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beerjonny

XR650R or KTM LC4e

22 posts in this topic

I'm posting this here and the KTM forum so I can get some mixed feedback...

Looking for some final advice. I've spent WAAAAY to many hours researching two bikes that I am interested in buying and wonder if there is anyone out there that has or does own both?? I'm stuck...

The two bikes - a plated Honda XR650R (actually it is a 680) and KTM 640 LC4e (not the adventure). Both are 2003's, Honda = 5000 kms, KTM = 10,000 kms.

I currently ride a fairly heavily modified DRZ400S, in the woods, down the nastiest trails I can find, on dirt roads, paved roads, to work, on the highway, long trips (my favorite) and any where else I can find time and a place to ride it. I use it for everything. I've even fabricated a set of panniers with frame for it and have done 4000km+ trips on it (both on and off road). I get out every weekend trail riding for hours and hours (without the panniers of course). Then I hop back on the highway and drive 300 kms home. It is a general purpose bike that does everything OK but nothing perfect. The thing is bullet proof.

Honda

Pros - a kick ass power plant, lighter than what I am used to in the woods, with a ton more power. :ride: History of being very reliable. Tons of aftermarket out there. Would be more capable on the road versus my current steed. Easier to get parts when I need them on the road. The one I am looking at comes with a FMF pipe, 680 Weisco kit, locking steering stem, skid plate , brush guards, brake lights.

Cons - Does it really require oil changes every 1000kms or so? It would require a sub frame ext, rear rack, larger tank, new seat, stator rewind, and eventually many other things. Kickstart only, but I can live with that.

KTM

Pros - Still an upgrade on what I am used to for power. Very high quality components, and attention was paid out on the small things like fittings, cables, etc. Hydraulic clutch. Still very capable on the road versus the DRZ probably on par with the Honda?? Kick start and a magic button.:ride: The one I am looking at comes with the performance exhaust , skid plate, upgraded brush guards and a rack.

Cons - Does it really require oil changes every 5000kms or so, and a valve check? A little heavier than the Honda and my current DRZ. Unsure about getting parts fast in some areas of Canada.

Now I've heard about a lot of great, positive experiences with the KTM. I've heard a few very bad ones too. I only know one guy with it and you'd have to pry the throttle out of his dead hand before he'd let you drive it.

The Honda, mostly good things I hear. Not so many negative things. Another friend owns an XR650R and he has over 108,000kms on it. And no I did not mis-type that.

The last consideration is the wife. I know the Honda is a one person bike period. Now with a seat replacement, will the KTM be livable for a few hours on the back? She's a tough cookie. If it is, then that may be the deal breaker. But let's pretend it's not as I may have her convinced she needs one too :ride:

Thanks for reading so far, and I'd love to hear what you have to say. Keep in mind the KTM would cost me about $2000 Cdn more than the XR.

Cheers guys,

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You placed this question in the section HONDA. .....XR600/650?.......:ride:

If I knew your language I would say to you thousand reasons for choose a XR650R......

If you want, I say it to you in italian............:ride:

:ride:XR :applause:XR :naughty:XR :busted:XR :smirk:XR :ride:

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Yeah I wasn't sure where to put it, so I thought I'd get the most views if it went in the KTM LC4 AND the XR 650 section... I know to expect that all the KTM guys are going to scream KTM and the Honda guys are going to scream Honda.

I'm looking for a someone whos ridden both, or ridee one with a buddy who owns the other. If it wasn't so damn cold here (and snowy) I'd just go drive each one and then decide. But I can't wait 2 months!!

Either way I doubt I'll be disapointed, just want to get the BEST one... and yes I know Honda right? :ride: :ride:

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Hey beerjonny: drop me a pm and I'll give ya some insight (the Canadian perspective, eh!). I have an XRR and will be putting a d/s kit on her soon.

Miguel (aka - Paul)

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If you can buy 2 KTMs, one in maintenance while you ride the other, I would still buy the XRR. Stock XRRs finish the SCORE races. If you are 100 dirt kms into singletrack, solo, you don't want a maintenance problem.

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I used to ride a KTM 660 SMC-04 (Supermotard) and the vibrations are quite drastic (compared to the Honda ).

Otherwise the KTM is a well built bike with alot of nice standard parts which are options on Japanese bikes.

If they could sort out the Vibrations on the LC4 (which i dont think since the LC4 is going to be replaced) i would consider buying a KTM again.

The KTM 450/525 are nice,powerfull bikes with alot of feeling.:ride:

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The XR650R with stock CAM/Compression kick starts with a long lazy push if it is in good tune (valves/spark plug/jets). You can just sit on the seat and kick it through. I usually find TDC first (where the compression gets hard on the kick lever) and then push slightly past before I try to start it.

I think the 650R is way lighter that the KTM. Mine weighs in at 300 lbs with half tank of gas, dual sport kit, handle bar guards, BD skid plate , BD rear pegs, GPS , & 3.8 Gallon tank.

I think I saw somewhere that a guy put on an external oil reservoir since the stock system only holds about 2 liters. This can extend the oil life, but it is ridiculous in my opinion. Maybe if you decided to tour Africa, then it would be worthwhile. Just check it frequently and watch for when it starts to change from gold colored to light brown, then change it. If you are winding it out for extended periods of time (>120KM), it will push out a little oil through the crankcase breather and make it change color faster. Check the oil level often if you ride like this. If you putt-putt, you can go further between oil changes. Another thing - if the piston rings have a little blow-by (compression loss) then the oil gets dirty really fast - 1 or 2 rides. That is common on trashed or high-mileage bikes.

