Any XR650R owners ride or own a KTM 525?


53 replies to this topic
  • eastreich

Posted September 04, 2007 - 07:10 AM

#41

Yes I remember you replied to a post of mine on the subject of electric start kits. I still want one but just can't pull the trigger on buying one. Will the battery start it repeatedly and keep a charge? I do have a rewound stator too. Also do you have to pull in the decompressor lever to start it? What are the down sides besides weight and looks?


I've installed two of the BD kits on other 650R's and the only other downside (and to me this is a BIG downer) is that it spaces the stator cover out farther. It may not be a big deal for people that don't ride in lots of rocks, but I do, and I have size 15 Alpinestars. The other thing that I did not like about the kit is for the size of the starter, it sure is weak.

With a fresh battery and the bike warm, I did not need to use the decompressor to get it to spin. When cold, it sure helped. It is just like doing "the drill." I kick through to TDC and use the decompressor to ease past then kick and go. With the e-start, you use the manual decompressor to spin it past TDC, building momentum, then let out the decompressor and go. No big deal IMO.

I feel bad for the hijack of the thread, so I'll chime in on the 525 deal.

I spent some time with a demo 525 EXC last year (we had it for about two months!). It is a nice bike in the tight and nasty, but other than that I was not all that impressed. I did not like the suspension. At all. Linkless suspension just is not the way to go, at least with KTMs version of it. To me it is one way or the other. You can make it work in the slow stuff, but then it will suck at high speed, or vice versa, but never both at the same time. I have friends that have literally spent thousands on the suspension on their pumpkins, and thought they were great. Then they rode a Honda. They were not happy. To sum up a quote from one of my riding partners this last weekend (who switched from Orange to Red - 450X) after trading with another guy who had a new 525: "This suspension SUCKS! I'm glad I didn't buy a KTM."

Now I love the 525 motor (520, 530, or whatever KTM wants to call it). I would buy a Beta instead of the KTM as it has a linkage. Get a good Ohlins shock and a 540SXS kit for the Beta and live happily ever after.

  • bosshog

Posted September 04, 2007 - 02:08 PM

#42

Thanks eastreich good info there.
" Now I love the 525 motor (520, 530, or whatever KTM wants to call it)."
So is it powerful enough to keep a BRP owner happy? How is it down low? Will I have to use the clutch more? Right now I have 14-52 gearing on my 650 mostly so I can get out of 1st gear it tighter trails. It tractors right along this way and will not stall easily.

  • eastreich

Posted September 04, 2007 - 02:30 PM

#43

IMO, the 525 does not tractor like the 650R. But then again, nothing does. It is better than a 450, but it ain't a 650.

As for power, if the 650 is just uncorked, the 525 is somewhat comparable. Much better throttle response, revs faster. It doesn't have the bottom end of the 650, or the legs. Sure, it will go as fast as the 650 in a straight line, but at those speeds the 525 is just not comfortable. Sure, you can put a stabilizer on it, get a softer seat, spend some money on the suspension and be comparable. But for the same amount of moolah, you can get a 650R, do all the same stuff, and still put an HRC kit in the motor and spank a 525 senseless for less money.:ride:

When you've got a modded 650R like mine, the 525 feels rather pedistrian in all honesty. A sick amount of power will jade you like that! I run the stock gearing on my 650 and have no problems in the tight stuff, and can still run away and hide when conditions open up.

Now the new KTM 505. That bike has a motor worth owning. Bottom end pull and it revs to the moon. Haven't had a chance to ride it in the dirt yet (just down the parking lot), but wow. About a half mile on the pavement and the rear tire is already worn down. And we were taking it easy. Unfortunately, it still has that :thumbsup: linkless shock.

  • Old_Man_Time

Posted September 04, 2007 - 06:11 PM

#44

Yes I remember you replied to a post of mine on the subject of electric start kits. I still want one but just can't pull the trigger on buying one. Will the battery start it repeatedly and keep a charge? I do have a rewound stator too. Also do you have to pull in the decompressor lever to start it? What are the down sides besides weight and looks?


Yes it will start it repeatedly all day long. I stop and start all the time taking pictures. I feel you need the rewound stator and mine is rewound. They used to have issues with the E-start kit when they first came out. It had a dry cell battery that was only good for a few starts. They quickly saw it was not going to fly that way and they replaced it with a traditional battery that very adequately took care of the problem. I always use the decompression lever to get the engine spinning which is just for a moment. It starts right up. The starter motor itself is more than adequate to do the job but there is no reduction gear and so the motor goes straight to the crank and that is a lot of piston compression for the motor to spin over without the aid of the decompression lever. The L model has a reduction gear in its starting system.

When the bike is cold I always kick start it for the first start of the day.

We all basically know if Honda would get rid of the L model and put a factory starter on the 650R and make it their dual sport flagship they would rule the big bore single cylinder dual sport market. But they are not listening.

  • bosshog

Posted September 05, 2007 - 09:28 AM

#45

Old_Man_Time
"We all basically know if Honda would get rid of the L model and put a factory starter on the 650R and make it their dual sport flagship they would rule the big bore single cylinder dual sport market. But they are not listening."

Yes I believe this also. When shopping for insurace for my bike almost all the companies I looked at had a listing for the 650R right beside the L for street use. Converting them is that common.

Eastreich, I'm getting the impression you don't like the linkless suspension. Stop holding back and tell us how you really feel.:thumbsup:

Thanks again for your time guys.

