I'm thinking about coming back... (WR vs KTM)


76 replies to this topic
  • Krannie McKranface

Posted August 15, 2014 - 04:17 PM

#41

Say it ain't so! My .02. I've owned every generation WR from 1999 to 2008. I recently jumped ship to a 350EXC and after riding it now for 6 months I ain't never looking back. I loved the WR's reliability but the bottom line is that they handle very heavy for the kind of riding that I do. No matter how much money you throw at it you just can't change that. If you jump to a 350 just be aware it is not a torque monster and never will be. It's a finesse machine. I'm not so sure it's the bike for a guy your size Krannie. If you are looking for a bike with 450 torque the 350 is not it.

 

Yeah, I know

It's a dainty bike for dainty riders.

But it's light, and that's what I want to play with, since it does have some power way up top in case I need it.



  • stevethe

Posted August 15, 2014 - 04:31 PM

#42

Yeah, I know
It's a dainty bike for dainty riders.
But it's light, and that's what I want to play with, since it does have some power way up top in case I need it.


Not sure if you've ridden one yet. There pretty gutless down low. Peaky like a two stroke.

We have one used in our group. To be modified for more power.

  • RockerYZWR

Posted August 15, 2014 - 04:42 PM

#43

Not sure if you've ridden one yet. There pretty gutless down low. Peaky like a two stroke.

We have one used in our group. To be modified for more power.

Same here, one of my good friends has one. I rode it when it was new and though it's nice and light and buttery smooth, it doesn't wake up until way up in the revs. He's done a pipe and some tuning since then and it's actually a lot better with more useable power everywhere; still nothing compared to a 450 though obviously, but it's not about the power I guess with something like this. I'd like to ride a 250F sometime to see how that is in comparison.

  • KennyMc

Posted August 15, 2014 - 05:13 PM

#44

Not sure if you've ridden one yet. There pretty gutless down low. Peaky like a two stroke.

We have one used in our group. To be modified for more power.

 

 

Same here, one of my good friends has one. I rode it when it was new and though it's nice and light and buttery smooth, it doesn't wake up until way up in the revs. He's done a pipe and some tuning since then and it's actually a lot better with more useable power everywhere; still nothing compared to a 450 though obviously, but it's not about the power I guess with something like this. I'd like to ride a 250F sometime to see how that is in comparison.

I agree, stock the 350's need some work on the low end.  I am not one that likes to ride up high in the RPM range.  Didn't have to with the WR450.  I will need to adjust my riding style a bit.  The 350 isn't a 450, can't be, or it would be called a 450.  That being said, there is a right and wrong way to "tune" the bikes on the lower end.  Getting it done correctly is the tricky part.  CA sucks :devil:



  • Krannie McKranface

Posted August 15, 2014 - 06:01 PM

#45

I have done a lot of research on the 350, and this is what I have learned;

'11 model has problems, is extremely peaky, and the peakyness in only partly mapping, but mostly cam timing

 '12 model has a new throttle body (larger), mapping, cam, crank, etc etc. Much better, but still essentially a 250f MX type powerband.

 '13 model now has a wider spread of peformance between the EXC/XCFW and the SXF/XCF. The later having considerably more power on top than even previously

  The '13 also has another throttle body change, and completely different piston, head, crank, cams between the older, and between the models as well. The EXC/XCFW also have a revised fork.

  The '14 and '15 are essentially the same with lots of refinements

 

Using the '14 MX throttle body and TPS on the EXC/XCFW has a huge improvement in power down low and power quality.

Reducing the throat size with a slip-in collar also improves low end grunt.

Using the smaller diameter exahaust flange also helps, as does extensive mapping changes; apparently, the EU map is no longer the hot ticket once you change the pipe, flange, and TB.

 

I'm sure all of these things combined are quite noticable, and still a long way from even a stock 450's low rpm torque......but since doing the YZ cams and porting on my WR, it is now quite a bit more peaky....so it's not a foriegn concept to me, at least.

 

Piggy-back tuners on these bikes only correct for excessive lean-ness, and cannot be used to  alter power bands (as on any FI bike)

 

 

I actually don't mind if the peak power is high up, as long as the motor can provide 'under-rev' and run clean at low rpms. 

 

This is why I don't like two-stroke power, because power cleaness is so dependent on load, that it is never consistent. 


Edited by Kah Ran Nee, August 15, 2014 - 06:04 PM.


  • shrubitup

Posted August 15, 2014 - 06:12 PM

#46

I have done a lot of research on the 350, and this is what I have learned;

 

I rode a 2014 Husqvarna FE350 (KTM). It felt slow to me. I weigh more than the bike so that affects my judgement. MX 250F bikes felt more lively to me. 



