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  #1  
Old 09-09-2018
Blakduk Blakduk is offline
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500/501 - pre Vs post 2017 for Adv?

I'm looking for some owners information on the latest version, versus the earlier KTM and Husqvarna EXC and FE models, particularly the 510cc model. My plan longer term is to get one of these, put on a bigger tank and a cush hub (perhaps a seat/airhawk) and use it for longer gravel road running and exploring.

So yeah. Reliability, handling, the engine... what is the REAL go here?

I've had a few bikes, and don't really enjoy the bigger ones (e.g. 990, 650), more than anything else I love great suspension, and in any case, will trailer it if the transport is more than 300kms to a ride. Plus I need a few more cc's than my latest 'interim' bike.

Now I know there is more maintenance with a enduro bike modded for the kms, than a heavier bike modded to make it "go faster and handle good", but I think I'd be happier with that based on how I've felt the past few years.

All I've heard about the models since 2017, is that they are lighter, and that they need a bit of work from the dealer to prevent them being too lean.

What I am interested in is have there been any longevity/reliability issues with the later ones (and should I keep my eyes out for a mint 2nd hand earlier one). I think the consensus is that from about 2012 to 2017, the KTM motors have been amazingly resilient with bigger kms if looked after, and not necessarily needing rebuilds or exploding gearboxes.

Would be interested in owner's opinions and/or someone who has done a lot of research. (The US sites just seem to be all about having to put an aftermarket tuner on them, but my local Husky dealer reckons he is all over this and I don't have to worry).
Without being ridiculous about money, I'm not as interested in saving money, as getting the right bike at this point.



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Old 09-09-2018
michaelf michaelf is offline
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I am also in the market for an adv bike.
I have a good friend who owns a ktm 500, 690 and 950. So he, his son and myself went on a big ride with the 3 of them.
Was quite eye opening. Probably never own a 990/950, but was really surprised how the 690 went in harder stuff and also sitting on 120 kph for longer stretches. The 500 I thought just didnt cut it on the gravel roads, etc.
My opinion, the 690 does it all though not great at any one thing. The others too much of a compromise.
My initial idea was to adv a 500, probably not any more.
Try and get a few test rides before you buy is my opinion.

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Old 09-09-2018
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disco disco is offline
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I'm not an owner, but when looking at them, you do realise they are an engine that is weight shaved within an inch of it's life and built with components like 2 rings slipper pistons etc. So technically not *designed* for high kays and you tend to not hear the bad stories either.

Still be ok if you've got the cash though. That's what it all comes down to. I would expect it to be a bin job at the end of a few big adventures. As a budget conscious person I do bare in mind major engine components when talking big kays (i,e rod lets go or soemthing)

$250USD v's $1200 USD for Yamaha head versus ktm
$250USD v's $800 USD for Yamaha barrel versus ktm

I'd like to find a near new 2011 WR450 with carb and 3 ring and stick YZ cams in it so that it's a very angry $6000 high performance bike that will do 30,000kms without working up a sweat. I'd also consider the new honda even though it's heavier (be mindful most weights you've seen are fully fuelled with junk on it) it's already over engineered and designed for 30,000 major services and comes with A spec suspension, 3 ring, cush drive etc.

THe test drive comment is really important, some bikes are much more civil than others,and that makes a big difference on the long trips. The smoothness of the WR250R is what's won it a big followng in ADV.
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Old 09-09-2018
Blakduk Blakduk is offline
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Thanks so far. Yes I've ridden a mates 690 several times, and also test rode a brand new 701. Decent rides too. Those bikes just did not tick my boxes. By that I mean I was not thrilled by them. Sure the motor was smooth and powerful, and the bike was reasonably stable, but they are just big and boring. Except for the HP, I'd enjoy a ride on my 450 or 250 more.

I get what you've said about shaved within an inch of it's life, however when I rode a GS750 from 1977, they shaved it within an inch of it's life over subsequent decades, and bikes still just kept getting better and did not blow up. We don't know if the engine is really within an inch of its life, or even if that is a thing. I'd prefer to know how they are going in the real world over time Just because they are lighter and closer tolerances, does not mean that technology has ruined them, if you know what I mean. In another 10 years the motor might be half the weight again, and still running fine, who knows?
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Old 09-09-2018
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Danh124 Danh124 is online now
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I had a 2012 KTM 500 and rode it on singles mostly for 250 hours.
Did a top end at 150 hours and it could have kept going for a while, changed it any way as it was allready stripped down.

I wouldn't want to be sitting on 100kph for any long stretch of time, it's a dirt bike first and formost.
It will do it, but under protest. I think mine lasted so long because it was ridden in 1st and 2nd gear at low rpm.

If I were doing an adv bike like your describing I would be looking at a DRZ400, 650, KTM 690, HUSKY 701 etc etc.
DRZ is cheap as chips too.
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Old 09-09-2018
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Blas'e Blas'e is offline
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Just got back from a quick 5 hr /300 klm ride out through Murray Sunset, Lindsay Island/Mulcra Island ride on my 2018 500.

If you are talking a light adventure bike, I reckon a used 2012>2016 would be a better buy than a 2017/2018.

2012 > 2016 is cheaper to buy used, holds more oil, has a better air cleaner, has a better seat, has better suspension and has a kick starter.

No comparison really, is there....
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Old 09-09-2018
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you mentioned great suspension, maybe you should be looking at the WR450

if your set on KTM husky, 12-16 make more sense.
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