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KTM 350/500 EXC-F

  1. #1
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    KTM 350/500 EXC-F

    For a general all around funday bike, what are the general thoughts?

    I'd done the 2 stroke off road only thing, thinking I want to try having a thumper under my dumper with a plate (in MA).


    Would also like to be able to ride it on the street, hence the F. For woods, dirt road exploration, and def a motarded setup at some point. I'll never race it. Just trackdays and Deal's Gap visits if it gets motarded.

    Is the 500 EXC a better choice?

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    Don't bother me! R7's Avatar
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    re: KTM 350/500 EXC-F

    Lotta people say..along with my local KTM shop, that the 500 EXC is the best all around 4-stroke KTM makes. No question when I make a return to 2 wheels for dirty and tard action, it will be on a 500 EXC.

    I think the 350 is still more than enough for what you want of it, and the only reason I'd say bump up to the 500 is because you mentioned trackdays. Are you talking new or used? There's really not much price difference in the 2 of them new..the 350 vs the 500 and spec wise (weight, seat height, overall dimensions) they are very similar, if not the same

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    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    re: KTM 350/500 EXC-F

    The 500 probably is the better choice.
    Unless you plan on riding a TON of single track with it, but even then they're both bigger-ish thumpers, so it'll almost be a wash for what your plans are.
    They're both plenty capable off-road, one will give you instant grunt anywhere, anyplace, and one you'll have to massage a cunthair more to make go fast(er).

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  4. #4
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    re: KTM 350/500 EXC-F

    I tend to go gently used on everything. Never bought anything new. Probably won't again.

    Ya think a big enough knee(s) injury would make Bill give up riding and sell his 500 with the motard wheels?


    Let me look up Tanya Hardings contact info......

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yeah, looks like the 500 is only $200 more when talking MSRP's.

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    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    re: KTM 350/500 EXC-F

    A nicely outfitted 525/530 could be had for pretty reasonable $ on adv. the 530 is awesome. If I had some extra scrilla there would definitely be one in my garage. A really good true dual sport.

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  6. #6
    Lifer
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    re: KTM 350/500 EXC-F

    I got the opportunity to sample a brand new 350 XCF-W this summer. Stunning machine. As I told you, I was almost ready to trade my DRZ for one and maybe even finance it. I too swore I'd never buy a new machine ever again. But I liked that 350 so much I was ready to rethink that. I think those may be the perfect off-road-able all-rounders on the market right now. My DRZ kicked in the ass and force-fed steroids.

    By my read, 350 => 500 buys you about 5 more HP. 500 => 350 saves you about 10 lbs. I never got serious enough to consider what the price delta was.

    From what Bill has said, I think he'd try to ride that 500 of his with or without knees.

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  7. #7
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    re: KTM 350/500 EXC-F

    I almost went that route before I bought my new 300. The 500 and 350 exc are true dirt-bikes that can be ridden on the street. The fact that you mention trackdays and street riding would make the 500 the easy choice. Most people say the difference in the woods is small in favor of the 350,but, the difference on the street is huge in favor of the 500.

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    Lifer burnham's Avatar
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    re: KTM 350/500 EXC-F

    There's a 500exc with super motor setup on adv rider. I think there's one on the ktm forums too. I've been looking at selling my husky and getting an exc. I'll find links later.

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  9. #9
    Lifer
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    re: KTM 350/500 EXC-F

    Chip, what were your thoughts on the 250 4t you tried out last fall? I know it weren't rushing out to get one.

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  10. #10
    Lifer
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    Re: KTM 350/500 EXC-F

    I own a 2012 350 EXC-F. I have spent some time on a 500 EXC. The 500 is more versatile, if you are going to spend much time on the pavement. The gearbox just feels wider. The 350 is a hoot when things tighten up, though. On the many NETRA Turkey Runs I have been on, I have often found myself glad that I was not on a 500.
    In order to run gearing that is tall enough for pavement use with my 350, I am installing a Rekluse clutch. This is becoming a pretty standard approach.

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  11. #11
    Rookie Rada's Avatar
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    Re: KTM 350/500 EXC-F

    If I had a stack of cash it would be smaller by the amount of a 500EXC and two sets of extra wheels. Dirt, SM, and Ice.

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  12. #12

    Re: KTM 350/500 EXC-F

    500!!!

    rode it and loved it...super easy bike for all the things you described and suffficient power for street

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    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: KTM 350/500 EXC-F

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    Chip, what were your thoughts on the 250 4t you tried out last fall? I know it weren't rushing out to get one.
    I thought it was going to be 'the one'. It wasn't. It was fine, but I don't have it in me to wind a bike (especially a thumper: noisy) like that. With the 300, I can make it go pretty quick with no rpm. If/when I buy another thumper, it'll probably be something like the 500. I made a commitment to myself to let my current whip carry me to A, unless its painfully obvious it'll never happen, so I have plenty of time to figure it out.


