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Old 12-05-2012, 09:52 PM   #16
Steveman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wizz View Post
chilly from enduro360.com:


* ASternad, on 02 September 2012 - 10:52 AM, said:
Chilly -
Between the 350 and 500 as per your ride test - if you were going on a ride and had no idea what you would be encountering (tight, sand, open, rocky), which bike would you prefer?

response:
Bike choice, that is a tough one. Personally I enjoy riding the 350 much more. It is a real riders bike, very responsive and great handling. I also like the way it makes power. For better or worse, it has a small bike personality. It surprises me that the power is pretty much on par with my older RFS 450's. I just picked up a '13 350exc that will be a long term test bike, super excited about it.


Personally I'm 200lbs and I got the 350. Was advised by folks that have access to both bikes (along with 9 other bike at anytime) and they said if it involves dirt they grab the 350. I couldnt be happier. As powerfull as my xr650, not quite as tourquey, but plenty of low end none the less and feels likea bicycle. really easy to handle.
in
+++1 nothing to add, really
(I am 190lbs w/o gear)

Steveman screwed with this post 12-05-2012 at 10:35 PM Reason: forgot something ;)
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:32 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Navaho View Post
These guys were not too happy with the handling and suspsension of the new 450.

http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/178/13...-Shootout.aspx

The complaints that they have about the handling is the way I feel about my 2007 450 and very typical of most KTM bikes I've owned or ridden. They are tall and squirrely. Designed for clearing obstacles and turning on a dime (at the expense of stability).

Some comments from the article:

"One of the most telling discoveries is that none of our testers listed the XC-W as their bike of preference, while every other machine got at least one top vote."

“I could never come to grips with the handling of the KTM. The front end pushes like crazy, and the back end wants to slide all over the place. It’s always twitching and moving around. I never felt like I could give it my all on the KTM. I was afraid I’d end up blowing a turn and wind up in a cholla cactus.”

“Stability is questionable in the high-speed, bumpy sections," adds our Pro racer. "Although the suspension soaks it up well and it is well balanced, I think for how fast the bike is geared to go from the factory, the suspension should be stiffer.”

The KTM did however get praised for it's motor and light clutch.

I also saw the video and read the test. For me it is very clear that they say that. And as far as I understand enduro riding in the US and over here in Europe is different. Whenever I enter "enduro" or "enduro riding" in the YouTube search box I get a million results. Whenever I look at US clips I see guys blasting through the woods, desert or forest trails. Where when I see clips from Europe I see tight and twisty mega climbs combined with mud.

The KTM EXC's and XCW's are further away from the Moto Crossers then one might expect and that is why KTM offers three different 350/450's in the US but not in Europe. My friends in US have after a day of riding at least 100+ miles on the clock where I have probably 20. And my bikes are in 6th gear maybe 3 minutes in two years, no bullshit. I swear

KTM tries balancing an enduro bike with a MX. Try a Beta and you'll see what I mean. Probably the best in tight stuff, just not half as good going fast.

Cheers
Steve

Steveman screwed with this post 12-05-2012 at 10:36 PM Reason: spelling error
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:42 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by DirtWarrior View Post
I would definitely like a two-stroke, but that is not an option for me simply because of the red/green sticker law in Kalifornia. I'm getting the impression that the 350 excf is a high maintenance engine, but as someone mentioned, I'll have to try both bikes. Is the street-legal 450 not available for 2013 in the U.S?
Our fearless leader,Ned,who has ridden Dakar and had many KTM thumpers rode a 350 for a while on a test,he liked it but said all the shifting got old,gotta keep it spun up pretty tight to make power.
Beings the weight is close to a 450 I would tend towards one of those. I have a 530 and its gentle as can be,turns great on tight trail and just chugs along when needed to do so. It can go real fast but only if I twist the loud handle.
450 wasnt available street legal in the US for 2012 or 2013,KTM figures they have it covered with the 500/350. Lotsa guys like the 450 though.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:47 AM   #19
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I have owned three KTM EXC's and still ride an '07 450 EXC. I also have a steel-framed WR450F with Race Tech suspension mods. Our single track is 2nd and 3rd gear speed and with a lot of sharp turns. Even in tighest trails, I am much faster on the Yamaha. The problem I have on most KTM's is that they tend to oversteer, no matter what you do with the rear sag (and don't dare raise the forks). It is the steering angle and high c.o.g. that has me fighting the bike. It was the same on the 400EXC, 300EXC and 200EXC. I don't even feel safe riding the KTM without a steering damper.
People say that the Yamaha doesn't turn as sharp. That's true but the trade off is stability, and it is what allows me to push harder without zig-zagging all over the trail or in the whoops. The only problem with the WR's is that the stock suspension is not set up for high speed.

