Need some advice on which 4 stroke to buy!

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#1
Im getting ready to buy a new bike, and ive got it narrowed down to a couple and so i was hoping i could get some of you guys advice. I ride mostly tight single track in upper michigan. Lots of tight trees,sand,whoops,hill climbs. I weigh 160 pounds and im an average to slightly better rider. Right now i ride a ktm 250exc. And its plenty of bike for me. These are the bikes im looking at:
dzr 400
klx 300
xr 400
ktm 400exc
I want to be able to street licence it for the fire roads also, not really pavement. What do you guys/gals think will work best for me?
 
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#3
my only problems with the KTM is the cost,$1500 more than the DZR, $2200 more than the KLX, and KTM's insistance that this bike not be dual-sported. And it seems like they are real good points to why you shouldnt. So what makes the KTM so good that i should overlook these?
 

jdrobins

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#4
The DRZ is an overall good trail bike, I have had mine for almost a year and I still would recommend it. The suspension on the 00,01's are soft (I had to replace my Fork/Shock springs, which made the bike feel much better and actually made me like it better, I have ridden the KLX and Althoiugh it is nice it does lack some power.(the KLX was to be my 2nd choice).
I don't know about street legal though

Jim
 
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#5
gregkzoo,

The reason I said KTM is because it is a way better quality bike. Handle bars, exhaust, everything. As long as you don't do a lot of pavement dualsporting it won't hurt it, I have many friends who dual sport theirs. I bought a WR250F because the KTM250F wasn't going to be released as a 2002 model and I have spent more money making the WR the bike I want than I would have on the KTM. Just personal preference. I think KTM is a much better made bike.
 

TexKDX

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#6
Greg -

If you want to basically keep your 250EXC but have it burn straight gas, get the KTM 400EXC and be done with it. Have you ridden the DRZ? Nice bike, but it feels heavy compared to the KTM400. The DRZ is more directly comparable to the WR400 Yamaha, but has the advantages of the button and a friendlier power delivery. The KTM400 is more akin to the 2 stroke KTMs in its handling, feel, and power delivery.

The dual sport "issue" on the RFS at it pertains to the US market I believe is driven by two factors. One, KTM trying to maintain sales of its LC4-based machines, and two, if you look at the true US market dual sports - XR650L, KLR, Suzuki DR - the RFS is a different bike. No electric fan is one issue behind this I'm sure. Quite frankly, as hard and narrow as the RFS seat is I cannot imagine ANYONE riding one long enough on the street to hurt it!

Make the RFS street legal and don't worry about it I say. For your intended use it will work fine. One thing I plan to do the next time I'm across the pond is take a good look at the XRs, EXCs, KDXs etc. and see if they put a cush drive on them for the markets where they are street legal. The RFS and LC2 (2 stroke) KTMs come as EGS models as well in some countries, and I believe these all have a cush drive rear hub.

Ride them all if you can before you make your decision. All good bikes, but the KTM will explain to you when you ride her why she costs more. The KLX and Suzy will take a few hundred in upgrades to make you happy with it which will offset some of the money.

Truth be told, the RFS does bug me in one regard - the sound the engine makes. That worn coffee-grinder sound wigs me out a bit. As long as I'm here in the US and walking distance from a ride back to the truck I'm OK. Put me out 500 miles from no-where on an adventure trip in Mexico, no way man.

That is what I got the XR250 for :) .

Good luck,
 

bte

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#7
If you have not looked at the Husqvarna TE400, I would not over look it. The 02' will be e-start, but my 01 is not a hard starter. They are nice bikes and are put togather good. If you have never priced one, do it, you very well maybe surprized. Not that I'm tring to sell you mine but I just priced mine to a guy for 4,500 and it a 01, so that will give you and idea of the price. and the price on parts are great too. You may not give the huskys a second thought, but I just thought I would give you some food for thought.

brown
 
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#8
Guys, thanks for the great advice. The ktm worries me because of the small oil capacity,no fan,uncushioned hub, and that hard KTM seet, which ive become sorta used to. Will she be able to run 100 miles of firelane road without killing it? If it has as much power as my 250, i could maybe go with less power.
The trails i ride are mostly 1st, 2nd gear, and OCCASIONALY 3rd. Fire roads i usually dont need all the gears, and power either. This is why i wonder if i need something as race as the KTM. Which of these bikes would feel great on the single track, as well as a 60 mile fireroad run? IWith trail being the more important consideration? Would it still be the KTM?

