450 EXC v. CRF 450x

Hello all. I currently ride a DRZ 400e i am looking to upgrade. I am looking at two different bikes. The 450 exc and the CRF450x. I have compared the specifications and everything, but i was wondering if there is anyone who has ridden both, and can give me pros and cons on these bikes. I really like KTM, and i think they make a great bike, but i have heard the Honda is really nice.

Thanks.

Hello all. I currently ride a DRZ 400e i am looking to upgrade. I am looking at two different bikes. The 450 exc and the CRF450x. I have compared the specifications and everything, but i was wondering if there is anyone who has ridden both, and can give me pros and cons on these bikes. I really like KTM, and i think they make a great bike, but i have heard the Honda is really nice.

Thanks.

Depends on what you'll be using it for; strictly trail riding and I'd take the KTM. If you're gonna do occasional MX-style, and more open stuff, then the KTM won't work quite as good for that (unless you get the 450 XC or XC-W). I gathered this just from reading tests, posts, etc. I haven't ridden either one.:-o

I never riden the 450 KTM or Honda, but I have a 525 EXC it has a user friendly power band, you can take it easy on trails or open her up in the desert. It's a very versatile machine :thumbsup:

Thansk for the input. I rarely go on the motocross track at all, and if i do go i ride the DRZ so the exc would definitely be a step up from there. Mostly woods riding is my thing.

I was comparing both of these bikes and ended up buying the 450 EXC and I love it so far. I have not ridden the Honda but I did check it out at the dealer side by side with the KTM and the Honda definitely feels bigger and wider. This dealer also said they had a lot more prblems with the Honda in that people who bought them were buring up the valves. The recommended valve adjustment for the Honda was every 15 hours, where it is roughly every 30 hours for the KTM. The clincher for me was that the 2005 450 EXC won every comparison that I saw in the magazines. In fact, this dealer had 2 EXC's left and they were overstocked with the Hondas so I could have bought the Honda for $600+ dollars less, but I still went with the KTM.

I spoke with a guy at the trails where I ride who had a 450X and wanted to sell it and buy the KTM because he did all of his own work on it and said it was very difficult to work on it.

I've ridden both, plus I currently have both a 400 and a 525 EXC.

In stock form the 450 EXC has much more snap and general power than the X. The X needs a lot of tweeking to be all that it can be. It needs to be unplugged on both sides of the motor. Once that is done it is a different bike than a stocker. In any case either bike needs to be rejetted as they are very lean in stock form (at least here in California). The EXC needs only jetting to be great.

The seating position on the two bikes is very different. I prefer the more forward & upright position of the EXC, but a lot of the guys I ride with think the opposite. I am 6'2" and both bikes felt a little cramped at first. The bars on both are too low for me for standing. I put a Scotts under-bar mounted dampner on my EXC and that was enough of a change to make standing comfortable. The X stock handle bars are typical Honda. So are the footpegs. If you go with an X plan on making some changes right away.

One other issue to consider is the known/claimed/proven/suspected transmission problems with the X. There are endless threads on this subject here on TT, on CFRs only, and everywhere else you look. Very controversial with lots of Honda-bashing and accusations. I do personally know several guys who have seized transmissions on the 450. I also have a friend who bought a new X and rode it for 25+ hours without ever checking either the engine or tranny oil and had no problems (I changed it for him at Ocotillo and he had less than 400cc's of sludge in the tranny and about the same in the motor). The consensus appears to be that the tranny problems can be avoided by "overfilling" the gearbox with 1000cc of oil. I can personally testify that this procedure definitely quieted the bike down, and made shifting much smoother.

One question: Coming off a DRZ I wonder if you have considered either a 400 or 525 EXC? If you were used to 2-stroke-like hit and power bands I would understand the 450 craving. If you like a broader, more usable powerband you might consider either the 400 or 525. Lots of posts comparing them. IMHO the 525 is just a 400 on steroids. Both weigh the same and ride the same, the 525 just has more of everything in the motor output. Some guys think the 525 "feels" heavier than the 400. I don't feel that. My 525 does have more grunt, but it is plenty nimble and I like being able to loft the front wheel on demand.

The Honda is a nice bike, there all nice bikes now a days. I only know what I have read about the Honda, and at one time I was a die hard Honda guy but did not even consider the Honda when buying my new bike because of it's history and local dealer.

I've been riding my DRZ for a couple of year now, Dual Sporting and everything thing else even Enduros. My choices were between the WR450 and 450EXC. The 525 are great and have ridden them but I don't need that much power 90% of the time in the South East. You better learn throttle control on the 525 and learn it fast.

I really like my 450EXC until it's time to service, I'll change shims anyday.

