450 Supermoto Showdown
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Thread: 450 Supermoto Showdown

  1. #1
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    Default 450 Supermoto Showdown

    I have been meaning to post a thread like this since we have a lot of 450's being added to our group. We have plenty of examples of each, so I invited a few of the guys over, each with a different color 450 to compare. Here's what we collectively decided:



    First off, these bikes are not the maintenance nightmares that they have been made out to be...as long as you set them up properly. As with any bike an assessment of how the bike will be used is key. For example, if you're going to log highway miles you'll want to consider higher gearing. Keeping the RPM's low is the trick to preserving the life of the engine. Not to worry, even with high gearing each one of these bikes still have plenty of power to spare.

    Aside from gearing, this is what to expect if you decide to convert any of these bikes:

    1) Brake switch. Whether you decide on the hydraulic switch, or choose to go all out and get an ATV master cylinder, you'll need something to activate the taillight.

    2) Headlight switch. All of these bikes have a headlight, but they'll need a switch to toggle between high and low beams.

    3) A tail/brake light (CRF & KLX)

    4) Horn. Most states require it, however in most cases a simple bicycle horn from wal-mart will do the trick.

    5) Some of these bikes would benefit from a stator being re-wound for higher output along with a regulator rectifier to handle the higher output.

    Now the performance of these bikes is a moot point. I have found that they all share parts from their MX brethren and that means that you can change the performance characteristics with a simple cam and exhaust swap. All of these bikes have very similar power and I don't believe that any of them displayed any clear dominance over the other in that aspect. That being said, I'll list some things that I have noticed about the different 450's.

    Honda CRF450X


    This bike was everything you would expect from Honda. Top of the line quality components and a solid feeling and performing bike. This bike had the most aftermarket parts installed. One that was very note worthy were the Rad Mfg. wheels with a cush drive hub. They made the bike so much more nicer to ride as well as preventing a lot of premature wear on the associated components. Another cool feature about the Honda is the separate oil reservoirs which means your engine and clutch can have different oils to better preserve their performance.

    The only downside that I will mention about the Honda is the top end. This is a somewhat controversial topic, but as a former Honda motorcycle technician and through my own personal research/experience I believe that this is something worth mentioning. Hondas seem to enjoy eating valves. This doesn't mean, however, that they can't be made to be just as reliable as the rest of the bunch. Switching over to stainless steel valves along with a TRX450R (ATV) piston (for the extra oil ring) will provide you with what you need to have a healthy long lasting street machine. Though this may cost a bit more, you can't deny that the CRF is one of the best looking bikes with tons of potential.

    Kawasaki KLX450


    What is not to like about this bike. With killer looks and power to match this bike is tough to beat. The transmission gearing seems to be a little close, but even with a 15T front sprocket (which will give it plenty of gear range for the highway) this bike will almost power wheelie in every gear! Love it or hate it, the green is pretty flashy and makes this bike stand out from the rest of the pack.

    In my experience working on the KLX, you'll have the most trouble with chain to tire clearance. Here are a couple of links on how to deal with this issue: http://www.supermotojunkie.com/showt...ock&highlight= and http://www.supermotojunkie.com/showt...les&highlight=. Basically, with a chain block you can run either a 160 on a 5" rim or a 150 on a 4.25" rim and yes, the 160 WILL fit just fine. The only other thing to be aware of is the oil capacity. I would recommend keeping the oil filled up all the way to the upper mark.

    Yamaha WR450


    I'm sure that it's no secret around here that this is my weapon of choice. For an overall complete package, I feel like the blue bikes are tough to beat. They are built/intended for street use from the factory (some assembly required on the US version) and can easily be converted to produce YZ power with a simple exhaust cam and YZ exhaust swap. Definitely offers a great bang for the buck and the durability of the 5 valve head makes worrying about valve adjusts a thing of the past. From my time as a Yamaha Tech, I only had to adjust 3 individual valves (on three separate bikes) in my years at Yamaha.

    There are a couple of short comings though. The WR seems to have an appetite for batteries so keeping the bike on a Battery Tender is a must. Also, if you're like me, you enjoy the bike's explosive power, but this will effect your fuel range...

    KTM XCR-W


    Love them or hate them the KTM's make for a really cool sumo. Though they are vastly different from the Japanese bikes, their uniqueness is undeniable. The biggest and best selling point on these bikes, you can pretty much decide from a 450 all the way up to a 560 and almost all of the engine/body components will interchange between the different models (i.e. a EXC 6 speed transmission from a 525 will fit right in to a 450 SX). This opens up a world of options and tons of parts to choose from. Plus the KTM accessories allow you to really deck out the bike with some serious orange flair. Since the EXC comes with a street legal title and a headlight/taillight, it is among the easiest to put on the road.

