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Old 09-05-2012, 02:14 PM   #46
HellSickle
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Originally Posted by eakins View Post
n
i know many ktm riders who do the same. my point is when the OP asked about reliability (he's on a dr350 so he's used to it) you guys mentioning # hours before replacement internal engine parts it isn't exact reassuring for the long haul.
Could that be because only KTMs have hour meters on them?
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:35 PM   #47
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I agree with posts about doing the maintenance, everyone has a story.

I had a 04 400 EXC KTM... never missed a beat. Dead nuts reliable.

Have a 06 560 SMR KTM. Never missed a beat doing track days and racing.

Have a 06 525 EXC KTM. New to me, 500 miles, 20.6 hours. Still not broken in.

I prefer KTMs, but they just tend to "feel" right to me. I had a WR250 F that also never missed a beat, and a XR400 R that never missed a beat.

Everyone has a story. Do the maintenance, pay someone to do the maintenance, and RIDE.

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Old 09-05-2012, 04:40 PM   #48
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Go back and look up Jimmy Lewis' article about a EXC450 or 525 iirc. I gave the number in miles, all off road, some racing, 30,000. They took the whole bike apart for the last page and spread everything out for a pic. The engine was internally in spec as-new.

Some will go longer, some not as far due to what they get exposaed to, water in oil, sand thru filter, overheating and running without coolant, neglect or abuse. The high mile KTM RFSs are in the 525 Adventure bike thread. Stout machines.

I know a DR350 with 4k on it my friend has. It isn't worth resurrecting from non use. Another friend destroyed a GSXR600 in under 1000 miles. He ran the chain as tight as he could force it. Does that make a GSXR600 a unreliable bike? No.

You can ask these questions but unless there are factors within the bikes design, like the infamous bad Ti valves most suffered in the early 2000 era, (KTM SXs in 2004 iirc) these bikes, and most everything sold today, are tuff. Riding a bike designed to survive and excell at Erzberg in a fashion that approaches mild, they don't even break a sweat.
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:26 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry View Post
I agree with posts about doing the maintenance, everyone has a story.

Have a 06 560 SMR KTM. Never missed a beat doing track days and racing.

Barry
What is done to the motor on this one? I have one too, and it missed lots of beats before I had it built up nice...

These threads are generally entertaining, especially when they get all nasty.
Bottom line: any thing can/will break if you ride it hard enough, or don't maintain it well enough.
The question you need to ask is: where is your comfort level finding the happy medium between the two?
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:27 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Off the grid View Post
Not to mention terrible clutches. Dirt Rider magazine ruined a Honda 450 clutch within 4 loops of a dirt track.
I haven't heard many complaints about the clutches. I have 9,000 miles on mine and it still feels new but ymmv
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:36 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eakins View Post
gravel machines i.e. not racing them:
"200+ hours w/o replacing the piston is not abnormal"

so 40 rides @ 5 hours each. that's the benchmark for piston replacement?
my definition of reliable is a gravel machine that lasts years upon years not 40 rides.

I don't want my bikes to be reliable, I want them to be fun. That's why they make FUN bikes.
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:26 AM   #52
warewolf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eakins View Post
my point is when the OP asked about reliability (he's on a dr350 so he's used to it) you guys mentioning # hours before replacement internal engine parts it isn't exact reassuring for the long haul.
He did ask about particular bikes, and the service intervals for those are given in hours... The CRF450X is scheduled for a new piston every 15 hours (if raced) which makes 200+ hours seem quite impressive.

Obviously if all you want to do is pootle about on gravel roads, then you aren't going to want an enduro race weapon, for many and varied reasons. But that wasn't the question.
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Old 09-06-2012, 04:41 AM   #53
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I didn't read all the threads but...

If I were the O.P. and had the coin to spend on some of the bikes mentioned here, I'd keep my DR350, perform some reliable hop-ups like a big-bore NikaSil jug, oil cooler, pumper carb, add RMZ suspension bits...etc. and end up with a (enough) bike that's got the best of both worlds. (reliability and performance)...and still have money left over.

As an added PLUS, I'd have a bike thay's truely MINE, not some cookie cutter store bought bike that is STILL going to need work.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:36 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by rivercreep View Post
If I were the O.P. and had the coin to spend on some of the bikes mentioned here, I'd keep my DR350, perform some reliable hop-ups like a big-bore NikaSil jug, oil cooler, pumper carb, add RMZ suspension bits...etc. and end up with a (enough) bike that's got the best of both worlds. (reliability and performance)...and still have money left over.

