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


76 replies to this topic
  • Just_a_trail_rider

Posted August 16, 2014 - 08:07 PM

#61

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.

Get your point about the recommended service intervals. But don't be misleading.    Absolutely everyone with a KTM or even a Yamaha knows to do a proper leak down test to know when the piston needs to be replaced.   KTM's are going well beyond 50 or 100 hours.  

 

No bike will have the amazing longevity of a WR, 



  • Just_a_trail_rider

Posted August 16, 2014 - 08:43 PM

#62

 

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 !

 

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.  

 

 

 what makes you think Yamaha is sitting on its ass?    They sell a truckload of bikes, especially the wr450.  The following document is from sales in Australia for 2013.   Scroll down to the enduro section.  Based on these numbers, Yamaha is kicking ass and probably shouldn't change a thing

 

https://docs.google....-10-Report.xlsx   

 

 I wouldn't say that the light and flickable movement is over-rated at all.   That alone was what had me give up my reliable 05 wr450 for the orange bike.  Its also what may be the determining factor in me coming back to blue.   It will never be as light as the ktm, but it has to be light and flickable enough for my purposes.   

 

I haven't ridden the newer wr450's or the newer ktm 450xcw, but previous KTM's feel a little lighter, seem easier to work on  (they do!), turn a little better, have a lighter clutch pull and most definitely stop much better than the Yamaha's.  But, the yamaha's are more reliable and have waaaaay better suspension.

 

Each bike needs a little work.

 

The only yamaha I would never want own again is the yz250 smoker.    Compared to the enduro specific KTM smoker, it just plain sucks.   



  • GP1K

Posted August 18, 2014 - 09:00 AM

#63

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.

 

That's when you were comparing the WR to a KTM 350, not a 450. So which is it?

 

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.

 

 

Yes, it absolutely is. Your test is not real world. It's a fact, just get over it already.

 

 

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.

 

 

This is truly hilarious... 'other than ACTUALLY BEING 18-24 lbs LIGHTER'. They're lighter to begin with. There's your answer, it's not that complicated.

 

 

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 ?

 

 

You really think that's the bike? LOL It's the rider. I know guys on 200XCs that would ride circles around you, and take you places you'd be begging them to ride your bike out for you, guaranteed.

 

 

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.

 

 

Vet expert that's that out of shape? LOL ok. And what's a YZ125F? Haven't heard of that one....

 

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.

 

Well you must not talk to too many 250F riders, or you ride desert and/or MX and nothing else. A lot of guys I ride with have 250Fs, myself included. None have big bores. Power isn't everything, knowing how to ride is.

 

And you're calling the CRF/WR 250s heavy pigs? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black... lol.

 


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.

 

And you know this how exactly? From your vast years of experience riding all kinds of bikes in all kinds of conditions? Or from riding your one bike a year and just reading a bunch of crap on the Internet? Try getting some more seat time and less keyboard time and maybe you'll clue in how the real world works, it's not just spec sheets.



  • MidlifeCrisisGuy

Posted August 18, 2014 - 09:25 AM

#64

I'm making my comparisons from riding with guys of similar or better ability to me on these bikes and trading off riding them and hearing their opinions.

 

Of course there are guys faster than me on KTM 200s.  I'm not a racer and that is irrelevant.  What is relevant is when I see a guy of similar skill to me and he either has an easier or harder time or is faster or slower.

 

FWIW, the vet expert parked the light and nimble YZ125 yesterday and took his YZ250F mount.  At the end of the ride he said he wouldn't have made it on the YZ.  I think that says something.  These light and nimble bikes are great when the going is easy, but when the hills get big and its muddy they lose their advantage.

 

There was a KTM 450 xcw on our ride for a while yesterday.   I didn't get a chance to compare or trade.  We talked about doing a little shoot out between my WR, the YZ250F and the KTM 450xcw, but it didn't materialize.  Maybe next time.



  • MidlifeCrisisGuy

Posted August 18, 2014 - 09:28 AM

#65

This is truly hilarious... 'other than ACTUALLY BEING 18-24 lbs LIGHTER'. They're lighter to begin with. There's your answer, it's not that complicated.

 

Then my lighted WR450F (240 pounds, no fuel) must be competitive with the KTM450 xc (241 pounds, no fuel).



  • GP1K

Posted August 18, 2014 - 10:04 AM

#66

Then my lighted WR450F (240 pounds, no fuel) must be competitive with the KTM450 xc (241 pounds, no fuel).

