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Thread: KTM 500EXC ... dual sport king ...

  1. #11
    I really liked the Pirelli MT-21s and Dunlop 606s on my DRZ . Quite adequate to the edge of insanity on the road and really good offroad. I would slightly favor the Pirelli's on road. Yes they will wear out a little faster than more road oriented tires but one bad drop offroad will have anyone questioning their sense of economy.

    I'm big on the 250s for starting out... it is just better for firm foot plant and not so far to fall. The XT250 and KL250 will run 65 mph and I've ridden Interstates plenty at that speed. Heck plenty of trucks running 60-65 and I just get in behind one of those. "They'll run you down if you go that speed..." is BS. Posted minimums is typically 45.

    There's a Kanuck girl who rides a XT225 with us often and she rocks on her bike. (Also one of the nicest peeps I know ... and cute as a bug's ear ... )

    And the DRZ and WR250r are great intermediate bikes. I personally found the Seat Concepts "low" seat advantageous. I dropped a tooth on my front sprocket on my DRZ and she did great offroad. I limited myself to 65 on the "I"s ... no problemo with a couple of 150 mile rides to come back from a long offroad trip. (I love Arizona )

    A friend was talking about a 2 month ride in Mexico on his DR650 and if I go I'll probably take my DRZ with the sprocket back to stock. (I'm still irked about the DRZ having 5 gears instead of 6 ... but so is everyone else who knows anything about dual sports.) But I'll carry the smaller sprocket in my bags just in case.

    Why not the KTM? 1) If my friend can make it on his DR ... I can do it on my DRZ. 2) The KTM buzzes a bit ... not like my previous KTM 640 ... but the bars vibrate. (There is a fix ... but then you notice the pegs "buzz".) 3) The bike is very flickable. Nice on trails ... less nice on long road rides. A moments inattention and she wanders ...

    One more time. The KTM 500 EXC is NOT a beginner offroad bike. 'When in doubt gas it...' does not apply. But. When you are at mile 35 of a 46 mile loop ride and you see a hill that is harder than you've ever done ... and the option is to turn around and ride 35 brutal miles back the way you came ... it's the bike a good rider wants to be on. (Note "good" not necessarily "great" [certainly not in my case] and not beginner ... )

    PS. The only bike I've mentioned that I haven't personally ridden both off and on road is the WR250r ...
    The best thing you can buy for your motorcycle is gas.

  2. #12
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
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    Great info OBX. Will definitely look at the Dunlops and Pirellis for next tires on DRZ

  3. #13
    RiderCoach 5000 Posts! NORTY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OBX-RIDER View Post
    The tougher and gnarlier it gets, the more weight becomes a factor. It's just hard to explain unless you've experienced really steep mountain trails with rocks going from pebbles to watermelons rolling free under your tires. I'm still not sure which is worse ... going up or down.

    I think if I had a choice of a bike with the DRZ'z power (~32) and the KTM 500's weight (255) or the KTM's power (~55) and the DRZ's weight (~320) I would take the former.

    My friend Neil who has ridden desert/mountain offroad for 45 years said today's ride was "beyond gnarly" and while I've put in the saddle time to improve (huge difference between Eastern and Southwestern offroad), there is no doubt a lot of my ability to hang with Neil in the mountains is because of the KTM. (I'll also give credit to my "play time" on my Gas Gas trials bike for improvement in my balance ... but Neil rode trials for 10 years ... )

    Norty if you want to come give the KTM a try in this Sonoran environment just let me know ... but you gotta bring that Teri girl along. She can practice wheelies and stoppies on the Gas Gas ...
    Great, that's just GREAT! I'm here and you're there, with my dream bike!
    I had Friday off to come visit you all with another couple riders, but I wanted Teri to join us, so it'll have to wait. I'd love to teach Teri how to wheelie. I was thinking of the KTM though. She doesn't think I can wheelie!
    Knowledge speaks, wisdom listens.

  4. #14
    RiderCoach 5000 Posts! NORTY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OBX-RIDER View Post
    I really liked the Pirelli MT-21s and Dunlop 606s on my DRZ . Quite adequate to the edge of insanity on the road and really good offroad. I would slightly favor the Pirelli's on road. Yes they will wear out a little faster than more road oriented tires but one bad drop offroad will have anyone questioning their sense of economy.

    I'm big on the 250s for starting out... it is just better for firm foot plant and not so far to fall. The XT250 and KL250 will run 65 mph and I've ridden Interstates plenty at that speed. Heck plenty of trucks running 60-65 and I just get in behind one of those. "They'll run you down if you go that speed..." is BS. Posted minimums is typically 45.

