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Old 02-14-2018, 07:22 PM   #1
augustiron
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Thumbs up New CA plated, FI dual sport discussion thread

So I may be in the market for a new dirty bike, must be CA plated.

Let's share links and first hand knowledge of the modern crop of factory street legal fuel injected dirt bikes.

I am more interested in single track ability with some longer dual sport stuff occasionally. No DR650/XRL or KLR for me.

So, choices...ktm 350, 450 or 500exc
Husky 350 or 501
Beta 350 430rr
Gasgas?
?
I will likely go husky or ktm, I am shy to go too exotic for parts, upgrades and resale.

I currently ride a plated 2007 ktm 400 xcw with a 453 kit. It's been great but...it needs forks and maybe a top end, I also know bikes have come a LONG way in the last 11 years after riding a bunch of them a bit.

A couple of friends have 350s, I like the lightweight part but they feel a little low on power up here at 6k to 9k feet where I ride now. Great on singletrack but I like the grunt of my 453 .

Another friend just got a 2017 450 exc six days and had to spend well over a grand on top of the purchase price to get it right: vortex ecu, intake reed removal, exhaust, desmog, tires, gearing, protection, etc. This 450 has the same bore and stroke as my 07 453, I like that. The 450 is ONLY available in 6 days trim this year, I am not a fan of the flashy bodywork. Six days used to have significant upgrades over the standard model (like forks) but now it has the same Xplor as the standard and it is just minor bolt on and graphics for the extra $$

Big drawback is the newer ktm/ husky can't have the ecu reflashed (easy) like they used to to address the factory lean condition. That makes the older ones (2015 and earlier?) More attractive. Have the chassis and suspension improved to make the new iterations even better to make the ecu issue a minor deal?

I rode a 2013 500exc a few years ago on wide open trails and loved it but I am concerned as I often read about how much more work they are in singletrack.


I don't have a preference on PDS vs linkage rear, I hear good and bad about the 4cs and Xplor forks.

I need to do full side by side spec comparisons but manufacturers make it so difficult to get data on all the data points.
I want to look at what comes closest from the factory as I ultimately want it so I don't have to spend d a lot of $$$ immediately fixing their stupid choices of tires, gearing, etc.

So, if you have read this far, Thank you.

What say BARF, let's discuss new expensive eurobikes.
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Last edited by augustiron; 02-14-2018 at 07:28 PM..
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:51 PM   #2
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I think I'd be hardpressed to not consider just upgrading the forks and rebuilding the motor unless you feel you just have to have FI. But then as you said, getting the new ones flashed is nearly impossible now (which really kills the buzz on the 350 for me). You will never get the money back out of it if you sell it... but that really isnt the point.

I really enjoyed riding Alex's 501 in the single track. At lower throttle openings is was butter smooth and didnt beat me up. It was only when I tried picking up the pace that that all the HP got me into to trouble and would certainly wear me out. If you are a stronger rider than I, or used to already riding a big bore in single track it probably wouldnt be an issue. I obviously couldnt ride it like my YZ250. For me it would make a better SoCal desert, Baja, or Sheetiron bike. Therefore it couldnt be my only bike, I'd have to keep the YZ. But alot of guys stronger or with more skill seem to really like them. Just my experience and opinion.
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:12 PM   #3
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I rebuilt the forks last year with green skf seals and new bushings. Problem is stiction due to the chrome being worn off on the lowers. The forks stay compressed or extended when you push or pull on them. Makes the ride pretty harsh. Adjusters are all the way out, needle height set properly at rebuild. The stiction was the same before the rebuild.
I could spend money fixing that ($700?) replace them with a newer model (4cs or xplor are $1500ish), then do a top end $300 to $500, plus all my labor and then I still have an 11 year old bike with 400+ hrs on the bottom end, that is generally pretty beat up.

At what point do you stop dumping considerable money into an older bike to keep it going? I have been very guilty of spending way too much time and $$$ making old bikes nice.

I was going to keep it as a buddy/loaner bike and just keep it going as cheaply as possible.

Maybe I am just envious of everyone around me getting newer bikes, but I would like FI and working suspension.
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"...had concerns of the motor dropping out, hence the safety chain."
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Last edited by augustiron; 02-14-2018 at 08:15 PM..
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:26 PM   #4
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I think I'd be hardpressed to not consider just upgrading the forks and rebuilding the motor unless you feel you just have to have FI. But then as you said, getting the new ones flashed is nearly impossible now (which really kills the buzz on the 350 for me). You will never get the money back out of it if you sell it... but that really isnt the point.

