450X - WR450 - EXC450 - Which is the better bike?


13 replies to this topic
  • Crazy2Wheeler

Posted April 06, 2005 - 08:46 AM

#1

I've done a fair bit of reading and research on the web, and on this site - Thanks to everyone who contributes for the info. I know all about the technical specs of each machine, however I've not been able to find a review that objectively compares all three machines from an enduro racer or trail rider's perspective.

I'm in Calgary, AB - there may be the occassional trip to the desert, but most riding and virtually all racing will be in the CDN rockies - terrain is cut lines/forest roads, single track, technical climbs, and loose rock. My background includes roadracing, racing motocross and crosscountry. I'm 5'9", 175lbs, fit and have strong technical skills. I've always ridden 2 strokes off-road, but I'm thinking it might be time for a thumper - and, I've been outa the loop for a couple years!

I'd like to make a decision in the next couple weeks so I can get on the bike! Please put in your 2 bits - I'd appreciate it. If you think a bike other than the three I'm thinking about would be better, please include it. Cheers! :naughty:

  • Dan_Lorenze

Posted April 06, 2005 - 08:55 AM

#2

They're all great bikes...

  • atomictom

Posted April 06, 2005 - 09:04 AM

#3

Yah, I agree. The only thing that may make you weed them out is the difference in wieght!

Good luck.

  • freestyle250

Posted April 06, 2005 - 09:04 AM

#4

Id say its between the EXC and the WR simply because the 450X is a newer bike, and its always risky being some of the first ones to ride on a newer bike. although Honda has alot of experience with their XRs id still be a little shaky with CRFX. Ive personally been a Yamaha man my whole life. From an old IT 175 to a YZ 250 and now my WR 450. But i have always liked the KTMs and have heard alot of good things about them.

  • motojason

Posted April 06, 2005 - 09:55 AM

#5

The new issue of Dirt Rider picks the EXC as the best...Honda second, Yam third. EXC had some handling quirks, X felt heavy, and Yam was a good value and dependable. All were rated as very good.
I bought my WR450 two weeks ago after considering all of the options, including the Husqvarna TE450. I had the opportunity to ride all of the bikes, and they're all pretty nice. The Yamaha felt the smallest to me (I'm 5-9 190lb) and I was most comfortable on it. The CRF was pretty plush and the EXC was in between. The new WR has a very tractable motor as well. For riding slippery stuff it was just about as good as the KTM and better than the Honda. In the end in came down to local dealer support and the dependability factor, the Yamaha has a realy good track record for being tough. My last bike was an XR 400 and I wanted a new bike that was nearly as bullet proof with more performance. My WR is barely broken-in, but so far I'm lovin' it. :naughty:

  • Narrdo

Posted April 06, 2005 - 10:44 AM

#6

For me, it all came down to the price, KTM is very proud of their product and it shows at the cash register, Honda is too with a msrp of 7199.00. The Yamaha was the best value for a product so similar to both.

The little extras that you will find on the KTM or the HONDA are modifications that can be done later to the Yamaha at a minimal cost that is still under the original price of the others.

  • SkyRaider

Posted April 06, 2005 - 12:38 PM

#7

The Dirt Rider article said exactly what I wanted to hear about my WR.

It is a good bike - in many ways as good as the Honda;
It is a reliable bike;
It is several hundred dollars less expensive than all of the others.

I love riding, I really do, but at the end of the day, it's just a hobby. My ride to dollar ratio is not very good. I don't get out nearly as often as I would like. I'm no mechanic by any stretch of the imagination. Truth be told, I'm a marginal rider, at best.

For me, the WR makes more sense than anything else on the market - especially with the changes to the '05 model. I love Hondas, and I'm sure the 450X is a fantastic bike, but the potential maintenance issues scare me to death. If I were a more serious rider, I might have picked the KTM.

All in all, I'm very happy with my Yammie. As the magazine said, "What a deal!"

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  • Altathumper

Posted April 06, 2005 - 12:39 PM

#8

I am also in Calgary, and have ridden newer Yamaha 4 strokes for the past 3 years without a problem. Before that, I rode YZ250 2 strokers. I will never go back. The new 4 strokes are that good. I ride with about 15 guys, all with KTM's and some of them have had some pretty major issues, engine blowing up, broken chain which piled up and tore off the clutch master, oil leaks, etc...I have had no issues, just change the oil, adjust the valves, and clean the air filter. I only ride in the woods/x-country/harescramble, never go on the track.

I was thinking about a new WR450, I ride an 02 YZ426 now. I figured i'll have to spend around $3000 on top of what I can sell mine for to get a new bike with electric start, but my bike starts on 1st or 2nd kick everytime. So for now, i'll stick with what i've got. Plenty of power, fairly light, and most importantly reliable. It's nice to go to any shop in town and get parts for it rather that being commited to go to one shop if you have a KTM (the 'Foot).

Between the three, I would choose the WR450, it's proven and reliable.
I'm sure the CRF450X is a great bike, but t's a little porky and a new model, I give new models a year to get the bugs worked out. The KTM exc 450 is a great machine, but very pricy and reliabilty has always been a question.
just my opinions...

  • Seabass

Posted April 06, 2005 - 02:09 PM

#9

That's kinda like asking which is better, ".....blondes, redheads, or brunettes.". But in this case it's red, blue, or orange plastic. It's all good :naughty:

  • Johnny34

Posted April 06, 2005 - 02:40 PM

#10

My friend who rides a Honda said I should get the 450X. My friend who rides a KTM said I should get the EXC450. I've wanted a WR ever since the first 400 came out. Now I have an '05 450 in the garage and all three of us ride together.

Price and availability were two major concerns for me. The Honda's were gonna be bought up rather quick when released and MSRP was listed at over $7K. The KTM's are WELL over $7K and the EXC models sells very quick.

My local dealer has a steady flow of WR's coming in and going out so I knew I could grab one at a fair price. $6K out the door and I'm a happy man. Moral of the story? Buy the bike you'll be happy with and just ride the hell out of it!
:naughty:

  • Bamster

Posted April 06, 2005 - 06:11 PM

#11

I heard the 400 exc is better than the 450 exc.
I'd still pick the WR over both.

  • Bamster

Posted April 06, 2005 - 06:12 PM

#12

But then again I ride a lot of tight stuff and would prefer the WR 250, :naughty:

  • black_n_blue_thumper

Posted April 06, 2005 - 10:05 PM

#13

I love riding, I really do, but at the end of the day, it's just a hobby. My ride to dollar ratio is not very good. I don't get out nearly as often as I would like. I'm no mechanic by any stretch of the imagination. Truth be told, I'm a marginal rider, at best.

For me, the WR makes more sense than anything else on the market - especially with the changes to the '05 model. I love Hondas, and I'm sure the 450X is a fantastic bike, but the potential maintenance issues scare me to death. If I were a more serious rider, I might have picked the KTM.

Ditto, Exactly. :naughty:

  • Crazy2Wheeler

Posted April 07, 2005 - 06:21 AM

#14

WoooHooo! Got a 300EXC - thanks to everyone who contributed, I appreciate the info. The 300EXC I think suits my needs best, it's the bike I first considered, but they were all sold out for the year up here in Alberta. BUT... I found one in Montana, AND they're significantly cheaper in the US than in Canada (even after the exchange rate). Unfortunately, I'm gonna be crazy busy until the end of the month, so I probably won't be able to pick it up 'till May, but at least I got what I wanted!

Cheers! :naughty:




 
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