Bad talk about the XR650R
Posted November 28, 2004 - 06:01 PM
I sure don't see their spiecal KTM twin 700 on the show room floor at Malcom Smith here in Riverside. Just some ranting and ravings about all the negitive talk about a bike that has lasted through the toughest races and is such an enjoyable bike for the average guy. I do think Honda might have missed the boat on not fixing a few things for this market. Like better suspension for heavier riders and the foot peg. Adding a few extra's through the years might have kept it more competitive. The cheating thing sure didn't help. I think I might need two bikes to do all I want but, that doesn't make the XR650R lame for what it dose so well.
Posted November 28, 2004 - 07:08 PM
I collected some pictures, its amazing how much time and effort they spend re-designing the decals and seat colors:
Posted November 28, 2004 - 08:24 PM
Posted November 28, 2004 - 08:33 PM
I dont think any medium/large bore XR ever went 5 years without at least some kind of tinkering. Maybe the '79 XL 250 is the only other one that went without any kind of anything for this long...
In the meantime KTM introduced the RFS in its 520 and then 525 form. Each year these bike are updated. LOTS of new stuff. Each model year has supension upgrades, refinements to the motors, etc. Those RFS KTM's now 'own off road' to borrow from a recent Dirt Bike article. The other bike that is now a generation ahead of red is the Yamaha 450. That bike also has been refined and caressed into what it is now--a super fast, super dependable off roader. Neither bike will drop footpegs, overheat before you can get your zipper up, flood when ya lean over it to adjust the chain, etc. More to the point--they are now a generation ahead in all the different types of technology that exists in 21st century off road: Ti valves, short skirt pistons, e start systems, modern suspension, pumper carbs, etc., etc...and that is just what red has to play catch up with.
Innovation? What ever happened to Honda innovation? Honda OWNED 4 stroke innovation from the mid seventies to the late '90's. And while the 450R is certainly nothing to sneeze at, its 100% motorcross---and its not innovative. It doesnt bring any new technology to the starting line.
Where is Honda with innovation? --- Fuel Injection? Two Wheel Drive? Motard? Diesel? How about a red version of KTM's Hard Parts Catalogue. Do yourselves a favor and stop by a KTM dealer and get a hold of a KTM hardparts catalogue. Its AMAZING what KTM offers OEM in terms of upgrades to their off-roaders.
Where is Honda's support of off road raceing? Baja. Yeah, OK...2 Baja races. And i would hardly call the Honda circus south of the border support. Just ask ANYONE who has raced pro down there (especially Honda racers!!). Where else? GNCC? No. WORCS? No. AMA Nationals? No. World Rallye? No. Fact is Honda doesnt make off-road race bikes. They are not in the serious off road market. They got out of it 6-8 years ago...They do motorcross, MotoGP, and little else when it comes to racing....and why we are at it...why have Valentino Rossi and Ricky Carmichael left red?
I mean really. Reds race world is in a complete shambles. And they are a generation down on technology.
The CRF600 is now being tested. For sure it will be a great bike. But given all the issues with the last 3 models Honda released--i for one wouldnt buy a first year bike from them.
While the 250X (talk about a disaster!) will take at least another year to get the motor sorted out, and the 450X is at best an unknown-and right now it looks to be 20 lbs heavier than a 525 KTM--with less power! I just dont see Honda haveing a viable line up of race ready bikes with the bugs worked out until 2007 at the soonest.
What will Orange and Blue have by then?
Two wheel drive bikes. For sure..Fuel Injection, probably--at least KTM will. Super strong race teams and race support programs. A Baja 1000 victory. KTM will come out with an Adventure Tour program in the USA southwest and or Baja that will blow the Honda/Baja equation away...and with the XR reliability soon to be a thing of the past...well then its just another motorcycle....in fact---the Hondas CRFX's are adapted motocrossers. Its not a compelling platform for us in the desert world. We have seen MX bikes fail in the dez for decades.
Where is all this going? IMHO for KTM it will be Dominance, dominance and more dominance. Yamaha will be there neck and neck as well. Green will battle on with the 450--if it ever gets released! Green supports off-roading more than Honda--yet sells a fraction of the bikes. Red--they havent really been a contender anywhere for a long time. We are all Honda guys--myself more than most. I started Baja in 1972 on a SL70--been red thru the Elsinore years, the XL/XR's--i have owned all but 3 of them. Even raced at Carlsbad on the very first year model of the CR250! Riden around Africa, Asia, Europe, and every bit of southwest desert on red...Its hard to change old habits, but if ya step back and look at the big picture:right now it looks like an orange sunrise, with blue skies, and a red sunset. Sad but true.
