Monk, what does a KTM have over your YZ450F for woods riding/racing ?


19 replies to this topic
  • MidlifeCrisisGuy

Posted August 05, 2015 - 10:18 AM

#1

Monk, I've seen you post in several places that you are considering trading your YZ450F for a KTM 4 stroke.  I'm not trying to start a brand war.  I'm not criticizing you.   What do you think a KTM would do better than your YZ ? 

 

 



  • grayracer513

Posted August 05, 2015 - 10:46 AM

#2

I'll let him speak for himself, but i recall him mentioning that his overall feeling is that the YZ is too much engine most of the time.  I'm sure he will elaborate.



  • GHILL28

Posted August 05, 2015 - 11:09 AM

#3

A 6th gear, a button, and a legitimate front brake.



  • Dexter42

Posted August 05, 2015 - 11:13 AM

#4

Suspension and tune ability of the efi on the fly would be sacrificed. Magic button is nice thou, not gonna lie.

  • MidlifeCrisisGuy

Posted August 05, 2015 - 11:19 AM

#5

I'll let him speak for himself, but i recall him mentioning that his overall feeling is that the YZ is too much engine most of the time.  I'm sure he will elaborate.

 

I thought that could be fixed with the tuner ?

 

I have a WR450F.  I sure wish it had switchable maps.  Yamaha, are you listening ?  Even 2 would be better than none.


Edited by MidlifeCrisisGuy, August 05, 2015 - 11:19 AM.


  • MidlifeCrisisGuy

Posted August 05, 2015 - 11:22 AM

#6

A 6th gear, a button, and a legitimate front brake.

 

Doesn't the 2015 YZ come with the new, larger front rotor ?

 

Is the 6th gear really needed for woods riding ?   The only time I use 5th on my WR is when riding fire or logging roads between trail heads or sections and even then its scary to be doing that type of speeds on those roads due to traffic, animals, etc.



  • GHILL28

Posted August 05, 2015 - 11:30 AM

#7

For riding in the woods, no.

 

For riding between the woods, yes.  Letting the bike purr along in 6th without gulping down fuel and wearing on the motor is great.

 

The 6-speed gearboxes also usually let the lower gears have a bit more overlap, so you don't have to stretch each gear as far.  Lower revs, better traction, less tiring.

 

I don't know about the rotor.  The YZ/YZF brake systems suck regardless of the rotor diameter.



  • MidlifeCrisisGuy

Posted August 05, 2015 - 11:34 AM

#8

The YZ/YZF brake systems suck regardless of the rotor diameter.

 

Why is that ?  Pad area ?   Pad material ?  Clamping pressure/force ? Rotor size ? Hose makeup ?

 

As far as suspension goes, doesn't Yamaha have some of the best [once its been reworked] ?  No motorcrosser is going to have good woods suspension, but its pretty simple to revalve Kyb stuff.


Edited by MidlifeCrisisGuy, August 05, 2015 - 11:34 AM.


  • GHILL28

Posted August 05, 2015 - 11:38 AM

#9

Pad area, MC design (bypass port in the MC body) which affects clamping pressure, hose stiffness, lever geometry/interface.

 

Yup, the KYB stuff is good.  Definitely wouldn't trade that for the KTM suspension headaches.

 

My YZF is one awesome bike, but like everything else, it has its couple of weaknesses.  There just seems to be far less of them with this bike than any other available right now.



  • MidlifeCrisisGuy

Posted August 05, 2015 - 11:58 AM

#10

Pad area, MC design (bypass port in the MC body) which affects clamping pressure, hose stiffness, lever geometry/interface.
  Some of the SM guys use a Honda ATV master cylinder on their bikes for more braking power.  Does that MC fix any of these issues ?

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  • Monk

Posted August 05, 2015 - 12:41 PM

#11

Monk, I've seen you post in several places that you are considering trading your YZ450F for a KTM 4 stroke.  I'm not trying to start a brand war.  I'm not criticizing you.   What do you think a KTM would do better than your YZ ? 

