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Old 12-23-2007, 02:52 PM   #46
getagripgreg
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I'm shopping for a 450 EXC right now myself, and I need one with a plate. I've decided on the KTM over the DRZ for these reasons:
- much lighter
- better suspension
- It's beautiful! The DRZs look like they were designed by Helen Keller.

I need a plate because I don't own a car, and I can't justify the expense for a bike that just sits waiting for me to haul it somewhere. I can use it on my favorite local goat path pavement, ride it to work if my other bikes are down, ride it to Sears Point on Mondays for supermoto work, and if need be, ride it to Carnegie, Metcalf, Hollister, or even Mendocino (only 80 miles of slab)

I'll probably be getting something cheap to haul with, because none of the OHV parks are close enough for comfortable ride.

I don't see any other option besides the 450 exc. My main goal for the bike is to improve my dirt skills, and there's nothing lighter or smaller that comes with a plate and can be used as a real bike. My Duke 2 certainly isn't fitting the bill.
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Old 12-23-2007, 03:32 PM   #47
Albie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getagripgreg
- It's beautiful! The DRZs look like they were designed by Helen Keller.

Mine doesn't:





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Old 12-23-2007, 04:41 PM   #48
WoovsHoovs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albie
Mine doesn't:






agree-Helen would've used a LITTLE more black....
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Old 12-23-2007, 04:58 PM   #49
pplassm
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OK. I found killer deals on both a (street legal) DRZ400S and a 525EXC.

I ride the DRZ most, even with a couple of street only bikes. Lots of reasons, but mostly because it's more comfortable. I rode it to Nags Head and back (400 miles) easily, adn I ride the nastiest stuff I can find around here (central VA).

If I'm going to a really nasty event (Hancock, NY DS), I'll take the KTM, but there were guys on DRZ's that rode the same stuff. The key is the tires.

Pete
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Old 12-24-2007, 09:09 PM   #50
wrk2surf
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best on off road bike

A 625 sxc works everywhere... just a 75lbs more!
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Old 12-24-2007, 09:10 PM   #51
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625 sxc

guess i cant post 2 photos as I was sayin THey work everywhere!
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Old 12-25-2007, 05:56 AM   #52
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I have a 450 EXC 2007. Don't use it for what nature never intended is my advice.

It's a great lightweight TALL vibey fast enduro dirt bike. If you want to hop a few miles by road then ride on trails and sand all day it's your bike.

If you want a bike to do a few miles between services or a lot of road miles forget the EXC.

The tank range is very limited, the oil capacity low, the top speed limited on knobblies if geared for off-road, the seat is pretty uncomfy, there is no cush drive, finding neutral is a bitch (on mine anyway), it will overheat without aftermarket fans if you are in stop-start traffic, the battery is very small and it will die on you after multiple re-starts when running the fan on slow sections of trail and you will have to change oil, filters and set the valve clearances frequently. Oh, and the stock knobbly tyres will try to dump you on the deck the first bit of wet metal or oily tarmac you hit when on the front (brembo) brake.

It has attitude though, and the light weight thing is worth every penny when in the sand:



Of course, you can spend several hundreds or thousands of dollars correcting the above. Or buy a more suitable bike.
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Bongolia screwed with this post 12-25-2007 at 06:54 AM
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Old 12-25-2007, 06:37 AM   #53
zer0t
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I have had a great time riding my 530 EXC-R all over. I took it out yesterday to cruise around town. Took a ride on the highway, it easily handled 80+ MPH blasts, and then found a place to blast through the woods. It did it all no issues at all.

It could use a larger tank, it is an absolute must to have a steering damper. My intention is to ride it anywhere I want to go and have a good time. I'll do the maintenance meticulously--I have a Ducati and their slogan is, "turning great riders into great mechanics."--and we'll see how it works out.

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Old 12-25-2007, 08:27 AM   #54
montesa_vr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redsnapper
I have a 450 EXC 2007. It's a great lightweight TALL vibey fast enduro dirt bike.
The tank range is very limited, the oil capacity low, the top speed limited on knobblies if geared for off-road, the seat is pretty uncomfy, there is no cush drive, finding neutral is a bitch (on mine anyway), it will overheat without aftermarket fans if you are in stop-start traffic, the battery is very small and it will die on you after multiple re-starts when running the fan on slow sections of trail and you will have to change oil, filters and set the valve clearances frequently. Oh, and the stock knobbly tyres will try to dump you on the deck the first bit of wet metal or oily tarmac you hit when on the front (brembo) brake.
Of course, you can spend several hundreds or thousands of dollars correcting the above. Or buy a more suitable bike.
Redsnapper, most of what you say is well documented, although you are the first person I have ever heard describe the 450 EXC as "vibey." The seat on the EXC seems to be particularly uncomfortable, but I've never ridden a dual sport that wouldn't benefit from an aftermarket seat. Tires and gearing are always a compromise. The 6-speed on the EXC is more versatile than the 5-speeds on the DR650, KLR650, and especially the pathetic narrow spread on the DRZ400. And the spread on the 2008 EXC models is wider than in 2007.

