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Trail Riding: EXC450 vs EXC400...?

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Which one is preferable for trail riding ie. switchbacks, ruts, roots etc....

I ride in the Cascades of Washington State.

Currently I am riding a DRZ400S and it can be a bit heavy on the trails.

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I was talking to a friend today on how much he misses his 400 KTM, that bike was so easy to ride and track so well over real nasty rocks/ruts, didn't have that low hit to throw you off balance, get one and you won't be disappointed...

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In my opinion, the best woods bike ever made is a KTM 200EXC/XC. In fact, I have a 2003 DRZ-S and a KTM 200EXC. The difference is night and day. If you have to have a thumper, I've heard wonderful things about the 400 EXC. However, I've heard even better feedback on the new KTM 250Fs. I have a plated 200EXC but I doubt I'll ever get another new smoker plated. Therefore, my next bike, probably a 2008, will be a KTM 250XC-F or a Husky TE250. I hope my biased opinion helps :thumbsup: .

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I just bought a 525EXC ( which I'm quite happy with ) due to a recommendation from a friend who has owned a DRZ, 400EXC and a 450EXC. His logic is the bigger motor is easier to lug along at low RPM's, which gives you good control in the tight technical stuff, and the weight is the same as the 400/450. Also, since I weigh 205 lbs., I didn't want to be short on horsepower when the trail opens up ( which just requires a twist of the wrist ). In the end, it's probably just splitting hairs............unless you can get away with a light two stroke.

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My 400 (2006) is my first 4 stroke. I'm coming off of 200's and 250 2 strokes.

While I don't have alot of time on 450's I will say that I can't imagine a better bike for the nasty stuff than the 400.

Once jetted right it still hauls the mail okay for me too.

I somehow got it in my head to get the short stroke motor and that was that.

I'm totally pleased with the low speed manners of the 400 and 14/52 gearing. I also have yet to have this bike tire me out.

It was frustrating to pay a few hundred more for the 400 though. Supply and demand...

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Too bad you can't ride the 400 or 450 to get an idea. There is still a world of difference between several of the same bikes anyway. It all depends how you set them up. There is only a pound or so weight difference between the 400,450 or the 525. The EXC models all use the same frame. You can change the power characteristics dramatically with jetting, pipes, flywheel weights etc.

I like the 450, but I never owned a 400. I'm sure I could have easily set up the 400 to do everything the 450 does on the trail. The 400 should have more than enough power to change for specific trail riding conditions. Several friends own the 400 EXC and we ride the same trail.

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My 400 does everything I want it to with no disapproval from the bike. It's a great bike for single track, and a great bike, IMO for the desert, too. I ride my 200 mostly on the tighter trails and the 400 in the desert. I ride the 400 on the tighter trails only in the summer when that friggin red sticker crap is going on.

I have ridden my buddies 450, and personally felt little to no difference between the 400 and the 450. Some people are more sensitive than others, I suppose.

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400 does everything you can ask of it very nicly! 450EXC & 525 have longer stroke which saps the rider of more energy.

The only thing that I think is better is one of the new generation 250's that would be KTM 250 XCF-W or Husky 250TE, both are awesome, more agile and less energy consuming then the bigger bikes. There are very few places here in Wa to open up and use a 450+

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Remember that if you get a 400 and want more power a 453 kit will slip right in. I have heard many riders say that until the 450xc came out that the 453 was the best...

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I have ridden my buddies 450, and personally felt little to no difference between the 400 and the 450. Some people are more sensitive than others, I suppose.

Having owned one of each, I agree. Very similar power when setup about the same. I had almost identical jetting and suspension mods to both. The 450 had more power from the middle on up but was the same down low.

It'd be hard for me to pick one over the other. Both are great. If I was racing enduros and didn't ride at altitude a lot, I'd get the 400. The softer power would tire you out less. For strictly fun riding, I'd get the 450 every time.

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How does the CRF250X stack in with this pile of trail bikes? I'm riding in western Washington. A compination of Walker, Reader, Tahoya and some Naches and Mad River. I weigh 180 pounds and like to trail ride and I ride supper senior class in enduros. :thumbsup: All the options are very confusing.

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Trail Rider magazine always claimed that Lafferty rides a 400 EXC in the National Enduro series.

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How does the CRF250X stack in with this pile of trail bikes? I'm riding in western Washington. A compination of Walker, Reader, Tahoya and some Naches and Mad River. I weigh 180 pounds and like to trail ride and I ride supper senior class in enduros. :thumbsup: All the options are very confusing.

Where all hondas do, dead last. Sorry.

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Trail Rider magazine always claimed that Lafferty rides a 400 EXC in the National Enduro series.

Thats cause its true, Ive seen it and heard it out of his mouth in person. He is one of the few people that can actually use the insain hit of the 450 and chooses not to on most cases. :thumbsup:

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Lafferty's brother just raced a 400 in motorcross too at Claverack, NY

I bought the 450 after searching endlessly for a 400, a 400 was posted for sale 1 week after I bought ther 400 on KTMTALK. If I could do it over I'd have the 400exc.

I'm fast on the 450 and like the hit and it did take a holeshot at Claverack on Sunday against every bike on the market(35 riders) but I could use the 400 for the tight woods riding I do.

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400 does everything you can ask of it very nicly! 450EXC & 525 have longer stroke which saps the rider of more energy.

The only thing that I think is better is one of the new generation 250's that would be KTM 250 XCF-W or Husky 250TE, both are awesome, more agile and less energy consuming then the bigger bikes. There are very few places here in Wa to open up and use a 450+

I think Dave is bang on. For tighter trails and rocks/roots, the 250 class would be the way to go. And the KTM 250 XCF-W has a 6th gear for those occasional faster, open stretches (unlike the 250X and WR250).

I love my 400EXC but prefer the wife's lighter 250X in the tighter trails. But I hate the honda on faster fire roads when I'm always searching for a 6th gear. I think the new KTM 250 XCF-W would be the perfect answer. I suspect that next summer I'll be swapping the 400 for the 250.

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I am concerned about the grunt capability of the CRF250X and I not convinced the twin chanber fork buys you much off the MX track except maybe in the woops. I might even be a detriment in rocks and roots. I currently ride a CR250R in the woods and slip the clutch a lot which is tiring. Do the 250Fs or 400Fs require much clutch work in tight stuff or can you just gas and go. Is the KTM 250 a better grunter than the CRF250X? :thumbsup:

The 6th gear doesn't get me excited because the transfer stretches here are short and can be tricky at high speed.

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I have the 06 450xc, and am honestly thinking of selling it and getting the 07 400exc.

If they are indeed street legal from factory, I think I will for sure.

on the trails we ride, North Baja, there is a lot of tight, nasty, sandy, rocky, messed up constantly changing junk.

There is also a lot of more open stuff as well, but I find that boring.

The 400exc would be better for me on 200 mile days where we cover every type of terrain.

less hit, less weight (not the scale, but how it feels when moving), more compliant suspension etc.

I don't think I would have a problem selling my 450xc either. It is set up really nice with all the necessary goodies.

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I really like the exc 400, it has a seamless powerband and requires very little effort to go quickly on any type of terrain. The only fault I could find with the 400 is a little headshake on really high speed sectons.

I think it is one of the best do it all dirtbikes on the market.

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