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Old 12-03-2007, 12:03 PM   #16
KenR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by montesa_vr
I'm not trying to argue that the EXCR models are practical dual sports in their present state. Rather, my point is that KTM could tweak them into practical dual sports and still be way ahead of the competition in weight and power. How much weight could it add to put another quart of oil in the frame, add a cooling fan and catch bottle, and put on the cush hub?
Agree - the EXC's could be made much more pavement-worthy with these changes, but you're still left with a valvetrain that requires relatively (at least in comparison with other DS bikes) frequent adjustments. That's no big deal on a trail bike, but on the road one can easily start racking up lots of hours and miles (at high RPM).

I can't address maintenence intervals of the new engine design; maybe they're less frequent, but I think they've gone to a bucket/shim arrangment so the PITA factor might've gone up as well.

I'm excited to see what KTM will be doing with the re-designed LC4 engine. To me, that's where the real potential lies for a truly high performance dual sport / dual purpose bike. What ever they come up with likely still won't be as great as an EXC in technical single track, but may make sense for a more pavement biased rider.
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Old 12-03-2007, 12:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenR
I'm excited to see what KTM will be doing with the re-designed LC4 engine. To me, that's where the real potential lies for a truly high performance dual sport / dual purpose bike.
Yes, seems like the biggest gripe about the 640 adventure has been the vibration. My only hesitation on the 690 is that the motard six-speed is pretty narrow, and if that carries over to the dual sport version it would be a major disappointment. Can't get current owner's manuals yet from the KTM web site, so I'm not sure about the ratios on the new 690 Enduro.
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Old 12-03-2007, 01:58 PM   #18
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As others have said, it depends on how much of a compromise you want to take, but personally, apart from maintainance, I only see compromise with the others. (XR's DR's etc)
My 525 EXC has seen a bunch of miles and some 4 to 7 day trips, I can easily carry what I need on a DIY rack, can easily knock down 500 interstate miles in one shot if I need to, and I take no compromise when riding offroad (big point for me). It's 100 miles for me to get to any ware decent off-road, and my EXC has only ever seen my truck when I have been meeting friends 1k or more miles away.
Have a WR450 that's road legal as well, but wouldn't / couldn't do the road miles on that bike that I do on my EXC.

Also, unlike others, I'd take my EXC over any LC4 engine bike for the road, LC4 would be better if you want more electricity for accessories, or carry more stuff (stronger subframe), but personally if I was after a LC4 (engine bike) or a DRZ, XR, I'd be seriously looking at the TE610, or wait and see what the new 690 LC4 is really like. I think the TE is the best of the bunch in the LC4, DRZ, XR, KLR type bikes.

The EXC engine is silky smooth compared to any of the above as well (can't comment on the 690), and that make a lot of difference when trying to knock out some road miles, it's smoother (vibration wise) than my 990 Adventure.

You do need to make some changes, like change the seat (all bikes), and add a rad fan $80 KTM part, they make for this purpos. Others run Oil coolers & cush hub. But if you are prepared to do frequent oil changes and check valves regularly, the bike & engine is great, also so simple to work on.
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Old 12-03-2007, 04:53 PM   #19
Para504
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheep Shagger
My 525 EXC has seen a bunch of miles and some 4 to 7 day trips, I can easily carry what I need on a DIY rack, can easily knock down 500 interstate miles in one shot if I need to, and I take no compromise when riding offroad (big point for me)
LOL - that is seriously hardcore... I wouldn't dream of doing that with my EXC. The 1/2+ week offroad & backroads would be a blast but you couldn't pay me to ride the exc on the highway for any distance. Slab sucks, especially on a trail bike. If that was my only bike, so be it, but I'd find ways around slab if humanly possible. I like the EXC's for being able to ride "aggressively" offroad / handle technical terrain & still be able to zip around on backroads without getting unduly hassled by the po-po. A lot of it comes down to the rider's ability, tolerance for pain/discomfort, and interests. For me, I'm right in line with KenR's postings on this.
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Old 12-03-2007, 05:10 PM   #20
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As a former DRZ owner, the only real advantages the DRZ has over my current 530 is maintenance intervals and being a bit heavier and less affected by wind on the highway. Other than that the 530 pretty much is more capable in terms of power, suspension, gearing, ergonomics (although the stock seats suck on both bikes), handling, etc. I usually ride mine 15-20 miles to get to the trails as I did on the DRZ.

As for tires, I just bought two sets of Scorpion Pro's to use, although they don't get the mileage of a set of MT21's or 606's they don't compromise offroad handling as much.

