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400XCW or 450XCF

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Howdy,

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?

KTM for a GEEZER

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I'd go for the 400 XC-W 2010... changed the steering head location-better handling, fixed oil transfer problems, fix chain tensioner problems and the type of riding you described would be better suited by the 400 unless of course you want to rage past your son!- then I'd get the 450!

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The differences between the 400 XC-W and the 450 XCF are dramatic, the 400 being nice and tame compared to the 'fire breathing' 450 XCF. Perhaps a better option or compromise would be the 450/530 XCF-W or the street legal EXC

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The 400 XC-W is a winner, tame but sufficent power, niimble, light and built to last.

The 450XCF is a race bike, problem #1 is a close ratio 5 speed, not a trail friendly deal, problem #2 is the cam bearings, it does not have any, cam runs in the head without a bearing on one end and any interuption in the oil supply is a $2K disaster. Don't get me started on the oil pump!

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