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07' 525EXC vs 06' WR450 vs CRF450R

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I'm in the market for one of these bikes. Currently have an 03 WR450 which has been great but is ready for retirement. Had 04' CRF450R which was great in the desert, but a handful in the woods. Rode an 06' KTM450EXC and liked it except it felt slightly less powerful than my WR. (WR isn't stock.) Anyone know any good, bad or otherwise on these bikes? I wanted to post in the respective forums but I don't want to start a war on the subject, just get some honest opinions and any facts I can. Thanks!

-drtbkfan

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I don't have any experiecne with the 525 exc, but those who I have talked to that own them say it has a crapload of power right off the bottom but it is manageable through the powerband because it revs slower than the 450 exc (XR 400 like in delivery). I have ridden an 06 WR 450f (free mods, PC type 496 slip on) and an 04 CRF 450 R (stock, FMF Q) and the difference between those two is the WR has more alot more grunt than the CRF on the bottom and revs just as high, but the power tapers off on the top and revs slower than the CRF. The CRF Revs like lighting and pulls till it bounces off the rev limiter. For my kind of riding (woods, fireroads, hillclimbs) I would perfer the low end grunt and the slower revving nature of the WR over the fast reving nature of the CRF 450R.

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Why is the CRF450R in the mix? A more equivalent bike would be the CRF450X, which would much closer to what you are looking for.

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I think CRF450X is a great bike, but since it needs the same level of maintenance a CRF450R does (oil changes and top ends) and I owned a CRF450R and loved it I decided that if I'm going to have a higher maintenance machine it would be the R. Also, the 450X I rode felt taller than my 03' WR although it seemed to have better suspension and a better woods feel than my WR. I'm heavily leaning towards the WR as I believe it will go longer between maintenance than the CRF and the KTM would likely be loads of fun, but for me it's an unknown quantity and I know the price will be high. Still since I want to ride woods, sandy deserts and I thrive on hillclimbing I figure I'd look at all 3 of them for good measure.

-drtbkfan

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How bout a Husky TE450 or 510 thrown in there?

Got my son the 250 and am impressed enough to buy myself the 450 when they hit the dealer!

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The Huskys are beautiful bikes and they are beasts. On paper, the TE 450s dyno curve makes the WR seem tame by comparison. And the WR is not tame by any stretch of the imagination

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personaly i can ride quiker on my 525 than either of the other ones, not saying they are slow but the 525 seems to have a nice even power all the way to the top, id say as a standard bike the crf and the WR would compare if not feel a little snappier of the bottom , but the 525 pulls hard and has that bit more when push comes to shuve on fire trails or open dunes, anywhere with a bit of space, the 525 handles very well i ride alot of tight stuff.

my mates recently bought an 07 525 and he's loving it, they do have a few changes from the 06 jetting being an extra in the spares kit(in aus anyway)

depnding on what yopur doing and what your wanting the bike for the 525 isn't as bad as people say, yes it's got plenty of go, but it's also easy to ride fast without gripping for your life, but if you wanna go all out it's got more than enough to leave both of the bikes youve got listed...not to mention the 525 on the road is fantastic compared to the others the 6th gear is great, poping the front wheel at high speed is efortless.

but id say test ride them all and make an decision on what suits you best.. but my desicion was easy after riding them.

good luck

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For you application, the '07 525 EXC is the best bike by a considerable margin with its stronger, easier to use powerband, wide ratio 6 speed tranny, plus the '07 EXC's are street legal (as are the Husky's).

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I would think both of these bikes would be fantastic enduro rigs, but the biggest problem I'd have with them is I'd have to go out of state to (Arizona?) to buy one. Here in New Mexico even KTMs aren't always easy to find. I may not even be able to come by a 525, but I'd be willing to wait for one if I get set on one. I do recall some old tests of the Husky's and other than the price I remeber them getting very favorable reviews.

-drtbkfan

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Well... the fact that you can't even find one where you are means a lot.

You have got to worry about parts and support. Parts are usually no problem since you can order from anywhere. But I always sleep easier knowing that if I need help, the dealer is close buy. But then again, I live in Los Angeles, we we have lots of dealers of all kinds of bikes.

Also, I have only briefly tried the KTM, and it was a 520, not the 525. Its a great bike. Ultimately, you'd be happy with either one of the bikes, I know I would. Don't get scared off by the 450x, my riding buddy has one with no problems, no issues. But then again, he does not continually bounce the rpm's off of the rev limiter. That's not what its for.

With bikes of those sizes, why not factor in the suspension. The motors on all of them are great.

If I were looking at a new one, I would find it very hard not to consider the Husky. But then again, I won't have the problem of service and parts availability where I live.

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Wait until the 07 WR hits the shores before making your final decision. The big bore playing field is stacked for 07... wait until all players have shown their hand before buying.

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You may also wish to consider the KTM 525 XC instead of the 525 EXC. The EXC has softer suspension, a softer power hit, a wider ratio transmission, and a headlight. The XC still has a six speed transmission, but it is a close ratio six speed instead of a wide ratio six speed. The XC has a bigger gas tank as well, but I think a bigger difference may be the somewhat stronger, and harder hitting power in the XC.

