Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

MXC -vs- EXC

Recommended Posts

I'm looking at a 450 MXC and 525 EXC. The 525 is almost 1000 dollars more and am not sure the extra 60cc is really worth it. My bigger question is the gearing in the MXC... I know it has a close ratio trans but am concerned that it will not work well for long rides in Mexico. Does anyone know the differnce in the gear ratios between the two bikes. The up side to the MXC is the larger tank for distance riding... I need some advise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What kind of riding do you do - single track -open desert? The MXC is designed for the oped desert but works good in the tight stuff when geared down. The biggest deferance is the 1st and second gearing. Mostly the first gear on the MXC is very tall - good for desert - less good in the single track unless geared way down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like single track but spend most of my time in the open desert. Are only first and second changed? What about 4 through 6?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These ratios are for the 520/400, I don't know if they have changed for the '03 model year or not.

MXC:

16/32

18/30

20/28

22/26

24/24

21/18

EXC:

14/34

17/31

19/28

22/26

24/23

26/21

So first gear on the EXC is a whopping 18% lower than MXC. Second gear is 9%, third is 5%. Fourth is the same, fifth and sixth are about 5%-6% taller on the EXC. Go three teeth smaller on the rear sprocket and the MXC should have the same top speed as the EXC, but no amount of sprocket changing will make first and second on the MXC approximate that tractor-like first of the EXC.

If you do not regularly ride tight trails where the super-low first gear is needed you should get the MXC. It should be able to easily make 95+ mph with a new rear sprocket. If you ride in the dez you will never use first on the EXC anyway. It is very low.

Hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are the ratios from the '03 525 E/MXC

MXC

2:1

1.67:1

1.4:1

1.18:1

1:1

0.86:1

EXC (These are the same as what was posted previously)

2.43:1

1.82:1

1.47:1

1.18:1

0.96:1

0.81:1

My EXC came geared for 85MPH+ top end. I changed the gearing to 13/52 from 14/48 (16% lower). That should allow me to navigate tight single-track trails much easier (haven't ridden it with the changed gearing yet, we are having a cold spell in KY, temnps are near 0F). The 52T R/S is the largest that will fit the stock chain guide, and just barely at that. I haven't disconnected the shock and moved the rear wheel through its travel yet to verify that the chain has enough slack. It is adjusted per the manual, but given the destrcuctive potential of a chain that is too tight, I want to be certain before I ride it. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Extra power is always worth it. The difference in power of the 2 bikes is noticeable. If your going to be doing a lot of really tight trails the 450 probably won't tire you out as fast. If your ridding a mix of dez and tight I would go with the 525. The 02 and 03 tranny ratios are the same for both the MXC and exc. IMHO the exc is a more versatile bike due to the wide ratio tranny. One gear for every situation. Some mxc riders will tell you they can't gear low enough for really tight technical sections and if they do the top end suffers.

If your worried about fuel you can trade your exc tank for an mxc tank - there's always someone looking to trade. Or you can buy an oversized tank or sell the mxc tank and buy a oversized tank. You can probably sell the exc tank for almost enough to pay for the oversized one. The possibilities are endless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

isn't it strange how the MXC doesn't come with a light but has a bigger tank? wouldn't the extended riding time kind of indicate more chance of running into dark hours?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I took the plunge today. I bought a 450 MXC. I'm leary of the close ratio trans. I guess I'll know when I ride on Saturday.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't understand the reasoning behind the MXC. If it's a desert bike, why wouldn't it have a higher 5th and 6th gear? My EXC 520 works great in the des, and still has an ultra low 1st for tight stuff, although 2nd works on almost anything unless you want to get off and walk(hike) next to the bike. I think close ratio is better for track use. The MXC(or aftermarket)tank is a must as far distance is concerned. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The MXC is For the des. and the EXC is for the woods, but the gear ratios seem backwrds to me I would think the wide ratio (EXC) would be best in the Des. and the close ratio (MXC) would do better in the woods. Why don't both come with lights? I know you can set the MXC up with lights, but why not factory lighting? :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

KTM calls the MXC the "Cross Country" model but they never go on to explain just what that means. My first KTM was an MXC and I'll never have another. That was a 98 380. I was coming off a Yamaha WR500 with no lights or odo so I didn't miss those. The low top speed of the close ratio was a drawback, though, especially given it was a 5 speed. Probably not quite as bad with the extra gear the RFS's get.

