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From a DRZ 400s to a KTM 450 EXC-r (questions)

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Hey all,

Not sure where to post this as more people will probably say KTM all the way in this category of the forum but I have a few questions.

I have an 06' DRZ 400s which is my first bike. I am 36 now at about 225 lbs. I bought it because all of my friends said they learned on DRZ's and it was user friendly. I didn't have much experience before on dirtbikes (a little here and there). Over the last couple years I have learned a lot more on how to ride but I still can't keep up with my buddies on their 250's. What it all basically comes down to is I think the DRZ is a tank in the dirt. When I see a tight turn coming up I start slowing down early as I have not perfected tight turns and I get a little intimidated. This leaves me at the back of the pack which is really no big deal to me but I always find myself wishing I could just 'rip' like my friends do. Of course they have ridden a lot longer than I have but still after 2 years you would think I would have a little less hesitation on going all out on the DRZ. I LOVE climbing hills but if I don't make it I am "creeping" down the hill on the big tank. This often holds me back from trying really steep hills which I really want to try.

So I started thinking, perhaps a KTM 450 EXC-r would be a good bike for me. It is 40 - 50 lbs. lighter than the DRZ and it has more power. All around a better bike as I am sure you all in this category of the forum know. But I wonder if the 450 has too much power for an ameteur such as myself? I'm not scared of power but I don't want to be flipping backwards on hill climbs...lol! On the DRZ I just throw it in 2nd or 3rd, twist the throttle and hang on! I'm not the most technical rider just yet but trying to get there.

What are your thoughts on my decision? I called and got a quote for 8900 out the door from a local dealer for an 08. (only 1 left). Please give me your thoughts!

Thanks,

Mark

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If your riding skill exceeds the DRZ's capabilities, the KTM will solve that.

You'll enjoy the KTM but don't expect it to suddenly make you able to keep up with your buddies. I've had plenty of riders on DRZs run away from me on my KTM because their skill allows them to ride ANY machine faster than I can (am willing to) ride.

I doubt you'll have trouble adapting to the more powerful and lighter KTM450 Just give yourself time to get used to it. IMO the power band is very strong but not so "snappy" that it's beyond control. If that's what you're worried about, just start out riding a gear high until you are more comfortable with the extra acceleration.

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I have on 08 450excr and I love it. It is geared really tall stock, so it is very easy to manage the power. Gom buy it now!!!!👍

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I just moved to an 07 450 exc from an 05 DRZ. My DRZ was initially stock, then FCR carb, full Yosh Exhaust, 4X4 mod, Clarke tank, and a few other minor mods. I'm about 5'10" 225lbs.

I noticed in the turns I could not really push it much on the DRZ. Part of the reason was that the clarke tank made it hard to get to the front of the bike. The throttle response stock was a little fluffy and not perfect with the FCR. The suspension was so so.

The KTM does everything I tried to get my DRZ to do so much better. I have total confidence in corners even when sliding both wheels. Controling your turns by spinning the rear is easy on the KTM. The weight difference is noticeable but the power is not that big a difference to my modded DRZ. What is different about the power is how linear and user firendly it is. The sound with a modified stock KTM exhaust is much better than even the full Yosh on the DRZ.

The street ride on the KTM is not as plush. With the wheel locks installed you will get crazy wheel hop at speed unless you balance the wheels with a ton of weight. The brakes are really good on and off road. Even with full knobbies controlling slides on the street is not that big a deal. I am going through rear tires like toilet paper though. The KTM is completely addictive to wheelie and ride fast. Go for the KTM you won't regret it. 👍

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I come off a XR250. I know.. its less than your DRZ but I thought my comparison be a little more interesting moving from a 250 to the 450. i have never ridden before.. i had the XR for around 9 months. It was so reliable and easy to ride. The kick was a pain so electric start was a must. The XR was nice to ride in straight line and up kills that had no obstacles... because it was near impossible to get the front up over a tree root. You probably know what i mean??? The KTM feels light. Dont know if thats because of the suspension but i find it easier going through the tight stuff. The most best part about it is the ergonomics out of the box. Standing up is so much better. I got to a point where I wanted to be more adventurous but thought the bike could hold me back from becoming a better rider. I can now lift the front. I can powerslide out of corners. And how hard you go is up to you... I normally ride in a taller gear but when I get a little cocky I leave it in 2nd and love the feeling. Importantly.. it never feels like its going to throw you off. Its not snappy at all.. its very progressive and easy to dial in.

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I have a 400 exc and a drz400s. So i dont have the 450 but will try and help you out anyway. Yes the exc has alot more power, and yes it is alot lighter. the weight will make riding easier as the day progresses, if you do more then a couple hour rides. You will get used to the extra power and learn to how to ride with it. Unfortunatly I dont think it is the magic cure to keeping up with your buddies. That will come with practice and skill. It's not the bike that will make you faster or more capable of a rider ( not much anyway unless you ride like a klr650 and are off road). Both the drz and exc are in the same catagory of bikes. So for example a guy who can ride well and has an old dr350 or xr 600 can still be faster then someone who has a newest top of the line bike. Basically its not the bike its the rider. But that doesn't mean it not the greatest feeling in the world to have a nice new different machine to help you gain that extra needed skill. And a nice light bike does help build confidence that in the long run will help you gain more skill.

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I don't know what an "s' weighs but I dought you will see a 40-50 lb differance. Ten , twenty , maby. I have had an 'e' model before.It searved me well. The biggest differance to me was the handling.

