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Final Battle Kx 65 vs KTM 65

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Was at the races this weekend with my son. It is only his fourth race and third time in arena cross. A small arena cross at that. Very tight and very technical. Steep jumps and whoops that were eating up the bigger bike classes. My son does very well for his first year getting the bike to second which he never has to leave on this track or the speeds he is going on his KX 65. Outside I have seen him jump 35 feet and double. He is not the fastest kid out there by a long shot. It is funny he is scared of straight aways. The turns, jumps and whoops he likes. So we go inside and he is terrified. I am not sure if it is the track or the bike. He is so tight and bunged up it is not funny. He is eight right now and tall but skinny. We put him back on his KTM 50 which he loved and was riding great although it is an old senior adventurer and the problem we had before with the Polinis and Cobras are just no way to keep up was the problem. So then he rode his KX 65 in practice and grabbed a handful of throttle and shot himself over two jumps. He landed them and did not crash but it scared him and he went like a snail on the whole track the rest of the day. We decided not race the next day on the KX and he was doing great on the 50 ktm when the starter just went.

So the point is this and my question. Everyone is trying to convince me that the Ktm 65 is a better more competitive bike but more importantly they will not cost the 100's of dollars I have spent on the KTM 50 which I have paid more to fix it than buy it. They also say that it is more forgiving and not such a hit that will rocket him. I am not sure if it is the indoor track or the bike and I am not sure if it is prudent to spend even more money on a KTM with a great condition KX that outside he does well on. I also don't know how to transition him. He will not be able to race 50 ktm after this month as he turns nine and they don't allow nine year olds on the 50 cc class races. I am a real novice to the race scene and I know my kid will probably not be like some of the boys who are fearless and killing it out there jumping everything and screaming on the power band BUT he loves this and he is so passionate about it. I just want to give him the right opportunities. Please help with any advice. This motox thing has changed him as a kid and he is so much more directed in all facets of his life although we all know we are not made of money so prudence is key here boys.

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they have weak bottom ends, and pretty piss poor suspension, but they are cheap and relatively unchanged for the past 10 years

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they have weak bottom ends, and pretty piss poor suspension, but they are cheap and relatively unchanged for the past 10 years

the KTM 65 ? it is a whole new bike just a few years ago or you must be referring to the KX65 not being changed, except the kx65 engines are bulletproof, confused?

To the OP, keep working with him on the KX, sounds like seat time is all he needs.

Edited by ncc

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I was talking about the kx65, they have weak cranks

Really? we had a few go season after season only with topend servce.

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Same here then the bottom bearing went for no apparent reason, I was told it is weak on the 65, no buggy they are easy and cheap to fix

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One of my riding buddies youngest brother had a ktm 65. It was quite strong for a bike of its size. It was used as a pitbike for a while after he outgrew it.

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Look at the results from any major amatuer national and you will not find many kx 65's. The Lorreta's 7-11 class showed 1 kx out of 42 on the gate. And often times the kids that list Kaw are riding Kawasaki 85's in the first class registered for and it ends up carrying through all their classes. This happened alot when my son was on multiple size bikes at the races.

The Kx 65 is virtually the same bike as when it was introduce back in about 1999-2000 and KTM performed a lot better than the kx back then. KTM has consistently upgraded aspects of it's 65 and that is why it dominates the competition and also why people who have to pay for bikes and parts choose the KTM. It looks like the Cobra would be a better choice than the Kx.

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They finally started dividing the Cobra and Polinis into another 50 division which is a good thing the KTM simply cannot keep up.

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With my older boy we started on a KX65 for the first year. After he started to get faster on it I found it would be cheaper to just sell it and by a KTM then try and fix the outdated suspension. Lickily I had a friend who ahd the KTM so he rode it before we made the final decision. One ride and he was already faster and more comfortable than on the KX. The KTM was a great bike, we had no major issues but I am pretty up on preventative maintenance.

If he is just putting around or trail riding then a KX is a great solid bike. For racing the KTM is hands down a better bike in stick form and easier to mod. My youngest will go straight to the KTM when he is off Cobras..............FWIW, we owned KTMs, Polinis, KX's & now Cobras and a YZ85 so no brand goggles here........