Its cool of you Bruce to defend the XR. But its a 5 year old bike that wasnt exactly cutting edge when it was released--yeah it was an XR with radiators, yawn---and in the mean time Honda has treated it like a rental property at the beach.
It gets new stripes each season, even as the pipes continue to leak!
Seriously--do yourself a favor and stop off at at KTM dealer, and ask for a free Hard Parts catalogue. Freakin amazing what they offer in terms of upgrades. Now THATS innovation!
And just for the record--the KTM guys stay as far away from me as the Honda guys!! Just calling it as i see it.
Posted November 28, 2004 - 09:10 PM
I was Just waiting for the KTM win!
You always say it like it is.......
But, Honda did win and the KTM 700
What happened it's not for sale
Thanks for the reply and without adout the XR is a thing of the past don't let yours go
Posted November 29, 2004 - 04:23 AM
Posted November 29, 2004 - 08:21 AM
That KTM in Baja wasn't all that unique - just a modified 625SXC punched out to a 700 with some fancy plastic and twin exhausts.
I for one look forward to riders bailing on the BRP and going orange. Now I can finally afford to have an XR650 in my garage as a spare bike. Nothing wrong with the "Pig" - but I think a lot of people have been using it in the wrong evironment for what it was designed for. Keep it out of the woods and in the desert.
Just my opinion of course...
Posted November 29, 2004 - 09:22 AM
Honda produces the two best selling dirt bikes in the U.S. - the biggest by far is the xr50. The CRF450 is the Elisnore of this generation, everybody is riding one and they are selling a ton of them. Most riders agree it is the best motocross bike ever. Motocross is where the dirt bike sales are, nothing else is even close. Sadly dual sport bikes are barely on the radar outside of California, I work in the powersports industry and have discussions with oem personal about this from time to time and they all say the same thing. They really would not sell that many more XR650s if they kept putting more money into them, they really don't have much competition in that segment of the market. They have to make decisions every year where to put their resorces. They have determined that winning the Baja races is beneficial to sales and the bike they have gets the job done.
Look at the KX500, not very many changes for a long time, Kawasaki didn't need to, they sold the bike to desert racers, Glamis guys and others that liked to ride 500 two strokes, not really a very big market.
KTM has done a brillant job of marketing to the niche off road users and his son. They are a small company run by hard core off road racer/enthuhsiasts. I grew up in Las Vegas in the seventies and Scott Harden along with Jack Johnson and a couple of others were as fast as anybody ever in the desert. But KTM sales in the U.S are not even close to the CRF450 alone. But they are small enough to respond to market demands in the off-road world much faster than the Japanese and have grown because of that. And those guys know what off-roaders need better than anyone in the world.
This is already too long, sorry, but there are allot of factors that go into all of these decisions. But is would be nice if Honda would refine the XRs a little, no doubt. Also factory racing is very serious and very cut-throat, I don't even want to go there.
Posted November 29, 2004 - 09:39 AM
Posted November 29, 2004 - 10:36 AM
Posted November 29, 2004 - 11:12 AM
That has to be one of the WORST things KTM has ever done to me.
Seriously--do yourself a favor and stop off at at KTM dealer, and ask for a free Hard Parts catalogue
Sell me a great bike then continue to get more money from me on cool parts.
Posted November 29, 2004 - 11:16 AM
Posted November 29, 2004 - 01:12 PM
Very interesting conversation here. BWB I still smile when I'm loading up my pig, riding it and even when I'm unloading it. I ride it in tight technical rutted rocky nasty stuff and also in wide open Baja and Ocatillo. Just got back from the Baja 1000 a couple of weeks ago and 85% + of all the bikes down there are 650R's. I love this bike. Being 6'7 250 lbs helps me manage it but all in all I am extremely happy with the power and performance of the BRP. Such minimal matienence. Just go shoot a line to FlynAll about his son Quentins 525 KTM and how he has had to replace the valves 3 times in a very short amount of time. KTM = non stop matienence. All the innovations are great but if you can't get them to work for more than a few weeks before stuff starts breaking then what's the point? I for one do not want to be 60-80 miles out in the middle of nowhere on a bike I can't trust.