I really enjoyed riding Alex's 501 in the single track. At lower throttle openings is was butter smooth and didnt beat me up. It was only when I tried picking up the pace that that all the HP got me into to trouble and would certainly wear me out. If you are a stronger rider than I, or used to already riding a big bore in single track it probably wouldnt be an issue. I obviously couldnt ride it like my YZ250. For me it would make a better SoCal desert, Baja, or Sheetiron bike. Therefore it couldnt be my only bike, I'd have to keep the YZ. But alot of guys stronger or with more skill seem to really like them. Just my experience and opinion.
It wasnít all the bikeís fault, there was a downed tree in the middle of the trail trying to spear you

I think it comes down to how you like to ride said singletrack, if you prefer to ride low in the revs and use the grunt from a big bore to pull you around, a 500/501 is really mellow on the bottom and suits that type of riding. More so than a 450 (I rode a friendís Fx450 and that thing is a beast everywhere). But if you like to ride singletrack fast and keep the motor boiling, the 500ís make a lot of power, and are really frickin fast. Mines not even properly mapped, as far as Iím aware.

Iíve been improving my 250 2T and riding it more and like it much more in challenging terrain vs the 501. But itís older and doesnít feel nearly as plush as the 501. I know everyone bitches about the 4cs but I am not riding fast enough to tell the difference, I guess. New aer forks are supposed to be filled with magical unicorn poo if you read the reviews, but no personal experience.

The 500 is more versatile overall I think, for me itís now serving street sumo duty and Sheetiron bike. But can easily do singletrack (faster with a better rider of course) as well. The 350 isnít going to be as relaxed cruising 75mph, but better in the tight stuff.

Beta 390ís are supposed to be the torquey brother to the 350, but Iím not sure if they still make them, or only 430ís. Thatís a nice motor I think.
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:41 PM   #5
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At what point do you stop dumping considerable money into an older bike to keep it going? I have been very guilty of spending way too much time and $$$ making old bikes nice.
"It's my favorite bike. I've replaced the forks twice, motor 3 times and the frame once."
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:20 PM   #6
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Don't forget the Husky 450, no Six Days price premium on that.

For forks, I'd suggest to stay far away from 4CS ... so that is some years of 6 days bikes and some Huskys. They are very expensive to "fix" and even when "fixed" they are just OK. Looking back at my efforts on this, I would have came out WAY ahead if I just threw them into a dumpster vs trying to get them working well.

For Xplor, seems the 2018 are better than the 2017s. They seem to work well is slower stuff, only bad when going faster, and not such a big deal to get them fixed/improved.

Problem I'm seeing is crazy ass prices. New bikes, crazy expensive. Used bikes, crazy expensive.

As for getting one to run right ... you don't have to spend a ton of money:
- modify stock exhaust (free)
- pull out the reed in the intake track (free)
- buy a JD Tuner - $240

But yes, needs new tires, normal guards/protection, gearing change.
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Old 02-15-2018, 08:04 AM   #7
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I didn't know husky has a new street legal 450, all I remember seeing in the fe line is the 350 or 501. I'll look again.

Also, I don't like.motocross bikes at all, mostly due to the suspension being way too harsh for trail riding and the engine being too revvy, peaky and not as good down low, so an fx450 is not really representative of the fe450 ( if one exists).
My experience with that being riding a yzf vs a wr450, a crfr vs crfx, and an sx vs exc and xcw 450s.

I really like the power delivery of my short stroke 450, I would love it to lose some weight, have FI to deal with big elevation changes, and top of the line suspension.

Is the jd tuner as effective as the vortex? I have put one of each on customer's bikes but haven't gotten enough seat time before and after to tell for myself. Both owners are happy, but also not as picky as I am.
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Old 02-15-2018, 10:20 AM   #8
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Bummer they're cracking down on the mods on the newer bikes, but it sounds like it's mostly a dealer thing..? I'd really want to try out the air forks, all the mags say they're the best version out there.

If you mostly ride singletrack, I'd go with the 350. My buddy has a '13 and it's so bitchin. All we ride is higher elevation stuff and it's great. The fuel economy is insane. But, if the majority of use is bombing desert roads and trails, then you have to go with the 500. I'd just try to select something that doesn't compromise the aspects I enjoy for the majority of usage. As in, don't go with a bike that's great for a mile of freeway at the cost of lesser fun on 50 miles of trails. Just deal with whatever the shortcomings are in the minority of use.
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Old 02-15-2018, 12:55 PM   #9
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I didn't know husky has a new street legal 450, all I remember seeing in the fe line is the 350 or 501. I'll look again.

