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2004 KTM EXC 450 vs. 2011 Husqvarna TE449

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I'm planning on buying a dual sport for desert trail riding in the very near future and wanted some opinions. I'm trying to decide between two extremes - a friend's very low hour 2004 KTM EXC 450 and a 2011 Husqvarna TE449. I'm not sure I can justify spending the extra money for the Husky, but realize that overall cost includes a lot more than just the initial purchase price.

My first question is how strongly do some of you value having a plate? I do not plan to ride on the street, but realize that there may be times when being able to (legally) ride on street is a big advantage - such as meeting a group at a location requiring a short ride on a public road before hitting the trail head, when linking trail heads, grabbing lunch at a place away from the OHV area, etc.

My next question is whether the newer bike will be more enjoyable to ride for someone at my level. My riding experience is limited to having owned a couple of YZ250s, but I've never ridden regularly, although I continue to do a lot of extreme mountain biking. For those of you with experience, will I find the newer bike more stable and therefore be more comfortable going fast over rough terrain?

Finally, I'd really appreciate any suggestions concerning alternatives between the Green Sticker KTM and a plated Husky. Thanks.

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Welcome to KTMTalk.

It's too bad that the '04 KTM doesn't have a plate. I had my '04 KTM legally plated before the Jan 31st, 2004 cutoff date and it was a super bike until I recently sold it after 14,000+ trouble-free miles on it. In my opinion, a plated bike is essential for trail riding in CA and elsewhere. I personally would not buy a Husky due primarily to its very restrictive close ratio tranny. That would leave my choices to street legal Betas, Husabergs or KTMs all of which have wide ratio 6 speed trannies.

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The '04 KTM does have a plate - but it's a Florida plate. From what I can tell from searching these forums and elsewhere I won't be able to obtain a CA plate. Thanks for your advice. I've come to the same conclusion - a plated bike is the way to go in CA.

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I believe in having a plate here in California, as sometimes you have to get from point A to point B.

If doing a lot of desert, I would look at the KTM 530's as there have been many for sale used with low miles, great bike here in Cali....

I enjoy my Aprilia RXV550, but its a hot-rod type of bike. I also have a 2005 Honda plated here in Cali for sale that is an excellent desert and singletrack machine.....

My advice is to spend as much as possible, that way down the road you will have to only spend money on tires and chains, not motor work...

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