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Old 12-15-2012, 09:44 PM   #16
Datan556 OP
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BTW im comparing a brand new CRF450x (2009, Honda was selling off their old stock for cheaper) to a second hand 520 KTM which will cost me around 1700 USD.

I know its daft but hey...obviously im paranoid about valves on new crf and now im thinking of getting this old 520 that needs some work.

confusing thread


Cant make up my mind
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:54 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Datan556 View Post
BTW im comparing a brand new CRF450x (2009, Honda was selling off their old stock for cheaper) to a second hand 520 KTM which will cost me around 1700 USD.

I know its daft but hey...obviously im paranoid about valves on new crf and now im thinking of getting this old 520 that needs some work.

confusing thread


Cant make up my mind
The used KTM will still be a better bike than the CRF. Buy the KTM, fix it up, farkle it and grin for years.
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Old 12-16-2012, 06:44 AM   #18
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The used KTM will still be a better bike than the CRF. Buy the KTM, fix it up, farkle it and grin for years.

grinning is all i want!
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:34 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by windblown101 View Post
They do make much longer lived versions for the average Joe that aren't designed for racing. DR-Z's, TT-R's, CRF L's etc. The issue is the demand isn't there and they don't put top shop bits on them from the factory in order to keep costs in line with what the majority of buyers want to spend. As for the average Joe who wants to race off-road or MX the issue is weight/performance/price. You can pick two, but almost never get all three.

No matter how skilled or unskilled a rider might be when it comes time to write the check most are more interested in the spec sheet, performance reviews, and the price tag, not longevity. That's who the manufacturers build for, not the person that knows that for the vast majority it is ones skill set, not the bikes specs, that will determine the winners and losers.

I'm perfectly willing to admit that I don't need a race bike. Hell I don't even race! LOL. But I enjoy them more than the heavy, slow, more dependable alternatives so I grudingly live with the higher maintenance costs.

I'm with ya on the new smokers. I don't own one yet, but the simplisty, light weight, and lack of fragile valves trains certainly has an appeal. I wouldn't rule out having one. :)
TT-R,DRZ,CRL have no relationship to a fire breathing MX 4 stroke,apples to oranges.They are heavy putt-putt bikes in comparison.

Ive had KTM 2 strokes for woods riding for years,3 to 4 years on a piston is average for just trailriding,the newer ones are really nice,smooth and torquey as any 4 stroke with the nice 2 stroke rip on top.
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:29 PM   #20
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Great question!

For me I'll be looking really hard at the 450X as my next dual sport bike. I own a 05 450 EXC and at 220 hrs 5,500 miles I've replaced: the water pump seals twice, cam shaft, hydraulic clutch slave cylinder, front master cylinder and the valves (which is expected). All of those maladies keep reappearing on KTMTALK, so my bike isn't an anomaly. I rode a tour rental 450X down the whole enchilada of Baja and when I got off it had 600 hrs on it and that bike had been ridden HARD. Before that I spent 5 days on a rental 450X in Baja. No major issues with any of the 450X bikes on either trip. A little math: 6 bikes * 600 miles + 2 bikes * 1400 miles = 6000ish miles of trouble free 450X miles in Baja that I've witnessed. That said I doubt that my EXC could survive in that rental fleet without constant maintenance. There are a couple of tour operators that do use EXCs..........

I chose the KTM over the Honda because of the ease of making it street legal, the 6 speed transmission and the wood factor. My wood has shrunk down to a twig over the KTM.

Good luck with this decision!
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Old 12-16-2012, 03:39 PM   #21
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The honda machines have a lot of power (more than the Suzukis and Yamahas) but are not super reliable for street use. like previously said they have bad issues with valves, you have to overfill the transmission because the 4th and 5th gears are not fully submerged and on-road this presents a problem, they also need a piston swap with the TRX for an extra ring if you dont want to be rebuilding top ends all the time.

if you get on Supermotojunkie.com you can get more info on both the CRF and KTM 520-525.

i would recommend the Yamaha WR450F personally as an alternative to both. 5-valve genesis head with very good service intervals, no lack in power (slightly less than the honda), comes with lights like the CRF-X, no real problems from the factory like the Hondas, Suzukis, and KTMs.
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:53 PM   #22
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Will be picking up the KTM in a weeks time. Done and dusted, wife is not happy about another bike again sleeping in the house on the nicest rug!
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:16 AM   #23
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Will be picking up the KTM in a weeks time. Done and dusted, wife is not happy about another bike again sleeping in the house on the nicest rug!
Congrats, you will not be disappointed.
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:25 AM   #24
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Will be picking up the KTM in a weeks time. Done and dusted, wife is not happy about another bike again sleeping in the house on the nicest rug!
Wives tend to get over these little things.
450X is an old design anyway,heavy/clunky compared to a thourobred KTM.
Not that there's anything wrong with heavy/clunky.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:13 PM   #25
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UOTE=Off the grid;20231002]I'm not sure how you can compare KTMs tuneable WP suspension to Hondas parts-bin set.

