 lobes hit a teeter totter hard finger.

IMO the 500 has the stronger, longer lasting valve train.

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32 minutes ago, Spud786 said:

The ktms have very narrow cam lobes(less surface area to absorb wear), one area the 500 differs,  it has rollers bearing cam followers where the 350 lobes hit a teeter totter hard finger.

IMO the 500 has the stronger, longer lasting valve train.

Did not know this. Thank you! My biggest concern is long term reliability. Dealer said guy just had one in with 150 hours and it looked perfect. 

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32 minutes ago, usafwx said:

Did not know this. Thank you! My biggest concern is long term reliability. Dealer said guy just had one in with 150 hours and it looked perfect. 

I have about 156 hours on mine.   I don't think mine looks perfect anymore. ;)

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Just now, cadman_ks said:

I have about 156 hours on mine.   I don't think mine looks perfect anymore. ;)

Internals lol. 

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I ride single track with my 500 and love it, Geared 14/52 will cruise very (very) conservative at 60/65 and 13/52 at 55mph

It has the torque to easily handle 14/52 gearing in gnarly tight mountain single track then hit the road with acceleration to 90+ mph!  

500exc is an awesome bike, if you want a full fledged dirt bike with plates then this is it 

Edited by gitenby
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I would also lean towards the 500. I don't know how much truth there is in this, but I always think that you can get the same speed and acceleration out of a bigger engine without having to wring its neck as much as a smaller engine. The less you bang the rev limiter, the longer your valves and engine will last.

As far as the maintenance, on paper it looks crazy, but in reality, 10-15 hours oil changes are about once a month for many people. Obviously it depends on how hard and how much you ride, but usually it's not like you're wrenching on the bike every single ride, aside from checking and cleaning the air filter. On that note, I really like using filter skins. I just got my bike, but it seems like it will really cut down on filter maintenance and they're easier to wash than the filters are.

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6 hours ago, gitenby said:

I ride single track with my 500 and love it, Geared 14/52 will cruise very (very) conservative at 60/65 and 13/52 at 55mph

It has the torque to easily handle 14/52 gearing in gnarly tight mountain single track then hit the road with acceleration to 90+ mph!  

500exc is an awesome bike, if you want a full fledged dirt bike with plates then this is it 

So good to hear. Just weighing dropping almost $10k on a bike. Thanks for the reply. 

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4 hours ago, hershmagersh said:

I would also lean towards the 500. I don't know how much truth there is in this, but I always think that you can get the same speed and acceleration out of a bigger engine without having to wring its neck as much as a smaller engine. The less you bang the rev limiter, the longer your valves and engine will last.

As far as the maintenance, on paper it looks crazy, but in reality, 10-15 hours oil changes are about once a month for many people. Obviously it depends on how hard and how much you ride, but usually it's not like you're wrenching on the bike every single ride, aside from checking and cleaning the air filter. On that note, I really like using filter skins. I just got my bike, but it seems like it will really cut down on filter maintenance and they're easier to wash than the filters are.

I've always heard the same thing and I believe as someone else mentioned the cam lobe setup is different on the 500 where the 350 is essentially the same engine as the SX which is designed for MX not constant commuting. Now just to swallow the $10k price. Thanks for the reply. 

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No problem! Any reason you're avoiding used? EXCs have come plated from the factory since 2007. There are lots of earlier ones plated available as well. I just bought a 2005 450EXC with the RFS engine for $3,300 this week and I love it so far. They're pretty much bulletproof as well. 

To be clear, nothing wrong with buying new and I would have if I could afford it, but you can save a very significant chunk of change even on a one or two year old bike. 

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The 500exc takes to the road like a dirt bike, unlike a KLR or DRZ. KLR's and DRZ's are very capable on fire roads and feel at home on the road. As for me, I wanted performance with lighter weight and only use the road as means to get to the woods.

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