I commend you for warning the unaware of the challenges involved. On the other hand, you don't have to read very far on this board to find people who have spent "several hundreds or thousands of dollars" modifying popular Japanese dual sports. When the money is gone, the resulting motorcycles still weigh 50-175 pounds more than an EXC, and they still have their 5-speeds. I think some of the people investigating this thread have already been down that road. Their conclusion -- there is no such thing as "a more suitable bike."
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Old 12-25-2007, 11:11 PM   #55
Bongolia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by montesa_vr
Redsnapper, most of what you say is well documented, although you are the first person I have ever heard describe the 450 EXC as "vibey." The seat on the EXC seems to be particularly uncomfortable, but I've never ridden a dual sport that wouldn't benefit from an aftermarket seat. Tires and gearing are always a compromise. The 6-speed on the EXC is more versatile than the 5-speeds on the DR650, KLR650, and especially the pathetic narrow spread on the DRZ400. And the spread on the 2008 EXC models is wider than in 2007.

I commend you for warning the unaware of the challenges involved. On the other hand, you don't have to read very far on this board to find people who have spent "several hundreds or thousands of dollars" modifying popular Japanese dual sports. When the money is gone, the resulting motorcycles still weigh 50-175 pounds more than an EXC, and they still have their 5-speeds. I think some of the people investigating this thread have already been down that road. Their conclusion -- there is no such thing as "a more suitable bike."
I hear what you are saying. It depends on how you ride I guess.

If you are doing 15% road/85% dirt I'd go with the KTM. If it was more like 40% road I wouldn't. The KTM 450 EXC is not that good on the road IMHO.

It's a bit of a grey area inbetween.

Oh, and vibey? Buzzy is probably a better word. Mine buzzes through the bars, leaves the fingers tingling and slightly numb after a couple of hours.

Other stuff I forgot. Re-jetting required on the 2007 models, very light subframe so adding any real weight to the rear (panniers etc) can be a problem if you want to add a few bags and head off on the trail.

I'd personally look at a big trail bike if I was looking for a 50/50 dual sport bike. Something that comes with a big tank, aftermarket panniers, torquey 600-650 lump, steady reliable engine, dual sport tyres.

Still love my Katie-M though....
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Old 12-26-2007, 06:33 AM   #56
zer0t
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The 08s need to be rejetted as well. This took about an hour to install the $75 JD Jet kit. If you want to totally remove the emissions equipment that will take about another hour. After accomplishing both those items my bike starts easily (even cold), idles well, and runs great. It is difficult to maintain that level of performance and pass emissions for Euro3 and the EPA. Then again, almost any bike that is road legal is running a little lean from the factory these days--look at the issues that Harley has had with the 96" TCs that came out in 07? The heat being generated is crazy. My 08 Ducati 1098 runs so lean that my it would nearly torch my balls on a warm day and a long ride.
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:37 AM   #57
Albie
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LOL, every carbed bike I've owned needed to be re-jetted.
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Old 12-26-2007, 10:01 AM   #58
Adrian 8
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I have an 05 450 EXC..short and sweet...great off road..not great on road...it is an off road bike with lights..period..not a grocery getter foo foo dual sport..more a race bike with lights.
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Old 12-26-2007, 01:39 PM   #59
montesa_vr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian 8
I have an 05 450 EXC....not great on road...
OK, but if you had to ride 300 miles of freeway on your EXC or a DRZ400 with the same tires, what would make you prefer the Suzuki? Forget about maintenace, ownership, wear and all the rest of that. What is it about a DRZ that would make that 300 miles any more pleasant?
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Old 12-26-2007, 02:58 PM   #60
paochow
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As one who spent thousands trying to make the DRZ better. I'd have a hard time picking the DRZ over my KTM. My KTM 530 handles significantly better, makes more power (even versus the DRZ-434, hotcams, Yosh, FCR), has better suspension, and a far more versatile gear box. Maintenance is more frequent, but much easier to do.

If you are planning on riding 400mi days on a bike with lots of slab time you are better off going with something other than a DRZ. DR650, KLR650 or even a pricey KTM 950/990 will make for a more pleasurable street experience and still do fine in the dirt if you know it's/your limits.
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