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2019 0r 2020 Honda cfr450x vs KTM xc-w 300 & KTM XC 350

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Honestly if you're planning to spend much time putting around with the kids, buy yourself an old 2nd hand 250 4-stroke! All of the bikes you mentioned are really happier when on the move. I agree also that if you have to buy a newy, the Beta is best suited to low down putting around with its mellow power and bottom end grunt. We spend ages on them never getting out of 1st or 2nd gear in slow technical stuff better suited to trials bikes. 

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Almost any 2 stroke putts around better than a 450. Even a 125. 

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You will love the new K 300 XC-W TPI.  We took several bikes to Baja in March with the Utah Trail Machine Association, and had no issues.  I personally own one and appreciate its dependability and engineering.  I have plated my bike, added mousse bibs, a larger gas tank, LH mirror, fan (which is a must and something KTM should have included), and 55W front light globe. 

 

 

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A lot of interesting ideas and conversation.  I currently own a KTM500EXC uncorked, too fast for riding with children.  I am currently looking for a 2005 to 2007 CR250 which when jetted properly can fit that purpose.  I would suggest a YZ250 less than 5 years old they are all the same.  They are carburated, easy to start and amazingly light which makes it easier for you to stop, get off, and help the kids without wearing yourself out.  When you open up the YZ it will run down most any bike and has amazing suspension.  Just my 2 bits worth.

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Bikes I’ve had in the last six years, all purchased new and all modded for best protection and highest versatility: Kawa KX450F, Honda 250 crf-x, Yamaha YZ 250, KTM 250 XC-W, 200 XC-W (wife’s), ‘19 KTM 300 XC-W TPI. What I have left - the 3 KTMs. Best all around performer - the 300 TPI, hands down. I can get through any junk - hills, rocks, swamps, sand, and tight, gnarly single track on that bike and still lug around the back yard doing slow wheelies with my dogs chasing me. I love it (and no mixing). All the other bikes were/are fine in their own way, but this 300 TPI answers the mail on everything I want out of an off-road bike and thensome. And it’s fast. The Husqvarnas are the same in blue and white, and the Beta has some nice comparable entries too. Be careful of the sweeping generalizations - every one of us different, and with that comes favorites. Do your research and then trust your instincts!

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Greetings,

    First best of luck in your decision.   My experience with my 2012 350xcf follows.

    As at least one other person has noted, it is a bike that is happier on the move.  I have geared mine down one tooth on the front sprocket, had the ECU reflashed by Mark Blaise, and it has a cooling fan which all contribute in my ability to ride it better on tight twisty rocky trails.  However the bike was not really built for that kind of use, it is a cross country bike.  It seems the cooling fan is on more than it is off.   I like the bike, but would not buy one to putt around with a young child on a small bike.

   My experience with a WR400:   Great bike, plenty of power and torque, but kick start only.  It did well on tight trails as well as open desert riding.   Although it was the right bike for me at the time, I would not buy today cuz it is kick start only, and it does not come stock with auto decompression cams.   

  KDX200:   This bike is the cats meow when it comes to tight technical trails.   It has plenty of low end torque, and a max hp around 36 which is plenty for me when doing tight technical trail work.   It would be a great bike to ride with your kids.  However it is not the bike to use when doing occasional MX work.  It is a trail bike.

   Bottom line, I suggest - as have others - that you look at trail bikes to ride trails.   For most of us mortals, all other bikes will need to be modified to behave well on them.   I’d look hard at the WR250f, and WR450f (they are easily uncorked) and are designed for trail use.   The YZ250Fx, and Yz450fx (although designed for more cross country courses) can be modified to behave better on the trails.  With these latter bikes you can reflash the ECU yourself, add a fan (I understand the mounts and wiring are already there), and add a G2 throttle tamer to soften the EFI hit to make slow trail riding easier.

Also, when it comes to cost to make the bike “trail” legal, remember that closed course racing bikes do not come with Spark Arrestors, thus you will either have to add one, or buy a muffler that has one.   For my KTM I bolted on a muffler from a 350XCW which comes with a spark arrester.

  Greg

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5 hours ago, Bachnok said:

Good call.... Hey you should buy a beta.  They're beta than everybody else.

call me old fashioned but I haven't been convinced to jump on the eurotra$h bandwagon just yet 😅

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Posted (edited)

If you decide on a japan bike the only thing really comparable to the 450x is the wr450f.  The wr is an odd one because yamaha sells it in such a form that it's almost unrideable right out of the box.  It has to be tinkered with in order to be made to run right 😅.  Keep in mind the yz450fx is still an mx bike even with the X on the end.  I guess the X is supposed to mean "cross country" 😅

Edited by timmy.g
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I should probably note that I am 6’3” and weigh in around 285. So that is another variable for all these choices. It’s probably why I am leaning towards the 450’s to haul my big@ss around. 

