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Thread: KTM 450 EXC or KLX 450R As an Adventure Bike

  1. #1
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    17th January 2019 - 13:22
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    KTM 450 EXC or KLX 450R As an Adventure Bike

    looking at buying a second hand one or other of these as a reasonably reliable Dual Sport for multi-day off road in NZ.

    Currently have:
    An F800GS great bike but too heavy when the going gets technical, steep, or stuck in a river when on your own. but great for multi-day stuff carrying camping gear. But dont feel overly confident on the bike once the going gets tough, and have lower back problems which can kick off If I pick this bike up once too often in a day.

    A Kawasaki KLX250 Great little Bike, docile relatively light, and ok for single day adventures, and great for wondering where that trail leads to. But very low powered, painful to ride on the road especially into a headwind. But easy to pick up, and can almost take this bike anywhere I could walk to.

    Both these bikes are great, but neither seems to fit exaclty what I'm after. I want to be able to cruise easily at 100k, and pass a log truck, carry a reasonable amount of camping gear, and for the bike to be nimble off road, and light enough to pick up easily. Will probably have to sell the 800 to fund the purchase of the 450.

    So am thinking of a road legal 450 trail bike, both the 450's are much more powerful than my 250, and both are lighter. The downside seems to be maintenance schedules, as both of those bikes have a heavy schedule for oil changes, valve checks, top end re-builds etc. But am hoping that for just trail riding either of them would do .

    Can get a much newer KLX 450 for the same price as an older 2006/7 KTM 450 EXC. But the older KTM has valve adjusters rather than shims, so would be easier for me to maintain. Anyone running one of these sorts of bike as a dual sport. As dont really want to be doing major maintenance in the middle of a 5 day camping trip.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redline_930 View Post
    looking at buying a second hand one or other of these as a reasonably reliable Dual Sport for multi-day off road in NZ.

    So am thinking of a road legal 450 trail bike, both the 450's are much more powerful than my 250, and both are lighter. The downside seems to be maintenance schedules, as both of those bikes have a heavy schedule for oil changes, valve checks, top end re-builds etc. But am hoping that for just trail riding either of them would do .

    Can get a much newer KLX 450 for the same price as an older 2006/7 KTM 450 EXC. But the older KTM has valve adjusters rather than shims, so would be easier for me to maintain. Anyone running one of these sorts of bike as a dual sport. As dont really want to be doing major maintenance in the middle of a 5 day camping trip.
    Pretty sure there were never any road legal KLX 450`s ever brought into NZ so you wont be able to get it vinned and registered.

    Your options in the 400-450 range will be a DRZ400 -WR450 OR A 450EXC
    The DRZ is the least highly strung of these so should be most reliable followed by the WR ( WR range has legendary reliability ) and then the KTM.

    I have owned a DRZ400 - KLX 450 & a 400EXC and my experience mirrors that.

    But if you are going to have to sell the F800 then I think that you may be better off with a 650 single ( DR650 - KLR650 or KTM690 ) as you will find anything in the 400-450 range can be quite tiring on the road for long trips and when loaded with camping gear that will only make it worse.

    If it was me I would look at keeping the F800 and then try and pick up a cheap DRZ400 ( OR KLX 400 ).
    Here for a good time, not necessarily a long time

  3. #3
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    the beginnings of the holy quest for the perfect dual sport --- no one has ever found it, but maybe you.... go forth we will look after Camelot until you return

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scubbo View Post
    the beginnings of the holy quest for the perfect dual sport --- no one has ever found it, but maybe you.... go forth we will look after Camelot until you return
    Don't forget a shrubbery!



    At the mo, the closest thing to a Unicorn is considered to be KTM 690 / Husky 701, KTM 500 + $$. Meanderers swear by the WR250.

    Thinking back 20 - 25 years, far better choice of dual porpoise bikes. The Unicorn may have been and gone.

    Having said that.. KTM 390 Adventure, a wee Kawasaki twin to replace the KLR and a couple of other interesting bikes are being talked about.

    Hard to go past the DR for $ bang.
    Manopausal.

  5. #5
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    I have a KLX450R and I'm fucked if I'd want to ride it on the road past the end of my street. I also have a KLR650 and it's great fun but an absolute pig on anything beyond a forestry road or a bit o' shingle. To add to the advice above, perhaps buy a Lotto ticket & take a look at a new 500EXC.
    Quote Originally Posted by onearmedbandit View Post
    ...people will disagree, call one another an 'egg' or idiot. That's fine.


  6. #6
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    KLX450 were never road legal, have heard of some people talking about getting them road legal, but never seen it done,

  7. #7
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    WR 450F Rally

    Dear Yamaha,

    Please produce this for the masses.
    Manopausal.

