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400EXC or 450EXC?

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I want to do a little dual-sporting and the cost of kitting and trying to change the title on my XR400 isn't worth the hassle here in IL. I have a friend with a new 450; and another friend with an older ('01) 400; and I've ridden both quite a bit. The 450 seems to have quite a bit of power - especially down low. The 400 seems to rev more. I'm considering buying either, but need to hear from the experts what exactly the difference is between the two.

In addition to an occasional D/S run and some play-riding, I also do a couple of modern H/S events (I race mostly vintage - that explains the term 'modern') each year.

Which way would you guys go?

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The 450 will have the long stroke motor, some report they feel the bike revs slower

the 400 will have the short stroke motor (like a motorcross bike) and again some feel it revs quicker.

Other than that they are identical bikes (Frame/Brakes/cases/gears etc...)

For '05 the 400 MAY have a different ignition box than the 450, but that is unconfirmed at this time.

Do what I did, get the 400, then bump it up to a 453 (talk to TravisD37 over on KTMTalk.com) It's a do it yourself job if you are at all mechanical (you do need one special tool that Travis rents) I'm a shadetree mechanic and I had the bike apart and done in an evening.

For under $500 I have the best of both worlds..short stroke 450 (the bike KTM should have built!) All the nice things of the 400 with more "GO" everywhere.

If I can get the boss (my wife) to OK a new bike anytime soon, it will be another 400 (and the 453 will be step two)

Rod

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I swung by the bike shop today and looked at a 400exc and 450exc parked by each other. I stood there staring, slack jawed and drooling. The 400 with the short stroke 453 kit sounds sweet. I could not say one way or another being that all I have experienced was my old 02 400 and 1 short ride on a 03 525exc. The 450s (450 & 453) appear to be a nice alternative, if they perform as good as they look you will have dirt bike nirvana.

Good luck!

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hello i have the 05 450 and its bad ass....... i road the 05 400 and i like the 450

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I am with Rod as well, the 453 (big bore short stroke) feals more nimble than the 450EXC (small bore, long stroke) definatly a better bike!

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The 400 is bad, the 450 is bad ass , but the 525 is badder ass 😢

Seriously, i've had all three and just went from 02 525 to the 05 525.

The ride and suspension on the 05 is superb. You wont get a better all rounder and that includes woods

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OK guys - I've got it. I have a 2001 400EXC that has the 450 kit. Short stroke big piston. It rips my arms out frequently. There are very few bikes that can ever pass me. I ride a lot of GPs and coming out of the corner against a YZ450 is a laughing stock. This bike is beyond kit ass. For your money - get the 400 and put a kit in it. Mine hit 96 miles per hour accorss the desert!!! You can't beat this motor. Please comment...

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KTM does build the short stroke 450 in the SX model. They decided, and rightly so IMO, that the 450E would be better suited to it's intended purpose with a long stroke. You can mix and match with the KTM's and that's great but just be aware of what the pluses and minuses are. I know for me, I don't want an arm ripping SX type bike in the tight and muddy woods I ride and race in, for example.

I had a 400E and have a 450E. Riding them back to back showed no difference in lowend power or overall feel. The 450 just has more power from the middle on up. I haven't ridden one of the newer 400's but the motor is all but identical to my 01's so it's hard to believe it'd be that much different.

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Jeb & I are on the same page on most stuff, I respect his opinion yet have debated this before, maybe its all in my head? But I spent 4 years on a 400, the last 1 1/2 years it was a 453, definatly goes toe to toe with my current ride for best engine ever! When I jump on a 450EXC to me anyway it feals like a bigger bike, feals like I am on a 525 with the brake dragging, not bad mouthing 450EXC's but to some degree they have all the disadvantages of a 525 (big/less nimble) yet the power of a 450. That long stroke 450EXC is king of wallering in mud, climing up slimy roots & rocks getting outa the stream bed with zero traction etc. The 453 is very close to as good at that techy stuff yet to me due to less rotating mass with the shorter stroke the bike feals smaller & more nimble. The short stroke = nimble handling has proven true in many applications, including my current ride, it feals like a 250 2 stroke yet has grunt probubly equal to the 400, a combo that I like. Jeb being younger than me probubly spends more time almost stuck in the bottom of that creek bed, where I would be if I could give back a few years.

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The 05 400 EX/C does have a different ignition box than the 05 450 EX/C and remember that the 450SX has many pounds less crank weight, so............. it can be a handfull when it gets tight and technical.

In the end a 453 kitted 400 has many of the 400's best features and when called upon the 453 really rocks. I had a 03 450 EX/C and found it a little chunky in power, so much that when I converted it to a 525 there was little difference in the power delivery except for more of it from low-mid rpms on up, where the short stroke motor is smoother and almost a little 2t feeling, low controlable power output building to any level power you want or need.

Wes

05 400 EX/C now a 453

03 450 SX estart, 6 speed

01 Duke

04 Aprilia Tuono, I'm in love again

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not the exact same model but a pretty good deal if your interested. i am selling a 2003 450 sx. it is posted in the bikes for sales section if your interested. i boght it from a shop that was closing that used it as a demo bike. it probably only has 15 to 20 hours of use and looks brand new. $4300 obo. the bike is in gainesville florida. if you want some pics sixbey@cox.net it has not been titled yet. currently it just has a certificate of origon that does not say for dirt or street use. i hear that is pretty easy to street title in some states.

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I'm also in the market for a new bike, and have recently started looking at KTM's.

I am trying to decide between the 400 and 450 exc models as well. I am the kind of guy that likes to keep things stock, so whatever I get, I want it to be the right thing, right off the showroom floor.

That said. Bone stock, what is the difference between the '05 400 and 450's? I know the bikes are identical, I'm talking about feel. From what I read above, the 450 is torqier down low, AND has more power up top, but doesn't rev quite as fast. And the 400 revs quicker...but yet feels "smoother."

What is the advantage of the quicker revving (yet somehow smoother) engine over the torqier long-stroke? I do about 60% desert, 20% woods, and 20% dunes.

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Not sure what to add to my opinion above, Beef. Being you ride in the dez and sand, I'd think you'd want the extra power of the 450. The one place I noticed a short coming in the 400's power was on one big (my MN standards) deep sand hill. It was a struggle for it.

IMO, they're equally smooth as far as power delivery. The 450 has a little bit of a hit when it gets to the midrange but it's not anything like an MX bike hit or anything.

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