If I had to pick a new 4-stroke woods bike today, it would be the new WR450F. I've ridden one, and the suspension and handling is really nice. The suspension is the best of any bike I've ever ridden.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:50 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Navaho View Post
These guys were not too happy with the handling and suspsension of the new 450.

http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/178/13...-Shootout.aspx

The complaints that they have about the handling is the way I feel about my 2007 450 and very typical of most KTM bikes I've owned or ridden. They are tall and squirrely. Designed for clearing obstacles and turning on a dime (at the expense of stability).

Some comments from the article:

"One of the most telling discoveries is that none of our testers listed the XC-W as their bike of preference, while every other machine got at least one top vote."

“I could never come to grips with the handling of the KTM. The front end pushes like crazy, and the back end wants to slide all over the place. It’s always twitching and moving around. I never felt like I could give it my all on the KTM. I was afraid I’d end up blowing a turn and wind up in a cholla cactus.”

“Stability is questionable in the high-speed, bumpy sections," adds our Pro racer. "Although the suspension soaks it up well and it is well balanced, I think for how fast the bike is geared to go from the factory, the suspension should be stiffer.”

The KTM did however get praised for it's motor and light clutch.
Thats an odd take,gotta wonder if they had their bike set up right. Ive had KTM's since the late 70's and ridden tight woods in nor cal exclusively with them.
They tend to turn on a dime and claw their way up anything I point them at.
Pushing ft end? Squirley at speed? I dont know what they're talking about.
KTM has some how lucked into winning all 4 big off road championships last year,desert or woods,and they tend to dominate. I dont think they have lost a shootout test in any american mag against any and all enduro bikes made.
Lightest in test,most modern features,best suspension out of the box. And for dualsport their bikes are even farther out in the lead.

I dont think its the bike holding you back. Who knew www.motorcyclesuperstore.com did bike tests? It reads like a little kid wrote it.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:00 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Navaho View Post
I have owned three KTM EXC's and still ride an '07 450 EXC. I also have a steel-framed WR450F with Race Tech suspension mods. Our single track is 2nd and 3rd gear speed and with a lot of sharp turns. Even in tighest trails, I am much faster on the Yamaha. The problem I have on most KTM's is that they tend to oversteer, no matter what you do with the rear sag (and don't dare raise the forks). It is the steering angle and high c.o.g. that has me fighting the bike. It was the same on the 400EXC, 300EXC and 200EXC. I don't even feel safe riding the KTM without a steering damper.
People say that the Yamaha doesn't turn as sharp. That's true but the trade off is stability, and it is what allows me to push harder without zig-zagging all over the trail or in the whoops. The only problem with the WR's is that the stock suspension is not set up for high speed.

