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I'm new - be gentle, questions on a 03 625sxc

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I have the chance to buy this bike with 3000 miles and looks real nice and has been well taken care of. I already have a yz426f that I love, but need a dual sport. I have done some research and have some questions:

1) this is a good 60 lbs heavier than my 426, will I notice it?

2) I notice the hp is in the mid 30's which seems pretty low compared even to the more recent 450's. Is it correct? can it be easily be bumped up? or even should it be, need to be?

I think i want to keep my 426 for the desert pounding and use this bike for rides with friends that have dual sports (all of them the Suzuki 400's) mostly on fire road type rides.

Whatcha all think? I dont have a lot of $ so a good deal on a older bike makes the most sense for me right now.

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Your story sounds a lot like mine. I have an 02 Yamaha WR426, an 01 Yamaha YZ426, an 06 Husqvarna TE510 and love them all but something was missing. If you want the quick answer scroll down to the last paragraph...

I just bought an 03 625 SXC two weeks ago with 3,350 miles for freeway commuting. The 2003 KTM 625 SXC is not a great bike as delivered. Lean jetting from the factory combined with a CV carburetor require many modifications to get the bike to run right. I noticed oil leaking out of the frame vent after I got it home. I made sure the oil level was where it should be but the leaking continued. From what I have learned this is from the combustion pressure forcing oil up into the frame vent.

I pulled the top end off today and found the top compression ring had cracked, fell apart and made a big mess of my piston and cylinder plating. Lucky for me the valves, head and bottom end are OK. Even with the cracked ring I got this bike up to 95 MPH on the freeway before the over abundance of oil pumping into the airbox caused the motor to choke out.

I thought the choking out of the motor was due to fuel starvation because the 03 SXC uses a Mikuni carb that is vacuum modulated or CV (constant velocity) and it sux!

I am however so impressed by this bike that I am going to rebuild it the way it should have been with a 41 mm Kehien FCR carb I just got off Ebay for $270. I will replate the cylinder for about $300 and I am supposed to be getting an after market piston and rings for $200. So when you add it all up the repair will cost me around $800 when I am done. I can save on labor because I can do all the work myself, if I had to pay shop rates it might cost me hundreds more for labor on top of that.

Bottom line is Yes you will notice the extra weight but even with the CV carb and a cracked compression ring it had more than 30 HP. It is a great bike and well made and wears its weight well but parts are very expensive so make sure the motor has good compression before you buy it. Also be ready to dump some money into a 41 mm Kehien carb for an 03 or buy the 02 or 04 as they came with a Kehien carb stock.

Edited by Yamahondaha
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Lezmark, ive had a 05 625sxc for 10 months and ride trails with the latest 450s and drz400s its not a bike for small short guys, ive put some spaces in the forks and adjusted the rear spring up a bit, also modified the restriction inside the end of the muffler, cut a bigger opening in the top of the airbox and gone 4 sizes bigger in mainjet,the low done grunt and good suspension make it feel lighter than it is but it can be a handfull in real tight stuff,in a straight line dragrace its about even with the 450s, but i love that grunt...enjoy

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I had a 03 SXC now ride a 2004 SXC. Good bike but both needed mods. First I'm really, really short, so I lowered it. But for performance the 03 needs a new carb, the Mikuni is subpar. Stock suspension is really soft. I weigh 175 pounds and contantly bottomed out. Stiffer springs are a must if you weigh over a 125 pounds. My front forks on my 04 are 48mm vs 43mm forks, huge difference. My suspension is top notch, complete works front end (DLC coated 48mm WP works forks and BRP Triple tree with rubber mounted bar clamps) and redone rear shock (bought it that way, I did not get it done) My bike seat height is at least 5 inches lower than stock, kouba link, cut subframe, shaved seat and forks pushed up as far as possible. My suspension is set up for 200 pound rider, which is perfect with my reduced travel. Just like most bikes the bike needs to be tuned to fit you. My 625 is almost perfect for me. Someone else could ride it ad say it feels all wrong and out of whack. Chances are any bike you buy will need some work ($$$$$) to make it fit you right.

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