I still wouldn’t count out a well tuned 300. For versatility. It’s unrivaled in being able to rip or lug and not over heat or do other unwanted things.
It’s power rivals that of a enduro 450 and it’s very usable power.
There are fairly simple ways of adding more power to them as well (like add a higher compression head-RK Tek-and for KTM’s add a SX 300 CDI).
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23 hours ago, Braap-Chicago said:

Hello Dirtbikers!

I am having a really hard time deciding what bike to buy. 

I am currently riding an 03 crf450R and want a good trail bike that also has lots of power. 

My daughter just got a little pw80 and i cant really ride with her on my CRF450r it just wants to be raced instead of putting around in low gears for long periods. 

I am looking at the CRF450X but after riding the CRF450L at a dealer I feel like its weak and so much slower then my 450r. The trans on the 450L is wide ratio and the bike kept stalling out on test ride when i pulled the clutch in. No one locally has a 450x available and most dealers wont let me test ride a dirtbike.

Does anyone know if the 450x has better more torque gearing then the 450L. The road version is so sleepy. The 450RX sounds like it would be geared more like an R and wouldn't be a good option on the trails at lowspeeds without overheating. 

I can get a 2019 crf 450x for 9800 out the door, or order a 2020 crf 450x for 10.100. Out the door. 

 

I am also looking at a 2020 KTM 300 XC-W or a 2019 KTM XC-F 350. 

Both of those will be past or close to the 11,000K mark. 

But I have heard a lot of issues with the TPI KTM's I am not sure about the dependability.

Plus all the extra money to upgrade to skid plates, etc. 

I feel like the hondas seem more dependable with less overall maintenance. 

I am also surprised there is no kick start on these. So much can go wrong with electronics. Can you bump start these if your battery is hosed?

I would like the headlight option on the bike with out having to upgrade after purchase , but its not a deal breaker. 

Thanks in advance!

Keep your CRF450R for when you want to go riding with friends.  Buy a used CRF230F when you want to ride with your daughter.  It's perfect for that job.  When our club has rides, I sometimes escort some wives or kids or beginners on either bikes or quads and the 230 has never, ever let me down.  It is geared low, so you can get down to walking pace when needed, but will go pretty good for it's size when you need it.  It has never over-heated even though it is air-cooled.  

Browse the local ads or check with some off-road clubs, there are usually a few CRF230F's for sale.  A lot of them were purchased for wives to learn to ride and they have either out-grown them or decided they didn't want to ride at all.  Either way, they're for sale.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, timmy.g said:

If you decide on a japan bike the only thing really comparable to the 450x is the wr450f.  The wr is an odd one because yamaha sells it in such a form that it's almost unrideable right out of the box.  It has to be tinkered with in order to be made to run right 😅.  Keep in mind the yz450fx is still an mx bike even with the X on the end.  I guess the X is supposed to mean "cross country" 😅

The videos of the YZ450FX look great. I like the different mapping that can be used on it to tame it down for some slower riding. Would end up getting the after market fan for it as well. I think I might be addicted to the mx style 450s power for my 285lb self. The 450x seems like a nice option as well. My 03 450r needs some more money thrown at it.

I might get the YZ450FX sell my crf and get a TT225 or Crf230 air cooled bike. Going to test the KTMs tomorrow. But the more I research them the more trouble posts is see and expensive they are. Expensive parts, more maintenance just not sure...

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12 hours ago, HellzyaaBuddy said:

A CRF450X will overheat putting around with your kid, they are an XC race bike. KDM350 needs an exhaust and $700 ecu to run good. I'd keep looking if I were you.

I've been riding a 450x for 10 years and never overheated once on the single track.. I've also putted around plenty. Has a coolant capture tank works very well in the heat and in the woods. I was riding singletrack a week ago and it was 91 out. 

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7 hours ago, MotoMac said:

Keep your CRF450R for when you want to go riding with friends.  Buy a used CRF230F when you want to ride with your daughter.  It's perfect for that job.  When our club has rides, I sometimes escort some wives or kids or beginners on either bikes or quads and the 230 has never, ever let me down.  It is geared low, so you can get down to walking pace when needed, but will go pretty good for it's size when you need it.  It has never over-heated even though it is air-cooled.  

Browse the local ads or check with some off-road clubs, there are usually a few CRF230F's for sale.  A lot of them were purchased for wives to learn to ride and they have either out-grown them or decided they didn't want to ride at all.  Either way, they're for sale.  

 

 

I agree with MotoMac, I would think about getting a new or used Honda CRF-230F. It is perfect for riding with your daughter, why do you need a 450 to ride with a child? Honda designed the CRF-230F for riding with your family. It has e-start, low seat height, a kickstand, and is very reliable with a carb and is very low maintenance. You can find them cheap used, I found a like new 2015 model for my son in law to ride as he is a novice. I have really enjoyed riding that CRF-230F, it is a really good trail bike, I ride it more than my other bikes. Plus it is always there for your wife, a friend to ride, perfect for teaching someone how to ride, and when your daughter gets older she would have a great bike. I live in the mountains of North Carolina and that CRF-230F does great on tight single track, climbing hills, or just cruising on easy trails or in the yard. Lots of aftermarket stuff is available for the CRF-230F also and it is mostly inexpensive to buy. Ride one if you get a chance and you will be very surprised and very impressed. Lots of info and tips on TT for modifying them to your liking. I will never sell the one I have, one of the best motorcycles I have ever owned and I have had plenty. The first pic is when I first bought my like new stock 2015 Honda CRF-230F in December 2017. The second pic I took last week, I can't leave anything stock for some reason. I have more parts and accessories on order now, as there is a lot more stuff I want to do to it.      