    There's a Kanuck girl who rides a XT225 with us often and she rocks on her bike. (Also one of the nicest peeps I know ... and cute as a bug's ear ... )

    And the DRZ and WR250r are great intermediate bikes. I personally found the Seat Concepts "low" seat advantageous. I dropped a tooth on my front sprocket on my DRZ and she did great offroad. I limited myself to 65 on the "I"s ... no problemo with a couple of 150 mile rides to come back from a long offroad trip. (I love Arizona )

    A friend was talking about a 2 month ride in Mexico on his DR650 and if I go I'll probably take my DRZ with the sprocket back to stock. (I'm still irked about the DRZ having 5 gears instead of 6 ... but so is everyone else who knows anything about dual sports.) But I'll carry the smaller sprocket in my bags just in case.

    Why not the KTM? 1) If my friend can make it on his DR ... I can do it on my DRZ. 2) The KTM buzzes a bit ... not like my previous KTM 640 ... but the bars vibrate. (There is a fix ... but then you notice the pegs "buzz".) 3) The bike is very flickable. Nice on trails ... less nice on long road rides. A moments inattention and she wanders ...

    One more time. The KTM 500 EXC is NOT a beginner offroad bike. 'When in doubt gas it...' does not apply. But. When you are at mile 35 of a 46 mile loop ride and you see a hill that is harder than you've ever done ... and the option is to turn around and ride 35 brutal miles back the way you came ... it's the bike a good rider wants to be on. (Note "good" not necessarily "great" [certainly not in my case] and not beginner ... )

    PS. The only bike I've mentioned that I haven't personally ridden both off and on road is the WR250r ...
    Yup, the KTM is not a road bike. Sure, it's legal, but not by much. Whereas the asian bikes are more oriented towards street duty, at the expense of dirtbike duty. I hear the WR (wide ratio) 250 from Yamaha is ok, but it's still 50lbs too heavy for dirty biking seriously.
    Everyone who would like to ride an offroad bike at a quicker pace needs to ride a KL/XR/XL/DRZ/XT and then ride a bike significantly lighter, over the same terrain. To say the difference is night and day is an understatement.
    Knowledge speaks, wisdom listens.

  5. #15
    KLR650 - 432 lbs.
    DR650 - 350 lbs.
    XR650l- 346 lbs.
    DRZ400s - 319 lbs.
    WR250R - 300 lbs.
    KTM 500 EXC - 251 lbs.

    ...and of course the KTM has 15-30 more horsepower delivered across a broad band of torque. The KLR is a bit unfairly penalized in these "wet" weights because of it's 6+ gallon gas tank. And obviously it's not just about weight. I found the much heavier r1200gs as easy to ride offroad as the KLR because of it's superior suspension. And that's not to say it's easy ...

    I just dropped the front sprocket by a tooth to lower my gearing a fraction on the KTM. I found I was getting "caught" between 1st and 2nd a bit on the steeper gnarlier hills. It's not really the steepness alone as it is the rocks ... I watched Neil's rear tire roll a large watermelon sized rock and kick his rear around 18 inches going up a steepy ... That will throw off your "line" a bit ... and it's when your line gets futzed at the same time the trail ahead gets really hard that a crisis of sorts can happen. I've had to slip the clutch to save the engine more than I want ... and lower gearing should help ... a little. It helped on the DRZ ...

    A note. My friend Neil rides an XR650l ... a bit better than I ride my KTM. He has both experience ... and size in his favor. He's a big guy and the XR looks like a 250 under him.
    The best thing you can buy for your motorcycle is gas.

  6. #16
    RiderCoach 5000 Posts! NORTY's Avatar
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    I learned many, many years ago, just how much weight can have an effect on offroad motorcycle handling. Even more so when the pace picks up. To "muscle around" a 300# bike in an offroad adventure can be taxing. A taxed rider makes physical (AND mental) mistakes more often.
    Think about your riding skills. Are you "sharper" when you're fresh, or when you're fatigued?

    Pros ride everyday. They even practice a little on raceday. Yes, to experiment with track surface, but also with themselves. They "test" their physical skills, as well as their mental skills. They may also change adjustments to their machine, based on other factors (such as weather.)

    Neil may "ride a bit better" on his 350# bike vs. your 251# bike, but he's working a lot harder to do it, and he's going to become fatigued before you, simply because he has to deal with that unnecessary extra 100 lbs of Honda around. Just imagine how good Neil could be if he were on the KaToom...
    Knowledge speaks, wisdom listens.

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