As far as the Husky, i havnt checked em yet because i thought they would be out of my price range, but i guess not, so i will have to check em out.
 

scar tissue

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#9
Are you looking at new or used. If used the KLX price tag is much nicer than any other. I've seen stock 2000 KLX300's for under 3K. You could then take the saving and have a company like Stroker trick it out for you exactly. Thats what I did, 340 kit pumper carb, ext. swing arm, KX linkage etc. this bike rocks and is lees than a stock KTM of the same year.

I agree with the other guys on the DRZ feeling heavy, same with the XR 400. though The XR would be my 2nd. choice.

If budget isn't the issue then the KTM would be the best bike, in stock performance, but for long trail rides the seat is very, very hard. It's great for motocross.

I'm 6'3" 220lbs and came off an XR 600 to my KLX 340 and am very happy with the performance of the bike, both power and especially turning. Stock the powers a little down, but the free mods. and a pumper really pump it up. Pipes and over bores help to. For Trails the KLX turns the best. I've been able to ride it all day very very comfortably. No problems on hill climbs. I don't know how tall you are but stock the bikes are a little short, with the way I have mine set up it's now actually 1" taller than my XR600. good luck.:cool:
 

penguin

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#10
KTM or KLX They are both much lighter than the other alternatives. I have owned 3 KLX's and they don't have as much power as a 250exc, but they always got me where I wanted to go. I have seen several dual spoted KLX's, don't know about the KTM. If money was no object , I would get the KTM 400MXC/EXC and a couple of cases of oil and some stainless steel oil filters and go for it :)
 
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#11
well i wouldnt say money is no object, but i could wait longer and buy the KTM. On its measley oil capacity do you think its safe to run it straight for 100 miles? Right now i could buy a new KLX, and hop it up a bit, or buy a used KTM 400.
What we are looking at doing is getting off the trail some and hitting the fireroads/trails with our tent and gear in our packs and doing 200 mile weekends.
My girlfreind who rides a ttr 125 is buying a ttr225 and street title it. We want to be able to see more of our awesome state, but still be able to trail ride. She's tired of not being able to see cool things in our state and national forests because our bikes are'nt legal, even though its just fire roads, and dirt roads into little towns.
 

penguin

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#12
I would still vote for the KTM, but if the oil thing really bothers you, go with the KLX, you and do a few simple mods and perk up the power. If I ever got another KLX I would modify it in this order: remove restrictor from the stock muffler and remove airbox lid(free), put on a oversized headpipe($140), put on a pumper carburetor($325-$500). At your weight the stock suspension should be adequate for exploring. I weigh over 200 lbs, so I would put in heavier springs($180) after doing the free mods.
 
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#13
Stay KTM

Well I finally got to ride a new DRZ a couple weeks ago and what a dissapointment. :( It felt like a pig on the trail and was seriously lacking in the power dept. It did however feel great on the road.:think I think you would be more satisfied on the KTM.
 

scar tissue

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#14
Since your asking for fireroad performance only, you'd probrably be happy with all of them. See what you get the best deal on and is most comfortable, and go from there. The KTM cool but very hard seat. Honestly if I was going for fireroad crusing, comfort, and being bulletproof I'd choose the XR400. a good all around bike. The KLX is better for tight trails. and again the deals on 1 year olds are a scream.
 

HGilliam

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#15
I've been dualsporting a RFS KTM for 10 months now. I bought the stainless filters right away and change the oil every 2 to 3 hundred miles. I've done some back to back 100 to 140 mile days on mostly dirt road and paved back roads and must admit I wish I had the Corbin seat thats on my KTM 620. Other than this I prefer the 520 over the 620 for everything except the seat. Ride the bike with a little bit of sanity on the pavement and leave the gear banging wheelies to the dirt. If you get stopped too long at a traffic light just shut it off, its got a e-button! In the woods and trails there is no comparison between the KTM and the rest of the list. Gear it 52t on the rear and you'll only use 1st gear if you completely stop in a gnarley section. Sixth gear will still water your eyes on the road so 50 to 55mph is easy riding.

Besides KTM is the only importer to support our fight agains the land closure eco nazis. They recently joined ORBA (Off road business association) which is one of the organizations fighting in court against land closure. Our toys aren't much fun if there is no good place to ride them. Support those that support us.

Putting my soapbox away now!

Howard
:)