  8. #8
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    Plumped for the KTM

    Thanks for the replies. I read a few folk have made a klx450R road legal, though admittedly that was in USA. I have hence stayed away from that. Have put an offer on a KTM EXC, which hasn't been previously road registered in NZ, but I understand they can be, as have seen the odd one on TradeMe with a number plate/indicators etc So going to give that a try. Not sure exactly what hoops I'll have to Jump thru to make it road legal though. Anyone on here been thru that process???

    I'm expecting to use it something like 80% off road, 20% on road, just to get to trails etc. It should have enough grunt to carry me + light camping gear, and still be around a similar weight as my 250 KLX, but with more than twice the power. Checking valves and changing oil doesn't bother me too much, but a new piston every 100 hours sounds a little scary. But if its not burning oil or losing compression, then doubt it would need that level of maintenance.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redline_930 View Post
    Thanks for the replies. I read a few folk have made a klx450R road legal, though admittedly that was in USA. I have hence stayed away from that. Have put an offer on a KTM EXC, which hasn't been previously road registered in NZ, but I understand they can be, as have seen the odd one on TradeMe with a number plate/indicators etc So going to give that a try. Not sure exactly what hoops I'll have to Jump thru to make it road legal though. Anyone on here been thru that process???

    I'm expecting to use it something like 80% off road, 20% on road, just to get to trails etc. It should have enough grunt to carry me + light camping gear, and still be around a similar weight as my 250 KLX, but with more than twice the power. Checking valves and changing oil doesn't bother me too much, but a new piston every 100 hours sounds a little scary. But if its not burning oil or losing compression, then doubt it would need that level of maintenance.
    Save yourself the hassle and buy an already registered bike. There's quite a few paperwork hoops to jump through including proof of ownership since new. Have been through the process once and won't bother again.

    Have owned DRZ400, KTM 530exc, and now a Husaberg FE450 (made by KTM, pretty much same as a 450exc). DRZ is low maintenance but heavy and missing a sixth gear. The 530exc was awesome, would buy again. The 450 berg is pretty good, just missing the low down grunt the 530 had.

    If you can't afford a 530/500, a 450 will be a great bike. Good luck!

  10. #10
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    If you're looking at the KTM EXC's be aware that they update the engines quite frequently & some years are better than others. The later RFS engines to 2007 have a great rep, some of the separate engine/gearbox oil ones after that weren't so great apparently, then the 2015 era ones were really good (see AaronS on ADVrider.com) but they've changed again since then.

    Cheers
    Clint

  11. #11
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    Yeah the 530 engine sump only held 600ml of oil so I used to carry a coke bottle of oil to change it on big trips. Otherwise in the 250 hours I had it, the valves were still bang on the middle of their spec, didn't need adjusting once. Probably comes down to if the bike has been well serviced or not. I wouldn't let the dual sumps put you off, great motor, and you can convert to a single sump down the track if you really want to.

    Let us know what you end up with

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by timmehpwr View Post
    Yeah the 530 engine sump only held 600ml of oil so I used to carry a coke bottle of oil to change it on big trips. Otherwise in the 250 hours I had it, the valves were still bang on the middle of their spec, didn't need adjusting once. Probably comes down to if the bike has been well serviced or not. I wouldn't let the dual sumps put you off, great motor, and you can convert to a single sump down the track if you really want to.

    Let us know what you end up with
    Ended up with the 450EXC, great Bike got it running sweetly, gave it a Birthday, put all the road gear back on it. Am now trying to get it road registered, but that's proving harder than I thought. Separate thread on that.

  14. #14
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    klx450 adv bike

    have converted my 2008 klx 450 to adv bike It now has 16lt tank . concept seat. polisport led headlight., indicators, 42 15 sprockets recluse clutch i use a garmin gps as a speedo Last month rode from auckland to the sth island and back nearly 3000km along with a friend on a 690 ktm the klx had no problems keeping up both in acceleration and top speed. the recluse smoothens out the the drive train and the tank gives a 400km range averaging 25km/lt
    i also have a KLX 650 B1 [rare] which is road legal . the 450 has done well over 300 hrs and other than doing the shims at 220 hrs has given no problems . i notice that one of the cape york [australia] tour groups are now using them so i dont think relability is a problem[IMG]20190309 1[/IMG]

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobjac View Post
    have converted my 2008 klx 450 to adv bike It now has 16lt tank . concept seat. polisport led headlight., indicators, 42 15 sprockets recluse clutch i use a garmin gps as a speedo Last month rode from auckland to the sth island and back nearly 3000km along with a friend on a 690 ktm the klx had no problems keeping up both in acceleration and top speed. the recluse smoothens out the the drive train and the tank gives a 400km range averaging 25km/lt
    i also have a KLX 650 B1 [rare] which is road legal . the 450 has done well over 300 hrs and other than doing the shims at 220 hrs has given no problems . i notice that one of the cape york [australia] tour groups are now using them so i dont think relability is a problem[IMG]20190309 1[/IMG]
    That's impressive.

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