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CRF450X v. 450 EXC

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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.

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Never rode the ktm but the 450X is a very nice bike. Even stock it has great power. But the ktm is probably a little easier to do maintenance on as I know you don't have to remove the cam to adjust the valves. That's my biggest complaint about the CRF. Other than that I love my 450X :thumbsup:

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I have ridden both, a few times. The KTMs really feel like KTMs, if you have ridden a few of them you know what I mean, they just feel way different than jap bikes IMO. The 450 exc feel quite a bit thinner than the x. The brakes a way better on the exc. However the x fells like a good old honda to me and I like that, it feels similar to the CRF but with a bit more weight and a lot less 'whack'! I also feel the x is more stable at high speed than the KTMs feel a bit sketchy, especially w/o a dampner. I n the tighter stuff I have to admit the exc feels better. All in all the KTM has much better fit and finish, nicer parts. But noone has spent more $ on R & D creating the CRF motor and frame than honda, and when you abuse the machine it shows, ride red IMO.

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Thanks for all of the help. I really appreciate it. I would still like more input if anyone has anything else to add.

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Never ridden the 450EXC but I can say some things about my 450X.

I've abused and beat the crap out of it and it still runs like the day I bought it. Valves are still in spec after 60+ hours and nothing at all has gone wrong, except for tires that it constantly eats because I ride so much.

I like the clutch on the KTM. The seat sucks though, it's rock hard.

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All in all the KTM has much better fit and finish
:thumbsup::bonk::bonk::thumbsup:

The new Dirt Bike has tests on all the e-start 450s so you may want to take a look at that.

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The most important thing to remember about the KTM is the price of parts.

90 bucks for a clutch lever and 3 week wait for my riding budies KTM.

The only bavarian motorcycle worth that kind of money is a BMW which really hurts when you throw it on the ground.

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I have a 450X and have had zero problems with it . I have around 30 hours on it and the valves have not moved and I am happy with the bike. Last weekend I rode a KTM 450 XC and it felt like it was 40 lbs. lighter than my bike. If you ride alot of really tight stuff the KTM definitely has a lighter feel. In the past I have owned KTM's and have not had any problems with them either but it is an hour drive to the nearest dealer so I went back to Honda. I think you will be happy with either bike and have no problems if you do some basic maintenence. ie. oil changes and keep air filter clean.

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The most important thing to remember about the KTM is the price of parts.

90 bucks for a clutch lever and 3 week wait for my riding budies KTM.

The only bavarian motorcycle worth that kind of money is a BMW which really hurts when you throw it on the ground.

the price of parts is not bad go look it up

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KTM Easy Pull Clutch Lever $39.95
This is even the optional more expensive KTM clutch lever, price is from Cycle Hutt KTM
90 bucks for a clutch lever and 3 week wait for my riding budies KTM
. That's total bunk, by the way I have a BMW and the clutch lever for that isn't even 90 bucks ! That is old "I heard" stuff, 10 year old rumors that were inaccurate even 10 years ago !

I've had 4 KTM's, 2 of them thumpers , and they were all excellent, dependable machines which I had no problems whatsoever finding parts for. Their parts on the internet are easy to get, and their parts prices are no worse than Honda parts are, some more expensive,some less.

That being said I love my 450X. Both have their strengths compared to each other and weaknesses as well , but both are top shelf bikes.

I like the Honda suspension, seat and overall handling better,the KTM's easier to work on and has that great 6 speed transmission.

This time I wanted to try a Honda and to date it is my all time favorite. That has not been the case for every latest bike I've bought either, and though it may seem shallow I just love the way the bike looks.

It has been very dependable, and a joy to ride. Doug

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Go over to KTM Talk and ask the same question and you will get a totally different view point. The reality is this; go find dealers that will let you ride both and see how you like them. If you have a dealer in town for both that would make my decision easier. If only one dealer is available locally and I liked the way both bikes rode then I'd pick the bike that can be serviced locally. I like being able to go to my Honda dealer and know I can get any part I want when I need it. I've had a KTM 300EXC and I always worried about having to order my parts from some place several hundred miles away. I missed a few weekend ride because UPS was slow! My 2 cents....... you decide.

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Both bikes are very good, both bikes have their strong/weak points, nether bike has a weak/strong point that makes IT the choice. Find the best support or just buy the bike that you think is the coolest, you can go wrong, unless you like to complain about everything, like paying taxes on your 100 million dollar lotto winnings.

