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DRZ400 VS KTM300/450EXC???

Discussion in 'Adventure/Enduro' started by mr_sikma, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. Hey,

    Looking for a road trail bike that will be ridden 80% on the road and 20% on dirt, but not jumping anything just yet!

    Also the budget is under $6k and i have seen a few KTM's floating around, and theres always DRZ's.

    How different are these bikes and which is the better option?



    *I just noticed the 300EXC is 2-stroke, is that right???
  2. DRZ all the way.

    KTM 300 is a shoulder jerking monster when ridden hard. Serious mumbo but not a good choice for any kind of road work. There's a reason you never see them on the bitumen.

    KTM 450EXC is only marginally better for road work. Engine and gearing is better suited but they are a fairly highly strung and maintenance intensive bike. It's a race bike still.

    I'm a big fan of the DRZ. They are quite happy tootling around town, but will very happily accept hard use on bitumen. They are over-engineered which makes them a good long term prospect. Still very handy off road.
  3. And yes, the 300 is a two stroke. They can be quite sedate if you want to ride them that way but get pretty angry once ridden hard.
  4. thanks for the reply...

    i have got my full licence but very limited to the amount of riding i have done. so a big 2-stroke wouldnt be ideal for me!

    i like the look of the ktms but i have only read good things about the DRZ!
  5. For that money it's the DRZ all the way. You'll get a close to new DRZ compared to a (probably) ratty KTM.
  6. what MaxBlack said..
  7. gonna jump in here n ask something similar :LOL:

    planning to try dirt riding (very limited experience, enjoyed what ive done). had it recomended in another thread that a drz400e is a forgiving bike and also one that is decent to motard (as i want a bike that can do both with a little switching ;) )

    if anyone has any opinions on it, it'd be great :grin:

  8. the dr is awesome, very smooth and forgiving & easy to motard. i have both the 250 and 400 and would recommend either.

    the ktm 2 stroke is a very different bike...
  9. first off are you a boy/girl/man/woman?

    i have ridden drz400's many times and the 250 both on and off road

    i owned a ktm525exc supermotard and i now own a ktm 300exc.

    the 300 is just plain fcuking manic compared to the rest. its the hardest by a long long way to ride, but when you get it right is just its just sooo damn quick, so much power and soooo light. but it kinda wants you dead...this thing is a purebread race bike with the bare minimum of extra.

    when i rode the drz250 on dirt it was just soo easy to ride and reasonably light, the 400 isnt quite as good offroad imho due to the extra weight which is very noticable on dirt but its better onroad. the 525 was awesome offroad and had more power than was ever needed and light for what it was but i wanted to try something different and went two stroke.

    for the road and due to the nature of the question you would have to go a drz400e or s (depending on your desired level of performance vs maint). for 70% dirt 30%road i would say the drz250. but for 90-100%dirt i would go the ktm for sure, theres no substitute, you wont go back to the japs

    but really....the ktm is the man bike of the lot . it makes the drz's seem like sewing machines with wheels. mine is road rego'd...but you wouldnt want to ride it too much on the road. the 525 was great on the road (read constant wheelies) but again you dont want to put too many k's on a bike like that.
  10. and if i still had it i wouldve tried to flog you my dr800 supermotard :cool:
  11. thanks you two. i believe it was you slick who had said drz to 'tard :grin:

    at this stage i am not sure how much dirt it would be, but i imagine my commuting machine + probably alternate weekends of twisties/dirt. do not need a race bike at this stage :p i have read a little about the e and s versions, i was under the impression that the e was the better to go for what i wanted to achieve, but am happy to be proved wrong. i know very little bout matinence but am working on that knowledge :)

  12. Really i though the 300exc was more enduro than racebike. I say this coming from an RM250 with piston pipes and carb to the 300 on the same day, which felt more cruisy comfortable with a hell of alot more punch down low but not so up top. S it would imo make a good trail bike to ride to and from trails but it ends there. But there was no iminant death feeling.