Would I take the bike on a Copper Canyon trip (1300+mi)? No, I already did that once on the DRZ and had a horrible time on the 450mi/day pavement stretches. I bought a 990 Adventure for that kind of long distance adventuring. The 530 fills the same role as the DRZ did- day trip dual sport/adventure riding. It just works so much better off road that it feels like cheating.
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Old 12-03-2007, 06:40 PM   #21
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its all about compromises

I have plated 06 450exc. yes i trailer it for some rides. I have a used trials tire on the back that has seen over 450 miles on it so far. maybe 80 tarmac, 60 -100 miles gravel and the rest single track and some slick rock. Would I do the TAT on it?? sure, not with the trials tires and only with some maint stops for oil changes , valve adjustments. I also have an oil cooler on it so i change oil every 250 miles and oil and filters at 500. No bike can do it all, unless you only have one bike, then it has to!!!!!!
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Old 12-04-2007, 11:26 AM   #22
Sheep Shagger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Para504
LOL - that is seriously hardcore... I wouldn't dream of doing that with my EXC. The 1/2+ week offroad & backroads would be a blast but you couldn't pay me to ride the exc on the highway for any distance. Slab sucks, especially on a trail bike. If that was my only bike, so be it, but I'd find ways around slab if humanly possible. I like the EXC's for being able to ride "aggressively" offroad / handle technical terrain & still be able to zip around on backroads without getting unduly hassled by the po-po. A lot of it comes down to the rider's ability, tolerance for pain/discomfort, and interests. For me, I'm right in line with KenR's postings on this.
I am lucky to have a variety of bikes to ride, (Speed Triple / Daytona / WR450 / 990 Adventure S / 525 EXC) but the EXC is still my weapon of choice if there is any off-road involved and I don't need to carry a lot of stuff. Even in motard form, I pick it for commuting. Obviously road trips, you can't beat the Triple or long road trips with some off-road the 990.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely hate slab, but it's a necessity sometimes to get to places you have never been before. I'll take the hit on riding something like the 525 on slap and saving my fun for the dirt, over riding something more sane on the slap and not enjoying the dirt.

I still don't really see why an XR / DR or KLR is any better suited for the road than an EXC. As previously stated, maintainance yes, but comfort / road manors / MPG etc etc the EXC is as good if not better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paochow
Would I take the bike on a Copper Canyon trip (1300+mi)? No, I already did that once on the DRZ and had a horrible time on the 450mi/day pavement stretches.
Funny, I took my 525 to copper this year, 4 days 1400 miles or so, with 450 mile pavement days. I loved it, hated the pavement but still would do it again on the same bike in a heartbeat.
In saying that, I did do that on a stock seat, once I got home I swore I would not put a leg over the bike again until I changed to a Renazco seat.

I'm off to Baja is a few months, for 9+ days, I'm taking the 525 over the 990s.

Here is the bike at the top of one of the Canyons in the Copper Canyon area



Yes, the pavment absolutley sucked.



But seriously, wouldn't you just love to be riding this on a decent dirt bike?


And this


Put up / Deal with the slap work and you have a grin from ear to ear riding an EXC over this terrain.
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Old 12-04-2007, 02:33 PM   #23
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I find it hard to question KTM and their motives behind this bike. My local dealer is selling them as fast as he can get them. He JUST got 2 450's and 1 530 in and I have SERIOUS lust for one. In my opinion the best thing you could do is a second set of wheels to Motard it. Put a crush hub in the rear and you would have a pretty serious threat to your drivers license.

I had a 640 Adv and it was too heavy for my taste, even after having the 950 Adv before that. This thing is nice and light. I think they got it right for what I want... now to figure where to come up with the $$$

Gerg

Ps Shagger, is that the KTM 4 gallon tank? How far can you get with moderate riding befor you have to start worrying?
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Old 12-04-2007, 03:10 PM   #24
Sheep Shagger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerg
I find it hard to question KTM and their motives behind this bike. My local dealer is selling them as fast as he can get them. He JUST got 2 450's and 1 530 in and I have SERIOUS lust for one. In my opinion the best thing you could do is a second set of wheels to Motard it. Put a crush hub in the rear and you would have a pretty serious threat to your drivers license.