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No woods riding only racing that is all we he is doing. My biggest concern is the amount of upkeep I have spent on the KTM 50 and hoping that is not the same with the KTM 65. When he does get on the KX 65 he is just as fast as the KTM 65 so I am not concerned with performance or being out run. It is more about confidence and learning especially in the arena cross. Of course it is hard because sometimes he is racing kids that are riding in National Events and they are just far out classing everyone else but I don't concern myself as he is a beginner and he is much faster on the outdoor tracks. Outside he does very well with the KX 65 but I don't want to waste a whole lot of money on it if at the end of the day my best choice is to move to the KTM 65. It is confusing.

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it sounds like you guys have the same consensus I get around the track that I need a KTM 65 is there a year that I need to look for or stay away from? Also one of the appeals was that my son is 8 so with the adjusted suspension on the KX 65 he sits it very well and actually prefers it outside as he told me it feels much more stable underneath him than the KTM 50.

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Lol general rule of thumb, never buy a ktm...jk lol

Both bikes have literally no bottom end. Kawasaki has always been known for their bullet proof engines and aside from some quality issues with ktm, some of their bikes are pretty solid.

Bottom line is, in that small of a bike the difference between the two will be to minuscule to even notice.

So pick your favorite color. Orange or green!!

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Lol general rule of thumb, never buy a ktm...jk lol

Both bikes have literally no bottom end. Kawasaki has always been known for their bullet proof engines and aside from some quality issues with ktm, some of their bikes are pretty solid.

Bottom line is, in that small of a bike the difference between the two will be to minuscule to even notice.

So pick your favorite color. Orange or green!!

Did you just post this to get your count up? Chock full of bad information.

The Kawi 65's are known for crank issues & the KTM 65 is a far better bike box stock then the KX if you're racing MX.

What "quality issues" are you referring to with the KTM 65?...........

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Did you just post this to get your count up? Chock full of bad information.

The Kawi 65's are known for crank issues & the KTM 65 is a far better bike box stock then the KX if you're racing MX.

What "quality issues" are you referring to with the KTM 65?...........

The "known" crank issue from the KX ? really, I have went through at least 6 kxs through 4 boys and none had a crank issue.

Most just top end service.

As mentioned before the differences at the level of riding the OP has stated his son is at, he will not notice, either bike would work for years for his son.

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We used to run both bikes when my son was on 65s. At the time (around 07), there was simply no comparison in terms of reliability. My son was fast and rode hard, and he simply destroyed the ktm in short order (broken hub, broken subframe, warped rotors--both ends!, clutch went to pieces, brake pedal--and this is just the stuff I remember!). In contrast, the KX was absolutely bulletproof.

As a racebike, there is no doubt that the KTM was superior. Just look at the parts that make up the bike side-by-side. However, it was our experience that what looked like a big difference really didn't translate to the track. My son won a lot of races on both bikes, and we never saw any consistent differences in lap times. The main difference was that the KX was always ready to ride, and the KTM always needed a part our dealer didn't have in stock.

Based on our experience, I would say go with the KX, unless your kid is super fast and has major aspirations for racing. The KTM is a better bike, but I don't think it will make a difference for 95% of kids, but it will make a huge difference in dad's wallet. (By the way, I'm a KTM rider myself--the big bikes are much more reliable than their minis)

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My twin 9 year olds ride/race KX65's and they are fantastic bikes. I have nothing against KTM at all, but I would stick with the Kawasaki. BTW, the fastest 65cc rider in the country (or world for that matter) rides a KX65.

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Go with whatever bike your son is most comfortable on. Don't put too much thought in what brand. You'll be looking at 85's in a year and a half.

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Yes bottom on kx, well know issue, ask a shop that works on them or search

http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-960161.html

That thread is only a few peoples opinion, not a factory recall and looks to be attributed to lack of oil (60-1 ratio).

I do this kinda thing for a living, every day, ran the local mx track for 12 years, my three oldest sons have 2 ama arenacross championships each, raced Ponca , Lorettas, world mini etc, and did that going through KXs.

And this is my opinion, 32-1 , proper jetting and regular service intervals.

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