2009 KTM 505 xcf reviews??


18 replies to this topic
  • doymlag

Posted August 27, 2008 - 04:51 PM

#1

Can't find any reviews for the '09 505 XCF. I've never riden a KTM, but i've heard about the torque and power of the 505 (I want one, I think!@#!). I'm currently riding a Honda CRF450x. Does anyone out there have any pro/con lists for me?

  • eastreich

Posted August 28, 2008 - 06:22 AM

#2

The '09 505 XCFs won't be out to the dealers for about another month (at least that is when my dealer is scheduled to get his). so finding a review on the '09 for a little while is probably going to be difficult.

As I have an SXF, I am a little slower in top speed with the closer ratio tranny, but I can tell you that the power is not comparable. I ride with X's all the time, and one of my buddies was so pissed at the speed of my bike over his that he ordered all the R parts for his X the next day. And it still is not as fast (until I top out at around 80mph) as my bike is stone stock. The big disadvatange to the power (for me) is that I can dystroy a rear tire in about 10 hours of ride time. I've started to spit chunks off the center in under 5 hours. My fancy orange plated chain out of the KTM hard parts catalog lasted just about that long too before it was junk.

The 505 is 30 pounds lighter than the X. It is noticeable. The front brake on the KTM is way better than the Honda brake. The rear is not as good, it tends to be a little grabby IMO. But that may just be the way it feels because the front is so good that the back of the bike stays very light under braking making it easier to lock up the wheel.

On the plus side for the Honda is that it does have lights stock. I ride in the dark all the time, and although the stock X light isn't the greatest, a simple bulb change nets you enough candlepower to get the job done. The X in stock form is much quieter, and the power is easier to deal with. The 505 is an absolute monster in the power department. If you compare a 450 as a replacement for a 250 two stroke, the 505 is more like a replacement for a 500 two stroke. There may only be 27cc of difference in displacement, but the actuality of the change is monumental.

The other thing going for the Honda is that it is, well, a Honda. You can find a dealer almost anywhere, and they sell so many X's that it is super easy to get parts OEM or aftermarket (and they are pretty cheap). If you get a 505 be prepared to only get parts (other than plastics) from KTM. Be prepared to spend way more for those parts. Know that every now and then you may be waiting a long time for those parts.

  • albertaguy

Posted August 28, 2008 - 09:51 AM

#3

I like to ignore cost at first and just assess what you want and need. If you want a light feeling mx style bike that also rocks in the trails hills, etc. then the 505 xcf is a great choice. If your 450 has never felt under powered the 450 xcf would be great as well. starting with a 1986 cr500 I had used the 500's as my trail/mountain bike, they are just indestructable and have all the power you needed (had two 86's, a 91, 98, and 01 then an 04 service honda 500). I liked the low gearing of off road bikes and their tourqy motors but never liked the ride (except the ktm 300 exc, that felt light). I ride track a lot so I want a bike that feels fast and light through all the tight single track. The new xcf was the ticket for me and now it's my only bike - track, hills, dunes, it does it all great. Now the cost, you will spend more at first and not as big a selection for aftermarket parts but the quality is great and I have been very impressed. Nothing bad to say about hondas either, they're pretty great off the shelf. If you have a decent local ktm dealer for support I'd say go for it.

  • Jeepentj

Posted August 30, 2008 - 02:07 PM

#4

I have a 2008 505 XC-F and can't say enough about what a nice bike it is. I upgraded from a 2002 520SX with a Thumper Racing 570cc kit in it so that's my point of reference.

Motor: The 570 was faster and produced more torque but the 505 more than holds its own. All things equal, I like the 505 motor more than the 570 although they were both great motors. Everybody says the 505 motor is a monster, which I really disagree with. It produces a lot of power but is very, very manageable.

Handling: No comparison. The new chassis handles much, much better. Although I'm a slow, fat old dude, the bike makes me feel like a hero.

Suspension: MX-Tech revalves all my bikes and does a great job. Consequentially I don't have much of a stock reference point.

