Honda Wins Baja 500 Again!


45 replies to this topic
  • Billahjack

Posted June 09, 2007 - 04:55 PM

#41

...........

You guys coughing upo mondo money for the XR650R really need to ask yourself what have we got out of the Honda Baja effort and compare that to what KTM are going to deliver in July 2008:

1. A 654cc (that's right the 690 is a 654cc motor) modern 64HP kick ass motor.
2. EFI
3. E start
4. 20 liter fuel cell built into the bike not bolted on camel hump style.
5. Ultra monda ergos.
6. The best european suspension you can but.
7. Big wattage stator.

KTM will win Baja very very soon. That will be a large challenge for Honda to overcome - espewcially trying to sell the 450X against the modern 654KTM. The 450X will have no Baja selling point as the KTM will mostly have it covered in all ways.


Don't forget the extra 40 lbs that comes with the KTM 690 :) If it was truly light years ahead of the 650R, then it would weigh the same or less. The XR650R is already heavy enough, I don't need more weight. Heck, for another 40 LBS over the KTM, I can ride a GSXR600 at 120 HP. Just get some 17" nobbies and I'm off to Baja.

I wasn't aware that the KTM 690 has an Ohlins Fork and Shock. Or is Ohlins no longer the best European suspension that you can buy.

I would want better engine protection than a piece of plastic hanging out front and under my motor. At least some bars to back it up like the 650R.

The XR650R has an Aluminum frame and the KTM has a Steel Frame. Aren't those getting old? Didn't steel frames used to have cracking problems over time...CR500?

I don't race Baja or have any crazy notion that I would even be competetive in Baja.

What I got out of the 650R is a bike that you can crash, pick up, ride and crash, pick up and ride again. I can go 500 miles without changing the oil. I can put-put through a tight rocky trail or rip through something wide-open at over 100mph. I don't have to use Motorex high-$$ synthetic oil. I don't have to complain about notchy shifting or not finding neutral. I don't have to complain about breaking random engine and transmission internals that are fixed on the next year's model.

Value & Price?? I bought two used XR650R's that are street legal in California for $1000 less than 1 new KTM 525 EXC. I would be tempted to buy a KTM 525 EXC if I had the cash.

BTW, the 525 EXC is not an out of the box performer. You have to disable some carbon cannister plug (so you can start the thing after you crash), rejet, cut part of the exhaust baffle, buy actual dirt tires, new sprockets, take off some hideous mirrors, remove the license plate holder and get a pre-2006 holder, remove the rear blinkers before you break them off then get good ones...oh and why is it leaking oil onto the exhaust header? The dealer says, "they just do that." Not acceptable. :ride: Is this going to be what it's like for the new 690?

Other than that, the 525 is a killer bike - fast, light, responsive, light, killer brakes, light.... :thumbsup: Oh, did I say its light?

  • BWB63

Posted June 09, 2007 - 06:13 PM

#42

The XR650R with HRC kit is 64bhp 308~324 pounds ready to race. KTM 64bhp and weighs what? Most are gussing the same as the 690SM 382 pounds ready to race!!!! 335 pounds dry vrs. 277 pounds for the XR650R. I hope the 690 Baja is a lot lighter then that. The XR650L is lighter them the KTM 690SM. I don't see the big deal if it has the same horsepower as the XR650R with 11:1 piston, HRC cam. I would think a KTM 525 with a linked rear suspension and the forks valved plusher would be a better bike to race the baja with, once you fixed the stator and other little problems that all bikes have.

  • XR680RR

Posted June 09, 2007 - 06:33 PM

#43

This is quite silly, thinking that the Baja is even close to the same, different riders, different money, not the same kind of cheating! Put Kawi back in with the KX500 now and they wouldn't win. Make Honda race the XR600R against the KX500 and I would give it to Kawasaki with the right rider. The KX500 or CR500 just isn't the bike to run these races anymore. As far as the KX500 having more horsepower then a race ready XR650R with the same reliablity, geared for top speed, you need to do your homework. If Honda is winning and making money why would they change the XR650R and Now they are winning on a CRF450R as well. Till someone breaks into there monopoly of the Baja races (I do beleave there is a lot of funny business, with money and such) Honda will keep winning. It is there race.



I think some major reality check is needed here.

1. Honda ONLY started winning when Danny and Kawasaki left. The XRs were NO match for the KX whatsoever. Using your theory of rider equality, the XRs use to simpy explode due to the HP required to run WFO for hours. The 500KX meanwhile served up whupped ass for breaky lunch and dinner on the 1000baja.