    Greg, be careful gearing that thing to the moon and expecting a recluse to last. They really aren't built to do that. I know I accelerated the wear on mine by running it too tall.

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    Re: KTM 350/500 EXC-F

    Despite my best attempts with high impact sports my entire life, my knees have held up remarkably well.

    Both bikes are pretty much racing enduros with lights and a horn and with unbalanced knobbies they are pretty harsh on the street. That said, the 500's engine and transmission is far better suited for street use than the 350. I've ridden a couple of 350 EXC-Fs including Greg's and it's a fantastic platform. It may have an edge in the dirt being a few pounds lighter with a slightly lower center of gravity but at my size (which is approaching 2 Claytons) and ability, the difference is negligible. Both 350s I've ridden were geared very low which made their 6th gear feel like somewhere between 4th and 5th on mine.

    I haven't tried out the tard wheels from Mark yet but I'm sure that will improve the road manners immensely.

    Like anyone else on here, you are welcome to try it out anytime keeping in mind that it's been resprung for a 270-280 pound rider which may make it perfect for you on the street. It will definitely be a little harsh in the woods though.

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    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: KTM 350/500 EXC-F

    I shall take up your offer to try out said motorbike. I shall begin my test on June 13th and conclude my test on June 20th. I estimate the odometer will indicate significant mileage, but just consider it to be faulty.

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  16. #16
    Lifer
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    Re: KTM 350/500 EXC-F

    KTM speedo drive is super easy to disconnect.
    Just sayin'.

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  17. #17
    Lifer
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    Re: KTM 350/500 EXC-F

    Thanks for the advice, Chip! I don't expect to abuse the hell out of the clutch, at least no more than I do manually. So far, I have almost never had to rev my 350 at all. With the Euro map, the motor pulls extremely well from low to mid range - and that is where I spend most of my time.
    I have thought over my decision (350 vs 500) many times, and I always end up feeling that I made the right decision. I highly value "flick ability", so the 350 is what I chose. Of course, it sure would be nice to own one of each!
    I need a loaner bike, and I may end up buying another bike just for that purpose - but I will probably get a 2-stroke to fill that slot.
    3 years later - I am still amazed with the 350 EXC-F. I maintain my stuff well, but I am still impressed that the only thing I have needed for that bike so far is a set of rear brake pads...

    Quote Originally Posted by Chippertheripper View Post
    I thought it was going to be 'the one'. It wasn't. It was fine, but I don't have it in me to wind a bike (especially a thumper: noisy) like that. With the 300, I can make it go pretty quick with no rpm. If/when I buy another thumper, it'll probably be something like the 500. I made a commitment to myself to let my current whip carry me to A, unless its painfully obvious it'll never happen, so I have plenty of time to figure it out.


    Greg, be careful gearing that thing to the moon and expecting a recluse to last. They really aren't built to do that. I know I accelerated the wear on mine by running it too tall.

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  18. #18
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: KTM 350/500 EXC-F

    'BUSA!!!

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  19. #19
    Lifer burnham's Avatar
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    Re: KTM 350/500 EXC-F


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  20. #20
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: KTM 350/500 EXC-F

    Still don't know why Sav hasn't posted his motard for sale here.

    That one in holden sure is pretty.

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  21. #21
    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: KTM 350/500 EXC-F

    Because he's trying to doc it and he knows he'll get his balls busted.

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    Cliff's Cycles KTM
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  22. #22
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: KTM 350/500 EXC-F

    Quote Originally Posted by Chippertheripper View Post
    Because he's trying to doc it and he knows he'll get his balls busted.
    That's exactly what I figured.

    Too bad, it's exactly the type of bike/combo I'm looking for.

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    Last edited by TheIglu; 02-05-15 at 10:03 AM.
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  23. #23
    Don't bother me! R7's Avatar
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    Re: KTM 350/500 EXC-F

    Quote Originally Posted by burnham View Post
    Pricey but has a certain fap factor to it

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    Don't bother me! R7's Avatar
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    Re: KTM 350/500 EXC-F

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    That's exactly what I figured.

    Too bad, it's exactly the type of bike/combo I'm looking for.
    You know its for sale, does he actually have to post it here so you can reply? I would think if its exactly what you're looking for, you'd send him a pm and start making a deal

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  25. #25
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: KTM 350/500 EXC-F

    Quote Originally Posted by R7 View Post
    You know its for sale, does he actually have to post it here so you can reply? I would think if its exactly what you're looking for, you'd send him a pm and start making a deal
    Not really. Saw it posted online, wondered why he didn't post it here. Also thought the price was high for what it was.

    If I'm gunna spend that kinda coin, I'll go for the one in Hudson or brand new. If the price was a bit closer to what I thought it was worth, I'd have something to start with.

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