Being new to the 650r, I have little to vouch about it's performance and maintenance. I went by alot of reviews which indicated that it was very easily maintained...in particular the valvetrain. I am not new to motorcycling, and have adjusted many valves in my day. My current streetbike has a very simple rocker setup that allows very easy removal of the shims (without pulling cams). It too has been called the dinosaur of sportbikes, yet it pulls 130hp to the wheel on the dyno and I turn very respectable laptimes on it when on track. I could have hopped onto the Ducati but the valve actuation puts the thing out of spec quite quickly and the cost relative to performance is way off. I have no patience for downtime...especially living in the northeast where the season is abbreviated. It sounds to me that KTM experiences it's own issues (as the CRF450 seems to have it's own set of problems). Given one the highest costs of all the manufacturers, I would think more attention would be paid to those critical areas that seem to hurt the KTM. The best point made in this thread was that performance is relative to needs. I don't race and I rarely push a bike to it's limits, and I have a limited budget to enjoy off-road riding. The big XR seems like it will fit my needs fairly well, and I am not ready to write off a bikes capabilities because a footpeg breaks. Better that than a gearbox.
Posted November 29, 2004 - 01:36 PM
.....pick the horse for the course.... we all have different courses.....!!!!!
If I (6'3"/210lb) was looking to buy a new, high performance dirt-bike for a budget of under $6000. I needed it to last at least 3 years, with minimal maintanence. Put about 7,000 hard miles a year on it. I want to do long, hard rides through Baja, and the deserts and mountains of the Southwest, day and night. I want to ride semi-competitively in hare scrambles. I want to be able to dual-sport it, to link trails together. I wanted to ride from 0 to 8000'. I want to be able to throw my girl on the back and ride to the bar in Mexico on the ocean(sip Tecates). I want to be able to ride with my little nephew on his XR50. I want to be able to buy parts for it at a reasonable price. I want to be able to sell it for a resonable price when I'm done.
What bike would you recomend?
Posted November 29, 2004 - 01:55 PM
..that's all it's about, XR650R Suspension and XR650R stuff.
Yes, KTM makes a product with all the goodies all ready on it. By the time I bought all the extra's for my Big Red Pig, I have more in it then if I would have, if I bought a KTM525 MXC. But, I would have toasted the KTM many time over by now They (KTM) have a better chance of taking on the market then Honda because of what Mike said, and few will argue with that. Handa has fallen asleep for us guy's that Love big heave indestructable tanks and they are going to let us go! I have three teenage boy'z and the motorcycle thing will sink us if we don't come up for air. The price of the XR650R sure did help till I decided to make it a money pit
Posted November 29, 2004 - 02:11 PM
I heard Irondude went underground......I think this is a recent pic of his bike:
Posted November 29, 2004 - 02:39 PM
and the way he gets that women to spank his pig
I see IronDude pop up now and then...if you stir the pot hard enough
I though this would do it but, KTM didn't win so, no Irondude
I was going through all the posts about KTM winning the baja 1000 on the yahoo group....it went on forever Here also now I thought this would get it going.
I bought this up because of a long post just before the Baja
1000. In most of it there were attacks on the BRP! It started bad
talk about our beloved Juggernaut (I looked this word up!
means, "anything that exacts blind devotion or terriable sacrafice"
look it up there is more) the BRP. Well the BRP won the Baja again but, there still seams to be this
cloud hanging over us pig herders. The Oinker blew away the compition
(I am sure the riders had something to do with it). The highest
persentage of bikes! The Honda XR650R! #1 Ironman XR650R But, it's
still called an out dated, heavy....pig. It's time to stand by our
swine and fight back! Let your voice' be heard!
Ok, back to earth....the XR250 and XR400 are on the chopping block
the XR650R maybe next.....Honda is letting us go???? Is KTM going to
be the next king of the Desert??? What is wrong with Honda ...fight
the good fight, stand your ground! They won't take my squeeler away
till they pry it out of my cold dead fingers..... Protect your right
to own a BRP! Man, I think I need to join BRPA (Big Red Pigs
I have to give in on the good points Mike Key made about Honda leaving us out to dry but, he is always civil...Irondude can really get things hopping....maybe those days are over When Irondude and Johnyairtime got into it WoW that was intertainment! Oh, and there was one about a used rubber or something like that
Posted November 29, 2004 - 02:55 PM
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