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Go with the HONDA period. KTM is the rage, and they make a great motor. Everything else on a KTM is not even up to par. I have not seen a KTM yet (sure there are some) that is not having problems constantly. Problems from bad bearings, broken bolts, cracked carb boots, no kick start return, extremely lean new, bad cables, and any other misc. part. These are witnessed problems on only new bikes within the last two years on Exc's, SX, and even a MXC. The suspension sucks compared to others, and you better have a lot of time when you need a part. You will need the part. If you like KTM then get a KTM, but don't do it because that is the huge craze now. If Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki put as much effort into off-road racing as KTM they would not be winning there either. I ride with a lot of KTM's, and only was so harsh because of a person trying to decide between the two.

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Go with the HONDA period. KTM is the rage, and they make a great motor. Everything else on a KTM is not even up to par. I have not seen a KTM yet (sure there are some) that is not having problems constantly. Problems from bad bearings, broken bolts, cracked carb boots, no kick start return, extremely lean new, bad cables, and any other misc. part. These are witnessed problems on only new bikes within the last two years on Exc's, SX, and even a MXC. The suspension sucks compared to others, and you better have a lot of time when you need a part. You will need the part. If you like KTM then get a KTM, but don't do it because that is the huge craze now. If Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki put as much effort into off-road racing as KTM they would not be winning there either. I ride with a lot of KTM's, and only was so harsh because of a person trying to decide between the two.

Please disregard this post due to temporary insanity, or perhaps due to colorblindness.

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with the HONDA period. KTM is the rage, and they make a great motor. Everything else on a KTM is not even up to par. I have not seen a KTM yet (sure there are some) that is not having problems constantly. Problems from bad bearings, broken bolts, cracked carb boots, no kick start return, extremely lean new, bad cables, and any other misc. part. These are witnessed problems on only new bikes within the last two years on Exc's, SX, and even a MXC. The suspension sucks compared to others, and you better have a lot of time when you need a part. You will need the part. If you like KTM then get a KTM, but don't do it because that is the huge craze now. If Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki put as much effort into off-road racing as KTM they would not be winning there either. I ride with a lot of KTM's, and only was so harsh because of a person trying to decide between the two.

The worst part about this post isn't that it's wrong (it is), it's also totally made up, though he thinks that's okay because he's trying to make a point.

The part where he refers to an MXC like it was something really different was just one of many indicators that this is a short fiction story. Doug

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If you do not know how to "Shim" Valves , take a longer look at the KTM...

They use "Old School" Tapit Valves like the XR's..

It takes me 1.25 hours to adjust my valves..

My buddy's KTM took us 15 min. to adjust.......

No Shims may be a good thing.

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The only bad thing I have heard about the KTM is there suspension lacks a little to be desired. Also the bike is a little bit more expensive off the floor. Other than that I have friends that love them. But I also have friends that love their Yamaha's. The best advice is try to ride as many kinds of bikes as you can first then buy. I went with the 450X because I like the way Honda rides always have.

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I have owned 3 KTMs - '02 520EXC, 03 525MXC and an 04 450 EXC and never considered a Honda until the 450x came along -The XR just was not an option for me. I had only minor issues with these bikes as far as reliability is concerned although they do have a tendancy to shake loose nuts and bolts and the build quality / electrics varied wildly from machine to machine. The bikes all needed a LOT of maintanance - A real labour of love.

The biggest let down was the suspension which is downright abismal. I tried many many suspension shops all of which failed to deliver a package that would allow me to win races.

I bought a 450x last March 05 and all my problems have vanished. You are just starting from a higher point in the evolutionary scale.

I will only consider a KTM again when they admit their linkless system sucks and change it, switch from WP suspension units for twin chamber 21st Century units and improve the build quality - The bikes really do start to look second hand after very little use....

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hi DRZ,

honda 450X vs ktm 450EXC?...also grappling with the same issues myself....east coast trail rider here....after doing a lot of homework, i've also added husqvarna TE450 to the mix. i'm not definitively saying it's the right bike for you, but don't rule it out. glad i was able to further muddy the waters for ya. keep smilin'. not sure what type of riding you'll be doing, but many of us in the east prefer the 400EXC (to the 450) for technical trails in new england.

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I'd get the KTM hands down. I've ridden all 3, the X,WR,and EXC (and the XC). I was switching from the WR450 and went to the yz250f for less weight but almost dove in on the KTM if I was going to stay big bore.

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