EXC 450 or CRF 450X ?

Can anyone give me some ideas of what the advantage the EXC 450 may have over the Honda CRF450X? My plan was to go with the Honda but a lot of trail and dual sport riders swear by the EXC series bikes. No problem in Nevada in registering either for dual sport/street.


The exc is a proven solid bike. This thread maybe a little bias because of its location. I've ridden a crf450X and it was nice but when I get back on my exc I feel like I'm back at home. The X is a very nice bike but I think alot of Honda owners are just loyal to the brand.

Pick up this months Dirt Bike and Dirt Rider magazines. They both have 450 enduro bike shootouts that should give you a lot of info. The 450E won both shootouts, BTW.

The 450X will probably be a great bike but Honda has had some teething issues on new bikes of late so a lot of folks are taking more of a wait and see attitude towards them, it seems.

The slams I hear on the Honda X's top end and valve problems scare me. I don't know if its all true or just hype. Honda used to have a reputation for building solid, bulletproof stuff. But I keep hearing people talk about poor piston life, valve problems, etc. Don't hear as much complaining about the KTM RFS.

The slams I hear on the Honda X's top end and valve problems scare me. I don't know if its all true or just hype. Honda used to have a reputation for building solid, bulletproof stuff. But I keep hearing people talk about poor piston life, valve problems, etc. Don't hear as much complaining about the KTM RFS.

Based on the number of people riding the 450R with little trouble I wouldn't expect the X to be a real problem. The 250R/X has had a lot of trouble but that doesn't have much to do with the 450s. Honda has made some changes between the X motor and the R motor which should also enhance reliability.

These bikes have been out for a while and there are a lot of happy owners.

The KTM is a proven machine and has excellent aftermarket support which the Honda will also have after a short time. A 6 speed tranny and juice clutch on the KTM are nice details. Reportedly the KTM is a little lighter but the Honda's suspension is probably better out of the box.

The KTM RFS series has a much stronger stator for off road lights than the Honda which I hear is only around 35 watts, not important unless you dual sport.

Personally I don't see how you could go wrong with either bike. I can't wait to get some seat time on an X.

Thanks to all for keeping this thread re: comparison as objective and informative as possible. PLEASE, no flamers - 'tis a waste of time and cyber space!

I purchased my 05 KTM 450 exc after having the fortune to ride the WR, YZF, CRF-R. I didn't get a chance to ride the CRF-X, and I wasn't interested in the Yellow or Green bikes. Bottom line for me was with the frame / suspension changes on the KTM, pricing for the X (vs the deal the KTM dealer gave me), the ease of checking and maintaining the KTM valves, and the way each bike felt to ride my final choice was the KTM. I would not have ruled out the Honda if the dealer could have worked with me more, but it was a new bike with only a few coming in - so nothing but retail. All the bikes rode out well, but the KTM was by far the best experience FOR ME. I honestly believe that Honda has corrected a lot of problems on the crf450 motor, but I wouldn't touch the crf250.

Finally, I could not be more pleased with my purchase. The more I ride the bike, the more I like it - I would suppose that would be true no matter what my decision would have been. A final note: 4 of my riding buddies (2 expert, 2 open level riders) have purchased the 05 450exc after riding mine. I believe that says a bunch right there.

As Jeb mentioned, read the articles in Dirt Bike and Dirt Rider's 450 shootout. The KTM won, but there were positive things about all the bikes. If you have a chance to demo, take advantage of that opportunity.

Good luck and enjoy your ride when you get it! :naughty:

i rode the honda, nice bike,own the ktm. the honda felt stiff for tech. trail work. it also had jetting issues,flame out. minor stuff but icould race the ktm out of the box!

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