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Old 10-14-2012, 02:17 PM   #1
neduro OP
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Joined: Jul 2003
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Oddometer: 12,052
KTM 500 - Less is more?

After many years of happy XC4 ownership, I decided it was time to take the plunge* to one of the new fuel injected bikes.

I'm a luddite at heart, so I tried to hold out, but when I got to demo a 13 450XCW for a week at the CO600, it was just flat better than my beloved XC4 450XCW in every way. Better chassis, better power, better throttle response, better fuel economy, just plain better. All of my attempts to find shortcomings were met with a good answer. I was forced to conclude that new is better than old, with one caveat which I'll get to.

Next year, I want to do some enduro racing. I feel like my speed has been stagnant for years, but after riding with some AA guys here in CO this summer, I see what I need to do to improve and I want to work at it. There's nothing worse than trying to go fast on something you know isn't the best you can have... which led me to a new bike.

I'm going to leave it almost totally stone stock. The bike works so well as delivered, that I'm not going to mess with the usual suspects- no steering damper, no exhaust system, no big tank, no computers or lights or anything. I want to go fast, and the bike will do that in stock form. Without a mile-long list of bolt-ons, this could be a short thread! There are, however, a few items that belong on any bike I own, I'll get to those in subsequent posts.

Now for the caveat. I still think FI is more complicated, and more failure prone, than carbs. I still have an XC4 (made up of Dakar leftovers), and when I go on big loops to the middle of BFE (like Baja, or places in Nevada or Utah), I'll use that.

I hope this thread can turn into a repository of info on the new bikes, I'll add everything I learn, feel free to chime in as well with a question or a lesson learned.

*I got one of the first 500s last year, and unlike apparently everyone else in the world, did not like it. The chassis was great, but my motor was rough and stall-prone to the point that the dealership wound up taking it back. After hours of testing fuel pumps, injectors, and ECUs, it turned out to be a bad spark plug cap. Oh how we all laughed. Something like that could happen to any bike, of any age... unfair to hold it against FI although I certainly did for a time!
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