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Looking for new bike - Husky 450/510 or KTM 450/530??? 2010

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Hi Thumpertalkers

I know this is the forum to get a pro-Husky answer, but thats OK cause I will post the same on KTMTalk and see what I get.

I currently have a 2007 Husq TE 510 with over 21,000 kms on the bike:

P5260652.JPG

Bike is still pulling strong but it is definitely a bit tired and I am looking for something brand new. Love the bike. Looking for some comparos between the similar KTM and Husky bikes (450 - 530/510) for 2010.

Riding I do is mainly dual sport type, sometimes very difficult, also offroad touring with camping gear. Road time too, sometimes back and forth to work. Bike will have a lot of miles put on it. I don't want a bigger bike (ie 610) its not what I am looking for. I want the best dirt performance possible with a plate from the factory, and up here in BC that basically means Husky or KTM. Don't really care too much between the smaller or bigger bore bike, doesn't matter.

Would like specific info on a few things:

1. Reliability. My husky has been good but with a number of issues relating to reliability, especially the rads and the hydraulic clutch. This is probably the number one issue for me, because I will need the bike to last a long long time.

2. Vibration. Husky vibrates a lot. I get numb hands, sore butt, both on hwy and off-road. Having briefly ridden a friends 09 ktm 450, I think the advantage goes to KTM here but would like to hear opinions.

3. Fuel range. KTM definitely has larger and more selection of tanks, but Husky has a larger tank too. Which bike will have better basic fuel economy? My guess is advantage to the Husky here.

4. Stator output. Since I need the bike for commuting I need a better than stock light. Both manufacturers put poor lights on, but if the elec. output is high enough its a simple upgrade.

5. Gearing spread. Advantage prob to KTM on this one, my 07 510 is a six speed but narrow range. I want a real crawler 1st gear but to still be able to cruise at 90 kph.

There are pretty good local dealers here for both brands so that won't be a big issue.

Thanks in advance for your replies!

Brian Pegg

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Hi Thumpertalkers

2. Vibration. Husky vibrates a lot. I get numb hands, sore butt, both on hwy and off-road. Having briefly ridden a friends 09 ktm 450, I think the advantage goes to KTM here but would like to hear opinions.

5. Gearing spread. Advantage prob to KTM on this one, my 07 510 is a six speed but narrow range. I want a real crawler 1st gear but to still be able to cruise at 90 kph.

Brian Pegg

Based on these two criteria, the KTM is the logical best choice. The KTM engine is very smooth and the semi wide ratio 6 speed tranny is a joy, and really is essential in a proper dual sport bike. Since you are used to the Husky 510, the obvious choice is the 530 EXC.

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I consider the TE450/510 to be a fairly hot trail bike, I'd probably lean more towards the KTM for what you're describing.

I love my 450 in the dirt but I do grow weary pretty quickly when on the bitumen!

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Hmm I didn't expect pro KTM answers in the Husky forum!

Yes in many ways the KTM seems the bike of choice for my type of riding. I have concerns with the reliability of the new engines (new in 08) with regards to oil loss/transfer. KTMTalk has numerous examples of owners with problems in this area.

Cheers!

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i'm not knockin husky- but i'm very happy with my 525 exc 2007 model yr. 1st gear will do some real gnarly stuff,and then get out on the straight stuff and do 160 kph in 6th. parts are a phone call away,not a six week wait,like i've had many time when i owned a husky ( hey guy's has that changed yet? ) they are both great bikes and that's how i made my choice- no bullshitte and no parts when you needed them or a quick phone call and stopping by the dealer a couple day's later and picking up your stuff.

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Have you ever considered a KTM 690 or a Husky TE630? I have recently ridden with a few guys that drag them through the narliest single track and I was absolutely amazed. I have also switched for a day and their road manners are unreal.

If you live near Abbotsford you are welcome to take my 08 te450 for a spin but quite frankly it's not a touring bike, after an hour on the road I have to get off, but its great in the trails

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I am a Husky lover (as my name suggests) but for what your going to do with the bike I would get the KTM. Basically just because of the fact that they handle the road alot better because of the gear ratios. They have the top speed you need on the road where as the Huskys dont.

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I agree with the other that what you looking for is the KTM!

I have both a 2008 TE510 and I recently got the 2010 450exc. I tried going to a larger CS sprocket on the TE and 6th gear still came to quickly and I had to use 6th just riding around town. I had the KTM was regeared to 14/49 and I've only had it a little over 50mph and have not used 6th. I tryed 6th and I lugged the motor.

