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Moving from XR250 to KTM...suggestions?

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I'm considering jumping from the world of my XR250 to a new KTM...in particular, I'm interested in the 2007 street legal versions of the 450 exc or 525 exc. I'm tired of trailering the bike to rides I could do from my house.

Can anyone make some comparisons on handling, low end, weight, etc. that could help my decision one way or another?

Thanks

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Last March I went from a 97 XR250 (that I loved) to a brand new KTM 400exc. The KTM is like an XR on steroids (including the XR400 which I have ridden as well). The suspension is light years superior, and it has balls galore. The best part of it is the magic button. Yeah, I know street legal would be cool, but I couldn't wait till 07. However, I don't live that close to a riding area to be able to ride it there - and besides, I take too much stuff such as water, tool box, fuel, food, etc to even WANT to ride the dirt bike to the dirt bike riding place. However, It would be fun to take the KTM out to buy a six pack........

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Check with your dealer to find out if the street legal models have "cush" drive on them for road riding! Without cush drive, riding on the street can wear out a tranmission due to shock to the transmission during shift engagements if there is no shock absortion via cush drive.

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Check with your dealer to find out if the street legal models have "cush" drive on them for road riding! Without cush drive, riding on the street can wear out a tranmission due to shock to the transmission during shift engagements if there is no shock absortion via cush drive.

I just bought a 2006 450 EXC last week. It had a dual sport kit (Dakar) installed at the dealer and a set of supermoto wheels (with cush drive) as well.

You can buy the cush drive hub and have it laced up to the stock rims for true dual sport use.

The dealer told me that the transmission will not last long on the street witout a cush drive. They have a couple in already for tranny repairs on dual sport conversions without cush drive.

Compared to an XR 250, the KTM weighs a little less (fells like a lot), has a LOT more mid range and top end power (a lot more than a XR400 as well). It is also more nimble and maneuverable. Brakes and suspension are way better.

The electic start works great too.

Link to dual sport kit:

http://www.electrosport.com/electrosport_dakar_intro.html

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Are the "cush" drives typically an aftermarket mod?

We probably wouldn't be riding more than 10-20 miles on the road and would be at about 40-50mph speeds in order to link trails together. I doubt we'd do any long stretchs of road but I guess you never know...

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The wheels I got are KTM Supermoto wheels. You can also get aftermarket cush drive hubs if you are going to relace the stockers.

The cush drive is mandatory if you are going to run supermoto (streetbike) tires. If you are running knobbies and see limited street use, you "should" be OK without the cush drive.

If riding without the cush drive on the street, make sure you use the clutch for ALL shifting. Also, refrain from abrupt throttle movement (whacking and chopping the throttle), as this puts a lot of shock loading on the gears.

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Another vote for "you'll love it! :excuseme: ". I did the conversion a couple of years ago and couldn't believe the difference. Other than being lighter, better suspended, more torque, more mid-range, more top end, and an e-start they are pretty equal. I couldn't stop smiling for the first month of riding.

Downsides? The seats are harder on the KTM, the kickstand sucks and uh... that is about it. Oh, the KTM will not last as long with zero maintenance as an XR; but do the proper maintenance and it WILL last just as well.

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The dealer told me that the transmission will not last long on the street witout a cush drive. They have a couple in already for tranny repairs on dual sport conversions without cush drive.

Keep that dealer around, he is about 3 times smarter than the average!

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Just curious. Does this hold true for any of the Japanese bikes?

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In addition to the cush drive, would I need to worry about overheating either in slow sections or on the road? I've read a little about people installing cooling fans or an overflow tank to help keep things cool.

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Unless you plan to do a lot of road miles, don't worry about the cush drive. For infrequent road use or trail connecting, the EXCs are very solid and reliable. You will be very happy with the EXC coming from an xr250.

R

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I agree that unless you plan to ride HARD on the street the tranny should be OK for short hops. Go easy on the street. :ride:

BTW, I'm an XR250 owner too and thinking about a similar move up. I love my

little XR and will keep it but the KTM's are very tempting. I'm looking at the

250 though. For me the 400 or 450 may be overkill. I've ridden the 450exc (06) and 525.

