Sunday, December 30, 2012


     The XR is no more.  That was a damn good bike and I'm really hoping I didn't make a huge mistake in selling it.  I keep telling myself that I can always build another one - those XR400's aren't exactly rare, even with Ca plates.

     So now begins the dash to find a suitable KTM to replace it with.  My preference is for a 2007 525EXC, although a 450 would easily suffice, as would the same bikes in the 2004 year.  Why only those 4 bikes?  KTM made some nice upgrades to EXC line with the 2004 bikes, so I don't want anything older than that.  After January 31st 2004, California made it illegal to plate dirt bikes, so I can't go with the 05 or 06 models.  In 2007 however, these models came street legal from the factory, which is a nice selling point, plus it saves me some time of having to run registration history reports.  In 2008, KTM switched from the RFS to the R engine, a poor move from what I've read.
     So having a narrow search parameter can be both good and bad.  There's a nice 07 450 that has most of the mods I'd like to do already installed, but its at the top end of what I would consider a fair price and is lacking one of the major mods I'd like (a $500 oil cooler).  While I'm tempted to jump on this bike, my gut is telling me to wait a few days to see if a nice 525 pops up.  I know I don't need the extra power, but I've read that the 525 has a bit more low end grunt, which is great for those slower, more technical climbs.  Plus one of the things that I hated on my 400 was any freeway.  While it would do em, it just felt like I was buzzing my engine to death at those speeds.  Both of the KTM's have a 6 speed tranny so that should alleviate most of that issue, but while I know that the 525 will handle a freeway with relative ease, I'm not as confident about the 450.  While I don't think you should buy a dual sport based on its freeway handling characteristics, it certainly is something to consider.  Given that both bikes are almost identical except for displacement, why not get the one that has that extra go-anywhere factor?

     So that's it then.  A 2007 525EXC, unless a 450 pops up for the right money or I can't find anything else in which case I'll grab that 450 I already found and drop the extra $500 for the oil cooler.

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