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Going to buy a used KTM, what to look for?

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I ride the northeast trials. rocks, water, mud, tight woods. I'm selling my DRZ470 http://www.thumpertalk.com/classifieds/showproduct.php?product=41527

In search of a better handling bike. I was looking at the 450 and 530 excr's. I wanted to know the real gap in the two, how reliable and bullet proof they are? How they handle, what years were the major changes? If it's really worth swaping? I made my DRZ fly but it's too heavy and handles too slugishly. What is the oldest KTM I can buy without major like frame and motor changes? I made this mistake when I bought an 04 crf450r and found out there was a new frame in 05!! Can you guys help me out?

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oldest exc-r you can buy is a 2008 :) the 450/530 just came out. and KTM claims they have all the bugs fixed.

at first my bike handled like a 9 year old over dosing on crack, I moved the bars to the back position and now it handles like a 9 year old on ridilin. :D

my bike is longer than my old wr, and turns twice as well, it also feels lighter despite the 20lbs difference.

2008 got a whole new frame from the 2007 sxf.

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I've got the same question as MH if someone could give us a quick schooling on the say 2000-2008 KTM EXC bikes.

I know as mentioned the 08 has a new frame and the 530 engine. 07 &08 come as factory street legal.

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The '00-'02 EXC bikes came in 400 and 520 trim.

they had 43mm forks, some prefer these in the woods.

In '01 they had a bad batch of cam bearings, so if you find one, replace them (if it has not been done) great bikes

For '03 they added the 450 and went to 48mm forks also a larger front axle

Each year saw minor improvements, all are bullet proof, IMO, only an air cooled XR is more reliable.

The major frame changes didn't happen until '07 and the new motors happened in '08 (pretty much nothing from the '08 is swappable to the earlier bikes)

THe 5XX bikes have a lot of "snort" they plain get up and go, all the EXC's tend to be "sneaky fast" so it feels like you are not charging like you are.

The 400 is a short stroke big bore motor, more like the SX bikes so they rev a bit faster. The 450/5XX is a long stroke motor and will be a little slower reving but a wee bit more bottom. Many feel the 400 "feels" lighter due to less gyro. But they are all within a couple of pounds of each other.

KTM's are really finicky on suspension set up, but once you get it, they are awesome in the woods, they are just not as forgiving if things are set wrong.

Get the newest one you can find/afford. Remember 520/525/530 bikes are all the same 510cc displacement (the 5xx is just model number)

For snotty, tight, rocky NE stuff...I'd look for a 400 Exc, if I wanted more juice, a $500 check and a night in the garage will get you a 453 which is, IMO, the best motor KTM never built.

Oil changes are messy and required often (it only holds 1.2 quarts/ 2 filters, 2 screens), valve checks are not hard (on pre-'08 bikes) but require some work (moving radiators etc...)

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I just bought an 05 450mxc and it is incredible! I highly reccomend it for tight woods (North West). Suspension is key.

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all the EXC's tend to be "sneaky fast" so it feels like you are not charging like you are.

If your WOT my bike feels fast, especially since the front tire doesn't stay on the ground in 1st 2nd or 3rd on pavement.

but if I short shift it and give it like half throttle, it accelerates almost as fast as it does under full throttle, just pulls the tall gearing.

so they definately have that capability of being sneaky fast. as well as having the same affect of stabing yourself in the heart with an epi pen (synthetic adrenaline in the form of orange and black)

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