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backinthedirt

Wanting to get a 4-stroke. WR vs KTM?

30 posts in this topic

I currently ride an '04 KTM 300 EXC two stroke. It's great but I want a four stroke. I keep looking at the KTM 450 E (4-stk) and would get one in an instant but they seem to require allot of maintenance like checking the valves every 15 hours. When we do a weekend ride I can put that much time on a bike, or more. Do the WR's require the same amount of valve checks as the KTM? How about maintenance in general, do the Yamaha 's need much? I don't have any problem with the simple stuff, oil changes, air filters, ect. I'm just not enthusiastic about having to pull the tank and radiators off every two weeks to check valves. How about the weight of the WR, seems like magazines always say they are to heavy, are they right? Any tips or suggestions?

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KTM doesn't even compare to a Yamaha WR, the bikes are 2 different animals all together, I have rode both KTM's and Yamaha's and fore the life of me I cant understand why someone would buy one.

There expensive, the suspension sucks and the bike itself it temperamental.

Buy the WR, do a few Free Mods and enjoy a major maintenance free motorcycle for a couple years.

IMHO Yamaha has set the highest bar in the industry for valve train and other have tried to copy it but still don't compare.

Until Honda can improve there valve train Yamaha will remain on top.

Remember this is just my opinion

Good Luck

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I think the WR450 is extremely reliable. Oil changes every 100 - 200 miles. You can easily get 3000 miles (150 hours) before doing your first valve adjustment. :cry:

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we've bounced this one back and fourth a few times. try the "search" feature. there has to be a ton on the WR vs EXC thing.

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Actually, this is a relevant thread for me. I've been looking at an '04 KTM 250exc 4-stroke with a 350 kit. It rides really nice, and you have to appreciate the upgrade in accessories - bar, chain, etc. It has been a dealer demo. He's put over 500 miles on it. He wants $6,000 (over $6,500 otd) for it, and he won't budge an inch.

On the other hand, I have found a brand-new '04 WR450 for about $200 less otd. It's not quite as much of a beast as I expected, but it will take a lot of getting used to.

I'm still considering the KTM, but more and more I'm having a hard time justifying it over the Yamaha. I'm guessing this crowd would wonder what my problem is, too.

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A good friend of mine was in the same situation you are it's kind of funny. I was comming off a 98 XR 400 and he was coming off a KTM 300 2 stroke. I bought a 03 WR450 and he bought a 03 KTM 450. I think he liked the 2 stroke so much that he did not like the 4 stroke that much. I rode his bike a little bit in his back yard and the WR 450 power hits a lot stonger. But the KTM does feels lighter if I remember correctly. Good Luck. Oh yea one other thing the WR requires very little maintenance, just remember to keep the engine oil changed and the air filter clean. :cry::cry:

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I may get another WR450 class bike within the year and pass my current uncorked 05 WR450 to my son, as he will outgrow his CRF230 soon.

Since I was not aware of KTM until recently, I thought I would get a Honda CRF450X when it arrives (just to have a variant 450), but the 450X is heaver than the WR, costs more, first year bikes scare me and the 250X's valve issues are concerning -- so another WR or KTM is my focus.

I have read discussions here on the KTM 525 EXC but have not seen a direct comparison by someone who has experience with each 2005 model; comparing power, ride, ergonomics, maintenance, etc.

Many seem to imply that the KTM requires far more maintenance vs. the WR and I've read several reports of initial quality problems with the KTM; this is concerning since I'm not a mechanic and the KTM dealer is not local.

Conversely, if you speak to a KMT loyalist or dealer they act as if you are comparing a Porsche to a Chevy.

Any insight would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Elton

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Indy said it best, they are as reliable as you can get. I was faced with this situation aswell. It's personal preference, I think the WR has a better motor and better suspension. Outside of that KTM gives you a lot of bells and whistles that add up to a bike race ready out of the box. You really can't go wrong with either but the KTM will cost you a bit more.

My 300 is a great bike, I truly love two strokes and feel they have their place but on long rides the four stroke is just easier to ride. For woods riding it's hard to beat a KTM two stroke.

As far as a KTM being more maintenance, both bikes need oil changes and both need valve adjustments.

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I always thought that if I rode a 2skt it would be a 300 , I race against 300's often, Gas Gas or KTM both are very rideable bikes and competitive.

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EXC for tight woods.

WR for open stuff and play MX.

It is easier to get a plate for a KTM if that matters.

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The seat is higher on my WR than my bud's 400exc and 525mxc. If you're tall go blue. If you like applying lock tight to every bolt on you bike go orange. :cry:

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I rode a 2001 KTM 400 exc $ 100 bucks every time I banged it off the ground, Slim , light ,smooth power and turns like a dog. WR Beat the crap out of it and it just keeps goin. I got friend we call pigpen!! You can figure this one out, Trashes the crap out his bike never spends a nickle on it . Me and my buddies usually race prep his bike for him, unreal how long you can ride blue.