  • eastreich

Posted September 05, 2007 - 09:49 AM

#46

Old_Man_Time
"We all basically know if Honda would get rid of the L model and put a factory starter on the 650R and make it their dual sport flagship they would rule the big bore single cylinder dual sport market. But they are not listening."

Yes I believe this also. When shopping for insurace for my bike almost all the companies I looked at had a listing for the 650R right beside the L for street use. Converting them is that common.

Eastreich, I'm getting the impression you don't like the linkless suspension. Stop holding back and tell us how you really feel.:thumbsup:

Thanks again for your time guys.


I don't think you really want me to stop holding back. At least my dealer doesn't, as he is a Honda and KTM dealer! I could really go on a rant about the supposed superior KTMs. But this is neither the time nor the place. I have to bite my tongue enough as it is.:ride:

Basically, if I wanted a linkless suspension, I'd go get myself a nice vintage Elsinore...

  • huntmaster

Posted September 05, 2007 - 12:37 PM

#47

IMO, the 525 does not tractor like the 650R. But then again, nothing does. It is better than a 450, but it ain't a 650.


Yep. After six years of just oil changes and adding gas I sold my BRP last fall and did something I swore I wouldn't...buy a KTM. I was waiting for a Honda replacement that never came!:thumbsup:

To be fair, these bikes don't exactly compete with each other, both in displacement or intended use...although there is some obvious overlap. In an ideal world you could rationalize to yourself (if not your wife) having both... but as I've been doing a lot more technical single track in recent times it wasn't worth it in my case. The 30 lb drop in weight was welcome...and the happy button is a great bonus! Peak power is identical (if not torque) but the 525 revs to the moon and has a throttle position for every occasion!

While the six speed KTM approaches the legs of the Honda, the latter is still more stable and comfortable at speed. However the 525 does a very good job of bridging the gap between a 400/450 enduros and the big 600/650 ...but with very capable tight woods performance (being the same weight and size as the 400's) AND with eye watering performance up top and torque/power the 400's can't touch when the terrain opens up. Swap with a smaller bike and you will find the 525 can pull a gear taller, and can even get better fuel range as a result. I was originally concerned about RFS maintenance but the 525 has been pretty good by those standards if again, not an XR. If I was doing a lot of open stuff/ DS/ roadwork I might have considered another 650 and the lower cost, durability and easier maintenance would have been a bonus. It all comes down to the right tool for the job, and either bike can be that depending on what you are doing with it.

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  • bosshog

Posted September 05, 2007 - 03:30 PM

#48

Thanks huntmaster. I'm not looking to replace the BRP nor was I ever comparing the two to each other. I just wanted feedback from like minded people who could compare it to something that I knew. Thanks for the feedback. When I can bring myself to pull the trigger and buy one the 650's here to stay. Unless honda pulls the wrap off something spectacular that will replace it. Ya right, bold new graphics for the 650L. Maby a 500cc version of the CRF 450r/x down the road to counter the KTM offering.

  • mikenpalsie

Posted September 05, 2007 - 03:47 PM

#49

hey bosshog, I also own a 650r and really do like it, but will agree it is a handfull on single track trails. I was also looking at a ktm but ended up buying an o6 husky te450 it was a left over, still new with a warranty and saved alot of dollars vs. the ktm. the husky is street legal so i can dual sport it and is incredibly fast on the trails not to mention its an easy 50lbs. lighter than the honda and has e-start. also i have had no issues with breakdowns or any other problems. look in to it.

  • bosshog

Posted September 05, 2007 - 03:58 PM

#50

The Husky's have crossed my mind being street legal which is also what made me consider the KTM, as they are also street legal here. So much easier to buy it that way than to convert it. It's the lack of dealers that is hard for me. I only know of one so it would be harder to get. Ya KTM dealers arn't exactly on every corner either. My mind is still open though.

  • mikenpalsie

Posted September 05, 2007 - 04:07 PM

#51

bosshog, halls cycles in springfield, il. do ship bikes and are verry competively priced, also they are real helpful over the phone if needed. hallscycles.com

  • BWB63

Posted September 05, 2007 - 05:50 PM

#52

I am serious thinking of anding the TE 510: Competition Enduro (plated) for the next bike in the barn. It is the right color and has everything you would want at 237 pounds dry weight. It has linked suspension and I have a dealer in Riverside California ( http://www.malcolmsmith.com/ ) about 35 miles away.

Posted Image

  • huntmaster

Posted September 06, 2007 - 04:21 PM

#53

I am serious thinking of anding the TE 510: Competition Enduro (plated) for the next bike in the barn. It is the right color and has everything you would want


I like the TE510 and would have been happy to give one a try. There's just no dealers anywhere in sight my way and the resale sucks on them as they're considered a bit of an orphan. Too bad, as it 's a great product that compares well to the KTM's and for hundreds less. You think someone would want to sell them! :thumbsup:

  • Big Red7389

Posted July 07, 2008 - 08:43 PM

#54

I agree with deltron I just bought a 2007 650r last week to replace my 2003 mxc 450. I have had absolutely terrible reliability problems with the KTM from day one. I've seen other ppl with KTMs who absolutely love them and will never buy any other brand. I liked only one thing about my ktm is that is had snappy power when you really needed it. that was it, in the 5 years of owning the bike i have spent more in repairs on the bike then what i actually paid for it and about half the time it was broken down in the garage. I had so many F*&king problems with that bike that I will never buy one again and will encourage ppl not to buy ktm. It pushed me over the limit to buy a bullet proof XR. srry for the rant but that is my 2 cents on KTM.





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