I really like my 450EXC until it's time to service, I'll change shims anyday.

Thats the silliest thing I have ever heard, I can do my valve adjustments in 20 minutes, you cant come close with shims.

As far as any other service it is no different except for the extra filters and screen cleanings but thats easy, better than a trashed transmission. By the way the Honda guys are all adding a full quart of oil now because of the transmission problems, Honda has not commemted.

As for which bike, the KTM engine is great I have the 450EXC, but the Honda suspension out of the box is better for sure but still needs some tuning. You will have to work hard to dial in the KTM suspension, especially if your over 180 Lbs.

400exc, best and fastest woods 4t made.

I love my 450EXC... It is one sweet ride... You can't go wrong. My son says it feels lighter that his YZ250F... It's the way the KTM's carry the weight. I looked at the WR450F and CRF450X.. but the one thing that made the biggest difference was the MSO that doesn't say "Off road Use Only". I was able to get a tag on mine with only about $200 in parts to add High beam, break lights, Horn and, rear view. Instant street legal dirt bike which opens up a ton of more places to ride. That's worth a lot in and of itself in my book.

BTW.. I would have taken the WR over the CRF because the WR is proven to be very reliable.

G'day all, i own a ktoom450, great bike. Have riden my mates crf450, also a great bike. ktm is alittle easier on the body, not as harsh as the crf. Better alroud bike is the ktm.

:thumbsup:

Thats the silliest thing I have ever heard, I can do my valve adjustments in 20 minutes, you cant come close with shims.

Yes the screw adjuster is faster once you get there, but getting there on the exhaust side and finding TDC is the problem on a RFS. About the time you get through that show and dance with a RFS most shimmed dirt bikes will be long gone.

With most shim bikes just remove the valve cover and your there, your looking at the cams, you know where TDC is, you don't need to even touch the radiators (much less drain the system if you go by the book). Some shim motors you do remove the cams, others you just slide the rocker arm over.

The old air cooled Jap bikes with screw tappet adjuster have them all beat.

Yes the screw adjuster is faster once you get there, but getting there on the exhaust side and finding TDC is the problem on a RFS. About the time you get through that show and dance with a RFS most shimmed dirt bikes will be long gone.

With most shim bikes just remove the valve cover and your there, your looking at the cams, you know where TDC is, you don't need to even touch the radiators (much less drain the system if you go by the book). Some shim motors you do remove the cams, others you just slide the rocker arm over.

The old air cooled Jap bikes with screw tappet adjuster have them all beat.

Then you just dont know how to do it, from the time I walk into the garage I am done in 20 minutes, finding TDC (the right one) on the KTM is easy, very easy, screw the locking bolt and you dont have to drain the coolent, just unbolt the rads and move them out of the way, I do it all the time.

By the way have you done a 450X? it isnt that easy to get to the valve covers.

You will never convince me or probably anyone that shimming is faster, I have showed my process to my buddies with thier WR's and X's and they cant belive how easy it is.

obgod3-

Do you have "your process" detailed in writing or with step by step photos? If so, I'd like to have it/them. If you don't want to post PM me.

I think I know how to do it efficiently, but I'm always open to newer, better, faster ways.

I agree about shims. What a PITA.

After retiring from riding for abt 12 yrs, got a Honda 230 to ride with my grandson. Then stepped up to 2005 KTM 450 EXC. What a hoot! Put a Rekluse auto clutch in, tuned the suspension and went out and won my over 60 class. Once in an enduro and again in a Hare scrambles. The combo of the Rekluse, elec start and great power band got me the hole shot at the hare scrambles. Got second in 2 other (family) enduros. No, I don't consider myself that good of a rider...the bike is so good it's like cheating! Suspension soaks up the whoops and the power band is so "just right" it doesn't wear you out...so quickly. I change oil, lube the chain, tighten up things and just ride the heck out of it. No problems. Plated it as well after adding aftermarket turn sigs, etc. Maybe the Honda is a great bike, but you definitely won't be sorry with the KTM!!

im stuck on what bike to buy, its between the WR450 and the 525EXC and one of the main things that iam concerned about it reliability. I have ridden yamahas all my life and i even work at a shop but i really like the KTMs and i was curious if you have had or know of any common problems if there is any with your 525...thanx

im stuck on what bike to buy, its between the WR450 and the 525EXC and one of the main things that iam concerned about it reliability. I have ridden yamahas all my life and i even work at a shop but i really like the KTMs and i was curious if you have had or know of any common problems if there is any with your 525...thanx

You can't go wrong with either... but if you have any interest in tagging you bike, the chances are much greater with the KTM.

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