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Guys,

Thanks for all the replies! I did do a search on the KTM's vs WR's and found lots of good reading. I like the KTM two stroke and I haven't had a lick of trouble in over 40 hours, it's light and has great power but I'm just wanting a four stroke bike. I know the WR is heaver, it's just a personal thing. I've had lots of two strokes in the past but after being out of dirt bikes for several years, then buying an XR400 to get back "into" dirt biking again I miss how the four stroker runs. My buddy has a Husky 450 and we trade back and forth sometimes, I like the way the bike just motors through the trails in second and third gear, just loafing along even though you are covering ground fast! I thought a two stroke would satisfy me but I need two more strokes to make me feel good! I think KTM has a good bike in the 450 E but the maintenance on the valves is going to keep me away. Pulling the tank, seat and radiators off every two weeks is not much fun when you have a limited schedule for dirt biking. Thanks for all the replies! Pete

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Indy said it best, they are as reliable as you can get. I was faced with this situation aswell. It's personal preference, I think the WR has a better motor and better suspension. Outside of that KTM gives you a lot of bells and whistles that add up to a bike race ready out of the box. You really can't go wrong with either but the KTM will cost you a bit more.

Dan,

I assume you mean the WR450 is the most reliable? Also, what bells and whistles do KTM's have that are significant vs. the WR? Can you compare the power of a 525 exc vs. an uncorked WR450?

As far as a KTM being more maintenance, both bikes need oil changes and both need valve adjustments

But from what I'm reading, the KMT needs more maintenance; harder oil changes, and more frequent valve adjustments, ie: 15-20 hrs. on the KTM and 1200 - 3000 miles on the WR -- correct?

Elton

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I owned a 2002 525exc for 2 years. No mechanical problems whatsoever. I checked the valves 3 times a year. Takes about 30 minutes to check, adjust, and reassemble. Nice bike. Wanted lighter, sold it and bought a new 300exc. Love it even more.

I've ridden the WR450. As a comparison, the WR450 revs quicker... the 520 has more low end torque. The 520 is also lighter feeling. If someone is having problems turning a KTM, that because they haven't taken the time to setup the suspension and sag correctly. Once done, turns on a dime.

Is KTM better than WR? Both are great. Personal preference. Try to get a test ride on both. Can't go wrong either way.

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WR450 will be much more trouble free. However, your KTM300 is the most reliable bike KTM makes. My friends with KTM 400 and 525's have had the following problems:front and rear brake locks unexpectedly, rear sprocket bolts fall out, hydrolic clutch line leaks, motor over heats at high altitude, oil changes require changing multiple oil filters, oil sight glass breaks or leaks, head bolts blow if not properly retorqued...etc.....etc. There always seems to be something breaking or falling off these bikes but the owners won't sell them. While their bikes are parked waiting for parts and repairs, I am having fun on my trouble free WR450. To be fair, I have seen none of these problems on the KTM 300 two strokes.

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Dan,

I assume you mean the WR450 is the most reliable? Also, what bells and whistles do KTM's have that are significant vs. the WR? Can you compare the power of a 525 exc vs. an uncorked WR450?

But from what I'm reading, the KMT needs more maintenance; harder oil changes, and more frequent valve adjustments, ie: 15-20 hrs. on the KTM and 1200 - 3000 miles on the WR -- correct?

Elton

Elton, yes.. I meant that in my opinion, the WR/YZ line is more reliable.

Bell and whistles the KTM has:

Hydraulic clutch

Renthal Fatbars

Fully adjustable topclamp (four positions)

Dual compound renthal grips

Powder coated frame and hubs

Wave rotors

Frame guards, both sides

EXCs have a sweet computer, big plus

Slimmer and lighter body

When talking about regular maintenance, you're really splitting hairs.. I can't speak about something I don't know a whole lot about, I've never owned a KTM RFS. Like I said before, they both require attention like any other late model high performance four stroke.

I bought the Yamaha because the 5 valve head makes crazy power, it builds and builds power everywhere.. I love the WR motor and feel it has the upper hand on the KTM450 and 525. I also love the way the WR handles whoops. The WR is much more stable at higher speeds than any KTM that I've ridden.

525 power vs WR450, I ride my friends 525exc all the time, it has a bigger bottom end for sure, when you gas it the bike really takes off, more so than the WR. We mostly ride single track and I think the 525 is a better bike for open areas like the desert. I also think that the 05 WR is a better trail bike, less engine mass for me is easier to ride. I love my WR, it corners so well and has perfect power..

Dan

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