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cr450f vs exc520

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hi I was looking for some help in making a descision to buy a new bike in the last two years I have had a cr 125 and a cannondale e440. I wanted to get a new bike this year and was looking at a cr450 and exc520. I want to do a combination of trail/woods and track. I am not a great rider but I try real hard. I could use some advice any suggestions?

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The KTM 520/525 EXC is a much better trail/woods bike than the Honda CRF450. The smooth, even torque curve and the wide ratio six speed tranny plus electric start really adapt to the trail. The 520/525 is an excellent allround trail/desert/hillclimb bike while the KTM 400/450 is preferred by many in the woods. The Honda CRF450 is likely a better track bike as delivered from the factory.

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You're comparing a motocross bike to a trail bike. Apples and oranges difference...The only KTM that compares to the CRF450 is the 450SX.

You need to figure out if you want more of a mx bike or trail bike, then you will have your decision.

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Yeah, I used to buy off-road bikes for track and trail, but I'm now convinced that MX bikes with a few upgrades are better, at least for me.

Bottom-line, the CRF450 is a lite weight, compared to the RFS. Yes, the RFS carries it's weight well, but 250ish pounds is 250ish pounds. While I like the e-button and its convenience, I'd still rather save the weight. The 20-25 lbs. weight advantage of the CRF allows for better turning, for flickability (is that a word?) and a less tiring ride. The CRF has plenty of torque, not a lot of hit (that's what throttle control is for) and only the desert guys will miss the wide ratio tranny. How many need 80+ top end?

For the CRF, throw in a Rekluse clutch, put on a skid plate, hand guards and a Pro Moto Billet S/A end cap and you have a bike that will take the nastiest trails in stride and will be better than the RFS at the track. Or, wait for the 450X and go ride.

The 05 KTM RFS are probably the best we've seen, but the key point here is a bike for trail AND track use. My point is, it's easier to train the CRF to run on the trail then it is to train the big RFS to run the track. I ride track and trail and the CRF seems do the job pretty well.

For most, the decision is limited by the cash in their pocket. If not, buy the CRF for the track and the RFS for the trail. 😢

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CRFs hold something under a quart of oil in the case, and they often use it. not a good choice for off road work IMO

jeremiah

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CRFs hold something under a quart of oil in the case, and they often use it. not a good choice for off road work IMO

Actually, it's 690cc, but there's 2 seperate oils. The engine oil is only lubricating the engine. The transmission oil is only lubricating the trans.

I rode my 02 is mostly trails for almost 3 yrs and never had an issue. For desert riding the small amount of oil may be a concern, but even then Baja Designs makes an auxillary tank.

For all around use a CRF450 can't be beat. It's a lot easier to make a moto bike work in the woods. Getting an off-road bike to work on a moto track is another story.

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Thanks for the great opinions everone. It has been a lot of help, I think the answer is I need both!!!! 😢 I beleive I will get the crf for now and save until I can afford the full on trial monster. It sounds as if it is easy to make a crf do both than the other way around and I won't be doing any desert riding in the near future. Thanks again and happy trails.

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Here's a thought: The KTM "SX" model has a 4 spd tranny. That's kills it for the woods, but it's a monster on the track. For around $200 you can buy a 6-speed conversion kit. A 450 (or 525!) SX 6 speed is the ultimate track/woods combo bike available in my opinion. I have a 520SX, and the 6 speed conversion is on my winter agenda. The outcome is a light-weight, powerful track bike with lots of "flickability" (it's a word now!) and the ability to do over 100MPH on the trails! Get a stabilizer or you'll die!

bmac

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How about trail/track/street applications? I'd probably buy the bigger aux oil tank just cause I'm not going to be hard core racing...and a bigger fuel tank too...seems like the Honda can be pretty versatile if you put your mind to it.

How's the powerband though? Too difficult for the slow stuff? Can you mod this a bit? I'm looking at a 2002...

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If you ever want to ride the thing on the street, it would seem that the KTM is the way to go.

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