  • PBDBLUE

Posted August 15, 2014 - 07:12 PM

#47

I have done a lot of research on the 350, and this is what I have learned;

'11 model has problems, is extremely peaky, and the peakyness in only partly mapping, but mostly cam timing

 '12 model has a new throttle body (larger), mapping, cam, crank, etc etc. Much better, but still essentially a 250f MX type powerband.

 '13 model now has a wider spread of peformance between the EXC/XCFW and the SXF/XCF. The later having considerably more power on top than even previously

  The '13 also has another throttle body change, and completely different piston, head, crank, cams between the older, and between the models as well. The EXC/XCFW also have a revised fork.

  The '14 and '15 are essentially the same with lots of refinements

 

Using the '14 MX throttle body and TPS on the EXC/XCFW has a huge improvement in power down low and power quality.

Reducing the throat size with a slip-in collar also improves low end grunt.

Using the smaller diameter exahaust flange also helps, as does extensive mapping changes; apparently, the EU map is no longer the hot ticket once you change the pipe, flange, and TB.

 

I'm sure all of these things combined are quite noticable, and still a long way from even a stock 450's low rpm torque......but since doing the YZ cams and porting on my WR, it is now quite a bit more peaky....so it's not a foriegn concept to me, at least.

 

Piggy-back tuners on these bikes only correct for excessive lean-ness, and cannot be used to  alter power bands (as on any FI bike)

 

 

I actually don't mind if the peak power is high up, as long as the motor can provide 'under-rev' and run clean at low rpms. 

 

This is why I don't like two-stroke power, because power cleaness is so dependent on load, that it is never consistent.The \

First year for the 350EXC in the US was 2012. The 2014 350 (and I assume previous years) makes plenty of power. It just doesn't do it down low. That's a consequence of displacement. Sure there are some mods that will boost it but in the end if you want gobs of torque buy the 500. If you want a very nimble trail bike that runs super smooth from idle to redline then the 350 is your ticket. 


Edited by PBDBLUE, August 15, 2014 - 07:23 PM.


  • Krannie McKranface

Posted August 15, 2014 - 07:15 PM

#48

I rode a 2014 Husqvarna FE350 (KTM). It felt slow to me. I weigh more than the bike so that affects my judgement. MX 250F bikes felt more lively to me. 

 

That's why I ride 'heavy' bikes. Can't ride a bike lighter than me...?@! That's just crazy.



  • KennyMc

Posted August 15, 2014 - 11:04 PM

#49

First year for the 350EXC in the US was 2012. The 2014 350 (and I assume previous years) makes plenty of power. It just doesn't do it down low. That's a consequence of displacement. Sure there are some mods that will boost it but in the end if you want gobs of torque buy the 500. If you want a very nimble trail bike that runs super smooth from idle to redline then the 350 is your ticket.

Agreed. Didn't want gobs of torque as that is what tires me out in the single track and makes the 450 a lot more work. That is why I have enjoyed the switch to the 350. :thumbsup:

  • stevethe

Posted August 16, 2014 - 05:19 AM

#50

I have done a lot of research on the 350, and this is what I have learned;

'11 model has problems, is extremely peaky, and the peakyness in only partly mapping, but mostly cam timing

 '12 model has a new throttle body (larger), mapping, cam, crank, etc etc. Much better, but still essentially a 250f MX type powerband.

 '13 model now has a wider spread of peformance between the EXC/XCFW and the SXF/XCF. The later having considerably more power on top than even previously

  The '13 also has another throttle body change, and completely different piston, head, crank, cams between the older, and between the models as well. The EXC/XCFW also have a revised fork.

  The '14 and '15 are essentially the same with lots of refinements

 

Using the '14 MX throttle body and TPS on the EXC/XCFW has a huge improvement in power down low and power quality.

Reducing the throat size with a slip-in collar also improves low end grunt.

Using the smaller diameter exahaust flange also helps, as does extensive mapping changes; apparently, the EU map is no longer the hot ticket once you change the pipe, flange, and TB.

 

I'm sure all of these things combined are quite noticable, and still a long way from even a stock 450's low rpm torque......but since doing the YZ cams and porting on my WR, it is now quite a bit more peaky....so it's not a foriegn concept to me, at least.

 

Piggy-back tuners on these bikes only correct for excessive lean-ness, and cannot be used to  alter power bands (as on any FI bike)

 

 

I actually don't mind if the peak power is high up, as long as the motor can provide 'under-rev' and run clean at low rpms. 

