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KTM experiences?

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I am looking at an 07 KTM 525 XC and I am wondering if anyone here has any experience on how they compare to the X. It is my first big bore thumper so I do not have a whole lot to compare it to. I also asked this on the KTM board but most of the KTM guys that I have met are pretty one-sided. I ride my X on the street but I am always wishing that it had a 6th gear. I sold my YZ250 and 91 CR500 and the stable is starting to look a lil empty. Any input from any one of you guys that have ridden/owned a KTM would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

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I came off an '06 525 - my "X" has better electrics, better (stock) suspension, and is faster accellerating to top gear. The KTM has better gearing (6-speed), more bottom-end torque, and more top speed (6-speed). Generally, KTM (maintainence) parts seem a tad less expensive, but my sense is that there is more "quality" in the Honda. Same dealer in my town, so that was not an issue, but it could influence my decision under different circumstances.

Hoe that helps.

El Mur.

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I've got a 250x, 06 200xc, and a 08 450 exc-r, lots changed between your 07 and my 08, so much that I couldn't compare it to yours but one thing is similar, that 6th gear is so nice on the highway

but I have a wide ratio tranny too, I was using an XR400 but on the highway that thing killed my hands and feet with it's buzzy vibrations, I could gear it for street or for dirt but not for both at the same time, unlike my ktm which will happily crawl down a trail and cruise at 70 on the highway

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KTM makes bikes.

Honda makes bikes.

XYZ makes bikes.

Ride what you like, not what others like.

I understand this but I am not going to be dialing the suspension for me to take it for a test ride. I am not going to be performing routine maintenance on it right after I ride it. Maybe I should have been more descriptive in my post. Basically I would like to know what is liked or disliked about one bike over the other. I have heard many of stories about the RFS engines lasting 10,000+ miles, but I have never experienced that. Just like "Honda valves go out ALL OF THE TIME" but I have never experienced that either. As a matter of fact, I have never met anyone that had valves issues with an X, but the stories are still there. I would like to hear from unbiased riders about the PDS. KTM riders that have never owned a Honda have a preconceived notion about jap bikes and vice versa. I may like the bike for a test ride but find out the suspension will never be dialed in for AZ riding with the whoops(that was just an example). I would like to hear first hand about reliability experiences, after market support/costs, power comparisons (NOT just the dyno) maintenance schedules, ease of maintenance, known things to be aware of (like the 05-07 450X tranny precautions) handling of one vs the other after properly set up, and the list could be endless.

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as far as suspension, they are on par once setup for you, the honda's from the factory feels better, but the bike feels bigger, mostly due to those awful aluminum frames. The KTM does NOT let you run a spring that's not right for your weight, the honda does, get the right spring before you even touch the clickers

I can live with the 05-07 honda forks, I had to revalve the ktm forks on my 06, but not on my 08, my 08's feels a lot like the 06 honda forks, I do not know what the 07 525 forks feel like, my 06's were harsh on tree roots and mid stroke

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that 6th gear is so nice on the highway

but I have a wide ratio tranny too, I was using an XR400 but on the highway that thing killed my hands and feet with it's buzzy vibrations, I could gear it for street or for dirt but not for both at the same time, unlike my ktm which will happily crawl down a trail and cruise at 70 on the highway

That is the one thing that I wish that I could change about the X. I won't even take it on the highway because I just don't feel comfortable sustaining high rpms for so long.

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I have two riding buddies one has an 06 crf450x and the other has a KTM exc 530. I’ve ridden both of them. Afterwards I went out and bought a Honda. IMO the Honda steers better and feels more “hooked up” especially on hard packed dirt. I also like the suspension better it is more compliant in the rocks. The KTM has an awesome engine very controllable power delivery and the 6th gear is definitely nice out on the road. However I don’t ride too much pavement unless I’m on my street bike. Both are great bikes. I suppose if you tend to ride a lot on the pavement the KTM would be the better choice and if you ride mostly off road I’d go with the Honda. That coupled with the fact that a new KTM was going to be every bit of $10,000 and I bought a brand new 09 otd for $6000 it was a no brainer. I bought a K&S switch, Baja Designs LED tail light and brake light switches and a mirror and now I have a street legal crf450x.

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Since you do some street riding, the '07 KTM 525 XC is definitely not the KTM for you as the 525 XC has a very limiting close ratio 6 speed tranny with less range than the Honda 5 speed tranny. What you should look for is an '07 KTM 525 EXC which has a much more versatile wide ratio 6 speed and is street legal from the factory and still considerably lighter than the Honda to boot. Since dirt bikes are easy to plate in your state, you could save some money by getting one of the earlier 525 EXC's. Engine-wise, the 525 is very dependable and is much stronger than the Honda 450 from the bottom to the top of the rev range.

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The x can be geared a lot taller for the street, but it was never intended to be much of a sustained high speed street bike. It will get the job done, though.

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I had a 08 ktm 450sxf and it was an incredible ride suspension was nice and it was a really mellow ride until the high rpm range then it got wicked. It seemed a little wider and heavier and I didn't like how it was electric start only and constantly needed to be on a battery tender I also had The air box cover fall off plenty of times and the seat fell off on me a hand full of times while in the air yes I know how to tighten the single bolt under the seat but it seemed to come loose and fall out. When I got my Ktm I was fully committed to it and slowly it started to disgust me I got tired of it within a few months and wenT strait back to jap bikes after owning a Ktm the only thing I Will give them props for is they do look good And they are only for an elite group as the local Ktm dealer told me ha ha ha enjoy :smirk:

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Our seat has never fallen off. Nor has the airbox cover (this on a 2 stroke). A bike's a bike. They all have there "things". Honda and Ktm make the best quality bikes IMO, followed closely by Yamaha. But that doesn't mean they all can't be good, when you learn them as individuals.

