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10 hours on a 2012 KTM 450 XC-W... first impressions.

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I am lucky enough to have purchased a new 450 XC-W with an Arizona license plate for use in California. First, and most importantly, this bike is just a blast to ride. It's got excellent, responsive power, yet the exhaust note is very quiet in stock form. Normally I would "upgrade" to an FMF Q pipe, but in this case I don't think I need to change a thing. The bike fires up immediately the second you touch the button. The handling is superb. Well, I have to say that at 195 pounds with no gear, the stock suspension was way soft in the front. So soft that I've already resolved the issue with stiffer springs and a revalve from Trail Tricks - night and day improvement from the stock set-up. Thank you, once again, Javier! The only other negative I should mention is that the first day I rode it there were two times that the motor hesitated when I tried to blip the throttle from idle. I thought uh-ohhhhh!!!! Fuel filter issue? Anyway, it hasn't happened since and I've put another 7 or 8 hours on the bike afterwards. The motor just seems to get stronger and stronger. I just came off an 07 450 XC and you can seriously feel the reduced weight of the new bike. The bike rips. Very flickable... turns on a dime. Go get one.

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thanks for your post, I having been thinking about getting a plated 2012 ktm 450xc-w

in Arizona and then later transfering it to caifornia at a later date,do you know if this can be done?

did you buy the bike in california or Arizonia?

any info on this would be great....thanks

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thanks for your post, I having been thinking about getting a plated 2012 ktm 450xc-w

in Arizona and then later transfering it to caifornia at a later date,do you know if this can be done?

did you buy the bike in california or Arizonia?

any info on this would be great....thanks

You're probably in the same boat as me... I didn't want the 350 or the 500EXC. I bought my 450 in AZ, and I registered it in my name and my dad's name. He lives in Prescott. I think that after the bike has at least 7500 miles on it I would be able to transfer it into CA and into my name alone, but I doubt I'd ever do that. I love the fact that AZ plated bikes don't need turn signals or much else. They only require head light, tail light, horn, and mirror. Feels good to say FU to CA. AZ got my sales tax dollars and will also get my yearly registration fees... CA gets nothing. Not to mention, I'm a little over the CA green sticker thing too. All I see them doing is using my money to close trails and install fences EVERYWHERE I like to ride. Cheers. And good luck!

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I'm very jealous, I have an 08 450 exc-r and would love a 2012- but I do not want the 500- I want a 450. But NJ is very strict on plating a bike .

all the magazines say the bike feels very light, what do you think? what other bike can you compare it to?

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I'm very jealous, I have an 08 450 exc-r and would love a 2012- but I do not want the 500- I want a 450. But NJ is very strict on plating a bike .

all the magazines say the bike feels very light, what do you think? what other bike can you compare it to?

Your instinct to be jealous is spot on. :lol: I came off a 2007 450 XC, and the lighter weight of the 2012 is very noticeable. Call it a flickable 450. I'm sure the lighter weight is the main reason the handling is so good; it really likes to turn. It might be SLIGHTLY busier at high speed compared to my 07, but it's still pretty solid. I have to say I think the motor is the most impressive thing about the 2012. I can't get over the power versus noise; whether you lug or rev this motor, it has snappy throttle-response throughout the band, and it remains really quiet. It actually thought it felt a bit choked off when I first start riding it, but then I realized its only the sound that it makes, or doesn't make.

Sorry to hear NJ is like CA with regards to license plates. Here's one thought. I haven't ridden the 350 yet, but I honestly believe that if the 450 is this good in the power department, the 350 is probably more than adequate. I debated between the 350 vs 450 for quite a while, and now I think either would have been a great choice.

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Thanks for the post. I'm picking up the 450 xcw this week. I can't wait to have a new bike, but the 1999 WR 400 has been unreal. What did you add on?

The dealer parts guy has told me to do several add ons.

Skid plate, Rotor guard on rear, electic fan to keep it cool on long slow climbing single track, radiator guards and forks air release valves. I'm also doing the ktm street legal kit so I can sticker it.

What have you done and what would others reading the post recommend?

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the 350-450 debate, unless the new 350 exc has more power down low- I will be forced to by the 500. I think once you get hooked on 450 power it hard to go back.

But I see now a few people on here have added a 400 big bore to the 350- adding all the low end the 350sx needs.

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Thanks for the post. I'm picking up the 450 xcw this week. I can't wait to have a new bike, but the 1999 WR 400 has been unreal. What did you add on?

The dealer parts guy has told me to do several add ons.

Skid plate, Rotor guard on rear, electic fan to keep it cool on long slow climbing single track, radiator guards and forks air release valves. I'm also doing the ktm street legal kit so I can sticker it.

What have you done and what would others reading the post recommend?

I'm keeping the add-ons to a minimum... Cycra handguards, Hard Parts skid plate, header heat shield, shark fin rear rotor guard, and HID lighting. The 2012 450 came with a thermostat controlled fan - I think all the KTM off-road bikes do this year, so scratch that off your list. Oh, and valve-core remover valve caps!

One more note on this bike: EXCELLENT FUEL ECONOMY! I don't have an exact figure yet, but I will. It does so well that I'm going to try to stick with the stock tank, and carry a few bottles of fuel in a backpack for the longer adventures.

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Which header heat shield did you get?

No heat shield yet. I'm waiting patiently for KTM Hard Parts for the shield, the euro tail/brake light, and the quick release skid plate. Everything seems to be backordered. In the mean time, I'm careful through the big rocks!