As an added PLUS, I'd have a bike thay's truely MINE, not some cookie cutter store bought bike that is STILL going to need work.
Have you ridden a DR350? Good lord man! Things have progressed since 1990.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:22 AM   #55
TNC
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This is still on topic, but I'd like to throw out another idea on bike choice in the vein of great off road capability but retaining extreme longevity. The new KTM350 Freeride. Isn't this the concept that a lot of us are looking for? No, I haven't ridden one, and I don't know exactly when we might see one in the U.S., but the concept of a low-stressed engine in a light chassis with excellent suspension is what I'm looking for. I don't race enduros anymore. If I did I would most likely choose a KTM of some stripe. Our dirt riding club...about 200 riders...still put on a state circuit enduro every year out at our place, and we have some serious riders in our club who still race. I've seen enough to believe in the KTM race models as perhaps the best choice for enduro racing.

The concept of the KTM Freeride seems to provide a dead-solid DOHC engine in the 24-26 hp range but in a chassis that is top drawer. It's kind of like the durability/reliability of my modded KLX250S engine dropped into a KX chassis. And in reality, you know there will be power-adders for this new KTM to bump up the power noticeably while still retaining overall long term durability. Going fast off road isn't always just up to how much ultimate power is on tap. For absolute, balls-out racing, it is a necessary element, but honestly you can go extremely fast if your engine's power is totally usable, the overall bike weight is low, and the suspension is top drawer. This seems to be a void that I hope this new Freeride will fill. KTM suggests that they will make a street legal version of this bike. A delivered street legal bike, with a low-stressed engine, a top drawer suspension, and a racing level weight? I think it's the dream bike for many of us...realizing that there is truly no "One Bike" to fill all needs or desires.
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:16 AM   #56
Barry
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Originally Posted by chippertheripper View Post
What is done to the motor on this one? I have one too, and it missed lots of beats before I had it built up nice...

These threads are generally entertaining, especially when they get all nasty.
Bottom line: any thing can/will break if you ride it hard enough, or don't maintain it well enough.
The question you need to ask is: where is your comfort level finding the happy medium between the two?
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Other than that it is bone stock. Starts first or 2nd kick every time, all year, even after sitting.

The nasty bearing issue in the motor worries me, but if it grenades, it grenades. Not splitting the cases to address it now.

Barry
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:39 AM   #57
rivercreep
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Originally Posted by Foot dragger View Post
Have you ridden a DR350? Good lord man! Things have progressed since 1990.

= why I mentioned some RMZ suspension bits and a NikaSil big-bore kit with an oil cooler. (that's a YES! to your question)

F.W.I.W. I don't consider myself afraid of modern technology but, I also feel the latest and the greatest, isn't always the "best" for all applications or riders.

Speaking on a personal level, I have no need at all for L.C. bikes that can spew their guts and leave me stranded in the middle of nowhere. (due to a smashed radiator or failed cooling system) ...that said, I have bypassed an oil cooler (that I smashed to bits on an old DR650) and still had no overheating issues on an air/oil cooled bike....you can't do that with a water cooled bike.

I'd imagine the way I could modify a DR350 with the $ I'd need to spend for a new KTM or Husqy....would give me all the bike a non-pro rider could ask for.

To each his/her own as I'm not knocking the modern stuff, just offering up an alternative suggestion since the O.P. already has a great platform to build on.
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:47 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rivercreep View Post
If I were the O.P. and had the coin to spend on some of the bikes mentioned here, I'd keep my DR350, perform some reliable hop-ups like a big-bore NikaSil jug, oil cooler, pumper carb, add RMZ suspension bits...etc. and end up with a (enough) bike that's got the best of both worlds. (reliability and performance)...and still have money left over.

As an added PLUS, I'd have a bike thay's truely MINE, not some cookie cutter store bought bike that is STILL going to need work.
You could add all that shit and have a bike that is still heavy, slow and antiquated. Not to mention less reliable due to all the aftermarket stuff.

You could dump all that stuff into a 20year old bike, or buy a used KTM RFS bike and experience motorcycle nirvana.
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:03 PM   #59
Barry
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Originally Posted by off the grid View Post
you could add all that shit and have a bike that is still heavy, slow and antiquated. Not to mention less reliable due to all the aftermarket stuff.

You could dump all that stuff into a 20year old bike, or buy a used ktm rfs bike and experience motorcycle nirvana.
+ 1m
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:33 AM   #60
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Thumb KTM gets vote for the most fun bike

Quote:
Originally Posted by Albie View Post
I don't want my bikes to be reliable, I want them to be fun. That's why they make FUN bikes.
I have had a 06 wr450 and currently have an 04 wr250 and this spring bought a 04 KTM 450. I vote the ktm as the most fun of the 3 bikes as it is lighter than the wr450, better turning and nicer suspension than either wr. The yamahas have been incredibly bomber for reliability over the years. I think the KTM 450 works the best for me, but still need to get some more time on it before I rate the reliability. The older WRs are way cheap to own/buy compared to the ktms as the oem parts are cheaper and way easy to find used stuff on line. KTM parts and aftermarket accessory stuff are priced like they are made of gold compared to the WR parts. I have a friend that just bought an 01 husaberg and he had to pay $500 for an oem stator.

Just my 2 cents.
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