It's all about set-up and maintenance.

KTM's are a bit of an aquired taste, and I like the flavour.:smirk:

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I do completely agree Ktm is an aquired taste And has alot to offer in all aspects of the sport but in my opinion I plan to stay with what works for me but if I want to get another 2 stroke it would be Ktm and my son is getting ready to move up to a 65 and it will be a Ktm I admit I was a little harsh raging on the Ktm I had and they have a really solid bIke maybe I just had bad luck it was a brand new bike that I set up for what I needed and maintained it very well But when all said and done My stock 09 yz450f preforms better and is more reliable then my Ktm with suspension work and pipe

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not sure how any of that helps the OP, dirt-rich likes the suspension

and the airbox cover and seat fall off ? Dear god stop riding dirt bikes now before you hurt yourself, ktm's have the best design for a seat, I wish my honda had a similar design, why on earth do they still use 2 big heavy bolts and brackets on the sides?!?! Honda's have the worst airbox design, ktm's is much better, it can not come off iif you install it correctly, the seat lip holds it on, sounds like you were not properly installing your seat, there's a recessed lip that the seat pops onto, the seat bolt itself is not really holding a load, the round plug above it is, if you dont install the seat correctly then the airbox cover lip wont be held in, and the seat bolt is taking a beating

I own every color, in order of quality/build/design I rate ktm first, then honda, yamaha, and suzuki/kawasaki I tie based on what I own/owned, I cant afford to replace all my honda's with ktm's, so I keep some jap bikes around.

kawasaki obviously has been watching ktm, the 2012 looks like they are paying attention to details, now if they can just drop that awful cable clutch

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I know it may sound dumb but the air box cover fell off frequently even when installed properly and the seat would randomly fall off while jumping even when tightened and has nothing to do with hurting myself old timer it's about going back and picking up the pieces that gall off oolong the ride My KTM EXPERIENCE

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on ktm's the airbox has a lip that slides under the seat, it cant come off unless it was not installed properly, and there's 2 push pin's that also hold the front down, but it's not coming off because the lip under the seat holds it on

on ktm's there's a ~2" round plug on the bottom of the seat that fits into the frame, in the center there's a small bolt that holds the seat down, the front of the seat has plastic tabs that hook the frame

it's pretty clear to me, you were not installing the seat properly, I bet the previous owner replaced the seat bolt with a long one and the seat was not properly pushed into the plug. It is a pita to get the seat mounted, it's a tight fit, for obvious reasons they dont want it coming off when your riding. I have to line up the rear post/plug and hit it pretty hard to get it seated into the frame

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Our seat has never fallen off. Nor has the airbox cover (this on a 2 stroke). A bike's a bike. They all have there "things". Honda and Ktm make the best quality bikes IMO, followed closely by Yamaha. But that doesn't mean they all can't be good, when you learn them as individuals.

It's all about set-up and maintenance.

KTM's are a bit of an aquired taste, and I like the flavour.:smirk:

That pretty much covers it.

Accept the part where the KTM is really the evil pumpkin overloard of motorcycles bent on world domination and homogenization of all motorcycles into the Orange plague.

Otherwise, you are right on.

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That pretty much covers it.

Accept the part where the KTM is really the evil pumpkin overloard of motorcycles bent on world domination and homogenization of all motorcycles into the Orange plague.

Otherwise, you are right on.

Perfect guys, couldn't agree more.

That being said, if I were to buy another bike for dual sport today, it would probably be a pumpkin, just so nicely setup and street leagal. My BIL has 2003 525 EXC and it is 200% stock, never had the head off and it runs like a top. I rode it before I bought my X and did not like the way it handled. As said, an acquired taste and more sensitive even than the X on setup. Besides I've owned mostly euro bikes back in the day and did not want to go there again, much too expensive and not built like a Honda.

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Since you do some street riding, the '07 KTM 525 XC is definitely not the KTM for you as the 525 XC has a very limiting close ratio 6 speed tranny with less range than the Honda 5 speed tranny. What you should look for is an '07 KTM 525 EXC which has a much more versatile wide ratio 6 speed and is street legal from the factory and still considerably lighter than the Honda to boot. Since dirt bikes are easy to plate in your state, you could save some money by getting one of the earlier 525 EXC's. Engine-wise, the 525 is very dependable and is much stronger than the Honda 450 from the bottom to the top of the rev range.

And how much lighter than the Honda exactly?

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When I got my Ktm I was fully committed to it and slowly it started to disgust me I got tired of it within a few months and wenT strait back to jap bikes...

:smirk::lol::smirk:

Dirt Rich,

You have owned way too many Hondas to start swillin' the orange koolaid again. Snap out of it.

If you absolutely have to have another KTM, go for a KTM dog bowl and leash combo... or a KTM coffee cup... or a KTM umbrella... or maybe a set of KTM Jammies with matching KTM Bunny Slippers. But not another KTM motorcycle. Do they make sewing machines yet? :prof::lol::lol:

I just love bustin' on Pumpkin Heads. I'm not sorry.

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