I don't run in the dez but the guys who do say they like the MXC because it pulls the gears better in deep sand. That does make some sense to me. Gearing is the wild card. You can gear one up or one down or whatever and get all kinds of different results. For my money, I'd get the EXC and gear appropriately. You get the lights and the very nice electronic odo/speedo.

Keith,

I'm 99.9% sure that the MXC and EXC share identical motors including the lighting coils on the RFS's. The 2 strokes may have some difference in lighting coils between M and E, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It may be a moot point now, but since you live in CA, don't forget the whole red/green sticker issue. I'm 100% certain that EXCs are green and can therefore be plated for DS use. I don't think that is true of the MXCs. A riding buddy owns a 525 MXC and got a red sticker from the DMV. If you think you may want to DS your bike, be sure and check the VIN.

I ride often in Mexico, but also do desert and singletrack. Pretty much everything. My gearing is 14/52 and that can handle everything no problem. I was running 13/52, but that made it rough on the engine during long rides in Baja.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 03 RFS MXC's are green stickerable. Maybe he got one of those very early 03's, like mine, that has the messed up VIN. If so, he might be smart to get that updated from KTM. Even if he doesn't want the green sticker, it'll be worth more when he goes to get rid of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't understand the reasoning behind the MXC. If it's a desert bike, why wouldn't it have a higher 5th and 6th gear?

Here is how I see the reasoning behind the differences twixt the RFS MXC and EXC line:

Tranny:

Even if geared for the same top speed (a few teeth on the rear sprocket will do the trick) the MXC will have closer spacing between all gears. This is preferred in the dez over the super-low first of the EXC (that is the trade off in simplest terms) because you rarely see terrain that requires that in a desert race, you want the better acceleration up a deep sand wash (for example) that the close ratio gives you. There are still KX500s out there, and there may be one in that sand wash with you.

If you are racing enduros you will want a super-low first gear, if only to sneak up to a check without dabbing to prevent burning it, but more likely because the terrain will require it at some point.

Lights:

I’ve never even witnessed, much less ridden in, an enduro, but it is my understanding that many of them require the bike to be licensed because there may be a transfer section that consists of a public roadway. Not all states require blinkers to make a bike road-legal, but most, if not all, probably require a functioning headlight and tail light.

BTW, I’ve never raced at night, but I would never do so with a stock light. Ever. I thought the MXC and EXC stators were the same, but it would make sense for the MXC to have a higher output to power the modern lighting systems (one flood, one spot) found on desert bikes.

Of course the larger tank is self explanatory.

My two pennies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mjlang, I'm in San Diego too, Fallbrook that is. I ride and have ridden mxc's, but 2-strokes. In the past a 360mxc and now a 300mxc. I too am looking in to a 4-stroke and I'm going with, if I can find one (CA Green sticker) 520 (due to cost). I feel I need the overall power and from what I've read from the N.J. enduro guys, the extra power when geared right makes riding the 520 or 525 better than the 400 or 450 even in the tight Northeastern woods. On to the EXc vrs. MXc, I ride desert; Ocotillo one weekend, and then tracks like Cahuilla or Amajo (Comp Park, I miss that place) the next. The mxc works well at both the tracks and the desert with final drive changes. Any input on how the EXC will work on the tracks. In the desert (less 1st gear) or the USFS trails the EXC should be the heat, but what about the tracks. I can't keep both and my wife said this is the last go round. So I need the do it all bike with a green sticker. Any help from what you have learned our others would be appreciated. Any input on the Husqvarna TE570. I hear that's a power house for our area and it's green sticker to boot. I just can't swap my MXC's (SX) suspension to it and that's a drag.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have an 03 525 MXC. First gear is too tall for tight trail riding. I am always on the clutch and feel as though I am in second gear. i bought the mxc because i wanted the bigger tank over the exc(i had an exc on order and switched to the mxc). for open desert riding the mxc hauls. i think i should have gotten the exc. the speedo is cool, the gear ratios are better and i'm sure a bigger tank is available. good luck.