The XCF-W 250 puts out a claimed 39 Horsepower. The XR250 puts out about

16. Do the math. Plus the KTM is about 20 or so lbs. lighter weight than the

XR.

To me, a the jump from 16 hp to the 50 hp (or so?) of the 450 might be a bit of a shock. If you do a lot of wide open desert riding of massive hill climbs then maybe you need that power.

I ride single track and desert and do fine with the XR but would like less weight (maybe I should lose weight, eh :ride: ) and hopefully great handling

from a KTM. Going to the dealer this week.

Anyway, lots of great advice here.

Anyone know how the new '06 250's are holding up?

Anyone racing one? I'm looking at the W version or the XC-f version

or perhaps an exc 250 if they bring it from the EU.

Cheers! :ride:

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I have a plated 2002 XR250 and basically in the same situation looking for my next dirtbike. I'm a trail rider doing enough single tracks in the mountains and do not want to get stranded because of dirtbike failure. Priorities for me are (1)RELIABILITY (2)Handling (3)Power . I want to buy Red but will probably buy either Orange or Blue.

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I have a plated 2002 XR250 and basically in the same situation looking for my next dirtbike. I'm a trail rider doing enough single tracks in the mountains and do not want to get stranded because of dirtbike failure. Priorities for me are (1)RELIABILITY (2)Handling (3)Power . I want to buy Red but will probably buy either Orange or Blue.

Yep, my needs are the same and with the XR line extinct, no red bikes fulfill those criteria anymore.

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I agree that unless you plan to ride HARD on the street the tranny should be OK for short hops. Go easy on the street. :ride:

BTW, I'm an XR250 owner too and thinking about a similar move up. I love my

little XR and will keep it but the KTM's are very tempting. I'm looking at the

250 though. For me the 400 or 450 may be overkill. I've ridden the 450exc (06) and 525.

The XCF-W 250 puts out a claimed 39 Horsepower. The XR250 puts out about

16. Do the math. Plus the KTM is about 20 or so lbs. lighter weight than the

XR.

To me, a the jump from 16 hp to the 50 hp (or so?) of the 450 might be a bit of a shock. If you do a lot of wide open desert riding of massive hill climbs then maybe you need that power.

I ride single track and desert and do fine with the XR but would like less weight (maybe I should lose weight, eh :ride: ) and hopefully great handling

from a KTM. Going to the dealer this week.

Anyway, lots of great advice here.

Anyone know how the new '06 250's are holding up?

Anyone racing one? I'm looking at the W version or the XC-f version

or perhaps an exc 250 if they bring it from the EU.

Cheers! :ride:

Get the 450. The power is there if you need it and you will not need to keep it wound out like the 250. If you don't need it, excercise throttle control. The valves will last much longer because you won't be revving too high to make HP.

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You ain't gonna believe it!! Your life is about to become much better. The abundant mellow power is is awesome for riding lazy or fast. When you roll on the throttle you will actually accelerate instead of hearing valves and exhaust with little response. My son in law rides an XR 250 and I ride a 400 so I see his struggles tryng to lift the front end with the throttle or power through sand. The suspension is light years ahead of the XR. You are on the right track so go for it!

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I wouldn't worry too much about a cush drive. EXC's have always been road legal here and i have never heard of any transmission problems, if i am correct the DRZ doesn't even have a cush drive. I think it is a little overkill or paranoia

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April 04 traded my 96 XR250R (purchased new in 96) for an 04 KTM 250 EXC RFS. Totally different animal-lots more power(you can actually keep shifting up thru the gears on hills I used to have to scream up in 2nd gear on the Honda) suspension is much more sophisticated( find a very knowledgeable suspension guy to tune it to your weight-riding ability and terrain) also a JD Jetting kit is a must for trouble free starting and running. Other than being maintaimance intensive and as mentioned in a previous post - crappy side stand - I have fully enjoyed trail riding and running the WNYOA harescramle series(super senior class). Thinking of putting a deposit on an 07 250 XCF-W !!! Enjoy!!!

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