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Honda CRF 450X or KTM 450 EXC?

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I've been riding my son's CRF250R for the last year and had planned on getting the 250X for myself. Now that the 450X is out I'm leaning toward getting the 450, but... a lot of folks swear by the KTM EXC series for trail and dual sport riding. Can anyone give me some ideas about what the advantages of one over the other may be? Thanks

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You can't go wrong, both great bikes. Ride them both and buy the one that feels the best to you.

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Go with dealer support. The CRF is better for longer rides according to dirt rider but the KTM won the shoot out. It was a little faster and but not as comfortable to ride... I think it would be rider preference but I have rode the KTM 525 and the 450X and liked the 450X better....

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I've ridden the 450x and liked it a lot! But ktm makes a great bike with top of the line standard equipment. You can't go wrong with either bike.

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Gotta second Wood on this. Try them both then decide. But really try them, not 5 minutes on each. At this point I would personally take the Katoom. The Honda is a first year bike but it is getting good press. Like it wouldn't anyway.

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IMO go five-2-five. Came from crf 450. Great track bike, gave up that scene so went w/ a KTM. Personally bought the mxc for the close gear ratio 1-4 as the sx version but comes with an additional 5,and 6th! Electric start, coil for lights, oversized front brake's,hyd.clutch, etc... Im obviously biased but go to ktmtalk.com to get in touch with a great group of guy's for any more info.

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I have had KTM's in the past, last were 200EXC and 520EXC and owned KTM'S since 95, I bought the 450X this time and it works better for me in the suspension stock than I remember my KTM being after suspension mods. Am I worried about maintenance, yes but I still love it and wouldn't trade it for a KTM as of now. I did like the looks of the Honda better so that is a bonus.

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go with the 450X its so nice, and honda/ktm guys seem to have alot of differences. <the riders not the bikes> thats not personaly me but thats what ive come to find with myself. but i love my 450X the valves are awesome! well for now. the 250 valves are not like the 450's. the bad name comes from the 250's. and if your a dad who puts around with their son everyonce in awhile and dont really open her up. get a XR400 practically no maintance. just oil :naughty::D pretty much, i used to ride the XR's. loved em, but racing made me change my tune. need the snap, the speed, the bike pretty much. but i would shop before you buy, look at bikes, and ask these guys. they no alot--- :D:D:naughty:

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Of course the very best thing you can do is to ride both bikes, back to back, on an extended trail ride. Good luck with that. :D There are a couple of pretty big differences between the 2 bikes, they might help swing your decision. The suspension on the Honda is unmatched in the industry. :naughty: The kTM is improved this year, but not up to the Honda yet.

The KTM comes with a 30 day warrranty, that's a very good thing. :D The Honda 450X is a trail bike, not a race bike, and it should have some sort of guarantee. :D

Both bikes weigh about the same on paper, but the Honda is lighter feeling in the tight / technical stuff. It feels like it carries it's weight lower. :naughty: And you can easily lower the Honda's seat height with a lowering link. The KTM will need cutting.

Both bikes are great, between the two of them they win every shootout. The differences are there, you have to figure out which one best suits your needs. I bought my Suzuki DRZ400E because for $2,000 less it's still a great trail bike, and a better dual sport. :cry:

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I'm pleased to hear the balanced tone of the replies, hopefully the boys on the Orange side are being equally civil. Both are great bikes, and personal preference will go a long way. I do have to take issue with motoinmoabs comment on weight though. Quoting Dirt Bike's comparison: "the X doesn't carry its weight as well as the KTM and the Yamaha". Or, quoting Dirt Rider "the biggest concern about the CRF-X is that it is a tad heavy feeling...at 262 pounds it is only 9lbs heavier...but it feels as if it is more".

Let me re-iterate: CRF-X is a great bike and many people will like it the best of any Enduro. I just didn't find it "light feeling", nor have the tests I've read. Ride 'em both and buy the one that makes you happiest!

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when they said 9lbs heavier-they were comparing the Husaberg which was

about 10lbs lighter than all the other 450's... The Honda & KTM are nearly the exact same weight with the Honda being just a bit lighter on the scale if I remember right...

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I do have to take issue with motoinmoabs comment on weight though. Quoting Dirt Bike's comparison: "the X doesn't carry its weight as well as the KTM and the Yamaha". Or, quoting Dirt Rider "the biggest concern about the CRF-X is that it is a tad heavy feeling...at 262 pounds it is only 9lbs heavier...but it feels as if it is more".