 

What answer are you looking for? One that can sell you on orange or just me personal opinion?  And is this based on the KTM 450 vs the YZ450F?

 

A 6th gear, a button, and a legitimate front brake.

 

2 outta 3 ain't bad...

 

Suspension and tune ability of the efi on the fly would be sacrificed. Magic button is nice thou, not gonna lie.

 

Not really. The data base for setting up my YZ450F is considerably smaller then what I have for setting up a KTM. I have since day one struggled to find a half decent suspension setup for my YZF, not so with any KTM I have owned. EFI on the fly? Short of an aftermarket ignition system with a adjustable on the fly map switch, the Yamaha is a one trick pony. The KTM comes with them, though the tuning tool is harder to use the Yamaha tuner.



  • MidlifeCrisisGuy

Posted August 05, 2015 - 01:08 PM

#12

What answer are you looking for? One that can sell you on orange or just me personal opinion?  And is this based on the KTM 450 vs the YZ450F?

 

You seem to be a very knowledgeable and experienced rider.  I'm trying to figure out what I am missing riding a blue bike instead of an orange bike.

 

I'm probably similar in size to you.  Which KTM do you feel would be the best for >200lb riders ?   KTM 350 XCF-W ?  KTM 450 XCF-W ?

 

2 outta 3 ain't bad...
  You want 6 speeds and a button ?  That is all that separates them ?

 

The data base for setting up my YZ450F is considerably smaller then what I have for setting up a KTM. I have since day one struggled to find a half decent suspension setup for my YZF, not so with any KTM I have owned.
  I didn't get this from reading your posts.  I thought you said that the rear suspension on your YZF was almost magical or something to that effect.  And I've always thought the YZ Kyb SSS forks were among the best available, if not the best.

 

What have you done to the suspension on your YZF and what isn't it doing that you would like it to ?

 

EFI on the fly? Short of an aftermarket ignition system with a adjustable on the fly map switch, the Yamaha is a one trick pony. The KTM comes with them, though the tuning tool is harder to use the Yamaha tuner.
  Hopefully Yamaha is reading this and gets the hint.  I'd have to imagine that multiple maps would be helpful even on a track bike.  And surely in this day and age, it wouldn't be hard to do ?

 

Thanks for your replies. 



  • Dexter42

Posted August 05, 2015 - 01:40 PM

#13

....

Edited by Dexter42, August 05, 2015 - 02:03 PM.


  • Monk

Posted August 05, 2015 - 08:58 PM

#14

You seem to be a very knowledgeable and experienced rider.  I'm trying to figure out what I am missing riding a blue bike instead of an orange bike.

 

I'm probably similar in size to you.  Which KTM do you feel would be the best for >200lb riders ?   KTM 350 XCF-W ?  KTM 450 XCF-W ?

 

 

 

  You want 6 speeds and a button ?  That is all that separates them ?

 

 

 

  I didn't get this from reading your posts.  I thought you said that the rear suspension on your YZF was almost magical or something to that effect.  And I've always thought the YZ Kyb SSS forks were among the best available, if not the best.

 

What have you done to the suspension on your YZF and what isn't it doing that you would like it to ?

 

 

 

  Hopefully Yamaha is reading this and gets the hint.  I'd have to imagine that multiple maps would be helpful even on a track bike.  And surely in this day and age, it wouldn't be hard to do ?

 

Thanks for your replies. 

 

Everyone will have their opinions on why and why not ride a KTM. Ill give you my opinion but take it with a grain of salt. My support, my trails, my needs could be completely different then what yours are.