Japanese bikes simply cannot compare in critical areas like suspension and brakes due to price points having to be met. Hence, Hondas and the other big 4 from Japan have always gotten the bottom of the barrel parts-bin suspension and Euro bikes come with tunable WP Shocks and Marzocchi/WP forks, Brembo brakes, etc.

A pretty big hiccup with the Honda is the 5-speed as well.[/QUOTE] Thats just plain laughable. And the valve thing is even more hilarious. To those who have the competence to properly clean and install an air filter the valves are a non issue. I know several who have DS'ed the 450X and have many K's of trouble free use. That 525 is also an old, heavy, and clunky design; not even in production either.

MartiniUp screwed with this post 12-28-2012 at 12:24 PM
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:26 PM   #26
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Thats just plain laughable. And the valve thing is even more hilarious. To those who have the competence to properly clean and install an air filter the valves are a non issue. I know several who have DS'ed the 450X and have many K's of trouble free use. That 525 is also an old, heavy, and clunky design; not even in production either.
You are the first person in the history of the internets to describe the 525 in such a way.

Regarding the Honda? I've seen ONE person DS one. ONE. How many KTMs? Hundreds. Thousands.

>crickets<
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:44 PM   #27
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Millions maybe? The 525 was a good bike but still about 275 ready to ride. And had several clunky features. A good friend had one and he/we rode it a lot and enjoyed it. The engine is very durable and has a better longevity record than anything KTM has produced since. But the suspension was subpar and it had several quirks. If the new owner did not learn the wacky chain adjustment required he was soon spending a LOT of money replacing the fractured rear hub. This was commonplace. I witnessed this personally and that era KTM became famous for that. In reality, sans prejudice, the red 450X is a worthy alternative.
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Old 01-22-2014, 02:01 PM   #28
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My experience has been in favor or the CRF450 X over KTM

First off I should preface I have no experience with the 525.
I do have experience with the following Off-road bikes:

All owned by Me, My Brothers, or My Riding Partners

2006 CRF450X for 6 Years
2008 250 XCF- W For 1 Year
2008 250 SX-F (I think )For .5 Years
2006 YZ450F For 2 Years
2002 DRZ400 For 10 Years
The CRF250 did have valve issues early on.

If you buy a CRF450 X 2006 or later I highly doubt you will see any valve issues ever. Any bike can be abused and have a problem but I would put money on a 06 or newer 450 X out lasting any KTM.

I readily agree the KTM is a more appealing bike. The componentry is like jewelry. The Exhaust note is considerably more beautiful. However, every KTM I know that has been ridden hard has faced mechanical issues. Far more issues than the Honda Suzuki or Yamahas.

I have ridden the CRF and the DRZ for 6-10 Years with nothing but Air filter/Oil/Tire maintenance. Not a drop of oil burned not a single issue.

IMHO the biggest issues is Race Spec vs. Trail bikes. Once I sold the YZ450F I found myself vowing never to have another Race Spec bike unless I was racing.

I value durability above performance and that is why I ride a Honda.
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Old 01-22-2014, 02:20 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by MartiniUp View Post
Millions maybe? The 525 was a good bike but still about 275 ready to ride. And had several clunky features. A good friend had one and he/we rode it a lot and enjoyed it. The engine is very durable and has a better longevity record than anything KTM has produced since. But the suspension was subpar and it had several quirks. If the new owner did not learn the wacky chain adjustment required he was soon spending a LOT of money replacing the fractured rear hub. This was commonplace. I witnessed this personally and that era KTM became famous for that. In reality, sans prejudice, the red 450X is a worthy alternative.
The wacky chain adjustment? The amount of slack needed in the chain is shown on the swingarm with a sticker and in the manual,if a guy cant set the chain slack according to that then he shouldnt be working on bikes.
Ive never seen a fractured rear hub on a KTM,it would take an idiot to run the chain tight enough to do that.
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Old 01-22-2014, 02:24 PM   #30
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I've had great luck with my 08 CRF250x. I have about 11,000 miles on mine. It has seen dunes, single track, dirt roads, back roads, highways, 75+ on the interstate, etc. I adjusted the valves around 1000 miles and they haven't moved since. From what I've read though as soon as the coating on the titanium intake valves starts to go it's replacement time as you might only get 1 more adjustment and it won't last long. From my experience it has been an incredibly reliable machine. Always fired right up and it's taken me lots of places and never left me stranded. I like the 250 for dual-sport purposes as it returns a solid 60+ MPG, with a 4 gal tank I can explore for days without worrying about gas.

With that said I'm looking at the KTM's because of the wide ratio 6 speed. For dual sport riding the "wide ratio" 5 speed on the X model Honda's is still extremely narrow. If Honda would put a wide ratio 6 speed in their X model bikes I would keep buying them indefinitely.
11,000 miles on a CRF250X. Friends who have raced them soon realized 80 hours was too long to run the x with out pulling the head,100 hours could be disaster..

Yet yours goes 11,000 miles,must be a heck of a secret youve got.
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