Is the jd tuner as effective as the vortex? I have put one of each on customer's bikes but haven't gotten enough seat time before and after to tell for myself. Both owners are happy, but also not as picky as I am.
FE250 and FE450, as well as the 350 and 501.

On Vortex vs JD Tuner... and you probably already know this, but ...
Vortex can modify ignition timing, JD only does fueling.
Vortex has 10 maps and an optional switch you can install and switch between the maps.
JD can be adjusted, but you are clicking on buttons changing the fueling vs. switching between specific maps.

I think for most people, the JD tuner gets them from "very lean bike that doesn't run so great" to a bike that runs really well.

I think the Vortex is cool for the person that wants different maps and the ability to easily switch between them.
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Old 02-15-2018, 02:55 PM   #10
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Matches my understanding of vortex vs JD also.

Byke, i.ride local singletrack here at the lake out my back yard all the way, down to foresthill and up to downiville, out to moonrocks and NV stuff.
I also desert race MRANN.
I also love ripping pavement twisties on a trials tire.
I also do dual sport rides like the sheetiron (about 10 years now)

Does that help narrow it down? Haha

I need to borrow my buddies' 350 and 450 for longer periods.
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Old 02-15-2018, 04:50 PM   #11
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You should take with Dan at MotoXotica Vacaville regarding Husky and Beta

I LOVE my Beta 430RR-S it can do a lot more than I use it for but I have to say the bike is amazing.
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Old 02-15-2018, 05:43 PM   #12
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So I looked online at the beta 430, looks nice. But I am concerned about aftermarket support.

Can I get an oversize tank, gel seat, f&r rotor protection, steering damper mount, etc for one?

Do large suppliers like rocky mountain, etc carry service parts like filters, sprockets, etc?
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"...had concerns of the motor dropping out, hence the safety chain."
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Old 02-15-2018, 05:44 PM   #13
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Also, I spoke to Eric at superplush about my fork dilemma. He recommended to stay away from the 4cs, Xplor can be good with some work, but AER should be the best option in his opinion.
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"...had concerns of the motor dropping out, hence the safety chain."
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Old 02-15-2018, 06:05 PM   #14
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That actually does help because I think it knocks the 350 off the list. I love the beta, but wouldn't buy it if I were concerned about an oversize tank and whatever other accessories. If it were me, it'd be narrowed down to a ktm/husky 450/500 and you'll have to decide how badly you want those nice air forks and if you're willing to deal with the tuning stuff. If budget weren't an issue, I'd personally go for the air forks and just deal with the tuning difficulties.

I don't know what the differences are between the 450 and 500, but knowing KTM it's literally the piston, cylinder and mapping, in which case I might have a little trouble deciding because 450's actually feel like they rev after riding a big bore 450, so I'd be tempted to stick with the 450 because they already have tons of bottom end and a little rev is nice. I think the husky has a composite subframe, but does the ktm? I might go for the ktm if parts are a little cheaper to replace in a major stackup, even though I loooove white bikes.
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Old 02-15-2018, 06:15 PM   #15
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So I looked online at the beta 430, looks nice. But I am concerned about aftermarket support.

Can I get an oversize tank, gel seat, f&r rotor protection, steering damper mount, etc for one?

Do large suppliers like rocky mountain, etc carry service parts like filters, sprockets, etc?
There is so much bling available for the Betas (and reasonably priced too) that mine earned the nickname "Beta Barbie"

IMS makes a 3 gallon and a 4 gallon tank, I have the 3 gallon.
I've added:Fastway pegs, Tusk hand guards, a luggage rack, W got stag pegs, I'm just ordering a clutch cover protector, rotor protector, and there is a ton more stuff available.

Parts from Beta are pretty inexpensive and Beta USA is located in Paso Robles.
Dan at MotoXotica discounts all the parts since the bikes came from his dealership so I haven't sourced any aftermarket availability.

The bikes come equipped with a 15 tooth front sprocket and a 13 tooth is thrown in the "Beta Box" when you buy the bike. Additionally they have the switching capability between 2 different maps.

I just saw where Beta offered a passenger peg kit that includes stronger subframe stringers. Beta also is still a boutique enough importer that so far they have fallen under many of the emission requirements that KTM and Husky abide by. As such, the bikes are pretty much turn key out the door, no pipe, no mapping, just go.
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