The 2006 525 XC was the same as a 2005 525 MXC, which I owned. The 525 MXC I owned was an awesome bike, and it definitely pulled harder throughout the whole powerband than my '06 YZ 450F does. If you want the most power, and the BEST power, the KTM 525 XC should be added to your list. Good luck, and have fun with that bad boy.

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If 2007's are in the equation and you like WR's you might want to look close at the all new perimiter-frame WR450. If the WR is transformed as much as the YZ was it is going to be a serious contendor.

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Thanks for all the input and help! I ended up with another Yamaha. I went all around Albuquerque and got the best deal and treatment from Bobby J's Yamaha. In my opinion the CRF450R is the best desert bike built (I'm talking the desert around Albuquerque with whoops, sand and some more sand). But the very things which make it rule the desert would make it rough in the woods and I pretty much split my riding between them. Also, I don't like the extra maintenance on the Honda or the fact there is no warranty. The KTMs were about 2 grand more than what I paid for my WR and didn't offer much more for the buck although I felt they would make a better woods machine than my WR. (With a YZF cam I feel the WR is better suited to the desert than the KTMs.) On top of everything else I had about $350 worth of parts off the 03' which bolted on to the 06'. Anyhow, thanks again for all the help!

-drtbkfan

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I thought about the 07's but according to Yamaha's own website they lose less than 3 lbs from 06' to 07' and my experience with aluminum frames is that they work better around a track, but tend to be abusive to the rider in the offroad arena. Plus my 06' was at $5999 whereas the 07' are going to start at $7199. Also, I don't generally buy the 1st model year of any major change -the demand drives the price up and the bugs haven't been worked out. In addition, I think the Yamaha styling engineers who have re-designed their quads got ahold of the new WR -I like the look of the aluminum frame and the led rear tailight, but the headlight looks like something from a sci-fi movie. I'm sure it'll perform well and may well lower the center of gravity on the big WR, but these aren't enough for me to wait on one and pay the extra 1200 bucks. Having said that, they'll probably be acclaimed as the best enduro in years and I'll wish I'd waited! :thumbsup:

-drtbkfan

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You may also wish to consider the KTM 525 XC instead of the 525 EXC. The EXC has softer suspension, a softer power hit, a wider ratio transmission, and a headlight. The XC still has a six speed transmission, but it is a close ratio six speed instead of a wide ratio six speed. The XC has a bigger gas tank as well, but I think a bigger difference may be the somewhat stronger, and harder hitting power in the XC.

Everything is true here, except that the 525 XC and 525 EXC have the same identical engine. Also note that the '07 525 EXC will be street legal.

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I'm in the market for one of these bikes. Currently have an 03 WR450 which has been great but is ready for retirement. Had 04' CRF450R which was great in the desert, but a handful in the woods. Rode an 06' KTM450EXC and liked it except it felt slightly less powerful than my WR. (WR isn't stock.) Anyone know any good, bad or otherwise on these bikes? I wanted to post in the respective forums but I don't want to start a war on the subject, just get some honest opinions and any facts I can. Thanks!

-drtbkfan

I ride a CRF450R almost stricktly off-road and I love it, but its MUCH better for this type of riding with:

1. Suspension revalve (it's MX suspension!)

2. Rekluse Z-Start Clutch

3. Fasstco Flexbars

It's WAY lighter than the WR or CRFX, making it less tiring and more fun, at least for me. I don't care about the eButton, lights and I have plenty of range w/ a 3.2 IMS tank.

To me, the wieght penalty of the off-road models is too high.

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Congrats on the new ride.

I love new bike smell. :thumbsup:

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i live in tanzania which is far away form spare parts. my only concern is how long will the yammi engine last. 20.000km 30.000km or miles. Can anybody day something about long distance rides with the WR450. i am talking 1000miles off road at 60-100km/h (dont know in miles/h)?

Will the enigine last or not? That is my worry. KTM i know lasts long. about 20.000miles.

any ideas?

cheers

Sebastian

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My 03' WR450 engine ran like a clock even after extremely abusive riding and several engine mods including the YZF cam, re-jetting and the power now. It will cruise at decent speeds fairly easily, but if you'll be at higher speeds for longer times it would be wise to change out the countershaft sprocket with a 15 tooth to engine revs and vibrations down. The long term test I read in cycle world before buying the 03' Yammie had the KTM burning more oil between changes than the Yammie and getting looser valves. Then again, KTM seems to update their engines more often than Yamaha so those buge may be worked out. I also recall early KTM 4 strokes burning valves up prematurely, but again that may have been handled. I ride with several WRs and KTMs and none of them seem to have any issues with longevity. I can't speak for the new KTMs although I would imagine they are very good, but I can tell you the new WRs are extremely well built. One advantage the KTM would have if you're running higher speed cruising is the 6th gear...

-drtbkfan

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