The KTM is smoother (I thought my GPS was going to be damaged mounted on the TE from the vibration) I don't know the weight specs on the bikes but the EXC feels lighter when ridding it or just pushing it around. I had a TE610 and it is to heavy...... I dropped it once and could hardly pick it up.

I was also worried about reliabilty on the KTM and from what I understand in 09 they changed the seal to combat oil transfer and in 2010 they got ungraded compression and oil rings.

Lot of higher capacity tanks for EXC. When you go to the 3gal on the TE you end up with more top heavy weight.

The TE will be used for the dirt and the EXC for dual sporting

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well seems like a lot of people are steering you in the direction of the KTM.

my brother rides a 525smr and i ride a 450te, 2006 and 2008 respectively, though his bike sat on the dealer show room floor till 08.

i did a lot of research, i too was indecisive between ktm and husq, but in the end i went with the husq for 2 reasons mainly. the first being fuel injection the second being the more progressive pro-link suspension.

i've been working on getting my bike's suspension sorted, as i just recently acquired it. over the past week i've been riding the te450 quite a bit and i have to say that overall, it's nice and all but it's just really a plated dirtbike. it's fun to blast around town a bit but, in the end it's still just a plated dirtbike. there's not a whole lot of dual sport about it. luckily this fits my needs perfectly.

i too say go with the ktm, there's alot to be said for a wide ratio tranny for any kind of streetability.

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Brian-

u dirtbag u! I'm cbig on the other site..bought my 510te based on your advice! I've ridden a few ktm bikes and like them. For stock bikes on the street the ktm is great. I like em in the dirt too. Thing is in the dirt the husky is ALWAYS in the right gear and powering up and out is so easy...a caveman can do it! For some things to consider:

-your radiators should be repaired and strengthened by now..especially if u sent them to myler's. A solid brace is available. No advantage ktm.

-ktm's use a similar hydraulic clutch. You solved that issue with the 7602 parts. Ktm also has issues with this.

-valves are ridiculously easy on a husky. Ktm 07 and back require no shims but valves move a lot and do mushroom. Later ktm valves are better and more husky like with shims.

-new husky has injection. My buddies with it swear the fuel mileage is great, tanks are not easy to find...and Electrics seem to work when batteries are down.

-husky carries more oil. This was a big selling point for me riding like you do. New ktm has about 600ml in the engine! Scary to me.

-cam issues on late ktms and oil seals were a problem. I hear mostly fixed. They also overheat. Usually cab settings..injected bikes rarely do.

-if you're getting a carb'd bike why not stick with what you know? You could refresh your bike for a lot less, install the counterbalancer. You already know it's particulars which counts a lot in the rough.you will shell out 7-8k for a bike which buys a lot of service.

-that leaves the gear and vibration issues. On the other site it was fund the husky is designed to run with a higher rpm range so the gearingis fine. He ktm might be cruising hwy speeds at 5k and the husky at 6k. The husky redlines at 11.5k and the ktm at 9500 or 10k. Vibes are solved by the counterbalancing.

There's potential to save cash and not buy accessories again as you got it set up. Nothing like the thrill of a new bike..but these r tough times!

Chuck

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Brian-

u dirtbag u! I'm cbig on the other site..bought my 510te based on your advice! I've ridden a few ktm bikes and like them. For stock bikes on the street the ktm is great. I like em in the dirt too. Thing is in the dirt the husky is ALWAYS in the right gear and powering up and out is so easy...a caveman can do it! For some things to consider:

-your radiators should be repaired and strengthened by now..especially if u sent them to myler's. A solid brace is available. No advantage ktm.

-ktm's use a similar hydraulic clutch. You solved that issue with the 7602 parts. Ktm also has issues with this.

-valves are ridiculously easy on a husky. Ktm 07 and back require no shims but valves move a lot and do mushroom. Later ktm valves are better and more husky like with shims.

-new husky has injection. My buddies with it swear the fuel mileage is great, tanks are not easy to find...and Electrics seem to work when batteries are down.

-husky carries more oil. This was a big selling point for me riding like you do. New ktm has about 600ml in the engine! Scary to me.

-cam issues on late ktms and oil seals were a problem. I hear mostly fixed. They also overheat. Usually cab settings..injected bikes rarely do.

-if you're getting a carb'd bike why not stick with what you know? You could refresh your bike for a lot less, install the counterbalancer. You already know it's particulars which counts a lot in the rough.you will shell out 7-8k for a bike which buys a lot of service.

-that leaves the gear and vibration issues. On the other site it was fund the husky is designed to run with a higher rpm range so the gearingis fine. He ktm might be cruising hwy speeds at 5k and the husky at 6k. The husky redlines at 11.5k and the ktm at 9500 or 10k. Vibes are solved by the counterbalancing.