Honda CRF-230F X-Mas present.jpg

Honda CRF230F 10 (2).jpg

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Posted (edited)

I'm 55. 6'2 265. Not off much in size from you. My grandson rides a pw80. My daughters both ride 2008 honda crf100's. 

I have a 2017 honda crf250r for going as fast as I have any business going off road. 

I have an 87 honda xr250r for riding with my daughters and my grandson. Great bike. Super reliable just like the pw80 and the crf100's. Plenty of parts available. Many items can still be had new from honda. Paid $600 for it because it didn't run. Bad kill switch. Probably all in at $1600 but I've got new tires, carb kit, rebuilt shock and forks, new drive line consumables, new chain and sprockets, new grips etc.

I have 16 bikes. The XR250R may be my overall favorite. Live in the Houston area. Not going to get much hotter than here and I've never had any heat related issues with the xr at any speed. 

I can tell you this, it won't be the bike that make the rides with your daughter fun. Just get something for you that she can keep up with. Good luck with it. 

Edited by TexanCRF-250R
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4 hours ago, gspartsguy said:

I agree with MotoMac, I would think about getting a new or used Honda CRF-230F. It is perfect for riding with your daughter, why do you need a 450 to ride with a child? Honda designed the CRF-230F for riding with your family. It has e-start, low seat height, a kickstand, and is very reliable with a carb and is very low maintenance. You can find them cheap used, I found a like new 2015 model for my son in law to ride as he is a novice. I have really enjoyed riding that CRF-230F, it is a really good trail bike, I ride it more than my other bikes. Plus it is always there for your wife, a friend to ride, perfect for teaching someone how to ride, and when your daughter gets older she would have a great bike. I live in the mountains of North Carolina and that CRF-230F does great on tight single track, climbing hills, or just cruising on easy trails or in the yard. Lots of aftermarket stuff is available for the CRF-230F also and it is mostly inexpensive to buy. Ride one if you get a chance and you will be very surprised and very impressed. Lots of info and tips on TT for modifying them to your liking. I will never sell the one I have, one of the best motorcycles I have ever owned and I have had plenty. The first pic is when I first bought my like new stock 2015 Honda CRF-230F in December 2017. The second pic I took last week, I can't leave anything stock for some reason. I have more parts and accessories on order now, as there is a lot more stuff I want to do to it.      

 

 

I'm glad someone else "gets" the CRF230....not many people do.  My 'kids' ride it when they come visit, as do a lot of friends.  When I want to get out and play with the other guys and gals, my 2010 KTM 400 XC-W is more than enough for anything I want to ride here in Idaho.  

I notice you also have one of the original Honda CR250 Elsinores.  Do you also race vintage MX?  I have a 72 CZ 400 for doing that.  VMX is what keeps me going at age 73 and I hope to keep it up for many more years!

 

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45 minutes ago, MotoMac said:

I'm glad someone else "gets" the CRF230....not many people do.  My 'kids' ride it when they come visit, as do a lot of friends.  When I want to get out and play with the other guys and gals, my 2010 KTM 400 XC-W is more than enough for anything I want to ride here in Idaho.  

I notice you also have one of the original Honda CR250 Elsinores.  Do you also race vintage MX?  I have a 72 CZ 400 for doing that.  VMX is what keeps me going at age 73 and I hope to keep it up for many more years!

 

73?! Keep on roostin'! 

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Ktm make a fantastic range of bikes. I would recommend either the 300 tpi or 350/450 exc to suit your needs. Not the xcf. Ktm’s are as reliable as any bike, I think you’ll find the reason for so many failure posts is simply because so many more are sold than most other bikes.

 

However, Yamaha has a solid reputation for reliability so you won’t go wrong with one of them either.

 

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On 7/23/2019 at 11:36 PM, Braap-Chicago said:

The videos of the YZ450FX look great. I like the different mapping that can be used on it to tame it down for some slower riding. Would end up getting the after market fan for it as well. I think I might be addicted to the mx style 450s power for my 285lb self. The 450x seems like a nice option as well. My 03 450r needs some more money thrown at it.

I might get the YZ450FX sell my crf and get a TT225 or Crf230 air cooled bike. Going to test the KTMs tomorrow. But the more I research them the more trouble posts is see and expensive they are. Expensive parts, more maintenance just not sure...

Can’t wait to get on the  crf 450l dual sport 

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