USA DRZ400E off road only to a KTM 500 EXC-F

I switched from a cr250 to a 650l so I could legally connect to illegal trails to a ktm500exc

the 2016 KTM is hands down the best dirtbike i have ever owned. 

The beta is a sweet ride but MSRP is $9999 for the 500 dual sport same as KTM

i have spend probably another 1k over the last 1.5 year on

hand guards, rotor guard, radiator guards, exhaust end cap, Euromap with sicass map switch, lower seat(30" inseam), sprockets, and springs for my fat ass. 

These purchased items I would probably have bought for any bike not just the 500. 

I will tell you hands down I can ride faster and longer without getting tired. 

Best dual sport dirtbike bar none for ocasional street  

if you want to ride a lot of street buy a street bike too 



I had a 03 DRZ 400E and traded up to a 14 500EXC. Yes it is a little more maintenance but KTM makes even a valve check easy. I had to do shims at 60 hrs but other than that and oil she just goes. I loved my DRZ but you have no idea how much of an over weight turd it is until you get on a KTM and yes I had an E. It was piped, jetted, etc. In the end I probably should have gotten the 350. Still way more bike than the DRZ and a little easier in the woods. The 500 rocks on the road and wider trails though. The newer KTM is lighter and more nimble than my 14 and my 14 is 30 lbs lighter than the 400E.

I have an exhaust end cap and intake mod with all the EPA stuff removed and No tuner! I adjusted the TPS and all my issues went away. Yes it is slightly lean but 100 hrs later she still rips and has never left me wanting for anything other than an occasional shorts check.

22 hours ago, superdutyscaler said:

Was at the local dealer today ordering new chain and sprockets for the E and they just got a brand new 500 KTM in! Since I've been pondering going street legal dirtbike since in my POS state of New Jersey I can not tag my 2003 E model because it says "off road" on the title I need a bike that's factory legal. I'd love to get a S model DRZ but the fact they are so gutless comared to my E model made me say NO WAY and the SM  version is the same gutless engine as the S so that's a NO here comes the KTM. So what's the feeling on this???

My 2005 E is licensed for the street in NJ. It was purchased used and already had a title from PA. 

IF you plan on 10,000+ miles I would go with the 690 over the 500. The 500 is a great bike but it's still basically a dirt bike and won't put up with real miles. Conversely the 690 is heavy and wider / beefier. Not much worse than a DRZ though (330lbs stock. The muffler is a boat anchor with a cat in it though).

On that note, with the 690 you can have the dealer change the map. They sell hop up parts and have the ECU flashes to accompany them. You can get the map alone. I bet they do something similar for the 500. Ask. I paid $60 l.

Edited by Oic0
1 hour ago, npm said:

Any chance of getting an S/SM frame and swapping your e parts onto it to get around the dirt only issue?

My question, too - there are lots of frames out there (and swapping out would give you a chance to upgrade to the S/SM subframe, which would help if you ever wanted to carry gear and go ADV style).

Other question: other than the pumper carb and the compression, there's not a huge diff in engines between an E and and S/SM. Could you not buy the S/SM and tweak the card (or just install a pumper carb)? That was my plan when I was looking at a two-bike sale last year (fell through - I couldn't get to the seller's on time, because a massive storm blew into Utah and Wyoming and there was no safe route, dang it... Had an E and an S, and I was planning on keeping the E, swapping subframes, and parting out the S).

The E also has more aggressive cams.  


I wouldn't.  If you want a street bike, get one.  You really need two bikes if you want to ride offroad also

Legally you can not remap the new street legal KTM dirt bikes. The dealers will get into trouble with D O T.

You can remap the Beta's though. They have an FMF map for their bikes

I wouldn't.  If you want a street bike, get one.  You really need two bikes if you want to ride offroad also

2 isn't enoughIMG_20170816_185008453.jpg

Register (not title) the DRZ400E in Vermont for $48 per year.   I did that with my 'E' because I moved to Illinois, which won't register bikes that started life as 'trail' bikes.  Very trouble-free process.

Fill this out with your New Jersey address, use NJ drivers license number in place of Vermont drivers license number.    Read through the instructions for the VD-119 form at

Saying the S model is gutless compared to the E model isn't saying that much because both need a new exhaust system to wake them up. A 400S with full Yoshimura exhaust and JD jetting kit adds so much power to the S, that it's just slightly less than the E model with the same setup. While the E comes with the FCR carb, at varying altitudes the CV carb is more adaptable without rejetting. You can always switch the E head gasket to add a little more compression, but nothing makes as much difference as the exhaust and jetting. 

I had a DRZ(s) and moved to the KTM 500. I don't even think the two are comparable... The 6spd alone is a major upgrade.. Lol...

My wife still has her DRZ SM and it fits her just perfect... 

21 minutes ago, npm said:

The E also has more aggressive cams.  

Dang it - that's right, and I knew that. Thanks for the correction NPM...

Of course a DRZ400E or S does not compare with KTM 500 in performance but I would wager either one will outlast the KTM. Which is why I ride a KTM 300 or YZ450F when 100% offroad, but the DRZ for 50/50 dual sporting. 

8 minutes ago, kcomst said:

Of course a DRZ400E or S does not compare with KTM 500 in performance but I would wager either one will outlast the KTM. Which is why I ride a KTM 300 or YZ450F when 100% offroad, but the DRZ for 50/50 dual sporting. 

Maybe? I put 400+hrs on my 500 and never touched it... Pushing 260+hrs on my 350xcf, haven't touched that either... 

4 minutes ago, kcomst said:

 DRZ400E or S does not compare with KTM 500 in performance

Those bikes are all way to big and heavy for offroad IMO.  But Im a little guy with a big D


I just picked up a new '17 KTM 450 EXC SIX DAYS. I have been riding KX 500's since '89. I needed something to connect the trails near my house. No regrets. I'll still keep the 500's for the hardcore stuff, but the KTM is a dream bike. I just need to figure out the "Dual-Sport" riding gear thing, and I'm golden. I am doing the explore riding that just can't be done with a non-plated bike in Cali.  As said above, "Two bikes aren't enough".  

Edited by greenguy500

Ok superdustyscaler, now go give that salesman a black eye this Thursday...lmao

Bought a 2001 drz400k brand new in 2002. Put a full yosh exhaust jetted it did 3 x 3 intake mod and never looked back. Until as your situation arose for me wanting a street legal dirt bike to be able to ride in woods I have ridden for years. Bought the KTM exc 500. Put an fmf slip on and had it remapped with euro map. Just bought super moto warp nine wheels and couldn't be happier. Still have the drz but wait till you ride the KTM and get back on the Drz. It's an eye opener. Keep both and don't forget about the Drz.

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