2. If you are the only factory team in the race - it's one horse race is it not? So it's complete baloney to state that Honda own baja. They win races cos there have been no other facory teams down there on a size and scale since 1994/95.

I tell what you guys should be saying - is why isnt Honda winning by a bigger margin? They are the only ones down there and quite frankly what development has come from baja in the last 7 years that has changed the XR650R? Anaswer is zipp. Nothing that has changed the bike.

7-8 years is bullshit in this day and age. HOnda have had 7 years of 650R baja experience to build a better bike - they have completely squandered that opportunity to offer us, their buyers a better machine.

Meanwhile a small Austrian company turns up in 2004 with a hybrid monster and then again in 2007 with a predevelopment bike that is the base of their new hard enduro - due for release in July 2008.

You guys coughing upo mondo money for the XR650R really need to ask yourself what have we got out of the Honda Baja effort and compare that to what KTM are going to deliver in July 2008:

1. A 654cc (that's right the 690 is a 654cc motor) modern 64HP kick ass motor.
2. EFI
3. E start
4. 20 liter fuel cell built into the bike not bolted on camel hump style.
5. Ultra monda ergos.
6. The best european suspension you can but.
7. Big wattage stator.

KTM will win Baja very very soon. That will be a large challenge for Honda to overcome - espewcially trying to sell the 450X against the modern 654KTM. The 450X will have no Baja selling point as the KTM will mostly have it covered in all ways.



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  • texrider

Posted June 11, 2007 - 07:16 AM

#44

What I got out of the 650R is a bike that you can crash, pick up, ride and crash, pick up and ride again. I can go 500 miles without changing the oil. I can put-put through a tight rocky trail or rip through something wide-open at over 100mph. I don't have to use Motorex high-$$ synthetic oil. I don't have to complain about notchy shifting or not finding neutral. I don't have to complain about breaking random engine and transmission internals that are fixed on the next year's model.


Sounds like what I got out of my 625 SXC, and it has a good factory e-start and factory 5 gallon tank. :thumbsup: Just finished off a week long back country ride in Arizona on it deserts to hight country and back, one of several such trips I've done on it with zero issues, dumped it twice, no breakage not even the factory turn signals. The KTM 525 really isn't their best dual sport, the LC4's are in my book.

The 690 Baja is replacing the 625 SXC, not the RFS 525. Like the XR, the LC4 is a decade+ old thumper engine and it's time for an update.

As for steel frames, pack a weeks worth of gear/food for a week long dual sport trip on an aluminum frame, many folks I know have broken their aluminum sub frames with less than that, the LC4 steel sub frame doesn't have that issue. Of course the 690 doesn't even appear to have a sub frame at all, or a kick start, still waiting to see what's up with that.

We'll just have to wait and see what KTM finally brings out weight wise etc. when the Baja hits the dealers. One thing is clear though, ANY other factory team going for it in the 1000 is a likely a good thing for ALL of us.

  • dezracerE

Posted June 12, 2007 - 06:18 AM

#45

Correct - it was mainly a misquote BB no offence intended.

My points were directed at the threaders who think Honda "owns" the Baja.


Honda own Baja- ask Sal $$$

  • dezracerE

Posted June 12, 2007 - 06:31 AM

#46

This is quite silly, thinking that the Baja is even close to the same, different riders, different money, not the same kind of cheating! Put Kawi back in with the KX500 now and they wouldn't win. Make Honda race the XR600R against the KX500 and I would give it to Kawasaki with the right rider. The KX500 or CR500 just isn't the bike to run these races anymore. As far as the KX500 having more horsepower then a race ready XR650R with the same reliablity, geared for top speed, you need to do your homework. If Honda is winning and making money why would they change the XR650R and Now they are winning on a CRF450R as well. Till someone breaks into there monopoly of the Baja races (I do beleave there is a lot of funny business, with money and such) Honda will keep winning. It is there race.


Agree. I have not raced a 450 "yet" in Baja, but I can tell you that the XR650was BUILT FOR BAJA. The bike works excellent for long distance/high speed running- especially in the long sand washes and sand whoop sections.
Why are the average speeds going down steadily in the last few yrs?
I know of several reasons.
I also know that when the pros pass me- they are flying- no matter what they are on.
A 25 minute loss for 2nd in a 420 mile race in Baja is not much.
Good showing for KTM but Honda just has it wired right now.





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