Need help deciding KTM or Honda

Cross-trek

New member
Hey everyone, first time posting on this site. Hope i am in the right place. i currently own an 07 KTM 250xcf-w plated and am in the market for a new bike. Most of my riding consist of dirt roads, pavement and atv trails. The 250xcf-w is a great woods bike but so good on the street as expected. My wife has a Honda 250L that she rides and in the future we would like do a some 2-4 day trips on the bikes, back roads and dirt road exploring. I am looking at the ktm 500 and Honda 450l because i feel as though they cover all my bases of riding plus they will do ok on a multi day trip. One issue i am struggling with on deciding which bike is, dealerships. In my home town their is a Honda dealership. I own a camp on the lake 50 minutes north of where i live and their is a Honda dealer their as well. Most of my riding is at my camp/ The only ktm dealer in my state is over 2hrs away. I love ktm but my concern is buying a bike new from a dealer 2hrs away vs 2 honda dealers in each town i own property. I would love to hear your feedback and thoughts. Would you still buy the ktm even though they are 2 hrs away or would you buy the honda with 2 dealers close by. When I bought my 07 their was a ktm dealer in my home town. They stopped selling KTM’s and getting my current bike serviced has been a pain but doable.
 

jkam

nomadic man
KTM makes great motorcycles.
They don't have very good dealer support and take more to maintain than most bikes.
You already have one so you know.
Honda makes great motorcycles.
Their dealer support is great and have decent service intervals.
If you want to ride, not worry about the bike so much, get a Honda.
 
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MTVR

Well-known member
I'm the wrong guy to ask. Owning an MV Agusta hand-built in northern Italy, is like keeping an Italian Supermodel as a mistress- I wouldn't trust either one any further than I could throw them. There is no MV Agusta dealer in my state. MV Agusta dealer support and parts availability are equally sketchy. MV Agusta itself, is constantly teetering on the brink of running out of money and going out of business. But the MV Agusta F3 800 moves me like no other motorcycle ever has...so I bought one.
 

shade

Well-known member
Welcome to ExPo! 👋

Be aware that the 250L and 450L are very different bikes. The maintenance intervals on the 450L are considerably shorter, for instance. I recently bought a 450L and decided it would be a better fit for me than a 250L as I developed my riding skills. I see 250Ls being sold as the owner is ready to move on to a better bike, and I didn't want to do the same.

Between the KTM 500 & 450L, you really ought to ride both for yourself. You already answered your question about dealer support. Otoh, you might really enjoy the 500, so why not find out?
 

Cross-trek

New member
Welcome to ExPo! 👋

Be aware that the 250L and 450L are very different bikes. The maintenance intervals on the 450L are considerably shorter, for instance. I recently bought a 450L and decided it would be a better fit for me than a 250L as I developed my riding skills. I see 250Ls being sold as the owner is ready to move on to a better bike, and I didn't want to do the same.

Between the KTM 500 & 450L, you really ought to ride both for yourself. You already answered your question about dealer support. Otoh, you might really enjoy the 500, so why not find out?
Thank you for your response! I like the 250L for what it is, a true dual sport. Its great on dirt roads and pavement but not as good as other bikes offload. My wife really likes her's and I cant see her every getting rid of it. The maintenance intervals are long and its cheap to own.
 

MTVR

Well-known member
I'm calling that video out as clearly photoshopped/edited. There's no way she carried the cake on that bike.
Yeah, but what other motorcycle manufacturer would ever make an ad like that?

We toured MV Agusta (located on the shores of Lake Varese in northern Italy) before we bought mine. They are very passionate about building great motorcycles, and they genuinely don't care what other people think. Three of their bikes (The F4, the Brutale, and the F3) were designed by the late Massimo Tamburini, "the Michelangelo of motorcycles".

 

jaxyaks

Adventurer
I would buy the Honda, or if your open to other bikes in the class and don't mind a 250, the Yamaha WR25R comes to mind, long service intervals etc. Both the Honda 250L and the WR250R have been round the world, not sure about the 450.
 

MTVR

Well-known member
The WR250 was also made in a Supermoto version (WR250X), and road tires do better off road than knobbies do on pavement...
 

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shade

Well-known member
I would buy the Honda, or if your open to other bikes in the class and don't mind a 250, the Yamaha WR25R comes to mind, long service intervals etc. Both the Honda 250L and the WR250R have been round the world, not sure about the 450.
No RTWs reported that I'm aware of, but a few are getting into the 20,000 mile range with no problems. It was a new model generation in 2019, so it's still early days. There has been discussion about the current service intervals being conservative, especially since the detuned EU spec has the same service interval. Most valve checks I've seen reported show the valves being in spec.

The smart move is to stick close to the OEM service intervals on oil change interval & air filter changes. Works Connection makes a nice oil change kit for the L that makes it pretty painless.
1590550404346.png
 

Cross-trek

New member
No RTWs reported that I'm aware of, but a few are getting into the 20,000 mile range with no problems. It was a new model generation in 2019, so it's still early days. There has been discussion about the current service intervals being conservative, especially since the detuned EU spec has the same service interval. Most valve checks I've seen reported show the valves being in spec.

The smart move is to stick close to the OEM service intervals on oil change interval & air filter changes. Works Connection makes a nice oil change kit for the L that makes it pretty painless.
View attachment 588512
Haven't their been quite a few ktm 500exc-f RTW trips. I have seen a few of the ktm 500's set up for light adventure traveling. One thing i have recently found with the ktm 500 exc-f is vibration issues. Felt in the foot pegs and handlebars. Anyone have any issues with that on your ktm 500 or how is the vibration factor on the honda 450l? Hell I ride my 07 KTM 250xcf-w on the street and never was like, damn this thing vibrates i need to sell it. Yes it vibrates and my front wheel will hop a little but its a woods bike. It belongs in the woods not on the street. So i cant imagine a 2020 ktm 500 exc-f wouldn't be much smoother then my 07 250.
 
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