If you do get it, find a 3.8 or 4.3 gallon tank. Stock tank only gets you 50-80 miles depending on riding conditions. Bigger tanks are too bullky. Last, if you run out of gas (with any tank stock or aftermarket), tip the bike way over to the right to slosh over the remaining gas from the left side to the fuel petcock.

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Looks fairly nice, but it looks like some one painted the engine black? He said its not over 5000kms but i doubt that. Thats only 3100 miles.

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Hard to say if its good without being there. There are probably some threads on what to check but here is a basic run through. Put it on a center stand. Check wheels for flat spots and run-out. Check for loose spokes. Check bearing play on wheels by side loading them. Check forks and shock for leakage. Check rear swing arm for bearing play. You want zero to 5mm free play up/down and zero side to side. Check headset for bearing binding/freeplay. Check cables for fraying at both ends. Check levers, shifter, foot brake for free play. A little is ok. Levers get loose and they get older. Check footpegs for free play. Check right footpeg mount to frame for damage/freeplay. Check oil/air filter for cleanliness. Check behind air filter for sand/dirt particles.

Check motor for ticking/rattling/clunking sounds while idling. Its easier to hear a good motor and a bad motor to hone your skill at this. Basically, the cam chain will start to slap around at idle as it stretches and the tensioner guides wear. When running, give it few snaps on the throttle open/close to rev up about 3/4 way through the RPM band to see if smoke comes out of the exhaust when the motor spins down. This is usually valve guide seals wearing out by letting a small amount of oil through. Check electrical for function if it is a dual sport.

Check frame, cases and swingarm for visual impact damage. Check forks and rear shock for smoothness when you ride. You don't want it to feel sticky through the travel, overly stiff, or under dampened.

That's all I can think of at the moment. Its hard to judge maintenance but you will find that if the rings need to be replaced due to high mileage, then the oil will get dirty really fast. You can usually tell in about 160 KM of riding as the oil will go from gold to dark brown.

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I never rode the 650 r but have a tremendous respect for it. A few of my friends I ride with do. I do own both the DRZ400s with all the mods and a fairly stock KTM 525EXC. Maintence is not a big deal. I change oil way too often anyway. The KTM has an electric starter and if the 650r had that feature and could be dual sported in California, you'd see a different avatar by my name. My KTM is insane fast, nimble, lightweight, inspiring, and did I say fast? that is an understatement. The 650r is tried and true, big, reliable like the DRZ, and above all a Honda. You can't go wrong there. I've heard nothing but good about it. if only it had the "button" and a plate.

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no way would i give that guy 4800 for his bike. that price is at least 1500 to high. for a 03 you should pay between 3-3500. i bought a year ago for 3000 with very low hours on it. that bike looks like it has already been through the ringer quite a bit. if you plan on keep this bike for awhile be patient and look for a really low hour machine you will be happier in the long run. maybe he is saying 3100 miles on the new motor?

as far as passengers go. i have the baja designs buddy pegs and they work alright. we can ride for about 45 minutes no problem. i haven't tried to go longer then that. i usually just go by myself if it is a longer trip but i like taking her around town and such.

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no way would i give that guy 4800 for his bike. that price is at least 1500 to high. for a 03 you should pay between 3-3500. i bought a year ago for 3000 with very low hours on it. that bike looks like it has already been through the ringer quite a bit. if you plan on keep this bike for awhile be patient and look for a really low hour machine you will be happier in the long run. maybe he is saying 3100 miles on the new motor?

as far as passengers go. i have the baja designs buddy pegs and they work alright. we can ride for about 45 minutes no problem. i haven't tried to go longer then that. i usually just go by myself if it is a longer trip but i like taking her around town and such.

I gotta agree. Anyone who even thinks of going at an engine with a rattle can has got to have questionable respect for a bike. Some bikes just talk to you when you're checking them out...this ones saying "my owner is a d!ckhead".

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As a side note...I notice you are in New Brunswick. Keep your eyes peeled for bikes in Maine/NH/VT...maybe even MA. I have seen some decent ones on craigslist.com. Might be worth the drive for the right one.

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I am not going to look at this bike. It is 4 hrs away, he claims the previuos owner did all the painting, and now he is not sure of the milage 'between 5000 and 10000 or so"... :ride:

BUT I found one in my home town that is an 04 and looks brand new. It has a full FMF on it, skid plate , hand guards, trailtech, and a re-wound rotor. Not street plated though so I have to make some calls today and see what the hoops are I have to jump through.

He is asking $5500 Cnd so it seems a bit hig, but not bad. He just had a baby, so he is selling his FLR1300 and XR650R... but just bought the KTM super-enduro 950! (lucky bastard... :ride: )

Thanks again for the help guys. Now to find a larger tank, rad fan, DS kit, seat upgrade, subframe bolt on, rear rack.....

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He is asking $5500 Cnd so it seems a bit hig, but not bad. He just had a baby, so he is selling his FLR1300 and XR650R... but just bought the KTM super-enduro 950! (lucky bastard... :ride: )

LOL, OK. Any guy that can have a baby *and* buy a KTM SuperEnduro in a short span of time isn't that concerned with money. Take cash when you go to check it out and I bet he'll make a deal :ride:

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