 

This is why I don't like two-stroke power, because power cleaness is so dependent on load, that it is never consistent. 

 

The gutless one in our group is the 14' KTM 350. It has been massaged with a different map and a pipe it's better but it still doesn't have much on the bottom however.

 

The same owners last bike was a KTM 250 bored and stroked to 350.  It was very fast everywhere however it went through a bottom end every season and was too costly and not reliable.



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  • MidlifeCrisisGuy

Posted August 16, 2014 - 01:28 PM

#51

Do you realize the factory service manual calls to change the piston in the KTM 350 XCF and 450XCF every 50 hours ?

 

http://www.ktm.com/u...n_OM_b8aad6.pdf

 

http://www.ktm.com/u...n_OM_354148.pdf

 

The bottom end, oil suction pump and "all engine bearings" need to be changed (not checked) every 100 hours.

 

For me this is a top end rebuild every year and a bottom end rebuild every second year.  Not acceptable.


Edited by MidlifeCrisisGuy, August 16, 2014 - 01:34 PM.


  • MidlifeCrisisGuy

Posted August 16, 2014 - 01:35 PM

#52

Krannie, what you need is a 2010+ YZ450F or a lighted 2012+ WR450F.



  • shrubitup

Posted August 16, 2014 - 01:51 PM

#53

Krannie, what you need is a 2010+ YZ450F or a lighted 2012+ WR450F.

September Dirt Bike magazine has a off roaded 2014 YZ450F and they say it's good.



  • MidlifeCrisisGuy

Posted August 16, 2014 - 04:02 PM

#54

I love it when people talk about how heavy the reciprocating mass is on the WR450 due to its size, when the KTM450XC has the exact same bore and stroke 95 x 63.4mm.  Both engines have twin overhead cams and counterbalancers.  The KTM probably has a lighter flywheel, but most people end up adding a flywheel weight to it anyway, so that is a mute point.  Ditto on the YZ450F.

 

Think reciprocating mass is making your bike heavier ?  Start it up and move it side to side while idling.   Then rev it to the redline and do the same thing.  Feel the difference ?  That is the MOST difference that reciprocating mass could make to the handling of the bike.

 

Think the 2012 WR450F is a long bike ?  Think again... all the KTMs, even the lowly KTM200xc have a longer wheelbase, some by nearly an inch.

 

Wanna know the real reason the KTMs feel light ?   Other than being 18 to 24 pounds lighter, its chassis geometry. 22 mm offset versus 25, steeper steering angle, 27.5 degrees versus 26.3 degrees.

 

I wonder why Yamaha sits on its a$$ while KTM cleans up in the off road vehicle market ?   They seem to have all the parts on the shelf to make an excellent off road racer, both 2 stroke and 4 stroke.  C'mon, Yamaha !

 

As for having a "hard on" for Yamaha, maybe I've sat through too many bitch sessions where KTM riders complained about issues they had with their bikes.  Coolant leaks from beneath the power valve on their 2 strokes, suspension that flat out didn't work, fork seals, etc.  Personally, I wouldn't be buying a bike with a 100 hour recommended overhaul interval and then trying to figure out how to stack power boxes to get the powerband you want.   I'd rather buy a bike with an overbuilt/understressed engine and figure out how to make it handle.

 

Yamaha bikes have excellent engines, frames and suspension.   The WRs are heavy, but that can be dealt with.  The YZs and YZFs are excellent all round bikes.

 

I think the whole light and flickable bike movement is over rated.   The KTM200XC rider couldn't make it up a big hill on our last ride.  Now way, no how.  Had to take a long traverse and then pick his way through a rock garden and then a bunch of trees to join up with the group.  How tiring and enjoyable was that ? 

 

The vet expert bored and stroked YZ125F rider was so tired after another ride he couldn't stay awake on the ride home.  Commented that he needed a bigger bike to keep up with the 300cc 2 stroke riders.  He spent his day constantly shifting and trying to keep his engine in the powerband.

 

Every 250F rider I know has either talked and wished about engine modifications or is running a ported head and/or big bore kit, to various degrees of success.  Furthermore, all the Japanese woods 250Fs (Yamaha and Honda) are heavy pigs, so most of the 250Fs being used in the woods are motocrossers, suffering from the wrong gear box and suspension.

 

I think the top woods bikes candidates are the YZ450F, YZ250 and WR450F.   All of these will require a bit of work in various areas.  At least the Yamaha motocrossers in this list can use WR gearsets in their transmissions.  This isn't an option with other manufacturers.  For me its easier to remove weight from a WR than to mess around splitting YZ cases to install WR gearing. 