Brakes: No comparison. The '08 brakes rock (at least compared to the 2002). I also have a 2004 CR500AF and the KTM's brakes are much better than it too.

In summary, my 520 was the best bike I have ever ridden. That was, until I road the 505. Yeah, in my opinion, it's THAT much better.

Hope that helps!

David

  • albertaguy

Posted August 30, 2008 - 10:35 PM

#5

At present I don't know anyone who has a 505 xcf who hasn't said it was their favorite bike (note: the only guys I know with 505 xcf's are on this forum which is like 4 I think)

  • 66FLH

Posted September 05, 2008 - 09:22 AM

#6

In going from a 300XC to the 505XC,I all I have to say is wow.I dont think the 09's changed all that much so I will only say this:The 505 is by far the best bike I've owned yet.(2 stroke or 4)The power is always there and is very linear if you ask me.The suspension and brakes are top notch too.The only thing I miss is a back up kicker...

  • eastreich

Posted September 05, 2008 - 10:10 AM

#7

My dealer just got an '09 505 XCF in today. But he has seen my ride my 505 SXF, so I don't think he'll let me near the new one.

  • goodhands

Posted September 06, 2008 - 07:07 PM

#8

Are these bikes reliable? I've never ridden a KTM but have always been curious. They look awesome.

  • albertaguy

Posted September 07, 2008 - 01:04 PM

#9

Are these bikes reliable? I've never ridden a KTM but have always been curious. They look awesome.


yes - but I have only had mine for a year - all good to date.

  • VilleKTM

Posted September 08, 2008 - 07:15 AM

#10

The new RF 4 engine (450/505 SXF & XCF) is as bulletproof as they come.
I´ll be heading down to Austria in the end of September to pick up my new ride. A 450 SXF -09. While there i´ll try to get a change to try out the 505 XCF-09.I´ll report my findings...:thumbsup:

  • MitchKTM

Posted September 10, 2008 - 07:38 PM

#11

I have owned a ktm 505 xcf since May.....this bike is incrediable. I've ridden for 30 plus years - 2 strokes and 4 strokes. This bike is fantastic,but the downside it takes some work to get it where it will run consistent. Depending what you what the bike for - track or trail it will require some mods to make it work properly. Jetting, map switch, leak jet bowl and a heavier flywheel if you are riding trails. I ride very techincal single track and this bike rocks.....it eats honda 450s and ktm 525s.... it is a controllable beast and I love it!

  • JAADOG

Posted September 14, 2008 - 05:37 PM

#12

i weight 250 lbs without gear.i was thinking of buying a 450 xc i want a bike that will work for the desert and on a track some times.i am not a big track guy but its fun to ride the track from time to time is the 505 a better bike being that i am a bigger guy.will i not be happy with the 450 xc.

  • albertaguy

Posted September 14, 2008 - 07:55 PM

#13

i weight 250 lbs without gear.i was thinking of buying a 450 xc i want a bike that will work for the desert and on a track some times.i am not a big track guy but its fun to ride the track from time to time is the 505 a better bike being that i am a bigger guy.will i not be happy with the 450 xc.


I would say that depends on your riding style. Definitely you will like the extra power in the sand but it's not like the 450 won't get you around fine. The 450 will probably be a little easier to manage but if you ride aggressively and attack stuff you may like the extra power. I just spent 3 days in the sand dunes and there were a couple 230-240 lbs plus guys in the group on 450's and they got around great though they won't win any hill climbs against lighter guys they still climb everything easily. The 505 did take a little getting use to on the track vs. my yzf 450 as there is a lot more power to the ground feeling but it's very smooth and after 3 or 4 hours of track time I hardly ever threw my leg over the yzf again. Either bike will get you around fine, it comes down to personal preferance so try to find a 505 to ride and see, personally I love it. As far as the track goes the xc does great, it's no enduro bike but rather an mx bike set up for the trails.

