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'04 450SX purchase and general questions

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Ok everyone, I've been away from dirt bikes for a couple years now. My last bike was an '01 YZ426F and I loved the way it ran. I also grew up on 500 two strokes, so needless to say, I love power and lots of it. I will probably ride a mixture of MX and more open trails.

I have an opportunity to make a pretty decent trade, in which I'll recieve a very clean 04 450sx. I've been reading a lot about "smooth" power delivery from these bikes, what is really meant by that? Does it imply slow? How would the power compare to my old 426? Are there easy ways to get pretty significant gains in power without heavily affecting reliability?

I know the bike has a 4-speed, which makes me shy away some (lots of fire roads). But I've read about being able to convert it to a six speed rather easilly, so that's something I'll probably do.

What is the general reliability of these bikes? Any known issues? What about parts cost? What are valve and engine maint. intervals like?

Any other help or comments is greatly appreciated.

Oh, by the way, I can't ride the bike because I'm out on business for a few weeks. But a good friend went to look at it and rode it, and said it is in very nice shape.

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My '04 450SX has been good to me.

I just blew a rear hub for the second time, but that's not the bike's fault.

Smooth power simply means smooth.

My dad has a '00 YZ426, and it has a "hit" about half way through. THe bike doesn't want to accelerate until over half way up the RPM's.

KTM bikes are smooth. THey accelerate well down low, as well as up high, with no sudden power surges. Slow may be how it feels, but it's anything but. My dad likes the delivery of both my 520 and my 450 better than his Yamaha, since my bikes never feel "dead".

Parts aren't too bad.

You're in PA - check out Matto Cycle, Yamaha of Camp Hill, or B&B Yamaha/KTM if you are in the eastern lower quarter of PA.

www.ktmtalk.com can also get you parts at good prices, shipped right to your door!

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