 

Define 'competitive'. In terms of weight, it would seem you're dead even. But the bikes are still different. There's some steering geometry, as you pointed out in another post. And are you talking an XCF or XCF-W? The XCF-W is more a direct competitor to the WR. But the XCF-W is has PDS where the WR has linkage. PDS is generally better in tight woods etc, where linkage is better for jumps, big whoops, (MX or desert etc).  PDS is also more sensitive to sag, and many people screw this up, or don't even know what sag is, and then blame their bike for poor handling, when in fact it's their fault for not setting it correctly in the first place.  

 

So IMO it's a toss up, personal preference. And as I was saying in my previous post, at some point it's simply moot, as the rider is still the biggest factor, not the bike. Small differences in weight or steering geometry etc pale in comparison to rider skill/experience in the real world. Having a slightly 'better' bike on paper will not necessarily make you a better/faster rider.

 

Would anyone consider a showroom stock XR650L to be a superior MX bike? Of course not, but I could show you a video of Ivan Tedesco riding one, flying past people on way 'better' bikes, honking the horn as he sails over them on a big jumps. He's not able to do that because the *bike* is better, it's not, it's way worse. He can do that because HE is a way better rider, to the point his shitty equipment beats machines with half the weight and twice the power, and 4 times the suspension. Arguing minutae on these bikes is silly, when the rider makes way more of a difference.



  • GP1K

Posted August 18, 2014 - 01:15 PM

#67

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.

 

Define "gutless". Compared to what? A 450? Well DUH. And if a 350 is "gutless" what does that make a 250? So slow it cannot even be ridden? :rolleyes:

 

Just curious as to what y'all thought a 350 would be like... the exact same power and delivery as a 450, just lighter? I mean really, what the hell did you expect?

 

I don't hear Kailub Russell complaining too much about his bike being "gutless". I guess you guys are just way better riders than him and truly NEED all that power to deem the lowly 350 so 'gutless'.



  • stevethe

Posted August 18, 2014 - 01:50 PM

#68

Define "gutless". Compared to what? A 450? Well DUH. And if a 350 is "gutless" what does that make a 250? So slow it cannot even be ridden? :rolleyes:
 
Just curious as to what y'all thought a 350 would be like... the exact same power and delivery as a 450, just lighter? I mean really, what the hell did you expect?
 
I don't hear Kailub Russell complaining too much about his bike being "gutless". I guess you guys are just way better riders than him and truly NEED all that power to deem the lowly 350 so 'gutless'.



Gutless for a 350 down low. Not much torque to talk about. Very cammy and the mapping did help as it was the EXC model.
An old XR 250 1997 has more bottom.

A bike that should be tried before you buy.

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  • GP1K

Posted August 18, 2014 - 02:52 PM

#69

Gutless for a 350 down low. Not much torque to talk about. Very cammy and the mapping did help as it was the EXC model.
An old XR 250 1997 has more bottom.

A bike that should be tried before you buy.

 

I know the EXCs are pretty choked up and sleepy stock, not unlike a stock WR. But the difference between a bone stock WR and uncorked one is pretty substantial. What else was done to that EXC besides the mapping? All the usual desmog/re-gear/etc stuff?

 

Still seems like they should have more bottom end than an old XR250 though... it's still 100cc more and they're making like 40+ hp, WAY more than any XR250. Would be interesting to see hp/torque curves for both. That said, I do know the first iteration of the 350 SX kinda missed the mark, as you still had to ride it like a 250F and it didn't exactly bridge the gap like it was supposed to, it was far more 250ish then 450ish. But that was then, and this is now. That didn't stop Mike Alessi from grabbing a bunch of holeshots on one, but that's always been his thing regardless of what he's riding.

 

What I'd like to try but haven't had the opportunity yet is a 350 XCF-W, as that would be the one I'd buy if I was ever going to.



  • stevethe

Posted August 18, 2014 - 03:11 PM

#70

I know the EXCs are pretty choked up and sleepy stock, not unlike a stock WR. But the difference between a bone stock WR and uncorked one is pretty substantial. What else was done to that EXC besides the mapping? All the usual desmog/re-gear/etc stuff?

Still seems like they should have more bottom end than an old XR250 though... it's still 100cc more and they're making like 40+ hp, WAY more than any XR250. Would be interesting to see hp/torque curves for both. That said, I do know the first iteration of the 350 SX kinda missed the mark, as you still had to ride it like a 250F and it didn't exactly bridge the gap like it was supposed to, it was far more 250ish then 450ish. But that was then, and this is now. That didn't stop Mike Alessi from grabbing a bunch of holeshots on one, but that's always been his thing regardless of what he's riding.