There's potential to save cash and not buy accessories again as you got it set up. Nothing like the thrill of a new bike..but these r tough times!

Chuck

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or you can refresh your 510 and have a counter balancer installed to smooth it out a bit.

That's what I would do and then wait for the new 2011 TE450/510 Husqvarna.... you know the one with the new motor.

2011husky5.jpg

Justsayen... or actually what I'm doing.

BlipBlip/HuskyRips

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OK now things are getting interesting..........

Chuckster / cbig you brought up the unsaid third option. Its an attractive one. I was at the KTM dealer today, and holy jumpin' those are expensive bikes. Nice, yes, but what a price! MSRP is 10,000 CDN for the 2010, plus tax and PDI, plus the $2,000 in extras I would add!!!! My thinking is to sell my bike now while its still worth some money. However:

I could freshen it up, maybe even do a top end rebuild, and add a few extras like exhaust and lighter battery, and a counterbalancer. What would be involved with a rebuild? There have not really been any engine issues, though the engine is definitely noisier than it used to be. Valves are still in spec and haven't moved for a long while. Here might be a shortlist:

1. New piston and rings

2. Counterbalancer - how is this added?

3. Replace all top end gaskets

4. Replace conrod

5. Check / replace all accessible bearings - which bearings will be accessible in a top end job, and which might be prone to failure / wear at this point?

6. Replace timing chain.

The point about gearing is a good one. I don't really care about highway performance, i am happy on a dirt bike with a plate, but I would like to have a lower 1st gear for the dirt (I am at 13/50 right now) but still need a reasonable cruising speed.

Radiators seem fine, I replaced the 07 ones with 08 toyos and no trouble so far after about 4,000 km. Still have occasional clutch issues, the 7602 x-ring died on day 2 of a 14 day Moab trip recently. No troubles as I keep a bunch of spares handy now.

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OK here's another thought. Just did a careful read through the rekluse thread and wondering if this might take care of some of my issues with the gearing spread. I could run a 14/50, have a 90 kph cruise speed, and maybe the autoclutch would allow real slow crawling for technical stuff? Would not do it without the rear brake on the left.

This way I could stick with Husky, get a bunch of really cool bits like the rekluse, all for less than the KTMs.

Decisions.........

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I've got the Rekluse, BLOODY AWESOME!, You should, for obvious reasons, stay in the appropriate gear for what you're doing, but it can easily do what you're thinking.

Man that 11' model looks nice.👍

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Brian-

Don't remember if I told you mine came with a rekluse. I never installed it so you'll be first again! You've already got a known performer that you have taken to BFE and back. Clutch issue will be on the ktm as well. Check ur compression with a leakdown test. Most noise is probably cam chain. If you refresh it and do the bearings you can install a new con rod and counterbalancer. I priced the parts at about 300 bux. For what it's worth I don't think a husky with 14k on the clock is worth that much more than if u used it for another couple of years and had 24k miles on it and a proven rebuild. If you want a KTM, you might get lucky and find one from 2007 ridden by an old lady to church one Sunday a month for a cheap price. You could put some miles on it then freshen the top end and rebuild the valves. They have screw and nut adjusters like a te610. To get around the oil issue many guys install oil coolers .. and other doodads but then your weight gets up.

Edited by Chuckster

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Yep its a tough call. I prefer the Husky gear ratios for real ST stuff and have real reservations on KTM at the moment. They are still having mech issues. However the KTM gearing for tarmac make them a better DS bike imho.

I really think you should consider the new TE 630. Its reviews here put it as better then the 690 for off road handling but not quite as strong on tarmac. That is not gearing related, rather a displacement matter. The TE got a great rap for its real abilities in hard bush, ST and Fire Trial (superior across the board than the 690). Its design brief was to keep the 610's off road abilities but make it better on the road. It is an 85% bush 15% road bike according to the article.

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a te630 is even heavier than my old te610. I think Brian wants a light bike. I went from a te610 to a te510. Off road it is a world of difference for the better.

On the street, well...

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OK I have this business almost sorted now. I just put a down payment on an 09 510 SMR.

What? Why did I do that?

Well, here is my thinking. The SMR has a counterbalancer and I always wanted a sumo wheelset. I already have a spare set of 18/21 wheels for the dirt which I can throw on it. I will switch out the double pipe for a single, put in a rekluse, and off I go with a brand new bike. It should be smoother than my TE, the rekluse should take care of the slow technical stuff better, and I will get the sumo wheelset included in the bargain! Yeah.

Other benefits? Bike has a 2 yr warranty here. Thats awesome! Price was good too.

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