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I know this has been beat to death, and I have read so many topics on here and ktmtalk that my head is spinning. Background; I have been riding for three years now. I currently ride a wr250f. I ride Stoneyford, Foresthill, Moonrocks, and a few other spots. I have a lined up two bikes that I can buy in the next day or two both very close to where I am at. The one guy has a 525 mxc the other the exc. Shortly after I started riding I bought a CRF450 thinking I did not want to ride my 250 any more. Well for riding the trails I like and probably my ability, the CRF was way too high strung. My ?'s are will the MXC seem high strung as well? Will it have the compression braking that I am sure the EXC will have? Can it be geared low enough from serious crawling? I like the idea of not shifting nearly as much with the MXC. I have never rode either bike and I am 6'2" 240lbs so I am sure the power won't be too overwhelming except maybe at first coming off of my current ride.

Side note, the MXC is an '04 with a tall seat and IMS tank very clean for $5500. The EXC is an '03 with 980 original miles and a tall seat as well for $5400 and I have not seen pics.

Thanks in advance.

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Nor cal is my good buddy and he and i have been hashing this over for about 3 weeks, first I was getting a new bike and got a 300 exc. Which in my opinion closely matches the gearing of an sx/mxc thumper. Now it is his turn and his original thought was a wr 450, but it needs to be green sticker. So I got him to check out the ktm and he decided that it would be an acceptable ride :) . We ride some spots that are 1st and 2nd gear on our old wr's , occasionally getting into third where the exc will shine. The other spots are more open, faster trails and fire roads, where the mxc will shine. Occasionally we go to the desert and either will work great. I think the main hang up is being able to gear the mxc down low enough to crawl around at a fast walking pace versus the constant shifting on the exc. I think it is a 50/50 decision and it seems easy when you are on the outside but when it is your money all these minute details seem to be so problematic. Both bikes he is considering are 525s and are in great shape.

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The 525's will not be high strung like the CRF. I used to own a 2003 CRF450 and I now ride a 2005 525 MXC. The 525 power is very smooth and linear. I like the MXC better because I like the close ratio transmission but it seems most like the EXC better. I geared mine down to 13/50 and it now has a gear for all situations. The KTM's have a more traditional four stroke feel; more torque and more engine braking. You will like the ergo's on the KTM's better than either the Yamaha or Honda, they are better suited for taller riders. But, they also accommodate shorter riders with a reasonable seat height.

I would go with the '04 model if it is in good shape.

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EXC. It is amazing what that low first gear will get you through. Short story. There was this super slick and nasty hill a few weeks ago. I come up to it and guys are spilled all over the side of it. I put the bike 05 450 exc by the way ,in first and use about a quarter trottle and just mossey right up the hill. It was like driving a tractor. Just my experiance. I'm constantly amazed at the short work this bike makes out of knarly situations.

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fwiw, the mxc and exc engines are identical except for the tranny, so your only real issue is the gearing. i can't help much there. on the 2-strokes, i like the mxc/sx gearing better. the gap between 1st and 2nd is mighty big for my tastes, but the 4-strokes have a much broader range of power, so it might not be a big deal.

mw

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I recently bought an 04 450 EXC and can add my enjoyment of a very low 1st gear. I've tried some gnarly uphill spots and intentionally not touched the clutch (very hard to not just grab & slip - old reactions are strong) and still crawled out without stalling. The ratios seem right on for any trail or the road (last of the CA dualsport RFS)

I've owned 2 MXC's (550 and 360) in the past and would probably go that way if I thought I would get my 40+ year old tucas back out on a motocross track again, but the chances of that are getting less and less each year

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You have been riding with a transmision that has very low ratios, the MXC will be like starting in 3rd, it will do it but it comes down to how much time you spend in challenging stuff? And how talented you are? There are lots of guys with MXC's that get thru the woods just fine, at the same time there are guys with EXCs that are geared way lower that think they need to gear them lower yet (personlly I think they are missing the advantage of a 4 stroke). EXC would be my choice if you ride tight stuff but the MXC will do that stuff well also. The trick on either is gett he carb right! Then develope the technic confidence to put two fingers on the clutch, let the engine lug thru the tricky stuff

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well I am going down to pick up his new 525 mxc tonight. :) So i get to ride it first. :p:D We ride some real tight stuff but when geared down an mxc 1st can match a stock exc first, and still do 70 mph, so that was the kicker, all the advantages of the mxc with a low gear. If all works out well I may buy a brand new one in a year or two. :)

Here is a picture of Nor Cal WR's new ride. Looks like you need to change your user name.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v144/ZEKEDAWG/MOTORCYCLE/ktm2004rt.jpg

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