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I don't know what an "s' weighs but I dought you will see a 40-50 lb differance. Ten , twenty , maby. I have had an 'e' model before.It searved me well. The biggest differance to me was the handling.

A stock S model is 291lbs dry weight. Thats about a 40 pound difference.

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A stock S model is 291lbs dry weight. Thats about a 40 pound difference.

The KTM is ballanced so much better it feels like 100 lbs lighter.

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The KTM is ballanced so much better it feels like 100 lbs lighter.

Drove my friends 450exc and felt so much better and lighter it was great. I currently ride a modified 07 DRZ400S.

In the process of looking at an 07 400xcw. Debating if I should go to a 450.

Could also get the 400xcw and if I want more, throw a 453 kit in there.. What to do....👍

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I was in the same boat. Dirt riding a DRZ is like rally racing a ford f350. I could go anywhere and keep a pretty good pace. After all the possible mods from new carb, full exhaust, and reworked suspension it was all said and done and I had a very expensive TANK. I look at all the thousands spent on upgrades and realized no matter what i did, it was always going to be heavy.

So I bit the bullet and got the 08 450. First off, you can ride for hours longer and not be beat up. The power increase is noticable and instant, but not enough to have you urinate yourself at the first twist. (granted I had lots of mods to the DRZ and rode the KTM stock for a while) But either way there is approx 45 lbs difference. I'll say that again 45lbs. lighter.

Go get the KTM, you will not be dissapointed, and as your riding level increases, your bike will not leave you wanting more.

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This thread inspired me to go ahead and throw my 2002 ktm 400exc that has a trick dual sport kit and the usual after market bike protection on a scale ( 2 scale method). I purposly was holding out because every time that i have done this in the past i am disappointed and shocked. This time is no different. I had previously weighed my DRZ400s and my 92 DR350s ( kick start only w/ battery eliminater etc.) The results of all 3 bikes are with gas and are as follows......

2004 DRZ400s - 320 lbs

1992 DR350S - 295 lbs

2002 ktm 400exc - 283 lbs

I was sure my ktm would be lighter.

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I have a DRZ400E with joshi,3x3, jetts. It is a lot of difference to ride a well jetted bike. The Carb on the S model won't get you close to a dirt bike.

The great thing about the DRZ is that is heavy and makes you a better rider.

I also have a 3 KTM's 450SX, XC and 250Xc. For sure you will like more the light feeling on the KTM's and the more power from stock.

I still keep the DRZ for training since it takes more work to get it trough the tuff trails.

Have fun riding the KTM.

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Hey Guys: I bought a new 450 exc-r last month & I love it!

It does give you alot of confidence,especially when you discover that you really don't need to dodge those smaller obstacles on the trail because if you let it ,it will make it & with some experiance the big obstacles will seem small.

The one negative for me with a 34 inch inseam is the seat height, which I think is 38".I ordered the low seat for $90 but I haven't got it yet.

The mods I did was to have the dealer re-jet when I bought it, then a "good" skid plate followed by a 14/50 sprocket set-up.Most of all, bite the bullet & get a cooling fan if you plan on any technical riding at less than 15mph.

Now for the "BAD" part. go to the thread about the "450excr gaining oil", that's me, kaptenken. It sounds like a horror story right now but I think KTM will step-up and take care of this problem sooner than later. Just tell the dealer to fix it "before"! you buy it...regardless,I would buy another one.

Have Fun!

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Did the change to the 14/50 sprockets allow you to run the stock chain? I also just made the switch from a DRZ to a EXCR 450 and am thinking about what mods to make.

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I moved from a DRZ400E to a 400XCW, and the difference for me was night and day.

I went from being slow and almost kinda dreading going out to ride single track to absolutely loving it. The KTM feels so much lighter and more nimble that it just inspires confidence. I find myself riding and enjoying sections now that you couldn't have forced me to try on my DRZ. Not only that, but I'm far less physically tired at the end of the day as well.

A new KTM isn't a miracle, the same way using the same clubs as Tiger Woods won't have you beating him at the next PGA tourney, but it's as close to "buying talent" as you can get.

I don't regret the switch for a second.

Waxy

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just recently went from a dr 650 modded out to a ktm 450 modded out and the diff is night and day and fun factor is increased by 1000% but il give it to the Dr for showing me the way and introducing me to this wonderful sport....but my KTM is nasty and handles everything gracefullly!!

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Started with a 2004 DRZ400s then to a 2002 DRZ400k plated (big difference than the S) but still didn't tickle my fancy, so I went and got a used 2007 525EXC and also picked up a used KTM supermoto kit. I am absolutely in love with the KTM and don't ever regret getting rid of two DRZ. All my buddies with DRZ's call my bike the rich man's bike but when you have to dump a ton of dough into a stock DRZ to make it half the bike the KTM is you kinda end up with a rich poor mans DRZ. GO ORANGE!

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i just purchased a new '08 450 excr 2 weeks ago, went to a 14/52 combo with jd kit and stripped the smog crap and cut the silencer, did a 95 mi. dualsport yesterday and i am totally sold on the ktm, the power and handling was awesome, the only negative was it is more top heavy than my 2 stroke but i love it.

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I just moved up to an exc 525 from a xr400 I know the exc made me a better rider. There have been several times i said I'm going down or I can't make that but I'm wrong. I stay on on my bike and power threw. As for too mutch power i ride a 525 and I'm only 170lbs. I love this bike. I sold my HD to get this bike. I have a set of 17''s for the street. Its more fun than the HD on the street and more fun the the XR on the dirt. Best toy ever.

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