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Should I own a KTM

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Hey all you that bleed orange, I thought I'd stroll over from the blue pages and ask you guys about what might be my next bike. I'm seriously considering an '04 525 SMC and I know basically nothing about KTMs. How dependable is this motor, what are the maintenance frequencies, required mods and what should I look out for, ie pros vs cons. Thanks for any and all responses.

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Like you I rode some other colors for years. Based on price I started on Red then Green tried blue for a very short time. Loved yellow for 4 years for off road then switched to orange for the last three bikes.

Depending on where you ride and the application the model options and features are hard to pass up.

Lighter, extra gear, fat bars, hydro clutch, optional gear ratios, stunning power for the CC's and parts interchange from 125cc two strokes up to the 520 thumpers going back for several years.

Resale is hundreds better and parts are easy to locate from dozens of on-line sources. Search KTM on eBay and count the number of items.

I put 3 KTM's through their paces and not one valve adjustment or even minor failure.

Maintenance is sooooo much more enjoyable because the design of KTM targets bikes for the rider and specific type of application.

The last point is what makes KTM owners loyal and cult like. Jap bikes are turned out with company profit guiding the design. Trimming a few features adds up over thousands of mass productions bikes. KTM's final product is influenced annually by riders, and racing application.

The link less suspension is not a factor when properly set and compared between capable riders.

The last few years of KTM's are so much more advanced than some just back in 03. Some self professed experts will list, constant valve adjustments, hard seat, constant oil changes and a bike that pushes in corners.

Much of this response comes from the late 90's and early 2000's. I always chuckle when a legacy KTM owner steps off my 06 SXF. "Suspension is great, corners likes it’s on a rail, explosive power off bottom and fun factor way up with that mid range hit". What’s funny is they always say the seats hard and how often do you check your valves. We have a culture, that’s for sure.

Hope you find come convincing research to switch and join the family.

Good luck

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My major deciding point was the license plate when I bought mine. Now I'll probably never buy anything else. The quality in workmanship compared to the other bikes speaks for itself. Regular maintenance is easy. I've been doing it myself and only go into the shop for tire changes because Im lazy. There are a ton of modifications available. I have primarily just done mods to keep the police at bay during my short runs on the street, and geared down because I mostly ride in the woods. Happy shopping.

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Well I bleed white, because I still have my '95 250 sx white & purple(no jokes please) Oldest son has'04 crf middle son '99125 sx, and they also come with all the great aftermarket stuff, better rims, hydro clutch, etc...

If you like the way the bike feels get it, every one on the boards here will be able to help with any problems or OIL questions.

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To clarify a little, I'm not changing teams just possibly adding a KTM to my Yamaha's. This 525SMC is a tagged motard that will never see the dirt just play in the twisties. Also the bike is located 2000 miles away so I need to decide before I actually see it or ride it because it will be shipped to me.

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I would try and find one to sit on or ride, because they have that european feel, sometimes you sit on a brand, any of them and it just does not feel right...Or just get it, ride it, and enjoy, you can always sell it later.

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The SMC is basically a very neet combo, you will enjoy the 6 speed, it will run & work well with one issue, the Titanium valves are not compatable with the bronze guides so the guides wear very fast. KTM has fixed this in 06 by chainging the guide material but it has been an issue for th 450SX & 525SMR. Best to plan on new improved guides and I would forget Ti valves, the big 525 will not rev so high as to have a problem with steel valves anyway. The rest of the bike is great stuff.

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If you aren't going to put it in the dirt then I don't have a lot of advice for you based on what I've got in the garage.

I will take issue with the resale being much better. Perhaps in some areas but not in my experience. You can find many of them in great condition for nearly giveaway prices. :applause:

Some parts prices seem really cheap and others seem insane. :thumbsup:

I could offer some unbiased opinions but they tend to grate on loyalists. :ride:

:applause:

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