    These bikes are built and engineered differently which can make them somewhat tricky to work on. The only other thing that I will mention is my KTM seems to have a thing for leaking oil. Parts seem to be a little more involved to order and take a little longer to be delivered...and tend to cost a little more.

    Conclusion


    Pick your poison. Just like anything in life, there are pros and cons to each bike/manufacturer. Just like women, you have to decide which one's short comings you are able to deal with the best. When put side by side and we all compared notes, the bikes shared more similarities than differences. With proper jetting and some well placed parts these bikes can easily be converted for $1k or less (17's included in that price). If you're in the market for a sumo any of these bikes would be among the best candidates. Lightweight and tons of power, the 450's are where it's at.
    Last edited by crash279; 03-19-2013 at 06:41 PM.

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  3. #2
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    good write up!
    08 KLX450R Supermoto
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    They all have their own traits, but the mind behind the vision and the hands that put the package together is what truly matters.

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    Great thread. Glad I could add some red to the Dallas group!!!
    2007 DRZ400sm
    Want a WR450 Sumo

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    Awesome thread and info and definitly loving the pink grips that resemble the color and shape of a penis!


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    Quote Originally Posted by Armenian View Post
    Awesome thread and info and definitly loving the pink grips that resemble the color and shape of a penis!

    Okay okay....I'm sorry but that was funny
    07 drz sm
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    What's on your mind is in your mouth lol.

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    Nice writeup..too bad we'll have 20 more which bike is better threads by next week...lol. How many bikes does one man need? Nevermind it's like guns..never enough.. Im jealous to say the least after seeing all your steeds in the stable.
    KTM Duke II 2005 CRF450X SM, 2002 Aprilia Mille 1000/////1997 CR250RSM(SOLD)\\ 2001DRZ400(SOLD) \\2001 WR250F(Sold) \\2002 SV650(Sold) \\2006 DR250(Sold) \\1996 KTM 300EXC(sold)
    Godspeed Sean.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmanisgnarly View Post
    Nice writeup..too bad we'll have 20 more which bike is better threads by next week...lol. How many bikes does one man need? Nevermind it's like guns..never enough.. Im jealous to say the least after seeing all your steeds in the stable.
    Can you believe he won't let any of us ride them....greedy I tell you lol!!!
    07 drz sm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelso1 View Post
    Can you believe he won't let any of us ride them....greedy I tell you lol!!!
    Yeah I think just about everybody has ridden all of my bikes at one point or another lol.

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    Haha great job with the write up you just confirmed my thoughts that Yamaha is simply the best

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    Nice write up thanks for the pics and info
    07 r1 looking for a supermoto bike

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    brilliant write up mate The only thing is its made my choice more harder in what SM to get. I really was after a KTM 690 SM after this write up and what other's have said about the WR450 been light and power full I am now all

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkSector... View Post
    brilliant write up mate The only thing is its made my choice more harder in what SM to get. I really was after a KTM 690 SM after this write up and what other's have said about the WR450 been light and power full I am now all
    We actually have a guy in our group that is selling his 690SMC in order to buy a 450...just sayin

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    wow really is that because the 450 is faster and more fun? what group are you in? is it like a 450 group? I am liking the sound of the WR. I was looking at the aprilia svx that dose not write up good as in the reviews. What is the differences with the WR and the YZ?

    Ps as your right about blue bike they do look the best

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkSector... View Post
    wow really is that because the 450 is faster and more fun? what group are you in? is it like a 450 group? I am liking the sound of the WR. I was looking at the aprilia svx that dose not write up good as in the reviews. What is the differences with the WR and the YZ?

    Ps as your right about blue bike they do look the best
    Here's the group:
    http://m.facebook.com/dfwsumos?id=16...ser=1329484676

    The 450s are lighter and more nimble which makes them a bit easier to ride.

    The main differences between the wr and yz are: The wr has a larger stator and lights and the wr also has a wide ratio transmission which is better for street use.

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    I don't have facebook lol.

    I see so the WR is a full on road SM where the YZ is an more off road bike? dose the WR have a 6 speed box?

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    Ill just be using my SM when i get one for road wheeling, and fun on the back twist roads. what is the max speed of a WR about 90mph? just gets there mega fast?

    A WR is cheaper to get then a ktm. The only bad thing for me is my mates have sports bikes still would a WR be ok for a good day out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkSector... View Post
    I don't have facebook lol.

