Which KTM to buy?

Mar 16, 2020
My buddy is looking to buy a new street legal KTM for dual sport use and future snowbike use and I don't know whether to recommend the higher torque 500 EXC or the higher revving 450 EXC since both are now available. I know a close ratio bike is ideal, especially riding our steep mountains in the Sierras. Which bike would be able to pull the wide ratio transmission the best?


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Mar 1, 2010
I think mods, ecu and desmog, will be required on both to get best performance. Compared to the transmission in a 19' 450 xc, I'm assuming exc is same, and the transmission in a 17' 450fx, both 5 speeds, I prefer the 6 speed in the 500 exc. Probably depends a bit on the riding style of the rider. I don't care for the high first 5 speed on the xc and prefer the low first of the 6 speed. But, if not afraid to slip the clutch a bit and run higher rpm the 450 would probable work good. Again just an opinion, but I prefer the torque benefit of the 500 as well. In case you haven't seen it, there is a post, or two, of 500 vs 450 debate here with good info.
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