  • albertaguy

Posted September 14, 2008 - 08:07 PM

#14

One other note on the 505 xcf. This probably doesn't apply to that many people but If you're a high flying big air guy in the sand dunes that is use to hitting jumps wide open in 5th (which I am not) you will find the 5th gear on the xcf too tall. It pulls excellent on the flats and downhills obviously but when you come into a soft sand face and start to climb it's such a tall gear it bogs a bit and can't hold it's rpms well up and through the face like you want. Then when you land uphill like on a step up it doesn't spin well either so you shift down into fourth in the air. It is just so much taller than a regular mx bikes 5th gear but that is what it was designed for - open cut lines and such. It can do any big jump wide open in fourth great and have all the power to keep climbing when you hit the ground and that's plenty fast for most stuff. Just a side note for you high flyers.

  • JAADOG

Posted September 14, 2008 - 08:33 PM

#15

i ride a 2005 525 mxc and want something newer and lighter but would hate to give up power for a lighter 450xcf thats why i was thinking about the 505 xcf

  • albertaguy

Posted September 14, 2008 - 08:52 PM

#16

i ride a 2005 525 mxc and want something newer and lighter but would hate to give up power for a lighter 450xcf thats why i was thinking about the 505 xcf


then the 505 would be a great choice. I have rode the 525 in the dunes, the track, and in the woods (a friend has an 04 or 03?) and I would say the 505 has all the power only more responsive and the ride is very light feeling. It's like putting your 525 motor in a 450 mx frame (only lighter). Actually I found in the sand (at least in the dunes with a paddle) the 525 didn't perform near as powerful as I had thought, it doesn't spin as fast as the high reving 450/505 motor (lacks top end) so even though it got you around and has endless bottom end it had trouble with some of the real steep long climbs - anyway I would take a 450 any day over the 525 for the dunes and on the track it felt too tanky. The same things that make a bike fun on the track like cornering and flickability can make it a very fast and fun woods/trails bike as well. The 505 is really just the most powerful 450 out there, it's that simple. You will love it, coming off a 525 the handling will feel like a 250 to you. Ask your dealer for names of owners who might let you ride one or be like me and buy it, hope for the best, then realize it's the funnest bike you have ever rode.

  • JAADOG

Posted September 14, 2008 - 09:12 PM

#17

my 525 is fun reel tourqee but not reel powerful and real heavy at the track i think the 505 is for me now i need to convince the wife the same thing thanks

  • albertaguy

Posted September 15, 2008 - 07:03 AM

#18

like I told my wife last September; she said "but you just got a new bike" (07 yzf450) "but honey that was in April, the 08's are out now." "Whatever, then I'm getting a new piano..." and the deal was done. Good luck.

  • eastreich

Posted September 15, 2008 - 02:26 PM

#19

Just a word of caution, try real hard to take a 505 and a 450 for a spin before you buy. One guy I ride with was bound and determined to get a 505 to replace his 525. He rode mine once before the flywheel install, and once after. He was not happy. It was just way too much top-end for him. As Albertaguy said, the 505 is extremely rewarding, but you have to ride it very aggressively to get the most out of it. The flywheel weight does make it easier to ride in the slow and tight, but that is still not this bike's happy place. This is a bike that will tolerate the trail, but really prefers the track. Even with the super light weight, there is no decision for when when I am going trail riding no matter where it is: I take my XR650R. If I am going to be anywhere near a track, or I know that the trail ride is going to be more of a "race," then the 505 gets the nod. Just make sure to be honest in your assesment of not only what, but how, you ride and make the right decision. Any new bike costs way too much money anymore to not make the right decision for you.

If you really like the bottom end surge of your 525, you will be better off to go with the single cam motor in the 530 opposed to the twin cam 450/505.

The guy did really like the light weight of the 505, but he realized that he could not come to grips with the motor. He is just not the kind of guy that likes to run a motor that hard. He rode a 530 and 450 in the sohc motors, and now has a '09 450 XCR-W on order.





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