I know that some of the tests say the 450X feels a little heavy. Some others I've read say it feels really light. Every owner that I've spoken to says it feels light to them. :naughty: I guess the key is that "feels" is subjective and not absolute. :naughty:

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when they said 9lbs heavier-they were comparing the Husaberg which was

about 10lbs lighter than all the other 450's... The Honda & KTM are nearly the exact same weight with the Honda being just a bit lighter on the scale if I remember right...

The KTM450EXC weighs 251lbs and the CRF450X weighs 259lbs. The KTM is lighter.

Both bikes weigh about the same on paper, but the Honda is lighter feeling in the tight / technical stuff. It feels like it carries it's weight lower. And you can easily lower the Honda's seat height with a lowering link. The KTM will need cutting.

You will not need the lower the KTM's seat height as it is already 1 1/2 inches lower than the Honda's. The difference in seat height between the two bikes actually feels greater than 1 1/2 inches due to the KTM being narrower.

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They both are great bikes, but having ridden both, the KTM felt more like a MX bike in the handling at slower speeds but when you start going faster the Orange bike scared the crap out of me with rodeo style head shakes, the Red bike went through the same nasty section ALOT faster and didn't even twitch. The Honda doesn't feel heavy until you go to throw it up on a stand or if your riding slow through rocks otherwise I am amazed at how easy it is to ride a 260lb bike!

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when they said 9lbs heavier-they were comparing the Husaberg which was

about 10lbs lighter than all the other 450's... The Honda & KTM are nearly the exact same weight with the Honda being just a bit lighter on the scale if I remember right...

According to the scales, and testers quotes from the 24 hour Dirt Rider test, the KTM weighed 255 lbs and the Honda weighed 262 lbs and furthermore "The biggest concern about the CRF-X is that it's a tad heavy-feeling; the shorter and lighter the rider is, the more he feels the weight, but every test pilot noted it. At 262 lbs with an empty tank, it is only 9 lbs heavier than the lightest bike (the Husaberg), but it feels as if it's more".

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They both are great bikes, but having ridden both, the KTM felt more like a MX bike in the handling at slower speeds but when you start going faster the Orange bike scared the crap out of me with rodeo style head shakes, the Red bike went through the same nasty section ALOT faster and didn't even twitch. The Honda doesn't feel heavy until you go to throw it up on a stand or if your riding slow through rocks otherwise I am amazed at how easy it is to ride a 260lb bike!

The magazines also claim that the KTM's have a lot of headshake. IMO they are not setting up the suspension correctly. Initially my 525 would get twitchy in high speed acceleration chop, but now that the sag and clickers are set correctly, it does not headshake at all and it's still excellent in the slow stuff.

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Can anyone give me some ideas about what the advantages of one over the other may be? Thanks

You have awoken the passionate owners of both brands! :naughty: There is no easy answer to be found here because they are both GREAT bikes. :naughty: Before you write a check for $7,000+, you need to go for a ride. :D I personally can't think of a better job to have! :D:D:cry:

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There is a reason the KTM has been the best offroad enduro style bike with all the mags for several years running. I own the Honda 450r but if I were looking for a bike to replace my DRZ I would go with the KTM. If you notice, by far the majority of the testers put it in first place with only Jimmy in DR putting the Honda first. This is Hondas first year out and you can be sure there will be improvements next year. Plus it is heavier, several mags have complained about the suspension and the KTM has excellent engine longevity plus comes with alot of a/m stuff stock. Just my 2 cents....

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My buddy just bought an 05 KTM450EXC yesterday so I'll ride it this weekend and see how good the 05 is. I helped him set it up tonight and it's pretty nice. They also give you Excel rims and a real toolkit as well as a lighted digitol odo, fatbars, hydro-clutch. Things I didn't like were the 6mm head woodscrew type fasteners that hold the shrouds on. There's more screws holding on the shroud when you take the seat off too. Air filter access is the balls though. :naughty:

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My buddy just bought an 05 KTM450EXC yesterday so I'll ride it this weekend and see how good the 05 is. I helped him set it up tonight and it's pretty nice. They also give you Excel rims and a real toolkit as well as a lighted digitol odo, fatbars, hydro-clutch. Things I didn't like were the 6mm head woodscrew type fasteners that hold the shrouds on. There's more screws holding on the shroud when you take the seat off too. Air filter access is the balls though. :naughty:

I agree with you about the shroud screws. I will only remove them if I am replacing a shroud, otherwise they are going to get stripped.

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