    I see so the WR is a full on road SM where the YZ is an more off road bike? dose the WR have a 6 speed box?
    You should be able to see the page even if you don't have a Facebook.

    The wr has a wide ratio 5 speed, but works just fine for road use.


    Quote Originally Posted by DarkSector... View Post
    Ill just be using my SM when i get one for road wheeling, and fun on the back twist roads. what is the max speed of a WR about 90mph? just gets there mega fast?

    A WR is cheaper to get then a ktm. The only bad thing for me is my mates have sports bikes still would a WR be ok for a good day out.
    Top speed is around 100 depending on gearing and is a blast on backroads.

    The wr will handle the sportbikes just fine on curvy roads, but not so much on straightaways.

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    Gutted iv just try that Facebook link I can get on it with me not having it never mind.

    That's all I am after a bike for fun on the back curvy roads. Power wheelies out of the bends. Really just to have a good laugh on.

    Top speed of 100mph is fine as I sit at 80 90 mph anyways no point over here to many undercover police cars like BMW's and EVO's and bikes like R1's GSXR1000's CBR1000RR's and if you can get way from them there is the bird in the sky. And any think over 100 mph your going to court. My mate got done doing 145mph and spent 8 months in prison with a £1500 fine and a 2 year ban.

    5 speed box will be fine. Have you changed your gearing? Would a WR be ok for like rides out doing 150 miles or so that may sound silly to ask just that's my ride out with my mates.

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    What are them Yamaha xt600 SM like? do you know out about them?

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    I mean the xt660 SM

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkSector... View Post
    I mean the xt660 SM
    We dont have those over here

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    Yeah, the only thing that I have ridden/owned that was close to the 660 is a ktm 625. Fun bike, but heavy. That's why it went on to a new owner and the garage is now exclusively for 450s.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saleendude07 View Post
    We dont have those over here
    Cant you get one shipped over or is there no point? I think there is better SM out there. In England we get a xt660 for about £2500 cheap SM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crash279 View Post
    Yeah, the only thing that I have ridden/owned that was close to the 660 is a ktm 625. Fun bike, but heavy. That's why it went on to a new owner and the garage is now exclusively for 450s.
    450cc SM in England are not cheap all set up that it, I was looking at a off road CRF450 the guy wants £1800 to change it over to a on road SM I am thinking and look up some parts £1500-£2000 I would love to do it over winter for next summer. Just it will not be in my garage long as it would go missing "I could always keep my dog in there with it would not go then ill just open my garage to my bike dog and bones lol"

    I would need a key button start and not a kick start SM really.

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    Nice write up, confirmed I made the right choice in going with the WR450F. Just saving a bit longer, so I can try buy the bike and all the parts I need to convert it, in one go.

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    Yamaha ftw!

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    Great thread. I am in the market to get on a supermoto again after owning 2 different DRZ 400 SM's. Def stepping it up a notch with this bike and am debating between going for a 690SMC or a Converted 450 (leaning towards a WR). After reading this I think I'm def most likely gonna stick to looking for a WR.

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    I'm also looking hard at the WR450 for my next supermoto. I may just break down and buy a new one, I really want a fuel injected model.

    I'm just wondering how involved the conversion would be, and how much it would cost. There's a dealer near me selling new '13 WR450Fs for under $6k, and I'm really tempted. Not going to do anything until I sell my klx250sf though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjamunky85 View Post
    I'm also looking hard at the WR450 for my next supermoto. I may just break down and buy a new one, I really want a fuel injected model.

    I'm just wondering how involved the conversion would be, and how much it would cost. There's a dealer near me selling new '13 WR450Fs for under $6k, and I'm really tempted. Not going to do anything until I sell my klx250sf though.
    The wr is one of the cheapest and easiest of the bunch to convert.

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    Yeah, that's what i figured. What all is involved?

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    Yes I'm curious as well. What makes the wr the easiest to convert lol??
    07 drz sm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelso1 View Post
    Yes I'm curious as well. What makes the wr the easiest to convert lol??
    Everything is there harness wise. Just need a couple of switches and a wire for the hi/low beam and the tail/brake light.

    Can easily be street legal for less than $100.