 

If I was going to go for a lighter, more flickable bike, it would probably be a 2014 YZ250F.


Edited by MidlifeCrisisGuy, August 16, 2014 - 04:05 PM.


  • Krannie McKranface

Posted August 16, 2014 - 06:40 PM

#55

Do you realize the factory service manual calls to change the piston in the KTM 350 XCF and 450XCF every 50 hours ?

 

http://www.ktm.com/u...n_OM_b8aad6.pdf

 

http://www.ktm.com/u...n_OM_354148.pdf

 

The bottom end, oil suction pump and "all engine bearings" need to be changed (not checked) every 100 hours.

 

For me this is a top end rebuild every year and a bottom end rebuild every second year.  Not acceptable.

 

I guess you haven't read the 450X manual service intervals... they are about the same.

The trouble is, the X intervals are 'cover our ass' numbers, and the KTM intervals are actual typical.



  • Krannie McKranface

Posted August 16, 2014 - 06:44 PM

#56

September Dirt Bike magazine has a off roaded 2014 YZ450F and they say it's good.

 

No e-start, pegs are nearly 1.25" higher than a '11 WR450, it 's also shorter, and did I mention the lack of e-start?

 

I've owned a 450 SX-F, CRF450R and KX450F all fully and  impeccably set up for off road.......and they were less tiring at regular speed, capable of warp speed, but still were not e-start.

 

NO MORE KICKERS for me.

 

On some the terrain we ride, 20+ re-starts a ride is common. 

 

Too bad the KTM ergos were so small, or I would still own one. 



  • RockerYZWR

Posted August 16, 2014 - 07:00 PM

#57

On some the terrain we ride, 20+ re-starts a ride is common.


Have you ever had a Rekluse in any of your bikes? I have one in my YZ and it really does eliminate stalling issues. I am considering one for the WR.

  • MidlifeCrisisGuy

Posted August 16, 2014 - 07:39 PM

#58


 

On some the terrain we ride, 20+ re-starts a ride is common. 

 

 

 

&%$#@! ?  Weren't you the guy that posted the video of riding a tight loop in 2nd gear, showing your clutch control ?

 

Are you stalling 20x or taking 20 breaks along the trail ?

 

As far as CYA maintenance intervals, sure it will go 200 hours, until it doesn't and it throws a rod or a bearing goes and it wrecks the cases and then you don't need an overhaul... you need a complete new engine.


Edited by MidlifeCrisisGuy, August 16, 2014 - 07:41 PM.


  • Krannie McKranface

Posted August 16, 2014 - 07:48 PM

#59

&%$#@! ?  Weren't you the guy that posted the video of riding a tight loop in 2nd gear, showing your clutch control ?

 

Are you stalling 20x or taking 20 breaks along the trail ?

 

I think I know the video you mean.

Yeah, that's a flow-y trail. Gonna ride it tomorrow I think.

That trail has no intersections, so there is no stopping.....wait, actually, I do kill my motor to listen to make sure the guy behind me is ok , a few times on the trails, so there is a few more stops than 'needed'.  

He has to take care of the guy behind him....!

 

...and yes, it's the terrain and breaks (stop-n-wait for the last guy) along the trails.

 

I ride with this guy Alex who trys every hill he sees.

I don't mean 'hill climbs', as we don't really ride those kind of places...I mean epic serpantine switch-back climbs in suspect traction, or god-awful rain-rutted off-camber mountain trails......so there is a lot of *ahem* 're-postioning' one's self around on those rides.....



  • Krannie McKranface

Posted August 16, 2014 - 07:53 PM

#60

Have you ever had a Rekluse in any of your bikes? I have one in my YZ and it really does eliminate stalling issues. I am considering one for the WR.

 

Yes, I had a Rekluse EXP 2.0 on the KX450, a Dynaring on the KX450 and my 450X, and a Rekluse EXP CORE on my CRF450R.

 

Yes they eliminate stalling, and they make climbing steep hills from a dead stop, nearly impossible with all the slipping (I am 250lbs), and it will still stall from flame-out.

 

The problem with the Rekluse is that if you NEED to be in a higher gear so you can retain traction and momentum (less wheel hop in a lower rpm), you have trouble getting forward motion when the clutch starts slipping, to the point that you will fail the climb.

It can't modulate better then your hand on stuff like that, which is what I prefer.

That, and the 'softened' power deliver make it a deal breaker for me.






 
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