 

I notice when you asked for my opinion on two models, both of the ones you listed are more of the trail oriented models, not the race models. I would never buy either of those models, and if I had too, it would be the 350/500exc. The licence plate is where the real value is at. I know you mentioned in another thread that you have lightened your WR. But you had to sacrifice pretty much everything (e-start)to get that bike down to that weight. My 500exc, slightly trimmed down was 271lbs full, with a 3g tank, rad guards, hand guards etc etc. Be very hard to do that on a WR....I still have the e-start, 6spd, battery, kick-starter, headlight, etc etc. I didn't have to compromise anywhere. Keep in mind too, I raced this bike. 2nd overall in Open A in a Winter Series, a few race wins, a few 2nds and 3rds and only one race put me off the podium due to flat tire. In the first year alone I owned the 500, I put over 300hrs on the bike, and nearly 400hrs on it when I sold it. Never had to adjust the valves ONCE! Even had the original clutch plates too, To date, one of the best suspended bikes I have had (note that last statement). So between the 2 bikes you recommended, I wouldn't buy either unless it was coming with a plate. But if those are the only two options, the 450 would be my choice. I have weighed both the pluses and minuses of the small bore/big bore debate and feel the disadvantages of the big bore would be more forgiving over the long haul.

 

The 5spd is more of an advantage in the 2t models and smaller bore 4ts. The 450s have a pretty broad motor so the 5spd seems to be less of a issue when transferring between trails on open sections and roads. On my Yamaha 450, I idle past 95% of the bikes I ride with, even with lower gearing. On my YZ 250 2t, the 5spd was terrible. 1st is fairly high, and 5th is short, its a motocross bike. Transfer sections weren't all delightful. KTM offers the 6spd, essentially making 1st gear lower, and 6th gear taller. In the XC line, the transmission remains a close ratio setup too which is what I prefer. Same feeling with the 250/350 4ts too. The XCW line offers the 6spd, but there are some more wide-ratio gaps and 6th seems a bit taller then the XC line. I liked the transmission on 500exc, I didn't mind it on the 350xcw/exc either. It was a very well built user friendly transmission. Sadly, external gearing on your WR, you'll never find that perfect balance. Because I'm looking at a dedicated off-road bike, I don't need the 6spd. My trails are far too tight and transfers are far to short.

 

As for the button, why not? Is it the deal breaker, not at all, but with the 2016 KTM 450 coming in lighter then any kick-start 450, seems like a win. KTM has be honing and perfecting e-start only since 2007 and short of the semi-complicated warm up , the e-starts on the 4ts have been proven near bulletproof. The 2ts have been another story but every year they seem to get better. Photos of the 2017 2ts show a completely new setup and I would believe the new design is for this exact reason. We could see the kicker go bye bye on the 2ts in the future...

 

Suspension is subjective. On my YZF, I had a setup from NOST that worked awesome except for one area, anything over a 4in log (or high-speed shaft movement) the shock felt like it would just lock up. In the meantime waiting for new updated parts, I have been working on a setup with my tuner. One of the issues I face is I'm one of few that rides a Yamaha (in my area) and at this point the ONLY one who rides and races a new YZ450F off-road in my area. Its pretty much like throwing darts in the dark trying to just hit the board. I think there are a lot of things going on with this chassis and I don't feel like my tuner has the experience with Yamahas to find at the very least a starting point. Yes, every time we go in and do some work, we get closer but I'm 80hrs into this bike and its getting old. So what options do I have? I've phoned and talked to multiple suspension companies and the short answer is "send it to us and we'll fix it". So I have to spend more money, send suspension away for weeks and possibly get worse results? I would rather just ride with the stock stuff and suffer. I have spent $650 on the shock parts from NOST, and it didn't work the first time out? Yes, I have new parts, but its so different so I cant reference anyone about it other then NOST themselves. Keep in mind too, I live in Canada, not like California where there are suspension shops every block away. I have even entertained the idea of driving the 1200 miles down the SoCal to get this suspension dialed. Seems kind of crazy though that I have to go through those lengths to have something suitable. The KTM stuff up here is known and the data base for suspension setup is there. We/I can make suspension work up here. I know this because I've owned well setup suspension up here, I've rode other KTMs, not setup for myself that felt excellent too. So that brings me to my earlier point about suspension, I know it can be made to work better then anything I have done with my Yamaha. Yes, Yamaha suspension is a great starting point, but it becomes a moot point if you don't know what to do with it afterwards.