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    Just so there is clarity all the "offroad" versions are pre wired. You have to add the same switches on all the bikes. KTM is completely pre wired, more so than yamaha or any of the others. Heck it is even pre wired for a radiator fan. But you will generally pay more for the bike itself. WR is a good bike don't get me wrong, nowadays there is not a huge difference in any of them that one just blows the other out of the water. Its personal preference, so pick your color and you will come out good either way.
    07 drz sm
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    Quote Originally Posted by crash279 View Post
    I have been meaning to post a thread like this since we have a lot of 450's being added to our group. We have plenty of examples of each, so I invited a few of the guys over, each with a different color 450 to compare. Here's what we collectively decided:



    First off, these bikes are not the maintenance nightmares that they have been made out to be...as long as you set them up properly. As with any bike an assessment of how the bike will be used is key. For example, if you're going to log highway miles you'll want to consider higher gearing. Keeping the RPM's low is the trick to preserving the life of the engine. Not to worry, even with high gearing each one of these bikes still have plenty of power to spare.

    Aside from gearing, this is what to expect if you decide to convert any of these bikes:

    1) Brake switch. Whether you decide on the hydraulic switch, or choose to go all out and get an ATV master cylinder, you'll need something to activate the taillight.

    2) Headlight switch. All of these bikes have a headlight, but they'll need a switch to toggle between high and low beams.

    3) A tail/brake light (CRF & KLX)

    4) Horn. Most states require it, however in most cases a simple bicycle horn from wal-mart will do the trick.

    5) Some of these bikes would benefit from a stator being re-wound for higher output along with a regulator rectifier to handle the higher output.

    Now the performance of these bikes is a moot point. I have found that they all share parts from their MX brethren and that means that you can change the performance characteristics with a simple cam and exhaust swap. All of these bikes have very similar power and I don't believe that any of them displayed any clear dominance over the other in that aspect. That being said, I'll list some things that I have noticed about the different 450's.

    Honda CRF450X


    This bike was everything you would expect from Honda. Top of the line quality components and a solid feeling and performing bike. This bike had the most aftermarket parts installed. One that was very note worthy were the Rad Mfg. wheels with a cush drive hub. They made the bike so much more nicer to ride as well as preventing a lot of premature wear on the associated components. Another cool feature about the Honda is the separate oil reservoirs which means your engine and clutch can have different oils to better preserve their performance.

    The only downside that I will mention about the Honda is the top end. This is a somewhat controversial topic, but as a former Honda motorcycle technician and through my own personal research/experience I believe that this is something worth mentioning. Hondas seem to enjoy eating valves. This doesn't mean, however, that they can't be made to be just as reliable as the rest of the bunch. Switching over to stainless steel valves along with a TRX450R (ATV) piston (for the extra oil ring) will provide you with what you need to have a healthy long lasting street machine. Though this may cost a bit more, you can't deny that the CRF is one of the best looking bikes with tons of potential.

    Kawasaki KLX450


    What is not to like about this bike. With killer looks and power to match this bike is tough to beat. The transmission gearing seems to be a little close, but even with a 15T front sprocket (which will give it plenty of gear range for the highway) this bike will almost power wheelie in every gear! Love it or hate it, the green is pretty flashy and makes this bike stand out from the rest of the pack.

    In my experience working on the KLX, you'll have the most trouble with chain to tire clearance. Here are a couple of links on how to deal with this issue: http://www.supermotojunkie.com/showt...ock&highlight= and http://www.supermotojunkie.com/showt...les&highlight=. Basically, with a chain block you can run either a 160 on a 5" rim or a 150 on a 4.25" rim and yes, the 160 WILL fit just fine. The only other thing to be aware of is the oil capacity. I would recommend keeping the oil filled up all the way to the upper mark.

    Yamaha WR450


    I'm sure that it's no secret around here that this is my weapon of choice. For an overall complete package, I feel like the blue bikes are tough to beat. They are built/intended for street use from the factory (some assembly required on the US version) and can easily be converted to produce YZ power with a simple exhaust cam and YZ exhaust swap. Definitely offers a great bang for the buck and the durability of the 5 valve head makes worrying about valve adjusts a thing of the past. From my time as a Yamaha Tech, I only had to adjust 3 individual valves (on three separate bikes) in my years at Yamaha.

    There are a couple of short comings though. The WR seems to have an appetite for batteries so keeping the bike on a Battery Tender is a must. Also, if you're like me, you enjoy the bike's explosive power, but this will effect your fuel range...

    KTM XCR-W


    Love them or hate them the KTM's make for a really cool sumo. Though they are vastly different from the Japanese bikes, their uniqueness is undeniable. The biggest and best selling point on these bikes, you can pretty much decide from a 450 all the way up to a 560 and almost all of the engine/body components will interchange between the different models (i.e. a EXC 6 speed transmission from a 525 will fit right in to a 450 SX). This opens up a world of options and tons of parts to choose from. Plus the KTM accessories allow you to really deck out the bike with some serious orange flair. Since the EXC comes with a street legal title and a headlight/taillight, it is among the easiest to put on the road.

