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400XCW or 450XCF

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This is my first post to the forum but I've been reading it for about 3 months. I'm looking to buy a new KTM in the Fall. I think I've narrowed my search to the 400XCW or 450XCF.

I've looked over both at local dealers but have not ridden either. My previous experience has been desert racing on a 250 Bultaco (time out for you younger guys to look up "Bultaco" on Google), a XR500 (it was hot in it's time) and a Bultaco 360 El Bandido (sheer terror on two wheels).

Now, the smarter of you will have discerned that I'm not a youngster; I just turned 64. You are probably also saying something like... "What's the ol' geezer want with a performance bike?"

Well, I have a son who races MX and is just starting out on desert. Alas, the wayward lad insists on doing these events on...are you ready?... Hondas! (a 250R and a 450R)

I need a bike that I can use to pull him out of the desert when the Honda quits and also have some fun with just cruising the MX vet tracks and chasing the kid down on the main tracks.

Bein' old and decrepid, I need electric start; the leg won't bend enough to kick start. I like the fact that the 400 has a back up kick start...in the desert I could, I guess, stand on a rock or berm to start it if the battery fails.

I'm new to KTMs but I really like the look and quality I've seen so far. I want to buy new and am thinking a new 09 or 10 model...depending on what's available in the Fall. I know the 450XCF is no longer in production after '09. Which 400 XCW which would be better...'09 or '10?

Any help you can give would be appreciated on which model would best meet my needs. Also, can anyone recommend a dealer in the Southern California area?


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Welcome to the forum. I ride with guys in their 60s that also call themselves ol’ geezers. The funny thing is, none of them ride like they’re old and decrepit. So I suspect you’re exaggerating just like the rest of them.

I think the 450 has a little more MX traits where the 400 is more specific to woods/off road. (softer suspension, softer power) I wanted the 400xcw for an all purpose bike but just couldn’t find a decent deal.

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