I had a 640 Adv and it was too heavy for my taste, even after having the 950 Adv before that. This thing is nice and light. I think they got it right for what I want... now to figure where to come up with the $$$

Gerg

Ps Shagger, is that the KTM 4 gallon tank? How far can you get with moderate riding befor you have to start worrying?
Yup, that's the XC (3.4) gallon tank. Range really depends on gas & altitude, (obviously jetting). I have seen from 50mpg riding decent off-road DS pace in New Mexico (8k feet), down to 25mpg hot humid texas (0k feet). I do jet for where I take the bike though, since this really is less than a 5 min job on the EXC.
So to answer you question, I do expect 120miles per tank and am usually good for 140~150.
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:35 PM   #25
Para504
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Awesome pic's SS! I hear ya about appreciating / picking the EXC when it comes to the dirty work; no doubt.
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Old 12-04-2007, 05:07 PM   #26
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I've got a plated 525 and a 950 Adventure. Tough question. You CAN ride the 525 on the street but its not ideal. By the same token the 950 isn't really ideal for a lot of the dirt that the 525 shines in and would be way more fun, though aside from the tightest single track and deep sand its an ok ride in most stuff. But if there's dirt involved like in that Copper Canyon ride, I think I'd tough it out on the 525.

I would argue the EXC is a definitely a dual sport. I think a 690 Adventure is going to be a perfect compromise though. My 950 will be traded on one of those.
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Old 12-04-2007, 05:43 PM   #27
LILBIT
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Yes, seems like the biggest gripe about the 640 adventure has been the vibration. My only hesitation on the 690 is that the motard six-speed is pretty narrow... If vibration and tranny ratios are your biggest concern about that bike then you are really pointing out the differences in peoples idea about dual sport. Try riding that big turd anywhere in southern Fl for more than half an hour. I got tired of passing areas i couldn't enjoy on a 650l and now ride a wr. Just like the KTMs you are talking about here there is a comprimise on the road and shop but as many say here it is worth it to us. I think my next bike will be a low hours 525.
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Old 12-19-2007, 12:54 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertDog666
KTM 450/530 EXC's -- they seem to be quietly marketed as something you can routinely take on the street.
Just ran across an old Tech Talk article by Mike Rosso on the KTMusa web site. This is from 2001, so it doesn't apply directly to the all new 2008 models, but at least some of it is still true. My KTM dealer is still pointing people toward a DR650 or XR650L if they want to do much street riding. Anyway, here, in part, is what Mike said:
Why can't you convert the 400 E/XC or 520 E/XC into a dual sport bike?

...we strongly recommend customers not ride them on the street for extended periods of time. The reason is simple. The oil circuit and oil capacity are not adequate for road usage. The cooling system does not have the dimensions for the demands of road riding and there's no fan to cool the motor during stop and go road traffic. The clutch and rear wheel are undamped, which means all kicks directly hit the final drive, and the 5th and 6th gear are narrowly set and not designed for the permanent stress that occurs with pavement riding.



Now I'm not arguing against anyone who wants to make a street bike out of an E/XC. I think it would be a blast. All I'm saying is that KTM has never marketed these bikes as an alternative to a DRZ, DR, or XRL.
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Old 12-19-2007, 04:45 PM   #29
Foot dragger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by advjackass
i beg to differ. i have a 525 exc plated as well and i do end up putting it in the truck if i need to get to an area more than 20 or so miles away. however, i feal it is one of the only true dual sport bikes. this is a bike you can take on technical single track and then if one has too could ride unlimited blacktop. it might not be the most comfortable bike on the road but it can go anywere in the mountains that bikes are allowed to go and alot of places they should not be. i have had the 625 sxc, 950 adv, and now have a se and while these are great bikes i have no interest in taking them on technicle single track. so i think the real question is what is your definition of "dual purpose"? let's face it you could ride a harley on most forest roads but that does not qualfy that bke as a dual sport! my 2 cents
You must have way different technical single track from what we have here,Any body on a 4 stroke is usually the sticking point of the ride while we wait for them. A-riders excepted,they can ride any thing anywhere. These trails are steep 2nd gear mostly borderline trials riding type events.
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Old 12-19-2007, 04:52 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albie
Compromise is for marriage. I DO want a full on dirt bike with lights. Anyone that thnks a DRZ makes a better dual sport bike then an EXC is nuts. My DRZ motor is screaming at 70 MPH on the hiway with street friendly gearing. My 450 EXC is actually lugging at 70 and I've gone down 1 on the front and up 2 on the back. Sure, they EXC's are gonna be more intimidating power wise then something like a DR, DRZ or even the XRL. I'm by no means an expert rider but the power seems more then managable to me. And the suspension is lightyears ahead of those tame D/S bikes and then add to that the much lighter weight makes the bike much easier to ride in the hard stuff. The one place where a bike like the EXC gives up ground is more frequent maintenance intervals.
But,would you put 10,000 miles a year on the street legal 450 or would you worry,rightly so that it is going to wear out the motor in a year or two? Some seem to last longer then others and some people dont mind a 2,000 dollar engine freshening every so often.
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