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Thread: 2020 KTM 500exc or KTM 500xcf-w or...

  1. #1

    Question 2020 KTM 500exc or KTM 500xcf-w or...

    Hi All,
    I am new to this forum and I am looking for some professional opinions on which bike I should buy. I am coming back to riding dirt after years of riding sport bikes. As far as dirt riding, I have owned a CR125 and CRF-450R. I will be riding a variety of terrain (Moab, dune, single track) and occasional track days.
    Im between the 2020 500exc, 500xcf-w or potentially sticking with a 450 and getting the SX.

    The exc seems to require a lot of work/$$ to get it to perform after spending $12,000 on a new bike...

    Any information you provide is greatly appreciated.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: 2020 KTM 500exc or KTM 500xcf-w or...

    If you are really going to ride the places & terrain you've stated, I personally would NOT bye the SX! You will spend a ton trying to get it soft enough to ride off road. I agree that the KTM or Husky versions are the best choices (power, weight and bang for the buck) in what ever your size choose. I would also evaluate if you want the 500cc or? for the expected use. JMO
    2020 Husky TX300i


    2018 Husky TE250
    RK head

    2015 KTM 350 Six Days
    W/2018 Xplor forks
    All suspensions done by Adam Krefting


    2020 Beta 300RR Race Edition (sold)
    2018 Beta Xtrainer AMP suspension (sold)
    2015 KTM 350 SXF (sold)
    2005 CRF250X (sold)
    2004 CRF450R (sold)
    2009 RMZ 450 (sold)
    2006 RMZ 450 ProCircuit works bike (sold)
    And a laundry list of other bikes from 60 years of riding.

  4. #3

    Default Re: 2020 KTM 500exc or KTM 500xcf-w or...

    Thanks for the insight! What are your thoughts on the 350 and 450 xc-f. The 350 looks more enticing for what I would be riding due to the 6 speed transmission.

  5. #4

    Default Re: 2020 KTM 500exc or KTM 500xcf-w or...

    Hey there neighbor

    I am not far from you. It snowed here today.... you?

    I have been looking into the FX450, and the FE501 of late. I have a 2018 TX300 and a 2019 FX350.
    Jimmy Lewis has a good video on the FE501. Dirtbiketests, I think.
    It sounds good to me.
    I was thinking of the FX450, and was actually looking for a leftover. Then, I realized that it had a 5 speed.....finally, and I took it off my list. The guys at Rocky mountain atv south of here, have a good video about a 450SX (SX I think) they have. I still may get the new framed FE501. I wonder what is up with the 2021 models, too

    I haven't ridden my 350 much yet, and I am not at all a dunes type of guy, but I don't think the 350 would be perfect for Sand Mountain. I will actually detour to miss Sand Mountain, so I may not be a good judge.
    FX450 for the dunes, is my guess.
    The FX350 is awesome, and I would bet the XC250-f is as well.

  6. #5

    Default Re: 2020 KTM 500exc or KTM 500xcf-w or...

    Quote Originally Posted by Pc06sti View Post
    Thanks for the insight! What are your thoughts on the 350 and 450 xc-f. The 350 looks more enticing for what I would be riding due to the 6 speed transmission.
    I've bought and sold lots of bikes. But my 350 6Days will never be for sale! That's how I feel about the 350's.
    2020 Husky TX300i


    2018 Husky TE250
    RK head

    2015 KTM 350 Six Days
    W/2018 Xplor forks
    All suspensions done by Adam Krefting


    2020 Beta 300RR Race Edition (sold)
    2018 Beta Xtrainer AMP suspension (sold)
    2015 KTM 350 SXF (sold)
    2005 CRF250X (sold)
    2004 CRF450R (sold)
    2009 RMZ 450 (sold)
    2006 RMZ 450 ProCircuit works bike (sold)
    And a laundry list of other bikes from 60 years of riding.

  7. #6

    Default Re: 2020 KTM 500exc or KTM 500xcf-w or...

    Quote Originally Posted by LRM View Post
    I've bought and sold lots of bikes. But my 350 6Days will never be for sale! That's how I feel about the 350's.
    The 350 XCF-Ws are great bikes. I added a Vortex ECU to my 2013 and could not be happier. The 350 XCF-Ws hit the sweet spot for 4-stroke displacement IMHO. When it is time to rebuild it, I may try a 390 big bore kit from Thumper Racing.

  8. #7

    Default Re: 2020 KTM 500exc or KTM 500xcf-w or...

    Quote Originally Posted by LRM View Post
    I've bought and sold lots of bikes. But my 350 6Days will never be for sale! That's how I feel about the 350's.
    LRM

    This 19 FX350 is new to me. Would you share what front tire you like for the terrain that is local to where you are? Do you use a different tire for your TX300i???

    A soft terrain front is not going to work for me, I don't think.

    Regards

  9. #8
    KTMTalk Member 28gauge's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2020 KTM 500exc or KTM 500xcf-w or...

    Given the wide variety of terrain including tracks I would suggest the 450xcf. If you were in Californication I'd suggest the 500xcf-w but it will be a bit soft for the track. For me I have the 2014 500exc for dual sport and a 2017 300xc-w smoker for more technical trails.

    I am looking at maybe a new 2020 500exc. I need to find out what it takes to make it run like a 500xcf-w. I am hopeful the new closed loop EFI adapts well to removing the reed valve in the air box and screen at the end tip of the muffler. Re-mapping will of course most likely require replacing the ECU. However with just a small TPS adjustment I've been happy with the stock ECU. I did remove the exhaust PAIR system and fule vapor catch system required here in the land of nuts and berries.
    Last edited by 28gauge; 05-30-2020 at 01:46 PM.
    2014 KTM 500 exc, 2017 300 xcw, 2012 990 SMT

  10. #9

    Default Re: 2020 KTM 500exc or KTM 500xcf-w or...

    Quote Originally Posted by SilasThompson View Post
    The 350 XCF-Ws are great bikes. I added a Vortex ECU to my 2013 and could not be happier. The 350 XCF-Ws hit the sweet spot for 4-stroke displacement IMHO. When it is time to rebuild it, I may try a 390 big bore kit from Thumper Racing.
    I have had a few 500's and 450's and I can say without question the 350 xcw is a better bike . I am 240 lbs and have ridden it hours and hours around Colorado at altitude . Plenty of power , turns better and has much less vibration than the big bikes . The only bike I would maybe sell it for would be an FE350 , for the linkage .

  11. #10

    Default Re: 2020 KTM 500exc or KTM 500xcf-w or...

    IMO if you are just comparing the 500exc to the 500xcf-w the only difference I can tell is the the addition of blinkers and everything needed to make it street legal. Maybe there is a slight difference in engine mapping but all that can be changed with a power commander. Personally I would be removing all emissions related parts as well as installing an exhaust system, power commander with auto-tune, etc so I wouldn’t be worried about what it has for mapping. Just the ability to plate the bike easily would make me lean towards the exc. If you plan on tracking the bike though you would have to do some serious suspension tuning. That’s why I bought my 250xc back in 07 because I wanted something that was more capable in a variety of environments. The KTM xc and Husky fx are both basically set up to be a compromise for both off-road and track riding. They may not be the best at both but are definitely better than trying to ride a track bike off-road and an off-road bike on the track. Whichever direction you choose to go there are always ways to tune your bike in whichever direction you plan to ride the xc/fx just start you off in the middle. Anywho hope this helps and good luck
    Last edited by BlackBEARD13; 06-01-2020 at 04:59 PM.
    2020 KTM 790 Adventure R
    2007 KTM 250xc w/300 kit

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