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Thanks for the posts. I think that I will try to run the stock tank if I can as well. I ran the big one on the WR and never really needed it, so I went back to stock. The big tanks just add weight and that affect the performance. I will try to keep the weight down by not adding a bunch of crap to that nice clean bike. I'm hooked on the power as well, so the next choice is the 500, but the 450 hit's harder and I like that in a bike. I'm sure the 500 will be a nice ride, but I can't go back to a 350 after riding my 400 for years and loving it. It's nice to just twist the throttle and lift the wheel off the ground and the 350 you have to gear down more often to get that wheel up. It just nice that KTM offers 16 enduro bikes now that's awesome. You can just take your pick to match the terrain you like to ride and riding style. I think that KTM is doing some pretty cool stuff and the others are being left behind.

I have one question, the stock pipe doesn't have a spark arrester in it. I've heard that KTM wants you to change the entire end cap, is that true? You guys have any cool tricks to add one on the stock pipe without spending 100 bucks?

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Thanks for the posts. I think that I will try to run the stock tank if I can as well. I ran the big one on the WR and never really needed it, so I went back to stock. The big tanks just add weight and that affect the performance. I will try to keep the weight down by not adding a bunch of crap to that nice clean bike. I'm hooked on the power as well, so the next choice is the 500, but the 450 hit's harder and I like that in a bike. I'm sure the 500 will be a nice ride, but I can't go back to a 350 after riding my 400 for years and loving it. It's nice to just twist the throttle and lift the wheel off the ground and the 350 you have to gear down more often to get that wheel up. It just nice that KTM offers 16 enduro bikes now that's awesome. You can just take your pick to match the terrain you like to ride and riding style. I think that KTM is doing some pretty cool stuff and the others are being left behind.

I have one question, the stock pipe doesn't have a spark arrester in it. I've heard that KTM wants you to change the entire end cap, is that true? You guys have any cool tricks to add one on the stock pipe without spending 100 bucks?

My 450 came with a stock spark arrestor. I'm pretty sure all the XC-W models do. Thank you, again, KTM!

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Thanks to all of you for the great advice. I wish I could ride with all of you, but that will never happen. I'll keep you posted on how the bike feels and rides after I get some good time on it. I think the header guard is a good idea, I've damaged two in ten years, so may as well protect it.

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Thanks to all of you for the great advice. I wish I could ride with all of you, but that will never happen. I'll keep you posted on how the bike feels and rides after I get some good time on it. I think the header guard is a good idea, I've damaged two in ten years, so may as well protect it.

Yes, the header guard is great for protecting the pipe. But I think an even more important benefit is the protection that it gives ME. I can easily imagine crashing and getting stuck under that VERY hot pipe.

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I picked up the 2012 XC W 450 yesterday. I can't wait to get it on the dirt soon. Just breaking her in slow the last two days. I think that it's going to be a great bike, but this bike is expensive. I put the street kit on, radiator guards and the rear disc guard.

The bike looks good, it's light and nimble on the roads and it should get me to the trails with no problem when desired. I will load it in the truck most of the time, because I just don't get too excited about riding an hour to dirt. The west desert will be my riding area for the next six months and Southern Utah. I should find some dirt next week, so I have high hopes for this bike. The WR is going to be a hard bike to beat for sure. I put ten years on the WR and it's still running strong with stock piston. Let's hope the Orange KTM will give me a good decade of riding as well.

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I picked up the 2012 XC W 450 yesterday. I can't wait to get it on the dirt soon. Just breaking her in slow the last two days. I think that it's going to be a great bike, but this bike is expensive. I put the street kit on, radiator guards and the rear disc guard.

The bike looks good, it's light and nimble on the roads and it should get me to the trails with no problem when desired. I will load it in the truck most of the time, because I just don't get too excited about riding an hour to dirt. The west desert will be my riding area for the next six months and Southern Utah. I should find some dirt next week, so I have high hopes for this bike. The WR is going to be a hard bike to beat for sure. I put ten years on the WR and it's still running strong with stock piston. Let's hope the Orange KTM will give me a good decade of riding as well.

Glentron,

We are going to try to get out sometime next week. Cherry Creek or at the very least 5 mile pass. Let me know if you want to come along.

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I could meet you guys at five mile in the morning. I can ride from 8 to noon if your into that. I need to be off the dirt by noon at the latest. Let me know if you guys decide to go to five mile or not.

Thanks

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I got 60 miles in the dirt this weekend. The 450XCW is simply amazing.

The bike handles very well in the tight technical stuff. The bike isn't really broken in completely, but I got a good taste of it's true ability. I'm happy that I got the 450 vs the 350. I was considering the 500 and I finally decided on the 450 because it has a shorter stroke, so it comes on real strong when desired. I found the bike to be very easy to control in all conditions. I think that the suspension is a little stiff for me, but I'm setting it up a little softer for the next ride. I set it up in the standard settings and now I will go to comfort for my 170 lbs wieght. the power delivery of this bike is just incredably strong and fun. You can pull the front wheel off the ground at any time if desired. I put a 15 t on the front and it pulled strong to 80+ mph. The 15t pushed the rear wheel too far forward, so I put the 14t on after the ride. The shock protector was hitting the tire when it was under compression, so if you don't change the back strocket at the same time it will pull the wheel up too much. Anyway the bike exceeds all of my expectations at this point. I can't wait to rider it again. Two thumbs up on this mean machine, way to go KTM you've built a wonderful bike.

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