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Old 11-09-2014, 07:12 PM   #1
tyluk OP
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Another "What Bike For My GF" Thread.. KTM 250, 350, or 450?

My gf has been riding her Yamaha TTR-250 for the last couple years and she likes it but I made the mistake of letting her try out my KTM 525. Now she's ready to upgrade. I think the kool aid bleeds out of the grips and soaks right into the veins.

So my next question is what bike? I'd like to stick with KTM as that's what I know. It also needs to be a 4 stroke so the one's in question are the 250, 350, or 450. The benefits of the 250 and 450 is they have been around a bit longer than the 350 so I can get used ones at a better price since they can be found in older years. I think the 525 is a bit more bike than she really needs. And possibly the 450 is too, that's up for debate. I'd like to stick with a 6 speed transmission as we find ourselves trying to keep up with 60 mph traffic as we go from trail to trail.

What are some opinions here on these 3 bikes? We may go ride some tomorrow as this is a great time to find deals. I kinda like the idea of the 250 but don't know much about it.

Also, she has a 33'' inseam and is 5' 10'' so height is not so much an issue. Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:56 PM   #2
trainman
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Yamaha WR250R, most ladies could get into trouble real fast on a KTM with it's power band.

John
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Old 11-09-2014, 08:23 PM   #3
tyluk OP
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Definitely something that I've thought about and wondered if you could tone down.
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Old 11-09-2014, 08:28 PM   #4
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How about you let her ride all three and decide? she's already ridden the 525, she can obviously control the throttle. That being said, whisky throttle on a big bore bike is not forgiving.
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Old 11-09-2014, 08:44 PM   #5
tyluk OP
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I'd like input from people that have ridden them and can help with pros and cons of each. To her they will all ride amazing compared to what she's been on.
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:46 AM   #6
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Recently my wife has been through an xr 400 and a klx300 and now a '10 250xcfw (with a 280 kit). She loved the xr but it was heavy, loved how light the klx was but we needed to do carb and suspension replacement and now the ktm seems like I can make it work for her.
She 5'7" and 120 so weight was a big deal but she seems ok with a little taller bike. She's getting used to the throttle response on the new bike and liking what it can do but I need to spring and valve it for her since its pretty rough riding as is.
If she was bigger I'd look at a rfs 450 maybe. She loves riding my 450 but doesn't like the extra weight.
Good luck!
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Old 11-10-2014, 09:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trainman View Post
Yamaha WR250R, most ladies could get into trouble real fast on a KTM with it's power band.

John
And there are plenty ladies who would smoke most of the guys here on a dirt bike.

I've had my kids at 14 years old riding a 950 KTM on a MX track, it is all relative. With multiple bikes in the garage when they lived home, and when I kept 3 bikes for MX, endo and SM for myself, I far preferred to have two/three of the same exact bikes. If she liked the 525, go with that and get her one, set it up for her and maybe one day you both decide you want 350s. Sell, repeat.

The 525 EXC is a pussy cat. I've had the 250SXF and ridden the 350 a bit too. 250 turns well, as does the 350, but I think that was more the later chassis than anything else. Any of them will launch you into trouble if you can't control the throttle.

Have the suspension done for her weight/style/terrain. Maybe drop it an inch or two. That makes a huge difference on how much confidence a smaller rider will build. I've ridden one dropped 3" and it was like a toy.
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Old 11-10-2014, 01:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trainman View Post
Yamaha WR250R, most ladies could get into trouble real fast on a KTM with it's power band.

John
That's just ignorant. Plus, how is a WRR easier to ride than a KTM? I own a WRR and have ridden KTMs, and didn't get myself in any trouble at all. I highly doubt my dick has anything to do with that.
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Old 11-10-2014, 01:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trainman View Post
Yamaha WR250R, most ladies could get into trouble real fast on a KTM with it's power band.

John
I ride frequently with a woman who would kick butt on about 50% of us on hard singletrack.

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Old 11-10-2014, 06:14 PM   #10
tyluk OP
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Thanks for all the replies. I'm going to let her ride the 525 a bit more and see if she can narrow down her likes and dislikes. The WR post was a bit ignorant. I don't think just cause you're a lady means you're going to automatically get into trouble. Hell I've scared myself plenty of times with my 525 and I'm a guy...(although if you ask my girlfriend I sometimes have a vagina or at least act like it).
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:49 PM   #11
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I recently moved from a 450 to the 350 xcf-w and really like it. My daughter used to ride a crf230 and I finally got her to try our crf250x. I then made the mistake of letting her ride my 350 and she loved it. She was intimidated by the 250x but felt safer and in better control on the 350. So I bought another 350 for her and my son to share. It has more power than she needs (since she is so light). I installed the map switch and set it to mild, but she still sometimes crashes because she spins out the rear wheel. I think she would be better on a 250.

But we also got our bikes plated so we can do dual-sport rides. The xcf-w gearing (13/52) is too low for good use on the pavement. It will do 60 mph, but you have to rev it up higher than I am comfortable with for long stretches of pavement. I plan on moving to 13/50 for dirt and 14/50 for dual-sport.

I don't know if the 250 has the same tranny and primary gear as the 350 or not. If it does, it would be just as good on the pavement for a light weight rider. If it is geared lower, then it might not be too great on the pavement.

But my vote would be the 350 with the ignition map switch. Start off on mild and move up to standard or wild as her comfort level moves up. I am pretty confident that she will like it better than the TTR.
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Old 11-11-2014, 05:26 AM   #12
dentvet
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Use the throttle stop screw on the fcr carb to limit your 525 output. Then find yourself a new bike and let your girlfriend borrow your 525.

If she agrees to marry you at some point, the bike becomes 50% hers at that time.

I liked the cool aid imagery in your initial post
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Old 11-11-2014, 07:31 AM   #13
tyluk OP
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Thanks FamilyRider and dentvet, very good info.
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Old 11-11-2014, 11:08 AM   #14
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Hopefully, she'll get what ever bike she wants and she'll figure out for herself if she wants modifications, taking advice into consideration if she wishes.
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Old 11-11-2014, 04:04 PM   #15
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Since you have a 525, i'm assuming you'd like to stick with the RFS generation of engines? The 450 is really nice and smooth, and I think could be a really good fit, but I'd personally look for one of the 400's from that generation. Little milder than the 450, but still plenty of umph to get into trouble with if she really wants to. The other plus is that it makes a bit more power down low than a 250, so it would be a bit easier to ride longer distances on.
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