 

There is a harshness that we are having a hell of a time to iron out. The best tune to date has been to run a lighter ICS spring. The suspension isn't that bad if I can run my pace the whole race, but I cant, And when it gets slow, the suspension feels harsh as hell. Not stiff, HARSH!

 

So why am I considering going to a 2016 KTM 450sxf?

 

-Support. My guy puts full-time support behind me, for a part time racer. He tosses me free tires, free gear, free suspension work, stays late to help, warranties virtually everything that breaks that shouldn't, runs a race team, we bounce theories and ideas off each-other, offers feedback regarding parts and people and most importantly "works" for customers and me. He's a one man show but treats me (along with others) with great respect as long as its given too. He doesn't race often himself but does occasionally so he understands what it takes to complete a full season, or test a new part or experience a new bike. He is the 2nd highest seller of Rekluse clutches in Western Canada and has some great relationships with other people in the same industry. He can get me a 450SXF for $7500. That's a hard price to pass up! The local Yamaha dealer here wouldn't piss on you if you were on fire, KTM here, though I have never bought a single bike from them gives me a 20% discount just because they like me. They also stock a crap load of parts. Yamaha doesn't even carry a piston for a YZ 250 2t.

 

-Knowledge of bike: Lots of KTMs up here, lots of different ideas, lots of different people trying different things. Suspension is more known as well as bike setup in general. My knowledge is also pretty strong with the KTM. I like the WP suspension and even pondered throwing WP stuff on the YZF because at least I can get it working good.

 

-Bike itself: Motor wise I couldn't care, they all feel close to the same. But the KTM is a smaller bike then the Yamaha. The YZF is ridiculously tall, the KTM is easily a inch if not more less taller from seat to ground. The height has been my single biggest issue after the suspension. Add in the KTM is extremely light vs the Yamaha or any bike. That additional weight does show itself at certain points. The e-start is a luxury, and I wouldn't complain if I had it. The last race I flamed out twice. Not a deal breaker but its much less tiring to move your thumb 2 inches then kick the bike. I also like the chromoly chassis. The feel has always felt forgiving, especially after a few hours in the saddle. Though little is known about the 2016 models, I believe the bike would be every good as what I have owned and rode in the past. Adjustable maps and such are just gimmicks. Most people never touch the maps....



  • Dexter42

Posted August 05, 2015 - 09:24 PM

#15

According to KTM website it's only less than 1/4" difference on seat height and 4 gear trans for the 2016. Also front brake is 260mm on KTM and 270mm on yzf. 220 rear KTM and 245mm rear yzf. Yzf also has more wheel travel. Seems like that diet sacrificed a lot of the bike throughout.

Edited by Dexter42, August 05, 2015 - 09:30 PM.


  • Monk

Posted August 05, 2015 - 09:37 PM

#16

According to KTM website it's only less than 1/4" difference on seat height and 4 gear trans for the 2016. Also front brake is 260mm on KTM and 270mm on yzf. 220 rear KTM and 245mm rear yzf. Yzf also has more wheel travel. Seems like that diet sacrificed a lot of the bike throughout.


European model has 4spd.

  • GHILL28

Posted August 05, 2015 - 09:58 PM

#17

Sounds like you're running too much preload on the shock spring.  Maybe try the next stiffer spring and let off some preload.  Get a 1/4"-1/2" of height out of it that way.

 

I notice the height BIG TIME going from a YZ250 to my '14 YZ450F.  The 450 feels so damn low in comparison.

 

Drive on down to SoCal.  I'll show you some fun trails.  Fall riding season around here is awesome.



  • boegey

Posted August 06, 2015 - 01:14 PM

#18

Why would you not go the 2t 300 monk? Because it's only the enduro model or just because you like 4t. Just watching Romaniacs and the red bull enduro series all the top guys are on 300 2t

  • MidlifeCrisisGuy

Posted August 07, 2015 - 09:06 AM

#19

Monk built up a 300cc YZ250 for woods use.  There is a thread about it in the Yami 2 stroke forum that morphed into being all about his YZ450F.



  • rr558

Posted August 07, 2015 - 07:24 PM

#20

Km





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