If I had to pick a new 4-stroke woods bike today, it would be the new WR450F. I've ridden one, and the suspension and handling is really nice. The suspension is the best of any bike I've ever ridden.
Oddly I cant ride any of my KTM's in the woods with a steering damper,it slows me down and aims me for the trees,I cant turn them down far enough to let the bike steer.
Some guys are Yamaha guys,some are KTM guys.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:11 PM   #22
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couldn't find a thread on the 300 exc, not sure if this has been posted before. just wanted to share because i think it's an awesome video!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xfpU0yIpG4

sorry if it's a little ot.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:34 PM   #23
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350 EXC is a good compromise

I did a 2500 km rally-raid on my EXC-F 350 in May this year:

http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...passion+desert

The bike worked flawlessly and I absolutely loved it. However, if I wanted a bike for rally-raids ONLY, I would get the 450 or 500. The reason is they have more low end torque, which helps in deep sand. For tight and technical stuff, I'd take the EXC 250 two stroke. The 350 EXC-F is a good compromise if you have only one bike.

Cheers,

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Old 12-06-2012, 01:54 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by wipe-out View Post
couldn't find a thread on the 300 exc, not sure if this has been posted before. just wanted to share because i think it's an awesome video!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xfpU0yIpG4

sorry if it's a little ot.
Slick video! If its tight and all dirt I always take my 300 .
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:20 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wizz View Post
chilly from enduro360.com:


* ASternad, on 02 September 2012 - 10:52 AM, said:
Chilly -
Between the 350 and 500 as per your ride test - if you were going on a ride and had no idea what you would be encountering (tight, sand, open, rocky), which bike would you prefer?

response:
Bike choice, that is a tough one. Personally I enjoy riding the 350 much more. It is a real riders bike, very responsive and great handling. I also like the way it makes power. For better or worse, it has a small bike personality. It surprises me that the power is pretty much on par with my older RFS 450's. I just picked up a '13 350exc that will be a long term test bike, super excited about it.


Personally I'm 200lbs and I got the 350. Was advised by folks that have access to both bikes (along with 9 other bike at anytime) and they said if it involves dirt they grab the 350. I couldnt be happier. As powerfull as my xr650, not quite as tourquey, but plenty of low end none the less and feels likea bicycle. really easy to handle.
in


Interesting, because my direct experience has been very different. My EXC felt very planted and well-balanced. It needed a steering damper for the rocky NE where I rode, but that's common.

Could be that mine was an 05 and an EXC and they were testing a newer XC model, but last years Dirt rider 450 shootout also said the KTM 450 had the best handling by far.

/shrug
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:41 PM   #26
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Interesting, because my direct experience has been very different. My EXC felt very planted and well-balanced. It needed a steering damper for the rocky NE where I rode, but that's common.

Could be that mine was an 05 and an EXC and they were testing a newer XC model, but last years Dirt rider 450 shootout also said the KTM 450 had the best handling by far.

/shrug
They have been saying that since the first bike with the EXC moniker came out,they have tended to win every comparison they're in 2 stroke or 4 stroke. Japanese got left behind pretty easy,no hydraulic clutch,no electric start on their MX bikes,no street legal dirt bike based dual purpose bikes,no full line of 2 and 4 stroke dirt bikes, Then all but Yamaha quit making 2 strokes which was a big open door for KTM and other euros to make $ while the sun shone.
Asian makers have taken their eye off the ball for quite a while. Their current 450's are heavier and need lots of de-smogging to run right. Honda's 450X is about the same as it was 5 years ago,they just started producing it again as it was.
Meanwhile KTM keeps coming out with updated and tricker bikes every year.
Almost like they want to attract buyers.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:25 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Steveman View Post
I also saw the video and read the test. For me it is very clear that they say that. And as far as I understand enduro riding in the US and over here in Europe is different. Whenever I enter "enduro" or "enduro riding" in the YouTube search box I get a million results. Whenever I look at US clips I see guys blasting through the woods, desert or forest trails. Where when I see clips from Europe I see tight and twisty mega climbs combined with mud.