    These bikes are built and engineered differently which can make them somewhat tricky to work on. The only other thing that I will mention is my KTM seems to have a thing for leaking oil. Parts seem to be a little more involved to order and take a little longer to be delivered...and tend to cost a little more.

    Conclusion


    Pick your poison. Just like anything in life, there are pros and cons to each bike/manufacturer. Just like women, you have to decide which one's short comings you are able to deal with the best. When put side by side and we all compared notes, the bikes shared more similarities than differences. With proper jetting and some well placed parts these bikes can easily be converted for $1k or less (17's included in that price). If you're in the market for a sumo any of these bikes would be among the best candidates. Lightweight and tons of power, the 450's are where it's at.

    ...All of these bikes have very similar power and I don't believe that any of them displayed any clear dominance over the other in that aspect.

    ...When put side by side and we all compared notes, the bikes shared more similarities than differences.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kelso1 View Post
    Just so there is clarity all the "offroad" versions are pre wired. You have to add the same switches on all the bikes. KTM is completely pre wired, more so than yamaha or any of the others. Heck it is even pre wired for a radiator fan. But you will generally pay more for the bike itself. WR is a good bike don't get me wrong, nowadays there is not a huge difference in any of them that one just blows the other out of the water. Its personal preference, so pick your color and you will come out good either way.
    I would imagine that this thread would most likely reinforce what ever color that the person who is reading this thinks is the best.

    Nickle and dime stuff, but the crf requires a different taillight and the klx...well, isn't there one with a wr taillight running around our area? Lmao.

    What I was basically saying is that if you went and bought any of these bikes in bone stock trim...

    As far as the ktm, who has the time or money for a radiator fan anyway?
    Last edited by crash279; 09-18-2013 at 06:16 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjamunky85 View Post
    I'm also looking hard at the WR450 for my next supermoto. I may just break down and buy a new one, I really want a fuel injected model.

    I'm just wondering how involved the conversion would be, and how much it would cost. There's a dealer near me selling new '13 WR450Fs for under $6k, and I'm really tempted. Not going to do anything until I sell my klx250sf though.
    Where do you live? Whats the Dealer's name. I cant even find a used 2012 WR for less than $5500.

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    Default 450 Supermoto Showdown

    and to add, the honda 450r is not cruise friendly at all. the close ratio trans(even geared out as high as possible without 1st gear needing help from your feet to get going) really makes it an on or off type of bike. of course you can cruise at 45mph at a good low rpm but the thing runs out through 5th like a mofo. even 55mph is only at about 5k. I may swap my trans out for a wide ratio somewhere down the line but for now I love the aggressiveness of the bike. stayed right next to a pair of husa 570's in terms of power(and my tiny 120lb self)

    as for maint. I've only had to adjust valves once in the 70 hours I've put on the bike. I check them every 15-20 hours. engine oil every 5-10(since I run rotella) and trans every 10-15. bike did not get ridden a whole lot before me, seems the valves had to shake themselves awake after the first few hours I rode it. after that they haven't budged much at all. still going to check regularly but am happy that it's not as bad as people made it out to be.

    btw my 05 put down 44 hp to the wheel bone stock.

    edit: for any new guys unfamiliar, 450x comes mostly wired ready to go, 450r does not.
    Last edited by dogpizza; 10-25-2013 at 09:51 PM.

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    I ended up getting a 2010 Husaberg Fe 450. It was already street titled and it's awesome.
    '10 Husaberg fe450

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    Location
    GA/SC
    Posts
    186

    Default

    Picking up my WR 12' today.
    Whoever can find them cheaper than 6400 I congradulate you. I called everyone that was saying they had one for sub 6k.
    They all were "sold".
    Let it begin!

    06 DRZ 4 Sale!

  43. #41
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Azle, TX
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Do you think the KTM 300xc-w 2-stroke would be competitive in this mix of bikes?
    '74 Yamaha RD 350 2-stroke
    '07 HD softail...wanting to sell for SM build
    '09 yz250 2-stroke
    '13 Ducati Multistrada

  44. #42
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Lakeside, Texas, United States
    Posts
    7,780

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cwa11is67 View Post
    Do you think the KTM 300xc-w 2-stroke would be competitive in this mix of bikes?
    Two strokes need to be ridden differently then the 450 four strokes. That being said, yes, a 300 could be plenty competitive.

  45. #43
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    Posts
    1,601

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Norkalkid View Post
    They all have their own traits, but the mind behind the vision and the hands that put the package together is what truly matters.
    And the balls...

  46.  
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