Gaspar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a very interesting discussion. I'm not debating one way or the other. I had my EXC out in the desert recently on all kinds of trails and conditions. Everything from sand washes to hard pack trails and rocks, even a dry lake bed. It handled great everywhere! I didn't find any disadvantage at all with the wide-ratio gear box. I wonder if it is more a rider style / personal preference thing? What Hick says sort of makes sence. I don't ride the desert that much anymore. Mostly mountain trails. I'd just have to say for a do it all kind of bike the EXC seems to be a very good fit. At least, for me. The 520 may be a bit of overkill for the foot hills and mountains but, in the desert it every bit worth it. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paul, what gearing are you running? I rarely use 1st gear, even with stock gearing. 2nd will pull anything short of walking pace. You will be riding desert, if you get your butt out here! Give me a date, and we'll go for a ride. The only benefit of a close ratio box to me is in closed course racing. On a short track I raced on, I was getting passed by a CRF because his gearing was closer. I'd pull him until we shifted, then my RPM in the next gear was too low compared to his, and he'd get by. I think he won the race, but I'm not sure as I crashed and got knocked out! To me the EXC with a big tank has it all. Capable on all levels, maybe not the fastest everywhere, but very capable. Just an opinion, and you know what they say about opinions. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By TheLastByte
      Looking for something a little lighter and faster to supplement my xr650l and I think this bike might fit the bill. I'm hoping there are some owners here who can give me some insight into the typical experience with this bike. The question I'm most concerned about is how many hours these engines last before needing a rebuild with normal trail riding? Also, how do they handle in technical terrain? How about on the road? 
       
      The machine I'm looking at has about 75 hours and 1,500 miles on it, all stock other than a lectron carb, and comes with some dualsport lighting not installed. The current owner's asking price seems pretty high at $4500, but he seems to be a communicative, eager seller, which is practically unheard of in Upstate NY where the vast majority of dirtbikes on Craigslist are owned (or "owned") by rednecks trying to flip them. I'm willing to pay a little more than market value for this reason.
       
      Thanks for any input! 
    • By Chad Harlan
      Hi all,
      I got a set of the Axis passenger pegs to fit my 14' 500 exc. The bike does have the alloy sub-frame, but I'm curious if anyone has used this set up with success without destroying the sub-frame or their wife/gf? 
       
      Short trips like errands and rides out to the coast for hiking. 10-15 miles on the longer rides, and likely 0 miles on the highway, as she is not super stoked about riding. But our job kinda doesn't allow multiple vehicles. Yachties. Also shopping a sumo set up at the moment too. 
       
      Thanks folks!!
    • By Bryan Bosch
      Recently,I took a trip out to Colorado for some R&R on a family vacation. I brought my riding gear and had planned on renting a bike, but I was too late and at least what I looked at, there was no availability for my timeline. Bummer, since I'd not ridden the rockies in over 4 years, something pretty special when you live in flatlanderville (Florida)! 
      But, behind the scenes, a couple of TT'ers were at work! Through TT, we recently hired a fine, young gentleman to head up our advertising sales team,( @Freemotion ) and he pulled some strings with a local who had a well equipped  KTM 450XC-W that is his back-up machine. His new love is a 2019 KTM 300 TPI and it was gorgeous!
      So, a HUGE thanks to @Freemotion for greasing the skids in getting me a skoot and to @G 9.5 for generously lending out his bike to basically a stranger. The weather was great, so was the company, and the riding was epic as far as I'm concerned. I'm still a bit humbled by the generosity, so I wanted to share a story that I bet isn't as uncommon among the riding community as one might imagine.
      Dirt bike people rock! 🤘


    • By JacksonDRZbeast
      Hello TT peeps. I currently have an 11' Ktm 450 exc which i am converting to sumo. Still on the fence about getting cush drive rims or standard rims. Not too much info on what cush drive does for wheelies. I know its smoother on the tranny and chain but will it make much of a difference with slower wheelies/stunting? I had a DRZ with standard rims and slower wheelies were very choppy and almost impossible to control smoothly. Any advice/tips/help will be much appreciated. 
      Also.... will 5" rims be pushing it for chain rub? Should i just stick with 4.25"?
    • By scott72
      Hi, I was wandering if anybody has recently bought or sold a 2014 or 2015 500 exc?  I'm trying to get an idea as to what they worth presently.  Thanks for any help.
×