    If in doubt by an XRR :LOL:
  13. the drz doesnt need much maintenance (thats the beauty of it) if you arent using it in the dirt much. just keep up the oil and change the oil filter regularly and keep the air filter maintenance up.

    if i can do it im sure you can :p

    the mighty z (ie the drz250) is a great introduction to dirt bikes - smooth, forgiving, easy to maintain & very very fun. the 400 is just a bigger version of that in my opinion.

    coincidentally i do have a drz400sm for sale ;) but if you plan on getting dirty you should maybe go the e
  14. thanks es.
    i saw it up there, but one, dont have the money, and two, as you said, looking for an e to play with as they seem more suited to it.

    cheers... now i just need a bit more money... :LOL:
  15. if cost is an issue look at the drz250. i know its not a 450xx54739878rrrrrr but the fact it is light (& still electric start) is a huge bonus especially when you are only just starting out. not to mention cheap.
    AND fuel economy on a 250 is AWESOME.

    whats your budget?
  16. when i can afford it (bit of saving n getting rid of the gpx) im looking at 4-6... maybe 7 on the bike. + im assuming $1000-2000 to tard it up, but thats not a priority, getting a good bike is. (unless you know where to get tard kits cheap :D )

    my main issue is getting something that will run on the road decently (good, when tarded), can handle learning off-road from basically scratch but not something that i'll tire of onc ei have grasped the basics.

    cheers mate, lots of help you are :)

    edit - been reading a bit. seems theres a lot of bikes out there (no shit, right) and xr400s, 525/30exc are better bikes for the dirt, whilst similar models are decent at the road. but these may be to much for a beginner dirty? is it suicidal to get something with such power (especially considering weights)

  17. the terrain keeps the bike interesting :p if you are a real motorcyclist you wont keep a bike for more than a year anyway haha.

    ok time to tell us a little bit more about yourself...

    are you tall/short?
    ever ridden a dirt bike before?
    are you sure this dirt thing is for you?
    when your on the road, what kind of riding do you want to do? (cbd only, long commute, short commute, freeways, no freeways etc)

    best to get an older already beaten up bike for dirt rather than getting a 06 model something that you spend your life savings on then dont want to drop.
  18. so be it! :p


    tallish, 6foot.
    i HAVE ridden dirt, but that was rarely during my (much) younger years, so probably starting from nothing :p
    it's been fun when i've done it. going to go to a mates farm n ride one of her bikes to make sure :LOL:
    when im on the road... mostly what i do now. commute where i need to go which does include the cbd and freeways, and possibly the twisties (but thats if i tard the thing, which i wont if i have 2 bikes)

    i see the sense in an older bike, but then id be wanting to spend 2-4k. ideas?

    thanks es, helping lots :)
  19. Dont be fool'd by the age and aperance of an older XR400, mine had 50,000k's on it and has only ever had the top end done once at 35,000, and ran great and still does according to the new owner.
    I've found it easier to ride up hills, through water and especially on really rough single tracks and they are still good on the highway with an apropriate spark plug. XR suspension needs to be redone ($500ish) i wouldn't be suprised if that is the most you ill ever spend on one, but this transforms the bike and makes easier to keep up with newer bikes and go past them when they break down. :LOL:
    Any XR or DR would be a better bike than a KTM unless you buy an LC4 which still needs more maintinance and some of it you wouldn't do yourself. XR's are probably the best to work on, you only need a 10, 12, 14 and 24mm spanner feeler guages and a srewdriver to do most of the service work on them and it takes about an hour. Another thing to consider is the fuel tank, XR's do better here for after market tanks because of the anount of tanks that fit on them as oposed to others where they are model specific. XR's can use XR250R, 400R, 600L, 600R, 650L, TT600 tanks form any year model. This is probably not an issue but its nice to be able to go for a rode without strapping MSR fuel cans on all the time.
    Ive had 3 a 70, 250 and 400 and think they are one of the best trailbikes ever built.
  20. to the OP, you sound a lot like me before I bought my DR. I looked around at all kinds of options and it really came down to finding the right deal. So I got an 2007 DRZ400E with 1000km's on the clock. Fully de-restricted, baffles removed from can, fat bars with Ego bark busters, bar riser, aftermarket indicators and a B&D bashplate. All for $6200.
    Went for my first real offroad adventure out past Andamooka over easter and the DR was awesome. Great in the sand, rocks and mud. No problem riding it all day either, ass-wise I was fine after doing hours of sand dunes, rock tracks with washouts and creek beds. I fully condone the DRZ400E.

    Things I'll do: long range tank, stock is 10L, I'd like 20L.
    Headlight protector, replacing the glass is apparently a bit nasty for your wallet.
    Upgrade suspension or tweak it, because it's honestly a bit soft stock.