Kind of off topic here, but I figured I'd chime in. Enduros in the US are indeed different than in Europe. From what I understand, in Europe, the enduro is laid out as a loop (10-15 miles perhaps), and the riders ride a bunch of laps and have to come in at a certain amount of time. In the US, the enduros are not laid out in a loop. The course is typically 80-100 miles long, with 50+ miles of pure trail (the rest is road-dirt or paved), and none of it is ridden more than once in a single race. There is time keeping involved in most US enduro formats, although there is variation here (some organizations scrapped the timing to get more riders involved that don't like the whole timing concept).

Next, the terrain in the US varies so much from coast to coast, which has a huge influence on speed. In the east, trails are typically very tight single track (i.e., 32 inches between the trees) and can be dry or very muddy, depending on the season and the current weather. Usually, it's more mud than sand, although Michigan and Florida are very sandy. In the west, because of the higher elevations and climate, it's usually dry. There's lots of open space and desert in the western States, so the courses tend to be more open (less trees). The combination of open terrain and dry surfaces tends to mean the races are much faster paced than in the East. It's also rocky out west, but in the north east (PA, NY, New England States), it's every bit as rocky, if not more. Places like Ohio, Indinana, West Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, etc are the mud states.

In general, eastern USA riding tends to mimic European riding conditions much closer. Some of the Ohio enduros are like what you see at the Romaniac hard enduros, especially when it's wet
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:37 PM   #28
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Kind of off topic here, but I figured I'd chime in. Enduros in the US are indeed different than in Europe. From what I understand, in Europe, the enduro is laid out as a loop (10-15 miles perhaps), and the riders ride a bunch of laps and have to come in at a certain amount of time. In the US, the enduros are not laid out in a loop. The course is typically 80-100 miles long, with 50+ miles of pure trail (the rest is road-dirt or paved), and none of it is ridden more than once in a single race. There is time keeping involved in most US enduro formats, although there is variation here (some organizations scrapped the timing to get more riders involved that don't like the whole timing concept).

Next, the terrain in the US varies so much from coast to coast, which has a huge influence on speed. In the east, trails are typically very tight single track (i.e., 32 inches between the trees) and can be dry or very muddy, depending on the season and the current weather. Usually, it's more mud than sand, although Michigan and Florida are very sandy. In the west, because of the higher elevations and climate, it's usually dry. There's lots of open space and desert in the western States, so the courses tend to be more open (less trees). The combination of open terrain and dry surfaces tends to mean the races are much faster paced than in the East. It's also rocky out west, but in the north east (PA, NY, New England States), it's every bit as rocky, if not more. Places like Ohio, Indinana, West Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, etc are the mud states.

In general, eastern USA riding tends to mimic European riding conditions much closer. Some of the Ohio enduros are like what you see at the Romaniac hard enduros, especially when it's wet
+1 What you say is absolutely right, the differences are exactly as you describe......
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:33 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Foot dragger View Post
.
KTM has some how lucked into winning all 4 big off road championships last year,desert or woods,and they tend to dominate. I dont think they have lost a shootout test in any american mag against any and all enduro bikes made.
I dont think its the bike holding you back. Who knew www.motorcyclesuperstore.com did bike tests? It reads like a little kid wrote it.
First of all, KTM didn't luck into winning all 4 championships. Anytime a decent rider comes up through the ranks on a different brand bike, they buy them out. Do the research.

In fact, the KTM's have lost many shootouts, especially the MX shootouts up until recently.
I know better than you what's holding me back, and it's not the orange color of the bike.
Motorcyclesuperstore has nothing to do with the article. It was by motorcycle usa, and the the biggest complaint about the KTM was from a pro rider.
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:25 PM   #30
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Just an update from a 350 doubter. AT FIRST.

I bought a Berg FE 350 for ST and general fun riding. I think Im sold on the 350 xc-w based motor. It has great low end tq and pull forever. Better than any 300 I have owned.
I drag raced my buddy Mike on his 02 yz 426 with high comp piston, hot cams, and pipe. We were dead even or I might of had him by a foot or two.

So I want to take back what I said about the 350
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