What I'd like to try but haven't had the opportunity yet is a 350 XCF-W, as that would be the one I'd buy if I was ever going to.



Yeah no smog re mapped and a pipe and opened up air box.
I think it's a top end machine to some extent you have to be somewhat aggressive.
The XR 250's were torquey bikes but no top end.

  • shrubitup

Posted August 18, 2014 - 10:33 PM

#71

 

 

NO MORE KICKERS for me.

 

Good words to live by. Many people don't understand all day trail riding with a group. Constant stopping. Not a bad thing it just gets old kicking all day long.



  • GP1K

Posted August 19, 2014 - 09:52 AM

#72

I'm making my comparisons from riding with guys of similar or better ability to me on these bikes and trading off riding them and hearing their opinions.

 

Of course there are guys faster than me on KTM 200s.  I'm not a racer and that is irrelevant.  What is relevant is when I see a guy of similar skill to me and he either has an easier or harder time or is faster or slower.

 

FWIW, the vet expert parked the light and nimble YZ125 yesterday and took his YZ250F mount.  At the end of the ride he said he wouldn't have made it on the YZ.  I think that says something.  These light and nimble bikes are great when the going is easy, but when the hills get big and its muddy they lose their advantage.

 

There was a KTM 450 xcw on our ride for a while yesterday.   I didn't get a chance to compare or trade.  We talked about doing a little shoot out between my WR, the YZ250F and the KTM 450xcw, but it didn't materialize.  Maybe next time.

 

You really need to watch this vid, and realize once for all the rider makes WAY more difference than the bike. Unless you're going to try and argue that a bone stock XR650L is a better MX bike than CRF450...

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=70jokjTaGT4



  • MidlifeCrisisGuy

Posted August 19, 2014 - 10:41 AM

#73

You really need to watch this vid, and realize once for all the rider makes WAY more difference than the bike.

 

I GET IT.  Thanks for the tip.



  • Nuklhed

Posted August 19, 2014 - 06:46 PM

#74

I had a KTM, got rid of it for the WR.  I'm not looking back...I got tired of working on the KTM.



  • Just_a_trail_rider

Posted October 03, 2014 - 08:44 AM

#75

I'm currently negotiating for a 2012 wr450.      Let's hope it works out and I can do my final healing from emotional and financial trauma I suffered with my (former) ktm 450xcf. :foul:

 

I got my fingers crossed...    If it doesn't work out, then I'll keep looking...    I was tempted to try the ktm500, but, there is no doubt I'm going to try the new(er) WR first.  

 

btw...  I'm not knocking the ktm300.  That bike is the shit!



  • MyersAvionics

Posted October 03, 2014 - 11:11 AM

#76

This is a pretty fun thread to read.

 

I had a KTM 450XC-W before tentatively trying the 2013 WR450. My only complaint with the WR is that i find when i lose my balance, it is much harder to wrestle back down than the KTM.

 

Here's where i really enjoy the WR. After hammering it over the weekend in a 74 mile enduro, I'm not worried about it. I'll change the oil/filter and clean the air filter and it'll be ready to race again next weekend. I also started on the same minute as Jeff Fredette and kept up... for a little.

 

There were some damn big logs too in the special test (about 2.5 to 3ft tall right out of corners). The WR hopped right over without any undue bucking or getting stuck. I wish someone took a picture on the last lap. Saw a big knot in the log and was able to grab it with the back tire and just jumped right over. Wish i could do that every time! 

 

Anyway, back on track, the WR/KTM/Husky/ect is only as good as the rider. Mr. Fredette was riding a KX450F and blowing through the woods. Before going out and spending 8-9k on a KTM because you think it's your 2012+ WR holding you back, i'd go and practice some rough hills and logs first. 

 

I don't think anyone would be bummed because they bought a WR over a KTM or vice-verse. I personally miss the 2-smoker smell and a nice Husky TE300 will be added to the stable soon :) 

 

PS - Anyone doing the Moose Run next month?? One of the hardest harescrambles in the US! 



  • Nuklhed

Posted October 05, 2014 - 08:37 AM

#77

He should have left the mirrors on the XR650L.  I owned one back in the 2001 era.  I would've been terrified to jump it--I'm pretty much terrified to get more than 3 feet under the wheels anyway.






 
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